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Thread: Not quite shave ready but close. What's wrong?

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    Default Not quite shave ready but close. What's wrong?

    I've recently wondered about straights after tiring of disposables plugging so I figured I'd try it. I bought an old Wade and Butcher 5/8" Straight and a leather (rough side and smooth side) strop. I'm familiar with sharpening as a wood worker but shaving takes it a level higher. And so far I don't think I'm to that higher level!

    I sharpened this old blade using my Surgical Black Arkansas oil stone and refined it with the strop. I'm getting it to shave arm hairs bald but it takes a couple passes and doesn't do the mid air slicing thing. So I'm pretty close. It drags on my face when shaving (using heated in warm water Gillete Shave Gel) like a dull disposable razor. Needless to say I'm not getting a good shave and can't go ATG like I can with a disposable.

    When I strop, I roll it on the spine just like I've seen in videos.

    I went directly from the Black Surgical Oil Stone to the Leather Strop. Do I need an intermediate step?
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    Last edited by 777funk; 01-07-2015 at 01:33 AM.

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    Senior Member rodb's Avatar
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    Depending how abused or where the edge started at, you probably need to go to a lower grit. I would also check for a frowning edge, this will make it nearly impossible to hone until the frown is removed
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    777funk (01-08-2015)

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    It actually came with no visible chips in the edge. It looked sharp when looking down on the edge in the light. So I used the oil first. I also took it back to a 600 diamond and then back again just incase.

    It looks pretty close to straight to a slight smile but I haven't held it to a straight edge to see for sure what I have. I'm new to honing a straight.

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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Ok don't take this wrong but it is like you went through the "Beginners Guides" that we have everywhere on the forum read them and did everything that they say not to do..

    Then you ask "Why it isn't shaving well"

    Might I suggest reading the guides first, I swear we have done everything possible to make SR shaving as easy as we can for beginners on SRP but you do have to put in the effort to read it and learn it..
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    Thanks SixGun and point taken. FWIW, I watched a dozen or so videos on shaving, honing, and stroping. I did see a video here and also read the beginners section on shaving. I read a stroping post by Lynn.

    Could you point out my errors. I'm at a place where obvious mistakes may not be so obvious since I'm uninformed and uneducated.

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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Everything in your post except "I bought an old Wade and Butcher 5/8" Straight" and possibly the strop is good, but you didn't give us a pic to look at...

    Sorry but that is just being honest, you are not giving yourself a real chance at success with this hobby

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    So it sounds like the equipment may be the problem. I bought it assuming an old blade will cut as good as it's edge and I don't mind sharpening. I'm used to it from chisels and planes and have most of the equipment laying around. I didn't have a strop for shaving (had to buy one). But I figured since I have the tools, why not sharpen an old blade.

    I posted the before picture of the blade above. Looks close now but with a mirror edge. I didn't change the geometry of the blade at all.

    I am not a strop expert but I think I understand what's going on with strops. I have a smooth leather side that I think would give a good final edge. It's flat and has the edges rolled slightly. I smoothed it with 280 emery paper.

    I have no idea if I need something between the surgical black oil stone and the leather strop. I see guys using the .5mic compounds. I have some 1u paste that's supposed to be very precise. I don't know what to put it on however. In any case, the edge looks scratch free and mirror like to the naked eye or under a magnifying glass.
    Last edited by 777funk; 01-07-2015 at 02:01 AM.

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    Senior Member Siguy's Avatar
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    No worries. Welcome to SRP.

    As gssixgun recommends, do. That being said, do read all the stickies, the library and the videos. Additionally, use the advanced search function. Very helpful.

    The SRP forums have been set up to be as informative and easy to traverse as possible with the aim of attracting and teaching the art of straight razor shaving. Take advantage and let the fever grip you. Embrace it.

    I'd consider investigating purchasing another razor versus sending that one out for honing. You might end up paying more for a pro-honing(because of the frown) than the cost of another vintage razor. In any event, I'll drop you a link I still like going to. The Library!

    Straight Razor Place Library - Straight Razor Place Library

    All sorts of interesting and informative info on just about any topic you can think of. Including the guide to buying a straight razor

    Again, welcome.
    Last edited by Siguy; 01-07-2015 at 02:03 AM.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth 10Pups's Avatar
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    First read from the search box should be ....Setting a bevel ... Should only take 2 months on a arkie. :<0)
    You can do this but it has a learning curve.

    Bevel-setting in theory and practice - Straight Razor Place Library
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    Good judgment comes from experience, and experience....well that comes from poor judgment.

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    Lumberjohn (01-08-2015)

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    lol on the 2 months for an Ark stone! You'd not be kidding! I've also got diamond stones for roughing things out and a wet grinder for really rough things. But I don't think I'd touch the razor to that thing! The blade would be bye bye in just a few seconds!


    by the way, thanks for the tips everyone!
    Last edited by 777funk; 01-07-2015 at 02:38 AM.

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