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Thread: Honing Stroke Orthodoxy

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    Default Honing Stroke Orthodoxy

    I'm still a relative newcomer to the skill of honing. The orthodoxy is that the 'X stroke' is the preferable way to finish a razor, while the 'half stroke' and 'circles' are used for removing more material earlier in the honing progression. In fact, many scoff at using a half stroke to finish a razor. The rub is there are some very respected members who use the half stroke to finish razors. So...........why is the half stroke not in the mainstream of finishing techniques? Or is this just my perception and half strokes are indeed excellent finishing strokes?

    On a related note, is it not easier to see your progress if you remove stria in a different direction of the stria you created on a coarser stone? What are the 'cons' of not doing so? If I use half strokes on my 1k hone, and x strokes on my 4k hone, will I more easily see how well I've improved the bevel and therefore the edge? The natural extension of this would be to use half strokes on my 8k and then x strokes on my finisher of choice.

    Thanks in advance for helping me expand my knowledge base!

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    I think the lack of pressure becomes more important when you're finishing the razor and regular x-strokes might be easier to be more pressure aware than half strokes.
    But I'm not saying one is better than the other, or one is the right way and anything else is wrong, no.
    Whatever you feel the most comfortable with and get the best results with is all that matters.


    That said, I've done half strokes on an Escher wit slurry before and finished off with regular x strokes, worked rather well and sped up my work. Easy going on the pressure though.
    Last edited by TristanLudlow; 12-07-2017 at 08:02 PM.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    In the end, I believe, everyone finds their on way to honing success. Personally, the only time I do circles is to correct some problem in the bevel at a specific spot where more metal has to be remove. Other than that I use X strokes to hone a razor with the odd back stroke thrown in for good measure. For me, it was whatever it takes to get you there established by experimenting as you go.

    Bob
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    aka shooter74743 ScottGoodman's Avatar
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    Practice with them all until they all work for you...you will see that it really doesn't matter. I don't recommend circles after bevel set, but that's just me. Key is what works for you and that you learn more and not be stagnant thinking there is only one way to attain a quality edge.
    Northeastern Texas & Southeastern Oklahoma Mentor/Helper...PM me if I can assist you.
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    Thanks for the responses! It almost feels like discussing the half stroke in any more than a bevel setting capacity is akin to touching an electrified 3rd rail. And is there merit in removing stria in a different direction than the previous stria created?

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    Senior Member blabbermouth tcrideshd's Avatar
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    There are threads on this if you search, more than one person has taught us to see how our honing is progressing to change the angle of the stria. Heel leading , toe leading then straight up and down, this way you see which is still there. As so with half strokes and circles, the library us full of these topics, but as bob said do what works for you. Most f the time you will see that these aggressive steel removal techniques aren't needed much past the bevel set, after that it's just polishing the bevel , so not much metal needs to be taken out. Tc
    Ever wonder why you never see a motorcycle in front of a Shrinks office? ,,,,, then you have never ridden one "

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    Maruka Shaman of West London JOB15's Avatar
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    What's a half stroke?
    Maruka Kingpin of England

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    I think when finishing a lot of people find it important to monitor the undercut of the water, how the blade is contacting the stone and the feeling/touch one is getting when making a stroke. The thinking may be when doing half strokes that its more difficult to observe/feel these indicators. I'm not sure, as its not a stroke that I use regularly. If I do use it, it is at the bevel set stage and usually with a harder steel razor.

    However, I do find that some circles under running water on my coticule when finishing can help the process along, when followed by X-strokes. Just my experience.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth Gasman's Avatar
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    I'll chime in here. A half stroke is up and down the stone, one full pass, but not turning the blade over at the other end.

    I try to limit my use of circles to just bevel setting. Now i have used half strokes up to 5k but not beyond. The X stroke is all i need after 5k. Just my opinion and way ive learned to hone.
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    Jerry...

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOB15 View Post
    What's a half stroke?
    I'd like to tell you but this is a family friendly site. Lets just say mission aborted.

    Bob
    After listening to someone talk ever wonder who ties their shoe laces?

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