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Thread: Can't get 2 razors to shave

  1. #41
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    How are you checking your stones for flatness?

    What are you using to flatten your stones?

    If you are going to use a stone for razors and sharpening other tools like knives and chisels, mark the stone and only use one side for razors. Flattening a stone is a process, involving gridding a stone and lapping it flat multiple times.

    If you grid your stone and the grid is not removed in 10 laps or less, the stone is not flat. If you hone straight strokes on a crowned stone, you will create a frown.

    You are creating a frown because your stone is not flat, or you are not using an X stroke. Probably why you have issues at the heel and toe.

    You will have to remove the frown, by bread knifing or high angle grinding the edge flat and parallel with the spine. Then hone the razor to get the bevels to meet again.

    Here is a post on lapping a stone flat, it is not a grid once and quick lap and it is flat job. (Synthetic Stone Lapping 101)

  2. #42
    High Priest of Low Budget Shaving CrescentCityRazors's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpukas View Post
    The edge looks like it's starting to show signs of being more ground in the middle than the heel and toe, leading to what I believe is a frown? Prior to this most recent session, the edge was almost perfectly flat from heel to toe, except for the slight curve upwards at the toe. This is what happened to my Dovo. I've been trying to correct my strokes to applying pressure only at the heel and toe, and using x-strokes and paying attention to to the heel and toe and trying to not over-grind the middle.

    My stones are flat. Yes, I use the same stones on my kitchen knives, and I regularly flatten and bevel the stones. Especially when I sharpen razors, just not every time I touch up a knife.

    Attachment 320482
    Are you putting pressure in the middle of the blade? Remember that a razor flexes a lot, considering the small scale of things we are dealing with.

    Could be that your stones are humped along the centerline from pressure put near the edges. Or you are rocking the stone while lapping. Regardless, getting serious with an x stroke will alleviate the problem somewhat but you do need to figure out what is going on here. How are you lapping your stones? While there is no absolute foolproof method, the whole sheet of quality sandpaper glued to a very flat and nonflexing object will always be the most correct. Honorable mention to the classic SiC powder on float glass method, mechanically the same thing. What I am getting at, is "flattening stones" must themselves be flat, and overrunning the ends or edges can cause errors. A skilled practitioner may not have a problem but a beginner might.

    I suggest taking a very straight straightedge and laying it across your hone and see if it can be rocked from one side of the stone to the other. Check the ends while you are at it to see if it is humped lengthwise as well. Dishing is more common than humping but YMMV.

    Back to your razor. Look at the width of the edge bevel. Now I know I have said many times that it is unimportant, and it doesn't have to be consistent, but if you see one side with a very narrow bevel surface at the center of the frown and very wide at toe and heel on one side, and the opposite on the other, you have a bent razor or one that is honed or ground to essentially be bent. The bend can be more pronounced away from the spine or because of normal hone wear to the spine you don't see the bend because superficially it is not there. With such razors it is sometimes possible to bend them back but not really a newbie operation for obvious reasons. Anyway sometimes a razor is bent or warped in such a manner that a frown is natural but on one side the frown center will get honed, and not the other side.
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  3. #43
    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    Looks like a warped blade or you honed it into a frown using two hands & too much pressure. Bit of a learning curve ahead of you. Not impossible to hone but will always be a problem child.
    You'll find such asymmetry will easily tend to burr formation & your 'pressure', can exacerbate that.
    You're getting good experienced advice here on how to deal with it. Only problem is translating it to your hands.
    Don't know if it was suggested but you couldsend it out to be set up properly.
    coachmike, mpukas and RezDog like this.
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  4. #44
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    My stones are flat. I flatten them on a 12"x12"x1/2" piece of marble floor tile that has a mesh backer, and 9"x11" 80 grit drywall sanding screen (and, no, I donít flatten on the back side w/ the mesh backer Ė itís just reinforcing for use as tile). Sometimes I'll use 120 grit screen, but it doesn't cut as fast. The tile is dead flat; I've checked it with a straight edge, as best I can, and shows no signs or humping or cupping. Iím actually impressed itís flat as it is. I use a DMT course whet stone and/or a nagura to build up a little slurry and smooth the surface. I lap my stones in the sink under running water so thereís no slurry build-up. As much as I'm into sharpening, I've often thought I should invest in the DMT lapping plate, but I can't bring myself to spend that kind of coin on it. I'd rather buy another knife, razor or stone, LOL. I've also seriously considered a set of Atoma plates. And, I know there are less expensive diamond plates options, like CKTG. I just havenít, for reasonÖ My method of tile + screen may not be the most convenient and slower, may be unorthodox, but it works well, costs next to nothing and is effective.

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  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrescentCityRazors View Post
    Back to your razor. Look at the width of the edge bevel. Now I know I have said many times that it is unimportant, and it doesn't have to be consistent, but if you see one side with a very narrow bevel surface at the center of the frown and very wide at toe and heel on one side, and the opposite on the other, you have a bent razor or one that is honed or ground to essentially be bent. The bend can be more pronounced away from the spine or because of normal hone wear to the spine you don't see the bend because superficially it is not there. With such razors it is sometimes possible to bend them back but not really a newbie operation for obvious reasons. Anyway sometimes a razor is bent or warped in such a manner that a frown is natural but on one side the frown center will get honed, and not the other side.
    What you've described is exactly what happened w/ my Dovo. From day 1, I noticed the bevels weren't even from heel to toe, and they mirrored each other. Where one side had a deep frown in the middle, it was mirrored on the other side. I thought there was something off with the grind and/or spine, but never bother about it. I recently tried to correct the spine, which was part of it's demise...

    I've checked the spine on both razors in question here, and they are nearly perfect against a straight edge. On the black handled straight edge that I've been focusing on, there isn't that same sign of uneven wear due a bent spine. The bevels aren't perfectly even from heel to toe, only very slightly off, not drastic. I think that may be partially due to uneven pressure?

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by onimaru55 View Post
    L... or you honed it into a frown using two hands & too much pressure...
    This is prolly where the majority of my issues are. I do hone with two hands. I learned to sharpen JP kitchen knives this way, where the right hand maintains the angle on the blade, and the left hand applies pressure. On knives I switch hands from left to right just cuz I like to do things w/ my left hand, but I do not switch hands on razors. Using two hands is something I just got used to. I always tried to pay attention to the pressure, and where I was applying it. Through sharpening knives, I learned that sharpening happens where there's pressure. Uneven pressure on the stone results in uneven wear on the blade. I think this is where I've been lacking in SR honing - I haven't been paying close enough attention to where and how pressure has been applied.

    I used to try to apply pressure w/ my left hand evenly across the spine, and keep the edge square to the side of the stone, thinking that would create even pressure across the blade and result in even wear. Apparently not. So a little while ago, I started to focus on pressure more at the toe as I noticed less wear at the toe and more at the heel. I was in the right direction, just not enough experience/knowledge.

    I also didn't do x-strokes. I mostly tried to keep the blade square on the stones.

  7. #47
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    I'm determined, and stubborn, so I honed the razor again last night, after the previous 2k posts. I paid special attention to pressure at the toe and heel. I'd do a set of back and forths, slightly angled across the stone to keep the whole blade in contact. And then x-strokes, again with extra attention to pressure at the toe and heel. Without doing any breadknifing, the slight frown in starting to decrease already. After honing, I stropped on chro-ox, 0.5 diamond spray on felt, and naked leather. I shaved rather well. Far better than any time before. No irritation, and no signs of razor burn at all today. It didn't shave quite a cleanly in all areas, and required a few touch-ups. Overall, I'm pleased so far, but not satisfied. I think I can get it a little better.

    One area of note is the slight upward curve at the very end of the toe is now nearly gone. I've honed it so the entire length of the edge is flat. Is that slight upwards turn desirable, something to be maintained? I've noticed that the spike point would gouge me if I wasn't very, very careful. To maintain that, would you lift the spine off the stone at the very end of a swooping x-stroke?
    HungeJ0e likes this.

  8. #48
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    And, a final thought for now... correct me if I'm wrong in thinking this, but some razors are only going to get so good. This is an A.W. Wadsworth that my parents had in a drawer for who knows how many years, or where it came from. It doesn't seem a high quality razor, not even on par my my Dovo Best 6/8. In my experience w/ kitchen knives, some steels by some makers will take and hold an edge better than others. This razor seems like it will only get so good, but just how good I don't know yet. It keep getting better, and I'm pleased with it's/my progress so far. Thanks again for all the great feedback.

  9. #49
    Senior Member HungeJ0e's Avatar
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    Great progress.

    Again, I would emphasize not doing the extra pastes and sprays, and just going off the 8K with stropping. If it's not shaving passably there, the extra steps are just masking the issues.

    Knife sharpening and razor sharpening are different beasts. Very little pressure in razor sharpening, especially after the bevel set.

    I would think this blade should be a very good shaver when your work is done.
    mpukas likes this.

  10. #50
    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    I can’t help but see that you are writing about the bevel set, but your pictures show what the sides of the bevel looks like. The bevel is set whe the two planes come together and form a sharp ‘V’. It’s impossible to see that from the side, if you are using a visual, look straight down on the point of the Video with a bright light source behind you and look for sparkles and or a white line. The presence of those indicate where the two planes are not meeting.
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