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hone & paste

I'm curious if anyone has ever used paste stropping (green, possibly red) prior to final honing in the upper range (10K up). Regular stropping of course comes after honing but paste stropping is a hybrid of sorts.
 
Most of your pastes are in the 0.5um to 0.25um (50k grit to 100k grit) range. Kind of defeats the purpose by using paste and then going back to a 10k or so stone.
 
Most of your pastes are in the 0.5um to 0.25um (50k grit to 100k grit) range. Kind of defeats the purpose by using paste and then going back to a 10k or so stone.
Red and green are in that range? I've seen them referenced much lower (hence the question).
 
No they aren't, but they are still used at the final stage even if its a coarser paste that substitutes a final hone.
I've never heard of a paste that substitutes a mid range hone.
So going from a 10K stone to green paste stropping, then regular stropping would just be an alternate to 10K/12K regular strop? On my current effort--the frameback--I'm wondering about what fine tuning I could achieve with paste (plus paste is easier on the spine). Paste can reduce the number of honing laps before I'd guess.
 
So going from a 10K stone to green paste stropping, then regular stropping would just be an alternate to 10K/12K regular strop? On my current effort--the frameback--I'm wondering about what fine tuning I could achieve with paste (plus paste is easier on the spine). Paste can reduce the number of honing laps before I'd guess.
Yes, that would work.
It will smooth the edge out a bit.
Tim Zowada uses green paste CrOx as a final finish before stropping.
 
If we're referring to the Solingen pastes, they are a bit aggressive. I generally don't use the green paste, but I do use the red and black pastes. I find the red helps the edge off a coticule and the black is great for touch-ups when the edge starts to fall off after repeated daily stropping.
 
Jende has diamond emulations at 4, 2, and 1 micron or 4000, 8000, and 16000 grit respectively.
But I wouldn’t think it would save you any spine ware. It would probably round out the existing ware somewhat, and make it less evident.
Why not just tape the spine?
Jmo
 
So going from a 10K stone to green paste stropping, then regular stropping would just be an alternate to 10K/12K regular strop? On my current effort--the frameback--I'm wondering about what fine tuning I could achieve with paste (plus paste is easier on the spine). Paste can reduce the number of honing laps before I'd guess.
Looks like you have the common problem with most pastes, you don't know what "grit" size it really is.
 
There are lots of different systems for rating grit levels, so using micron size is a much less confusing system. For example, the Suehiro Gokumyo 20K stone is rated at 0.5 micron. The Shapton Glass 30K stone is rated at 0.49 micron. Obviously, Suehiro and Shapton are using two entirely different grit rating systems.

A Naniwa 8K stone is rated using the JIS Japanese system. It is approximately 1.2 micron. Although the JIS system does not officially go any higher than 8K, if you extrapolate, 10K is approximately 1 micron and 20K (Suehiro G20K) would be 0.5 micron. Extrapolating even further, 0.25 micron would be the equivalent of 40K grit and 0.1 micron would be equivalent to 100K.

There are lots of abrasive pastes that are sold by color (red, green, black, etc.). The problem is that you do not really know the micron size or size distribution of the pastes. This can particularly be an issue with green chromium oxide sold as a polishing compound. Better grades may be 0.5 micron, a cheap bar of chromium oxide to be used on a buffing wheel might considerably higher. Thus, you are better off avoiding unknown polishing compounds and purchasing abrasives that are specifically rated by micron size. Jende is a reputable source of diamond emulsions. Chef Knives to Go is another reputable source of both diamond pastes and sprays and CBN (cubic boron nitride) sprays and emulsions. Jende and CKTG also sell strops suitable for use as substrates for their products, although you can make your own from balsa, leather, etc.

Good results can be achieved by using hones that go down to the 1 micron level or lower and then using a series of pastes and sprays such as 0.5 micron, 0.25 micron and 0.1 micron, either diamond or CBN. Depending upon your face and beard characteristics, you might find that the 0.5 micron level is sufficient. However, with my tough beard and sensitive skin, I like going all the way down to 0.1 micron. Originally, I only went down to 0.25 micron, but when I added the 0.1 micron CBN, my face appreciated the difference.
 
There are lots of different systems for rating grit levels, so using micron size is a much less confusing system. For example, the Suehiro Gokumyo 20K stone is rated at 0.5 micron. The Shapton Glass 30K stone is rated at 0.49 micron. Obviously, Suehiro and Shapton are using two entirely different grit rating systems.

A Naniwa 8K stone is rated using the JIS Japanese system. It is approximately 1.2 micron. Although the JIS system does not officially go any higher than 8K, if you extrapolate, 10K is approximately 1 micron and 20K (Suehiro G20K) would be 0.5 micron. Extrapolating even further, 0.25 micron would be the equivalent of 40K grit and 0.1 micron would be equivalent to 100K.

There are lots of abrasive pastes that are sold by color (red, green, black, etc.). The problem is that you do not really know the micron size or size distribution of the pastes. This can particularly be an issue with green chromium oxide sold as a polishing compound. Better grades may be 0.5 micron, a cheap bar of chromium oxide to be used on a buffing wheel might considerably higher. Thus, you are better off avoiding unknown polishing compounds and purchasing abrasives that are specifically rated by micron size. Jende is a reputable source of diamond emulsions. Chef Knives to Go is another reputable source of both diamond pastes and sprays and CBN (cubic boron nitride) sprays and emulsions. Jende and CKTG also sell strops suitable for use as substrates for their products, although you can make your own from balsa, leather, etc.

Good results can be achieved by using hones that go down to the 1 micron level or lower and then using a series of pastes and sprays such as 0.5 micron, 0.25 micron and 0.1 micron, either diamond or CBN. Depending upon your face and beard characteristics, you might find that the 0.5 micron level is sufficient. However, with my tough beard and sensitive skin, I like going all the way down to 0.1 micron. Originally, I only went down to 0.25 micron, but when I added the 0.1 micron CBN, my face appreciated the difference.
Thanks -- that's helpful RayClem. You don't trust the Solingen pastes?
 
If memory serves the green Solingen paste has an average particle size of 6 microns. The red is an average of 3(the range I believe is 4-2) and the black is 1.5 (I suspect that is a range of 1-2 microns). Most chromium oxide I’ve encountered has an average particle size of .5 microns though I’ve seen some advertised as .3 microns. I’ve wondered if the .3 stuff is just being advertised at its smallest particle and not the average. Some diamond sprays (chefknivestogo) will be measured by its largest particle size. The other “red paste” commonly found out there is iron oxide which is super fine at .1 micron.

This is my pasted strop progression
image.jpg

Left to right Solingen red, Solingen black, 1micron diamond spray. .5 chrox, and .1 iron oxide.

It’s also worth noting that even though particle size might be the same the edge they impart can be totally different.
 

Attachments

There certainly are stones both synthetic and natural that are on the order of fineness of CrOx, maybe finer.

Pasted strops generally have some ‘give’ to them and convex the edge a bit more than a stone, synthetic or natural. That’s one reason why you use them. So if you used a pasted strop before a stone, the stone is going to have to cut away all the convexed effects of paste before it hits the apex of the edge. When it does, the previous paste step wouldn’t matter. JMO.
 
I’ve found a good amount of utility, in regards to grit, in this link.

 
Thanks -- that's helpful RayClem. You don't trust the Solingen pastes?
I have not used the Solingen pastes. I am wary of using them because you do not know the specifications. If you are using them early in your stropping routine and then progressing to finer abrasives, then the probably work fine.
 
So going from a 10K stone to green paste stropping, then regular stropping would just be an alternate to 10K/12K regular strop? On my current effort--the frameback--I'm wondering about what fine tuning I could achieve with paste (plus paste is easier on the spine). Paste can reduce the number of honing laps before I'd guess.
No, pasted stropping will not reduce the lap count on your finishing stone. The stone still must completely eradicate the scratches of the previous, coarser stage. The CrOx cannot do that without hundreds of laps which will of course significantly change your edge geometry. Probably, you will find, not for the better.

My suggestion, from a 10k stone, would be to PROPERLY set up a progression of balsa strops at 1u, .5u, .25u, and .1u grits. See the pasted balsa strop thread linked from the Newbie Honing Compendium (AKA "The Method") thread. Read it in full. ALL questions that you could reasonably ever think to ask are answered there.

Best scenario is you finish the stone work with a 12k Naniwa or even better, 1u lapping film (but only if you get the right stuff and use it correctly) and then use only the standard 3 stage progression of .5u, .25u, and .1u pasted balsa. Again, PROPERLY set up and used. Freestyle it and all bets are off. Follow directions accurately and precisely and you will succeed.

This is not the only way to hone a razor. I believe it is the best way, since after decades of straight shaving I have never shaved with a better edge than what I get with The Method. This includes DE blades in DE razor or shavette. But other methods do undeniably work. IF YOU DO THEM CORRECTLY. Why stumble out into the wilderness of randomness and uncertainty when you can get where you are going smoothly, quickly, and easily by the path well trodden by multitudes? Stick with a proven set of detailed steps with a proven track record and do not be sidetracked. I don't care if it is the often mocked (and rightfully so IYAM) pyramid method. I don't care if it is unicot or dilucot. But pick a detailed regimen and follow it precisely or your first attempts will be doomed to an extreme probability of serial failure. Do it the way at least a few honers do it with good and consistent results. It just so happens that The Method doesn't really have much competition for economy, speed of learning, ease, and superlative results. Now I say "learning" but The Method doesn't really teach you, any more than a paint by numbers Elvis on black velvet teaches you to paint portraits. It is merely a set of instructions that you follow to success. Learning to hone takes years. Actually honing can take an hour or less. Two, maybe three, if you don't nail it on the first attempt. I say learn later. DO, right now.

You can freestyle it or use whatever you got or pick tools and methods at random or go with whatever catches your fancy and get who knows what results, or you can stick with one absolutely proven method with a trail of first or second attempt success stories behind it that is presented in great detail and tweaked carefully over years and by the collective experiences of hundreds. Which approach seems more logical?

You want to go from a 10k stone to CrOx to clean leather. Meh. That has been done for generations, with mediocre results by today's standards. If you want mediocre results then go for it. If you have never used a truly sharp razor then you will probably find the results satisfying. If you have ever used a Method edge, you will be so disappointed after a few strokes that you will reach for your favorite DE or Injector or the bag of Good News blues you got from Rite-Aid, because you will find the edge kind of borderline sucky. But hey, it's your razor. What you are suggesting might get it sharp enough to shave, so it will be a fun adventure, surely. Do it however you like. But the truth is staring you in the face.

In generations past, edges from barber hones, 8k Nortons, coticules, all were deemed sharp enough for shaving. So there's that. Where are your standards? Plenty of guys today are happy with a coticule edge and I am not faulting them for that at all. I am sure there is someone out there shaving off an 8k and with no desire for anything better, and it is a fact that many shavers are shaving with an edge created by an 8k or 10k or 12k stone followed by green paste on a hanging strop. Maybe that is good enough for you, who knows? Do it like you feel it. But if you are smart, you will do it exactly precisely the way that some successful honer does it, with no freestyle stuff, no omissions or substitutions. All serial failures have one thing in common... they are just winging it because they think they know more than an experienced honer or that the details are not important.
 
There certainly are stones both synthetic and natural that are on the order of fineness of CrOx, maybe finer.

Pasted strops generally have some ‘give’ to them and convex the edge a bit more than a stone, synthetic or natural. That’s one reason why you use them. So if you used a pasted strop before a stone, the stone is going to have to cut away all the convexed effects of paste before it hits the apex of the edge. When it does, the previous paste step wouldn’t matter. JMO.
This is the best explanation of why NOT to use a stone after paste.

Try what you have, try what you want to try.
What one person loves, the next may hate.
Only you can decide what's right for you.
 
No, pasted stropping will not reduce the lap count on your finishing stone. The stone still must completely eradicate the scratches of the previous, coarser stage. The CrOx cannot do that without hundreds of laps which will of course significantly change your edge geometry. Probably, you will find, not for the better.

My suggestion, from a 10k stone, would be to PROPERLY set up a progression of balsa strops at 1u, .5u, .25u, and .1u grits. See the pasted balsa strop thread linked from the Newbie Honing Compendium (AKA "The Method") thread. Read it in full. ALL questions that you could reasonably ever think to ask are answered there.

Best scenario is you finish the stone work with a 12k Naniwa or even better, 1u lapping film (but only if you get the right stuff and use it correctly) and then use only the standard 3 stage progression of .5u, .25u, and .1u pasted balsa. Again, PROPERLY set up and used. Freestyle it and all bets are off. Follow directions accurately and precisely and you will succeed.

This is not the only way to hone a razor. I believe it is the best way, since after decades of straight shaving I have never shaved with a better edge than what I get with The Method. This includes DE blades in DE razor or shavette. But other methods do undeniably work. IF YOU DO THEM CORRECTLY. Why stumble out into the wilderness of randomness and uncertainty when you can get where you are going smoothly, quickly, and easily by the path well trodden by multitudes? Stick with a proven set of detailed steps with a proven track record and do not be sidetracked. I don't care if it is the often mocked (and rightfully so IYAM) pyramid method. I don't care if it is unicot or dilucot. But pick a detailed regimen and follow it precisely or your first attempts will be doomed to an extreme probability of serial failure. Do it the way at least a few honers do it with good and consistent results. It just so happens that The Method doesn't really have much competition for economy, speed of learning, ease, and superlative results. Now I say "learning" but The Method doesn't really teach you, any more than a paint by numbers Elvis on black velvet teaches you to paint portraits. It is merely a set of instructions that you follow to success. Learning to hone takes years. Actually honing can take an hour or less. Two, maybe three, if you don't nail it on the first attempt. I say learn later. DO, right now.

You can freestyle it or use whatever you got or pick tools and methods at random or go with whatever catches your fancy and get who knows what results, or you can stick with one absolutely proven method with a trail of first or second attempt success stories behind it that is presented in great detail and tweaked carefully over years and by the collective experiences of hundreds. Which approach seems more logical?

You want to go from a 10k stone to CrOx to clean leather. Meh. That has been done for generations, with mediocre results by today's standards. If you want mediocre results then go for it. If you have never used a truly sharp razor then you will probably find the results satisfying. If you have ever used a Method edge, you will be so disappointed after a few strokes that you will reach for your favorite DE or Injector or the bag of Good News blues you got from Rite-Aid, because you will find the edge kind of borderline sucky. But hey, it's your razor. What you are suggesting might get it sharp enough to shave, so it will be a fun adventure, surely. Do it however you like. But the truth is staring you in the face.

In generations past, edges from barber hones, 8k Nortons, coticules, all were deemed sharp enough for shaving. So there's that. Where are your standards? Plenty of guys today are happy with a coticule edge and I am not faulting them for that at all. I am sure there is someone out there shaving off an 8k and with no desire for anything better, and it is a fact that many shavers are shaving with an edge created by an 8k or 10k or 12k stone followed by green paste on a hanging strop. Maybe that is good enough for you, who knows? Do it like you feel it. But if you are smart, you will do it exactly precisely the way that some successful honer does it, with no freestyle stuff, no omissions or substitutions. All serial failures have one thing in common... they are just winging it because they think they know more than an experienced honer or that the details are not important.
Good info Slash. As diamond pastes are not inexpensive I'm curious what size balsa you use. Do you have an established formula for paste amount to balsa area? How far will 5 grams go?
 
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Man, back when I started using a straight I was poor. I bought some balsa and a tube of green and a set of black & red.

I used the green a lot. Shaved off the green a lot (stropped first). I have such fond memories of it that every now and then I’ll pull out that old strip of pasted balsa from back in the day, wet it a bit, and then run my razor over it just because I can. My old Dovo loves it lol.

The red and black definitely put on a better polish and smooth things out a bit, but that old green...
 
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