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Thread: ugh...a tape thread...

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    Just a guy with free time.
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    Default ugh...a tape thread...

    I've read this statement twice now, and was hoping for some further explanation. "If you can't get a bevel with no tape, adding tape won't help." That's paraphrasing ofc. This does depend on blade geometry I know. But I've had several razors that wouldn't take a bevel without tape. While only one that was less agreeable with the addition of tape. So it's just my experience thus far I get. But I'm trying to understand the statement. For me, adding tape creates a more stout, short bevel. While not using tape is preferred due to the tape adding a frictional facet I don't like. But it's been proven for me anyhow, that adding tape to the spine of a razor shortens the work cycle considerably, and sharpens razors that I otherwise couldn't get a decent V on. So what gives? Is this my mileage varying?

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Just do an advanced search with keyword "tape" and you'll see why someone would say... ugh, another tape thread .... or coticule or HHT or .... the list can go on and on.
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    Seņor Member (the name is Dave) DFriedl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by regularjoe View Post
    shortens the work cycle considerably
    This. It's the same idea as hollow grind vs full wedge. You just have to remove less metal to do what you're trying to do. This response ignores the other purpose of tape, which is to dope an uneven spine.

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    Jimmy didn't read the thread or I didn't write it well. lol I'm very familiar with the tiresome nature of tape threads. lol. The worst part is when you wanna know something specific about using tape, because there's no way to wade through it all. Hence...another tape thread begins. lol.

    The statement "if you can't do it without tape, adding tape won't help.", to me, means that every razor is honeable without tape. While I find the idea that every razor is honeable without tape, to be false. The statement doesn't allude to me in any way that adding tape shortens the work cycle. Maybe I'm too dense for this topic. lol.

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    Know thyself holli4pirating's Avatar
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    Adding one layer of tape doesn't change the geometry much (I forget the reported change in degrees), so it doesn't really change the bevel angle. You will remove less steel with tape, because there is a slightly larger bevel angle, but also because you are not removing material from the spine (so the bevel angle gets just a little wider as you hone, since the spine width remains closer to constant). If you are removing a lot of steel, these two factors come into play, and honing takes less time with tape. If steel removal is not a factor, then the tape effectively changes nothing, so either way you should get a good edge.

    If you want logically think about the question "If you can't do it with/without tape, can you do it without/with?" just consider what variables you are actually changing. The steel is the same, the geometry change is negligible, your honing stills are the same, the stones are the same, etc etc. Nothing really changes. If you want to practically test it, just pick a razor, and try with and without. Just make sure you actually put in enough (patient) honing time to make sure you can set the bevel without tape.

    Just my quick thoughts. Given the extent it's been discussed, I'm sure a search will show you much more.
    Last edited by holli4pirating; 07-19-2012 at 07:47 PM.

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Nothing 'wrong' with using tape if that is your preference. I used one layer on everything the first year I honed and it all worked out well. Now I only use it on damascus or decorated spines, and I consider it a PITA .... but it is just a matter of individual choice. IMHO more than one layer is only required, or even advisable, for special applications. No rules ..... all is fair in love, buying on ebay and honing razors.

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    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    I think tape can speed things up, but even a spoon has a bevel. I would be surprised if someone with honing experience was convinced that the only way to achieve a good bevel was through tape application. I'm not sure, without being guilty of replying to yet another tape thread, how to really explain all the potential nuances.

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    Yeah I don't like to use tape, but in a handful of instances, it was the only way to establish a bevel...IMHO. And regardless of the measurements and science of it all, those razors had plenty of time to get sharp before I gave up and used tape. lol. Small change, Drastically different result. Who knows.

    Anyhow, just making sure I was reading the statement correctly. Thanks fellahs.

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    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    There was one razor a few years ago that wouldn't "take" an edge, basically it had a bevel problem. I should have applied tape and been done with it. But I was ornery about it, because well I'm ornery. So in the end I put my fingers on the spine and ground it down until I achieved a bevel. Should I have used tape? Yes, probably. Was it the ONLY option. No, not in my mind. I hope that makes a little more sense.
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    Not with my razor 🚫 SirStropalot's Avatar
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    I use tape on all my razors, usually 1 layer because most are new or NOS and I just don't like hone wear on the spine. Some don't, others like me do and since it's a preference thing I don't think anyone is wrong. But occasionally and I'll take my Civil War era Sheffield as an example, passed down through the family by the way, as one that I use 3 or maybe 4 layers on. The spine is so worn that to try and hone it without tape is to hone a 3/16"+/- bevel. It takes for ever and really creates a wider, very thin edge. By adding 3 and I think I actually used 4 layers last time (and I know that it gets spongie there) I am re-establishing a temporary spine to lift it up enough to narrow the bevel and make honing much faster and in my mind a more durable edge by having the the thinnest part of the edge narrower in bevel width. It does change the geometry enough to work. It works for me anyway!

    Regards,

    Howard
    Last edited by SirStropalot; 07-19-2012 at 11:35 PM.
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