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Thread: Tonights honing session & the HHT

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    Nautical Madman SailorJ's Avatar
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    Default Tonights honing session & the HHT

    In the past despite reading about the HHT not being a very good indication of shave readiness, it has always been a part of my honing routine. Generally I will take a razor to my bevel setter choss 1k till it passes the thumbnail test, Norton 4/8k (sometimes if I got lucky it would pass HHT here), Then on to my Nani 12k at which point I would usually have the razor passing the HHT readily if not after some stropping.

    I spent some time away from my normal honing progression and brought out the American Improved quality Three line hone I'd picked up from the local antique shop. Wanting to try it out and see where it left me. I did a little research and found information on the hone, print side is fine, back side is coarse. I was interested to see that lather was recommended as a lubricant so I gave it a shot. I did not expect much but actually the result were quite a bit better than I had anticipated. The coarse side was somewhere between my 1k and 4k, and the fine behaved a little lower than the norton 8k so about 7 I'd say. Though what truly amazed me was that every razor I honed with it was able to easily pop hairs on the HHT just on this stone.
    Even though the results were better than expected, the razors shaved but with quite a bit more pulling than I would have liked.

    Finally tonight I got back to my normal progression deciding that these three (Joseph Rodgers 7/8th's Half Hollow, Red Injun 101rp, and C-mon Blackie) Needed resetting due to microchipping visible under the loupe.
    Now at this point I don't know what the difference was to my previous honing experiences, perhaps something about using a smaller hone such as the barbers hone changed my form a bit, I don't know. But after doing circles, up and down, and x-strokes until I had fully moved past the chips in the edge on the 1k I decided to try the HHT test for the hell of it. To my amazement my Joseph Rodgers passed readily all the way up and down the edge.
    I repeated this with the second two, and each of them followed suite. This completely changes the way I look at the hht, if it can be achieved at the 1k level. At the same time I'd like to think these are the best bevels I've set so far, I'm excited to see how they shave. I've taken them up to the 12k stropped with .1micron on linen, and finished on leather. Will report how it goes tomorrow!

    Just goes to show there's always something more to learn about honing
    Cheers!

    Julian


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    "One must always choose the lesser of two weevils." - Cpt. Jack Aubrey

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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    Imagine a saw blade held against a hanging string. The teeth will catch the string and if you pull hard enough you can break the string. This can be the equivalent of what you are experiencing with the HHT on the 1K. The blade's 1k level serrations on the edge are catching the hair and likely ripping it as much as, if not more than, cutting it. This is why you are getting pulling when you shave. Cleaning up that edge with higher grits may result in a failed HHT but a much more comfortable shave.

    Keep experimenting!
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    There is no charge for Awesomeness Jimbo's Avatar
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    And also remember the HHT (or any other test really) is not in and of itself a poor indicator of a shave ready razor. The test is only as good as the data you give it, and how much data it's been based on.

    So what you are doing is good - that whole "HHT, then shave to see. Assess. Repeat." is how, one day, you might develop a HHT that works really well for you.

    James.
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    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    Man, this is a good thread. Three posts and chock full of great insight.

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    Senior Member rodb's Avatar
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    Also, hair from the scalp is usually very different than beard hair, mine for example is very fine on my head and very coarse on my beard so it isn't an accurate test for me. My test that works for me is if the edge will tree top arm hair. If it does that it should shave or at least be in the ballpark.

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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    And I have never been able to find an edge that can tree-top my arm hair. This is why everyone's test has to be calibrated for themselves, but remember that it is only used as a precursor to the shave test.

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    Senior Member CanonSterVa's Avatar
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    Very interested in the shave results.

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    Thank you all for your interest and feedback! I was in a time crunch this morning so I rushed through my shave and didn't really have the chance to fairly evaluate the shave quality. With no prep and only one pass it odd function very well, but nothing compared to my usual routine. I will be able to give a better evaluation after tomorrow's shave.

    Cheers,


    Julian
    "One must always choose the lesser of two weevils." - Cpt. Jack Aubrey

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    Senior Member rodb's Avatar
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    As Ron says, what works for you might not work for anyone but you, the person that taught me uses the thumb pad test, that doesn't work for me. You have to find what works for you by testing after every hone and learn to tell the differences. The Shave test is really the only test that matters.



    Quote Originally Posted by Utopian View Post
    And I have never been able to find an edge that can tree-top my arm hair. This is why everyone's test has to be calibrated for themselves, but remember that it is only used as a precursor to the shave test.
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    Went ahead and took the Joseph Rodgers out for a spin this morning. Prepped with pro rasso pre shave cream and some vitamin e oil I get from trader joes. Lathered with mama bears ye old barber shop. Got a decent shave but nothing I would claim to be special, who's hers were cut just fine but there was still a harshness to the edge that keeps me from claiming it was smooth.

    It has me wondering if the difference is made at the bevel setting stage or finishing. I always get good edges off of my nani 12k, but it has me questioning if I would get better results off of a different finishing stone.

    I have been looking at getting a Zulu grey or Escher stone if I can find one for a decent price. Any advice in this department is welcome. Or if anyone has either they'd be willing to lend before I pull the trigger =D.

    Anyhow I will be continuing to hone and work on improving my honing/ testing.
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    "One must always choose the lesser of two weevils." - Cpt. Jack Aubrey

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