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  1. #1
    Junior Woodchuck
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    Question Is My Razor Warped?

    Hello all, this is my first post on this awesome web site.

    I recently purchased my first straight razor: a new hollow-ground carbon steel blade by Col. Ichabod Conk (which I'm told is manufactured by Dovo). After a painful & bloody first shave I came to this web site and read about the misnomer of "shave ready" blades. I spent some time reading articles and watching videos on YouTube, including some from Lynn's DVD.

    I tried honing the blade on a Col. Conk stone that I purchased with the blade, but it wasn't really doing the trick. After watching & reading various pieces online I went and got a Norton 4k/8k stone and tried that.

    Which brings me to my current issue. Even though I'm not applying pressure to any particular part of the blade as I'm honing it, the blade seems to be honing unevenly. One side seems to be sharpening in the centre of the blade's length, and the other side seems to be sharpening on the outer areas of the edge. Could I be doing something wrong? Is my blade warped? Could that be a defect, or did I damage it somehow? And, lastly, how can I fix it (or have it fixed)?

    Let me know if my description is hard to understand. I'm going to attempt to attach some photos of the blade.

    I apologize if this is old hat for some of you. This site is a wealth of information, but it's a bit overwhelming for a newbie like me. Thanks for reading and (hopefully) responding.

    Murray
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  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Firstly, welcome to SRP! And I'm sure someone with more experience than I will be along shortly.
    From my steadily increasing yet admittedly limited experience though, it looks like the blade is warped. That would have my vote. I have had similar issues with some older blades, although the bevel has in these cases has tended to vary from heel to toe, rather than in the middle. Have you tried to lay it down on something very flat? A sheet of 10mm glass would be ideal (and if you are new to this game, you will need something like this to lap the Norton on anyway).
    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Life is short, filled with Stuff joke1176's Avatar
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    I think you did a great job explaining yourself. I think you should try applying some permanent marker to the edge, look for parts of the bevel touching the edge, and if any parts are not.

    Your edge does look a bit warped, but I have honed MUCH worse with good results.

    Give it a bit of the old magic marker treatment and see where you aren't honing enough.

    It does look like you have more wear on the toe of the razor in both pics though.

  4. #4
    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    G'day & Welcome.

    What you describe sure sounds like a warped blade. Check it out as the others have recommended.
    A narrow stone would help with honing, or fuller strokes from heel to toe.
    Don't know what warranty policy is on such things but you could try & see if they give you a new one.
    And no, not likely you caused it unless you tried to re temper it.
    “The white gleam of swords, not the black ink of books, clears doubts and uncertainties and bleak outlooks.”

  5. #5
    Senior Member Agamemnon's Avatar
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    You'll need a mirror (or barber's hone) large enough to lay your razor on. Lay it flat on the glass and see if the blade's edge is in contact with the mirror along it's entire length. Then flip the razor over and repeat the process. Check both sides as a warp in the blade may be apparent only on one side. Next you probably need to lap your Norton as they're not always perfectly flat right out of the box. An uneven water stone may be the culprit here. I'm sure there's something written in the help files detailing the lapping procedure; it's not that difficult but does require a bit of elbow grease.

  6. #6
    Junior Woodchuck
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    Hey all, thanks for the quick responses. I can't believe how many people are on this site at any given time!

    So, the first thing I did was try the magic marker test. I was happy to see that most of the ink was wiped off fairly evenly, except for on the toe of one side. I still suspect the blade is slightly warped, but your responses have been reassuring that it's perhaps not as bad as I thought it could be.

    It could also be my stone. I've been trying to find directions on lapping stones, but I can't. Is that on Lynn's DVD? What is the recommended procedure for lapping/maintaining the Norton 4k/8k stones?

    Murray

  7. #7
    Hones & Honing randydance062449's Avatar
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    Randolph Tuttle, a SRP Mentor for residents of Minnesota & western Wisconsin

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  9. #8
    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    Wow just looking at a blade laying flat guys can tell its warped. What an ability.

    The only real way to tell if its warped is to lay it flat and see if it is truly flat or does it wobble a bit?

    Though warped blades are out there, for beginners usually the problem you are experiencing usually comes from uneven honing. Are you honing with two hands or one? Watch where you are exerting pressure while you hone and yes read and reread the honing primers.
    No matter how many men you kill you can't kill your successor-Emperor Nero

  10. #9
    Know thyself holli4pirating's Avatar
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    If you want to see if the blade is warped by eye, you'd need to look end on. I often eyeball it by opening the razor as if to shave. Then, with the tang end of the blade closest to me, I close one eye and look down the blade. I usually look from the left side and then the right (as opposed to looking down), and I only look from an angle that is slightly off.

    You might have to play with which eye you use to "sight" and what part of the razor you focus on; you do need to have a decent depth of focus for this to work out.

    Other than that, as others suggested, get a large piece of something-you-know-is-flat or color the edge with a marker and hone for a bit to see if it all goes away.

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