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Thread: Ode to the X-Pattern stroke

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    Enthusiast Gammaray's Avatar
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    Default Ode to the X-Pattern stroke

    REPOSTED UNDER HONES
    Last edited by Gammaray; 09-30-2012 at 01:45 PM.

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    ace
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    Senior Member blabbermouth ace's Avatar
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    Default NO MORE X-PATTERN STROKES?

    Sounds more like an ode "against" the X-stroke.

    How's this?

    The pattern of honing will create edge effects,
    and is properly done in strokes resembling an 'X'.
    Honing without an 'X' can work, it must be surmised,
    but by using the 'X' stroke more angles are realized.

    Even on a three inch hone, slight X-strokes can help
    to create a more refined edge, so the shaver won't yelp
    when he cuts himself with an edge not well-refined.
    X-strokes make the edge less one dimensional, more defined.

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    Customized Birnando's Avatar
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    Oh my, I really aren't prepared to retire the x-stroke at all!
    Regardless of a stones width, I will use the x-stroke, as the edge of the hone closest to your hand is where everything is at
    That is the area where the most control can be had, and the bevel really felt thru the hand.
    Getting an evenly distributed pressure on a bevel throughout the whole lenght of the blade is not easy, sometimes even quite impossible, at least with a degree of control and feel. IMHO that is

    No, the X-stroke will remain the pillar of my honing regardless of stones width, no doubt about that!
    Bjoernar
    Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years....


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    Historically Inquisitive Martin103's Avatar
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    Default

    Perhaps this thread should be moved to the "Honing"forum.

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    Customized Birnando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin103 View Post
    Perhaps this thread should be moved to the "Honing"forum.
    Quite right.

    Done
    Bjoernar
    Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years....


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    Senior Member strtman's Avatar
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    Default

    I do not hone my razors. But of course I do stropping. I have a DOVO Russian Leather/Canvas strop which is 2 inches wide. I am used to make X-pattern strokes so no retirement for me.

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    Member Trox's Avatar
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    I would think that with a straight back and forth stropping/honing if there is a small imperfection in either you will just go over that spot with the same portion of the edge so you won't get that super sharpness to that section of the edge. With the X stroke you most likely won't hit the same spots with the same portion of the edge every single pass so those micro-imperfections won't effect your blade as much. So even with a 3" strop/hone you would want to do a X stroke; it just won't need to be as pronounced as it would with a 2" strop/hone.

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    Enthusiast Gammaray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birnando View Post
    Quite right.

    Done
    You are correct. I will move this post to the honing section.

    Thanks guys.

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    Enthusiast Gammaray's Avatar
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    Default NO MORE X-PATTERN STROKES?

    Most of us started with the X-pattern stroke. Up until a few months ago I was still using it. Back then our hones were at best two inches wide and our strops about the same. The X-pattern stroke was necessary to cover then entire edge of a SR. Today, we have 3" plus hones and strops that easily cover the entire edge. I am increasingly convinced, especially for newbies, that the X-pattern stroke on these wider surfaces is unnecessary and potentially injurious to the edge. Perhaps it is time to retire the X-pattern stroke for the following reasons.

    1. A combination of edge forward, heel forward, and toe forward strokes can cover the entire edge without ever drawing it over the edge of the hone during an X-pattern stroke.

    2. Keeping the entire edge on the stone avoids variations in pressure that can occur during the X-pattern stroke.

    3. The X-pattern stroke favors the middle and toe of the edge at the expense of the heel, which inevitable spends less time in contact with the hone. Keeping the entire edge on the hone surface provides more even coverage.

    4. With such wide hones and strops the original usefulness of this stroke is no longer required.

    OK, now you can let me have it with your own opinions. Has anyone else out there elected, as I have, to retire the X-stroke pattern?


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    ace
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    One of the values of X-strokes is that the variation in stroke direction minimizes striations in the bevel. Because the strokes are in slightly different directions, the striations tend to be cancelled out, leaving a smoother bevel.

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