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Good Bye - Electrical Tape

Alacrity59

Wanting for wisdom
Just over a year ago I purchased two new Dovo razors. As they gold trim I decided to use electrical tape rather than prematurely wearing it off. I guess that I am coming to the end of my third year of honing. I've decided now that my skills are up to doing away with the tape except for cases where it may be needed . . . such as a smiling razor.

The conversion didn't take much. 20 strokes on a 1K followed by my normal pyramid on a Norton 4K / 8K combo followed by some polishing on a Japanese stone that is also supposed to by 8K by which I find finer than the Norton. Some stropping on some Chromium Oxide film. The razor is now popping the hairs on my arm and after some extra stropping I had a great shave.

Would I use tape again? Yes. I feel that the tape actually did protect the spine from extra hone ware while I was developing my skills. Also I openly admit that I am still developing my skills and that my blades are all quite flat and not really what anybody would call a challenge (except for the smiley).

Mike
 
Using tape or not does not really have anything to do with skill. Many "honemeisters" use tape, always.
 
I quit using tape because the tutorial pointed out the possibility of double bevels.

BTW, I have never been able to get the hanging hair test to work for me. I got a 100x microscope from Radio Shack for
$15 and make that the ultimate test. I learned that microscopic chips were my main problems with irritation and usually when I hone them out (or hone out the severity of the chips) the blade is ready.
 
Tape is personal preference. I don't like the honewear on the spine, so I hone every razor with tape, be it mine, or someone elses razor. If I have the razor buffed/restored before it, than even more so.
 
I started using tape because I have a few razors with forged, filed or laser engraved spines. Not wanting to mess up those embellishments, I opted for tape. Before long, I couldn't keep straight what was honed with tape and what was not. So now everything gets tape. Lazy, yes.
 
My decision to use tape on all razors was based on similar logic as the Prof's. I couldn't keep track of which razors used tape or not.

I personally think it's not wise to hone a custom razor or one with a worked spine without tape as that really make 'em ugly (or uglier at least). So, I use tape on all my razors.

A double bevel is not an issue for most razors. The bevel angle is the only thing that needs to be considered, and since all my razors are pretty wide, this is not an issue.
 
I've never used tape for honing even with the decorated spines. I've planned on using a system to hone and use TI white paste for as long as possible before rehoning. Needless to say as my collection grows the need to hone often goes further and further away. Even with the Unicot don't you use tape half way through the process, so some spine contact is made with the hone (I only use coti's)? I also don't dull my edges before honing anymore, I watch the "wave". So no tape and I haven't had any problems.
 
I won't lie. I hate using tape because it basically eliminates the feedback I'm used to getting from the hone that I use to determine my progress.
 
Interesting. It does stifle the feedback you get but what remains is from the edge alone.
Well, no. You also get feedback from the electrical tape abrading (and smearing) on the hone. And, in addition to adding useless feedback, the tape dampens the vibrations from the edge riding on the hone.
 
I won't lie. I hate using tape because it basically eliminates the feedback I'm used to getting from the hone that I use to determine my progress.
Yep, this is likely to be a personal thing (like so many aspects of this hobby are). In my case, I have worked out a technique that works reasonably well for me, and involves taping the spine.

In the few cases in which I tried to hone without tape (recently), I found that the feel had changed enough to make it slightly 'off' - I put that down to my lack of experience with untaped spines. So, I stuck a layer of tape on and all was well.
 
Isn't hone wear supposed to actually be good for ensuring that the edge angle is built in?
Yes and no. You won't change the angle of a razor, even if you use it exclusively for a lifetime with a taped spine. Even if you hone without tape, you most likely won't wear down the spine so that the angle stays the same.
 
Well, no. You also get feedback from the electrical tape abrading (and smearing) on the hone. And, in addition to adding useless feedback, the tape dampens the vibrations from the edge riding on the hone.
Disagreed. You still get subtle yet distinct feedback. I don't need the spine amplifying the feedback to be able to feel how the edge is behaving on the hone.

Also, if the tape is being smeared on the hone, a lighter touch should be employed.
 
Disagreed. You still get subtle yet distinct feedback. I don't need the spine amplifying the feedback to be able to feel how the edge is behaving on the hone.
Sure, you get feedback. The feedback that I notice is from rubber rubbing on a rock. I'm not saying that the spine is amplifying the feedback without tape. I'm saying that the spine dampens the feedback with tape. (Those two statements are not the negations of each other.)

Anyway, my main point is that I don't like the change in feedback caused by using tape. Furthermore, if I didn't want something I use to show any reasonable wear, I just would choose not to use it. To me, it's the equivalent of having a nice table cloth on a nice table then covering it with cheap plastic.

Also, if the tape is being smeared on the hone, a lighter touch should be employed.
I'm saying that this happens even with no pressure, for example when honing on my 1k Shapton GlassStone.
 
It's silly to argue about this really. Some one the best honemeisters use tape always, you don't hear them complaining.

It's a personal thing as already said, YMMV and all that. Whatever works best for you is what counts.
 

Alacrity59

Wanting for wisdom
Interesting points. I have no plans to sell the razors I use . . . some are quite old and have maybe 1/8" flat spots due to honing. They still shave well. I'm happy to use my gear and I doubt that I will wear it out in my lifetime. And for me personally . . . why should I go searching for a piece of tape if I want to do a few strokes on a barber's hone.

Yes it is very much a personal preference. Just another thing with shaving that has no one best answer.
 
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