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Thread: Looking for first set of stones

  1. #31
    Senior Member blabbermouth Haroldg48's Avatar
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    Can't add anything to what's been said already, except, it is doable with video instruction only. The first few times, I actually kept a video on my iPad next to me so I could verify that I was doing it "right".

    I have the Naniwas and they are easy to work with, and once you get the hang of it, you'll recognize the change in feel on the stone when you hit it right.

    Having said that, getting some in-person help would be best. I haven't managed to do that yet.

    PS-- Stay away from the Gold Dollar to learn on. They often have lots of geometry issues.
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  2. #32
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    Thought I'd give a bit of an update, a success story so to speak.

    I had been watching Lynn Abrams videos for a bit and was eager to go honing. I however, did not do as few strokes as he does on his videos about refreshing the edge.

    First honing: I think I did around 30-40 strokes on the 3k side, and about as many on the 8k side. The razor did put a very bald spot on my arm, but it couldn't cut any hairs if raising the edge above the skin.

    First shave: I had shaved the same day before my first honing session, and went away for a week the day after. I forgot ALL of my gear for my holiday, so the test shave was on 7-8 days worth of growth. Not an ideal situation to try my honing skills in... I wasn't impressed, it did the job but felt very harsh.

    Second honing: After the first shave I decided I need to go back to the hones. While honing it felt much better, like I scored a better angle or something. Did 20 strokes on the 3k side and 20-30 strokes on the 8k side.

    Second shave: Probably my best straight razor shave yet. Absolutley no irritation what so ever, almost BBS (not really going for BBS but when it happens it's nice). The only remark I had is that it still felt a bit harsh, might be my technique or that the previous owner who honed it for me the first time used a polishing stone.

    Third shave: Basically an exact replica of the second shave.

    I'm kind of curious, how is it possible to get a very nice shaving edge the second time you hone? Ever? I was dead certain that this will skill will take months to develop, I'm almost a bit dissapointed. (Do note that I am in no way saying that I'm any good at honing, I still have a very long way to go, but the edge that I maintained worked perfectly for me)

  3. #33
    Senior Member rlmnshvstr8's Avatar
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    First of all, congrats on your first successful shave after a self hone. It's really an accomplishment and a sense of pride when one does such.

    Now what I say next is not meant to burst a bubble or anything. It will take months for you to learn this skill and years to master. It's just the goal you are looking for is not just a shaveable edge but a smooth harshless shave also. You went at it sort of shooting in the dark and you hit the target this time. But be warned there will come a time when it will be a difficult. And through difficulty is when the real learning begins. But for now enjoy your victory and still try learning more.

    As a side note the harsh edge, if I am interpreting your definition of harsh correctly, could be a slight burr, micro chippy, or slightly ragged edge. Avoiding these is a skill in itself. I bought a razor from the bay once and it was labeled shave ready and honed on a naniwa 12k. So I was thinking that the guy might have known what he was doing. When I got the razor I looked at the edge under my scope and it was like mountains and valleys. Yeah it would shave my arm hairs easily but I would not dare put it on my face and it took me about 2 days and some help from a buddy to make it ahaveable, and it still needs work but it is better than when I received it. Sorry hit the rabbit trail again.

    Again congrats on your first edge. Keep at it when you hit your first bump in the road, take it as a challenge. Like when someone tells you that you can't do something and you do it and learn to succeed just to prove them wrong. Happy honingNeil
    A fool flaunts what wisdom he thinks he has, while a wise man will show that he is wise silently.

  4. #34
    Stay calm. Carry on. MisterMoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doxster View Post
    Thought I'd give a bit of an update, a success story so to speak.

    I had been watching Lynn Abrams videos for a bit and was eager to go honing. I however, did not do as few strokes as he does on his videos about refreshing the edge.

    First honing: I think I did around 30-40 strokes on the 3k side, and about as many on the 8k side. The razor did put a very bald spot on my arm, but it couldn't cut any hairs if raising the edge above the skin.

    First shave: I had shaved the same day before my first honing session, and went away for a week the day after. I forgot ALL of my gear for my holiday, so the test shave was on 7-8 days worth of growth. Not an ideal situation to try my honing skills in... I wasn't impressed, it did the job but felt very harsh.

    Second honing: After the first shave I decided I need to go back to the hones. While honing it felt much better, like I scored a better angle or something. Did 20 strokes on the 3k side and 20-30 strokes on the 8k side.

    Second shave: Probably my best straight razor shave yet. Absolutley no irritation what so ever, almost BBS (not really going for BBS but when it happens it's nice). The only remark I had is that it still felt a bit harsh, might be my technique or that the previous owner who honed it for me the first time used a polishing stone.

    Third shave: Basically an exact replica of the second shave.

    I'm kind of curious, how is it possible to get a very nice shaving edge the second time you hone? Ever? I was dead certain that this will skill will take months to develop, I'm almost a bit dissapointed. (Do note that I am in no way saying that I'm any good at honing, I still have a very long way to go, but the edge that I maintained worked perfectly for me)
    And I too am curious. What strop(s) do you use; are you flipping the blade with fingers or wrist? Is your stropping motion light-handed, fluid feeling, precise and always keeping the razor spine in contact with the strop?

    Perhaps I am more clumsy than the next guy but, after a few months (which was maybe 20 shaves) I was still putting nicks in my strop. Stones+stones or even one barber's hone are complicated to master and mostly wasted until stropping is effective. So, is your stropping effective?

    Harsh but decent shaves already, by the way, sounds pretty good.
    "We'll talk, if you like. I'll tell you right out, I am a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk."

  5. #35
    Senior Member blabbermouth eddy79's Avatar
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    If harsh coming off the hones try stropping throughly. 100+ on both linen and leather and see if that helps. Getting shaving is just the start now comes the refinement of the edge. Good luck
    My wife calls me......... Can you just use Ed

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