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Thread: Transitioning from tools to razors

  1. #1
    Chisels are not for shaving
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    Default Transitioning from tools to razors

    Hi. Noob here.
    In Covid, I picked up sharpening and now have a house full of superb kitchen knives, woodworking chisels and mirror sharp planes. When I came across this treasure, I couldnít resist and sharpened oneÖ then I read a bit, sharpened another and honed it. Both cut paper and arm hair but neither will shave (safely)

    I get it. Straight razors are not chisels.

    So next steps are to find a shave ready blade to see what Iím missing. I might pick up a disposable and recommendations welcome.

    But I really prefer to learn sharpening/honing. Itís quite relaxing and the sound of steel on stone is deeply soothing.

    I think Iím missing something in my toolsetÖ
    Hereís what Iíve been hacking at:
    • 500/1000 boy scout whetstone for repairs
    • 1000 wet paper
    • 2000 wet paper
    • DMT Fine diamond
    • DMT extra fine is amazing for tools but razors donít ďsingĒ on it
    • Something is missing here (gap of 6-8k?)
    • Naniwa 12000
    • Strop canvas
    • Strop leather


    My practice razor is sharper than anything in this house but still wonít cut anything but armhair.

    Youíre all advanced and this is tons of fun. Be nice

    Thanks
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Johntoad57's Avatar
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    Welcome and nice razors! You'll get lot's of feedback on expensive stones that you need. But not really. I don't use expensive stones nor do I own them so I can't give you any advice about them. However, I use simple marble plates with diamond paste and for a finishing stone, I use a slate roack that I found in the potomac river. My edges are crisp and smooth. But most important, they work for me and my face.

    That's the secret! Know your face and what works! When you have something that works, stick with it. My Grandfather taught me the riddle of steel many years ago and it has served my needs all these years. If Outback gives you advice, you should listen to him. He is a master!
    Semper Fi !

    John

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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    Welcome.
    So the old standard from many days ago was Norton 1, 4, 8K. With that you can get great shaving edges. Once you learn that progression, you can branch out and chase down many rabbits holes. Basically once your foundation skills are in place, it time to experiment. I learned on all top quality NOS blades. They are not as plentiful as they once were. Remember you are trying to learn to hone. Cheap junk from China and Pakistan is going to teach you how to repair messed up grinds, now how to hone. Also there are many factors in shaving and the edge is one of them. You also need to learn how to strop without messing up the edge. Enjoy the journey. Having a tool background should provide you with both a good background and some bad habits
    It's not what you know, it's who you take fishing!

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    No, razors are not chisels.
    I am a Carpenter of of over 30 years. Glowing plane blades and chisels can be damn sharp but not even close to a razor.
    I would suggest some type of magnification to start even before stones. Seeing what is going on at the edge before moving forward will save a lot of frustration and time.

    You need a decent bevel setter. The boy scout stone is NOT it.
    I suggest the shapton 1.5K
    You will need a decent mid grit stone. The paper is NOT it. Paper could work so long as it is dead flat stuck to something otherwise it may actually dull or round the edge. A 4k or similar will do - even the naniwa 3k.
    The naniwa 12k is a decent stone but won't make up for what you are using now.

    What I suggest is a minimum.
    Having a properly honed razor to compare to is a very good idea. Post roughly where you are located and see if someone is close that you can send a razor to.

  5. #5
    32t
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    Quote Originally Posted by RezDog View Post
    Welcome.
    So the old standard from many days ago was Norton 1, 4, 8K. With that you can get great shaving edges. Once you learn that progression, you can branch out and chase down many rabbits holes. Basically once your foundation skills are in place, it time to experiment. I learned on all top quality NOS blades. They are not as plentiful as they once were. Remember you are trying to learn to hone. Cheap junk from China and Pakistan is going to teach you how to repair messed up grinds, now how to hone. Also there are many factors in shaving and the edge is one of them. You also need to learn how to strop without messing up the edge. Enjoy the journey. Having a tool background should provide you with both a good background and some bad habits
    I am 100% with this and it looks like you already have tape on one of your blades. Theat is the thing I would add is to use tape while you are learning. After you are proficient I can see the side for not using it but not while you are learning.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    A decent loupe is in fact a great idea. I love mine and often forget to add that when talking about honing equipment. It is the easiest way to learn what you are needing your edge to be.
    It's not what you know, it's who you take fishing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RezDog View Post
    A decent loupe is in fact a great idea. I love mine and often forget to add that when talking about honing equipment. It is the easiest way to learn what you are needing your edge to be.
    Otherwise you finish honing only to find out it's not very good and you have no idea why.
    It's guess work and that sucks!!
    I have a 15x illuminated loupe from lee valley and I love that thing. True 15x mag.
    I can see micro chips that can't be felt when shaving - very small.
    Seeing what is happening is the key. Knowing why is another thing but that can be asked.
    32t and outback like this.

  8. #8
    Chisels are not for shaving
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    You’re all so generous. Again, transitioning from tools is quite a leap.

    I didn’t expect to challenge the rough bevel Boy Scout stone. Thought the shoulder solved for that. But now that I think about it, it’s too small especially for a beginner. It did come in handy to repair a wave (smile and frown on the practice blade)

    I didn’t expect any challenges with paper on the mirror.

    Then there’s definitely a 4-8k gap. The 12k gives a nice mirror but I’m probably just filling it up.

    Is anyone near Madison Wisconsin? I can trade beer or something to try a shave ready blade momentarily. This practice blade will cut paper in 1 mm strips…. So maybe it’s technique?

    As for stropping, this is all new to me so I’ll hit the forums and YouTube.

    So now I’ll off to Arkansas to find a perfectly flat soapstone naw… not even sure how to flatten such a find. But I do have a slab of marble… good ideas to try.
    Is that your cheese? No? Really? It's nacho cheese?

  9. #9
    Chisels are not for shaving
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    Adding loupe…15x is enough? Ok. On iit boss
    Is that your cheese? No? Really? It's nacho cheese?

  10. #10
    32t
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scatterjoy View Post
    This practice blade will cut paper in 1 mm strips…. So maybe it’s technique?
    I would love to see the reaction but not be within a mile of you and many here if you took one of their freshly honed blades to a piece of paper!

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