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Setting the Bevel with the Burr Method

Great advice.

I'd be happy to have a natural stone to finish, but I'm very far from knowing which direction to go with 'em + mortified at what they cost + worried about how much I've already spent on honing stuff.

What a rabbit hole!

Happy shaves,

Jim

Egads,

You guys are killing me. I just wanted to see if I could shave with my Grandpa's Real Old English Razor and started honing away on a cheap combo stone I got at the local asian market for $6 about a year ago. Just every now and then. Then I used another cheap Sharp Pebble 400/1000 combo stone that I got for my wood-shop planes. Of course I also used green polishing compound and got it to cut forearm hair.

Of course, all this was before I decided to fall down the DE rabbit hole January of this year. I didn't realize that until I joined B&B in February and started buying vintage Gillette DE razors.

Some 18 DE razors later, I thought to myself, "Hey, why not get a few vintage straight razors and a Norton 4000/8000 combo stone?"..............
20190705_181931.jpg 20190811_075944.jpg
to be continued...........

prof

P.S. any idea's on a 12k-16k finishing stone?
 
Egads,

You guys are killing me. I just wanted to see if I could shave with my Grandpa's Real Old English Razor and started honing away on a cheap combo stone I got at the local asian market for $6 about a year ago. Just every now and then. Then I used another cheap Sharp Pebble 400/1000 combo stone that I got for my wood-shop planes. Of course I also used green polishing compound and got it to cut forearm hair.

Of course, all this was before I decided to fall down the DE rabbit hole January of this year. I didn't realize that until I joined B&B in February and started buying vintage Gillette DE razors.

Some 18 DE razors later, I thought to myself, "Hey, why not get a few vintage straight razors and a Norton 4000/8000 combo stone?"..............
View attachment 1007061 View attachment 1007062
to be continued...........

prof

P.S. any idea's on a 12k-16k finishing stone?
I would recommend a natural finisher. They are for the most time cheaper than synthetic finishers and leave a better edge imo.
A black ark is a really nice and consistent finisher, and cheap compared to the finish it gives, outperforms any synthetic imo(just make sure you have the surface smooth and burnished)
Then there are coticules(can be very nice but they vary ALOT in their capability to finish the edge)
Thuringians, German water hone, haven't tried one but these stones are expensive since they are not being mined anymore.
Then we have the jnat hole, all sort of Japanese natural stones. I repaired a kitchen knife today with a "medium jnat" it's called a medium stone but it raises a burr faster than my shapton glass 500. Then I went to a softer jnat finishing pocket stone to refine it, then moved on to a very hard bench sized jnat to give it a hazed mirror polish.
Cutting speed is based on the type of slurry you use and what stone you pair it with, or if you work up a slurry from the base stone.
Jnats are a very fun part of honing and can be very rewarding but also frustrating sometimes.
 
Oh yes I see. You are quite correct. 100 strokes should raise a burr if it is nearly there, yes. Try increasing pressure. Use approximately the full weight of your arm, maybe a tiny bit more. Pressure forms burrs, whether you want them, or not. Light pressure removes/prevents them, as a general characteristic.

Possibly the problem is you simply don't detect the burr. Feel both sides. It is the difference between them that you will notice, not the actual burr itself, unless the burr is extremely pronounced, which equates to wasted steel. So for practice, I suggest you go at it with a razor you really don't care much about. Go until you DO feel the burr, staying on one side up to say 500 strokes before flipping. Then go 1000 strokes on the other side. Then 2000 on the first side again. You GOT to get a very obvious burr sooner or later. Now of course this is leading that particular razor down the path to the scrap bin. Maybe. But sooner or later you will have a burr and then you will go, "Ah HAH!!! Eureka!!!"

The reason I think maybe you just don't recognize the burr is because by all other tests, you seem to have a bevel. As soon as your bevel is in, continued honing, especially on one side only, will immediately start deflecting the edge upward, particularly with heavy pressure. Now you don't NEED to raise a burr if the bevel is truly set. I would like you to go to the extreme though, just so you learn to recognize it. So grab a junkbox razor and wail away on it. You will get this. And maybe once you got it, you will feel that you don't really need to do it this way, but at least you will be able to, and will understand it.
"Aha! Eureka!" After trying the Burr method for a few days, I finally got the bevel set on 600g lapping film and shaved arm hair (at a slight downward angle). I think the key was my pressure wasn't heavy enough initially. Shave test tomorrow!
 
Because a bevel only needs to be set once, it doesn't hurt anything to use heavy pressure to get the heavy lifting done. The amount of steel "wasted" is very small, in the grand scheme of things. A burr of course needs to be removed, the edge fixed so you have a bevel but only a bevel, no artifacts hanging off the edge. This is where gradually diminishing pressure is needed, and from that point, the pressure should become lighter and lighter as the progression progresses, until at the finish, it is dead light.

Not sure what 600g lapping film is, though. Due to lack of the "mu" character on most keyboards, we usually use the lower case letter "u" to indicate microns. Typically a bevel would be set with 15u, 12u, or 9u film. I usually use sandpaper, anywhere from 200 or even coarser, to 2000 grit, whatever seems needed, with intermediate stops when I have to begin very coarse.

So, now that you have a bevel, what sort of progression and finish will you use? You don't want to shave off a raw bevel. It will need to be refined and polished to at least 1u or 12k for a satisfying shave.
 
Because a bevel only needs to be set once, it doesn't hurt anything to use heavy pressure to get the heavy lifting done. The amount of steel "wasted" is very small, in the grand scheme of things. A burr of course needs to be removed, the edge fixed so you have a bevel but only a bevel, no artifacts hanging off the edge. This is where gradually diminishing pressure is needed, and from that point, the pressure should become lighter and lighter as the progression progresses, until at the finish, it is dead light.

Not sure what 600g lapping film is, though. Due to lack of the "mu" character on most keyboards, we usually use the lower case letter "u" to indicate microns. Typically a bevel would be set with 15u, 12u, or 9u film. I usually use sandpaper, anywhere from 200 or even coarser, to 2000 grit, whatever seems needed, with intermediate stops when I have to begin very coarse.

So, now that you have a bevel, what sort of progression and finish will you use? You don't want to shave off a raw bevel. It will need to be refined and polished to at least 1u or 12k for a satisfying shave.
600g is lazy for 600 grit or 30 micron lapping film. I had a couple of chips so I started on 60 micron, got a partial Burr, moved up to 30 micron and got the full Burr. I went coarser because I think the geometry on this is weird because I was having a hard time getting the faintest of burrs in the middle. 10x loupe shows a faint white line and I feel "something" different.

I then moved to 12 micron, for 20 or 30 laps, 5 micron, 3 micron and 1 micron with paper under the film. I'm having a hard time identifying the difference in striations to know when I've fully polished the bevel.

I could go further into a .3 micron film but I'm not convinced I've really nailed this yet so I want to do some trial and error.

Could my slight lack of sharpness be coming from the fact that I didn't set the bevel at 12u? Do I go back to 12u and create the burrs again to improve this?
 
600g is lazy for 600 grit or 30 micron lapping film. I had a couple of chips so I started on 60 micron, got a partial Burr, moved up to 30 micron and got the full Burr. I went coarser because I think the geometry on this is weird because I was having a hard time getting the faintest of burrs in the middle. 10x loupe shows a faint white line and I feel "something" different.

I then moved to 12 micron, for 20 or 30 laps, 5 micron, 3 micron and 1 micron with paper under the film. I'm having a hard time identifying the difference in striations to know when I've fully polished the bevel.

I could go further into a .3 micron film but I'm not convinced I've really nailed this yet so I want to do some trial and error.

Could my slight lack of sharpness be coming from the fact that I didn't set the bevel at 12u? Do I go back to 12u and create the burrs again to improve this?
No, no need to raise a burr again. You could, if you are really concerned, or if nothing seems to be working, but I believe there is no need, and it would remove an additional small amount of steel that does not need to be removed. From 30u, you should spend a little time on 12u, yeah. Or 9u. Try to not take jumps in grit higher than 3x if possible and practical.

If you are judging completion of a stage by the obliteration of the previous stage scratches, the easy way is to change the heel leading angle enough that you can tell one set of scratches from the next, by the difference in direction. But when a stage is nearly finished, you will also note an increase in sharpness. When the sharpness increases noticeably, just go a few more laps and you are done. If you think you may have a bit of burr or fin edge, you can do a half dozen pull strokes on each side, alternating one side and the other, and then peak the apex back up with a half dozen or a few more of ordinary edge leading laps with very light pressure. This has always worked well for me.

Once you had raised a burr on one side and then the other, what was your method of removing the burr? The burr must be completely removed, and the earlier, the better. Preferably with the same grit that you used to raise it in the first place.

I think what I would do, is give it a couple dozen light laps on the 30u and start the progression again. And give it the pull strokes before moving up to the 12u. Do your sharpness tests before and after the 30u and the 12u. You should get very good forearm shaving after the 12u, and nice results from TNT, TPT, cherry tomato, all of the standard bevel tests. If not, work on the 12u until you see cutting power improved.

Some honers do not like the 5u film. Seraphim I believe is one such person, and he was basically my film mentor. Many honers go 15u or 12u, then 9u, then 3u and 1u. At 3u, you should get very noticeable stiction when that stage is nearly done. At 1u, very strong stiction. 9u will give you very strong undercutting of the honing water. All stages will give you increased sharpness just before time to move on. By the 3u stage, the treetopping and hht become very useful tests. Even though the precise qualative results are subjective, you are not looking for particular levels as much as a noticeable increase from the previous level.

Be of good cheer. Knowing that you have a fully set bevel is half the fight. You are almost there. When you have successfully finished at 1u, you should have an edge that in anybody's book is shave ready.
 
I removed the Burr using your description of
No, no need to raise a burr again. You could, if you are really concerned, or if nothing seems to be working, but I believe there is no need, and it would remove an additional small amount of steel that does not need to be removed. From 30u, you should spend a little time on 12u, yeah. Or 9u. Try to not take jumps in grit higher than 3x if possible and practical.

If you are judging completion of a stage by the obliteration of the previous stage scratches, the easy way is to change the heel leading angle enough that you can tell one set of scratches from the next, by the difference in direction. But when a stage is nearly finished, you will also note an increase in sharpness. When the sharpness increases noticeably, just go a few more laps and you are done. If you think you may have a bit of burr or fin edge, you can do a half dozen pull strokes on each side, alternating one side and the other, and then peak the apex back up with a half dozen or a few more of ordinary edge leading laps with very light pressure. This has always worked well for me.

Once you had raised a burr on one side and then the other, what was your method of removing the burr? The burr must be completely removed, and the earlier, the better. Preferably with the same grit that you used to raise it in the first place.

I think what I would do, is give it a couple dozen light laps on the 30u and start the progression again. And give it the pull strokes before moving up to the 12u. Do your sharpness tests before and after the 30u and the 12u. You should get very good forearm shaving after the 12u, and nice results from TNT, TPT, cherry tomato, all of the standard bevel tests. If not, work on the 12u until you see cutting power improved.

Some honers do not like the 5u film. Seraphim I believe is one such person, and he was basically my film mentor. Many honers go 15u or 12u, then 9u, then 3u and 1u. At 3u, you should get very noticeable stiction when that stage is nearly done. At 1u, very strong stiction. 9u will give you very strong undercutting of the honing water. All stages will give you increased sharpness just before time to move on. By the 3u stage, the treetopping and hht become very useful tests. Even though the precise qualative results are subjective, you are not looking for particular levels as much as a noticeable increase from the previous level.

Be of good cheer. Knowing that you have a fully set bevel is half the fight. You are almost there. When you have successfully finished at 1u, you should have an edge that in anybody's book is shave ready.
I removed the Burr using the diminishing Lapp method with lighter and lighter weight earlier in this thread.

I restarted at 30u and moved down to 12u using a heel leading stroke and I've been at it for a couple hours. I definity see the change in striations but only faintly at the middle.

I'm able to catch leg hairs with no skin contact and shave arm/ leg hairs if the blade contacts the skin. However, it seems to be pretty consistent to what I felt at 30u with no improvement. Is this the indicator I'm looking for to move up?
 
Are you honing in hand, or on a bench? If you are bench honing, possibly reducing pressure has you using a different balance of pressure. Or perhaps you were laying a finger along the blade on the 30u film, and disproportionately wearing the middle part of the edge. Keep in mind that on a microscopic level, the edge of a razor is very flexible and can flex wildly without being obvious to the honer. Honing in hand automatically corrects many issues of that nature.

Two hours should have been enough to max out a dozen times. Your lapping plate is verified flat?

When you raised a burr, did you check all along the length of the blade? The burr must be evident along the entire edge, on both sides in turn.

Do you mean that you still see the previous stage scratches in the middle, and only faintly see the new ones?

How about the ends? Do you see increased sharpness there?

You are there, the razor in your hands and under your eye. You can post pictures but we cannot actually hold the razor in the light, and feel the edge. Sometimes it is difficult to accurately assess what is going on, long distance. Maybe you should stop and think things out for a while before proceeding further. Otherwise you might just wear out steel and film and your patience to no advantage. The answer is right in front of you. You may have to be the one to find it. I myself am starting to run out of ideas.
 
Are you honing in hand, or on a bench? If you are bench honing, possibly reducing pressure has you using a different balance of pressure. Or perhaps you were laying a finger along the blade on the 30u film, and disproportionately wearing the middle part of the edge. Keep in mind that on a microscopic level, the edge of a razor is very flexible and can flex wildly without being obvious to the honer. Honing in hand automatically corrects many issues of that nature.

Two hours should have been enough to max out a dozen times. Your lapping plate is verified flat?

When you raised a burr, did you check all along the length of the blade? The burr must be evident along the entire edge, on both sides in turn.

Do you mean that you still see the previous stage scratches in the middle, and only faintly see the new ones?

How about the ends? Do you see increased sharpness there?

You are there, the razor in your hands and under your eye. You can post pictures but we cannot actually hold the razor in the light, and feel the edge. Sometimes it is difficult to accurately assess what is going on, long distance. Maybe you should stop and think things out for a while before proceeding further. Otherwise you might just wear out steel and film and your patience to no advantage. The answer is right in front of you. You may have to be the one to find it. I myself am starting to run out of ideas.
I think i'm starting to see the pieces come together. I saw your sharpness test post on another thread of mine and i think i may have been confusing "shaving" with "tree topping." The razor I'm working on can shave arm hair. it takes a few soft passes back and forth but the hair does come away. When i try and do the tree topping test sometimes i hear the hair ping and catch and maybe cut a few... and sometimes it doesn't. I have to get pretty close to the skin (1/8th inch?) to get it to catch. So if my bevel is set (because it shaves arm hair), but doesn't tree top, do i get the edge sharper by working through the progression of films I have? I understand I work on one film until I see the striation pattern change and feel a sharpness difference. A follow up question: I shouldn't expect to treetop off polishing on the 4k so what sort of variance of sharpness should I expect to see as I go up?

I really appreciate the help... this is challenging when I don't have someone I can watch!
 
First, let's get the bevel out of the way by reviewing what has to be done to set and verify the bevel. Since you are in this thread I will assume that you honed one side of the razor until a burr was detected not just at one spot or one area, but along the entire edge, end to end, with the possible exception of a small fraction of an inch at either end. You can lift the toe to get a curvy heel, or lift the heel to get a curvy toe, but most guys overdo it and simply make the problem worse in the long run. Better to not worry if the last 3/16" or so of that toe isn't getting any love. Eventually, if you hone properly, the rest of the edge will catch up with the worn toe or heel and you will get all or very nearly all of the edge sporting a good bevel. But back to the bevel setting. So you detected a burr along the entire edge or at least all but the last tiny bit. You flipped the razor and honed an equal number of laps, however many it took, on the second side, and then found you had a full length burr on the other side. Now you have raised a burr on each side in turn. You then used diminishing sets of half laps and then very light alternating laps to remove the bevel. You tested the razor for sharpness and it shaves arm hair quite easily but doesn't treetop or barely treetops or maybe just catches and pings at 1/8" above the skin. Now you want to start your progression.

Okay, so now you hit the 4k stone or 9u or 5u lapping film. First of all, observe the honing water. You should see the razor cutting cleanly under the honing water and leaving dry hone behind it, when this stage is finished. Further, if you changed the heel leading angle a bit, you will see at first only the bevel setter scratches, and then the 4k scratches running at a different direction that allows you to easily tell the two stages of scratches apart. When you have finished, the old scratches should be gone and only the new scratches are apparent under magnification. You may feel that the edge is sticking to the home. The sharpness test results will improve, then they will cease to improve further. You are done. Move up to the next stage, the prefinish stage, typically 8k synthetic stone or 3u lapping film. Now you switch directions a few degrees again, so you can separate the previous scratches from the new ones like you did before. By the time you are done, you should see the old scratches completely gone. You will probably feel some "stiction". The sharpness tests will show still more improvement. The 8k edge, when maxed out, will shave your face, but maybe not with great comfort or closeness.

Now, the money shot. The finish stage. 12k stone or 1u film. Same thing again with a new honing direction. The stiction will be very pronounced. All through the progression your pressure should have become lighter and lighter. By the finish stage, pressure should be less than the weight of your hand. By the end of this stage, the weight of the razor only. This can get a little dicey due to the stiction. If you are honing in hand, it is much easier. At the end, do a few pull strokes and a final half dozen of the lightest laps. Now it should treetop at 1/4" and it is okay if it makes an audible ping and doesn't mow down every single hair. That is shave ready sharpness. You can up your game by applying lather to your finisher and gradually reducing pressure to practically zero so that it feels like you are making less and less and finally zero contact with the hone. Now you can shave like a boss. And optionally, hit the pasted balsa for a real treat.

Yes, sharpness increases as you go through the progression. Shaving ability increases.

Just to be sure you have all the bases covered, I suggest that you read the threads related to these steps one more time, start to finish. No need to be in a hurry for first shave with the new edge. Take your time, and work on your prep as you shave with your old gear.
 
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