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Thread: Experiment with Cnat

  1. #1
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    Default Experiment with Cnat

    I'm in the middle of an "experiment" with my Cnat so I thought I'd start a thread.

    I don't suppose this experiment will prove anything due to the limited data I'll have but it's a learning experience for me.

    My honing progression is generally 1k, 4k, 8k, Cnat and chromium oxide and ferric oxide on my paddle strop before going to plain leather.

    I get decent shaves but one can always get better I assume.

    I decided to try ending the cnat part of the progression on glycerin and water. I did that with 3 blades but with one after the glycerin and water cnat I did a few laps on ferric oxide (but not chromium oxide).

    So, I had two blades with no paste and one with ferric oxide. Now, I assume ferric oxide really does very little (unlike chromium oxide) but who knows?

    When I started my shave today I started with the blade that had the ferric oxide treatment and I started on my chin for the toughest test.

    That blade wasn't very smooth so I put that blade aside and used my other two blades (still on the chin). Both of them were noticeably smoother so I finished shaving with them.

    These were my 3 favorite razors by the way in general so I used my best blades for this test.

    After the shave I decided to change things around for the shave tomorrow.

    I took the blade that had been stropped with ferric oxide and went back to the Cnat and used a little slurry, then just water, then water and glycerin. I then stropped it just on plain leather.

    This will be the first blade I use tomorrow. This was the rougher blade today so I'd like to see if it is better tomorrow.

    Just to get more out of this test I took the other two blades and stropped both of them on chromium oxide and ferric oxide and then plain leather.

    I'll use them last tomorrow to see if they are now the rougher shave. If so I'll conclude that the paste isn't doing anything positive for me.

    If it turns out that the last two blades are still smoother then I'll conclude that what I'm noticing isn't the paste but something else. Maybe I just did a better job of honing in general on those blades or the steel is just better or whatever.

    More tomorrow after the shave...

    Just to add a few more comments on my prior thinking...

    I don't really think the ferric oxide should make enough different to have made my shave rougher today as I've read that it's made for softer metal than steel.

    I also had thought that paste would only add smoothness and not take away smoothness. I know that some people think "yes" and some think "no" on that issue but I was in the "yes" it should only improve an edge camp.
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    I did the second shave today. The blade was was rougher yesterday was smoother today and the other two were rougher today.

    So I guess for the time being I'm going to not use the pasted strop and will use glycerin on the Cnat to finish (along with plain leather).
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Maybe too much stropping on the Chromox/FeOx, or a bad stroke on one of the two? I've read if you go overboard on chromox the shave can get awful uncomfortable. I can only imagine it's easier to go over the top with 2 pastes, or have a miss-stroke in the mix somewhere. Typically those are used after honing or when the blade needs a touch up and not before/after every shave, right?

    I dropped pastes from my routine entirely. The only time I use Chromox now is a quick touch up, or maybe to soften a blade that needed more than the standard 4-10 swipes on a barber hone. I just buffed the stuffing out of a bunch of hones, including the Cnat, with a cotton wheel. I can't wait to get blades on them to see what the results from that will be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshal View Post
    Maybe too much stropping on the Chromox/FeOx, or a bad stroke on one of the two? I've read if you go overboard on chromox the shave can get awful uncomfortable. I can only imagine it's easier to go over the top with 2 pastes, or have a miss-stroke in the mix somewhere. Typically those are used after honing or when the blade needs a touch up and not before/after every shave, right?

    I dropped pastes from my routine entirely. The only time I use Chromox now is a quick touch up, or maybe to soften a blade that needed more than the standard 4-10 swipes on a barber hone. I just buffed the stuffing out of a bunch of hones, including the Cnat, with a cotton wheel. I can't wait to get blades on them to see what the results from that will be.
    I only did a few 5-10 laps on chromium oxide and then iron oxide (supposedly the grit is getting smaller by going in that direction). The iron oxide does little I think but who knows?

    No, I wasn't doing it after every shave in it's maintenance role but was doing it after the Cnat when honing. I don't think I missed any strokes either. For the second part of the test I was doing it with two different razors as well (with the same result).

    I have 7 blades out that I have shave ready and I generally just rotate though which ever one strikes my fancy on a particular day.

    I going to go through those today and finish them all on Cnat with glycerin and put the pasted strop away for a while.
    Last edited by gcbryan; 01-22-2017 at 01:57 AM.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Well, sounds like you're doing stuff more or less correct- at least to my understanding. Here's hoping the tests yield some good results! The more I use my PHIG, the more I like it.
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    I really enjoy reading threads like this. There are so many variables to consider you can only make assumptions BUT I experiment like this with different aspects all the time and really enjoy reading other people's "research". Thanks for sharing.
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    Senior Member S0LITARYS0LDIER's Avatar
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    Any updates Bryan?

    Did you get around to finishing more of your blades on the CNAT?

    I have also noticed paste to degrade my edge for some unbeknownst reason. I don't use paste for that reason alone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by S0LITARYS0LDIER View Post
    Any updates Bryan?

    Did you get around to finishing more of your blades on the CNAT?

    I have also noticed paste to degrade my edge for some unbeknownst reason. I don't use paste for that reason alone.
    I did it to the rest, yes.

    I talks so long for facial hair to grow that I'm still not sure what to think. When I shave everyday I can't tell as much about the edge as when I skip a few days.

    I skipped a few days the other day and it didn't seem as sharp but I'm going to try some of the other the next time I use a straight. I also have the Tsushima Ocean Blue coming to try out.

    I'll try to remember to post more when I have come to a more definite conclusion.

    I was in a hurry the other day as well and switched to a DE after the first pass.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    I agree that I've noticed if I shave the weak 5 o'clock shadow I get with a daily shave it is not a very good test of an edge. To that end, the only way to extrapolate data with any form of expedience for me, is to prepare a blade, wait for a bit of growth, then do a spot shave. My neck hair is thickest and mustache is most sensitive to tugging and pulling. I can extrapolate a little information from the cleft on either side of my chin (by how clean I can get that area), and my cheeks/sideburns really don't tell me much because the hair there almost seems to fall off with any sort of reasonably sharp edge. But if it DOES tug on the cheeks, the edge is a lost cause and the shave will bite all around.

    At any rate, I'll shave an inch or 2 of an easy area, then the same amount of a problem area with the blade prepped one way. Then I'll wash up, change how the blade is prepped, and try again. This way I can test 2, 3, 4 things in a setting. Then if the razor is shaving well, finish up the easy stuff (cheeks, sideburns, etc.) - or switch to a good shaving razor if it isn't - and prep the blade for another set of tests in a few day's time.
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    I've tested two razors that way, one half of my face with each razor.

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