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Thread: Beginner Honing

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    Junior Member SMacca3103's Avatar
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    Talking Beginner Honing

    Hi guys,

    As I am a beginner I have bought myself a cheap-ish razor and strop set so if i screw them up its not really a bother, hopefully I don't ask an already answered question but I would like to ask all you helpful gents if I could use an old sharpening stone to sharpen the new razor as I don't believe it is truly "shave ready"

    I have used the stone before to sharpen my woodworking chisels and it works well on these so I would like to try to use it before i splash out on a honing set like a Naniwa or Norton to perfect the art of honing. I use WD40 oil to sharpen chisels so could i use the same or just stick to water?

    Also i would like to ask what would be a good cheap medium to paste the strop

    Thanks in advance gents!

    p.s (Men Rock Straight Razor and Strop Set: Amazon.co.uk: Beauty) That is the set i bought prior to knowing menrock sets should be avoided.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    a couple of thoughts. First thought is if you seriously want to try shaving with a straight there are quite a few shave ready inexpensive starter razors go through the classifieds. I think you should just keep an eye on them and strike when the opportunity presents itself. Honing is best learned after you learn to shave. A hone that you have sharpened chisels on could be any number of hones. It you don't know what it is chances are it is too coarse for razors, but you never know. For a good starter set for razors the coarsest hone is 1000 grit then an intermediate hone around 4000, a pre polisher around 8000 and then on to the finishers. You can get a pretty good shave off of an 8K, and a lot of people recommend staying with that until you can get a good shave. Honestly though if you have a good quality barbers hone and a strop that would be all you need to maintain a professionally sharpened razor, perhaps indefinitely.
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    Junior Member SMacca3103's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply! The hone is very smooth on one side and slightly rougher on the other. I will eventually invest in a good, full set (razor, strop etc.) I just didnt want to buy an expensive set incase I didn't like it

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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    I would say the pro hone is a good start, but for that you do need a razor that will take and keep an edge. There are a couple of guys here that have small shops in the UK and hone and restore razors. If you look in the classifieds there is a section called member services you can find them there.
    Member Services - Straight Razor Place Classifieds
    STRAZORS.com - all about classic razors - Home page
    Vintage Straight Razor Sales & Restorations, Hand Made Strops, UK Razor Honing and Vintage Hone Stones
    a couple of links to get you started
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    Junior Member SMacca3103's Avatar
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    That is really helpful thanks. I will try a shave tomorrow as it is late here. Will update when I try it out

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    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMacca3103 View Post
    I just didnt want to buy an expensive set incase I didn't like it
    You need to buy a razor that can actually complete a shave to make that judgement.
    If that razor is made in Pakistan I doubt anyone here will hone it for you & I'm also sure if you can get it honed it will not last the full shave before crumbling at the edge. You therefore won't like shaving with a straight.
    I would write this off to experience & purchase a shave ready vintage razor, then if you don't like using it you can sell it on unlike the MenRock one.
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    Junior Member SMacca3103's Avatar
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    As I say i do not actually know if it will hold an edge or not or wether it shaves well or not as i have not had time to try it out. Also I would prefer to learn to hone myself rather than sending it off so I thought this would be a good one to practice with
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMacca3103 View Post
    As I say i do not actually know if it will hold an edge or not or wether it shaves well or not as i have not had time to try it out. Also I would prefer to learn to hone myself rather than sending it off so I thought this would be a good one to practice with
    Unfortunately we have no idea what your stone is to advise you on its suitability. Some pics may help.
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    Well if it feels smooth then you could always give it a go. With no knowledge of the stone it's hard to say but if it sharpens chisels then it may very well provide an edge sharp enough to shave with. Depending on how fine the hone actually is, you may find the shave will not be smooth enough to give a comfortable shave, in which case a finer hone would be required. A norton 4/8k or Naniwa 3/8k combo hone would be a good bet since it gives you a lot of flexibility - it's an extra cost but it's a known quantity and removes an element of uncertainty - which when beginning, will really help!

    The reviews on Amazon seem positive but given the price, it's either a stonkingly good deal or the razor's steel quality (Carbon content and other shizzle) will be too poor to take a good and lasting edge. If you can't return the item now then there's no harm in giving it a go - but you might want to prepare yourself for the fact that the razor might not take a decent edge.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    First you need to learn to shave with a straight razor, then how to maintain it (strop), then touch it up, then hone it.

    For that you need a razor that will hold an edge, which you do not have and at least find out what the composition and grit of your stone.

    Your chances for success are slim. Set yourself up for success and take the advice given.

    Carving wood and shaving your face are very different things.
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