I freehand dog rockets
The Force, Luke! Use the Force! THE METHOD@CpnStumpy @Slash McCoy
I'm my post yesterday (#35) I said...
"I plan on doing this (honing) thing for the long haul so things like lapping film don't really appeal to me. I plan on honing multiple straights from vintage (obviously) to cheap moderns. Pricey moderns/customs are a pipe dream now, but I want to believe I'll treat myself to some in year to come. I'm located in the United States and am on the west coast.
So, with all that said I need your help is game planning on what to get and in a what (loose) order."
By no means do I intend to go buy a bunch of stones without knowing what I'm doing. That would be a fools errand. As I said, I'm asking for help in forming a game plan.
I've given a lot of thought to what you've said and I think I will go ahead with some lapping film first. I was mistakenly under the impression that the film didn't last very long. That it would only be useful for a few razors or so.
Without a doubt I will need some stones, but seeing as I don't want to willy-nilly go picking them up, I'm going to take my time. The only pressure I feel in regards to buying some stones is that holiday sales are not to far off, so I'd like to be as knowledgeable/prepared as I can be to hopefully score some deals on what I believe will be necessities in the long run.
As you all know the price of quality stones adds up. The need to maintain those stones in and of itself brings additional cost. I'm trying to minimize costly mistakes by leveraging the collective knowledge found here on B&B. So I thank you all for your opinions and perspectives.
I had saved some 2x2x1" acrylic blocks while scouting materials but will most certainly check out the 3x12x1.5" blocks mentioned. That seems like a much better size. With this said, what progression do you suggest going with if I'm going to restore some vintage razors? I see 3M has everything from 600, 1250, 2000, 3200, 7000, 25k too 50k. I'm sure I've missed some in between but these are the ones I've found and saved so far.
As far as finishing goes, I'm still learning towards going with a 12k Naniwa. Don't press me too hard on this as it's just what my gut is telling me to do. Nothings set in stone as of yet though. Pun intended.
Oh and to answer your question @rbscebu, I am not yet a regular straight razor shaver. Once I get the needed gear to hone and maintain a shave ready edge, I will be.
Again, suggestions and opinions are welcome from all.
Within that thread are all of the threads that comprise what we call "The Method". One is about lapping film. Pretty much the sum total of shared knowledge on film honing is there. The thread was started when lapping film was the new kid on the block. Film honing of course evolved, so read the thread from beginning to end. ALL of your questions, including the ones you don't yet know to ask, are answered there. You really need to read that. Also there is bevel setting, which can burn through film quickly. Generally we use wet/dry sandpaper, or else a synthetic stone, for bevel setting, then refine the bevel with film. You CAN use film right from the start, including bevel set, of course.
Let's work backwards, on the grades of film you need. You need 1µ film for finishing. We don't rate film by a grit scale the way you would a stone. That is because there are many different scales. So 1µ for finishing. Yes, there is finer. No, you don't want it. The 1µ is slightly finer than a Naniwa 12k Superstone, in honing effect, so good enough, and a perfect jumping off point for a progression of lapped and pasted balsa.
3µ has roughly the same role as an 8k Naniwa. 9µ is roughly equivalent to a 3k Nanny. Maybe slightly coarser. 15µ is a little finer than a 600 grit Chosera initially, about like a 1k Superstone when it has worn a bit. 30u would seem like it would be too coarse for razors, right? But actually 30µ is what I set bevels with if I set a bevel on film. So that's four grades of AlOx lapping film. You can use 40µ or 60µ for heavy excavation but I would rather use a 320 grit Shapton Kuromaku and a 600 Chosera for that, or 600 grit red resin type wet/dry sandpaper. 1k and 2k sandpaper make a good two stage bevel setter combo. Break in your sandpaper by honing a kitchen knife on it.
You will order your acrylic plate as cut to order cast acrylic from TAP Plastics. It isn't like an off the shelf size but it is a good standard size for film honing, plenty of honing real estate, fingertips out of the line of fire, still light enough to comfortably hold in hand. If you will be using sandpaper for edge repair or bevel setting, or maybe lapping stones, get a second one. You will want to use spray adhesive to hold sandpaper to the plate. Water doesn't stick sandpaper the way it does film. Your film plate needs to be kept very clean, free of gummy residue, so use one plate for sandpaper and one for film. Later you will probably want three plates to use for mounting your balsa, but that's later, and 1" thick is fine for that because the balsa will add another 1/4" of thickness.
Read, read, read. All of your questions have already been asked, and answered. Snatch the pebble from my hand... LOL we like to say that here.