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  1. #1
    Senior Member 1sgtscot's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Knoxville, TN
    Thanked: 14

    Default got to respect a barber's hone

    I started straight shaving in January this year and it's been a blast. I have had very good shaves for over a month now. Still nick myself occaisionally, but most of the time it is just a smidgen of blood and no pain that shows up after the razor passes by. I think you refer to them as weepers and usually only on the 3rd pass (ATG). As I got started I decided to purchase a relatively inexpensive shave ready vintage razor with strop and thought I would wait until I know how to do to this to purchase a 'better setup'. Along the way I decided to pick up a few 'cheap' antique store finds to learn how to sharpen my good one when I finally get it.

    Well, I just shaved with #6. My first clean up was a 4/8 Boker not in too bad shape. Second was a big Puritan again not in too bad shape. I have been using this one and my original purchase alternating to shave with since. Third was an old Torrey with bone handle that really shines now and the forth was a Genco. Fith was a second Torrey and finally #6 is another Torrey. I got tired of trying to make them real shiney and focused on my honing technique. Here is the result.

    I started by removing the active rust and tried to clean the devil spit a little. Sore fingers later I decided enough was enough and started trying to sharpen the thing. This was the hardest to sand and sharpen I've encountered so far. I don't know if I am getting lazy or the steel is harder on this one.

    I don't have 'proper hones' yet but used what I have. I tried setting the bevel with a Gatco pocket (knife) hone that I think is around 600 grit. When that would cut arm hair I moved to my Boss Barber hone. I had watched a video on Youtube -- 'one stone hone' and I've been simulating that technique on my barber's hone and it sorta works. Thanks Glen!

    I start by lathering my hone and do 20 - 40 circles each side and watch the foam turn gray then several X strokes. When I feel the blade moving 'slicker' (don't know how else to describe it) I start thinning the lather with water on my blade and continue with X strokes. Don't know how many laps I do but it is a bunch... I continue to test hair cutting as I go, on my arm, my other arm, my legs etc... until I feel thats about all I can do then I move to my strop. I also use less and less pressure as I go. By the way, I am out of appendage hair now...

    My stropping has gotten much better, rhythm, speed, focus, etc. I'm not faster so to speak because I slowed down a bit due to a recommendation from this board, just better. I do, however, find I can do 40 - 50 passes now easily and swiftly where I used to feel 30 took a long time. Then I try shaving.

    On Razors 1 and 2, I was able to shave after the first hone/stropping but remember they were not in real bad shape. Razor #3 was a Torrey in somewhat bad shape, active rust and tarnish, and I wanted this one to be shiney so it took some time. I think this one is the one I learned how to make my barbers's hone work too. Numbers 4 & 5 didn't take as much time, and on these I decided to stop trying for shine as much as focus on honing. I was able to shave with these easily after 2 of my hone/strop sessions. All the razors 3 - 5 still needed to be honed again but they did shave (and no burn later).

    On this last Torrey (stubborn little thing) it took about 6 passes ( I actually stopped counting). I would go back to the Gatco then move to the Barber's hone then strop. Each time I thought it would shave, but no. It kinda scraped across the hair with a little cutting and a lot of sound. I had to clean up with a second razor. One thing I noticed different on the last honing was draw on the hone. The blade seemed to be sucked to the hone as I went. This was a different feel and it kinda surprised me when it happened.

    This morning things were different. I shaved with this Torrey and made three passes. The scraping sound was still there, but not as loud and quite frankly the blade didn't feel like it was cutting hair (on my face). I thought 'here we go again' and was about to give up on this one for good until I felt my face. Smooth! I decided to lather up and do a second pass with this razor before I cleaned up with a 'sharp' one and oh boy, the second pass was very smooth. I almost did not do the 3rd pass but decided I may as well test this one out. Lathered up and shaved against the grain. I think this is the smoothest I have had my neck yet and the surprising thing is I didn't really 'feel' it. All my other blades feel 'sharp' on my neck and this one seemed to just glide by. I have felt this sensation before on my cheeks and under the nose but that was with my 'sharp' razor -- The one I started with. I really thought nothing was happening, but when I cleaned off the lather and felt with my fingers -- no hair, no stubble -- WOW.

    Anyway, you gotta respect the Barber's hone. It works!
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  2. The Following User Says Thank You to 1sgtscot For This Useful Post:

    BigJim (03-24-2011)

  3. #2
    Senior Member Blackstangal's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Thanked: 119


    Wow! Great job! Nothing like a successful honing.Keep up the great work.

  4. #3
    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Thanked: 1486


    Well done. Can I admire the barber hone and respect you instead! You took the challenge on by the horns.

  5. #4
    Some kind of Zombie BigJim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Le Mars Iowa
    Thanked: 166


    Awesome post, thanks for sharing. This is exactly where I am at right now; working the barber hone.

    Glen's vids are a real help too.

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