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Thread: Bringing the smile back...

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    www.MercConsulting.com FastEdge's Avatar
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    Default Bringing the smile back...

    I recently obtained a razor that I really like, but ,unfortunately, the smile had been honed straight and, may even have a slight frown. I would rather not breadknife it. I don't want to remove a lot of metal. Is there another way of dealing with this that would retain more of the blade?

    Thanks,
    Ed M.

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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Since this is in the advanced section, I would answer that breadknifing does not mean only bringing the razor to straight....
    It can can used on a smiling razor also, or to bring back the smile...
    I would suggest that you take a magic marker and start at the thinnest point on the blade, and draw a line from that point to the toe, then to the heel using the smile curve that you want.... Now look at how much metal needs to be removed to accomplish this and make a decision as to whether that would help or hurt the final outcome of the razor....
    This might actually need to be done with a Dremel or grinder to have the proper geometry...

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    Hones & Honing randydance062449's Avatar
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    Working out a frown....thats a tuff one. If there is a frown then I would put 3 layers of tape on the spine and start honing on a 200-320 grit sandpaper. I would use a straight across stroke with a bit of pressure. That will get you back to a straight edge. But it will take time and several sheets of sandpaper.
    Restoring a smile is also a bunch of work. What I have done is to use a narrow, coarse hone, 1000 grit ( I prefer sandpaper), and then if working the heel, do 1 stroke on just the heel and then one full stroke. Then one stroke on the toe and then one full stoke. Do not perform 2,3,4 strokes on the heel and then one full stroke. The reason is that the multiple heel strokes develop a "groove" that takes more than one full stroke to correct.
    This is really slow work but it can be done.
    I learned this the hard way!
    Randolph Tuttle, a SRP Mentor for residents of Minnesota & western Wisconsin

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    www.MercConsulting.com FastEdge's Avatar
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    Wow, that does sound like a bit of work.
    Well, I knew it would be. Thanks for the information.

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    Forum mogwai thebigspendur's Avatar
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    The only thing I'll add is that bringing back a smile is not something to do on a lark. Its not basic honing. Its an advanced operation best left to skilled honers. Of course if you have a junk razor and want to experiment thats another thing.
    Every day without fail one should consider himself as dead-Tsunetomo

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    yeehaw. Ben325e's Avatar
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    In addition to the other great posts above, I'll add that breadknifing doesn't remove any more metal than any other method. if you have a 6/8 razor with a slight frown and you have to remove approx 1/8" of metal to give the blade a smile, then you can breadknife it into the shape of a smile, dremel it into the shape of a smile, or use standard honing strokes to get it there, or any other way. No matter what you do, you have to remove that exact same amount of metal. I can draw diagrams to illustrate this, but hopefully you can visualize well enough.

    Standard honing on an aggressive stone with several layers of tape is an easy way to get really good at changing tape, and I hate that. It also takes forever. Dremels can be hard to control, and mistakes happen easier. Breadknifing is slow and controlled, and IMHO is the easiest way to set a nice smile evenly. This is a case where "all roads lead to Rome", but some roads are more easily travelled than others. I'd rather breadknife it and then set the bevel. It's easier for me to get nice results this way.

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    Hones & Honing randydance062449's Avatar
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    To bread knife or not! That is the question!

    For shaping the edge the bread knife technique is faster but then you have this really, really dull edge that takes forever to re-establish the bevel!

    I know, it really is personal preference. A guy has to try both ways to see which is preferable. A better way is to buy a razor that does not have a frown! ( I should be so lucky!)
    Randolph Tuttle, a SRP Mentor for residents of Minnesota & western Wisconsin

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    Super Shaver xman's Avatar
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    I've dragged the ends of the razor over the edge of a coarse hone several times in incrementally longer strokes so that the preferred shape comes back. Worked pretty well.

    X

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    BHAD cured Sticky's Avatar
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    How to hone a smile: 1961 Barbering Text - Honing.pdf http://www.straightrazorplace.com/fo...p?do=file&id=2 ref. pg. 24.

    Any given smile profile will require the removal of the same amount of metal (breadknifing or not). I think it's faster to breadknife the profile until it's close and then hit the bevel planes. (Instead of removing steel from only the bevel planes until the right profile is reached.)

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    I use 220 or 400 grit wet/dry (used wet) on a flat plate. work the heel of the razor back and forth for a while, then the toe. Apply pressure to either the toe or heel, depending on where you are working.

    No "use only the weight of the blade" here! You are trying to remove material.

    A 1200 dimond plate is also quite effective!

    Don't be shy, have at that razor! It's a tough piece of high carbon steel, it can take what you can dish out.

    By not breadknifing, nor taping the spine, you will be then be able to set the honing bevel on the spine to the new smiling edge profile, thus enabling easier honing later down the line.

    If you breadknife a ceratin smile profile, how do you then get the honing bevel to match it? Isn't that a similar issue that the Double Arrows have, where the heel of the blade does not contact the hone due to the wide shoulder up at the honing bevel?
    Last edited by Seraphim; 01-29-2009 at 04:37 PM.

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