Honing Experiment

Use a straight. You know it makes sense.
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drmoss_ca
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Re: Honing Experiment

Post by drmoss_ca »

It took me two goes to get the TZ as I like it. It turned out to be one of those blades that still do better with the Spyderco UF after the Arkansas. I suspect if I spent long enough on the Arks it would end up in the same place. So yesterday's shave was OK, but not special, and after the UF, today's was excellent. So I took out another Livi Damasteel and have it honed up for tomorrow.
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Re: Honing Experiment

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Since my last post I have alternated Livi Damasteels with Zowada damascus razors. Each has been touched up on the transArk with water, and then water/detergent, finally going to the blackArk with glycerine diluted about 50:50 with water/detergent. All have come up beautiful, and none of them have needed the Spyderco since my last post. I also have a couple of ERNs honed up and ready to go, and a pair of Red Points after them. Then there's all the classic Solingen razors, several more exotic TIs, the modern day (ie ~15-20 years ago) Dovos, the Harts, Filis and some more Sheffields. I'm rather glad I gave so many away. I might have everything honed before it comes to a halt in September.
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Re: Honing Experiment

Post by brothers »

Thank you for this thread. Shaving with a favorite straight razor is one of my most memorable delights. Armed with your positive experiences with the Arkansas stones following your finishing stones, I broke one of my long standing rules and bought a pair from Sharpening Supplies and used them as well as I knew how before I began my month long schedule of 15 favorite razors. I got the 4" x 1" sizes due to the very fair prices which include a nicely done leather pouch for each stone. Hard translucent and hard black. I used them wet and over time I'll probably get ambitious and experiment with the detergent, glycerin etc. that seem to be finding favor with your razors. I've been cutting myself for reasons unknown but there is one possibility that comes to mind - maybe they're sharper than I'm used to and I haven't used them enough to compensate with an adjustment of my technique and resulting muscle memory. I've really got to learn why so many cuts all of a sudden and how to avoid that in the future.
Gary

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Re: Honing Experiment

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It's critically important, Gary, that they be lapped to a 2k surface if you want the results I'm getting. You can do it with a lot of 2k wet & dry paper, or with 2k silica carbide powder on some float glass. I have not yet found a razor able to resist them, and I've had my share of honing failures over the years. Now they make me feel like some kind of honing god without putting in any effort!

The absolute best source for such stones is https://www.danswhetstone.com/ and I'd recommend them without hesitation (and without payment either!)
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Re: Honing Experiment

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I'm pretty sure I have some 2k paper, but if not, I'll get some.
Gary

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Re: Honing Experiment

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I flattened the Arkansas stones with new 2K paper mounted on a marble slab. Following that I honed 4 razors which are to be used over the next 10 days beginning tomorrow: Boker King Cutter; R.Wade (1812 or so); Puma Inox; and Hart. Starting on the transArk with water, and then water/detergent, finally going to the blackArk with glycerin diluted about 50:50 with water/detergent.
Last edited by brothers on Tue Jul 21, 2020 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gary

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Re: Honing Experiment

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Sounds good! Happy shaving!
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Re: Honing Experiment

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The result this morning with the Boker was very encouraging. Looking forward to the next SR shave on Friday.
Gary

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Re: Honing Experiment

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Slowly working my way through the box of Harts, and finding they are all pretty sharp already. So I've just put them on the black Arkansas with glycerine/detergent/water for about 60 laps, half straight and half x-strokes. Seems to be working fine.
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Re: Honing Experiment

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Harts all done, another Filarmonica, an ERN, and today a pair of Red Points visited Arkansas:

Red_Points.jpg
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Re: Honing Experiment

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I think you are back with the General now, Gary. How did you get on with the Arkansas stones?
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Re: Honing Experiment

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Chris, the Arkansas stones seemed to have given the razors extra dimensions of smoothness and comfort. Some more or less than other razors, of course, but noticeable. Just this morning I was thinking about a project that would take a little time, but should be well worth it. I think I should begin to touch up all of my 30 razors, with the Arkansas stones coming into play as the final step. I'm grateful to have had the benefit of your experiment, and I really hope others reading this thread might consider it with their own razors, if they haven't already done so.
Gary

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Re: Honing Experiment

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I'm within 30 or 40 razors of doing all mine. I said to Pippa the other day it would make them fetch a higher price. "Why are you selling them?" she asked. "I'm not; you are" I replied. Ha!
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Re: Honing Experiment

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A couple of razors honed differently this last few days - a coticule only. None of them needed a new bevel, so no 1k or 3k involved. I've read for years that a coticule edge is favoured by some. Reputed to be comfortable, though not perhaps as close as an edge can theoretically become.

My experience was different. A shave with an edge that was very forward in declaring its sharpness, wonderful at removing every vestige of stubble, though not as comfortable as possible. It felt rather like a safety razor that was getting too old, but still shaved closer than most. Perhaps I should put it this way: I'd enjoy the edge and the shave more if I went on to finishing stones. Were I to be honing the razor for sale and needed to show the buyer my honing was wonderful, I'd stop at the coticule!

Tomorrow I have another half hollow TI, which has been through the whole process, but the day after I have a Sheffield wedge that has stopped at the coticule. This might be interesting.
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Re: Honing Experiment

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Well, experience showed that a shave straight from a coticule (and strop) is quite acceptable, but the black Arkansas is much nicer still. I have simplified the honing regime, such that a bevel-set is done, if needed, on the Chosera 1k, most of the work on the coticule, and finishing on the black Ark. If the results aren't good enough I repeat the last two and so far no razor has resisted this. No pastes needed. I do strop very thoroughly, with 20 laps (ie 40 back and forth strokes) on Tony Miller linen, the same on Tony Miller latigo, and the same again on a supersmooth Old Dog (from the defunct HandAmerican). Will be experimenting with a Kanayama Llama 80000 in a few days.
I still have six razors from a seven day set of relatively cheap Dovos, eleven Friodurs, and then some odds and ends to do. I don't think I'll bother with all the old King Cutters I've been given; I want to go back to my favourites and compare them with what I've been doing lately. I've honed a new razor every day (on average, sometimes several in a day then resting a bit, but always using a new one each day) since late May. I'm now using three stones I didn't possess when I started, and using a technique I never knew before. And I'm pleased and confident it will deal with most razors I meet, and certainly all the ~150 I still possess.
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Re: Honing Experiment

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Well, I've reached the end of the road in updating all my razors, and I think I've learned a little along the way. First some stats:
115 razors honed, of which 1 good one given away
6 not honed, given away for practice restoration
Of the 115 honed, 3 could not be made to shave because of wonky geometry (the green/yellow fat scaled Friodur, the disappointing custom from Germany, and a Goldedge), and one that doesn't shave because it's not meant to - a Puma microtome ground kamisori style but intended for slicing microscopy specimens - sold to me when I was innocent as a peculiar kind of straight razor!) So 111/115 ended up shaving. Some were a lot easier than others, but none put up much of a struggle.

I started out wanting to try the running water Naniwa 3k, coticule, translucent Arkansas that Mastro Livi used, but by the end of the process I had replaced the 3k with a Chosera 1k, got a much nicer coticule, and swapped a black Arkansas for the translucent. I'm still using back and forth strokes on the first two, transitioning into edge leading strokes, under running water. The Arkansas gets only edge-leading strokes, and I use a solution of detergent and glycerine in water.

I'm looking forward to revisiting my favourite razors now, but it will be hard not to hone one each day! I do have a curious project coming, though, of which I will write elsewhere....
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
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Re: Honing Experiment

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Alright, curiosity project disposed of, and it went as expected.

Now I'm back to razors that have been honed and shaved with this year. But my best and favourite razors were the first to go through the process, and, as I've said, I changed some things along the way. So each day I'm testing the edge and only adding in some time on the black Arkansas if my thumb deems it necessary. Six razors in, only half have had a touch-up. So far, all shaves have been delightful.
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace
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