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Does anyone here live in Northern California that I can hone a razor side by side with?


"Self appointed king of Arkoland"
Short report... Alex and Emiko were very kind hosts. Emiko cooked a tasty lunch, and Alex shared his knowledge and tried to help each of us develop a shave-worthy razor. We paused along the way to observe the effect of experiments on the razor and change things up as needed. In addition to Alex's expertise, it was valuable to hear the experiences of @Toro Blanco and @quijas23 as they've been at this much longer than me.

This was the first time I've honed with others, so the trip was eye-opening in a number of ways. An initial list:
  • It was helpful to get a sense for the pressure others use (someone can push on your hand and give you a sense for it)
  • I was surprised how much differently stones can behave on different steels
  • I got a sense if I was 'in the ballpark' for my honing efforts
  • There was a lot of observing and then changing what wasn't working (def. Not a recipe)
  • You can see if something is working or not in a very small number of strokes
  • Lots of small details discussed for me to decide how incorporate (e.g., kapton vs. 3m tape)
  • Getting to see a range of different performing stones and how mine fit in
  • The shear number and variety of stones Alex has is astounding.
Very glad I did this - thank you Alex, Toro and Quijas23!

I believe that this is the most lovely, heartwarming thread that I have ever read on Badger and Blade! Well done my friends! Well done.
Ill confirm that Alex and his wife were very kind. Much beyond what I expected.
Second, Alex's Shop was beyond anything I could have imagined and his processes were great. One of the items that we did was to observe scratch patterns under the microscope on various stones. What I really wanted to observe was the techniques for JNAts as I am relatively new to this and needed some help.
One of the big things that helped me was not just seeing how others did sharpening, but being able to see the results under the microscope that Alex has set up in his sharpening room. You could go and do a short series of strokes and then see in real time what is going on with the razor. While I don't think a microscope is required, it definately is a shortcut to optimizing the edge of the razor.
Also beneficial was getting to see how others setup and techniques. I had some handicaps I did not realize and upon return to my own personal sharpening station at home, was able repeat easily what I had learned in person.
I would highly suggest meet ups for others as one afternoon amongst others really helped me in my journey.
Thanks again to everyone that was there


alx gilmore, and​

Toro Blanco, hope to do it again​

It was fun to watch an idea turn into reality and read how beneficial and fun it was for you guys.me

The gathering came together smoothly despite my computer-email-messaging skills. My age allows me lots of free time but diffuses my origination skills, it was the three of them who pulled it together. Seven hours was not enough and I would be happy to do it again.

Hello all
This sounds like a magical opportunity! Alex , after our phone meeting this winter I started dreaming of a meet. I have the next month around northern California to climb and am hoping to learn from you all. I will have flexible days off too! I also got a sample grade koppa that convinced me that i am also looking for a stone mach as well.
Alex, are you available ?

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