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Thread: Barber Hone: Problem: I don't remember if pro honing was done w/ or w/o tape...

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    Member Corgi's Avatar
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    Default Barber Hone: Problem: I don't remember if pro honing was done w/ or w/o tape...

    Hello,

    I have a bit of a problem... years ago, I had a few razors professionally honed, but for the life of me, I can't remember if they were done with or without a tape.

    I have now decided to get into honing myself, starting with a lovely, perfect barber's hone. Three questions, therefore:

    1 - Do I use the barber's hone when I feel that the razor(s) start pulling, or do I use it by number of shaves, regardless of how the razor feels on the face?

    2 - Is the barber's hone ever used with tape?

    3 - How much of a problem is it that I don't know whether tape was used to professionally hone them, and what should I do about it?

    Thanks for your help,

    Tom

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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Years ago

    Honestly for a touch up on the BH it won't make a difference,, as you use and strop the razor you are breaking down the bevel anyway

    But

    If you apply a layer of tape it really won't make a difference either way


    This advice only applies if the razor was taped using 1 layer, if the razor in question was taped to compensate for excessive spine wear then all this changes
    Basically 1 layer of tape either way is such a small difference it doesn't matter, especially after you have shaved and strop over time
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    if a blade has been badly stropped and lost its honing angle I use tape to restore the angle then remove it and rehone.
    the tape stops removing steel from the rib

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    1. If you feel it start pulling. You can't set a number of shaves. My Friodur goes longer without touch ups than my carbon steel razors.

    2. Follow Gary's guide, but yes you can use tape.

    3. Not a problem. I only use tape when I don't want to wear the spine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corgi View Post
    1 - Do I use the barber's hone when I feel that the razor(s) start pulling, or do I use it by number of shaves, regardless of how the razor feels on the face?

    2 - Is the barber's hone ever used with tape?

    3 - How much of a problem is it that I don't know whether tape was used to professionally hone them, and what should I do about it?

    Thanks for your help,

    Tom
    1. Use it as soon as you notice ANY diminishment in the quality of the shave.

    2. A barber's hone is no more or less affected by tape than any other hone. There there is no problem with using tape on a barber's hone.

    3. There is no problem here. If you don't want to use tape, then hone without tape and see what happens. If you get no improvement on the edge, then try it again without tape. If you again get no improvement, then try taping and see if that helps.

    In case this is a mystery, there is geometry involved here. If the blade was honed with tape and then you try to hone without tape, the spine is effectively lowered and the the very edge of the blade may not touch the hone. Taping raises the spine and lowers the edge to allow it to make contact with the hone.

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    Member Corgi's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone...

    The problem is that the razors came back from the professional sharpener with different degrees of cutting ability, no doubt due to the age and the blade-geometry of each. One, a Wade & Butcher wedge from the early 1800's, went into a drawer immediately because it just wouldn't shave; another, a late-19th-C. Wade & Butcher 1.1" wedge, did OK with the grain, but still pulled and skipped noticeably, in spite of its wonderful heft; the last, another 1" Wade & Butcher, this time an aggressive hollow ground, cut OK the first couple times, but it quickly started pulling as well.

    I know it may be my stropping technique, but I've had a Filarmonica that just wouldn't quit and has not yet necessitated another trip to a pro sharpener; this is why it seems odd to me that this razor is the only one that I'd strop correctly.

    I am therefore hoping (since I *love* the vintage W&B's) that taking a barber's hone to them may at least allow me to experiment, and at best enjoy some wonderful shaves with these 19th-century veterans. Any further advice would be immensely appreciated.

    Thanks again

    Tom

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    Senior Member ferroburak's Avatar
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    I would recommend excelling your honing skills on narrower hollow ground blades, they would be easier to hone in general.

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    Senior Member DireStraights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corgi View Post
    Thanks, everyone...

    The problem is that the razors came back from the professional sharpener with different degrees of cutting ability, no doubt due to the age and the blade-geometry of each. One, a Wade & Butcher wedge from the early 1800's, went into a drawer immediately because it just wouldn't shave; another, a late-19th-C. Wade & Butcher 1.1" wedge, did OK with the grain, but still pulled and skipped noticeably, in spite of its wonderful heft; the last, another 1" Wade & Butcher, this time an aggressive hollow ground, cut OK the first couple times, but it quickly started pulling as well.

    I know it may be my stropping technique, but I've had a Filarmonica that just wouldn't quit and has not yet necessitated another trip to a pro sharpener; this is why it seems odd to me that this razor is the only one that I'd strop correctly.

    I am therefore hoping (since I *love* the vintage W&B's) that taking a barber's hone to them may at least allow me to experiment, and at best enjoy some wonderful shaves with these 19th-century veterans. Any further advice would be immensely appreciated.

    Thanks again

    Tom
    Sounds like a bad honing job. I have never sent a razor back to someone that won't shave smoothly or pass at least HHT 4. That is the whole point of paying someone for honing.

    Every wedge I have honed passed HHT with flying colors and are some of the easiest smoothest shavers. It sounds like the bevels were never even set properly.

    If you can't fix them yourself I would be happy to do it for free. I really hate to hear of people paying for honing and they don't get a usable razor out of it.

    If you can find someone near you to help locally that would be even better as they can show you some pointers on your B-Hone. But if all else fails I would be happy to help, just cover the shipping charges.
    Last edited by DireStraights; 02-06-2015 at 10:06 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DireStraights View Post
    Sounds like a bad honing job. I have never sent a razor back to someone that won't shave smoothly or pass at least HHT 4. That is the whole point of paying someone for honing.

    Every wedge I have honed passed HHT with flying colors and are some of the easiest smoothest shavers. It sounds like the bevels were never even set properly.

    If you can't fix them yourself I would be happy to do it for free. I really hate to hear of people paying for honing and they don't get a usable razor out of it.

    If you can find someone near you to help locally that would be even better as they can show you some pointers on your B-Hone. But if all else fails I would be happy to help, just cover the shipping charges.
    This is one of the main reasons I joined this forum. It never ceases to amaze me of the quality of people that this forum has. DireStraights, you are a true gentleman.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    When you say it was sent to a Sharpener, is this a Cutlery or Knife shop?

    If so, it may not have been honed properly.

    You can ink the edge with Sharpie ink to make sure the Barber hone is reaching the edge. How long the edge last is dependent on you stropping skill, as you improve it will be months, 3-6 or more.

    Be careful with Barber Hones, many of them are aggressive, some very.

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