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New to straight razors - flat vs concave sharpening/honing

This is probably already covered, but it just explains part of my motivation for trying this convex concept. I tried to follow an old German textbook from 1846.
In this book it clearly states that you must end with a flat stone to get the best results. Also that this convex stone concept were used by the most experienced grinders, and was seen as an advanced method to thin the bevel to make it more flexible.
To look at this method as a simple way to hone a razor is probably not the best way to get people in to this.
If you finish with less then weigh of the blade on flat stone, how can you possibly manage to control the pressure on an even smaller contact point, especially at the heel and toe.
In my opinion the bevel can be shaped on a convex stone, but needs to be finished on a flat stone to be able to get any benefit out of it.

Here is a little translation with a little interpretation:
The stone intended for sharpening razors must be hard, very fine and have a uniform and dense grain structure, because without these properties it will newer be able to produce a properly fine cutting edge. Some use two or three stones of gradually increasing grain fineness one after the other, but you can certainly use a single very fine stone, which maybe requires expenditure of more time, but always come to the goal, probably even with an advantage to the cutting edge, because you do not need to erase the damage done by the coarser stone with the fine stone.

Others go further by giving the stones following one another a different shape. In particular, the following procedure from an experienced man is very advantageous.
You should give the coarsest stone a convex/curved shape, the next one to a lesser degree. Only the third (last) stone must be completely flat.

I just think that honing on the convex stones will require even more skill which is even difficult enough on a flat stone.
 
Flat-ish, obsessive flatness is not necessary, smooth is more important than dead flatness.

There is only one “Person” promoting convex stone and ironically, he is or was selling them and a concave plate to make convex stone…

There is always some barker hocking the next, New, new thing.

You might want to look at some of his other videos, then decide if he is someone who’s advice you want to follow.

In my opinion, anyone who tries to use their passion for this niche hobby should be encouraged, like new artisans making other shaving related items. Where i come from there is not many, if any retailer you can speak to who actually have an in dept knowledge about what they are selling. To be able to go to a retailer, who actually use and know what he is selling is not that common where i come from.
Just because we have forgotten history and old tradition does not mean it did not happen, or that it is not relevant to someone today.
Some people go in to this hobby as purist trying to stay true to the era when this was the way it was done.
Maybe it is a primal thing. Taking a handcrafted tool, then creating your on edge on it, with a rock dug out of the ground that is thousands of years old.
Someone should publish a book ore something, where SR shaving and razor making was put into an historical context.
I think if you got hold of the right old people in Solingen and Eskilstuna in Sweeden, we could probably learn a thing or two.
It is tough for a Norwegian to admit that the swedish people actually did something that is far better then what we did at that time:)
 
IMO it makes no difference whether you use a convex or a flat stone. The amount of deflection and change in the blade are so tiny and miniscule. I believe you can use a cylindrical shaped hone too. But that would be the same issue. You would gain nothing and then add another variable.
Allow me to correct my self. To much time to think lately:)
Here is where it got interesting to me. I have been to focused on the concave bevel. Yes, you do get the same concavity effect on a wheel shaped hone, but you are not able to change the contact points on the hone. When a convex stone is used with a normal x-stroke (does not need to be an x-stroke as long as there is an angle) the contact points changes, and thus changes the angle. The radius of the hone matters less, as long as you are able to isolate and move the contact points. This changes the angle by quite a bit. And will vary during the stroke a little. This can allow you to thin the bevel and change the angle. It can also reduce the formation of a burr if done correctly.
In this example the resulting angle is much to shallow, but you can use a much smaller angle in your x-strokes and change the angle a little less.

Bevel angle (2).JPG1630579513644.png1630579607413.png
 
Allow me to correct my self. To much time to think lately:)
Here is where it got interesting to me. I have been to focused on the concave bevel. Yes, you do get the same concavity effect on a wheel shaped hone, but you are not able to change the contact points on the hone. When a convex stone is used with a normal x-stroke (does not need to be an x-stroke as long as there is an angle) the contact points changes, and thus changes the angle. The radius of the hone matters less, as long as you are able to isolate and move the contact points. This changes the angle by quite a bit. And will vary during the stroke a little. This can allow you to thin the bevel and change the angle. It can also reduce the formation of a burr if done correctly.
In this example the resulting angle is much to shallow, but you can use a much smaller angle in your x-strokes and change the angle a little less.

View attachment 1321283View attachment 1321291View attachment 1321292
I've thought about that before. That possibility is something to be very careful with if using a hone convex over its width. A strong argument for flat stones IMO.
 
In my opinion, anyone who tries to use their passion for this niche hobby should be encouraged, like new artisans making other shaving related items. Where i come from there is not many, if any retailer you can speak to who actually have an in dept knowledge about what they are selling. To be able to go to a retailer, who actually use and know what he is selling is not that common where i come from.
Just because we have forgotten history and old tradition does not mean it did not happen, or that it is not relevant to someone today.
Some people go in to this hobby as purist trying to stay true to the era when this was the way it was done.
Maybe it is a primal thing. Taking a handcrafted tool, then creating your on edge on it, with a rock dug out of the ground that is thousands of years old.
Someone should publish a book ore something, where SR shaving and razor making was put into an historical context.
I think if you got hold of the right old people in Solingen and Eskilstuna in Sweeden, we could probably learn a thing or two.
It is tough for a Norwegian to admit that the swedish people actually did something that is far better then what we did at that time:)
Rocks and sharpening goes so far back it might be in our DNA.
When I think of my grandfathers they both used stone to sharpen. One would straddle his treadle grinder, the other one would be setting on a bench outside his filling station with his cronies talking about fishing or hunting and whittling away. Eventually a stone would be presented from a pocket and passed around. This seen and topic of conversation could just a well be taking place thousands of years ago, rather than sharpening steel they would be touching up the stone points, it is indeed primal.
 
At the risk of being stoned to death I don't think there is any reason the OP can't learn to hone and shave at the same time. Getting a razor that is shave ready is good advise, but waiting to learn to hone until he knows how to shave serves no purpose. Decent used razors are cheap, get one and start right in. The two skill sets are not mutually exclusive, far from it.
 
At the risk of being stoned to death I don't think there is any reason the OP can't learn to hone and shave at the same time. Getting a razor that is shave ready is good advise, but waiting to learn to hone until he knows how to shave serves no purpose. Decent used razors are cheap, get one and start right in. The two skill sets are not mutually exclusive, far from it.
Unless it takes him 6 hours to shave every day, there's certainly time after shaving to learn to hone with a different razor.
 
Ok I’m just gonna say it and probably burn from the flames…. Max Sprecher honed my razor for 25 bucks plus shipping, and if you have a good strop you can make that last for a good while as you learn to shave. I agree with whoever said learn to shave first. But then I’m lazy and will probably always send out for a hone.😎
 
Ok I’m just gonna say it and probably burn from the flames…. Max Sprecher honed my razor for 25 bucks plus shipping, and if you have a good strop you can make that last for a good while as you learn to shave. I agree with whoever said learn to shave first. But then I’m lazy and will probably always send out for a hone.😎
There is no bad info there. The SR I learned to shave with was one honed by someone who knew what they were doing. At the same time, I taught myself with some eBay beaters, and the pro honed razor was the benchmark I was trying to emulate.

If you want to keep paying for someone to hone your razors, go for it. Those guys appreciate the business, and everyone is happy
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
I learned to shave and hone at the same time because I already had the hones from sharpening high end Japanese kitchen knives, so it didn’t seem to make much sense to keep sending razors out for honing. Doing both at the same time probably extends the time until you get that first perfect SR shave, but other than that it isn’t a big deal IMHO.
 
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