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Honing a new Titan 1918 ACRO T.H.64 from factory sharp to shave-ready

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
I received my new Titan 1918 ACRO T.H.64 with Ebony timber scales a few days ago. This SR is close to a ⅞ being 22mm wide, half-hollow, Dutch point and of a special martensitic stainless steel developed my Titan's steel manufacturer in Japan. The steel has been heat treated to a hardness of about 64 RHC with a fine grain structure and good inter-granular bonding. Cost was about USD 55 including shipping. This model SR it Titan's second top model (under their ACRO T.H-70) so it can be expected that they paid a little more attention to details. The ACRO T.H.64 was supplied with a mid-range Chinese strop (now with very thin leather, <1mm thick) and some "secret" stropping paste.

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Starting today, I am going to work on this SR's edge to bring it up to my standard of shave-ready. I will report my progress in this thread as I go.

My gear consists of:

Chinese synthetic whetstone of; 400, 1k, 3k, 8k and 10k grits. All have been freshly lapped flat.​
Full set of lapping films with acrylic faced substrate; 30μm, 12μm, 9μm, 5μm, 3μm and 1μm.​
Full set of diamond pasted balsa strops; 0.5μm, 0.25μm, 0.1μm and an additional 0.1μm for hanging.​
I first examined the factory edge under strong sunlight. It was pretty good. There were two spots of the edge that reflected; one about 4mm long and another about 2mm long. Not bad for a factory edge.

Next was a Sharpie pen test. I applied the Sharpie pen ink to both the bevel and spine-wear areas. The blade was then given 4 or 5 very light laps on the 8k whetstone.

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The Sharpie results showed me that the bevel had been set with the spine raised above the honing medium and that the honing medium was not that flat.This arrangement would probably be acceptable to someone who is happy to maintain this SR on a pasted cloth strop. I am not one of those persons.

Next step will be to rest this SR's bevel to the way that I want it. I want my bevels to be perfectly flat and on the same plane as the spine wear. I will use the 1k whetstone to get close to a bevel set and finish the bevel set on the 3k whetstone. More about this in my next post in this thread.
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
I redid the Sharpie test this afternoon to try and get some better (still not great) photos of the results. This test was done using 9μm lapping film on an acrylic faced substrate.

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Face side, edge down

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Back side, edge down
In both views you can see where only the top of the bevel has made contact with the lapping film. This shows that the bevel was honed using a taped spine or the spine was slightly lifted off the honing medium while setting the bevel. As I want the full surface of my bevels to be on the same plane as the spine-wear areas, I will need to reset the bevel on this blade.

The results on the spine show that the spine-wear area is not truly flat as some parts did not make contact with the lapping film. This is off no great concern and will not affect the finished edge.
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
It was probably "honed" with a motor driven belt. The flex in the belt cause rounding on the bevel, which is why the very edge no longer contacts the flat hone.
Yes, that wouldn't surprise me. The only two manufacturers that I know of who supply their SR's truly shave ready are Ralf Aust (most are) and Koraat. For the price of Titan SR's you shouldn't (and I don't) expect a well honed truly shave-ready SR.
 
A few years ago I "honed" a factory gold dollar on a belt sander and paper wheel. I set the bevel on a 2000 grit belt on the platen. And then used a paper wheel with white compound to finish. The resulting edge was able to shave. Not exactly what I prefer lol. And afterwards put the razor to a stone and concluded that they are "honed" like this.
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
I set this razor's bevel by doing the heavy lifting on a 1k Chinese synthetic and finished the bevel-set on a 3k Chinese synthetic. All looked good and the edge tree-topped a few chest hairs a few mm above the skin.

This morning, for the first time in my life, I decided to shave with this SR directly off its 3k bevel-set. Before the shave I gave the edge half-a-dozen very light laps of clean fine denim and 60 light laps on clean leather.

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The shave was very so-so. I had to increase the shave angle to the YouTube recommend 30° and apply more pressure against the whiskers (not the skin) to get it to cut them.

The shave (WTG, XTG+fool's pass and another XTG in the opposite direction) only produced a CCS-, meaning most areas had roughness except WTG and some had roughness in all directs. Not my normal DFS+ result.

At least the bevel is properly set. Today I will start refining this edge on 8k and 10k Chinese synthetics for its next shave.
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
I refined this blade's edge on an 8k and 10k Chinese synthetic. The 8k worked well at removing the bevel scratch marks from the 3k bevel set. The bevel was then left with a faint hazy finish.

On to the 10k. I knew that it would take some time on this stone as the stone is a slow cutter, very hard and dense, and the blade has a hardness approaching the mid 60's RHC. After a lot of laps (well over 100 and very light), I was able to remove the light hazy finish on the bevel. There was a slight improvement in the tree-topping test. It now tree-topped at about 5mm to 6mm.

I shaved with this SR this morning off of its 10k refining.

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All did not go well. First pass WTG was about the same as yesterday. Second pass XTG was possibly a little worse than yesterday and the fool's pass just wouldn't even cut the whisker.

I don't know what went wrong. It could be the stone, the steel, me or some of all. I gave up!

I gave up and reach for another SR to finish the save.

I have decided to no longer play with this SR. It will now go to lapping films and diamond pasted balsa strops to put a true shave-ready edge on it.

Will report back here when all is done.
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
After yesterday's disastrous shave, I put this SR through some lapping film honing. Started with a few laps on 5μm then progressed through 3μm and 1μm.

From the lapping films the SR was put through a full diamond pasted balsa strop progression. This morning I shaved with the result. All went well.

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I feel that this edge can still be improved a tad. I will put it through the balsa strops again before its next shave outing.
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
What’s the reason you are raising the angle to 30 degrees?
Basically, the less sharp the edge is, the greater the shave angle needs to be to cut the whiskers. The shave angle is the angle the blade makes with a tangent to the skin where the edge is.

Many SR videos on YouTube say to shave with a shave angle of 30°. This far too steep of an angle if your SR is truly shave ready. With a truly shave-ready SR, you need to shave with a shave angle of about ½ to 1 spine thickness off the skin (about 10° to 18°).
 
Basically, the less sharp the edge is, the greater the shave angle needs to be to cut the whiskers. The shave angle is the angle the blade makes with a tangent to the skin where the edge is.

Many SR videos on YouTube say to shave with a shave angle of 30°. This far too steep of an angle if your SR is truly shave ready. With a truly shave-ready SR, you need to shave with a shave angle of about ½ to 1 spine thickness off the skin (about 10° to 18°).

I think I just misunderstood you.

I thought you were honing the razor at 30 degrees due to something you saw on YT about that particular razor.

Now just latching on that the "YT recommended 30 degrees" is a subtle B&B joke of some kind (I think?) :/ :p
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
I think I just misunderstood you.

I thought you were honing the razor at 30 degrees due to something you saw on YT about that particular razor.

Now just latching on that the "YT recommended 30 degrees" is a subtle B&B joke of some kind (I think?) :/ :p
It's no joke. If you watch a few YouTube SR shave videos, you will find it mentioned that you should shave with the blade at a 30° angle to the skin. Most SR shavers on B&B know that the correct shave angle is about half of that.
 

Slash McCoy

I freehand dog rockets
It is the difference between shaving and scraping. If it isn't sharp enough to shave, you can only remove whiskers (and epidermis) by scraping. A dull razor, at proper shaving angle, simply bumps and slides right over the whiskers without cutting them. The dull razor needs help. Either a very high angle to the face, or honing properly.
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
With an inclusive bevel angle of 16 degrees 1 spine width results in ~24 degrees measured to the center line of the blade.

Just sayin'
True but most determine their shaving angle by observing air gap between the skin and the "underside" of the spine, not the centre of the spine.
 
True but most determine their shaving angle by observing air gap between the skin and the "underside" of the spine, not the centre of the spine.
I don't disagree. I would measure the gap the same way, but translated to an angle I would use the centerline.

In knife sharpening/grinding angles are designated inclusive or dps(degrees per side). When talking about dps the angle is always to the centerline. Anything else would not result in the inclusive angle being the sum of the dps on each side. Now sharpening and shaving are two different things, but I tend to think that the angles should be referenced to the same plane

I don't mean to start anything other than to say that when some people say a shave angle of 30 degrees, they may be referring to the centerline angle which puts it much closer to the acceptable range. It probably would simplify things in this case if only the spine width gap was used and the angles were never mentioned.
 
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