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Thread: How do I hone a half hollow ground razor?

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    Default How do I hone a half hollow ground razor?

    Hey everyone, I am having lots of trouble with these darn half hollow ground razors...and wedge razors I may add. I cannot seem to get a shaving edge on any of them. I have a Sheffield, and a J.R. Torrey I cannot get an edge on. I have honed and honed, still nothing. I have sharpened several full hollow ground razors no problem....it is just these stinking half and wedge I cannot seem to do anything with. Any help or pointers would be much appreciated! I already had a really good guy on here help me, but he wasn't 100% sure either from the sound of it as he had not done many of those types.

    Anyway, thanks for your help!!!

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    I used Nakayamas for my house mainaman's Avatar
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    It is possible that you have not set the bevel properly.
    Wedges take longer to set bevel, as far as 1/2 hollow I think those would hone about as easily as full hollow.
    A few questions:

    Do you use tape?
    What stones do you use?
    Last edited by mainaman; 01-12-2010 at 10:29 AM.
    Stefan

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainaman View Post
    It is possible that you have not set the bevel properly.
    Wedges take longer to set bevel, as far as 1/2 hollow I think those would hone about as easily as full hollow.
    A few questions:

    Do you use tape?
    What stones do you use?
    I am trying to set the bevel, using tape so I don't wear down the spine. And right now I am using a 1000 grit stone to set the bevel with. I tried for a while going without tape on one of them, but I ended up chewing off a bit of steel on the spine, so a good fellow suggested I use tape.

    Thanks for the super quick reply by the way!!!
    Lonerider likes this.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth hi_bud_gl's Avatar
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    there could be 2 problems.1 is bevel hasnt set up.2 nd is you will not be able to set bevel with tape on.which one you have you need to find out.your 1k choose to set bevel is ideal choose.let us know your results.

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    Honing is the same regardless of grind. The only difference is that wedges seem to take longer to set the bevel. This can be either because there is more metal to remove in general or because past errors in honing take much longer to remove (again, because there is more metal).

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    Check out Lynn's honing videos here. Some guys will use 3 layers of tape on a large Sheffield wedge for the initial metal removal. This focuses the contact with the hone closer to, if not right at, the bevel.

    As you get to where you want to be remove one layer, hone a bit more until you feel ready and then remove another layer until you're down to one layer of tape. I've done this with some success on some difficult razors.

    Using the marker test to see where the razor is making contact and magnification to check progress is also advisable IME. Wedges and half, or quarter hollows have more metal to remove and require more patience and persistence.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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    Default Wow! Thanks everyone!

    I will take all your advice and persevere! I guess that the razors just need a bit more work. When I got them, they had little to no edge on them (in the way of a cutting edge), so I guess the bevels must have just been way out of whack. I will first try the mentioned magic marker trick to see where I am actually removing steel from. Then go from there.

    I promise to post my results and also my technique once I get somewhere with these blades.

    Thanks a million to everyone! You folks are great, and such speedy replies!!! Sorry I am a bit slow to reply, but I have a 7 mo old baby (my first), so I am not only learning to hone razors, but young un's as well

    God bless!!!

    Dennis

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    Junior Honemeister Mike_ratliff's Avatar
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    The trick to These is bevel set.
    If the blade is warped it will be even harder
    if you find the ink wearing uneven you may want to use the edge of the hone, and try leading with either the toe or heel of the razor... Sometimes you have to get creative.
    Once you figure out how to get the ink off evenly, use the same method as you progress through all your hones.
    Be prepared to do extra passes on each hone, and your pastes.
    I usually finish these on newspaper to soften the feel of the edge.
    If you are still having problems pm me and I'll see if I can help.

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    Default Great news!

    Okay, I decided to try out another "stubborn" razor I have. It is an Original Pipe Razor, that is also half hollow ground. I used one piece of tape on the spine, and made sure to "refresh" it by replacing it every so often (the tape). I figured that the tape has to slowly wear down, so that would in turn change the angle ever so slightly causing the edge not to make correct contact with my stone. That did seem to help.

    I also did the magic marker trick, and saw where I was making the contact with so I could correct my stroke, and control. I don't know if it is recommended, but I tool the liberty to use a slightly rolling x stroke when honing to make sure to get even contact the length of the edge due to the wear of the blade over the years, and the fact it is not 100% straight (don't know if it ever was?).

    My results... I have a razor that will pop hairs off my arm at all places along the edge using the 1000k stone. It doesn't seem to be quite as sharp on the scales end of the blade, but maybe that is because it is where the semi hollow ground comes to a "y" and the heel (or what ever it is called..."end of the blade") was not intended, or has never had an edge on it. But never the less, that part of the blade will pop hairs also with just ever so much more effort.

    I think I am going to work on it a bit more with the 1000k stone as I know that the bevel is not true all the way down the edge. I don't know if I will ever get it there, but as long as I can shave with it, I am happy. I have heard that the 1000k bit of honing is by far the most important, and it is crucial to set the bevel properly before going up to a finer stone (any feedback here would be welcome as I am just a new guy learning the tricks of the trade).

    Well, thanks for all your help, and if you have any more pointers, I would be very much appreciative as I need all the help and advice I can get.

    Thanks again, and God bless!!!

    Dennis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_ratliff View Post
    The trick to These is bevel set.
    If the blade is warped it will be even harder
    if you find the ink wearing uneven you may want to use the edge of the hone, and try leading with either the toe or heel of the razor... Sometimes you have to get creative.
    Once you figure out how to get the ink off evenly, use the same method as you progress through all your hones.
    Be prepared to do extra passes on each hone, and your pastes.
    I usually finish these on newspaper to soften the feel of the edge.
    If you are still having problems pm me and I'll see if I can help.

    I am glad you said something about the edge of the hone. I didn't want to say anything as I thought maybe that was taboo, but I did actually do that several times to try to straighten it out....and it seemed to work.

    I may have to take you up on the PM if I have any more trouble, but for now, I think all is going good....at least better than before.

    Thank you!!!

    Dennis

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