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Thread: Can't get 2 razors to shave

  1. #11
    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    You can actually get a passable shave from a 1K edge, provided you have a properly set bevel. If the apex is perfectly formed it will shave. Not smoothly but it will shave. There was a 1K challenge some time ago where primarily new guys to honing were testing their bevel set by stropping and shaving from the 1K edge.
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    Senior Member HungeJ0e's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulFLUS View Post
    You mentioned getting finishing stones. The stones you have should be sufficient to get them shaving. Past what your stones can do it is just refining the edges. I wouldn't go to that yet. What you're saying doesn't match what the pictures show. Not trying to dog you out, just help you get to where you want to be. I spent a lot of time following a system instead of a method by which I mean following a progression of counting strokes rather than checking the edge visually and with tests like those mentioned already. Once I let go of that and paid more attention to the blade things improved quickly. I think my biggest problem was I thought I had a handle on it but I was NOT paying enough attention to the right things.
    My experience exactly to a T... once I let go of a "system" and paid attention to what the edge was doing, that was the breakthrough. Holy smokes I wasted a lot of time on the "pyramid" system and almost hung it all up...

    You don't need a loupe to understand the edge (and eventually you can ditch the loupe) but at the beginning it makes it way easier to understand what's going on.
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    Senior Member PaulFLUS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HungeJ0e View Post
    My experience exactly to a T... once I let go of a "system" and paid attention to what the edge was doing, that was the breakthrough. Holy smokes I wasted a lot of time on the "pyramid" system and almost hung it all up...

    You don't need a loupe to understand the edge (and eventually you can ditch the loupe) but at the beginning it makes it way easier to understand what's going on.
    I wasn't going to mention the "P" word because I didn't want to interject that into the mix. It actually worked for me but it ultimately capped my progress. It's a distraction from what really counts and won't do it if there are problems that need to be addressed. Actually it's kind of liberating not having to keep up with all those laps.
    I use a magnifying glass with the small extra magnifier. That's enough to see what I need to see.
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    High Priest of Low Budget Shaving CrescentCityRazors's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention that wedge razors are almost always honed with tape. Typically the bevel is set and the progression is ran with one or sometimes two layers of tape, and then an additional piece is applied for the last dozen or so finishing laps but this varies between honers and between razors. So, because it was originally a smiley and is a wedge or actually a near wedge, I would not mess with that one right now. Don't toss it. You may want to have a go at it later on, when your skill set is more developed. But right now you are wasting time, wasting stone, and wasting steel. Concentrate on the straight hollowground. Should be an easy razor to hone.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    If you want to learn to hone, do so with the Dovo or any razor that does not have “issues”.

    Get some magnification 60-100x Carson MicroMax, ($10-15). Once you get your magnification, compare the edges of one of your kitchen knives to your Dovo and the Dovo to the micrograph in the post above, (My second try at Honing). Match your bevels and edges to those of those of the honer in the post at each stone in the progression. That is exactly what your bevels and edges should look like.

    If you compare your edges, probably even of your Dovo, they will not look anything close. Note it is not about getting smooth shiny bevels, the goal is to polish the edge, not the bevel.

    You will quickly see that sharpening a kitchen knife is nothing like honing a razor.

    A bevel set razor is where, 1. The bevels are ground flat. 2. Ground in the correct plane/bevel angle. 3. The bevels meet fully from heel to toe at the intersection of the two planes/ bevels.

    There are a number of “tests”, many are subjective. The only test that is definitive and easy to learn is the visual test. Look straight down on the edge with a strong light behind you. If you see any shiny reflection at the edge, the bevels are not meeting.

    Again, look at the Second Try at Honing thread. Post 42, Photos 4 & 5 (upper right-hand corner) show and edge that is close, (not fully set). Post 51, first photo, shows a fully set bevel.

    Once you can get a smoking shaving edge on the Dovo, then attempt the two problem children.

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    Thanks for all the great feedback everyone. I really appreciate it. I'm reading through it all and digesting it. Just a couple of quick responses for now, and I'll get back with some updates and more focused questions:

    Both of the razors in question will shave, just not well. They can be much better. I've done very little to them so far. Almost all of the hone wear is from previous owners. On the wedge, when I received it a few years ago, it was supposedly shave ready, and polished very nicely. It didn't shave well for me at all, and I briefly tried to hone it. I did hone it as if it were a straight edge, and I quickly realized that wasn't going to work, so I stopped and put it away.

    I test the entire length of the edge at each stone with the thumb nail and arm hair shaving. The black handled straight doesn't shave arm hair well at the front 1/3, and I moved on from the 2k too soon. The wedge pops arm hair along the whole length of the edge. It shaves arm hair better than the straight. But the straight face shaves much better than the wedge.

    I realize now in my early years of learning to hone, I took too many different approaches/techniques/opinions and tried to compile them all into one "system" that I thought would work for me. I'm going to simplify and pay more attention to each stage.

    I'm going to focus for now on getting the bevel set from heel to toe, stria perpendicular to the edge, and not getting hung up a set number of strokes on each stone and paying more attention to removing the stria from each stone before moving one.

  7. #17
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    The straight edge razor is a square point. At the toe the bevel has a slight curve to it, upwards towards the spine. The edge isn't completely flat at the tip, and therefore the very tip of the edge doesn't contact skin and doesn't shave. On another vintage square point I have the edge at the tip has the same profile. Is this intentional from the original maker, or is this a result of honing? If by design, is it so the tip doesn't form a spike that might gouge? My deceased Dovo is a round point, but the edge was completely flat to the tip, and would shave right at the very tip of the edge.

  8. #18
    Senior Member HungeJ0e's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpukas View Post
    The straight edge razor is a square point. At the toe the bevel has a slight curve to it, upwards towards the spine. The edge isn't completely flat at the tip, and therefore the very tip of the edge doesn't contact skin and doesn't shave. On another vintage square point I have the edge at the tip has the same profile. Is this intentional from the original maker, or is this a result of honing? If by design, is it so the tip doesn't form a spike that might gouge? My deceased Dovo is a round point, but the edge was completely flat to the tip, and would shave right at the very tip of the edge.
    Could be someone muted the spike. When you hone it, you should want to use an X-stroke that reaches all the way to the tip. For one, it's good honing technique and will assist in ensuring a good edge all along the blade... always hone to a slight smile. Secondly, there are certain strokes that require the toe of the blade (like the portion of your sideburn closest the earlobe).
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  9. #19
    High Priest of Low Budget Shaving CrescentCityRazors's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpukas View Post
    The straight edge razor is a square point. At the toe the bevel has a slight curve to it, upwards towards the spine. The edge isn't completely flat at the tip, and therefore the very tip of the edge doesn't contact skin and doesn't shave. On another vintage square point I have the edge at the tip has the same profile. Is this intentional from the original maker, or is this a result of honing? If by design, is it so the tip doesn't form a spike that might gouge? My deceased Dovo is a round point, but the edge was completely flat to the tip, and would shave right at the very tip of the edge.
    The upswept toe is common. Usually that results from a tiny upsweep being overcorrected by an enthusiastic honer with the rolling x stroke. Sometimes it is done deliberately to render the point harmless. Sometimes it is just a design feature, sometimes just sloppy grinding.

    USUALLY the last tiny bit of the toe does not need to be sharp for a good shave. SOMETIMES having it sharp is a disadvantage, especially for a newbie. You can get it sharp with a rolling x stroke but most guys overdo it and simply sweep the toe up higher. Me, unless it is pretty big, I ignore the toe upsweep and just hone. In 20 or 30 years the edge will wear enough to catch up to the overhoned toe anyway. Your razor. Either way is fine, as long as you think about what you are doing and are okay with the consequences.

    If you are honing in hand, roll the stone, not the razor.
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  10. #20
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Shaving arm hair is not a definitive test. It is subjective and limited.

    When you test by cutting a single hair you are testing a micron width of blade. When you try to “grab” a hair and it does not cut, do you grab another hair, then it cuts?

    What does that say about the edge? Subjective. Hair test can point you in the right direction, but that is all.

    Without magnification you have no idea if anything you do is helping or hurting the edge. Like driving with your eyes closed.

    When you thumb nail test, what are you testing for? You may be doing more damage to the edge, TNT is an edge destructive test.

    Keep in mind that a razor edge cannot be see with any magnification less than 1000X. It does not take much to damage a shaving edge.

    A rounded spike tip is usually from poor technique, a muted tip is one where the very tip is lightly muted, one lite stroke on a piece of wood. A spike tip is handy for shaving and detailing. But any part of a razor will cut you if you do not pay attention.

    Learning to hone is changeling, learning to hone on razors that need repair is at best difficult. Learning to drive in a car that does not run, first you have to fix it.

    First learn how to hone a razor.

    The tip of a round point should be curved, not pointed. It defeats the purpose of a round tip. Why do you say your Dovo is deceased, post some pics?

    Which razor are you currently shaving with, post some pics?
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