Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20
Like Tree27Likes

Thread: Speculation as to excessive hone wear

  1. #1
    Chasing the Edge WadePatton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    920
    Thanked: 117

    Default Speculation as to excessive hone wear

    and other blade "anomalies"

    As much as I have learned this early in the experience, one thing keeps popping up that doesn't make a lot of sense. The way we do it, a blade might last 5 lifetimes (more for those "big rotations").

    Or 10 even. Why then do we see a continuous stream of old blades (and some not-so-old) that have had their smiles erased and toes rubbed nearly off and just generally ground to be useless without attentive restoration.

    Is it simple over-use of aggressive hones? Or lack of finishing stones for refreshing an edge? Or just general ignorance of how to managed that fine edge with a rock?

    Answer "all of the above" of course, but what's your thoughts?

    I saw a blade offered as '5/8 tapered to 4/8' recently...

    And of course I left out "repairs" where someone takes out a nick or ding or pitting and grinds away the spine too.

    But also I think there are more truly sharp shaving razors "happening" every day because we have been able to spread the word, and the pursuit isn't semi-shrouded in mystery and "I hear tale..." falsitudes and fictions.
    Buttery Goodness is the Grail

  2. #2
    Moderator Hirlau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    13,422
    Thanked: 3454

    Default

    I think that back in the day, hones/stones for putting an edge on a razor were more rough, less forgiving than these waterstones of today. There was less of a variety to choose from & maybe the general population of straight shavers were not as concerned with hone wear as we hobbyist/collectors are.
    earcutter likes this.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Hirlau For This Useful Post:

    earcutter (04-13-2014)

  4. #3
    NZ's okayest dad 1997 Grazor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Land of the long white cloud
    Posts
    2,431
    Thanked: 491

    Default

    You do see a lot of the hollow ground razors with wear at the toe. Probably bad honing technique, or maybe the sign of a favourite razor, but in the day I guess it was just a tool to get a job done and that job was shaving. While not disposable, they were common and easily replaced. I think the main concern was a good shave, not a good looking razor.
    He wore rat-drawn shoes and an old Stetson hat.
    Drove a '28 Ford, had payments on that ~ Stagger Lee.

  5. #4
    Forum mogwai thebigspendur's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    27,505
    Thanked: 4360
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    I think, back in the day just about everyone who had a straight bought a hone when they got their first straight but most didn't really know how to use them or at least use them well. Afterall razors were a dime a dozen so you could easily replace them.
    earcutter likes this.
    Every day without fail one should consider himself as dead-Tsunetomo

  6. #5
    50 year str. shaver mrsell63's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Pothole County, PA
    Posts
    2,258
    Thanked: 522
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Pricewise cheap

    Good point. Very true about the price of razors years ago. Everyone probably honed with their thumb or finger on the spine for stability and destroyed same. Pricewise, in the 60's I shopped in a five & dime store run by Mennonite ladies. I asked if they had any straightrazors . The lady looked on a top shelf and found one. It was an Imperial Extra Hollow Ground NOS. Price on the coffin box was $3.00 and that's what she charged me.


    Name:  IMGP4031.jpg
Views: 330
Size:  46.5 KB
    JERRY
    OOOPS! Pass the styptic please.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Iceni's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Coventry
    Posts
    692
    Thanked: 212

    Default

    I've just sorted a razor with a worn toe. It is a full hollow. The thing is the spine and edge at the toe were well polished with no sign of deep marks or heavy wear. When I was sorting it I thought perhaps barbers palm hones were to blame. It's not holding the blade wrong, I think it's holding a stone and twisting your hand a little to create pressure that causes it.

  8. #7
    Forum mogwai thebigspendur's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    27,505
    Thanked: 4360
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    Remember, to us here this whole topic of straights and related is kind of sacrosanct. Back in the day, a straight was a cheap implement almost like a throwaway item. Maybe if you were a rich guy and had a matched set with sterling silver scales you thought of it differently but to most a straight simply wasn't treated with all that much respect.

    I think that is at least one reason why so many razors look the way they do. Also just think how many razors were produced and simply thrown away. I'd guess at least tens of millions if not more.
    earcutter likes this.
    Every day without fail one should consider himself as dead-Tsunetomo

  9. #8
    Chasing the Edge WadePatton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    920
    Thanked: 117

    Default

    Well, not so fast there. I mean the heyday, long as it was, of the straight was before we had major assembly lines engaged in producing things for us to use in a disposable fashion. King Gillette didn't upset the applecart with these throw-aways until 100 years ago, and then not everybody had access to or the spare change to start throwing stuff away.

    They washed diapers and darned socks and everything.

    When folks worked for a dollar a day, how big do you think any such man's collection of $3 razors was?

    BUT then there have always been folks who where decidedly un-handy with tools. I suppose many of them wore beards or bought a shave now and then if they didn't have access to a handy-sharpening man.

    I was thinking about how many folks in, say the last 75 years, had acquired a razor with zero instruction as to how to "put it into service". It may have come with a hone and strop, or they looked far enough to find out they needed those things. Then they set about sharping that blade up and shaving. Maybe it worked or didn't.

    They were trying to "do the right thing" but ignorant, as the information highway used to be a dirt road (as i said earlier today) and maybe their elders didn't know how to use the thing. That's the Generation or Two Gap of Shaving Theory (G2GoST) of why some old razors are so wonky.

    I'm about to test one now that's in great shape, but for the last 1/8 of the edge is too short by about a bevel. I worked it in. No need to grind away a full bevel over 7/8 of the blade to square it up, but my point is:

    If whomever did this, kept at it for long and often enough that 6/8 would be 4/8 at the toe long before the rest of the blade.

    did i ramble?
    Last edited by WadePatton; 02-10-2014 at 12:54 AM.
    Buttery Goodness is the Grail

  10. #9
    Senior Member Crackers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    311
    Thanked: 49

    Default

    Name:  photo 1.jpg
Views: 249
Size:  33.5 KB
    Name:  photo 2.jpg
Views: 262
Size:  37.7 KB

    The above are pictures of a full hollow bengall I worked on for a friend at work, owned by his wife's great grandfather. The stone he gave me looks like a small finisher and was all over the place before it was lapped. The razor had a nail as a pin and the scales were flopping like a fish out of water. If someone shaved with the blade before I got to it they would not have had a face left because it couldn’t even cut at skin level. The edge was in good nick though and there was no pitting, some light 2k wet and dry to check what was under the tarnish, remove sum rust and then left it as best I could. They sure did treat them rough in the day that is for sure. I did read somewhere that people used to pay a lot of attention to the toe. The reason was to get it sharp so that they could shave close to the nostril, leading to excessive hone ware. It made sense to me when I read it and am now conscious to put even pressure on the blade, even tough I want the toe to be sharp for the same reason.
    A good lather is half the shave.

    William Hone

  11. #10
    Forum mogwai thebigspendur's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    27,505
    Thanked: 4360
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WadePatton View Post
    Well, not so fast there. I mean the heyday, long as it was, of the straight was before we had major assembly lines engaged in producing things for us to use in a disposable fashion. King Gillette didn't upset the applecart with these throw-aways until 100 years ago, and then not everybody had access to or the spare change to start throwing stuff away.

    They washed diapers and darned socks and everything.

    When folks worked for a dollar a day, how big do you think any such man's collection of $3 razors was?


    BUT then there have always been folks who where decidedly un-handy with tools. I suppose many of them wore beards or bought a shave now and then if they didn't have access to a handy-sharpening man.

    I was thinking about how many folks in, say the last 75 years, had acquired a razor with zero instruction as to how to "put it into service". It may have come with a hone and strop, or they looked far enough to find out they needed those things. Then they set about sharping that blade up and shaving. Maybe it worked or didn't.

    They were trying to "do the right thing" but ignorant, as the information highway used to be a dirt road (as i said earlier today) and maybe their elders didn't know how to use the thing. That's the Generation or Two Gap of Shaving Theory (G2GoST) of why some old razors are so wonky.

    I'm about to test one now that's in great shape, but for the last 1/8 of the edge is too short by about a bevel. I worked it in. No need to grind away a full bevel over 7/8 of the blade to square it up, but my point is:

    If whomever did this, kept at it for long and often enough that 6/8 would be 4/8 at the toe long before the rest of the blade.

    did i ramble?
    I think you would find straight shaving was handed down from father to son in the 1800s. Once the DE came out the young wanted nothing to do with straights anymore. It was mostly the old timers who remained with straights and of course barbers.

    As far as production goes the Industrial revolution didn't really affect razor production that much. Maybe blanks could be cut faster and you had to forge by hand but otherwise it's about the same as now, pretty labor intensive.

    I still maintain razors were a common item treated badly by a good deal of the population. Also, remember razors could be sharpened by Pro's for pennies and I would be willing to bet many never touched a hone.
    earcutter likes this.
    Every day without fail one should consider himself as dead-Tsunetomo

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •