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Quarantine DIY killing time

So I finally took the advice of some notable notables I see in the forum here- namely the advocates of using the 0.5, 0.25, and 0.1 micron progression in honing and using the 0.1 post shave. I have been using CrOx 0.5 microns post shave up to this point and that already yields benefits! Instead of balsa I used basswood because I see plenty of people that used balsa and switched say they were amazed with the results so I started there. I just have some basswood that I bought at the local fabric / arts & crafts store & found a nice slice of basswood I used to make two strops with. Went to the local hardware store and found 2 chunks of ceramic tile they just let me have for free and I used an epoxy for my adhesive. Worked like a champ- just don’t get it on the business side of the wood- This was easy enough to make- Maggard paste went on with a plastic knife and paper towel- I’ll let it sit 24 hours before using- Not sure if I really need the 0.25 micron substance? Am I missing out on much by going from 0.5 to 0.1? Would extra laps on the 0.1 make up for that lack of progression? I CAN say with confidence I notice one hell of a difference in my shave, even if the cream dries or is drying, that annoying pull and tug isn't there. The post shave on the CrOx was a game changer for me. I didn’t use diamond compound, I used Maggard Ferrous Oxide 0.1 paste instead- I figure 0.1 is 0.1- I know diamond is harder, but in the “playing around and learning stage” I kinda wanna get the feel of everything and screw up with cheaper stuff...lol- is there a substance besides diamond compound that is 0.25 microns? Am I REALLY missing out on anything not having that step? I’m asking because my wife is tired of me spending money...🤣😂🤣 At any rate- Those that advocate for the balsa strops & have done their fair share of explaining how to do it- particularly those in the Philippine Islands- I thank you for your sage wisdom and for the sudden drop in the pulling and tugging of my razor. It really makes up for a lack of perfection in leather stropping technique & creates what I’d call a margin for forgiveness. I’m not an expert.....but I can bleed.....and haven’t lately thanks to you folks!

(Wasn’t sure if this should’ve gone in honing or stropping- I figured this wasn’t about stones so I put it here)

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Congratulations on starting to use pasted balsa strops.

As for using CrO2 or FeO2 I cannot comment as I only use diamond paste at a bit over USD 5 per tube on Amazon. It sounds as though you may have far to much paste on your basswood. That's a common problem for those starting out. A 5g tube of diamond paste should last you 30 to 50 years.

I also cannot comment on the use of basswood as I have only ever used balsa wood.

As for going from 0.5um straight to 0.1um, that I wouldn't recommend. It's a big jump, like going from 50k straight to 200k grit. You probably could go from 0.5um direct to 0.1um but will need possibly thousands of laps on the 0.1um to get the same result as using all three grades.

An edge off 12k to 15k stone can be quite shaveable. I didn't notice a lot of difference, but there was some improvement, coming off my 0.5um pasted balsa. 0.25um was a little worse than the 12k to 15k finish. It wasn't until I properly finished on the 0.1um that it all came together.

I use rubber glue to bond my balsa to the substrate. That allows for easier removal when/if the balsa needs to be replaced.
 
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Congratulations on starting to use pasted balsa strops.

As for using CrO2 I cannot comment as I only use diamond paste at a bit over USD 5 per tube on Amazon. It sounds as though you may have far to much paste on your basswood. That's a common problem for those starting out. A 5g tube of diamond paste should last you 30 to 50 years.

I also cannot comment on the use of basswood as I have only ever used balsa wood.

As for going from 0.5um straight to 0.1um, that I wouldn't recommend. It's a big jump, like going from 50k straight to 200k grit. You probably could go from 0.5um direct to 0.1um but will need possibly thousands of laps on the 0.1um to get the same result as using all three grades.

An edge off 12k to 15k stone can be quite shaveable. I didn't notice a lot of difference, but there was some improvement, coming off my 0.5um pasted balsa. 0.25um was a little worse than the 12k to 15k finish. It wasn't until I properly finished on the 0.1um that it all came together.

I use rubber glue to bond my balsa to the substrate. That allows for easier removal when/if the balsa needs to be replaced.
You were the one I was referring to in my thanks- so I’ll hold off and cook the wife dinner so I can get some 0.25 paste and a piece of tile, and another chunk of basswood 🤣😂 I have noticed sir, that the tugging and pulling- despite being slower and still a beginner- has stopped as a result of using the 0.5 microns alone. It did wonders. It naturally led me to wonder if things were better, how much better does it get?
So I will heed your advice because it has yet to fail me- I’ll be patient and not use the 0.1 micron strop I’ve made & make a 0.25 micron strop first.
But I’ve been having the problem of shaving cream drying because I’m new and taking my time- and the razor tugs and pulls- that CrOX strop alleviated that quickly. It bought me time to shave essentially and I thank you for that sir!
 
Over time, like months, your edge(s) will get better and you will be shaving ATG on your upper lip (fool's pass) with ease. Even after that, your edge(s) will keep on improving. I haven't reach any limit yet. It might also be that with each SR shave my technique is still improving. After all, I only have about 150 SR shaves under my belt.

Just to remind you, always balsa strop hand held. Strop as lightly as you can. End-for-end the balsa strop about halfway through each progression. After the 0.1um hand held, your final progression should be with 0.1um hanging.

Don't forget to clear your razor (and hand) between each progression. You don't want any polishing particles to contaminate a finer strop. If that happens, you will need to relap and repasted the contaminated strop.
 
Over time, like months, your edge(s) will get better and you will be shaving ATG on your upper lip (fool's pass) with ease. Even after that, your edge(s) will keep on improving. I haven't reach any limit yet. It might also be that with each SR shave my technique is still improving. After all, I only have about 150 SR shaves under my belt.

Just to remind you, always balsa strop hand held. Strop as lightly as you can. End-for-end the balsa strop about halfway through each progression. After the 0.1um hand held, your final progression should be with 0.1um hanging.

Don't forget to clear your razor (and hand) between each progression. You don't want any polishing particles to contaminate a finer strop. If that happens, you will need to relap and repasted the contaminated strop.
Understood- just ordered my 0.25 compound. Guess that means I need to hit the fabric store as well as the hardware....🤣😂🤣 I have noticed an improvement in not only the quality of shaves but the reduction or “smoother” problem areas. They’re still problem areas, but the 0.5 micron strop alone is massive in terms of changing pretty much everything in the shave.
 
For applying the paste, I put about 2mm of paste on my index finger, then squish it with my thumb. I then VERY lightly spread that paste from the centre of the balsa to towards one end. I then repeat the same using a second 2mm of paste from the centre towards the other end. Once that is done, I then use a clean old t-shirt and try and remove as much of the paste as I can from the balsa, rubbing with the grain. Only then do I have about the right amount of paste on the balsa.

Again, thoroughly wash your hands between touching different pastes so as to prevent cross-contamination.
 
For applying the paste, I put about 2mm of paste on my index finger, then squish it with my thumb. I then VERY lightly spread that paste from the centre of the balsa to towards one end. I then repeat the same using a second 2mm of paste from the centre towards the other end. Once that is done, I then use a clean old t-shirt and try and remove as much of the paste as I can from the balsa, rubbing with the grain. Only then do I have about the right amount of paste on the balsa.

Again, thoroughly wash your hands between touching different pastes so as to prevent cross-contamination.
It’s deceiving because sometimes I don’t think I have enough CrOx on the wood because it SOUNDS like I’m only hearing wood- and not feeling or hearing the grains of the compound doing their job-
 
To really refine your pasted balsa stropping, give the blade 4 or 6 short X laps after about each 10 to 15 normal laps. Each odd-numbered short X lap should be left to right and each even-numbered short X lap right to left.
 
It’s deceiving because sometimes I don’t think I have enough CrOx on the wood because it SOUNDS like I’m only hearing wood- and not feeling or hearing the grains of the compound doing their job-
When you are getting down to sub-micron polishing particles, you should be stropping with such little pressure that there is no "feel" or sound to the work being done. Trust me, it is working and you will know it in your shaves.

The unfortunate thing is that your whiskers will not grow fast enough. That's one of the reasons why I don't want a BBS shave!
 
To really refine your pasted balsa stropping, give the blade 4 or 6 short X laps after about each 10 to 15 normal laps. Each odd-numbered short X lap should be left to right and each even-numbered short X lap right to left.
Do you think I can get away with straight up and down?
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how many laps on the 0.5, 0.25, then 0.1 before I’m using only the 0.1 post shave? How many laps on the 0.1 for routine post shave?
 
You can get away with straight up and down. Short X laps are for a more refined edge. You can try them later. You WILL notice an improvement.

If your edge is shaveable now, give it 50 to 100 laps on each of 0.5, 0.25 and 0.1. then about 50 on 0.1 hanging. The harder the steel, the more laps required. Normal high carbon steel used in SR's is about 58 to 60 RHC after proper heat treatment. 50 laps or a bit more on each is normally sufficient. My hardest blade (67.7 RHC) required about 200 laps on each.

During the first 5 or so shaves, I would complete the shave process with 50 laps on each 0.5, 0.25 and 0.1 plus 50 on 0.1 hanging. After those first 5 shaves I would omit the 0.5 from the process for the next 5 shaves. After that, I would omit the 0.25 from the process for the next 5 shaves. After those 15 or so shaves, I would omit the 0.1 from the process and then continue on just using 0.1 hanging after every shave.

Of course I still strop about 50 or 60 passes on a clean leather strop before each shave.
 
You can get away with straight up and down. Short X laps are for a more refined edge. You can try them later. You WILL notice an improvement.

If your edge is shaveable now, give it 50 to 100 laps on each of 0.5, 0.25 and 0.1. then about 50 on 0.1 hanging. The harder the steel, the more laps required. Normal high carbon steel used in SR's is about 58 to 60 RHC after proper heat treatment. 50 laps or a bit more on each is normally sufficient. My hardest blade (67.7 RHC) required about 200 laps on each.

During the first 5 or so shaves, I would complete the shave process with 50 laps on each 0.5, 0.25 and 0.1 plus 50 on 0.1 hanging. After those first 5 shaves I would omit the 0.5 from the process for the next 5 shaves. After that, I would omit the 0.25 from the process for the next 5 shaves. After those 15 or so shaves, I would omit the 0.1 from the process and then continue on just using 0.1 hanging after every shave.

Of course I still strop about 50 or 60 passes on a clean leather strop before each shave.
Can you define “50 laps on 0.1 hanging”? Define hanging?
 
You can get away with straight up and down. Short X laps are for a more refined edge. You can try them later. You WILL notice an improvement.

If your edge is shaveable now, give it 50 to 100 laps on each of 0.5, 0.25 and 0.1. then about 50 on 0.1 hanging. The harder the steel, the more laps required. Normal high carbon steel used in SR's is about 58 to 60 RHC after proper heat treatment. 50 laps or a bit more on each is normally sufficient. My hardest blade (67.7 RHC) required about 200 laps on each.

During the first 5 or so shaves, I would complete the shave process with 50 laps on each 0.5, 0.25 and 0.1 plus 50 on 0.1 hanging. After those first 5 shaves I would omit the 0.5 from the process for the next 5 shaves. After that, I would omit the 0.25 from the process for the next 5 shaves. After those 15 or so shaves, I would omit the 0.1 from the process and then continue on just using 0.1 hanging after every shave.

Of course I still strop about 50 or 60 passes on a clean leather strop before each shave.
You have given me the keys to the kingdom sir- thank you!!!
 
You hold one end of our balsa strop with one hand using one or two fingers on one side and your thumb on the other. You let the balsa strop hang freely vertically down. You then do your laps down and up on this hanging balsa strop.

By using a hanging basla strop, you remove the weight of the blade from the stropping pressure to get even lighter pressure while stropping.
 
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To please your wife, offer to get her her own SR for leg shaving and you will use your new equipment to maintain the edge for her.

No man shows greater love for his wife than when he maintains her SR for her. 😁
 
If you read this thread, you will see that many variations have been tried on this. I did try CrOx and FeOx after months or years refining the diamond progression, and I found that you CAN get similar results using the green and red stuff, but it takes many hundreds, if not thousands of laps. Without going to extreme lap counts, the results are not the same as diamond. Skipping the .25u diamond is also not so good. Again you are looking at a very high lap count, to bridge an approximately 5x jump in grit. Ideally the grit jump is no more than 2x or 3x.

Basswood works. Oak works. Pine works. Cherry works. Spruce works. Copper or lead works. Pretty much anything works. It is a matter of degree. What works best? Lapped balsa. The diamond embeds into the grain much more easily with balsa and that is important.

Diamond works best. Period. Well, with an honorable mention to CBN which is about as good. Diamond is not expensive. You use so little that cost simply isn't an issue. BTW you seriously overapplied the FeOx, I think. More is not more. More is not better. Less is better. You must not have a coating on the balsa, for best results. The whole idea is to deeply embed the abrasive and not have crystals rolling around on top of it.

What you are doing works, of course. Does it work good enough for you, or do you want the best results possible? The diamond on lapped balsa progression cannot be beat. The edge is insanely sharp but still feels smooth on the face. The three stages help keep the lap count down while still allowing best possible results. Less wear on the balsa and less swarf in it.

You did not mention lapping your wood. Did you? It is important. Well, it is important if you want best possible results.

Application is best done by bare hand. Apply with fingertip, rub it in with the palm of your hand. Then wipe off excess with an old tshirt. Remember, you do not want a coating. Do the fine grit first. If you do the coarse grits first, you risk contaminating the finer one with coarser abrasive. That is bad, of course.

So the real question here is how good do you want it to be? Are you easily satisfied even when you know it can be a lot better? If so, well that's okay.
 
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