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Thread: My First Honing Experience - Naniwa 12K

  1. #1
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    Red face My First Honing Experience - Naniwa 12K

    I thought I would share my first experience with the group of honing. Before I took the plunge, I did quite a bit of research on the topic to prepare myself, with most of it coming from this forum.

    I bought my first (and only to-date) Dovo Ebony 5/8 straight edge razor in March last year. I have maintained the blade using a regular strop and a selection of diamond pastes (3 micron, 1 micron and 0.25 micron). This has, by and large, kept the razor shave-ready for a year, but over the last month I started to find that the razor was pulling and making my eyes water. I realised that it was probably time to either send it away for a professional hone, or take the plunge and invest in my own honing stones.

    I did waver for a moment and was going to send my razor away as I thought I would need to buy a full set of stones, which is quite expensive. However, I realised that my razor didn't really need the full treatment from bevel setting onwards, but that it just needed refreshing.

    I found that the article by Lynn Abrams on honing was very useful in identifying what I needed to do

    I took the plunge and invested in a Naniwa 12000 Superstone, which I purchased from Steve at the Invisible Edge. I also decided to buy some Green Chromium Oxide paste which gives a 0.5 micron abrasive effect for stropping. I got this as I found that the diamond pastes (especially the 0.25 micron) don't always give a comfortable shave as they can result in the blade being a bit too severe.

    I read up on lapping after receiving the Naniwa stone and realised that I probably needed a lapping stone as well. However, on further reading, I realised that rather than draining the bank balance further and buying an expensive lapping stone, I could use wet and dry 400 grit silicon carbide sandpaper to lap the stone.

    I waited until my wife was out and set this up in our new kitchen on the very shiny and large marble worktop, which was very level. With some water under the sandpaper to glue it to the work surface, coupled with lots of water on top of it, I took my Naniwa stone, cross-hatched the surface with pencil lines and commenced to lap the stone by using a circular motion, with just the weight of the stone. This probably took 5 mins as I did it twice to be sure.

    I then took my razor and started to hone it, following the guidance by Lynn Abrams (thanks Lynn!) as seen on his ... invaluable! I probably did about 10 backward and forward strokes. Once done, I then stropped using the 1.0 micron diamond paste using about 10 strokes, followed by about 7 on the Green Chromium Oxide paste and finishing with about 6 on the 0.25 micron diamond paste strop. Finally, I finished off with about 50-60 strokes on my normal un-pasted strop.

    After this, I did the TPT test, although I'm not great at really interpreting the results via this. I then did the AHT test, which for the previous month, my razor had failed and I found that my razor now really took off the hairs on my arm with ease - so definitely a step forwards.

    Finally, I did shave with the razor yesterday and it was vastly improved, much easier to shave with and more comfortable.

    I think that the honing certainly did the trick, and I think I must have done something right. For me, I think all I needed was to refresh the edge on my razor, so a polishing stone was a good bet for me and eliminated the need to buy multiple stones. I am still playing around with the use of the diamond and chromium pastes after honing as I am not sure whether the sequence I used was right, but I guess you have to experiment and see what works for you.

    Overall, I'm glad I decide to do it myself and I hope this may be of interest or help to other people who are in the same position as I was when facing the need to hone for the first time.

    If anyone has any advice on how I can improve the process, I would certainly be glad to hear it, as I am a newbie at this.
    Last edited by JasonH; 03-09-2014 at 10:19 PM.
    Phrank, HaiKarate and Bram like this.

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to JasonH For This Useful Post:

    Phrank (03-09-2014)

  3. #2
    Senior Member HaiKarate's Avatar
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    'I waited until my wife was out and set this up in our new kitchen...'

    NOW WE'RE TALKIN!!!!

    How can I press like twice!
    RoyalCake likes this.

  4. #3
    barba crescit caput nescit Phrank's Avatar
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    Thanks - lapped my Naniwa 12k the other day, along with my Norton 4/8k and really appreciate you sharing your first honing experience...going to walk down this path when my practice razors get here!

    Cheers!

  5. #4
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    New Dovo are not nearly as good as the FB

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