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Scratch pattern

My first straight razor was a Thomas Turner & Co 5ths. It wasn’t very sharp when I got it so I sent it away for honing. It came back fine but over the last two years I’ve been maintaining my razors myself. I only have 7 of them so I don’t get a ton of practice on the hones. Mostly my edges are very passable to me and give very good daily shaves though I’m sure I’m just scratching the surface so far.
The Turner, for whatever reason has always been a bit problematic. I’ve had good edges on it but it seems very hit and miss. I honed it on a piece of black shale recently and got a great edge but it only lasted about 4 shaves. Last night I honed it on Welsh slate and felt sure I’d done a good job only to find this morning that, while improved, it still wasn’t great. So tonight I thought I’d try it on lapping films. I worked on 1u for a while then dropped down to the 0.3 for a light finish.
When I looked at the edge through the loup I could see scratches which didn’t go all the way to the edge of the bevel. The edge of the bevel itself though was mirror polished. It’s almost like a micro bevel.
So my question is to ask what’s going on? My honing technique feels pretty solid and none of my other razors are a problem.
It seems the deeper, non continuous scratches are being left by higher grit work whereas the very edge of the bevel is being worked by the fine grits.
What should I do to correct this? Is the blade geometry off or is it me? Should I take things back to coarser grits until I’m happy with the pattern? Or should I just leave it as is as the edge is sharp? Any helps appreciated.
 
I think what you are seeing is that the very edge is from previous hone and strop work. The parts leading up to that is the new honing.
If the razor hasn't been honed in a while then sometimes it will take more than a few strokes to get to the absolute edge.
Stropping rounds the edge a little. Only very fast hones can do anything with just a few strokes.
If the razor isn't holding its edge then there may be some underlying edge damage that is not being removed. Doubtful it is over honed as that would not last 4 shaves or even one.
It may also be the razor just doesn't like that stone or type of stone, try something else.
 
I think what you are seeing is that the very edge is from previous hone and strop work. The parts leading up to that is the new honing.
If the razor hasn't been honed in a while then sometimes it will take more than a few strokes to get to the absolute edge.
Stropping rounds the edge a little. Only very fast hones can do anything with just a few strokes.
If the razor isn't holding its edge then there may be some underlying edge damage that is not being removed. Doubtful it is over honed as that would not last 4 shaves or even one.
It may also be the razor just doesn't like that stone or type of stone, try something else.
I hadn’t looked at it that way, that the scratchy stuff was due to me and the mirror edge was already there but isn’t being hit by my efforts. How would you correct it?
 
If the razor is very hollow, higher pressure on the low grit stones will deflect and lift the edge away from the stone. Then light pressure on the finishing stones will only hit the very edge creating a microbevel.
This is almost certainly what happened as I reset the bevel on it at the beginning of my honing days and I think I’d have definitely used too much pressure. Should I go back to a low grit dyou think and give it a more gentle touch?
 
This is almost certainly what happened as I reset the bevel on it at the beginning of my honing days and I think I’d have definitely used too much pressure. Should I go back to a low grit dyou think and give it a more gentle touch?
If it's shaving well now you could just leave the microbevel. If it bothered me I would go to a mid grit hone with low pressure.
 
I’ll see what tomorrow mornings shave brings, as long as it shaves well I’ll be happy enough but if not I’ll take your kind advice .
 
Today’s shave was great, i haven’t used the films for ages and haven’t used the 0.3 for even longer. I’d forgotten how sharp they get the edge. I read some dont like the 0.3 but no complaints here.
 
An edge that is sharp but doesn't last, even for an experienced shaver/stropper, is usually indicative of a fin edge. There are varying degrees of this, from what you experienced, all the way up to the point of wire being separated or semi separated on the hone from the edge. Another indicator that @bluesman 7 is correct, that your pressure on the coarse stones or films flexed the edge up off the hone and your light touch on the finish hit more of the apex and less of the base of the bevel. And again, this is not necessarily a bad thing, the vestigal scratches on the bevel. In fact they may actually slightly improve the shave by making less stiction between bevel and face. Of course that still leaves you with a slightly finned edge, but more work with light pressure will take care of that. I bet you are already finding your edge to be lasting better.

I use heavy to moderate pressure setting the bevel but I always seque to light pressure before beginning the progression. I also finish each stage with some pull strokes and then some very short x strokes. These will do a lot to fight fin or wire edge. The pull stroke strips artifacts from the edge and sets up a sideways scratch pattern, and the short x strokes then work down through the sideways scratches and peak the apex back up without reforming the fin edge.

Another way to fight fin edge is during the early stages of the progression, hone with a little slurry. Slurry can interfere with peaking the apex but it does fight fin edge and improves cutting speed with light pressure. Pressure is the enemy, once your bevel is set. With appropriate pressure and technique, 10k laps won't raise a fin edge. OTOH using sub optimal technique can raise a wire edge in 100 laps or 50 or even fewer laps. But again, it is a matter of degree. I suspect a lot of old school honing involved riding the fine line between a hint of a fin edge and the resulting sharpness, and too much of a fin edge which yields uncomfortable shaves and an edge that does not stand up to much use. And this is where the persistent concept of "over-honing" comes from, which is still a thing if you are not taking measures to counteract fin formation and disintegration.

I am one who does not care for the .3u film edge. However let me make clear that this grade of film can make a reasonably comfortable edge if used over picopaper, and also that the .3u edge carefully managed can be a great jumping off point for the balsa progression. I don't think I have ordered .3u film in about 10 years, myself. I always stop at 1u film (or 12k Naniwa) and then go to balsa.
 
Different strokes also have a tendency to hit different parts of the bevel (at least they do for me). For instance do circles, half strokes and x strokes and observe the scratch pattern after each set.
 
An edge that is sharp but doesn't last, even for an experienced shaver/stropper, is usually indicative of a fin edge. There are varying degrees of this, from what you experienced, all the way up to the point of wire being separated or semi separated on the hone from the edge. Another indicator that @bluesman 7 is correct, that your pressure on the coarse stones or films flexed the edge up off the hone and your light touch on the finish hit more of the apex and less of the base of the bevel. And again, this is not necessarily a bad thing, the vestigal scratches on the bevel. In fact they may actually slightly improve the shave by making less stiction between bevel and face. Of course that still leaves you with a slightly finned edge, but more work with light pressure will take care of that. I bet you are already finding your edge to be lasting better.

I use heavy to moderate pressure setting the bevel but I always seque to light pressure before beginning the progression. I also finish each stage with some pull strokes and then some very short x strokes. These will do a lot to fight fin or wire edge. The pull stroke strips artifacts from the edge and sets up a sideways scratch pattern, and the short x strokes then work down through the sideways scratches and peak the apex back up without reforming the fin edge.

Another way to fight fin edge is during the early stages of the progression, hone with a little slurry. Slurry can interfere with peaking the apex but it does fight fin edge and improves cutting speed with light pressure. Pressure is the enemy, once your bevel is set. With appropriate pressure and technique, 10k laps won't raise a fin edge. OTOH using sub optimal technique can raise a wire edge in 100 laps or 50 or even fewer laps. But again, it is a matter of degree. I suspect a lot of old school honing involved riding the fine line between a hint of a fin edge and the resulting sharpness, and too much of a fin edge which yields uncomfortable shaves and an edge that does not stand up to much use. And this is where the persistent concept of "over-honing" comes from, which is still a thing if you are not taking measures to counteract fin formation and disintegration.

I am one who does not care for the .3u film edge. However let me make clear that this grade of film can make a reasonably comfortable edge if used over picopaper, and also that the .3u edge carefully managed can be a great jumping off point for the balsa progression. I don't think I have ordered .3u film in about 10 years, myself. I always stop at 1u film (or 12k Naniwa) and then go to balsa.
Thanks a lot for such a detailed and helpful reply, I’ve seen a lot of your posts and you always go that extra mile to help people it’s greatly appreciated👍
P.s
I also read with interest your post on breaking down your method using diamond pasted strops. What a ton of experimenting and hard earned knowledge must have gone into developing that and yet you freely share it with us all for free. Inspired by this I’ve ordered the stuff I’ll need to give it a go.
 
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Different strokes also have a tendency to hit different parts of the bevel (at least they do for me). For instance do circles, half strokes and x strokes and observe the scratch pattern after each set.
I never thought of that to be honest but yes thinking about it it makes a lot of sense. We probably all put slightly different pressure along different parts of the edge during the honing depending on the stroke we use and how were gripping the razor so I can see how varying the stroke would be definitely be useful. Im new to all this and just typically just do standard x strokes but it’ll be fun to try.
 
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