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Thread: Hone a straight edge or to a straight edge?

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Default Hone a straight edge or to a straight edge?

    Hone a straight edge or to a straight edge?

    So here’s the question I have been struggling with the last few months.

    How to get the straightest edge possible, and there by the keenest and most comfortable edge?

    New synthetic stones, Suehiro Gokumyo and Shapton high grit stones are at their pinnacle, as are some high grit naturals. Lapping film, also gives a super straight edge and laser like uniform stra.

    But then there is Iwasaki, who 52+ years ago wrote "Honing Razors and Nihonkamisori", (thank you Jim for the translation), section 3, “How to Hone”, Chapter 5, “Edge Finishing” describing a technique where once the razor was at finish level, he lightly jointed the razor on the face of the stone, (1-2mm) to straighten the edge, then brought the bevels to meet the new “straight edge” with high grit stones.

    I have been using a modified “Jointing” technique for a while now with excellent success.

    My current go to honing regiment is, a Chosera or Nubatama Ume 1K (medium grit), (really liking the Nubatama), a 4/8k Norton, and a 12K super stone.

    Once all the 8k stria is removed then joint on the 12k and build a new edge with X laps, then the Sixgun 3-2-1 mambo, (3 forward, 2 back, and 1 forward) on the Guyokomo or 1um and .3um film.

    Granted we are talking about nat hair results here, but would be interested in other opinions.

    Hone a straight edge… or hone, to a straight edge?

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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Yes,,,




    The straightness of the edge in height seems to be something that we seldom talk about here

    I started Killing/Jointing/Downstroking at the same time I started restoring razors, the restore process makes for a rather ragged edge so it just made sense to me to set the bevel then kill that edge and reset it ... You can see for yourself under magnification it makes for a much more even edge in the end...

    The TNT is also a much under utilized arrow in this quiver
    Last edited by gssixgun; 01-10-2015 at 03:23 PM.

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    Senior Member Wolfpack34's Avatar
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    Usually I am satisfied with a clean edge that shaves comfortably rather than chasing edge perfection, but this sounds Similar I suppose to the Unicot method with a Coticule. I just started to read that translated treatise ( Thanks for posting that BTW Marty!)...so I think I will give it a try this weekend as I have 4 razors that need to be honed.
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    A bit confused by the question. Is it about a perfectly 'straight' edge like is seen in many custom razors and Kamisori or is it about even bevels?
    I have very few totally straight edges and most of those are honed toward a smile at the heel and sometimes toe.
    To me, a slight smile produces the most comfortable shave. I never thought of getting an edge perfectly straight unless a kamisori. Just me
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    Edge straightness as a matter of the actual bevel being of an even height, not the edge profile

    ie: A smiling blade still has to have a "straight" bevel "Height-wise"
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    Oh boy, I have wondered about this ever since I first read Jim's translation. You guys have interpreted it WAY differently than I did.

    5. Edge Finishing
    Rinse the Honyama very, very well with clean water, removing any trace of slurry. You mustn’t
    leave a single grain. Very carefully wash your hands and the razor as well.
    Wet the surface of the hone, and hold your razor or Kamisori in one hand. The proper place to hold
    a Kamisori one-handed is likely a mystery.
    Using just the weight of the blade, very very lighly pull the razor about one or two millimeters in a
    direction parallel to the razor's edge [i.e. instead of edge leading or spine leading, move the razor
    slightly back and forth perpendicular to the stone.--JDR]. Don't move any further than that. On the
    off chance that you move too much, or use too much pressure, you will remove too much steel and
    you'll create another false edge. In that case, you should go back and repeat step (4). This technique
    is very delicate, and requires a lot of practice.
    [This section was a bear to translate due to some really vague language. After much research and
    investigation, I think this is basically the freehand creation of a secondary bevel, in Japanese called
    "Kobatome," 小刃止め or "small edge finishing." Anyone who reads Japanese, please feel free to
    check me on this.--JDR
    I was wrong, wrong, wrong. The word used for “standing,” tate, is also the
    word used for “lengthwise,” and I went entirely the wrong direction.--JDR]

    (Underlined section was crossed out.)

    So you guys interpret this as microbreadknifing. I don't.

    The blade is not to be perpendicular to the surface of the stone. Instead it is to be moved perpendicular to the length of the stone, as stated "instead of edge leading or spine leading." If the microbreadknifing were the correct interpretation, then some kind of honing should be described to follow it, but there is none. This is the edge finishing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Utopian View Post

    So you guys interpret this as microbreadknifing. I don't.



    Actually I never interpreted it at all, (was doing this for years before the translation) I simply looked at the edges under magnification and determined that the edge needed to be "Straightened" from two directions

    One: The edge must be straightened from the sides to create a bevel that meets in a sharp edge

    Two: The edge needed to be straightened from the top to create an edge that was a even height..


    By killing the edge (Whatever name you want to use) it helped to smooth and even up the edge from two directions.. simple
    Last edited by gssixgun; 01-10-2015 at 05:27 PM.

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    OK Glen, since you did not interpret, then you are off the hook! I have no problem with the straightening of the edge, just the issue of what "perpendicular" meant in Jim's translation.
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    It is rather interesting that Iwasaki and that one Shapton guy (name escapes me.. Harlan ????) both came up with perpendicular honing strokes..

    I have found some use for them when trying to even up a wonky bevel sorry going


    Simply more honing gymnastics

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    I have never heard of the term "Jointed" in honing before. Could someone please explain this technique? 😀
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