honing issue

Use a straight. You know it makes sense.
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Re: honing issue

Post by drmoss_ca » Mon May 25, 2020 2:36 pm

No, don't use pastes between stones! Red rouge, ferric oxide, is generally 3-5μ size, so that translates to 4.5 -8k grit size. I only use it when I can't get an edge with stones - usually incompetence on my part, but sometimes because of a warped or mis-ground blade.

After hones or stones, then you might go into green chrome (0.5μ/60k grit) or diamond pastes. I love the shaves from green paste.
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Re: honing issue

Post by Henry_L » Wed May 27, 2020 6:45 pm

What would be useful for me now is to locate a web source where I could view 60X razor edges, well finished and not. I'm quite green when it comes to magnified blade checking.

Help from forum viewers much appreciated.

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Re: honing issue

Post by drmoss_ca » Thu May 28, 2020 4:55 am

I used to have a USB microscope that was little better than a child's toy, but it would allow easy photos of 60x and 200x edges. When it broke, I bought what looked like a better one, but it turns out it can't magnify worth a damn. So I use the old Olympus binocular microscope I had in the office, but I can't photograph through it. Here are some 200x edges that are far nicer than most of us can achieve - I didn't hone these, Tim Zowada did:

Image

Image

I look at those and feel like this:

Image
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Re: honing issue

Post by Henry_L » Thu May 28, 2020 12:50 pm

I suspect honing and alcohol don't mix :)

I'll inspect my two working straights first, then the Oxford. Maybe I'll see something I can report. When searching the web I found a few edge images from above (bevel pointing up instead of laying on side). Is there an advantage to this?

Also do you think a balsa strop would be helpful, I may try pastes (red) at this point. For paste stropping I should go a number of single side strops, flip and do same, then a reduced number of single side strops redux, finishing with alternating X stropping? As I noted earlier I did order an Arkansas transulent and it will be on hand.

Currently I'm resting my hands (bit of the a. thing plus I'm beginning to feel like a member of the Philip Glass ensemble) The Oxford's had a lot of honing and I'm thinking of taping the spine before hitting any stone again (any reason not to?).

Quantum thanks drmoss --

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Re: honing issue

Post by drmoss_ca » Thu May 28, 2020 2:50 pm

Henry_L wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 12:50 pm
I suspect honing and alcohol don't mix :)
I can tell you that straight shaving and alcohol don't...
I'll inspect my two working straights first, then the Oxford. Maybe I'll see something I can report. When searching the web I found a few edge images from above (bevel pointing up instead of laying on side). Is there an advantage to this?
None I can think of. The point of using a microscope is to see that the edge had no nicks, no wire edge, and that the scratches are as fine as can be.
Also do you think a balsa strop would be helpful, I may try pastes (red) at this point. For paste stropping I should go a number of single side strops, flip and do same, then a reduced number of single side strops redux, finishing with alternating X stropping? As I noted earlier I did order an Arkansas transulent and it will be on hand.
Pastes aren't a very good substitute for honing. I know, I have used them that way when I have a stubborn razor, but I can't recommend it as a habit. Better keep them to refine what you have made on the hones. Red paste is equivalent to something like 8k grit size, and a step backwards from most finishing hones. As I said before, the green paste after the hones is the most useful. If you want to use a paste, a balsa paddle is cheaper than a dedicated strop for sure.
My second translucent Arkansas arrived today, and I spent some time lapping it to 1200 on a DMT. When the 2k silica carbide turns up I'll finish the job. It's not an impressive stone the way it comes, and all Arkansas stones were rated as rubbish by straight shavers until it was discovered that lapping the two best kinds (black surgical and translucent) changes their qualities profoundly. I guess I'm saying you will need to lap yours too! It's not hard - a pencil, some water, something like 2k wet and dry paper and a flat surface like a granite or ceramic tile that you don't mind being scratched. Then time and elbow grease.
Currently I'm resting my hands (bit of the a. thing plus I'm beginning to feel like a member of the Philip Glass ensemble) The Oxford's had a lot of honing and I'm thinking of taping the spine before hitting any stone again (any reason not to?).
If you do, you'll always have to do so. It might get you there quicker, but you won't have a razor that gets quite as sharp. The only valid reason for doing it is to protect the spine - if it has a nice gold wash and you want to preserve it, or if your concerned about overmuch hone wear.
Quantum thanks drmoss --
You're welcome!
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Re: honing issue

Post by Henry_L » Thu May 28, 2020 5:17 pm

drmoss, what's your view of the smaller triangular coticule used as a slurry stone -- what range of stones would it be applicable to? Or would one be better off going with coticule honing?

Thx.

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Re: honing issue

Post by drmoss_ca » Fri May 29, 2020 11:26 am

People who like to hone with slurry generally use a bout of the same stone as the one they hone upon to raise a slurry. They progressively dilute the slurry in the hope it will act as a finer and finer abrasive. Variables include the skill and experience of the honer, and the kind of stone used. Many soft stones (and for these purposes we'll call a stone soft if it can raise a slurry) have relatively large abrasive particles, and when freed from the matrix they resided in, they are going to rumble around under the delicate edge of your blade. The gritty feeling you get is the edge being chipped. I don't really care for it. That might be a lack of skill and experience on my part, or just having tried it on the wrong stones.

If you are now suggesting using the bout of coticule as a slurry stone on non-coticule stones or hones, I'll tell you not to get weird. I've heard of people doing it, but there again I've heard of lots of things on the internet I wouldn't touch with a bargepole. All that's needed for this razor is a simple honing on ordinary hones. No pastes, no slurries, no weirdness. If you are at the stage where I once was many years ago, where you try and try but it won't come together, let someone else hone it. If it still won't come, you may have a bad razor with a strange grind. If it does sharpen up OK, you know you need more practice. I don't want to see you throwing money at new hones, pastes, strops and all when none of them may be needed. It's amazing how much money can flow away doing that, and sometimes for little or no return!
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Re: honing issue

Post by Henry_L » Fri May 29, 2020 1:13 pm

Thanks drmoss -- likely I would have gone for the Arkansas translucent anyway, as all my stones are corundum and its good to have some alternates. I am thinking of adding an Arkansas black to my arsenal, again not specifically for the Oxford. I already have a couple of lapping stones, 600 & 8000. Have you found the blacks useful?

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Re: honing issue

Post by drmoss_ca » Fri May 29, 2020 2:39 pm

I've never used one. Black and translucent hard Arkansas stones are very similar, with varying impurities that make the blacks - well, black. There's such variation, as I understand it, that a good black can be better than a poor translucent, but the average translucent will give better edges than the average black. You will find people who swear that's all wrong etc. Some people get very hot under the collar about their favourite stones.
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interim update

Post by Henry_L » Sat May 30, 2020 7:37 pm

Drmoss -- drawing from your experiment I honed the Oxford on a Belgian Blue stone using your 20/10/5/4/3/2 method, reducing strength and increasing water as I progressed. Then some light alternate honing, then stropping. Still couldn't pass the arm hair test.

The microscope didn't pan out so to date I don't have a 60X view yet. These photos are as high a resolution I could go with my camera. Maybe your eagle eye can see something. I'll get back to you when there's access to 60X. Will continue until either the Oxford or I disintegrate.

Unrelated query: is balsa stropping done without paste?

Thanks again --
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Re: honing issue

Post by brothers » Sat May 30, 2020 9:25 pm

drmoss_ca wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 11:26 am
. . . . I don't want to see you throwing money at new hones, pastes, strops and all when none of them may be needed. It's amazing how much money can flow away doing that, and sometimes for little or no return!
Best advice ever!
Gary

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Re: honing issue

Post by drmoss_ca » Sun May 31, 2020 4:37 am

I don't think anyone strops on balsa without paste. Your razor has slight 'smile' - a convex edge. You should check whether the edge lies flat on the hone all along its length, or whether the razor rocks a little. Even if it does make contact all along the edge (at the same time!), this will need some effort to change the angle of the blade as you travel along the hone. If it it doesn't touch all the edge at once and can rock a little, you have to lift or depress the end you hold part way down the stone until the rest of the blade touches. I dislike honing smiling razors; they end up with a smile and I don't. OTOH, it isn't much of a curve, so it might be OK. The other thing that is a bit suspicious is that on the back of the blade (not the side that says 'Oxford' but the side that says 'Germania') the spine has a honing bevel of varying width. That might be the result of honing with pressure applied with a finger on the spine near the point and a second near the tang (which will eventually cause a smile to develop), or it might be a sign the blade is warped. Probably not an ideal razor to learn to hone on!

You might see how much disagreement can be caused by such a razor in this thread at SRPalace.

Chris
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Re: honing issue

Post by Henry_L » Sun May 31, 2020 2:45 pm

You are correct drmoss. On the "Germany" side of the blade, when the bevel is held flush against the stone there is an ere so slight space at the end of the blade. I rehoned 1K - 8K with small stroke adjustments attempting to address this. There was a noticeable improvement, though not to the point of a satisfactory shave. I'll repeat with a 6K - 8K honing range and see what happens.

Does this irregularity require any adjustments in stropping? Thanks much drmoss.

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Re: honing issue

Post by drmoss_ca » Sun May 31, 2020 3:45 pm

No, not in stropping. This means some serious adjustments to honing technique long before you get near a strop. This is beginning to sound like a blade that a beginner will not hone successfully, nor even many an experienced honer (and I doubt if I could do it). It's officially an awkward b******.

Any blade that rocks along its length when placed 'flat' on a hone is by definition one with incorrect geometry. Some can be rescued by dint of extreme honing effort, some cannot. Even the saved ones will look funny in terms of unevenly worn spines etc. Previous owners of this razor may be responsible, and that's probably true: if it came out of the Germania Works that way it would have been discarded long ago and be just a rusty stain in a midden somewhere. The fact it's still around and not horribly rusty says it was a used razor that has fallen on hard times.
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Re: honing issue

Post by Henry_L » Sun May 31, 2020 4:13 pm

Ebay razor purchases are a riverboat gamble; knew that going in (the successful Wester Bros was also an Ebay acquisition).

Anything I could try with my dremel? :?

thx

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Re: honing issue

Post by drmoss_ca » Sun May 31, 2020 4:19 pm

Dremel? No, not unless you prefer modifying your fingers to modifying a razor.
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Re: honing issue

Post by brothers » Sun May 31, 2020 5:34 pm

I'll be the first to admit much of this is over my head. :lol:
Gary

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Re: honing issue

Post by Henry_L » Sun May 31, 2020 5:53 pm

Understood. Perhaps some experimentation with a file? Here's what I'm working with
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Re: honing issue

Post by drmoss_ca » Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:35 am

With standard honing, that end of the blade will not touch the hone when on that side. On the other side, there might or might also be a gap, and it need not be in the same place. To get that bit, as you push the razor down the hone you would travel halfway (honing the heel end of the edge) then lift the tang slightly to get the elevated stretch of edge near the point down on the stone. It's awkward, results will be imperfect, and you might just be better off congratulating yourself on your new letter knife. The alternative, as mentioned above is to cheat with pastes, and this would have to include aggressive ones like Flexcut Gold. It wouldn't become a good shaver, but it might be made to shave. I think you might be better off learning on a straight straight razor, if you see what I mean.
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Re: honing issue

Post by Henry_L » Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:21 am

That was my modified honing and it produced enough result to encourage me a bit. My relationship with this razor is sorta like Oscar Wilde and the wallpaper.

As I already possess a letter knife (courtesy of Naked Armor) I'll push on here.

Thanks again Drmoss.

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