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Thread: keeping the blade sharp

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    Default keeping the blade sharp

    How long are you guys able to keep the razor sharp between honings? I am only able to have it sharp 3-6 times after honing the blade.

    I have a 3" wide strop, and i strop the blade on each side roughly 50-100 times each. Anytime between 3-6 shaves later the blade is so dull that i cant bear it and i give up and hone it with my 12K stone. Afterwords the shave is smooth and great. But the cycle repeats itself as it should, i just dont recall it being so short periods for experts here. I have razors i was given from various users from this community a few years ago. So they are good quality USA/Germany metal.

    I recall users saying they went anywhere from 6-12 months between honings. So i must be doing something wrong.

    Is there anything wrong with honing the blade every 3-6 shaves since i have a good quality stone?

    PS ive watched all the videos you guys advise to watch with honing a blade, proper stropping and shaving techniques.

  2. #2
    Member GarnerPW's Avatar
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    Are you stropping before every shave?

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    yes i strop 50-100 each side before every shave.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    Well there are a few places where that can go wrong. The first thing that comes to mind is your stropping. If your technique is poor it will degrade the edge quite quickly. The other of course is your honing. Is you push your edge too far it will break quite quickly. Also if your bevel is not completely set you will never get a shave from it. I would expect you would get the most mileage from a meet up with a senior member or to attend a meet. I do not know of any up coming meets.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    I usually find if a razor isn't going to shave due to poor honing, it'll be pretty immediate. Either the first shave will be bad, or the second terrible.

    I had this issue myself, I could put a pretty decent edge on a razor, but I was screwing it all up with my stropping. I'd say you're probably in need of stropping practice.

    For me it was primarily a pressure issue. Too much tension on the strop, too much pressure on the blade. Loosening the tension a bit and letting the weight of the blade do the work, like with every other phase, seemed to get me where I wanted to be. You'll find your edges lasting longer and longer as you tune your technique. I started getting 5-10 shaves before needing to re-hone, then upwards of a month. Right now I'd say my edges probably last 2 or 3 months on just linen and leather.

    The only negative from honing so often is wear on the blade. Every time you use a hone metal is being removed. So the longer you can keep it tuned with a strop, the better off you are.

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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Let's make an assumption that your honing is good - Yes i know

    There are basically 3 stages of stropping that we all have to go through

    #1 Do no harm - where you learn the basic moves that allow you to not wreck the Honed edge

    #2 Doing no harm - This is the stage where you have now manged to strop the edge without wrecking it but you haven't made it to the next stage off helping the edge

    #3 Maintaining the edge - This is the final stage where you are confident enough to learn the pressuer and tension variations that actually allow you to improve the edge on the strop and maintain the edge for months if not longer



    Glen, typing from Elmira Idaho

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    First, look at the edge with magnification, looking for chips or rolled uneven edge.

    Your experience is not uncommon. It takes a while to master the stropping skill. Unfortunately, once the edge is damaged, honing is often the only way to restore the edge.

    What need to be done, depends on the damage.

    When stropping, keep the razor flat on the strop, use light pressure and do not lift the spine off the strop, stop then flip with the spine on the strop.

    Too much pressure or lifting the spine are the most common stropping issues.

    Look at the edge with magnification and find a local mentor to coach you. As you master the stropping skill, your edges and shaves will get better. Go slow and do not try to emulate the wild, fast stropping videos on line.

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    Senior Member rodb's Avatar
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    What brand of razor and strop do you have? Chinese razors will take an edge but it typically won't last as long and some vintage blades will have edges that crumble easily and are hard to keep going until you remove some old steel and reset the bevel
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    bcw
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    It is very easy to put too much pressure on the razor and the strop. It takes more concentration to let the razor do the work on a strop that isn't guitar string tight, or at least that's my experience. Do you have a pasted strop? 20 or so passes on that every 10 shaves may help, then strop on the leather after cleaning the blade on the unpasted side. It might be to your advantage to send the razor to one of the several honemeisters on this site so the bevel is properly set, and the edge is not over or under honed. Just my $.02
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    Quote Originally Posted by gssixgun View Post
    Let's make an assumption that your honing is good - Yes i know

    There are basically 3 stages of stropping that we all have to go through

    #1 Do no harm - where you learn the basic moves that allow you to not wreck the Honed edge

    #2 Doing no harm - This is the stage where you have now manged to strop the edge without wrecking it but you haven't made it to the next stage off helping the edge

    #3 Maintaining the edge - This is the final stage where you are confident enough to learn the pressuer and tension variations that actually allow you to improve the edge on the strop and maintain the edge for months if not longer



    Glen, typing from Elmira Idaho
    Then i feel like i am at #2. I can sometimes put myself back at #1 by trying to get up to #3 ....if that makes sense.

    i think i got to the point where i feel like im not doing anything when stropping. If i do it the way i should, it doesnt feel like it does anything.

    For others: Its a Gold Seal USA/Germany razor, and not a pasted strop due to having a stone. How much magnification do you need to look at a razors edge? not sure if i have anything. I think im doing OK with honing because the blade is great after the stone for numerous shaves. i always feel worried stropping is going to ruin the edge made by the stone.
    Last edited by metulburr; 05-09-2017 at 01:20 PM.
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