What's new
  • Guest
    As per our long standing policy of not permitting medical advice on the forum - all threads concerning the Coronavirus will be locked.
    For more info on the coronavirus please see the link below:
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

How To Use a Pasted Balsa Strop

Out of curiosity, maybe take one razor and give it the balsa trio. Just to see if it makes a difference.

If you have a seven razor set, each razor the same, you're set up for fair tests. Control group, test group.

I'd iike to see the result of that.
 
Ah. I see.

Well, I could do that experiment with a pair of gds, I suppose. That would be interesting. The theory is that coming off a balsa trio is different, and maybe better, than just maintaining on daily .1u

In the world of diamond balsa though, we're getting down to diminishing returns.
 
Hey what a great thread...great info here.
Just wondering...would something like this also work
to coat balsa strops...they are diamond sprays in the
0.5/0.25/0.1 micron spec.

 
Hey what a great thread...great info here.
Just wondering...would something like this also work
to coat balsa strops...they are diamond sprays in the
0.5/0.25/0.1 micron spec.

I don't know. But like I said, I would NOT make any substitutions or omissions or shortcuts or crazy hail mary plays here. Sticking with The Method will give you great results. Trying to rewrite it will decrease your chances of success. Experiment later. Don't waste money on stuff that is not already proven within the context of The Method.
 
I don't know. But like I said, I would NOT make any substitutions or omissions or shortcuts or crazy hail mary plays here. Sticking with The Method will give you great results. Trying to rewrite it will decrease your chances of success. Experiment later. Don't waste money on stuff that is not already proven within the context of The Method.
Got it Sir...and after watching you in action on your video I will not argue hehe.

Is it ok if I take an edge honed on Naniwa 10K to the 0.5/0.25/0.01 balsa progression?
Or must it be 12K and then only balsa?
 
Got it Sir...and after watching you in action on your video I will not argue hehe.

Is it ok if I take an edge honed on Naniwa 10K to the 0.5/0.25/0.01 balsa progression?
Or must it be 12K and then only balsa?
It is okay to hone on a brick and strop on your jeans and then shave. But maybe that isn't such a great idea. It is okay to go from 10k to .5u on balsa. But I would not. I firmly recommend sticking with The Method.

You could go from 10k Nanny to 1u lapping film, and then hit the balsa, if you just don't want to buy a 12k when you already have a 10k. From 1u film to .5u diamond on balsa is a pretty reasonable jump. From 12k to .5u is a bit bigger jump but still not bad at all. A skilled and experienced honer stuck on a desert island with only his 10k Nanny and his balsa strops would not hesitate to go that way and would get a good edge. You are not that guy yet. You will be, some day. You should stick to the path well traveled, initially. Follow in the footprints of others who have succeeded and who succeed consistently, and you will end up where they are. It's pretty simple.

You seem more interested in not following the method, than in following it. I can't make you drink. All I can do is take you to the bar. The Method is there. You can use it, or not. You can take it and change every detail. That's okay. You can use the pyramid honing method of a certain person from another forum. It's okay. You can run the razor through the carborundum wheel knife sharpener built into the top of your can opener. It is okay. It is all okay. Do you want to have a nearly foolproof honing method, or do you want to try to shave with just any random edge?

When you are finished reading the balsa strop thread, maybe you should read the lapping film thread. Buying a sheet of 1u film is way cheaper than buying a 12k Naniwa and way easier than making your jump between grits bigger. And the lapping film will actually be a bit better than the 12k anyway.

We had a guy here who basically on a dare, shaved off a 1k stone. We have had guys shave multiple times without stropping. We have had guys set bevels on coticules and finish with the same stone. There is a lot of stuff that can work. Or sort of work. Most of this stunt honing requires a bit of skill and experience, and the results can be a bit sketchy.
 
You could go from 10k Nanny to 1u lapping film, and then hit the balsa, if you just don't want to buy a 12k when you already have a 10k. From 1u film to .5u diamond on balsa is a pretty reasonable jump. From 12k to .5u is a bit bigger jump but still not bad at all. A skilled and experienced honer stuck on a desert island with only his 10k Nanny and his balsa strops would not hesitate to go that way and would get a good edge. You are not that guy yet. You will be, some day.
I do not have anything more than a 10K Nani.
As I've already read up on the balsa w/ pastes method, I would rather try to
make that work than leaping into lapping films.

I suppose what I could do is create an intermediary balsa strop with 1micron diamond paste
(approx 14,000 grit)....work that 50 laps before moving to the 0.5/0.25/0.1 progression.

Would that be a solution?
 
I do not have anything more than a 10K Nani.
As I've already read up on the balsa w/ pastes method, I would rather try to
make that work than leaping into lapping films.

I suppose what I could do is create an intermediary balsa strop with 1micron diamond paste
(approx 14,000 grit)....work that 50 laps before moving to the 0.5/0.25/0.1 progression.

Would that be a solution?
It would certainly save a lot of work. Curious to see Slash’s response. In my experience, I have found lapping films to be SUPERB! Stones are not any better and I do not understand the general Distain for film as they are simply another synthetic, one simply doesn’t get to spend all that money and do all that lapping. I do believe there is a bit of snobbery involves.
 
While it is perhaps true that I don't know what I am missing, I am very happy with the results of this method when going from a 10k Naniwa to lapped balsa with these inexpensive powdered diamonds from ebay in just .5/.25/.1 with no intervening 1µ film (I mix with mineral oil in and rub on some plastic to make it easier to distribute evenly across the balsa before rubbing again with a t-shirt.) It still improves a bit with the first few shaves and subsequent 0.1µ stropping before levelling off but the edge starts off great too. I'm curious if you notice a difference when adding lapping film into the mix and it's certainly an inexpensive experiment, but I'm so satisfied with this I've yet to bother.

 
I am very happy with the results of this method when going from a 10k Naniwa to lapped balsa with these inexpensive powdered diamonds from ebay in just .5/.25/.1 with no intervening 1µ film
cool...do you find that you have to spend a lot more time/laps on the 0.5mic when coming from the 10K?
 
I do not have anything more than a 10K Nani.
As I've already read up on the balsa w/ pastes method, I would rather try to
make that work than leaping into lapping films.

I suppose what I could do is create an intermediary balsa strop with 1micron diamond paste
(approx 14,000 grit)....work that 50 laps before moving to the 0.5/0.25/0.1 progression.

Would that be a solution?
Once again, you seem bent on defeating yourself. What has been proven not only by accomplished honers but also by newbies creating their first shave ready edges, is not going to let you down. Like I said, honing on a lapped brick will work. It is a matter of degree. Personally I believe that the soft balsa is good for the sub micron range but at coarser grits, it is better to keep the flat bevel that you can only get off a hard surface. Will it work? I can't tell you how good or how bad a lot of that stuff would work, especially stuff that I myself have not tried. Try what you want. All I can tell you for certain is that you will not get a better edge than a Method edge by using other techniques, no matter how long you work at it. So do what you like. If it is not in the Method thread, then it is not going to be better than a Method edge. And it will not be faster to master, either. If you want first time success and a science fiction movie laser beam sharp edge, go pure Method. If you don't care, then do it any old way. It is essentially just rubbing steel on an abrasive surface, after all.

I will send you a piece of 1u film, if you like, if you are in CONUS. But I am not going to give my blessing to stuff I dont know will deliver best possible results, nor do you need my blessing. Pretty much everything I could say and any advice I can give is in the Newbie Honing Compendium sticky.

@ouch, is that you? Fess up if it is.
 
cool...do you find that you have to spend a lot more time/laps on the 0.5mic when coming from the 10K?
I think I do a bit more, for the most part I use a timer these days as I find it more relaxing to just pay attention to keep the laps light and making full contact along the edge. Fresh off the 10k I do 5 minutes on the .5µ and 3 min on each of the others (rinsing in between naturally, I even use a bit of soap because I'm paranoid about contamination), I take a chill pace, think it worked out to 70 laps and 50 laps or thereabouts, I forget though, been a while since I counted. Err on the side of too many laps, if you're doing them lightly and doing draw strokes it won't hurt, and you can experiment with less later once you have a reference. Of course, it won't be a true reference as it's not The Method, just a method.

In general I've gotten the impression you can make bigger jumps if you do more laps. I go from 6k to 10k but check my work with a loupe to make sure I completely eliminate the scratch pattern. I feel confident in this because I've read it a few places and none other than Ulrik from Koraat goes to a Naniwa 10k straight off a diamond plate and compensates by flying through a bunch of half-strokes with considerable pressure:

One thing I forget if has been mentioned here is that I use an old t-shirt not only to wipe after applying diamond but also before applying it as even thoroughly cleaning it with compressed air the lapping still leaves fine sawdust that the shirt picks up.
 
Personally I believe that the soft balsa is good for the sub micron range but at coarser grits, it is better to keep the flat bevel that you can only get off a hard surface.
+1 on the diamond paste progression. That will gitter done. But for ordinary edge maintenance, the 3u is sort of redundant. It is roughly equivelant to ANSI 8k grit, or an 8k Norton synthetic. (still good after 1.5k or 2k paper, though, for sanding/polishing.) The 1u is approximately 14k, about where a 12k Naniwa Superstone would be. A bit of 1u on balsa, and either .5u or .25u on another piece, would be a pretty good kit. You can supplement that with a felt or linen strop with some CrOx on it, or go with some .1u diamond. When you get down to .1u, diamond seems to be a smootherer like CrOx, rather than a sharpenerer like .5u diamond. YMMV. But I would only use the polishing stuff as a last resort. Remember, this is the internet age. You can have practically anything shipped right to your house. No need to use less than satisfactory substitutes.

Even for polishing a blade, I like the diamond paste. A dremel and a felt wheel and some diamond will getcha sparkling in just minutes. 5g will last a long time. Only takes a little dot of it.
Sorry, I didn't realise that 1 micron on balsa was such an acute problem .
I read through a lot of threads to get a good perspective and came across a thread from quite
a while ago where you recommended 1 micron on balsa....but maybe you have changed your opinion since then.

I will of course keep my eye out for lapping film as its only an eBay click away. Let's see how it goes.
 

ouch

Moderator Emeritus
@ouch, is that you? Fess up if it is.
Nope, and I would fess up if true.

I may have goofed on you more than all other members combined, but I have also championed your many positions as being level headed, logical, and sound.

I think all members tend to go through a stage of wanting to try every device and technique in pursuit of that asymptotically elusive perfect edge, only to eventually realize they need only settle upon a method that yields results that are satisfactory and repeatable.
 
I believe he was talking about using soap in washing/rinsing the razor after stropping on the pasted balsa to prevent contamination of the strop.
Yup. And in between the different grits of balsa strop to prevent cross-contamination there as well. But that's because I used mineral oil as a carrier for the diamond, next lapping I might aim for something water-soluble maybe glycerin or Balistol.
 
Top