What's new

Honing experience #3 - Wade & Butcher (Blank for concaving)

This is a continuation of my previous questions in this thread - “For concaving” - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/for-concaving.641819/
This is my 3rd full honing experience all the way to the end. There are other blades I started earlier but are in various stages of completion - so it is not my 3rd go at the stones, just the 3rd one tracked to completion.

With that out of the way... I took the W&B to the stones this morning

While the razor had all indications of having been used in the past, it had no bevel that I could observe. I also wanted to approach the honing cautiously (at one point in time, I even thought of sending it to the Doc for honing). Long story short, I did not use the bevel setter (Shapton Pro 1500) - I figured I might use my Hard Arkansas (from Dan's) and see how that goes. I used markers to figure out the honing strokes. Need a little lift on one side of the toe, and rolling X's both directions. Then I used the Ax method to pretend I was setting the bevel on the Hard Arkansas. Only slight torque... In about a minute or so, I could sense that this was going to be a much different honing experience.

I actually was able to set the bevel on the arkansas!!!

Now I had not cleaned the arkansas from other honing attempts. I had merely wiped the stone and set it aside. When I honed the W&B, I ended up with one chip (60x magnifier) along the edge. Most likely a combination of leftover swarf and not enough oil. But the bevel where it was set looked great to my eye. Actually it was way more than just a bevel - more like an 8K edge - with some chips.

Then I moved to the Fuji 8K with slurry. Similar Ax method - fewer strokes as on the arkansas. Followed by cleaning the surface, jointing and more Ax method on clear water. Cleaned stone and razor again and light finishing strokes on the Fuji. Water was riding on the blade - good feeling all around.

Didn't even bother to use the marker - didn't need to. I could hear the blade edge on the stone making all the right swishy sounds all along the edge as it neared completion.

Finished on the translucent Arkansas (also Dan's) with oil/spirits (50/50 - this is my premixed oil that I use). Within a few laps (say 20+) I could hear the familiar swish. I did many more laps for good measure and wrapped up when I heard the swish consistently across the edge. I forgot the lap count - say it was about 60.

I cleaned up, stropped and (since I felt great about the honing experience) shaved. OMG - the good feeling I had during honing translated to the shave as well. The blade just wiped away the stubble - didn't need to be tentative ATG (I usually shave WTG then ATG on my neck). No nicks, no bleeders, weepers nothing. Just a good shave all around.

If I were vain, I might think I've gotten better at honing. But I know that to be false. Yes, I've made incremental improvements, but nothing to deserve the shave I got. It had a lot to do with the razor - specifically the steel (I think). When I started honing this blade it "felt" thinner than other blades I had honed. The steel also "felt" smooth - like frozen butter - just ready to be molded on the stone.

Can anyone shed light on the W&B's - is it a different steel? Will it be easy come easy go - meaning, the edge won't last long?
Generally vintage Sheffield steel is softer and easier to hone, take well to slates, coticules and Arks. The Ark, 8k, Translucent is a nice very doable progression.

You can refine the translucent, lapping one side to 600 and 2k burnish the other for a finish Ark progression. You can maintain a razor on just a Translucent, just doing a few laps every week or so, before it needs it.

For hundreds of years folks honed razors on a soft and hard Ark. The wide range of the Fuji 8k on softish steel helped you out. These modern 8k have an amazing range, probably could have set the bevel on the 8k with a bit of slurry.

Next time try to perfect the bevel setting edge, no chips. A quick jointing on the stone corner and bring the bevels back to meeting would give you a pristine edge to take to the 8k and make a stronger edge.

95% of honing is a FULLY set bevel, the rest is just polishing.
Next time try to perfect the bevel setting edge, no chips.
Agreed. I need to figure out how to hone on my hard ark without chipping the edge.

The translucent (6x2) is dialed in and easier to maintain but the hard ark while flat, is holding on to the swarf and hurting the edge. I think I need to make the oil thinner - maybe more mineral spirits.
“Every week? Hmm - should I read that to understand the edge doesn't last as much as with other steels?

No, translucents remove so little metal if you do not stay ahead of the edge you will need to drop to the 8k. The translucent is a polisher but can maintain an edge if you just do a few circles and laps once a week or so.

Try your Arks with water, oil does not really make a difference unless the Translucent face and technique are maxed out. You can reset the edge without tape, with the 8k in probably 30-50 laps. A Translucent will not wear the spine just polish. You can also use Smith’s water soluble oil for a lot less hassel.
Is this what you refer to?

The other smith soluble oil I ran across seemed to be used by painters and was quick drying etc - not sure that's what I need.
Here in California, you can buy it in any Lowe’s or knife store, about $6 a can. I decant into a 1oz plastic bottle that will release a single drop. 2-3 drops on a wet stone works well.

Have used it for years, a can is a lifetime supply.
This is the current bottle that Smit’s say is nonpetroleum based. My bottle has a red label, but it is at least 10 years old maybe more.

The new Red label may be mineral based. It appears they make both now.

Top Bottom