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Thread: Honing a wedge

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by HungeJ0e View Post
    A wedge is not a true triangle... the face of the blade is slightly ground so only the spine and the edge are in the same plane.

    Taping the bevel was not a thing 140ish years ago when wedges were in fashion...

    In other words, tape or don't tape. It's your razor.
    Of course tape wasn't about back then but there are so many wedge blades out there with relatively little hone wear that I can only conclude they were honed freehand with the spine off the stone. Razors were ground on wheels about a foot in diameter or more. Straight of the grindstone, if the bevel had been set with the spine touching the stone razors would have left the factory with wide, unsightly bevels. The spine becoming the angle setter for the bevel in my opinion only came about with the advent of hollow grinding. Someone chime in if I'm wrong though.

  2. #22
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    “The spine becoming the angle setter for the bevel in my opinion only came about with the advent of hollow grinding. Someone chime in if I'm wrong though.”

    Nope. Wedges can easily be honed off the spine with small bevels, even wedges are rarely flat.

    Aggressive honing and “Bevel Setting” obsession is a relatively new phenomena, about the beginning of straight razor mania, mid to late 90s.

    Back in the day, razors were maintained on high grit natural stones, Hard Arks, Coticules, Slates and Jnats. Once the bevel was set it never touched a stone under about 6-8k, if maintained properly it never needed an aggressive bevel set. In the 70’s I maintained a single razor on a 6 inch Translucent Ark for 10 years, it showed no sign of spine wear when I dropped it.

    Old razors with trashed spines, were probably victims of aggressive barber hones and a heavy hand, as the spines were ground down the bevels got wider.
    JBHoren, BobH, cman670 and 1 others like this.

  3. #23
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    I agree about modern day honing being a bit over the top as it were. I guess with the proliferation of hones and the relatively low prices a lot of people like the experimentation. Myself the only razors I have ever set bevels on (apart from razors I've made myself) were a batch of Gold Dollars I bought. I keep my razors going using a pasted loom strop. My old Dovo Best hasn't touched even the coti in years.

    I wonder about whether the grinders back in those days ground the blade faces down to an apex and that way they could set a small bevel. When I grind razors I always leave a flat, trying to get the edge width under 10 thousandths. For this reason I tape the spine to make the bevel as small as possible. I have tried grinding down to an apex but the edge becomes uneven (distance from spine starts to vary).

    I would have thought that if they didn't grind to an apex, just the geometry to consider with the radius of the grinding wheels they used back then and then the flat whetstone would create a wide factory bevel.
    Last edited by thp001; 11-21-2020 at 06:29 AM. Reason: extra detail
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  4. #24
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    I suspect that razor makers back in the day took into consideration the grind of large wheels in use and made the spines wider to get a smallish bevel of the desired width, much like you do after the fact with tape on the spine.

    Even though some wheels for grinding old wedges, were large, several feet in diameter, they still ground a slightly hollowed belly, it does not take much to clear the belly on a flat stone. Since straight razors were the only game in town, they probably put a lot of thought into the production, as they did most things back then.

    Most guys I have seen hollow grinding blade freehand, first rough grind the bevels close to an edge centerline at about 45 degrees. Then hollow grind the belly into the existing belly and pre cut bevel, creeping up on the apex.

    Then you do not have to worry about grinding the belly and the apex at the same time, and over- heating or keeping the apex straight. The rough bevel is already cut and the apex or near apex is never touched during the hollow grind process.

    The final edge is done on stones or diamond plate.

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