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  1. #1
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    Default Kamisori and taping - also, muting the point

    I mostly use and hone regular western-style razors, and I only tape the spine if absolutely necessary (full wedge, for eg.).

    I also have a few Kamisori, and have been wondering about them, re: taping the 'spine' and muting the point.

    A) Taping the spine.
    I am quite adept at getting a really sharp, smooth edge on these razors using an ~10:1 ratio on the non-stamped (omote?) vs. stamped (ura?) sides.

    When honing without taping the spine, even on fine hones, the non -stamped side gets worn at two points - the bevel, and the 'spine' end (actually the high point of the non-stamped side, not the true spine). See Max's Norio in the Kamisori pic thread for what I mean.
    Most vintage razors come with significant wear in these areas. With my previously used razors I have had no problems - I just hone away on my Asagi or Kiita without worrying about the visible wear.
    Since almost all the work is done on very fine grit hones, this area of wear is really a polishing zone, but it does look different from the rest of the razor.

    However, I've got a couple of new razors now, and was wondering what to do about them.
    I've looked at most of the pics of Kamisori on this site to see the extent of the visible wear on the non-stamped side (this is hard, as most people only post pics of the stamped side). For almost all the new razors (Iwasakis, Kanetakes, etc.) there doesn't seem to be much wear at all near the spine.

    So, my questions are:
    1) Do people tape the spines of their new Kamisori when honing?
    2) Would this cause a noticable difference in the shaving angle and ability of the razor?

    B) Muting the point
    I'm guessing this will be a personal thing.

    Again, my used razors tend to have the point muted, while the new ones come with a wicked point.
    I've already scratched myself a couple of times with the point on these razors. I've been loath to mute them, as they are a major part of the form of the razor.
    Still, if they scratch me, I think they should go.

    So, do you just learn to deal with the point, or do you generally mute the points?
    Last edited by yohannrjm; 07-02-2010 at 05:13 PM. Reason: Clarified what I mean when I say 'spine'

  2. #2
    Forum mogwai thebigspendur's Avatar
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    Point muting first, and this is strictly my opinion. Western razors come in all kinds of points so changing the edge is no big deal but to me a Japanese Straight has two spikes and that's the way it is. Change them and you're on your way to a Frankenrazor.

    As far as taping goes I've never done it except for experimentation. I've found if you do most of your honing on the non writing side because of the way the blade is and because of the pressure you apply you'll be reapplying tape every few strokes. Or at least that's what I've found but since I shave with the writing side that's where I do most of my honing. Also most of your wear if you hone on the nonwriting side isn't really on the spine because the high point of the blade is further down than the spine.
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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigspendur View Post
    Point muting first, and this is strictly my opinion. Western razors come in all kinds of points so changing the edge is no big deal but to me a Japanese Straight has two spikes and that's the way it is. Change them and you're on your way to a Frankenrazor.

    As far as taping goes I've never done it except for experimentation. I've found if you do most of your honing on the non writing side because of the way the blade is and because of the pressure you apply you'll be reapplying tape every few strokes. Or at least that's what I've found but since I shave with the writing side that's where I do most of my honing. Also most of your wear if you hone on the nonwriting side isn't really on the spine because the high point of the blade is further down than the spine.
    That's the point I meant (not the true spine, I guess). I just didn't know what to refer to it as.

    'High point of the non-stamped side' works for me.

    I've noticed the tape wear too. I guess that's as a good a reason as any not to tape while honing. It's just that I've not seen much 'high point of the non-stamped side' wear on a lot of the new razors in the galleries up here, so I was wondering if that's because people tape the spine (or maybe there's not been any real honing done on those razors).

  5. #4
    Blood & MWF soap make great lather JeffE's Avatar
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    I'm not an expert here, but I know what you mean because I've honed a few of these too. I don't think there's any realistic way to tape over the "high spot on the non-stamped side" so to speak, and even if you did, wouldn't the tape residue just end up all over your stones while you were honing?

    What I do is put all of the pressure that I'm going to use on the edge of the blade itself using my fingertips, rather than on the "high spot" That forces the honing to happen on the edge and not at the high spot.

    Also, if you are trying to "even out" the wear on the high spot, just try lifting or tilting the handle a little bit to force the non-worn parts onto the stone and slightly lift the over-worn parts off the stone. You'll see that with a little work you can get a nice even wear pattern on the back.

  6. #5
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    JeffE - thanks for the help.

    I used the slight pressure toward the edge and honed one of the razors this morning.

    It worked!!

    There was minimal wear at the 'high point', and the edge got nice and sharp. I haven't yet shave-tested, so we'll see if it makes a difference to the shave (can't imagine that it will, but you never know).

    Cheers!

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    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yohannrjm View Post
    So, do you just learn to deal with the point, or do you generally mute the points?
    I like spikes , they keep you focused
    I thought the Iwasaki came with the toe slightly muted. Mine is.
    Is yours a full spike ?
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    The original Skolor and Gentileman. gugi's Avatar
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    Taping the spine is a rather bad thing to do. Because of the little hollowing on the front side the bevel geometry will be determined not by the geometry of the razor, but entirely by how the tape is applied, so you will never be able to 'touch up' the razor as you cannot apply the tape in the exact same way as you did the first time. And this doesn't even take into account that the tape edge will not be perfectly parallel to the edge, so that's really a recipe for disaster.

    But I hear some (obviously clueless) people do it and (only) newbies like the razors.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by onimaru55 View Post
    I like spikes , they keep you focused
    I thought the Iwasaki came with the toe slightly muted. Mine is.
    Is yours a full spike ?
    I don't have an Iwasaki. I do have one of the Kanetake razors that OLD_SCHOOL sells, and also a NOS Yasuki steel razor that both seem to have full spikes.

    You do need to focus when using them. I prefer spike points on my western style straights, so I was convinced I could use these easily.

    However, as I get down to my summer riding weight (I ride my bike a lot), I tend to lose a lot of weight on my face --- and it hollows out. This makes it more likely that I'll scratch myself with the spike (that's already happened).

    As my vintage (used) kamisori have muted points, I was wondering if it was something I should consider with the new ones as well. However, once it's done, there's no going back, so I wanted to see what other people do.

    I think I'll just be very careful while shaving.

    Quote Originally Posted by gugi View Post
    Taping the spine is a rather bad thing to do. Because of the little hollowing on the front side the bevel geometry will be determined not by the geometry of the razor, but entirely by how the tape is applied, so you will never be able to 'touch up' the razor as you cannot apply the tape in the exact same way as you did the first time. And this doesn't even take into account that the tape edge will not be perfectly parallel to the edge, so that's really a recipe for disaster.

    But I hear some (obviously clueless) people do it and (only) newbies like the razors.
    Ivan, that's exactly what I thought when I considered taping the spine. As I mentioned earlier, I tried it on one razor, and had a lot of problems with the tape getting worn out and leaving marbles on the hone. I was also worried about future honings, because, as you point out, it would be nigh impossible to tape exactly the same way the next time.

    Anyway, now that I figured out how to hone these razors without greatly wearing out the 'high point', all's well.

    Shave this morning with the razor I honed yesterday was lovely.

    Couldn't do an ATG pass, though (in too much of a hurry). Even with these razors, I have to do an ATG pass to get a close enough shave.

  10. #9
    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    I've moved this thread from 'razors' to 'honing' where I think it may get more attention based on the topic.
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    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    Here is a pic of an Iwasaki. You can see how subtle the muting is.
    May suit you to mimic this ?
    Attached Images Attached Images  
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