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Lapping Film.

BigFoot

I grew a tail.
Moderator
I am going to try to touch up my 1st straight razor. The Razor was honed by Alfredo and probably has 20 or so shaves on it. I want to use 1 micron film and just bring it back to razor sharp. What do y'all recommend to hold the film? I have read a whole bunch of things. Maybe a few pictures would be helpful.
 
I bought a 3 x 12 inch acrylic block online. I spray it with water, put the film on, spray again and flatten out air bubbles with a bank card. Spray again and your’re away. The water makes the shiny side of the film stick nicely to the block.
 

BigFoot

I grew a tail.
Moderator
I bought a 3 x 12 inch acrylic block online. I spray it with water, put the film on, spray again and flatten out air bubbles with a bank card. Spray again and your’re away. The water makes the shiny side of the film stick nicely to the block.
Thats a cool idea.
 
The Razor was honed by Alfredo and probably has 20 or so shaves on it.
If Doc honed it, then unless you damaged the edge you probably don’t need that much. Folks who use the films finish on diamond pasted balsa strops of 0.5, 0.25 and 0.1 I think.

Films or balsa probably won’t recreate the edge you had before though. Have you been stropping well?
 
Newbie Honing Compendium | Badger & Blade

It's all in there. There is pretty much no question that has not been answered in that thread or one of the sub-threads, on bevel setting, lapping film, balsa, or determining whether your razor is really sharp or not. If you read beginning to end, and exactly emulate in every detail the methods and tools used, you WILL end up with a better than professional quality edge. It is important to read all the way through, because The Method went through a process of evolution and is still changing, though now it has pretty much found its final form.

The acrylic plate described by @Jakebullet is the standard plate both for honing with lapping film, for creating a single use hone with sandpaper for heavy steel removal, and to use as a backing for pasted balsa. TAP Plastics is my usual supplier. You will want three for balsa, one for film, and maybe another, later, for sandpaper.

Be sure to read the lapping film thread linked in the link at the beginning of this post, end to end. It is very long. Read before you buy anything or try to hone anything. Bring the edge back with the 1u film. You should be able to shave off that. IF you can't, then try again. It is important that you max out the edge on the 1u film before trying to improve it still more with the balsa. The balsa is not magic. It won't make a mediocre edge sharp. It will make a sharp edge much sharper, though.

Do not expect The Method to give you great results if you deviate from what has become the accepted way to do it. Everybody wants to put their own wrinkle on it, do things their own way, or dismiss key steps and details as unimportant or impractical. THat's fine, after you get your first few amazing Method edges, but you need to start out by sticking dogmatically to the dogma or you will just be confused, frustrated, and disappointed. Experiment later. FIrst, FOLLOW.

The Method is not a way of learning to create a sharp edge. It is a way to create a sharp edge. The distinction is important. It won't make you an expert, but it will allow you to create a better edge than the experts. It is not a learning process. It is simply a doing process. A paint-by-numbers sort of thing. Making art first, becoming an artist later. Which one do you think is faster, and has a lower failure rate? For those who are capable of following instructions precisely, this works incredibly well. For others, it is just one more path to dabble with on their tortuous journey to making a so-so edge.

Yes, honing is simple, in concept. Rub razor on abrasive surface until sharp.The thing is, there are a gigazillion ways to do the rubbing and a diddlygooglezillion ways to acquire or prepare said abrasive surface. Many will work, more or less, Many, many more will work poorly or not at all. A few will work very well, delivering an edge that matches or exceeds a good DE blade in sharpness and comfort. If you just randomly try stuff you will probably find you got to kiss an awful lot of frogs before you find your princess. The Method gives you step by step directions to selecting the right frog and exactly how to kiss it for best results.

1u film for refreshing a dull edge is a good gateway drug into honing. The exact same tools and process will be exactly how you finish an edge that you create from scratch, later, when you are ready to tackle honing a basket case found in the wild. A 1u film edge is also a very good base to build upon, when using the balsa progression to warp into hyperspace edges. Read the thread, don't skimp on the plate or buy the wrong film. Lots of guys buy stuff that is not lapping film at all. Or they buy sticky back (PSA) when they really want plain back. THere is a lot of deceptive advertising and product listing that can lead you astray. There is lapping paper, polishing paper, finishing paper, finishing film, polishing film, all sorts of similar sounding names for stuff that is NOT lapping film.Read the thread. There are descriptions and sources. And of course, how it is used.
 
not meaning to hijack the thread...

After tonight I have almost 2 weeks off, so I will be hitting this as a project as well. Skimmed through the thread but haven't really dug deep into it due to lack of time, but this will change.

Has anybody had better luck with acrylic over say, granite? Apologies if that question is answered in the lapping film thread. Again, haven't had time to dig into it yet.
 
Has anybody had better luck with acrylic over say, granite? Apologies if that question is answered in the lapping film thread. Again, haven't had time to dig into it yet.
I can say without fear of argument that acrylic is not as heavy as granite. If you hone in hand as per the method, you will be glad for the lighter weight.

Upon saying that, granite does work and is what was used in the early stages of the development of the method system. Acrylic blocks are just easier in my opinion.
 
not meaning to hijack the thread...

After tonight I have almost 2 weeks off, so I will be hitting this as a project as well. Skimmed through the thread but haven't really dug deep into it due to lack of time, but this will change.

Has anybody had better luck with acrylic over say, granite? Apologies if that question is answered in the lapping film thread. Again, haven't had time to dig into it yet.
Granite is very heavy. Acrylic is light. Holding a piece of granite for very long will get very tiring and you may find that your hand begins to shake. And so you will lay it down on a bench or counter or other fixed surface. This is fine for very experienced honers. For a beginner it is a sure route to magnification rather than elimination of common beginner mistakes. I hone in hand except when doing heavy steel removal while remediating a badly abused razor, honing out chips, or setting the bevel on a really bad factory edge. The rest of the time I hone in hand. Try it and you will find that it is much better to allow steel and hone to find their own alignment than to try desperately to "control" the razor with two hands. An old pro has spent years learning to do this and can probably bench hone as effectively as he can hone in hand. Plus bench honing allows him to use his fancy stone holders and sink bridges and stuff that he paid so much money for. For the rest of us, honing in hand is superior so granite is out. Plus granite under the acrylic serves NO PURPOSE. 1" acrylic, even 3/4" acrylic, is already rigid enough to not flex under normal honing pressure. And I would go with the thicker acrylic for film honing, as it is easier to hold.

Where granite is very useful is for lapping your stones, if you still hone in the stone age. Don't be ashamed... I own about a dozen rocks, including a Jnat. I have several coarse stones from 120 up to 1000 grit, as well as a full Naniwa Superstone setup. But I mostly use the coarse stones up through setting the bevel, and then rely on film from there, though sometimes I will do a batch of razors on the Naniwas. After the balsa, there is no difference between a synthetic stone edge and a film edge. Anyway a granite surface plate is the last word in lapping a stone. Far better than trying to lap a stone on an undersized "flattening stone" that is not necessarily flat itself. Ideally the plate used for lapping your stones is big enough that you do not have to run off the edges or ends, but can keep the entire stone on the plate while lapping it. This rules out the otherwise very good, reasonably flat Atoma diamond plates. I use a sheet of sandpaper stuck to the plate with spray adhesive. Granite is VERY good for this, but I use acrylic, 12" x 12" for that, and I used to use a 12" x 12" polished marble floor tile. This of course is done on a bench. You can often pick up a calibrated granite surface plate for under $50 from the various sharpening supply or knife supply vendors that is flat to within .0001" or better. But the sink cutout from a granite countertop is often flat to better than .001" which for lapping most stones is perfectly adequate.
 
I bought a 3 x 12 inch acrylic block online. I spray it with water, put the film on, spray again and flatten out air bubbles with a bank card. Spray again and your’re away. The water makes the shiny side of the film stick nicely to the block.
Here’s a little hack to try. When you put the film on the acrylic, just put one corner of the film on first. Press it down to remove any bubbles and then slide the rest of the film onto the acrylic. It works best if the loose film is lower the the top of the acrylic when you pull it on. When you do it like this you don’t get any bubbles.
 
Been gone a few years.. gonna try honing again.

When we order the 3x12 plate, do we want the chemcast or the extruded?

Should I get the edges polished or rounded?

lastly, does anyone get 3.25x 12 just in case the film cuts weren’t a perfect 3”?

good to be back :)
 
Been gone a few years.. gonna try honing again.

When we order the 3x12 plate, do we want the chemcast or the extruded?

Should I get the edges polished or rounded?

lastly, does anyone get 3.25x 12 just in case the film cuts weren’t a perfect 3”?

good to be back :)
Film is usually 8-1/2" x 11". A third of that is just a hair less than 2-7/8". A 3" piece works great for film or for sandpaper or for balsa. I wouldn't order oversize. The cast is better than extruded. No special edge treatment is particularly needed.The cuts are pretty good. You can lightly drag a file at a 45 degree angle over the edge if you like, or a piece of 100 grit sandpaper, whatever, but it isn't really needed.
 
I can say without fear of argument that acrylic is not as heavy as granite. If you hone in hand as per the method, you will be glad for the lighter weight.

Upon saying that, granite does work and is what was used in the early stages of the development of the method system. Acrylic blocks are just easier in my opinion.

Is Acrylic flat enough? im a beginner just want to check thanks
 
Is Acrylic flat enough? im a beginner just want to check thanks
It seems to be. A granite surface plate is definitely flatter, but by how much? Sure, flatter is flatter, and flatter is better. But the advantages of honing in hand seem to be more important than a thousandth of an inch of flatness. YMMV.

Follow The Method, and if you pay attention to detail and follow the directions precisely (in their final form-- The Method has evolved a bit since its beginning) then you will succeed stupendously.
 

BigFoot

I grew a tail.
Moderator
I think I am ready to give this a go. Worse case scenario I will completely dull a razor that needs a finishing touch. Then I will just have to start at the very beginning.
 
I was just bragging on the TAP Plastics acrylic being flat enough and a couple days ago I was struggling with a razor only to find that the brand new 1-1/2" thick acrylic plate wasn't flat enough. So I got a granite surface plate for setting bevels, lapping stones, and checking plates for flatness. Unfortunately it weighs about 40lbs so if I ever hone in hand with it, start to finish, it will be on a "stunt honing" youtube video.
granite.jpg


I have to get some feeler guages to check my acrylic plates for flatness before I can use the new 1-1/2" ones for lapping film. The ones that aren't flat enough for film honing can still be used for balsa, since the balsa is lapped after glueing.
 
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