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Thread: How to hold razor level

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    Default How to hold razor level

    I am looking for advice on lhoning a razor. I can get an edge that shaves, but not good. I am using Norton 1k, 4/8K hones. I am using lighter pressure which I think is helping. I think the problem is not holding the razor level enough when making passes. Would like to suggestions on how to improve this. How do you hold razor, strokes, etc. I have 2 razors with a slight smile (1or 2 mm)

    How much should I expect from an 8K Norton?

    Joe
    Last edited by binder; 09-13-2017 at 05:53 AM.

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    Senior Member markbignosekelly's Avatar
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    Hey Joe,

    If you haven't already check out the honing section of the library Category:Honing - Shave Library

    Lynn and gssixgun's videos on YouTube are also a great help.

    Whilst honing its often mentioned to keep your elbow up to help keep your razor flat on the hone, also some slight torque of the edge helps with contact.

    With a slight smile a 45 angle heel forward X stroke should do the trick, a J stroke also works well (gssixgun explains very well in one of his vids) anything more than a smirk will require a rolling X stroke.
    Ink your bevels to see if your making contact with your strokes and invest in a cheap loupe, they really help to see where you are at.

    The Norton 8k is considered by many to be all that is needed to have a great shave, yes higher grit hone and naturals are nice but not necessarily needed.

    Above all time and patience is the order of the day. Have fun.

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    Senior Member Wayne1963's Avatar
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    I'm not a honing expert. One thing I picked up from Lynn, is to elevate your elbow. It made a huge difference for me.
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    I struggle with controlling the blade on the hone as well. Lifting the elbow is great advice. I sometimes use my off-hand just to keep the tip of the razor in control, applying no pressure other than to keep it on the hone. It takes some time to build muscle memory so keep practicing, a little each day will help greatly. I try and spend 15 minutes a day on the hones and have several razors in different stages, some that will need to go back on the same hone to finish that stage. The more you practice (properly) the more natural good technique will feel.

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    Keep at it. Elbow up and a second hand helped me. No pressure with the second hand but as a guide. My hands are shakey so if i want to keep the blade in contact with the stone i have to use two. Its taken me about 5 months to put out a decent edge with synthetic stones but i can only hone one day a week.

    Follow what the others have said and take your time. It takes a while for it to all click. Good luck and like shaving, take your time. It dont just fall in your lap. Knowing what your feeling when honing and knowing 100% that the bevel is set on the 1k is key. If you dont get that then there is no need to go further. A loupe will help with this but it just takes time.
    Last edited by Gasman; 09-13-2017 at 07:42 PM.
    Jerry...

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    Can someone explain what a J stroke is. I watched a lot of gssixgun's videos, but I don't remember that?
    How many stokes would be enough for the 4K and 8K? I thought I would keep doing a few rounds from 1k to 8k until I get there. I thought I had the bevel set and did about 40 passes on the 4K and 8k but wasn't enough.

    Joe

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    J stroke is heel leading to mid hone and then the tip come around to lead as the blade does the second half mod the X. Ergonomics is super important for me. Counter or table height and then standing or sitting. I most often hone standing and I prefer a kitchen counter over a table. You need to find your happy spot.
    Last edited by RezDog; 09-16-2017 at 12:57 PM.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Sorry, I do not know what a J stroke is.

    Setting the bevel is the key. The 4K and 8K are really only polishing/refining the set bevel and edge. So if your edge is not set going up the hone progression really does not get you anywhere. How are you determining that your edge is set?

    There are members in Alberta, possibly even in Calgary, that might be able to help you in person if you were to PM them.

    Bob
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    If you hand hold the hone, the blade cannot be anything but flat. Sit the hone on your flat off hand - don't cup your hand or grip the sides of the hone. If your stoke isn't flat, the stone will move to compensate at least a good bit. More importantly, it allows you to see what's going on and adjust your stroke, and those good habits will follow you to a hone that's on a bench.

    Cheers, Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobH View Post
    Sorry, I do not know what a J stroke is.

    Setting the bevel is the key. The 4K and 8K are really only polishing/refining the set bevel and edge. So if your edge is not set going up the hone progression really does not get you anywhere. How are you determining that your edge is set?

    There are members in Alberta, possibly even in Calgary, that might be able to help you in person if you were to PM them.

    Bob
    I determine the stone set by feel of the edge. Also cutting arm hair to see how easily it cuts. I am sharpening a full hollow 4/8 blade. The edge feels sharp, but the edge wasn't set. I did a shave and all I took off was lather. I went back to the 1200 king and did some more work ant then to the 4K and 8K. It got better, but still needs more work.

    Who are the people in Calgary that you are referring to?

    Joe

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