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  1. #1
    Cheapskate Honer Wildtim's Avatar
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    Default A question of vocabulary?

    I was reading a Sherlock Holmes mystery that concerned, as a piece of evidence, a razor. As he traced the razor to its origins and quized the selling barber about it I was struck by some of the terminology used.

    It seemed that everyone who shaved often owned at least one razor men of position seemed to often buy more.

    It seems that before the shave it was expected that the razor would have to be stropped

    It seemed that most guys were expected to hone their own razor frequently, what we often call a touch up.

    If honing wasn't enough to give you a good edge the blade would have to be "re-set" by a barber, this sounds like a more extensive honing consisting of multiple steps.

    A knife grinder could re-grind a razor if it was seriously damaged then it would be re-set and sold again.

    I was just wondering if there might be some use for the term Setting the edge again. It seems like we spend a lot of time teaching guys to "hone" when really they are learning to "set" the edge then they have to learn the finishing steps or actual "honing" of the razor later. We, it seems, lump these two steps under the same nomenclature, not differentiating them enough for the newbee to grasp.

  2. #2
    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    I think your right. Lynn often likes to describe setting the bevel as restoration work.

    For me, if its dull I hone it. End of story. How many strokes and on what hone I don't really care, nor do I know when I reach the restoration stage.

    . . . but I do agree with you. And I bet I could get away with being called a set-miester without anyone disagreeing, well until they knew what I was talking about, and then everyone would balk!

    And this would explain the "set-ready" bevel of a new razor.

  3. #3
    Cheapskate Honer Wildtim's Avatar
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    Set-ready bevel? where did you see that?

    I just recall it being interesting that the barber knew it wasn't one one particular customer because:

    "The Colonel is very hard on his razors his man brings one in at least every few months to be re-set."

    The barber didn't see enough wear for this one to be one of the Colonel's

    Now we never talk about re-setting the edge at all.

  4. #4
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    I couldn't agree more.
    There's a big difference between "polishing" a bevel, and "setting" a bevel. Honing a razor was very enigmatic to me, till I figured that one out.

    We need a clear and general honing article in the library about honing basics, that every one should read before aiming at honing his own razors. I can't understand why such a document doesn't seem to exist yet.

    Bart.

  5. #5
    BHAD cured Sticky's Avatar
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    I couldn't agree more, too.

    My Grandfather called it "setting the edge" when he taught me to sharpen. I have called it the same thing when teaching my kids to sharpen. I never called it setting the bevel until I joined the forum here.

    He called the later steps "refining" or "touching-up the edge".
    Last edited by Sticky; 02-25-2008 at 02:54 AM.

  6. #6
    Frameback Aficionado heavydutysg135's Avatar
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    In my mind setting a bevel simply means honing the razor until the two planes from the spine to the edge form a sharp point. Setting an edge would be the same thing. The quickest and most efficient way to do this is with a course stone usually in the 1K to 4K range. This is the same concept as forming a burr on a knife. You simply have to get the razor sharp (set the bevel or edge) before the finishing stones are going to positively effect the edge in a reasonable amount of time. Some people use the pyramid and set the bevel and then polish it at the same time. Others are able to detect when they have set an even and sharp bevel and then polish it to a shave ready edge.

  7. #7
    Senior Member norman931's Avatar
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    What Sherlock Holmes story is that found in?

    Norm

  8. #8
    Junior Honemeister Mike_ratliff's Avatar
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    You guys are dancing right on the edge of it...
    setting the edge or setting the bevel is exactly that.
    And it seems this is the most difficult thing for new honers to grasp.
    When you buy a new Ti, or Dovo, the factory spends a little time setting the edge or bevel, but really doesn't refine it.
    All the Wapis I've been honing need to have the bevel set. that's why some people think they are hard to hone.
    To me anything done below 8000 grit is setting the bevel,
    8000 and above is refining the edge, or in the case of a used razor in good condition, refreshing the edge.
    It's all honing, if a member has a sharp razor he can "hone" on just a 12000 grit stone... or a barber hone and keep his blade sharp indefinitely.
    When he sends a blade to me it needs the bevel reset more often than not.

    heavydutysg135's got the right idea, if the bevel or edge isn't set right in the first place, or has been worn off by over stropping on pasted strops, a polishing or refining hone won't be able to affect the edge.

    I think this thread has a very good point though, maybe we should separate these two steps when discussing honing... I know it would make it easier to explain my pricing when I do honing for people...

    I charge $20 for razors that need the bevel set, or minor chips etc removed... (this often borders on minor restoration work)
    and when the blade just needs refreshing I charge $15.

    Currently it's hard to explain the difference to those who don't hone. and often they won't know what their razor needs until that have more experience. So I just tell everyone $20, and give discounts where applicable...

  9. #9
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    I have it broken down in my mind very easily
    1000k-3999k = Bevel setting
    4000k-7999k = Sharpening
    8000k and above (inc. pastes) = Polishing
    Is this right or wrong, I dont know, nor do I really care
    It gets my razors sharp, and my shaves smooth, and that in the end is all that really matters..... To me!!!!
    More importantly it is repeatable....


  10. #10
    <--- NIGH-INVULNERABLE! Belegnole's Avatar
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    Maybe it's my age...maybe my occupation, or it could be my life experiences. But, for some reason I understood the difference right off. Chances are I read that Sherlock Holmes book as a kid....lol

    maybe this is why I am going to jump right into the honing club?

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