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Straight Razor Help

Hi,

I've already made a post about this, however I thought I'd get a better response from an actual Australian thread.

About a year and a half ago I bought the hone set from Larry at Whipped Dog which is a collection of norton hones going from 220/1000 grit to 4000/8000 grit and finishing off with the Chinese 12k grit stone. I thought I'd be a fun project to be able to fix up a gold dollar straight razor, however I've hit a couple bumps on the road and haven't managed to get anywhere. I'm in a position atm where my razor is sharp enough to pop off my arm hairs, however gives an incredibly rough shave. I was wondering if someone here might be able to figure out what I've done wrong and what I can do to get this razor shaving comfortably, if possible. I don't mind paying someone to try hone it for me or even getting a shave ready vintage razor to help get an idea of what to expect from a professionally set razor, however I feel like I'm unsure if I've got a high enough grit finishing hone or if it's my edge that's the issue.
 

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That looks like an older Gold Dollar than I have seen. From the pictures it needs a lot of work. I don't see a defined bevel and the heel is classically in the way. Don't put it on the 220 at all. Get a black sharpie and paint the edge and heel and spine. Then take 3 or 4 light strokes on the 1k with just a little water on it. Be sure the spine and the edge touch the stone with equal light pressure. Then post those pics here.
 
That looks like an older Gold Dollar than I have seen. From the pictures it needs a lot of work. I don't see a defined bevel and the heel is classically in the way. Don't put it on the 220 at all. Get a black sharpie and paint the edge and heel and spine. Then take 3 or 4 light strokes on the 1k with just a little water on it. Be sure the spine and the edge touch the stone with equal light pressure. Then post those pics here.
Thanks, I’ll take those pictures for you in a couple hours.
Cheers!
 
That looks like an older Gold Dollar than I have seen. From the pictures it needs a lot of work. I don't see a defined bevel and the heel is classically in the way. Don't put it on the 220 at all. Get a black sharpie and paint the edge and heel and spine. Then take 3 or 4 light strokes on the 1k with just a little water on it. Be sure the spine and the edge touch the stone with equal light pressure. Then post those pics here.
Here’s what I’ve been able to get
 

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The good news is you are getting to the edge and spine straight across. But the edge does not look finished or polished. If you pull the razor across your fingernail it should feel smooth with no grabbing or roughness. You need to set the bevel and then polish until it shaves. Read this. You will set the bevel with your 1k stone. Setting the Bevel with the Burr Method - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/setting-the-bevel-with-the-burr-method.516373/
Thanks FXDX, I’ll keep you up to date with how I go. Fingers crossed it’s just a small issue with the bevel.
 

Legion

Moderator Emeritus
Are your hones full sized or cut down, as whipped dog sometimes sells them?. The Chinese hones are slow, often needing up to 100 laps off an 8k. If your hone is short it might need even more to max out the edge.

Also, when you say it cuts arm hair, is that at skin level, or “treetopping” the hairs?
 
The good news is you are getting to the edge and spine straight across. But the edge does not look finished or polished. If you pull the razor across your fingernail it should feel smooth with no grabbing or roughness. You need to set the bevel and then polish until it shaves. Read this. You will set the bevel with your 1k stone. Setting the Bevel with the Burr Method - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/setting-the-bevel-with-the-burr-method.516373/
I've just tried setting my bevel again using the burr method and I'm still having a lot of issues shaving with my face. Once again it's able to shave my arm hairs incredibly well, however when it comes to my facial hairs I experience a lot of dragging, what do you think is the issue?
 

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Legion

Moderator Emeritus
Try this for me. Fluff up your leg hairs, then pass your razor through them, away from the skin. About midway through the hairs. It should be catching and cutting hairs as it passes through them. If it is not it probably does not have a shave ready edge.

My pocket and kitchen knives will all shave arm hair at skin level, no worries, but I wouldn't want to shave my face with them.
 
Farmingtaters, if this is your first SR honing project I think you will continue to have problems for quite a while, particularly as you are using cut-down whetstones.

It appears that you can set the bevel properly using your stone(s). Where you are failing is in the progression to the smooth shaving edge.

I suggest that you forget about using whetstones for the time being in your progression from the bevel set. Switch to laping film on acrylic and then move to diamond pasted balsa strops. This is called The Method and is well covered in the SR honing forum.

I recently finished my fifth Method edge honing and at last produced (to me) the perfect shaving edge.
 
I really appreciate all the support and care you guys have shown me on trying to correct my technique. I feel like I don’t really have the right tools to be able to get the razor sharp enough. I might try using film in the future, however for now, I think I’ll put the razor away and try again when I feel I’ve got a better plan in place to follow.
 
Farmertaters, while you are watching your taters grow, read here


and all the referenced links. It's a long read and refinements are made throughout, so it is best to take notes as you read.

Here is an edge that I have produced on my Gold Dollar using lapping film and pasted balsa strops.

GD Edge 02.jpg
It was my third edge. Not perfect, but getting there. There are still some score marks visible. The faint horizontal scores are from pull strokes on my 0.1 micron pasted balsa strop. To perfect this edge, I would need to go through the three balsa strop progression again.
 
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Don't forget to apply a light coat of petroleum jelly to the blade before putting it away. Gold Dollar SRs have a tendency to rust with just the slightest bit of moisture in the air.
 
Don't forget to apply a light coat of petroleum jelly to the blade before putting it away. Gold Dollar SRs have a tendency to rust with just the slightest bit of moisture in the air.
Thanks for the information! I’ll definitely give that thread a read and in the meantime I’ll put some PJ on the blade.
Cheers guys!
 
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