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My sharpest edges yet!

... and the nicest shave I've ever had!

I just have to share this with somebody... ya'll are the lucky crowd I guess :wink2:

I spent most of saturday afternoon playing around with my new Boker King Cutters and my entire colection of hones and my good stereoscopic microscope.
I've finally (finally!!) reached the point I need to be at to make this entire venture sustainable; if I couldn't achieve a reliable, comfortable edge, I was probably going to resort to DE's. That worry is now a thing of the past.

I'm reluctant to admit exactly how much time I spent this weekend on just a couple of razors.:blushing:.... apparently I have, like, no life.


I started with a generic DMT EF, to set the bevel which proved to be a mistake, I thought it was fairly well seasoned, but there were a few terribly deep scratches that proved to be a bit of a problem, or maybe a blessing, depending on how you look at it. Each one of those scratches, which looked like a freakin' giant canyon at 100x, was causing the edge to show a bunch of saw-toothy-ness at the valley of each scratch.

What I ended up doing amounted to the "pyramid" of SRP fame. I worked my way up fairly high in the progression, 8K, and then back down to work those nasty scratches some more, back up to see what was going to polish out, back down again. A lot like a yo-yo. Finally tried a heavy slurry on my thurry, a bit of pressure, lots of half stokes in sets of 4 or 5,and that seemed to blast right through those scratches

I was also trying to fit my new vintage thurry into the progression, so that was a process of polishing up, hitting a different hone, and comparing the resulting scratches from Jsyn 8K, Spydee F and UF, light slurry and no slurry on the thurry (say that 5 times fast!)

So here's my findings about my hones:
Generic diamond hone: knives and lapping only. I will never let this thing near a razor again.

1/4K JSyn: ...whatever,... at this level, anything but that evil diamond hone would probably be OK.

6k Jsyn: hhmm... this one might stay, seems like a good intermediate stone.

8k Jsyn: Don't like it. Leaves lots of very crisp, sharp cuts in the bevel that prove very difficult to hone out , and seem to lead to a jagged looking edge.
This one is the culprit behind the roughness of my previous edges, I think.

Spydee F: hhmm... kinda like this one. leaves the most incredibly consistant. sharp, tiny little even scratches. and cuts fast. This one has sat around pretty much unused since I got it, I'm gonna play with this one a bit more.

Thurry: wow. my first go 'round with this one shows lots of promise. A heavy slurry seems to cut really really fast, but leaves that classic sandblasted edge, which proves to be really easy to polish because there are no real scratches. With water it polished up fairly nicley, what scratches there were were kinda smeary and soft looking. Left a great platform for the 12k. It does seem to leave some fairly noticable random scratches though, and these led to a bit of jaggedess at the edge.

Nani12k: ...'nuff said. This stone seems to be everything it's cracked up to be.

Sydee UF: I'm still convinced this one give just a bit more polish to the 12k finish.

I have to play around a bit more, those hones each showed me some surpising things, and i surely do wish I'd been smart enough to take notes or even drawn pictures like back in Biology class...

Anyways... onto the paddle strop, but lots of of strokes, like 20 or 30, still with the one layer of tape, each of Crox and Ceox... stroped another 40 (ish) on bear hide (grrr...), and then an easy 100 on shell.
The end result was seriously the best shave I've had yet (I know I keep saying that but this time I really mean it:001_smile)

I had quite a line-up to try tonight; two new blazing sharp King Cutters, my smiling W&B HG which had a quick trip back to the hones, and my funky new AutoStrop, honed up like the devil's own razor. And, I've been saving up whiskers for about 4 days. The only problem was that I'd blasted right through that forest of whiskers like $&!% through a goose! I almost didn't have anything left to try any other razors on. I stopped myself in time though, and a couple of quick strokes with the W&B showed me it wasn't there yet though, but both of those Bokers were ... words defy me... wickedly sharp and soooo smooth. Two smooth and easy passes, 90% BBS, NO cuts, not a single nick , no irritation or rawness. Not a single drop of blood. (The thought that kept running through my mind was "now I know what they're talking about!")
I saved just a few whiskers on my chin for the AutoStrop, which did a really nice job on the area i always over-shave in an effort to get all those stubborn last whiskers. I always felt I was compromising my principals a bit by using a DE to touch-up, but I didn't get that at all with that little AutoStrop. I honed that little blade, and made my own double sided strop for the thing so, philosphically, it fits. I'm kinda surprised that something I bought on a whim, having no idea what it was, has proven to be such a cool little tool.

Wow, I just looked back at that huge post I just made...:blushing: thanks for taking the time to read it, if anyone's got any thoughts on it I'd love to hear 'em
Cheers!
 
Congratulations! :thumbup:

I know exactly how you feel, and the journey has only just begun!

I wouldn't say you have no life, this is now your life! :001_cool:

Keep it up! :001_smile
 
I have just one comment - better (mirror) polished bevel does not equal to keener edge. If you have a mixed bag of natural and synthetic hones in your progression, this can be a very misleading indicator.
 
I have just one comment - better (mirror) polished bevel does not equal to keener edge. If you have a mixed bag of natural and synthetic hones in your progression, this can be a very misleading indicator.

You are right about a mirror polished edge NOT being an indicator of sharpness. That's because you can mirror polish an edge that isn't sharp. However, if the edge IS properly sharpened, in the first place, a mirror polished bevel certainly does equal a keener push-cutting edge. What fools people, in my opinion, is that a bad edge can be mirror polished, too.
 
I have just one comment - better (mirror) polished bevel does not equal to keener edge. If you have a mixed bag of natural and synthetic hones in your progression, this can be a very misleading indicator.

This isn't the first time I've heard that, and it confuses me every time....

After the bevel is set, isn't everything after simply polishing? There is no way I would want to shave with my 4K honing, but it will cut hair. Only by polishing at the higher grits does it smooth out.

What I did differently this time was monitor everything through 100x magnification, (I'm often too lazy to drag it out, and then the honing process takes over the entire table, with cords and crap lying around for everyone to trip over) and I was very diligent in ensuring that all the scratches from all the previous hones were gone. Even the faintest scratch could be followed down to a small micro-chip in the bevel. I think that eliminating all those scracthes is what really led to such a smooth edge.

I'm also not sure why different hone types would lead to problems. It's all about scratch size and easy of removal at the next level. Granted I agree that various scratch geometries might be more effectively removed by a hone leaving similar shaped scratches behind, but the use of a microscope should eliminate that variable, as long as all the scratches, regardless of their geometry, are removed.

Whatever I did right (and I hope I can replicate it again) these blades were as smooth as anything I've managed to get yet.
 
This isn't the first time I've heard that, and it confuses me every time....

After the bevel is set, isn't everything after simply polishing? There is no way I would want to shave with my 4K honing, but it will cut hair. Only by polishing at the higher grits does it smooth out.

Look at what 8k Shapton does to a bevel and compare that to a 30-40k JNat. The Shapton produces a mirror-like surface, the JNat a misty pattern. I can guarantee you will feel a difference between those two. Synthetics produce more reflective surfaces than naturals but I will leave it to someone else to explain why. ;)
 
The sharper the crystalline structure of the abrasive, the less reflective the surface will be because the sharper crystals cut deeper and cleaner into the metal. Deeper cuts going to a zero radius bevel means more jagged "teeth" at the edge. Of course, these can be stropped out, but the ideal push cutting edge would be a complete zero radius bevel with zero deviation along it.

It's a striaght line verus microwaves.

========================================= < perfect

wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww < not so perfect
 
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