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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparq View Post
    Have you considered a natural BBW/Coticule combo as an alternative to synthetic hones? There's one in the classifieds for $140 which I think is a fair price. I have just switched to one and I love it!

    Red bumps: Where did you buy the razor? If it was brand new and not pre-sharpened, it was 100% not shave ready; and/or you used too much pressure. Send it to one of the honemeisters (see their services in classifieds).

    Strop linen: some (if not all) new ones are impregnated for life, no need to paste them. I do not paste mine. Some like them more abrasive and apply pastes. It is a personal preference thing.

    Leather strop: no paste is needed. I rub mine with my palms to make it draw nicely. Some use lather or oil for conditioning.

    You'll hear many different answers here because only strongly opinionated individuals dare to shave with straights! Read the SRP wiki, that will help a lot.
    I baught the equipment from Lee's Razor's. I did not pay the honing charge, but the box did arrive opened. I think this is because of shipping complications though. So, until I get my stones, do you think I can just hone with the two sides of the strop, or should I stop using it until I get stones? The blade is definitely sharp enough to cut skin with less pressure than the weight of the razor.

    What are the advantages/disadvantages of synthetic vs. natural vs. diamond type stones? Considering cost as well?

  2. #12
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    Default Summarizing

    I am summarizing these conversations in the first post of this thread, as these threads can often wonder. Please take a look at the answers from time to time throughout the life of this thread and give opinions/additions if desired.
    Thanks.

  3. #13
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    To assist in answering these questions, below is the razor and strop I purchases online at Lee's Razors.

    Dovo 5/8 "Astrale" Straight Razor
    Illinois Strop Co. Model #127 Razor Strop

  4. #14
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Norton makes a starter kit with the lapping stone the 220/1k and the 4k/8k you can pick this up for $120 all day long just google Norton starter set to find the best price of the day...

    After that you can add a pasted paddle strop with .50 diamond and .50 Cr and be set for life... But that won't happen, you will get hooked and look for a finishing stone to add to the arsenal...

    The only thing that sets the Norton's ahead of the rest for a beginner is that almost all of the old timers here started there, and help is more readily available, when needed and of course the price is pretty good too.

    This of course is JMHO there are better stones out there but not as much help with them....

  5. #15
    Rusty nails sparq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunslingor View Post
    I baught the equipment from Lee's Razor's. I did not pay the honing charge, but the box did arrive opened. I think this is because of shipping complications though. So, until I get my stones, do you think I can just hone with the two sides of the strop, or should I stop using it until I get stones? The blade is definitely sharp enough to cut skin with less pressure than the weight of the razor.

    What are the advantages/disadvantages of synthetic vs. natural vs. diamond type stones? Considering cost as well?
    Hones - comparison table - Straight Razor Place Wiki

    I advice you to send your razor to a honemeister and get at least one more if you want to venture into honing. When you get your hone, you will not be able to tell if it is sharp enough without knowing what sharp really means - honemeisters' edges are excellent benchmarks.

    You cannot hone on a strop, but good stropping will prolong the life of your edge and increase time intervals between honing sessions.

    I would not shave with a dull razor again. It hurts.

    Btw. the combo stone in classifieds now costs only $100. It cannot get better than that!

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunslingor View Post
    My first straight edge arrived a few days ago with a linen/leather strop, shaving mug, soap, and badger brush. I have injoyed the last few shaves, something I have never actually said about shaving before. I have gotten a few red bumps and such.

    Question: Are the red bumps due to the possibility that the razor wasn't sharp enough out of the box? When you purchase a non-pre-honed razor, is it usable out of the box?
    It's possible. Dull blades cause you to use more pressure, which causes razor burn. The bumps may be a form of razor burn.

    What razor are you using by the way?


    Quote Originally Posted by gunslingor View Post
    I think a set of wet stones may help with this initial problem. Opinions? I am only looking to get a very very sharp razor edge currently. Not worrying about repairs at this point. So, I need recommendations. A few sources say that the 4k/8k commbination stone is the best for straight razors. So here is what I "think" I want ideally:

    1k (probably purchased latter)
    4k/8k
    16k
    30k
    It's cheaper initially to just get the razor honed by an expert. There are many guys around here that qualify. Hones aren't cheap, plus there are a lot of different ones, and they tend to be a personal preference.


    Quote Originally Posted by gunslingor View Post
    Question: Is sharpton or norton better for straight razors? Any comparisions or explainations of differences/opinions is appreciated. Cost is a factor, I'd like to spend less than $150, but achieve a much better than average edge.
    They both work fine. I started with the Norton, and now primarily use the Shaptons. A full set of shaptons in the grits you listed will cost you much more than $150. You can get a 4k/8k norton and a paddle strop with 0.5 micron and 0.25 micron diamond and get a really wickedly sharp edge, sharp enough that you may not enjoy shaving with it.


    Quote Originally Posted by gunslingor View Post
    Question about the strop: I have heard "don't put any paste on the linen side", I have also heard "you must put paste on the linen side". Which Is correct?
    There are abrasive pastes, which many recommend that you avoid using on the linen side. There is also a Dovo strop paste that is intended for the linen side, which quite a few guys do use. I use it on my Dovo strop, and personally think it's slightly abrasive. It works pretty well. I think the Dovo linen comes pre-pasted with their white paste.


    Quote Originally Posted by gunslingor View Post
    Question: Can you use the leather side without treating it with the special paste first, or is paste required?
    The yellow leather paste is just leather conditioner. Fromm makes a more liquid type of conditioner, which I prefer. You can use the leather without conditioning.


    Quote Originally Posted by gunslingor View Post
    Question: If grinding stones are graded by the micron size of the particles, what would the leather and linen sides of a strop be? what about when associated pastes are added? I realize it may be in the 30k-60k range or greater, but I'd like a precise definition.
    There are a lot of different leathers, linens, and linen substitutes in common use. And even for pastes and hones there are multiple standard grading systems so you can't directly compare 8k hones between different manufacturers. And even comparing two different abrasives with the exact same size, as measured with the same grading system, you can get two very different edges on the razor. 0.5 micron chrome oxide and 0.5 micron diamond create very dissimilar-shaving edges. I love 0.5 chrome oxide but can't stand 0.5 micron diamond. Natural hones are even worse - there is natural variation in particle size and abrasive strength between different natural hones of the same type, even from the same quarry.


    Quote Originally Posted by gunslingor View Post
    Question: If I go anywhere in the world to any vendor in the world and ask for a 1k/4k/8k/16k/30k 3" sharpening stone, Is there any chance I will get something that can damage my blade? I ask this because I have looked at Nortons site and these stones appear to be for kitchen knifes and not straight razors. I realize this probably isn't a big deal, I just want to make sure there aren't any other variables to consider when selecting a stone other than width and grain size. What about variables concerning diamond, natural, synthetic, ceramic, color, origin, etc.
    All those variables matter. There isn't even a standard definition for grit size - the 8k Norton has approx 3 micron abrasives, while the 8k Shapton uses 1.86 micron abrasives. But I'd rather shave off the 8k Norton (by a slight margin).

  7. #17
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    Default This Is GREAT!

    THanks, THis is all great information! Please keep going if you have anything else at all to add anywhere. I will summarize the conversations in the first post latter tonight.

    A few comments/questions/clarifications in regard to an above post:
    Are there other recommended brands other than sharpton and norton?

    Each, sharpton and norton, appear to grade there stones differently. Me being an engineer I have to quantize as much as possible. So, to me, the real important factors in selecting a stone from vendor to vendor are only the following:
    1. Particle size in microns
    2. particle consistency (natural tend to be more variable, understandably, and synthetic probably has had the particulates precisely deffined in the stone making process)
    3. Particle material (diamon, stone, other?)
    4. width
    5. Origin (synthetic vs. natural)

    I ask the question concerning what the abrasive value of a linen/leather strop is for this reason. if I buy a 30k stone, should this high value be used before the linen side or after it. What about if the linen side has paste? Where should the leather side come in with this 30k stone? What if I buy a 60k stone.? A 120k stone? and so on.

  8. #18
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Honing and stropping are two separate things, sounds like you have one of those slightly OCD brains like mine, some things in straight - razordom are going to drive you loony tunes

    My brain will not allow me to use a natual hone, it drives me crazy that nobody can tell me the exact grit or micon size....

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rajagra View Post
    EDIT> Also don't think you HAVE to use 3" wide hones. Some of the recent threads I've read on these forums make me think that having a hone that matches the razor's width is not only unnecessary, but undesirable. Especially if the blade is not perfectly straight (and none are perfectly straight!) using a X-pattern stroke on a 2 inch hone can be better.
    I agree with your comment. Besides, any basic course in sharpening just about anyting tells you to move in an X pattern. It lengthens the stroke and make the blade fracture at a slight angle inrelation to the shaving direction which, intuitively, is desireable. However, no reason you can't do this with a 3" stone as well.

    One question in regards to this:
    Why do you hone with the blade leading? Ever other blade I have been taught to sharpen (never learned with a razor) you always trial with the blade, as you do with the strop and linen. This seems counter intuitive. I plan to take all the many the experts advice on this, I would just like to know the reason and why it is different than other blades.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by gssixgun View Post
    Honing and stropping are two separate things, sounds like you have one of those slightly OCD brains like mine, some things in straight - razordom are going to drive you loony tunes

    My brain will not allow me to use a natual hone, it drives me crazy that nobody can tell me the exact grit or micon size....
    I think it's probably more of an aspergers syndrome; it runs in the family. It's funny. I am good at artistic things and I am good at scientific methodical things. But when you try and combine the two, I always have a problem.

    Got another question!
    I think the suggestion to go to a honemaster is probably a good one. Okay, where do I find them? I would, ideally, like to bring it in and watch the process if possible. I am in chattanooga TN. I searched honemaster on google. All I found were machine shop type places. Is this where I need to go? My intuition says no.

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