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Thread: Honing Steps

  1. #11
    Senior Member blabbermouth niftyshaving's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kkeeton53 View Post
    Say I have a brand new Dovo Prima Silver Steel 5/8 Full hollow, factory edge.I want to make it shave ready, Which grit do you start with? Currently I have Norton 220/1K, 4K/8K, Naniwa 12K, Shapton Glasstone 16k. And also can I jump right from the 8K to the 16K or should I use the Naniwa 12K in between? Please someone help me! Lol ...Thanks
    First give it a shave test. Make sure you have a second razor to switch to if it is dull.

    Makers like Dovo have improved their factory so the chances of a decent shave a better than 50/50
    and a shave test will tell you if it is close or not.

    If it needs a touch up start with something gentle like a magic marker test
    using the 12K or 16K hone. Touch a magic marker to the bevel and spine
    surfaces then a single up flip and back hone stroke then examine to see
    if the hone wiped the ink off the edge bevel from toe to heal.
    If you see a thin line of ink on the sharp side of the edge bevel you
    may need to go to 4K or perhaps 1K. Then work your way back
    to you 16K ...

    The Shapton is a fast hone at 16K and if the blade can shave at all
    you might find that five or ten smooth and deliberate hone stroke pairs
    on it will refresh the edge. Smooth, slow, weight of the razor...

    Any of the finer hones 8K, 12K or 16K are sufficient for shaving.
    Depending on your face and whiskers one is likely to be just right.
    For me the 12K is a nice edge and can be "harsh" but mostly is not.
    The 16K is also nice and for me will be a bit harsh but calms down after correct stropping.
    The 8K is where a lot of us learned to hone and shave.

    The 8K and the 16K seem to generate black steel swarff faster than the 12K
    for me. Use a light touch, rinse the surface of the hone from time to time
    and use a light touch.

    A honemaster is likely to do a thumb pad test first then decide what to do.
    Most will do a quick bevel set at 1K and work down the progression. I do not
    recommend a beginner set or reset the bevel on a new blade without first trying
    a nice refresh at about 12K guided by the magic marker test,

    Save the 220 and 1K for kitchen knives. You might need the 1K once for a shaver.

    Plastic soda straws, hanging hair and even tiny tomatoes can help you discover if the bevel is
    set toe, heal and all between. A soda straw or hair should 'catch' or a tomato should
    have its skin cut easily all along the edge if the bevel is set.
    Magic marker ink can help you see if the edge bevel is clear to the edge.
    Str8drive likes this.

  2. #12
    Senior Member blabbermouth Gasman's Avatar
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    If your new to SR Shaving, work on learning to shave and strop first. Forget about the stones for now. Send it out and have it honed by a pro. The last thing you need is to be learning on an edge that is not 100% right.

    If uouve been at this for a while then id start with a layer of tape on the spine. Marker the edge and do one lap on a 1w or 16k. Look at it thru a loupe. Magnification is a must. See if it has rubbed all the inc off to the edge. If it has then do 8 or 10 more laps on a fine stone and test shave. If it didnt take all the ink off to the edge then reset the bevel. Dont go lower than 1k on a razor until your doing restorations.

    Its best to have 2 razors. One that will be used the other sits and waits. When you send one out for honing pick up the waiting one.

    Main thing is learn to shave and strop first. Its straight razor 101.
    Learning to hone comes later and you should have a beater razor to hone on first. As it only takes one miss stroke on a razor, then your starting over. Well, maybe not that bad but close.
    Last edited by Gasman; 11-27-2017 at 10:28 AM.
    Jerry...

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    Maybe so but it works for me. There have been threads on useing only one hone successfully getting a shave ready edge. One hundred years ago people did not have a chance to not of hones. They only had one or two. Ask Bill how my razors shave. I have donated a few to the give away over the years. He test shaved and was satisfied. Sometimes less is more.
    The bottom line is Whatever works for an individual is good for me.

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    If you're new to honing, I would definitely send it out (after a test shave) if it needed it. There have been so many full hollows marred and scarred by beginning honers that I simply wouldn't try on a new full hollow without some experience on a heavier grind and less valuable razor first.

    If you're dead set on honing it yourself, my rule of thumb is that on a full hollow with a set bevel and not needing any correction, nothing coarser than 4k, so try the 8k or 12k first with super light pressure then strop and give it a shave.

    Finding a honing mentor is probably the best thing that you can do for your razors!

    Cheers, Steve

  5. #15
    Senior Member blabbermouth niftyshaving's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasman View Post
    If your new to SR Shaving, work on learning to shave and strop first.
    .....

    .... Marker the edge and do one lap on a 1w or 16k. Look at it thru a loupe. Magnification is a must.
    ....
    Its best to have 2 razors. One that will be used the other sits and waits. When you send one out for honing pick up the waiting one.

    Learning to hone comes later and you should have a beater razor to hone on first. As it only takes one miss stroke on a razor, then your starting over. Well, maybe not that bad but close.
    Too much good stuff to not say good stuff.

    The two razor trick is kin to two vehicles... one to work on and another to go and
    get groceries or parts while the other is getting worked on.

    Honing is hard or easy for some folk but a collection of hones can add up.
    You can send a razor out to a honemaster with a thousand dollar investment
    in hones for a very reasonable price. His investment in time, practice and hones
    is obvious when you get a razor back from a good honemaster.

    The razor honing and even knife sharpening skill is not to be ignored. A local butcher shop
    near me has five or six butchers and they all ask one of their co-workers to hone and sharpen
    their knives. Another butcher shop has a sharpening service stop by twice a month.
    The service also sharpens civilian kitchen knives for a modest fee.
    In the old days barbers would hone razors for their customers. An individual
    does not get enough practice compared to a barber that does it all the time.

    That said, with modern hones it is likely that a good razor can be maintained with
    a single fine grit modern hone in the 8K -18K range. I like my 13k hones (all three of them)
    for touch up honing. Sometimes I go as coarse as 8k in a touch up but not often.

    But first things first... learn to shave and strop and if nothing else learn "Latherin".
    A good lather makes any shave better... plastic tossable, double edge safety razor,
    single edge cartridge, multi blade things and yes open blade straight razors.

    It is fun as heck.

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