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How perfect?

Just 'finished' re-honing a razor. The day before yesterday I spent several hours re-grinding this ZY razor so that it would have one bevel (or so I thought). Then set a bur, and proceeded to polish it down to 0.3 micron lapping film. It shaved pretty nicely after that.

There is one area, about a quarter of the blade length on the side of the blade with the logo, where I can see with a jeweler's loupe that the bevel is not taking a polish at the same rate as the rest of the blade - it's a void in the edge geometry. It's not entirely missing out on the polishing process, but at 3 micron finish level, this area still has a scratch patter that looks a lot like the 5 micron scratch pattern. The razor shaved pretty nicely after yesterday's

So, this area was bugging me today. Just knowing it's there is like an itch in my brain. I decided to take it back up to 1200 grit to try and grind this area out. Problem being, it was polished at a finer degree, so once I hit it with 1200 grit, I couldn't see this area anymore. So this afternoon into the evening I did 300 laps at 1200 before polishing it down. At the 1 micron finish, this spot seems to have gotten only marginally better. Polish the blade down to 0.3 micron on lapping film, then proceed with the balsa strops at 0.5, 0.25, and then 0.1 CBN.

The entire bevel looks glassy smooth under the jeweler's loupe except this one area on this one side. This area looks like it was finished at about 3 microns.

The blade is sharp. Even this area, which has the same glassy smooth bevel on the non logo side of the blade, will pop hair at a quarter inch off my arm, though I could wish for it to do so a little more quietly.

So just how perfect do you guys insist your edge get when honing a new to you razor? Part of me is just annoyed that I spent that much effort, and it isn't right... Makes me want to take her way back up to like 300 grit wet or dry, and make it right - run the whole progression again. Part of me thinks that's nuts.
I've wondered the same thing. Some members make it seem like every edge is worked to perfection. I personally accept my inability to reach perfect at this time. Part of it is my lack of experience and knowledge. I would say if the razor shaves well then it is good. I have some edges that look a little off from the reflection but shave well. I have also had edges that we're only 90 percent finished. As in toe or heel would not take. Sounds like your entire edge is sharp just not 100 percent consistent . I also stop before I eat up too much spine . Just thought I'd share. Good luck
If there is a warp in the blade, which it sounds like there is, I’d use a narrow or convex stone. As you are using film, I would have a few acrylic blocks made just for this situation, one about 1”- 1 1/2” wide and another which was 3” wide and convexed. That should allow the edge of your blade which is not making the contact it should, make proper contact with your choice of honing medium.
If it was MY razor AND it shaved fine I'd probably leave it, knowing that I would be honing it again and that it would gradually work it's way out. If it was being honed for someone else I'd make it as perfect as I could. Sometimes for a situation like this a tiny bit of selective pressure is all that's needed. Just touching near that area with a finger while honing can often do the trick. Do be careful with that if you're not well-versed though or you could do more damage.
Given the price of ZY razors, I suspect you have not a defect in the grind, but a defect in the steel and what you are seeing is a difference in granularity of the steel at the edge, and it will never grind out.

If it shaves fine, leave it alone. The final test for any razor is how it shaves for you, so it if you like the shave, it's good.

You can try narrow stones and see if it goes away, but be aware that it's quite easy to grind a frown into your razor using narrow stones. Unless you are careful to compensate, the center of the blade will almost always spend more time in contact with the stone than the ends.

Also, there is no need to go back to setting the bevel in any case, you have it set if you are getting good shaves. Work on finishers only.
I would keep going until I got it the way it should be. The 100 or so zys I've seen didn't need grinding. Get a few more and have at it .if you burn a few that's part of the game. It's great prep and practice. As time goes on you will easily resolve issues that you thought we're unresolvable. I never had a GD or zy that I couldn't hone with a clean edge from heel to toe.
If you have done 300 laps at 1200 grit with no tape then I would assume you have corrected the razors geometry - flattened the spine out if it was warped slightly.
The issue must be in the grind where it is unperceptively deeper ground right at that point and it may never be corrected.
As Eric has said, selective pressure will help reach this spot.
It is possible that through wear you will get past that point but why waste the steel if it shaves fine.
I would not be happy with having a section of the blade that wouldn't hone past 5µm. If if that were my razor, I'd put the effort into fixing it.
I don’t know if this is technically correct, but if you don’t have a narrow hone, you can use the corner of your hone or film. I make circles, edge facing the corner, 1 to 1.5 inches from corner.
Wouldn’t this indicate an incomplete bevel set?
I thought so too, which is why the first time I took it all the way to like 300 grit, raised a bur that went from heel to toe, then ground the other face until the bur went from heel to toe on the other side. That took just shy of 50 reps on the second side (so I made it a round 50). Then I ground reductions until it was 1 for 1. I did a like number of 1 for 1 laps - 50, just to be sure it was even and set.

Then it went down the progression, 100 1 for 1 laps at each grit level before pausing to observe the effect with the loupe. If there were any scratches of the previous grit left, 50 more laps and check again. I didn't notice a difference in the bevel until I got to the 3 micron level, where it just wouldn't take the 3 micron polish with the rest of the bevel.

When that finally bugged my brain enough to try and fix it, I started with -another- 300 laps at 1200, and ran the progression from there again. Pretty much the same result. Maybe a bit improved, but I included the pasted balsa with CBN in the wood, so I would expect a finer result than the 0.3 film anyway.

Either way, it shaves pretty well, and acts as a nice proof of concept that I can get a shaving edge on a razor, so I think I'm going to call it good for the moment.

Slash McCoy

I freehand dog rockets
If it shaves great, that's all that matters. If it doesn't, then sure, get anal about every little detail if you like, but it all boils down to "just hone it until it has a true bevel, and continue until the apex of the bevel is as nice as you can get it." Refinements in the process just add incremental improvements in the results.

An inconsistency in the bevel is something to look for when troubleshooting a problem razor. Not something to obsess over in a razor that shaves nicely.

BUT... if you want to make it look purty under the microscope, hey it's your razor. I would simply hone on the bevel setter until the bevel is truly set, meeting at a good apex. Then progress normally. Myself, I prefer to hone on a surface that is wide enough to take the entire edge of an average razor. In my way of thinking, if a narrow hone is needed then the razor has a fundamental flaw and should be corrected so that it CAN be honed on a normal sized surface. Again just my opinion but I think diddling around with narrow hones in general causes a lot more problems than it truly solves. YMMV. You can use a narrow hone and get great results. Many guys do. But honing on narrow or convex or whatever hones introduces potential wild cards that I myself can do without, and that newbies can certainly do without.

At some point in your progression, you might be lifting the toe or heel or something, or changing the torque on the blade. This can occur when maybe one stone is a good bit thinner or wider than the rest, and you are bench honing. Just as an experiment, if you bench hone, try honing in hand. Let the razor and stone meet out there in the space in front of you, floating in relation to one another. Let them find their own alignment. As a bonus, you will probably find that you can regulate your pressure much better, and use lighter pressure but still have good control over the razor. Many accomplished honers bench hone and get fantastic edges. Doesn't mean that you have to. Counterintuitively, it takes more skill and experience to bench hone well, than to hone in hand well.

While it is possible that there is a problem with the steel itself, I have not seen ZY or GD razors that had flaws in the steel that affected the edge. Not saying it isn't possible, but I will go out on a limb and say that in light of my own experience with the current crop of Chinese low budget razors, it is unlikely. Only one razor that I can recall had a serious flaw, a GD66 that on receiving the full blown modification with mirror polish all over, revealed a split in the spine. Razor still honed and shaved marvelously. This out of maybe 200 that I have modded. ZY steel seems to be very similar in character to GD steel.

YMMV of course.
I was told to beat it into submission. That approach worked, and I ended up with a nice shaver. It’s beefier and stiffer than my vintage full hollows, but it shaves as well, and in some spots of my chin more readily.
I find that if I can get a razor to a stage that is less than perfect and it shaves, I shave with it for a while. Then when a bit of time has passed and I have more experience honing, I go back to it.

It always seems to be better the second time around. Part of that is doing more work in the edge. But part of it is doing better work.

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So I got a brand new dovo Bismark and worked the bevel until it seemed good. It was difficult to keep honing the new spine but I figure it's mine and I'm keeping it. I know I am prone to hurry the bevel and not wear it too much. Will test tomorrow and see if it was worth it. I have found some razors take more time on the 1k than others.
So I got a brand new dovo Bismark and worked the bevel until it seemed good. It was difficult to keep honing the new spine but I figure it's mine and I'm keeping it. I know I am prone to hurry the bevel and not wear it too much. Will test tomorrow and see if it was worth it. I have found some razors take more time on the 1k than others.

Very nice!
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