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Thread: Tools of honing

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    Question Tools of honing

    Hey guys, lately I got really into straight razor shaving and honing/sharpening. I also read these forums alot to take in some information.
    So the thing is, my budget for it was really low but still I wished to get into it. I ordered a double sided 1000/3000 waterstone, a chep GD and a reeaaly cheap belt(i think its not from leather even).

    So my question is this.. Can I hone a straight razor using only a (in this order) :
    200 oilstone >
    1000/3000 waterstone >
    a belt with polishing paste >
    a cardborad/belt loaded with chromium oxide paste >
    a fake belt suppose to be for razor stropping/anewspaper

    I know it sounds bad, but im a student at the moment and money isnt the thing im loaded with.. But im still really into this stuff. Using the order mentioned above I got my super cheap GD to a state where I can POP the hanging hair test(not super far though) and it also can trim some hair off my hand in mid air. The shave however is close to painful and I get tiny cuts.

    I wish to know where is the biggest problem(I know I have lots of them )..
    1. on one side i know I havent nothing higher that 3k waterstone.. and I hope the chromium oxide paste helps me out there but of course im not sure.
    2. Or its just that I have not enough skill to really hone that GD which is hard to hone.
    3. maybe a crapy belt or newspaper isnt enough to finish off the blade

    any thoughts here ill be happy to hear. My suspicion is that I loose something going from 3k to polishing patse.. Not even sure its doable maybe someone had experience like this..

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    Customized Birnando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotfuzz View Post

    200 oilstone >
    1000/3000 waterstone >
    a belt with polishing paste >
    a cardborad/belt loaded with chromium oxide paste >
    a fake belt suppose to be for razor stropping/anewspaper
    Yeah, you probably could.
    The 200 grit oilstone is nothing you wanna mess with though.
    Way too coarse for most our needs regarding straight razors.

    The 1K/3K waterstone should be a good starting point, depending somewhat on what stone it is.
    Most waterstones I have tried in that range will do the job.

    Now, after that it gets interesting.

    Yes, while most here on SRP are very stone and progression minded, pasted strops can be used following the initial bevel set.
    I know plenty of people here in Europe who uses that approach, and their edges are just fine.
    As to what pastes and what progression you would need, I couldn't advice you all that much.

    There are threads about this topic on this site though, search a bit and you will find it

    Good luck!

    All that said, you are mentioning the brand of your razor, and that doesn't make being a beginner any easier.
    It could have all sorts of problems, and you being a rookie at this, it would be hard for you to know what comes down to lack of shaving experience, what comes down to lack of honing equipment and shaving equipment and finally what comes down to poor honing/stropping technique.

    That is a lot of factors to throw you off the mark.
    Last edited by Birnando; 05-07-2014 at 10:40 AM.
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    Bjoernar
    Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years....


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    Thanks for info Birnando, Im happy to hear that going from 3k to a paste is possible. Ill sniff around about those pastes.

    As for shaving it self I think im not absolute beginner no more. I have been shaving for about 6 months with straight razor with changeable blades as they dont need to be honed. I really love the process of shaving with straight razor but after a while I just wished to jump from changeable razors to a tool that doesnt create any waste.

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    8k is considered the start of shave ready. 8k is approximately 3 micron. 12k is usually considered a finisher. 12k is approximately 1 micron. Chromium oxide is about .5 micron. Going from 3k to crox is a massive jump and will take forever to do properly. Balsa wood is a cheap effective stropping medium for pasting. You really want a decent leather strop for daily use. In the library there is some decent information on using pastes. Hth
    My wife calls me......... Can you just use Ed

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    I'm not sure what your 1k/3k stone is but if it's one of the cheaper ones I've always found that they are incredibly soft and dish very quickly. Just be carefull that your stone is completely flat.

    I'm new to razor honing myself but I've quickly found out that these here razors are incredibly sensitive to even the slightest hint of a non flat hone. Even the brand new 12k naniwa needed lapping as it wasn't completely flat (I found out the hard way) it would have been un noticeable sharpening knives but not these razors hehe

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    As said lap your stones, you can buy no name diamond plates for 15 bucks on EBay that will both lap your stones and can be used for repairing an edge.

    There is a large gap in your progression and in effect jumping from 3K to 30k going from 3k to Chrome Oxide. Which by the way make sure you are actually using Chrome Oxide, “Green Polishing Compound” often do not contain much if any Chrome Oxide.

    A 4/8 K Norton is a good stone that will get you much closer to a finished edge. Polishing film is an inexpensive alternative and a sample pack can be purchased for under 10 dollars here. I have never used this vendor but it should work, I buy film from Thor Labs they only sell in larger quantities. Film and a 5 dollar tile from Home Depot and you are good.

    While it is possible to get to shaveable by stropping on paste, you first have to learn to strop, an area novices have the most problems with, definitely a catch 22. As a result not a recommended process for the novice.

    A Gold Dollar can be made to shave, but many (most) have design/manufacturing flaws that must be corrected. Once corrected properly they can shave well.

    You will definitely learn a lot in the process, there is a lot written on making a GD shave… Or find a local mentor to cut down the learning curve and frustration. Learning to hone on a GD with a very limited budget is a challenge.

    An inexpensive vintage razor may be easier to learn to hone on at least remove one large variable.

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    Senior Member Siguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotfuzz View Post
    As for shaving it self I think im not absolute beginner no more. I have been shaving for about 6 months with straight razor with changeable blades as they dont need to be honed.
    Welcome hotfuzz!

    I think the above needs to be started in the Honing subforum as a topic all on its own. I haven't heard of many people successfull honing replaceable blade or trying to, for that matter.

    If I had been in your position(prior to purchasing), I might have gone a different direction and bought a Sight Unseen cheapie, knowing it was pro-honed, a cheap but working brush and soap scuttle set from Walmart(VDH-Van Der Hagen) and just bought a Naniwa 12K stone for maintenance and touchups or altogether put off that purchase until I got better. Stropping can be accomplished on my items.

    This way you can concentrate on getting *just* shaving down pat. Because with a limited budget and being a novice, there are far too many variables in the mix to ID what goes wrong and when without a mentor on hand to on-look.

    If you change your profile to reflect where you are, there may be a mentor in your area. There is a mentor section on here somewhere

    Regards,
    Last edited by Siguy; 05-07-2014 at 04:02 PM.

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    Thanks alot for comments guys.. Straight razor users really seem to be nice people.
    Im doing lots of research and found a really cheap 8k stone that I might order and a friend form England actually ordered me a small natural ~12k stone from ebay, from a vendor that was suggested on this forum.

    Today I tried the whole process all over again, spending alot more time on each phase. And I got it kind of sharper. The first few strokes was really close to what replaceable razors feel like, but after half of face it went worse.. So does that mean its the fault of the blades metal or that the edge is not properly set ?
    Here I decided to share some quick pictures of my GD and pastes I use:
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    I put pastes on slim cardboard like material and put the cardboard on flat, hard surface so it get closer to be like honed rather than stropped. The green paste is a Russian GOI paste which contains Chrome Oxide. Not sure in what quantities though. The light blue one is just a polishing paste.. No idea what grit is it.. it must be some what between the 3k and the Chrome Oxide.

    Polishing film is an inexpensive alternative and a sample pack can be purchased for under 10 dollars here
    Thanks Euclid, ill look into those films. I read about them but wasnt sure about the expense and how long will they last. But it might be a cheaper way out.

    I haven't heard of many people successfull honing replaceable blade or trying to, for that matter.
    I tried the method with just stropping the blades with my had.. well it went some-what successful. Didnt try to hone them though.. Could be an experiment...
    I also thought of the way you mention Siguy. Get a sharpened cheap one.. but in fact im also really into blade sharpening. I just love to sharpen my knives and knives of other friends.. In my surroundings it is a lost art it seems. People use ether blunt knives(which is annoying) or just those simple-to-use sharpeners where ju just stroke em few times and done.. But im in love with the process and idea behind manual sharpening.

    Im from Latvia, thats in Europe. There actually arent any places to buy any hones localy. This stuff just inst popular enough in here. And frankly I dont think there is that much poeple that even use a straight razor in my country. At least thats what I think.

    Also I'm laping my stone with a large tile. Draw a grid on the stone with a pencil and grind it down.. seems to work nicely.

    Cant wait to see what you got for me WetShaveObsession. I would gladly buy a good stone as all the pros do, but for now its a dream that ill have to accomplish later. now I just want to feed my new hobbie addiction. I get obsessed with these things.

    So the new question - does the blade loose sharpness because of the bad metal or badly set edge ? Or maybe something else ?
    Last edited by hotfuzz; 05-07-2014 at 11:21 PM.
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    Senior Member Siguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotfuzz View Post
    So the new question - does the blade loose sharpness because of the bad metal or badly set edge ? Or maybe something else ?
    Yes, yes as can bad stopping, bad shaving technique, overhoning,,,

    Usually, this is why it is highly advised to start with a pro-honed razor and learning how to 1.) pre-shave, 2.) lather properly 3.) proper stropping 4.) basic shaving techniqe.

    There's more than enough challenge with these four items without throwing in a host of other things to learn.

    ps-I can't tell from the photo whether the razor is bevel set or not.

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    Enthusiasm is a great thing. I know because i'm one who gets consumed with it.

    But so is a budget and ciphering out a way to earn/save up enough cold hard cash for a 4/8 Norto. I know it's not the "modern way" but neither is shaving with a real hero razor. But rest assured that 8k is enough for good shaving (with or without pastes).

    Do as you can do with what you do have to do with,

    there's a lot to learn even if one has _all_ the stones/pastes/strops he'd like to have.

    best of luck.
    Buttery Goodness is the Grail

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