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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Jun 2005
    New York, NY
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    Default Looking for some hone suggestions

    Hello citizens of SRP,

    I've been lurking here on and off for about as long as I can remember but I only recently got my first razor a couple months back (from Bob Keyes, thank you SRP for mentioning his name repeatedly, if not for his site I probably would have procrastinated on this for a long longer).

    To make a long story short, after my razor got dull following a few months of use, I bought a Chinese 12k from open_razor. It seems like a really nice rock but I don't really know what I'm doing, and I somehow tilted the blade while doing my first clumsy rendition of an X-pattern, which I'm pretty sure wrecked everything because now I can't even shave arm hair. Ok fine, I also took it to a 4000 stone after my first trouble, and then to a 1000 stone, things just kept getting worse and now I'm posting here. Of course, I should have stopped and asked for help before going to the 4k, but instead I ignored the little warning voice in the back of my head. At least nobody got hurt.

    I would like to get this thing back into shape because every additional day I pick up the Gillette Fusion I am reminded of failure. Obviously I can send it to a honemeister but I didn't get that 12k for nothing. I think I should be able to figure this out with the right equipment. Also I have some stones already, so I figure I can just build on those, no?

    Here's what I've got:

    -King 800/4000
    -Mizuyama 1000
    -Chinese 12k with slurry stone
    -Some kind of natural nagura (at least, that's what they called it at the time, I can't remember where I got it but it was sold as a sort of slurry stone, I think. I bought it online when I first got into kitchen knives. I haven't figured out a use for it, but it's nice to look at and makes me feel like a Real Knife Guy)
    -Some kind of stone flattener, I think by Suisin (I bought it at Korin, the texture resembles a cinder block, it's flat on one side and has a pattern of broad diagonal cuts on the other)

    So my questions:

    1. What hones/stones/flattening gear would you buy in my situation? I kind of like the idea of a GlassStone since I've heard those give strong feedback. I suspect feedback might be a good thing considering I don't know what I'm doing when it comes to razor honing. But, I have also heard that the DMT 8000 is really excellent, highly effective, and low maintenance.

    2. I think I should get a coarse DMT or Atoma because my current flattener is a bit slow. Would you agree?

    3. Should I invest in a loupe?

    Hopefully this wasn't too long of a post.

  2. #2
    Senior Member sebell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    San Francisco
    Thanked: 144


    You've got a good set of kit there -- all I would add is a DMT D8C
    to make sure your stones are flat and smooth. A loupe can help,
    but you could get by with the sharpness tests and the marker test.

    The most important thing that you need to do is get another razor
    (it doesn't have to be an expensive one) and make sure that one
    of the two that you now have is honed by a honemeister. Practice
    your honing on the razor that you don't mind removing just a tad
    extra metal on, and keep the honemeister blade for shaving and
    for comparison with the blade you're sharpening yourself.

    Make sure to scour the wiki for all of the knowledge that's available,
    be patient, and keep us up to date with your progress and any
    questions you have along the way!

    - Scott

  3. #3
    Senior Member paco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Russellville Ar. from NEW ORLEANS, LA.
    Thanked: 172


    Welcome, Since you seem to have really dulled the edge try this from the Wiki and I'm sure others will have some input for you. Category:Straight Razor Maintenance - Honing & Stropping - Straight Razor Place Wiki
    Consider where you will spend ETERNITY !!!!!!
    Growing Old is a necessity; Growing Up is Not !

  4. #4
    I used Nakayamas for my house mainaman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Des Moines
    Thanked: 2587
    Blog Entries


    For flatener, DMT coarse or the corresponding Atoma will work. I have heard Atoma is better then DMT in the long run but can't comment on that.
    You might want to pick up an 8k stone to transition from 4k to 12k.
    If you want to follow the edge development after each grit a loupe or scope will be a useful tool. Make sure you get a quality loupe/scope because it makes a difference.

  5. #5
    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Thanked: 11039


    Here is the eye loupe I got pointed to and it works really well for me. It is 30x with real good optics. They sell cheaper models but this is worth the $$ IME. I agree with Scott that you would be best served sending the one razor to a honemeister and working on others to get the honing down. Also that an 8k would be a good thing to have in between the 4 and the 12. That is quite a jump. Matter of fact, I would say it is essential.

    Here is a video of Lynn honing at a recent SRP get together. Note the circles that Lynn is doing and the x strokes. See the SRP Wiki for threads on bevel setting and pyramids in the razor honing section.

    Take some black 'magic' marker and apply it to your edge and see if your stroke is efficient in having the edge make contact with the hone from heel to point. It it is not you'll need to modify your stroke until it is. The TNT for the bevel setting and then the TPT for sharpening are indications of progress that you'll do well to master.

    BTW, feedback in the sense that a knife sharpener understands it and what you get honing razors are two different kangaroos so forget what you learned about honing knives and check out the material on straight razors. Welcome to SRP.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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