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Thread: I think I'm close but...

  1. #1
    Senior Member animalwithin's Avatar
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    Default I think I'm close but...

    Continuing on with my honing journey and taking what I've learned from the advice I've been given here as well as the individual I know who taught me how to hone, I tried my hand at a NOS wedge blade this weekend.

    This blade barely had a bevel to it, and it was effectively dull.

    I spent two hours on this: 1 hour on the 1k King and then another hour on the 4k/8k Norton followed by pasted strop --> linen --> leather.

    1k King:

    I tried circles (clockwise/counter clockwise), followed by edge leading/trailing strokes with the blade at an angle, and finally finishing off with edge leading strokes with the blade straight. I was keeping an eye on the bevel using my Belomo loupe and I did see the bevel taking shape, however, I was quite distraught after the 1k as the blade couldn't shave any hair off my arm. I moved on to the 4k/8k.

    4k/8k Norton

    Similar technique on the 4k. I definitely noticed metal particles in the water as I was doing this. After about half an hour I got the blade to where I could shave arm hair, however one side was definitely sharper than the other side and unfortunately the bevel wasn't straight across, it was wavy (tried to capture this in pics). Bevel under the loupe had much finer striations however.

    Spent maybe 15mins on the 8k with just edge leading/trailing strokes. Blade got a bit sharper and the bevel striations appeared smoother. At this point I figured I'd see what I kind of an edge I procured and then try again post shave.

    After stropping, I was quite surprised to have received a decent shave from the blade. No tugging or pulling, but it also wasn't exactly a close shave either (this was WTG). Past attempts at honing gave me a very uncomfortable shave so I feel like I have finally made some progress but clearly I still have some issues.

    How do I proceed from this point? Do I go back to the 1k or spend more time on the 4k/8k? How do I get a straight bevel rather than one that's wavy (I'm assuming this is an issue of pressure)? How do I fix the issue of one side of the blade being sharper than the other?

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  2. #2
    Gatling-Gun Jerry Gasman's Avatar
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    I know nothing about whatever type of blade that is. But the wavy could be from the grind of the blade or from uneven pressure. Where is the rest of the blade
    It's just Sharpening, right?
    Jerry...

  3. #3
    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    We’re you using the stropper to hone?
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    Senior Member Vasilis's Avatar
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    You don't necessarily have to fix it. If it shaves uniformly it doesn't need fixing
    As Gasman says, it could be uneven grind or pressure that made the grind uneven.
    For me, the safest way to hone a blade, any type of blade is to make sure the whole blade shaves arm hair after the 1k stone. I expect most people's arm hair are somewhat similar. That's the 90% of the job, the rest of the stones come after a successful bevel and requires far fewer passes.
    To tell you the truth I also have a blade like this, and intend to do what you were doing, but I expect it will take some time, so I'm postponing it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member animalwithin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RezDog View Post
    We’re you using the stropper to hone?
    So I started out with the stropper attached and then I ended up removing it as I couldn't do the circles with it or hone at an angle. Don't your stroppers widen towards the end?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vasilis View Post
    You don't necessarily have to fix it. If it shaves uniformly it doesn't need fixing
    As Gasman says, it could be uneven grind or pressure that made the grind uneven.
    For me, the safest way to hone a blade, any type of blade is to make sure the whole blade shaves arm hair after the 1k stone. I expect most people's arm hair are somewhat similar. That's the 90% of the job, the rest of the stones come after a successful bevel and requires far fewer passes.
    To tell you the truth I also have a blade like this, and intend to do what you were doing, but I expect it will take some time, so I'm postponing it.
    I'm a perfectionist so seeing a wavy bevel really bothers me My guess is that pressure is the issue as I did experiment with different pressure as I went along. I'll have to work on this the next time I have a go at this.

    I was not able to shave hair after the 1k which is why I was surprised that the blade was capable of shaving at all but I understand why shaving off the 1k is important before progressing. Should I go back to the 1K now?

    These blades hone, more or less, just like a straight razor. If anything they should be easier as you don't have to worry about a shoulder or scales but it's been many years since I attempted to hone a straight.

  6. #6
    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    My strippers anre quite flat and sit well on the hone. I also have a modified shavette that works well as a handle. It was a wreck hair shaper in its first life. The spine is quite wide and it did not take much coaxing to get it to take the wedge blades. I have honed both by pushing the blade on the hone and by using a handle. Without the handle it is very difficult to concentrate the effort on the edge, with the handle you can use torque to your advantage. Also with a swooping stroke you can bring a very mild smile to the blade, which I also like.
    It's not what you know, it's who you take fishing!

  7. #7
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    From the look of the bevel, I would suspect a holding issue. While I have never honed a razor like that freehand, I would use a holder.

    I have honed small finger plane blades (about that size) free hand, with single directional strokes, with shop made wooden angle guide/ holders and with an edge pro. All with good results and even bevels.

    If you want perfect bevels you need a jig, Holding the blade and moving the stone (a knife honing jig) is the easiest way to get perfect bevels on small blades. The smaller the blade the more critical holding the blade in a fixed angle is.

    If the edge is not cutting hair at 1k the bevel is not fully set. Look straight down on the edge, any reflection is where the bevels are not meeting.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member animalwithin's Avatar
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    Alright so the next time I try this I'll use the stropping holder.

    The stropper essentially slips onto the back of the spine which allows you to hold the blade similar to a straight razor in order to strop it. While the portion of the stropper which makes contact with the spine is flat, it bulges out towards the handle which makes it difficult to do anything other than single directional strokes if I'm using it to hone.

    I spent 1 hour on the 1k. At this point I don't know what else I could possibly do on the 1k to get it to cut hair. I'm assuming more strokes won't do much...

    While conceptually I get the whole "look straight down on the edge" thing, I honestly don't see anything when I do this, it just looks like an edge. I've seen pictures of what it's supposed to look like, but those were taken from a microscope, not sure if it looks different through a loupe.

  9. #9
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    If you are honing freehand, the angle is constantly changing and you may not be honing to the edge or completely across the edge with each stroke.

    What you should see is the same thing, reflection of light , shinny spots. In strong light you can see that with the naked eye. Pick up a $10 Carson 60-100x, Micro Max and you will see a lot more of what is going on at the edge.

    Also strop the edge to remove any flashing , then look at it. Holding the blade in the proper angle is critical.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member animalwithin's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I am lost.

    Compared to the rest of the steel of the blade, the bevel is all shiny which can be seen from the pictures. Is that not how it's supposed to be?

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