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Fist Honing Attempt on a Smiling Razor

So I got my GD W59 razor today and as expected the factory honing was as sharp as a wet melon. I watched a couple of videos on honing a smile so decided to try tuning it with a 12K stone first since I figured it would do the least damage while I figured out the technique. I found the rolling x pattern from heel to toe pretty easy to pick up and after a little while I actually was able to pass a few tests such as the thumb nail and tomato cut. There were a few duller areas that I was able to bring up pretty quickly.

Unfortunately, the blade just wasn't sharp enough to be dealing with the 12K level so it looks pretty good but still is just not there yet. I'm grabbing a 5K and 8K stone tomorrow and I'll try working up from there.
 
A lovely looking blade. That edge looks happy but not overly happy in my opinion. I have experienced W59's that are much more happy.

That W59 looks like a great candidate on which to develop your smiling-edge hone skills.
It's definitely a great blade to practice since if I mess up the edge I'm not too upset. I might have to grind down the stabilizer, it seems to be giving me a bit of trouble, but I didn't really want to add that to my list yet.
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
Many people believe that honing razors is about making an edge.

Honing razors is about solving problems. Smilies, frownies, wedgies (no wait that’s not the right word), warped, bent, ‘S’ shaped all from 3/8” to 1”+. Wedge to Adresso thin.

Hones can be flat, concave, convex, and any media imaginable.

It’s all muscle memory, eye-hand coordination, whatever you want to call it. Like riding a bicycle or playing a musical instrument. The more you do it, the better you get.

Good hardware helps, but only if you’ve mastered the basics. Buying a Steinway doesn’t mean that you can play it.
 
Many people believe that honing razors is about making an edge.

Honing razors is about solving problems. Smilies, frownies, wedgies (no wait that’s not the right word), warped, bent, ‘S’ shaped all from 3/8” to 1”+. Wedge to Adresso thin.

Hones can be flat, concave, convex, and any media imaginable.

It’s all muscle memory, eye-hand coordination, whatever you want to call it. Like riding a bicycle or playing a musical instrument. The more you do it, the better you get.

Good hardware helps, but only if you’ve mastered the basics. Buying a Steinway doesn’t mean that you can play it.
I definitely agree, I found a nick today while working on the blade but in the end, the tip was paper-thin and eventually broke. Another quality GD! :rolleyes5

I have three more on the way but not going to work with another W59 for a bit.
 
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I definitely agree, I found a nick today while working on the blade but in the end, the tip was paper-thin and eventually broke. Another quality GD! :rolleyes5

I have three more on the way but not going to work with another W59 for a bit.
Sorry to hear that you lost the tip of the toe on your W59. That tip for me is one of the endearing features of the W59.
 
Sorry to hear that you lost the tip of the toe on your W59. That tip for me is one of the endearing features of the W59.
I really liked it but I think the factory grind was too deep and left that spot too weak to stand up to extensive honing. Oh well, on to the next. It was a good first attempt and I did make some good headway and build confidence and experience. I now have a better idea of how to keep the edge even while honing so it was worth the cost.
 
The w59 tip is a bit of a stretch (mine was and I know they arent absolutely consistent). You can do it. But it isn't something that you can bang out. What I've found with these gold dollars and other similar razors is they are sharpened on a belt and wheel IMO. The belt or wheel makes the edge come up short when you put it on a stone. Some put a lot of tape to compensate. But I don't like tape. One good honing and then subsequent ones are not difficult at all once you have it all worked out.
 
The w59 tip is a bit of a stretch (mine was and I know they arent absolutely consistent). You can do it. But it isn't something that you can bang out. What I've found with these gold dollars and other similar razors is they are sharpened on a belt and wheel IMO. The belt or wheel makes the edge come up short when you put it on a stone. Some put a lot of tape to compensate. But I don't like tape. One good honing and then subsequent ones are not difficult at all once you have it all worked out.
Whatever they are doing, they aren't doing a great job, but for the price what can you expect? I just need to figure out how to deal with them without killing them lol.
 
Whatever they are doing, they aren't doing a great job, but for the price what can you expect? I just need to figure out how to deal with them without killing them lol.
I would prefer they sent their razors out with no factory edge. Like the 66s. But in their effort to provide a "shaving edge" they make one step forward two steps back. Lol.
 
The geometry of the w59 is not quite right, its more superficial and the spine isnt set quite right
This is hardly surprising since it's GD. There was a slight bend in the tip that eventually got worse with sharpening and it eventually snapped. That bend might have come from the spine misalignment. I'm not particularly fussed since I wasn't buying this with the intention of having a shaving razor, but rather one to get some practice on. I just wish it lasted longer so I could actually have brought the edge up to shave-ready.
 
Yeah, i knew as soon as wrote about the geometry, we’d have the caveat about most GD geometries but the W59 one is especially not quite right. If you look at oem “smiles” you’ll typically see the contact region of the spine isnt straight like a regular razor, it more or less mimics the flow of the edge. You can obviously work maneuvers to the end effect, but not quite right.
 
Yeah, i knew as soon as wrote about the geometry, we’d have the caveat about most GD geometries but the W59 one is especially not quite right. If you look at oem “smiles” you’ll typically see the contact region of the spine isnt straight like a regular razor, it more or less mimics the flow of the edge. You can obviously work maneuvers to the end effect, but not quite right.
LOL you always have to start off a discussion about GD by saying it's GD! I see what you mean, and I'm not likely to do another one of these because of the issues. I wouldn't mind trying a smiling razor to shave with but I'll find one that has a better geometry.
 
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