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tape?

why does it seem like on most of my blades i have to use 3+ pieces of tape to get a sharp bevel set? mind you they are all either chinese or vintage. as i understand it the bevel is important and it has to be as sharp as possible before moving to the next stone and to try and remove the initial hone marks before moving to the next stone. can someone explain why this is. am i doing something wrong or is this pretty normal for non high quality well known branded razors
 
Kind of sounds like the razor isn't properly shaped. What I mean by that is that the shape of a razor should be such that, if you lay it on a very flat surface, it will touch the surface along the honing guide and along the bevel.

If it were touching along the honing guide and behind the bevel, it would behave as you describe.

There's a Doc226 video I watched once in which he took a new Gold Dollar, told viewers to cover their ears, and proceeded to screechily abrade the crap out of it, using high pressure. I think he was using a Chosera Pro 1000, but I could be remembering wrong. So that's one expert's reaction to the way his Gold Dollar was when new.
 
Always check your bevel angle before slapping on tape. Some people get all exited with tiny bevels-that doesn’t matter one iota. If you slap on 5 layers of tape, your bevel will be smaller than without tape but you shave might be complete crap.

I’ve had some old wedgy razors that I’ve honed with one layer of tape that have taken me a long g time to ge the bevel. The answer is to keep going, not to add more tape.
 
@Staggers and Jags, here is how I use tape when needed in my honing:
Here is the blade I just can't get the bevels set I've tried many times vintage camillus quarter hollow
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rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
Not the clearest of photos but it looks as though that blade does have some (not a lot) of concavity in its grind.

First thing to do is a sharpie test. That will tell you how the blade is currently making contact with your flat honing medium.

Apply the sharpie (marker) ink to the bevel and spine-wear area on both sides of the razor. Then give the razor a couple of very light laps on a known flat honing medium, anything from about 3k grit or above will do. Then use your eye and a good light or a loupé and inspect where the ink has been removed. The area(s) where the ink is removed, is where the blade contacts the honing medium when honing.

If this blade has been previously honed with a taped spine, I dare say that you will only find that the top of the bevel is making contact with the honing medium. If that is the case and you wish to hone this blade without tape, you can follow the steps that I took with my W59, although you can probably start on 1k rather than 400 grit. (I had a lot of metal to remove.)

If you do decide to follow my W59 steps, it would be a good idea to first first full the edge on by bread-knifing it on the base of a glass tumbler to where it reflects light of the blade's edge. That will then allow you to determine when you are getting close to the bevel-set and remove the tape. You are getting close to the bevel-set when the first piece of the edge stops reflecting light.

There is nothing with a wide bevel surface that will affect the blade's shaving performance. It may not be liked by you from an aesthetics viewpoint but that is a personal choice for you. A wide bevel would not affect my feelings. For me it is the shave quality that I desire, not necessarily something that looks "pretty".

I can not advise you on bevel setting with a taped spine as I have never done so.
 
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Not the clearest of photos but it looks as though that blade does have some (not a lot) of concavity in its grind.

First thing to do is a sharpie test. That will tell you how the blade is currently making contact with your flat honing medium.

Apply the sharpie (marker) ink to the bevel and spine-wear area on both sides of the razor. Then give the razor a couple of very light laps on a known flat honing medium, anything from about 3k grit or above will do. Then use your eye and a good light or a loupé and inspect where the ink has been removed. The area(s) where the ink is removed, is where the blade contacts the honing medium when honing.

If this blade has been previously honed with a taped spine, I dare say that you will only find that the top of the bevel is making contact with the honing medium. If that is the case and you wish to hone this blade without tape, you can follow the steps that I took with my W59, although you can probably start on 1k rather than 400 grit. (I had a lot of metal to remove.)

If you do decide to follow my W59 steps, it would be a good idea to first first full the edge on by bread-knifing it on the base of a glass tumbler to where it reflects light of the blade's edge. That will then allow you to determine when you are getting close to the bevel-set and remove the tape. You are getting close to the bevel-set when the first piece of the edge stops reflecting light.

There is nothing with a wide bevel surface that will affect the blade's shaving performance. It may not be liked by you from an aesthetics viewpoint but that is a personal choice for you. A wide bevel would not affect my feelings. For me it is the shave quality that I desire, not necessarily something that looks "pretty".

I can not advise you on bevel setting with a taped spine as I have never done so.
can you like do a video walking me through this. im afraid im more of a hands on and visual learner
 
Breadknifing is imo a nuclear option. It's much easier to learn to hone these blades as they are. There are very few blades that are dead flat and dead straight. Lewis razors has a great video on YouTube that shows how. Breadknifing will make the edge shorter and take a much longer time to get an edge.
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
The bread-knifing suggestion was only made so that you would see some light reflection off the blade's edge, if it was not already visible.

You sent me some pics of the bevel after performing a sharpie test. Your bevel is definitely not properly set. You do not have a decent whetstone for SR use. I have recommended that you start your honing journey using lapping film on an acrylic substrate and setting the bevel using the burr Method.
 
When doing strokes make a peace sign and add a little pressure at both ends of the blade, index on the heel, middle finger on the toe and "guide"it with this fingers. Don't press down. That added pressure from the "guide" can add enough pressure to even put the getting on the spine & bevel without using tape. Keep using tape unless you are starting from bevel set. I use a washita for this type of grinding work. To me novaculite is the perfect file for spine work.
 

Slash McCoy

I freehand dog rockets
Three pieces of tape adds a lot of compressibility and so flatness of the bevel could suffer. Also I can't imagine that all of your razors are so acute that three layers of tape won't create a REALLY obtuse bevel! All things being equal, a more acute bevel angle, as acute as the steel will support, will have more cutting power than a more obtuse angle. Don't worry about how wide the bevel face is, or how consistent the width is, as long as there IS a bevel and both sides intersect properly.

Measure and calculate the bevel angle before using tape. Consider carefully before adding a second or third piece. A full wedge will have practically the entire side of the razor as a true bevel face. Obviously you get nowhere trying to true up a bevel with that much contact area. However a normal 1/16" or so wide bevel facet presents no problem. Wedges are usually honed with a piece of tape, and maybe given a compound bevel by adding another piece of tape late in the finish. True wedges are usually thin enough that the tape will give a very good bevel angle. A normal hollowground razor of normal geometry does not need to be honed with tape. Not three, not two, not even one piece. Let us be perfectly clear about that. Use tape if you want, but realize you are only using it because you want to. It is not needed unless the bevel angle is under about 14 degrees, optional under about 15 degrees. Absolutely uncalled for at 16 degrees and actually disadvantageous at over 17 degrees.

I suggest you stop what you are doing, get another razor, and hone it without tape. Just one. That way, mistakes are not spread across multiple razors. Learn to set your bevel on a hollowground razor without tape. THINK about what you are doing, what is happening to the bevel face and the apex. UNDERSTAND. OBSERVE. Your brain and your eyeball (aided with a very bright work light and a 10x Belomo Triplet loupe) are your primary honing tools.

With your one sacrificial goat razor, try setting the bevel using the burr method. If you screw it up, start over again. Keep going until you get it or until the razor is worn down to a pin. Okay not literally but don't keep messing up more and more razors until you can get the one right. Be sure you have removed the burr before proceeding to finer grits. Don't even begin, without lapping your stones, if you use stones. Read that thread I linked, end to end. Hone in hand. Use firm pressure at the beginning. Lighten up as the burr forms but not too light. Lighten up to just the weight of a finger (don't lay your finger on the blade) as you remove the burr.Make sure you are not applying all the pressure on the spine and none on the edge. Make sure you are not letting the shoulder ride up on the hone. Don't proceed until you have raised a full length burr on each side in turn, and then honed it off, as directed in the thread. Do it right, and done. You should never need to do this again on that razor but do it right and accept nothing less than best possible results.

Once you have set a bevel using the burr method, on your next victim use the hybrid burr method. Raise a partial burr on one side. Raise a partial burr on the other side. At that point you could hone the burr off and have a bevel set on part of the blade. However, the rest of the edge should not be far behind. So from that point you could seque to normal alternating laps, and continue until the bevel is fully set. The partial burr gets the heavy lifting done. ZERO steel is removed that does not HAVE to be removed, if you are obsessed with that. But your initial attempt at doing this and doing it right should be by raising a full length burr and honing it off. When you do that, you know for a fact that you have caused the two bevel faces to intersect. And so carefully removing that burr not only sets the bevel but proves that the bevel is set.

It does no good to go through the motions of setting the bevel but not knowing if the bevel is set or not. You must by some method prove that you have a good end to end bevel. If the absolute point of the toe isn't there, that's okay, same with the heel, but you need a good bevel over all the rest of you want to shave with the razor. And it does no good to progress to finer grits without setting the bevel. Waste of time. WASTE OF TIME. Also a waste of time to try to shave with the razor. PROVE that the bevel is set. The burr method is not the only way to do it but it is the easiest for a beginner to get right. Just watch your pressure balance. Slightly, deliberately, torquing the edge down onto the hone can be very helpful.

Heavy pressure is the full weight of your arm. Moderate pressure is the weight of your forearm. Light pressure is the weight of your hand. Very light pressure is the weight of a finger. Weight of the razor only means only the weight of the razor. Less than that can be difficult for a beginner so don't even try, except on pasted balsa held vertically, and it accomplishes nothing except at the very very very end of the process.It takes some pressure to set the bevel, and then it takes gradually lighter pressure to dress it up and leave it clean enough for the progression.

If you really want a great edge and you have a reasonable attention span and good reading retention, and if you are able to follow instructions, you might want to go through this thread and also all the threads linked from it. Read them all end to end. Or don't. Whatever.
 
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Three pieces of tape adds a lot of compressibility and so flatness of the bevel could suffer. Also I can't imagine that all of your razors are so acute that three layers of tape won't create a REALLY obtuse bevel! All things being equal, a more acute bevel angle, as acute as the steel will support, will have more cutting power than a more obtuse angle. Don't worry about how wide the bevel face is, or how consistent the width is, as long as there IS a bevel and both sides intersect properly.

Measure and calculate the bevel angle before using tape. Consider carefully before adding a second or third piece. A full wedge will have practically the entire side of the razor as a true bevel face. Obviously you get nowhere trying to true up a bevel with that much contact area. However a normal 1/16" or so wide bevel facet presents no problem. Wedges are usually honed with a piece of tape, and maybe given a compound bevel by adding another piece of tape late in the finish. True wedges are usually thin enough that the tape will give a very good bevel angle. A normal hollowground razor of normal geometry does not need to be honed with tape. Not three, not two, not even one piece. Let us be perfectly clear about that. Use tape if you want, but realize you are only using it because you want to. It is not needed unless the bevel angle is under about 14 degrees, optional under about 15 degrees. Absolutely uncalled for at 16 degrees and actually disadvantageous at over 17 degrees.

I suggest you stop what you are doing, get another razor, and hone it without tape. Just one. That way, mistakes are not spread across multiple razors. Learn to set your bevel on a hollowground razor without tape. THINK about what you are doing, what is happening to the bevel face and the apex. UNDERSTAND. OBSERVE. Your brain and your eyeball (aided with a very bright work light and a 10x Belomo Triplet loupe) are your primary honing tools.

With your one sacrificial goat razor, try setting the bevel using the burr method. If you screw it up, start over again. Keep going until you get it or until the razor is worn down to a pin. Okay not literally but don't keep messing up more and more razors until you can get the one right. Be sure you have removed the burr before proceeding to finer grits. Don't even begin, without lapping your stones, if you use stones. Read that thread I linked, end to end. Hone in hand. Use firm pressure at the beginning. Lighten up as the burr forms but not too light. Lighten up to just the weight of a finger (don't lay your finger on the blade) as you remove the burr.Make sure you are not applying all the pressure on the spine and none on the edge. Make sure you are not letting the shoulder ride up on the hone. Don't proceed until you have raised a full length burr on each side in turn, and then honed it off, as directed in the thread. Do it right, and done. You should never need to do this again on that razor but do it right and accept nothing less than best possible results.

Once you have set a bevel using the burr method, on your next victim use the hybrid burr method. Raise a partial burr on one side. Raise a partial burr on the other side. At that point you could hone the burr off and have a bevel set on part of the blade. However, the rest of the edge should not be far behind. So from that point you could seque to normal alternating laps, and continue until the bevel is fully set. The partial burr gets the heavy lifting done. ZERO steel is removed that does not HAVE to be removed, if you are obsessed with that. But your initial attempt at doing this and doing it right should be by raising a full length burr and honing it off. When you do that, you know for a fact that you have caused the two bevel faces to intersect. And so carefully removing that burr not only sets the bevel but proves that the bevel is set.

It does no good to go through the motions of setting the bevel but not knowing if the bevel is set or not. You must by some method prove that you have a good end to end bevel. If the absolute point of the toe isn't there, that's okay, same with the heel, but you need a good bevel over all the rest of you want to shave with the razor. And it does no good to progress to finer grits without setting the bevel. Waste of time. WASTE OF TIME. Also a waste of time to try to shave with the razor. PROVE that the bevel is set. The burr method is not the only way to do it but it is the easiest for a beginner to get right. Just watch your pressure balance. Slightly, deliberately, torquing the edge down onto the hone can be very helpful.

Heavy pressure is the full weight of your arm. Moderate pressure is the weight of your forearm. Light pressure is the weight of your hand. Very light pressure is the weight of a finger. Weight of the razor only means only the weight of the razor. Less than that can be difficult for a beginner so don't even try, except on pasted balsa held vertically, and it accomplishes nothing except at the very very very end of the process.It takes some pressure to set the bevel, and then it takes gradually lighter pressure to dress it up and leave it clean enough for the progression.

If you really want a great edge and you have a reasonable attention span and good reading retention, and if you are able to follow instructions, you might want to go through this thread and also all the threads linked from it. Read them all end to end. Or don't. Whatever.
i get great shaves out of the other two. the third one is a different method but this vintage razor i just cant seem to get a bevel on. usually i use thye arm hair and fingernail test
 
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