Honing Question

Discussion in 'Hones/Honing' started by learnintheropes, May 13, 2019.

    Hi guys

    Please excuse me for what might seem a very dumb question. I'm really trying to learn how to hone my razors on my own.

    But it's tough. I'm trying to find something, anything that can get my razors to shave ready.

    So I own a few stones, like a 1.5k and 5k Shapton. A 8k and 12k Naniwa and a JNAT.

    I've come across a few videos on YouTube of doc (from badgerandblade) honing. And I really like his technique. He takes what seems like a 1200 grit aroma plate, creates a slurry on a JNAT and hones a razor to shave ready using just that. Of course he uses the cherry tomato test along the way.

    So basically here's my question. I have a 400 grit aroma plate. And I've been using it to create a slurry on my JNAT, I dull my razor along the edge of the hone, and I try to set a bevel using the atoma slurry. I then try to finish by diluting the slurry.

    So far, it seems to work some. More practice is needed, I know it. But is this a valid approach? Or am I potentially damaging my JNAT by doing this? I just want something simple and that works. The complexity of honing can be discouraging sometimes.

  1. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    I can't answer your question, but will be interested in the answers you receive. I have no jnat.

    Happy shaves,

  2. You can set a bevel like that, though best not to IMO. Even an aggressive j/nat with hefty slurry will take an age, if at all to do it 100%. Set the bevel on your 1.5k, then use the J/nat.

    Probably best to do a full progression / several times / , using all your stones. Having said that, it sounds like things are doing ok. If your stone is thick, you#re only losing microns on top, so don#t worry.

    What kid of j/nat is it?
  3. Sounds valid. I doubt you are damaging the jnat other than potentially using up the stone more rapidly than if you used it with nagura. Jnats have different qualities, so if yours is hard and responds well to the slurry to cut and finish, you should be good.
  4. I am not an expert on J-Nats, so I cannot help you with them. However, if you set the bevel on your 1.5K Shapton and then move to the 5K Shapton as an intermediate hone, you should be able to finish on your 12K Naniwa. If you spend too much time on the Naniwa, you may end up with a harsh edge, but many people do use the 12K as their finisher.

    J-Nats come in a wide variety of quality levels. Someone who understands them would have to tell you if your particular stone is suitable as a finisher.
  5. Like others have suggested you can work up to 12k and if the edge is close to what you like but not quite “there”, you can do 4-7 feather light passes on the 12k between shaves (followed by regular stropping) until you finally get the edge dialed in just right. I actually do this quite often in fact. And when doing a few light strokes between shaves doesn’t continue to progress the edge anymore I know I’ve hit max.
  6. The truth is it depends on the razor. The fact is that although very few people hone enough. To fix an eBay razor. Relative to almost any other form of honing, honing even a severely damaged straight razor Is a minimal amount of work. As such, yes honing on a finisher with a significant amount of slurry for a decent amount of time, Is one of the techniques that will work that is surprising that it does. We could write volumes on all the various methods that could be successful at sharpening a straight, and the fact is very few people will agree on what is the ideal method. Suffice it to say, unless your Japanese natural is a wafer thin stone then you’re not damaging it by slurrying it with the DMT plate. It wouldn’t be my ideal choice of technique, but neither would some of the techniques I’ve put forward in YouTube videos. A lot of that is more about helping people understand just how varied the viable techniques are
  7. All i've used so far is sandpaper if i wanted slurry, but that's because i don't own a Tomo Nagura or Diamond plate, but One thing that i've READ about (so take it with a grain of salt) is that when using a diamond plate the particles won't be the same as a slurry stone. These particles should break down, but There are debates to the extent that this will effect the edge. Just want you to be aware of this so you can use it later (like i will) to play around and experiment.
  8. Do you dull the edge and set the bevel every time? I wouldn’t dull the edge every time.

    If you are able to set the bevel the first time you wont have to do it again. You can simply stay on the higher grits like your 12K or drop to the 8k if the edge needs a little more work.

    I would do a couple laps on the 12k and then test the edge. If it shaves well then go to the jnat with some light slurry.
    If it doesn’t shave well after the 12k drop down to 8k and work your way up again.
  9. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    I am having trouble understanding what you're saying here. Maybe it just too early in the day for me. I would like to understand what you mean.

    Happy shaves,

  10. You most certainly can use the method you described. I would, as others have mentioned, set the bevel on the 1.5k, move to the 5k and just with slurry from there.
    How worn is your Atoma 400? If it’s new and very aggressive it will form larger slurry particles that will take significantly longer to break down than a well worn out plate. I personally use a 1200 atoma.
    The other thing to determine is the cutting power of your stone. If it’s not a grit rich stone, more slurry may not be the answer, but rather time. The steel is also a factor, harder steel will take more time hone than softer steel and stainless will generally be harder to hone than carbon steel.
    Keep at it, hone again and again and eventually you will get where you want to be.
  11. I agree not to dull the edge. I can’t understand this practice.
  12. I have come across guys that have the impression they need to dull the edge for every single grit !
    Dull the edge 1k, dull the edge 4k, dull the edge 8k, dull the edge 12k.

    I'm tempted to try that with a razor that takes an edge easily and hones up quickly, just to see how long it takes to hone a single razor.

    Some of the most popular videos are Dr Matt's and he lightly dulls the edge before the 8k.
    Maybe some chaps see that and think ""If he does it once and it's good, if I do it 4 times as much that'll be 4 times the better".
  13. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    I dull enough edges hitting the sink with the blade (enough meaning I did that once which was more than enough really). I also agree to not dull the edge. Not even shaving. However, most edge's don't fully cooperate with my agreement.

    Deliberately dulling the edge makes sense to me (maybe) if you're practicing bevel setting, but, other than that it wastes steel. At least that's how I see it.

    Since I usually (although not always with all stones) use the burr method of bevel setting I wouldn't even dull an edge if I were resetting the bevel.

    But, to each his own.

    Happy shaves,

  14. Dull the edge for every grit?? But you’re just wasting all your hard work on the previous stone. Isn’t the point to maximize the edge on every grit so that the next jump up only makes your edge better? You’ll just be working harder on the next stone if you keep dulling it.

    Now the only time I sorta dull the edge is when I add some slurry to the next step. It’ll take the edge back just a little but only to overlap the last grit or nagura stone and erase previous stones scratches. A bit of a step backwards to keep going forward but it’s still not as massive as dulling the blade.
  15. True thoughts.

    If there is a easier way, that’s my usual path. Somethings require rigor and some things finesse. Finesse seems the more intuitive way for sharpening a blade and using a blade. Shaving should not require a workout.

    Simply put, set the bevel and follow yours or someone’s method. Really, a method of this sort is just following the physics of an old aka ancient path. No need to over think.

    No need to start a riot about whose stone is real and who’s isn’t. If it works, it works. If you can use it to shave, it’s real. If you decide you need a $500 rock and thats what makes you glow in the dark, go fer it.
  16. Agreed, why would anyone dull post each grit? Counterintuitive to the Max.
  17. As another note I found it hard to follow peoples methods when I first started to hone.

    Every blade and stone is different, yes you might have the same synthetic brand and grit but that still doesn’t account for each user.
    I found what worked for me was paying attention to the water and slurry at every stage. Make sure its hitting the edge at every point on each stroke. As you work on the grit you’ll see the water starting to wave over the edge. Work at it until you see the water doing that all along the edge. Keep aiming for that water over the edge at every stone or slurry dilution.

    At first it took me a while to get it right and I would have to go very slow. You’ll get the hang of it eventually.
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  18. Excellent advice.
  19. Thanks. Just trying to encourage the people who might be having some issues. I know when I first started to hone I thought I was doing something really wrong or that my stones were broken. Being patient and making sure I had a good contact on the stone all along the edge really helped.

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