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Thread: Honing poor/hard steel and bad geometry???

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    Senior Member dshaves's Avatar
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    Default Honing poor/hard steel and bad geometry???

    Hello gentlemen! First off because of SRP and meeting Brian I have successfully honed bevel set to finish stone on all my hard 62HRC plus razors 8 Harts, PRC's and Koraat razors!!! They all shave great with various finishes synth to jnat and even a coti finish in there.

    Now to the question.

    Can a razors edge never come together during bevel set because the steel is not right or the grind was not done properly? Meaning not matter how hard you try or how many hours you put into bevel setting the edge will not hold together because of the steel or grind? I have one Hart blade that is older by the lack or rather zero jimps, that will not bevel set as well as all the others. I can get it to pop a hair along the edge with an extreme angle and focus.

    There is no frown, I honed with with out tape because there was an uneven bevel that was not allowing the edge to touch the stone.
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    Last edited by dshaves; 03-20-2017 at 05:16 PM.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    Not all steel will hold up to the refinement expected of straight razors. Some razors have experienced bad things and have had the steel near the edge ruined, corrosion and overheating come to mind right away. Potentially they could also be poorly made. Most issues that you read about with razors comes from poor geometry and poor or uneven grinds and uneven or excessive honewear. It is unusual for a razor to have such bad steel that it cannot hold an edge. People errors while honing have cause some very bad issues. There is the technique of torquing the blade so that the pressure is on the edge, while keeping the razor flat on the hone. Setting a bevel is best tested with a loupe. I do not understand what you mean when you say you can get it to pop hairs with an extreme angle. Exactly what angle are you referring too. Flat on the hone with no angle and the spine taped is the generally accepted technique.
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    Senior Member dshaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RezDog View Post
    Not all steel will hold up to the refinement expected of straight razors. Some razors have experienced bad things and have had the steel near the edge ruined, corrosion and overheating come to mind right away. Potentially they could also be poorly made. Most issues that you read about with razors comes from poor geometry and poor or uneven grinds and uneven or excessive honewear. It is unusual for a razor to have such bad steel that it cannot hold an edge. People errors while honing have cause some very bad issues. There is the technique of torquing the blade so that the pressure is on the edge, while keeping the razor flat on the hone. Setting a bevel is best tested with a loupe. I do not understand what you mean when you say you can get it to pop hairs with an extreme angle. Exactly what angle are you referring too. Flat on the hone with no angle and the spine taped is the generally accepted technique.
    An extreme angle = a very steep angle. With all of my other Harts they pop hair with the spine flat on my arm, this has been consistently repeated with success every time. When I have to raise the spine off of my arm to pop hairs it always ends with a tuggy shave.

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    Man I am relieved that you were talking about shaving angle and not honing angle. I was clearing not getting it. Are you using a loupe for honing. Hair tests take quite a while to get to understand. My go too is a 30X loupe. If I am looking almost straight down on the apex I can easily tell with great accuracy that my bevel is set. Which is a short way of saying that my bevel has come together from each side and makes a perfect apex from toe to heel. One of the tricky things with honing that is very hard to learn is the use of pressure. Too much pressure and although you will have an apex it will be a very rough apex or you may also use enough pressure to flex the blade. Unlikely because it is a 1/4 hollow in this case. A good pressure experiment is to take you razor and pass it down your hone with the lightest pressure you can. Eventually the water will pass under the blade, if you keep just the minimum pressure require to keep water in front of the blade that is the minimum amount of pressure required to actually effect the steel. It takes only a slight amount more pressure to get it to quickly remove steel without being destructive. When getting to the last stokes on a given hone I go with a light touch on the hone to get the stria to be less. It could be a pressure issue, or it could be a hone wear issue but likely operator malfunction. With a razor that is being difficult to hone it is best dealt with over multiple honing sessions. Walk away and come back fresh is most often a great technique.
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    What is the razor in question? Razors with poor tempered steel will not take a bevel. Anything that has good heat treatment should be able to take a bevel even if the grind is not perfect and within reasonable limits.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    “Can a razors edge never come together during bevel set because the steel is not right or the grind was not done properly? Meaning not matter how hard you try or how many hours you put into bevel setting the edge will not hold together because of the steel or grind?”


    In short, yes, to both questions.

    There are many factors, that can cause a chipping edge, but not all are permanent. With early Hart razors, I have found that removing a bit of the edge, can get down to better steel, that will hold an edge, chip free.

    Why some Hart razors, will not hold an edge is a matter of speculation. Additionally, technique, pressure and the stone or honing material can and does, alter the finished edge, for example Diamond plate vs Lapping film.

    I don’t put a lot of weight on hair test, especially when honing, I use visual test, looking for chipping and attempt to get the edge as straight as possible. But there is no question that the better an edge comes together during the entire progression, the better the finished edge will be.

    Honing hard razors, is challenging and technique plays a large part, because for most, the temptation to use more, aggressive abrasives or pressure causes more issues.

    For Harts and other hard razors, experimenting with bevel angle in full and micro-bevels, also yield good results, as does lapping film, for me.
    Last edited by Euclid440; 03-21-2017 at 03:05 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RezDog View Post
    Man I am relieved that you were talking about shaving angle and not honing angle. I was clearing not getting it. Are you using a loupe for honing. Hair tests take quite a while to get to understand. My go too is a 30X loupe. If I am looking almost straight down on the apex I can easily tell with great accuracy that my bevel is set. Which is a short way of saying that my bevel has come together from each side and makes a perfect apex from toe to heel. One of the tricky things with honing that is very hard to learn is the use of pressure. Too much pressure and although you will have an apex it will be a very rough apex or you may also use enough pressure to flex the blade. Unlikely because it is a 1/4 hollow in this case. A good pressure experiment is to take you razor and pass it down your hone with the lightest pressure you can. Eventually the water will pass under the blade, if you keep just the minimum pressure require to keep water in front of the blade that is the minimum amount of pressure required to actually effect the steel. It takes only a slight amount more pressure to get it to quickly remove steel without being destructive. When getting to the last stokes on a given hone I go with a light touch on the hone to get the stria to be less. It could be a pressure issue, or it could be a hone wear issue but likely operator malfunction. With a razor that is being difficult to hone it is best dealt with over multiple honing sessions. Walk away and come back fresh is most often a great technique.
    I have tried light, medium and heavy pressure on a Chosera 1k, and the same type of sessions on a 4k. Also did these sessions with different levels of tape. No matter what technique I used the flashlight test straight down on the edge would still produce the same faint white line indicating the bevel is not set along with my 30/60x loupe.

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    Senior Member dshaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainaman View Post
    What is the razor in question? Razors with poor tempered steel will not take a bevel. Anything that has good heat treatment should be able to take a bevel even if the grind is not perfect and within reasonable limits.
    Old Hart steel razor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclid440 View Post
    “Can a razors edge never come together during bevel set because the steel is not right or the grind was not done properly? Meaning not matter how hard you try or how many hours you put into bevel setting the edge will not hold together because of the steel or grind?”


    In short, yes, to both questions.

    There are many factors, that can cause a chipping edge, but not all are permeant. With early Hart razors, I have found that removing a bit of the edge, can get down to better steel, that will hold an edge, chip free.

    Why some Hart razors, will not hold an edge is a matter of speculation. Additionally, technique, pressure and the stone or honing material can and does, alter the finished edge, for example Diamond plate vs Lapping film.

    I don’t put a lot of weight on hair test, especially when honing, I use visual test, looking for chipping and attempt to get the edge as straight as possible. But there is no question that the better an edge comes together during the entire progression, the better the finished edge will be.

    Honing hard razors, is challenging and technique plays a large part, because for most, the temptation to use more, aggressive abrasives or pressure causes more issues.

    For Harts and other hard razors, experimenting with bevel angle in full and micro-bevels, also yield good results, as does lapping film, for me.
    I have removed quite a bit of metal lol getting to better steel and still unable to get the sides to meet, creating burrs and removing the with light and another time with heavy pressure and still the edge will not come together. Even from the factory the edge was never any good, very tuggy and edge was showing a shinny white line displaying the unset bevel. I have also tried many times with setting micro bevels with many different thickness of electrical tape and still to no avail. None of my other Harts have this problem.

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    One of the things that some people have done is to send it out to have someone else asses the razor and hone it. It is an option. Sometimes we struggle and struggle and in the end it is either beyond our skills or completely not our skills at all. Have you ever had a good shave with this razor? Did it come with a great edge?
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