Finishing via Hones

Finishing via Hones

Using a hone, is the most traditional manner of finishing a razor, and as a tribute to tradition, in this example I will use a natural Escher hone, with a slurry stone, however it's the same general idea/process for most finishing stones, and is identical to the process of finishing a razor with a Belgian Yellow Coticule, or a Thuringian hone.

Step 1

Wet the hone

Step 2

Create a slurry on the stone. To create a slurry, take the slurry stone and using just a slight amount of pressure, rub the slurry stone back and forth across the entire hone. Some prefer to rub the slurry stone against the hone in circular motions, which works great as well, just try to do so evenly across the hone, so as to not create unequal wear in a specific area of the hone, as over time it can have a deleterious impact on the hones flatness.

Once you see a hazy slurry (see circle) you're ready to go to step 3! (Note: this should only take a few seconds)

Grab your razor and get ready to hone.

Step 3

Honing with most finishing stones is going to be just a little different than previously described (Creating the initial bevel & Polishing_and_Establishing_the_Shaving_Sharp_Edge) as most finishing hones are going to be narrower than a 3" wide Norton stone, so an "X" pattern will need to be used. For the "X" patter, you ideally want as much of the razor on the hone as possible throughout the stroke -- so place the razor on the hone as described in previous sections by carefully laying the spine of the razor on the hone (keeping the blade off of the hone). Now, slowly lower the blade flat onto the hone however this time, you are going to lay the razor on the hone with the heel leading, so the razor is NOT straight across the hone as this will allow greater blade to hone contact, and will also be more stable, and easier to keep the razor/spine totally flat against the hone the entire stroke. Obviously, you could not just slide the razor straight across, as that would not sharpen the whole blade, so this is where the "X" pattern comes into play. By sliding the razor across the hone in a diagonal manner (see picture below) the entire blade will be sharpened, and when you roll the razor, picking the edge of the razor off of the hone, and turning the razor around in the opposite direction and perform a DIAGONAL stroke in the opposite direction, you have just made an elongated "X" across the hone as the two strokes (one in each direction) combined look like an "X". Do about 10-15 strokes (in each direction) with absolutely no pressure (at this stage, you want to be as delicate as possible to get the finest edge) which should leave a very polished edge.

Step 4

Take the razor off of the hone, and wash it off with running water, as it will have slurry residue on it.

Step 5

VERY carefully wipe ALL of the water off of the blade with a towel/cloth as shown below. Do not touch the cutting edge with the cloth directly - instead to make sure it is dry, do a very light "stropping" on the towel...

Now, you're ready to strop your razor up, and enjoy a shave!

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