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Thread: Clean before honing?

  1. #1
    Spacesaver Vicious's Avatar
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    Question Clean before honing?

    I should be getting a set of Norton Water Stones in a week or so. I've already acquired a couple cheap razors from ebay on which to practice. These razors don't have any chips or nicks but do have a bit of rust.

    So my question is: should I do some basic restoration to get rid of some/all of the rust before trying to hone? I don't plan to USE these razors in any way nor am I planning to restore/resell them. All I'm planning to do is to sacrifice them to the honing gods in an effort to gain knowledge of how to hone properly. That being said, I'm wondering if NOT getting the rust off will damage the stones; I certainly don't want to cause undue wear on my new stones.

    If this question, or one similar, has already been discussed elsewhere in the forum I'd greatly appreciate a link. Otherwise, any and all insight is very welcome.
    Just sayin...

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    Sinner Saved by Grace Datsots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicious View Post
    I should be getting a set of Norton Water Stones in a week or so. I've already acquired a couple cheap razors from ebay on which to practice. These razors don't have any chips or nicks but do have a bit of rust.

    So my question is: should I do some basic restoration to get rid of some/all of the rust before trying to hone? I don't plan to USE these razors in any way nor am I planning to restore/resell them. All I'm planning to do is to sacrifice them to the honing gods in an effort to gain knowledge of how to hone properly. That being said, I'm wondering if NOT getting the rust off will damage the stones; I certainly don't want to cause undue wear on my new stones.

    If this question, or one similar, has already been discussed elsewhere in the forum I'd greatly appreciate a link. Otherwise, any and all insight is very welcome.
    How are you planing on knowing if you are doing a good job of honing without a test shave? Sharp is relatively easy but smooth can be difficult when you start honing.

    Assuming the scales are not an issue, I would scrape off the loose rust with a used DE blade. Set the bevel, if it takes an edge restore it as far as you care to. Continue your honing practice until you can get a good shave.

    Edit: Red rust is softer than steel, so it won't be an issue on the hones. Also when you next lap the hone any appearance issue will be gone.

    Good luck.

    Jonathan
    Last edited by Datsots; 03-17-2013 at 05:25 AM.

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    I would clean them to the extent that they would be acceptable to shave with. I usually go no further than metal polish on q-tips and a paper towel. For red rust I might use 0000 steel wool with a bit of oil before the metal polish. Though you say you don't intend to shave with them, the test of honing is shaving. Chances are you will want to shave with them to see if your skills are improving.
    Sticky and nun2sharp like this.

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    Senior Member Double0757's Avatar
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    Depends what kind of rust! For me, if its the red active kind, then yes, I would remove it using an air dremmel (easy to control speed) (still dangerous, but less than the electric, IMO) with compound. Or if you have the motivation, with sand paper.

    I don't make them pretty until I know they will make good shavers. If is black, I polish it (mothers of pearl) (beats water eassily) and leave the black rust on, until they shave good, If they do, then I would do more. Double O

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    I would say to remove whatever rust that you can easily get off. 400 grit wet or dry or whatever won't matter too much if appearance is not important to you.
    I don't know what Nortons you have coming but the 4000/8000 will soak up a lot of water on the 4000 side.
    When you start honing just make sure that your Norton has been soaked in clean water until bubbles stop coming from the stone and then begin honing.
    If you start with a dry hone, get marks on it from rust, and then try to wet it for cleaning, it might soak up the stain while rehydrating.
    Also, unless the blades are rusted to the point where there are holes in the edge you really will want to test them for their ability to shave smoothly.
    As to wear on the hones , don't be too concerned with that. You will probably not be able to wear them out.
    I hope this works out for you and maybe you will even get some good shaves from some junkers.

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    Spacesaver Vicious's Avatar
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    Thanks all!!! I had an inkling I'd need to clean them up a bit and you have all confirmed. As it turns out I've a roommate with a dremmel so I'll get to it with that before the hones arrive next week.

    Thanks again, everyone!
    Just sayin...

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    aka shooter74743 ScottGoodman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicious View Post
    I should be getting a set of Norton Water Stones in a week or so. I've already acquired a couple cheap razors from ebay on which to practice. These razors don't have any chips or nicks but do have a bit of rust.

    So my question is: should I do some basic restoration to get rid of some/all of the rust before trying to hone? I don't plan to USE these razors in any way nor am I planning to restore/resell them. All I'm planning to do is to sacrifice them to the honing gods in an effort to gain knowledge of how to hone properly. That being said, I'm wondering if NOT getting the rust off will damage the stones; I certainly don't want to cause undue wear on my new stones.

    If this question, or one similar, has already been discussed elsewhere in the forum I'd greatly appreciate a link. Otherwise, any and all insight is very welcome.
    Its always good to kill any active rust, get it off there.

    If you plan to learn to hone, you will use them or your honing adventure will go nowhere. You MUST shave with razors & have a reference blade honed by a pro...then challenge yourself to get all of your edges to equal/better theirs.

    Rust will not harm a hone, abuse and OOP's is what harms hones. Use them, that is what they are made for. You will find that you will wear down lower "grit" hones like the 1 & 4K, but the higher "grit" stones seem to never get any wear, they just keep on going...
    Northeastern Texas & Southeastern Oklahoma Mentor/Helper...PM me if I can assist you.
    God Bless,
    Scott

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    Senior Member Johnus's Avatar
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    Be real careful with the Dremel . If you Must use it wear safety glasses. They can really mess you and the razor up.

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    Make ready the heat. henryconchile's Avatar
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    I've set the bevel and sharpened SRs with the black rust still on them with no problem. I didn't bother to sand or polish them prior to honing. I even shaved with those honed SRs afterwards. I was mostly practicing my honing skills back then, but everything worked fine.

    However, I would still recommend that you at least lightly sand some of the rust off, followed an application of oil on the blade.
    - Henry

    You can take the boy out of NY, but you can't take NY out of the boy.

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    Sinner Saved by Grace Datsots's Avatar
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    Don't forget the chain mail

    Jonathan

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