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How To Use a Pasted Balsa Strop

I did about 150 laps on CBN pasted balsa on a razor that had been honed to .1u diamond. Same razor I used yesterday and couldn’t tell any difference. I’ll keep at it
Hmm... I haven’t tried 0.1u diamond.

Going from 0.25u diamond to 0.1u CBN does produce phenomenal results.
But going from 0.1u diamond to 0.1u CBN will surely make only the tiniest of differences in smoothness - perhaps imperceptible?
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
Ok. I’ll take an edge back down to .25u then do the CBN and try that. It seems that using .1 CBN over .1u diamond would put the CBN characteristics on the edge though. I’m using .125u CBN but that shouldn’t make any difference. I’ve never found the.1u diamond to be harsh. I’m going to keep working with it. This was the first attempt. Keep the post going.
 
I think that’s an interesting result (n=1 of course). If you can’t perceive a difference between cbn and diamond that tells us something.

Any chance you ave two identical razors to do a side by side?
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
I base my life on n -1 but that is beside the point. I used the same razor, diamond one day and CBN next. There could have been a subtle difference that I didn’t notice. I don’t have two identical razors to test with. I’m going to keep trying different things - I do have a lifetime supply of CBN. Another thing is that I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for. I’ve never experienced a natural stone finish for instance. I did spend an hour on a cnat with a razor and didn’t feel anything mystical there. Just another 12K edge. Next I’m going to use the same razor daily doing 50 laps on CBN and see if there’s any deterioration of the edge not experienced with diamond. Maybe it will take a few days to overcome the diamond edge. We are going to have to keep at it, post results and maybe find the key if there is one.
 
That sounds good to me. I was halfway joking with the identical razor thing.

I believe that the dangers of overhoning are overstated, so I think that you're right to keep at the CBN and see where it takes you. Please do report back!
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
Hey, the identical razor experiment may be justification for a seven day set. I was just hoping for a shortcut to the mystical jnat super edge and razor nirvana if it actually exists. Lore happens you know. One of my problems is that I have never found a .1u diamond edge to be the least bit harsh or uncomfortable. That is what I started with so that is what I expect a razor to feel like. I can’t get my head around anything less than a really really sharp blade. Perhaps I actually don’t want to experience an edge you can only get off a stone that costs $700. Another thing is that honing isn’t one of my hobbies - I enjoy shaving. Since I strop on balsa after every shave I don’t have to go out of my way to work with the CBN and see what comes of it. An important observation is that the CBN didn’t worsen the edge at all.
 
I would expect the CBN, due to the shape of the crystals, to make a more regular and less deeply striated scratch pattern than diamond and so possibly a smoother edge and more polished bevel. Enough to detect a difference when shaving? likely not. And an insanely polished bevel can be a bit sticky anyhow, demanding better, slicker lather and tighter stretching. At least that was my finding with the 25nm diamond. Who knows. Not enough data.

I think a pair of well honed GD1966 razors might be a decent but inexpensive test bed for blind testing. Maybe not as good as a well matched pair of Bismarcks, but should be a pretty valid test and should reveal the least possible detectable difference in the shave without costing an arm and a leg. Just thinking out loud. At least you would have a pair of good but cheap shavers that aren't vintage even if the test is inconclusive.

I would also expect, when using The Method, that the CBN would require more laps than diamond to achieve the greatest possible result. Just sorta guessing, again by the shape of the crystals.

You could also try breaking from the Method mold, and overpasting the balsa with the CBN. Worth a try.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
Thanks for the input. I'm going to continue with 50 laps with the cbn to see if it does require more laps than diamond. I sold the GD1996 I had but I have a couple of vintage razors that will be suitable for comparison. The other guys will come up with some tests so eventually there should be enough experience to come to some kind of conclusion or at least info for you to consider when you get back and play with it yourself.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
Thanks for the input. I'm going to continue with 50 laps with the cbn to see if it does require more laps than diamond. I sold the GD1996 I had but I have a couple of vintage razors that will be suitable for comparison. The other guys will come up with some tests so eventually there should be enough experience to come to some kind of conclusion or at least info for you to consider when you get back and play with it yourself.
For the advancement of science of course.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
I got a new to me razor today and it was honed to 12k. I did a pasted balsa progression but went from .25u Diamond to .125u CBN. Should be different from .1 diamond to CBN.
 
Apparently at such a small scale it is not easy to detect much difference...?

Did you use the same number of laps with the CBN or did you use more than you would with diamond? Maybe additional laps would make a difference? But my guess is at the .1u range either abrasive gives perceptibly the same results. Scientifically quantifying sharpness or smoothness difference would be moot.

Final analysis will probably be that whatever is cheapest, easiest, or most available will be the best one to use.

I did notice that red iron oxide paste requires about 4x the laps to get the same results, so we can pretty much eliminate that one. So I guess it is still diamond, for me. But thanks for taking the time and effort to compare. This kind of experimentation increases our knowledge base and makes the process easier and better for all Methodeers and by extension to the entire honing/shaving community.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
Initially, ran the balsa with about 100 laps on each. After I shaved this morning, I did the usual 50 with CBN. I shaved with a different razor yesterday which had been stropped 50 laps after shaving the day before. Couldn’t tell the difference. I’ll keep using that razor to see if there is any edge deterioration over time. My guess is that there won’t be much difference. When you get home send me your address and I’ll send you the CBN. No use to buy more for trials. It’s a bit pricey. Also, I’m looking forward to shaving with your edge to see what I’m striving for.
 
Home now, but got a lot on my plate at the moment. I have a batch of razors I will be working on in a few days and one or two I will do a passaround, with a .1u prepared balsa strop, for the benefit of the unbelievers. I am pretty sure though, by this point your edges are about the same as mine. It doesn't take long to master The Method, after all.

I don't think I will bother with the CBN but I appreciate the offer. You will have one of my razors to try though, at some point in the near future, as long as you are willing to pass it on to someone else who will be willing to pass it on to someone who will be willing to pass it on........
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
Sounds great - no rush. Maybe send a list of recipients for the pass around. Also, unlikely CBN will prove better than diamond. But, will keep working with it. Anyone reading this wants to try it, I’ll start a pass around. Just PM your address. No use for everyone buying it.
 
When switching to a less aggressive abrasive, I find it very useful to back up a grit level or two.

From 0.1 diamond, I would progress to 0.25 CBN then 0.1 CBN.

Maybe that's a waste of time and effort for a difference so small it won't be noticed? If you want, I could send you some of the 0.25 CBN spray to try.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
I did that yesterday and no difference. I don’t believe .025u would be discernible anyway. I’m still trying different things but not expecting noticeable difference from diamond and the diamond will require fewer laps.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
When switching to a less aggressive abrasive, I find it very useful to back up a grit level or two.

From 0.1 diamond, I would progress to 0.25 CBN then 0.1 CBN.

Maybe that's a waste of time and effort for a difference so small it won't be noticed? If you want, I could send you some of the 0.25 CBN spray to try.
I believe the .1u edge is the important thing however you get there.
 
I believe the .1u edge is the important thing however you get there.
It is sort of a sweet spot, I think. From .5u to .25u seem to be a sour spot somehow. Takes extra effort to make that level of edge shave comfortably. Then at .1u it just seems to smooth out, even with no "tricks" to make it feel smooth. It just is.
 
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