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Trouble with bevel setting and finishing

Hey guys, I have a sort of complicated question about bevel setting and finishing.

So, say I'm finishing on my jnat with a blade that I know is warped and I think I'm done, then strop and try the hht, but I'm only passing the hht along a small portion of the edge while the rest of the edge seems to have lagged behind. Now, even though these duller portions of the edge aren't passing hht, they are still noticeably sharper than after I finished setting the bevel and will cut arm hair much easier than the 1k edge. So, if those dull portions of the edge have increased in sharpness from the 1k, does that mean that the bevel was indeed set properly and my problem lies within my finishing? Or is it possible to have an increase in sharpness even if your bevel wasn't set? One guy on reddit told me he knew his bevel was set if he noticed an increase in sharpness coming off his next stone in his progression. Do you find this to be true? Also, in regards to these duller portions of my edge, should I just return to the jnat with a fresh slurry and hone some more until they are sharp or do I run the risk of dulling the whole blade? Basically I'm asking; How long can you keep honing on your jnat before it becomes counterproductive and you end up setting the edge back? (I know there's no formula, but surely you can't just keep going and going right?) And if you find that you have set the edge back, what should you do? I go from a 1k naniwa to 5k naniwa to tomo. Also, I check my bevel by shaving arm hair. Would you say that's a good way to check? I don't like the other methods like tpt and tnt cause I can't really tell what I'm supposed to feel.
 
Nope

No

Negative

Nada

Do not move on until you *KNOW* the current grtit level is set.

This is what makes the burr method so useful. A lot of people will tell you that "raising a burr only wastes steel". This is a misnomer. Techincally, it is sortof kindof correct that the amount of steel in the burr would be useful edge steel, in "Magical Christmas Land" (tm) where you could tell for certain that you had formed an apex properly from heel to toe, and then refined it thoroughly, all without a burr.

However, here in the real world, the amount of steel spent on making darned sure you got your apex right to begin with is steel well spent, and steel you will only have to spend the once. Did you spend that micron of edge on something other than shaving? Sure. Is the peace of mind you bought with that bit of steel worth more than the shaves it -might- have provided in "Magical Christmas Land" (tm)? Absolutely.

Raise the burr on one side from toe to heel. Then grind on the other side until the burr is moved over to the other side, again from toe to heel. Only then can you be sure you set the bevel well enough to move on.

Give another read through the "The Key" and "The Method" posts. They won't lead you astray.
 
I’m fairly new to using a straight razor however; I have been actively attempting to sharpen/hone both a quality and inexpensive razor that were not ready to use by any stretch of the imagination when acquired.

The two most important criteria that must be met else all subsequent efforts are for not:

1. The razor must be flat.
2. The stone/hone must be flat.

If your blade is warped it doesn’t meet this requirement.

I am going to go say something that many will find inappropriate...I use the DMT EE Corse lapping plate to flatten razors that don’t meet 1 above. Yes is scratched the blade. Since this is not an issue for me, I “grind” through all of the customary processes.

When the blade and stone are flat the amount of pressure added seems to be of little concern.

Also, I only use water when necessary for lubrication.

I’m guessing it took about 2 months of routine investigation, trial and error and not concerning myself with a damaged blade (it was utterly unusable when received in “shave ready” condition) that led to “process”.

At the moment, it appears that if 1 and 2 above are met, then you can be trained to sharpen/hone quickly.

This resukts in a tapered blade. Sightly narrower st the toe than heal and uniform between.

Creating a convex or concave bevel is beyond my ability at the moment.

I’m not sure if this answered your question however; I hope it helps.
 

Slash McCoy

I freehand dog rockets
Hey guys, I have a sort of complicated question about bevel setting and finishing.

So, say I'm finishing on my jnat with a blade that I know is warped and I think I'm done, then strop and try the hht, but I'm only passing the hht along a small portion of the edge while the rest of the edge seems to have lagged behind. Now, even though these duller portions of the edge aren't passing hht, they are still noticeably sharper than after I finished setting the bevel and will cut arm hair much easier than the 1k edge. So, if those dull portions of the edge have increased in sharpness from the 1k, does that mean that the bevel was indeed set properly and my problem lies within my finishing? Or is it possible to have an increase in sharpness even if your bevel wasn't set? One guy on reddit told me he knew his bevel was set if he noticed an increase in sharpness coming off his next stone in his progression. Do you find this to be true? Also, in regards to these duller portions of my edge, should I just return to the jnat with a fresh slurry and hone some more until they are sharp or do I run the risk of dulling the whole blade? Basically I'm asking; How long can you keep honing on your jnat before it becomes counterproductive and you end up setting the edge back? (I know there's no formula, but surely you can't just keep going and going right?) And if you find that you have set the edge back, what should you do? I go from a 1k naniwa to 5k naniwa to tomo. Also, I check my bevel by shaving arm hair. Would you say that's a good way to check? I don't like the other methods like tpt and tnt cause I can't really tell what I'm supposed to feel.

You can have a good bevel on one side of the blade and not the other. It will pass most of the bevel tests but will not improve as much as it should through the progression. What you have is a burr deflected toward the weak side, which is a slight concavity, longitudinally. What has happened is that in some spots you have refined and polished the bevel surface on one side only, and in those spots on the other side you only removed what burr protruded through the bevel plane. This will be very small but it is there. Small enough to cut better than a raw bevel, maybe, but not up to the potential cutting power of the midrange or finishing hone in question. Go back to the bevel setter and give it some more action. Study your scratch pattern. Try leading with more heel forward angle, or less, than usual, so you can tell the new scratches from the old. Try the sharpie test as well, but when you are REALLY close but not quite there, the sharpie may still be stripped away. You can try Prussian Blue layout fluid, which makes a thinner layer and more resistant to stripping. It is used by machinists for checking mating surfaces where they rub or contact, and for making highly visible layout lines by scratching an awl through it. You will want a strong loupe or maybe a 60x to 100x USB microscope. You can of course avoid all that by careful use of the burr method of bevel setting. I recently had a razor hone up the way yours did and an unaided visual examination revealed a large spot where the bevel on one side was not polished at all. My fault for not carefully checking the entire length of the blade for the burr. A couple dozen laps at 1k and a new progression and all was right in the world.
 
Don’t overthink it. As @Slash McCoy said, reset the bevel and carry on. These things happen, just how it goes and even the best honemeisters don’t always “nail it”.

Personally I use the TNT all the time on new razors, I find it works perfectly for me. You must ensure your finger nail is wet, starting at the heel and slowly drag the edge (weight of the razor only) across the nail. As long as I feel the blade “stick” or “bite” continuously along the entire edge I’m good to move on. If I feel anything other than consistent bite the bevel is not there and it’s back the the stone until it’s “there”.

As was mentioned earlier, read “the key” and “the method”.
 
Warped razors are a real pain to hone on a flat stone -- so is a smiling razor. I just discovered I have an old Wade and Butcher smiler, it would take eons and make a mess of the etching to get a straight edge.

Razors like these work best when honed with rolling x-strokes on fairly narrow hones. That way, you can hone the edge it's entire length without getting the frown you get from a warped razor. One of the reasons narrow razor hones exist. Warps require a narrow hone so that you get the center on the "hollow" side honed. A wide hone will not allow the edge to get to the stone.

Takes a bit more skill, but the end result is a nice sharp edge that shaves well.
 
For smiling razor practice get a few gds and grind a smile into them and have at it. This way you don't trash a nice razor in the process of learning. I prefer to hone the razors for what they are. Smiling, warped, warts and all. Lol.
 
It's very possible that your flubbed HHT is the result of uneven stropping or not enough stropping.
A true lack of sharpness is usually an indicator of 'missed' ground work or possibly insufficient midrange. You wont/can't make up for that on the finisher. Check your progress as you go through your stones - make sure you are hitting the bevel evenly - this can be done on a warped blade with a rolling stroke, but you will need exponentially more 'laps' to equal the same work you'd be doing if the blade was not warped. This is one area where people miss; you need a LOT of rolling strokes to equal 1 regular stroke because only a fraction of the blade is on the stone at any given time.

Honing is mostly common sense applied to a very simple process. I advocate avoiding recipes or methods and just putting the steel on the stone and paying attention. It really isn't rocket science; men shaved fine for hundreds of years. It wasn't until the internet showed up that, all of a sudden' sharpening a razor became an overly complicated mess that required a paint by numbers scheme to get through it.
 
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