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What's the likely element I need to fix re: sharpening?

Yes first SR and first effort at honing.

Interesting to see the varying input - "tape is fine", "tape is stupid!", etc. - lol. I understand everyone is giving what they believe to be valid advice to be helpful - it's just interesting how certain dynamics seem to manifest in virtually every pursuit whether it's audio recording, auto mechanics, etc.

Why do I use tape? Because I've seen others use it and get perfectly good results and the notion of grinding away part of a razor that I'm not shaving with (unless necessary to fix a flatness problem as I've seen in videos) bothers me.

By a sharpie test I assume you mean going over the bevel with a Sharpie and seeing where it gets worn away and where it gets left when applied to a stone. It won't happen today but I'll give it a go and post pics. I'm sure I can find videos on YouTube of the procedure.

Thanks and happy new year to all!
You don’t use tape because, just like a lot of bevels are not perfectly even (which is why people use a sharpie to see), neither are spines. You set the bevel without tape so you can wear everything flat, so the whole razor sits flush on the stone.

Touching up a razor on a finishing hone does almost nothing to wear away a spine. But you need to make sure it is all true and even in the beginning. Once that is done very little hone wear will happen for years, unless you have to repair damage.
 
Learn to set bevels on razors that you do not consider to be highly valuable. Find a junker on eBay or buy a Gold Dollar P81/1996.

When you get deeper into this, you may want to study the geometry of your razors and use tape to increase the bevel angle. The other reason to use tape is to reduce wear on the spine. When I started, my natural tendency was to apply significantly more pressure on the spine than the edge, grinding down the spine while doing very little to the edge. Using tape allowed me to learn how to use torque to control the balance in pressure across the spine and edge - like a child using training wheels to learn to ride a bike.

There is nothing inherently wrong with training wheels, but you may not want to use them when competing in races.

Gold Dollar P81/1996.

1641048799165.png
 
If you are honing to the edge, look straight down on the edge with magnification, if you see any shiny reflections, that is where the bevels are not meeting or microchips. Unless you have some major problems, you should be able to fully set the bevels with the 4k.

Good point! I am now able to visually differentiate between a well-formed and not well-formed apex using my Belomo 10x triplet loupe, but I am not able to figure out how to describe it and I have not figured out how to take a photo through the loupe using my phone's camera. Another goal for 2022!
 

Slash McCoy

I freehand dog rockets
Good point! I am now able to visually differentiate between a well-formed and not well-formed apex using my Belomo 10x triplet loupe, but I am not able to figure out how to describe it and I have not figured out how to take a photo through the loupe using my phone's camera. Another goal for 2022!

If you want to use your phone camera, you want a clamp-on microscope. Like this one.

There are also a lot of USB microscopes out there that are "good enough" for taking edge pics, for under $20. You could also try clamping your loupe to your phone with a rubber band. Just throwing that out there, so if you try it, let us know how well it works or doesn't.
 
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I'm still learning honing myself, so I'll let others add their experience. The image below shows the sparkle along the edge which you can just see under a good light
IMG_20211230_163418~2.jpg
 
What grit is the blade hone to?

If you load the image into a photo editor and enlarge, you will see the deep angular stria end at the edge in a dark purple spot. That is a chip, more problematic than the fin or burr you see at the edge.

Also look straight down on the edge.

As an experiment strop the razor on linen and leather, about 10 laps each and take another photo to see if much of the burr comes off.
 
Yes first SR and first effort at honing.

Interesting to see the varying input - "tape is fine", "tape is stupid!", etc. - lol. I understand everyone is giving what they believe to be valid advice to be helpful - it's just interesting how certain dynamics seem to manifest in virtually every pursuit whether it's audio recording, auto mechanics, etc.

Why do I use tape? Because I've seen others use it and get perfectly good results and the notion of grinding away part of a razor that I'm not shaving with (unless necessary to fix a flatness problem as I've seen in videos) bothers me.

By a sharpie test I assume you mean going over the bevel with a Sharpie and seeing where it gets worn away and where it gets left when applied to a stone. It won't happen today but I'll give it a go and post pics. I'm sure I can find videos on YouTube of the procedure.

Thanks and happy new year to all!
There is good advice offered on the forms but personally I'm glad I learned before I joined any of the forms. I would have either gotten paralysis by over analysis or been too intimidated to even start.

At the end of the day it's just sharpening to me. Blade and stone connected to the mind. Look at what is happening, get a feel for the blade on the hone and check the progress. Barring a problem child razor there is no reason even a beginner can't produce a nice edge.
 
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