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Thread: Honing patern

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    Default Honing patern

    This is probably a stupid question but remember I am new. Anyway, I am wondering why when honing the razor on a stone you don't use the same stroke as on a strop (not as fast of course)? That is, why isn't the razor laid flat on the hone at a 90 degree angle, and pushed away from the body and then pulled back? As opposed to what I think I understand, which is the razor being pushed at a 45% angle (still flat on the stone). By the way, I haven't done this.

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    Senior Member sensei_kyle's Avatar
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    Honing works the same way, except with the cutting edge leading the motion. There's a bit of a holy way over X-pattern versus straight away; folks report good results for them either way. I think there are more X-pattern folks around though. Check out the honing info at ClassicShaving.com under the "How to & Why" section.

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    Thanks for the quick reply. Just so I am clear - are you saying that honing can be done the way I am suggesting? I did check out the Classic Shaving info but am still a bit confused.

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    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    Theoretically yes, the idea behind the x pattern or an angled approach is to create angled striations which work against each other when shaving. On one side they go the opposite of the other side of the blade. So straight honing creates this pattern:

    llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll on one side and
    llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll on the opposing side

    Where as with angled or x pattern honing the striations go

    ///////////////////////////////////////// on one side and
    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ on the other side

    This creates a little better whisker cutting action without making the edge quite so sharp the way say a DE cuts by pure sharpness.

    These striations ofcourse are created by the grit in the hone. They exist and have a pattern whether you want them too or not. Most people believe they should be as small as possible, leading us to the current belief that they are not important. Generally, though, I believe there is a nice balance between this and smooth and sharp. Shearing (teeth)+ Sharpness (cutting)+ smoothness (stropping and high grit honing) which = a good quality shave.

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    Face nicker RichZ's Avatar
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    Nice description

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    Thanks for the explanation - it made things really clear. One more question, please, how often should strop dressing be applied to the leather strop (Illinois 827)?

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    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    Its subjective more than objective. You'll strop effectively either way. You'll have more draw with a properly honed razor if you use it more often. For its leather protective quality I'd say about once every 3 months. I add it only if the razor begins flying off the strop. Pretty rare. Sometimes I just want more draw and pull and add a small amount. I'd say, given casual use I probably apply some to mine about every other month, but I like the draw on mine and use it as a BIG indicator of blade sharpness. I won't shave with any razor that doesn't draw on the strop (which requires dressing on my strop to occur).

    I'm sure you'll get lots of differing opinions on this.

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    Senior Member sensei_kyle's Avatar
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    Great responses Alan. I'll add to the strop dressing part. I disassemble the strop if the hardware permits. I apply the strop conditioner (Fromm's is great, although mink oil or neatsfoot oil work well too), rub it in well and then wait 24 hours before reassembling the strop. You can also rub the strop with the palm of your hand for a minute or so each day to help with conditioning & break-in.

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    Hones & Honing randydance062449's Avatar
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    What you are suggesting is referred to as backhoning. Its primary use is to remove a "wire edge" when the blade has been overhoned. A number of us have tried to hone using that stroke but it just does not seem to work as well as the regular, edge leading stroke.


    Quote Originally Posted by rgsccr
    Thanks for the quick reply. Just so I am clear - are you saying that honing can be done the way I am suggesting? I did check out the Classic Shaving info but am still a bit confused.
    Randolph Tuttle, a SRP Mentor for residents of Minnesota & western Wisconsin

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