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How long, and at what grit, will all the sratches be gone?

I've been sharpening/honing my straights for a couple years. I don't have any hair for testing my edges so I stay on a Shapton 1k until the blade falls into a grape using no pressure along the entire length of the bevel. Then a few minutes on a 4k, a few more on a 8k, and finish on an ILR (12-15k) under running water until it's difficult (sticky) to move the blade. Then 60 on a plain leather strop and 10 more on a CrOx pasted leather strop or CrOx pasted balsa. This gives me a perfect shave every time. But when I look at the edge with my 10x loupe, there are tons of tiny scratches. Am I doing something wrong? What does it take to get a mirrored edge?
 
Probably scratches from the 1k or possibly 4k. Try honing with different angles on each stone so you see what is what. My guess is you probably need a little more work on the 4k to make sure those 1k scratches are gone, then just work those scratches off on the 8k. The 8k leaves very shallow scratches and should be very easy to get rid off. Although I cant speak for that natural stone to remove 8k scratches.
Polishing off scratches is quick work on synthetics after bevel set.
Shave test here after stropping, you might be surprised.
 
Polish / mirror finish is overrated

I recently started using a jnat and love the kasumi/ mist on bevel. Scratches still faintly there but Closest to scratch free I’ve seen, and most comfortable edge
 
All hones are a mixture of grits. In a 10k synth, there will be some coarser and finer grit than 10k. Naturals actually seem to have a narrower grit distribution than synths.

Some hones are noted for producing deeper scratches that are more difficult to hone out, diamond plates and the Shapton Pros can make a few scratches that will stay visible though those scratches don’t seem to affect the shave.
 
Unless you have a very high mag scope. Then you can focus inside the scratch. Lol. I've seen some of those images. They get a b for.honing and an a for editing.
 
Probably scratches from the 1k or possibly 4k. Try honing with different angles on each stone so you see what is what. My guess is you probably need a little more work on the 4k to make sure those 1k scratches are gone, then just work those scratches off on the 8k. The 8k leaves very shallow scratches and should be very easy to get rid off. Although I cant speak for that natural stone to remove 8k scratches.
Polishing off scratches is quick work on synthetics after bevel set.
Shave test here after stropping, you might be surprised.
My guess is you probably need a little more work on the 4k to make sure those 1k scratches are gone
That didn't it! Just a few more minutes on the 4k and the majority of the scratches were gone! I was looking at the edge and could see my Freddy Kruger DVDs reflection. I'm thinking it's damn good now!
 

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As the guys have already mentioned, they're not gone. Perhaps you can't see them with your specific lighting and viewing angle, but they are still there...
 
It takes a lot of rubbing to eradicate those scratches but you are merely replacing them with the new finer scratches made by the current grit. It never ends. You c an't catch that dragon. If you could, you would not like the shave. When the polish is too flawless, especially if the bevel surface is very wide at the edge, the razor will tend to stick, and move with jerky fits and starts, relatively speaking. I have often said that each stage needs to totally eliminate the scratches made by the previous stage. I should probably qualify that and say "PRACTICALLY totally eliminate" LOL! Well, as you reach the finish, anyway.

One reason that slurried naturals give uncommonly comfortable shaves even when the actual sharpness sometimes leave something to be desired, is the matte finish on the bevel, which relieves the suction (only explanation I have heard that makes sense) and discourages sticking to the skin. This is nearly the opposite philosophy to seeking a flawless polish on the bevel. The sticking is also relieved when you apply a compound bevel to the razor, BTW.

But yeah, you want those scratches pretty nearly gone gone gone, before progressing. And nothing for it but more rubbing.

As you run through your grits, seeing the scratches as separate, discrete constructs requires higher and higher magnification. Or learning to recognize the change in reflectivity.
 

SliceOfLife

Contributor
I've posted a time or two about the "perfect" bevel. Not terribly hard to do with synthetics... probably a lot harder with nats. Basically spend 3-10x the usual time at every stage of your progression and finish on a high quality 10k JIS+. Probably dead easy with films (haven't tried though).

There is a subtle difference in the feel of an edge I do this to... but maybe it's all in my head. Feels like the bevel almost suctions to the face in use... kind of like you're shaving without enough lather. In general it's a neat trick, but I don't consider the edge "better" as much as "different" from an edge where the apex is just as good, but there is still scarring further up the bevel. Maybe if you shaved with that type of edge daily, you'd adjust technique and learn to like it better. Never wanted to try that myself.

Now that said, I don't want to discourage people from polishing edges more. Based on edges I've received, most people fall way, way, WAY to the other side of things (insufficiently removing scratches from previous stones before progressing), and would benefit by trying to eliminate scratches a little more. This has always confused me, because a typical hollow ground razor with a bevel, I finish in WELL under 5 minutes... then I see people post about spending hours on a progression and when they take mag photos of the bevel, there's clear scratches from every stage of honing they did on it. Not just that they failed to set a bevel (which is another problem entirely), but somehow they are ineffective at improving polish while moving up their progression. If I were to venture a wild guess, I'd say partly it's low quality hones and partly people being overly focused on using minimal pressure, and actually spending a lot of time honing doing little good, and possibly damaging their edges because they are interfering with their hones actually cutting effectively. A good hone has properly sized abrasive. Properly sized abrasive cuts at an appropriate rate with normal pressure. Getting caught up in trying to hover a razor to make a hone act like it's finer than it is creates WAY more problems than it's worth. Just buy a finer hone.


Oh, and not to get into pointless argumentation, but eventually you can get scratches fine enough they can't be resolved by visible light due to the wavelength being sized relative to the scratch as such that there isn't a readable difference in how the light reflects from hitting it moving from one side to the other. It just starts to scatter into gibberish, which I believe translates to any view turning blurry.

Assuming grit ratings are accurate, this should happen in the ballpark of 0.5 to 1.5 micron maximum particle size... so in the 10-50k range or thereabouts. It should absolutely be possible using these 0.1micron films and pastes I should expect. But I'm no smith... I would assume at some point the structure of the steel itself creates interruptions in the surface regardless how fine it is polished.
 
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I generally do somewhere between 60 and 80 laps per stone (1k, 2k, 5k, 8k & 12k). You can generally feel when a stone has finished it's work on a razor. After the 1k, I test the bevel set with shaving some arm hair. That tells me if I can move on or need a few more laps.
 
A knife at the 1k level has a bit of tooth. If you take that knife all the way to 6k it does not necessarily perform better on all product. Yes on fish but not as much on some veggies or some meat. Same for a razor just a much finer tooth.
 
Mirrored bevels have striations. They're just finer and closer together.
But they're there.
The thing is, a mirror polish does not speak to shave efficency or comfort.
 
The thing is, a mirror polish does not speak to shave efficency or comfort.

This is a large misconception by new honers. They look at the striations as a sign of quality.
Unless they can see depth of striation and width along with the edge, striations mean little.
The edge, the edge, the edge, is all that matters.
 
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