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Thread: Sterilization and Self honing vs Honemeister

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    Member KempieG's Avatar
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    Default Sterilization and Self honing vs Honemeister

    Greetings shavers,

    I recently had a new blade picked up from an antique collector, a silversteel Solingen blade which is quite a beauty. Now I have 2 concerns, it has been lying around in that shop for a few years. I'm not really keen on just trying it out, since I have no idea about how clean it is and cannot figure out the sharpness without shaving with it.

    Should I sterilize it properly first? It cannot carry any major diseases since it has been lying around for so long, but I suppose a swipe would be useful.

    It's not chipped or anything, looks very good in fact. But I suppose it is not shave ready (will test that after overcoming the sterilization bit), would this be a good opportunity to pick up a hone and go for it? I am planning to do so at some point in the future anyway.. Or should I have someone do it for me? If so what are the average prices for a good hone?

    Thanks in advance!

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    This is what I would do.

    Send your nice razor for a pro honing or find a generous honer to help you out. Then get a starter hone. Norton 4/8 is what most start with. After that get a practice razor from eBay or something. You don't want to ruin your nice razor learning.
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    Member CharlieFoxtrot's Avatar
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    I use a healthy soak in drugstore alcohol to sanitize. I just got into honing to keep cost down. I used 3M lapping film this weekend to bring two e-bay specials to shave ready. I set the bevel on 9 micron and progressed through 5/3/1/0.3. Stropped on linen and leather to finish it off. They were my first hones, and total start up cost of $25. With sheets I received it's probably a 1 year supply (ymmv). The best part was that it took no honemeister skills and total time for both was about an hour. Additionally, I'll clean the razor up with Maas metal polish. It will clean the scales up nicely and remove any tarnish on the blade.
    Last edited by CharlieFoxtrot; 02-19-2012 at 05:47 PM.

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    For blades that are new or I have used on someone else, I pour hydrogen peroxide on the blade. Its a very effective sanitizer, better than alcohol. If it foams blood or staph is present. After that, I wash carefully with soap and rinse with water followed by alcohol. With rubbing alcohol, 70 percent is more effective than 90 percent, and it has to air evaporate to be effective. Wiping it off defeats the purpose. Do not use bleach, it may be a great sanitizer, but it can cause discoloration and sometimes pitting if left on the blade.

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    Senior Member tekbow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by U2Bono269 View Post
    This is what I would do.

    Send your nice razor for a pro honing or find a generous honer to help you out. Then get a starter hone. Norton 4/8 is what most start with. After that get a practice razor from eBay or something. You don't want to ruin your nice razor learning.

    IMHO if you've never honed before (not to get into a whole big honing discussion) getting a 4k/8k is a bad idea. It's not a starter hone. It's a hone for beginners to honing, not a hone for beginners to straight shaving. there's a difference. Start with a finisher (C12K, Nani 12k etc) than can be used for touch ups and when that's been mastered get the 4/8k workhorse and put the finisher away until you've mastered getting a good edge from the 8k. But i digress.. I agree with sending it out for a pro honing.

    To be honest right, i don't think a beginner should go anywhere near a hone until they've got the hang of stropping and maintaining the edge that way for at least a few (preferably more) months. All hones lead to is hone neurosis where you fool yourself into thinking you razor really really needs taken to the stone when it doesn't, just for the sake of honing it.

    As for sterilisation, boiling water should do the job fine, i personally add a little bleach if there's no gold on the blade.
    Last edited by tekbow; 02-19-2012 at 06:41 PM.
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    Is a barbicide safe for straights? That's what I've always used with DEs, but there is no edge to worry about.

    Mikhail is right about evaporation, the 70% alcohol desiccates the organism and dissolves the proteins. 95% just evaporates too fast to do the job. There's a just few things that alcohol doesn't kill as well as barbicide.

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    Baby Butt Smooth... justalex's Avatar
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    Send it out for a honing and get a chinese 12k hone - they're cheap and usually slow finishers which should give you a chance to practice your stroke enough before moving to full honing on a Norton 4/8k or other progression (only when it needs it)

    C12k is 19 all in from the invisible edge. If your in the US, I'm sure you'll find it just as cheap

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    all your razor are belong to us red96ta's Avatar
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    Other than a quick clean with metal polish and then a honing, there's no need to worry about disease living on a razor. There's just no way any disease can live on a 100 year old razor...Hep B only lives for a week outside the body and Hep C for only seven (source: CDC). HIV wasn't around 100 years ago so that's out too.
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    Member KempieG's Avatar
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    Thanks for the heads up guys, I'll go ahead for the sterilizing in a bit, then just throw out a good ol' shave and see how it glides around my mug.

    Here in Holland there actually is one shop that sells all equipment and does professional honing, also got my first blade there. I guess if it turns out to be dull I'll have it honed there and ask if he can talk me through it for a bit.

    Will keep you updated!

    If interested, this is the blade:Name:  Silver razor 1.jpg
Views: 535
Size:  35.3 KBName:  Silver razor 2.jpg
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Size:  35.5 KB

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    Member KempieG's Avatar
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    Aaah, I just tried sterilizing it with a little bleach added to the boiling water (don't ask me why, was still somewhat nervous about diseases I guess) and now it got all stainy! It looked like it corroded very fast but the rust came off instantly when I whiped it off. However a few stains remained, any idea how I can restore any of it?

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