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Thread: Stropping between hones?

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    32t
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    Default Stropping between hones?

    I don't remember seeing this and a search turned up nothing but today I set my honing station up to look out the window and the thermometer just got over 0'F when the sun shined on it in the afternoon. Lots of time to play indoors!

    I found a 44/20 'Manganese steel" that I thought would be fun to play with. It is in generally good shape but under the scope (50X) there were many pits in the bevel. The 1K norton was slow going to remove all the pits so I decided to try my new 400 Atoma. When the bevel was nice and clean I tried arm hair. I was pleasantly surprised at how it cut. After a few laps on the 1K it seemed to be much worse??? A while longer on the 1K and it didn't improve. It looked good to me? I have a heavily pasted paddle strop that I have been using for knives and decided to do a few laps. Much better. Went to the 4K Norton and felt it should be better but then stropped also showed improvement. I didn't strop after the 8K and finished on a PHIG.

    I did my "normal" strop routine afterwards and did a test shave with a good dash of Clubman, (On a Sunday afternoon... ) and the shave was excellent.

    Removing foil or wire edge? Any thoughts?

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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    I have used the Atoma 400 for repair work and I think it's awesome for that purpose, as it does not leave as deep of scratches as other diamond plates. Its scratches are more easily removed by a 1k hone. I have no success in assessing my edges with arm hair, but I suspect the reason it worked well off of the 400 was the extreme toothiness of the edge. I think the worsening of the edge after a few 1k strokes was due to the reduction of that toothiness. Now after you did more strokes on the 1k and still did not get improvement, I cannot explain that. Are you normally able to cut arm hair off of the 1k? I've had no difficulty transitioning from the 400 to the 1k and moving up the progression from that.

    The usual benefit of stropping is to re-align or break off a burr, but normal honing from 1k to 4k to 8k should yield no burr, so I cannot explain the benefit. I assume the heavily pasted strop was pasted with Cro-Ox? The 1k should have removed any burr from the 400, so I really don't any explanation for what you experienced. The only reason I'm telling you what I don't know is because it does not jibe with my experience doing the same thing.
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    Junior Tinkerer Srdjan's Avatar
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    This is normal. I think your scope should reveal the "secret" behind this behavior Strop will always improve and align whatever hone you came off of, if we are talking razor grits (I.e. relatively high, like 1k and above).

    The cutting edge off of your Atoma is certainly not refined and does not slice the hair, but it's the teeth of the edge that "cut" (tear) and give you a false impression of sharpness. 1K should definitely improve this. Have you looked under the scope to make sure you've removed all the stria from the Atoma, with your Norton? Anyway, I would say a new Atoma 400 is way too coarse and aggressive for a razor, even one with pits... Not that I've tried one yet, but it's on the list for sure.

    I used a (well worn) DMT-C 320 on a Gold dollar once, because it needed a straighter spine. I remember having the hardest time erasing all the DMT scratches with an 800 and then a 1K hone. My experience was very similar to yours, until I had a clean 1K bevel and edge. Strange thing, but sometimes I see similar behavior comparing 1K and some mid-range stone. I think reasons are essentially the same, just on a more refined scale.

    No matter what, it's only important to make sure all the deeper/coarser striations are removed in the progression, as you move up. That and to not overhone and create a wire... Then in the end, it will all come together nicely. You can keep stropping between hones, that won't hurt. I always palm-strop, but don't always go to the full strop.
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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srdjan View Post
    Anyway, I would say a new Atoma 400 is way too coarse and aggressive for a razor, even one with pits... Not that I've tried one yet, but it's on the list for sure.
    That is a perfectly reasonable assumption, but I was happy to find that it is not the case for the Atoma 400. It removes steel quickly but, relatively speaking, it does not leave deep scratches.
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    32t
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    Thanks for the replies. They are along the lines of my thinking, but if I had the answers I wouldn't need to ask.

    I have never tried stropping between hones before and my experience is to little to make a judgment but brought up my thoughts. I have never had much luck with HHT etc. Arm hair to me is at least a basic test that I can get a little reliability from although there is no set standard to me of that either. I was thinking about posts about shaving from the 8K and even 1k when I thought for giggles I would try the arm with the 400.

    As far as the Atoma 400 being course and leaving a toothy edge that makes a lot of sense to me but if it left "really" deep gouges why would a few strokes on the 1K remove them and make the effect less noticeable so quickly?

    If removing these teeth makes the arm hair removal less what is the point of trying arm hair as a test?

    I can see where stropping could improve the edge at any grit level but is the improvement going to be negated if going to a finer hone?

    Maybe it is just to cold of a day and I have to much time to spend indoors and think?

    Tim

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    barba crescit caput nescit Phrank's Avatar
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    For my limited experience - once I am satisfied that I have a good bevel - I will strop the razor before moving on.

    Occasionally, if I remember or think about it, I will strop after the second stone, my Nani 3k or the Nani 5k....
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Yes, stropping on linen, canvas or a pasted strop will make a straighter edge and quicker. You also have the benefit of removing some of the deep stria if pasted.

    Try stropping between each stone, but you will see a difference post 1k and or at the 8k or finish stone. There is no down side to this.

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    Dr. Matt talks about stropping between hones on one of his videos I just watched. Going to try it soon.

    Slawman

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    Senior Member blabbermouth tcrideshd's Avatar
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    I know nothing about Honing, but because I Know nothing I have been using a dedicated strop between hones, my stropping is very good so I think it can't hurt. Maybe because I,m such a weak honer, I need the crutch of the strop between them, maybe it's just in my mind but I am getting the edges I like. So don't take my word for it, like Ron said it should not really do anything to he edge if it's right, plus the next hone should do the job without the benefit of the strop. Tc
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcrideshd View Post
    I know nothing about Honing, but because I Know nothing I have been using a dedicated strop between hones, my stropping is very good so I think it can't hurt. Maybe because I,m such a weak honer, I need the crutch of the strop between them, maybe it's just in my mind but I am getting the edges I like. So don't take my word for it, like Ron said it should not really do anything to he edge if it's right, plus the next hone should do the job without the benefit of the strop. Tc
    Yeah, this! I'm still learning and refining my honing techniques, as I posted about recently. But one of the tips or tricks I posted about included exactly this. Like TC, I am much more confident in my stropping ability than my honing. In fact, I kind of enjoy the "no-mind" zen aspect of stropping (yeah, I'm weird). So I too have started stropping between hones, about 15 CrOX linen and 50 English bridle, and of course the final post-honing stropping to finish. I notice a definite improvement on each successive higher-grit hone after the 1k (smoother and faster), and noticeably-improved shaves.

    Now I am expecting the arrival of my Chosera 1k any day now (which I fell in love with at the Asheville meetup a couple of years ago-it might have been Ron's or Kevin's), and so hopefully improvements at the most-important bevel-setting stage will up my game on the higher grit hones too. We'll see. Aaron
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