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Thread: Bevel Questions

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    Senior Member PaddyX21's Avatar
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    Question Bevel Questions

    Gentlemen, I have some bevel setting questions if it's not too much trouble?

    I'll start by making sure you have as much info as possible to save the obvious questions;

    Razor - Sheffield, 1/2 hollow(ish) approx 1920, carbon steel, straight (ie no smile etc)
    Bevel setting stone - Naniwa 1000grit, std not SS or Chosera.
    Experience level - informed beginner!
    Method - Stone soaked for approx 30mins, wetted in use to keep water on the surface at all times, using circles and x-strokes with light pressure, moving to just enough pressure to keep the edge in contact. One layer electrical tape.

    I have now spent a reasonable amount of time attempting to set the bevel on this razor, my first attempt. I have no particular worry about ruining the razor, although I'd obviously prefer not to! I guess I've probably done around 50 circles and 75 x-strokes.

    I am getting a bevel, but it's not very even! Both sides are different to each other, but more of concern to me is the 'wavy' bevel along the edge. The bevel is deeper at the heel and toe, but narrower in the middle - on one side possibly not quite there, I'll have to get a microscope to be sure.
    Is this a sign of a warped blade? I would have expected the two sides to be opposites if this were the case, that is to say a deep bevel at the middle one side and edges the other.
    I am going to lap the stone, as I did kind of make the assumption it would be OK from the factory, but I would have expected the x-strokes to iron out any small defects.

    If there are any nice gems of wisdom going then I'm buying today, as I'll be having another go at this tomorrow evening probably.

    Thanks in advance
    Paddy

  2. #2
    This is not my actual head. HNSB's Avatar
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    To get the bevel set on an antique razor with a heavy grind typically takes me more strokes than that. It is ok to use pressure at this point, and do as many strokes as it takes. Once it shaves arm hair, back way off the pressure and do a few strokes to clean off the deep scratches and microchips from the pressure, then move up the grits.

    As to the wavy bevel - it could be your stroke, it could be a warp, or it could be an uneven grind from the factory or a bad cleanup job.
    The least likely of the three is that it's a warp. Concentrate on doing a good stroke - if it's either of the other two problems it is only cosmetic as long as it's not too pronounced.

    Recap: Be aggressive about setting the bevel. Lots of strokes and pressure are ok.
    Concentrate on doing a good even stroke in both directions.

    Good luck!

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    Administrator Lynn's Avatar
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    First thing is that I normally only soak the Naniwa Super Stone around 5 minutes or spray it a few times until it quits drinking the water quickly. Next I make sure that the blade is perfectly flat on the stone and do 40 circles in each direction followed by 10-15 X strokes using a fair amount of pressure. Without knowing the condition of your razor prior to honing, I really can't tell much about the wavy. If the razor started out with more flattening at the heel and toe, it will probably stay there and you may need to go to rolling X strokes, although, if it is not too bad, a few sets of circles may at least get the edge across the stone evenly. Usually the kind of wear described shows uneven pressure in previous honing or perhaps the use of wheels or belts. What you are looking for is that the edge feel like a very sharp pocket when you touch your thumb across it (do not run your thumb up the edge!!) and it feels like it wants to stick to it. Other folks use different tests off 1K like cutting hair or thumb nail. In my opinion, lapping is important, but not critical here.

    Picture of the razor might help too.

    Have fun.

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    IME, it is not unusual to have a narrower bevel at one end or the other .... or in the center and wider at one end or the other.... or both. I believe you're soaking that naniwa too long. IIRC from when I had them no more than 5 minutes if that. I just used to splash some water on the top and let it sit a few minutes rather than a submerged soak like with a norton 4k or a chosera 1k. When Lynn first explained the circle method to me over the phone I believe he said 40 circles each side. Then x strokes. Do a TNT and when you have a smooth, consistent resistance from heel to point you are making progress.

    EDIT .... Lynn was posting while I was typing.
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    Moderator Hirlau's Avatar
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    Here is my novice reply:
    How is the spine? The shape of the spine can reflect the shape of the edge, as far as the bevel. The tape will not even out the edge for you, it will only follow the shape of the spine, increase the bevel angle and protect it from wear.
    Always lap the stone prior to use, even from the factory.
    I lap with a DMT 325, that way I know the lapping instrument is flat.
    You need a loop at least, 20x would be nice or a 60x pocket micro from Radio Shack.
    I have always used pressure to set the bevel. I back off the pressure to hone.
    I set two beautiful bevels this week, by 30x each side, then 30x each side again (using a clean surface, working my way up the Norton)---pressure applied in small circles. ---1000 Norton.
    Then lap the 1000 again, 30 strops straight down the stone (no X-stroke), cleaning the stone after every 10 strokes---slight pressure.
    I then work my way up the stones(1000 included) with the X-Stroke, piramid, light pressure, strop.
    Just my way--YMMV
    I hope this helps.


    EDIT..........I'm a slow typer, the boys got here before me, so take their advice, Paddy.
    Last edited by Hirlau; 09-14-2011 at 02:48 PM.

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    Junior Member JohnnyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn View Post
    First thing is that I normally only soak the Naniwa Super Stone around 5 minutes or spray it a few times until it quits drinking the water quickly. Next I make sure that the blade is perfectly flat on the stone and do 40 circles in each direction followed by 10-15 X strokes using a fair amount of pressure. Without knowing the condition of your razor prior to honing, I really can't tell much about the wavy. If the razor started out with more flattening at the heel and toe, it will probably stay there and you may need to go to rolling X strokes, although, if it is not too bad, a few sets of circles may at least get the edge across the stone evenly. Usually the kind of wear described shows uneven pressure in previous honing or perhaps the use of wheels or belts. What you are looking for is that the edge feel like a very sharp pocket when you touch your thumb across it (do not run your thumb up the edge!!) and it feels like it wants to stick to it. Other folks use different tests off 1K like cutting hair or thumb nail. In my opinion, lapping is important, but not critical here.

    Picture of the razor might help too.

    Have fun.
    Lynn, Just got your DVD. I Reset my first bevel on my vintage Joseph Rodgers. Took over 100 sets of circles on the Norton 1K since the blade was chipped. I followed with the Norton 4K/8K, Shapton 12K, felt with .5 diamond spray, then rough leather on your modular paddle. I was able to pass the hair sharpness test for the very first time as a honer. Once I get some polish on the blade and scales this is going to be in pristine shape. Thanks for your pointers - the video was great and my confidence is up. JohnnyC


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