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  1. #1
    Babyface Cornelius's Avatar
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    Default Equipment Needed

    Gents

    Like most guys, I've been using multi-blade throw-away plastic monstrosities that the TV commercials tell me are "razors". In the past, anyway. They did take the beard of, but at the price of bumps and generally irritated feeling skin. Later I tried a Philishave Nivea cream electric razor, which I found quite ok although it felt strange. One day I dropped it and it broke. So I bought a trimmer and just kept a short beard. Problem solved. But you dont always want a beard, so what do you do? Yep, you've guessed it, you look it up online. I bought a 1960 Gillette Adjustable razor and have used it several times. The shave from a single blade is really great, pretty close for having tried it only a handful of times, no hair stuck in it after an inch of shaving - great! But... well, I'm a purist, I want something more, something less conventional than a "safety" razor, something more "old school", something more, err, dangerous. I want a straight razor. So here I am LOL

    I've read all the wikis, newbie threads, honing guides, etc. on here and elsewhere, but it's a lot of information to process when you havent got the razor, hones, strop, etc. and cannot relate to what you're reading, so I went to a knife shop and bought a Dovo razor, a paddle and 2 pastes. This helped in the sense that I now realize that I need 3 hones, another paddle and more paste before I can even start using it.

    Could someone please confirm the following shopping list?
    Norton 4k/8k stone
    Chinese 12k stone
    Sharpton 16k stone
    Diamond plate to flatten the stones
    4 sided paddle with 4 kinds of gradually finer pastes (or is 2 sides enough with the 16k stone?)
    strop

    Already bought a shave ready razor from someone on the forum to know what it should be like.

    Your advice is greatly appreciated.

    C.

    PS: Why dont they make the paddles the width of the razors? Is there an advantage to honing diagonally?

  2. #2
    Stubble Slayer
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    Default

    Sounds like you have done your homework. I think the list is fine, but if you are going to get the 16k Shapton, don't bother with the chinese 12K. A 2 sided paddle is all you would need, but if you want to experiment with different pastes then a 4 sided paddle may be a good idea.
    Honing diagonally(x-pattern) is done to ensure that the entire cutting edge is evenly sharpened. Few razors will start out perfecly flat and true.

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    Cornelius (12-07-2008)

  4. #3
    Cheapskate Honer Wildtim's Avatar
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    Default

    Lets see. Your list is a bit of overkill for someone who hasn't honed before. You have a paddle and DOVO's red and black paste right?

    Proper use of that alone stands a pretty good chance of getting your factory sharp razor to shave pretty well. You shave ready razor can be maintained for quite a while with the black paste alone. Alternatively just a little Chromium Oxide paste would work well for this purpose.

    I would were I you, either learn to properly use the tools you already have, or purchase only the bare minimum (the 4/8K Norton) and learn to use that.

    I personally feel that to many newbees dive in and buy far more than they would have to making up for foor technique with more and more hones.

  5. #4
    The original Skolor and Gentileman. gugi's Avatar
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    Yes, skip the 12k stone. I've never used it but I'm thinking you may be able to maintain your razors with the shapton only. Still I think it's a good idea to pick up the norton even if as a learning tool only. If you end up not needing it in the long run, you shouldn't have problem reselling it and recovering some of it's cost. You can use sandpaper to flatten the hones (not sure about the shapton), but I find DMT8C much better.

    I'd skip the paddle strop as well. They seem quite redundant in addition to the norton and shapton. In fact I'd venture to say that the shapton won't make any difference until you can get a razor to shave well with the norton. But then, again, if you have the budget and want it, may as well pick it up along with the norton.

    And yes, you most certainly want to hone in x-pattern even on a wide hone.
    Last edited by gugi; 12-08-2008 at 12:31 AM.

  6. #5
    The original Skolor and Gentileman. gugi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildtim View Post
    I personally feel that to many newbees dive in and buy far more than they would have to making up for foor technique with more and more hones.
    That's true for most people, here, not just newbies. I recently dug out my norton to give it another spin after some neglect. As an exercise I thought I'd try to hone on it a razor and see if I can get anywhere close as one of the norton masters who honed a twin of that razor some time ago.
    Well, it ain't easy. Not even with finer stones... Of course, I don't consider myself very good at honing, but I've been doing it for some time now.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildtim View Post
    Lets see. Your list is a bit of overkill for someone who hasn't honed before. You have a paddle and DOVO's red and black paste right?

    Proper use of that alone stands a pretty good chance of getting your factory sharp razor to shave pretty well. You shave ready razor can be maintained for quite a while with the black paste alone. Alternatively just a little Chromium Oxide paste would work well for this purpose.

    I would were I you, either learn to properly use the tools you already have, or purchase only the bare minimum (the 4/8K Norton) and learn to use that.

    I personally feel that to many newbees dive in and buy far more than they would have to making up for foor technique with more and more hones.
    Wildtim has a good point here, theres no need to buy everything on your list before you know if straights are working for you, and even then you could get by with a Norton and a pasted paddle for a long time.

    You'll end up with far to many hones soon enough

  8. #7
    French Toast Please! sicboater's Avatar
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    Default Good points all around...

    It sounds like you are wanting to go from un-honed to completely shave ready.

    If that is the case, it could be done a lot less expensively than your list.

    Were it me, and it was a year ago, I would go with a coticule combo or a norton 4k/8k. You will be able to get a shave ready blade off of either of those after learning the honing process. My first choice out of the two is the coticule as it is extremely versatile. It serves as a great finishing hone and when used with varying amounts of slurry, it is great for sharpening and polishing a bevel. Coticules tend to help you avoid over honing a razor as well.

    Hope this helps!

    -Rob

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