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Thread: how to strop a filarmonica smile?

  1. #1
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    Question how to strop a filarmonica smile?

    Hi, this is my first post on SRP which I've been frequenting for a while now. Thanks everybody for the awesome resource!

    I am a newbie so please bear with me. I have a filarmonica #10 doble temple (4/8, 1/3 hollow, pronounced(?) smile). I've never been able to get all of the blade shaving sharp. I could manage a few shaves when it was new and I was learning and that was that. Back then I didn't know how to hone or strop. Rubbing it on balsa gave me a sharp 1 inch in the middle part of the blade.

    I switched to a dovo best quality a few months back and now can hone/maintain the dovo (I have a chinese 12K and a barbers' that is probably an 8k grit) and strop it on a sheet of newspaper wrapped on a glass plate (no money to buy a real leather strop). This gives me a scary sharp smooth edge that passes the HHT at all parts of the edge and gives me a great shave just short of bbs (most likely due to my lack of experience with the shaving part).

    Well, so now I've honed/stropped the filarmonica on the 12k and newspaper, using the rolling X method and also stropping in sections (tip, middle, base separately). I'm close to 1000 laps of stropping now, the middle passes HHT, but only some parts of the tip and base pass HHT. I can shave, but it requires lots of passes, unlike the dovo. What should I do? Will a real leather strop cure everything? I tried with a 1 inch leather belt on a flat surface, but the newspaper on glass seems to be giving me better results.

    Any help will be appreciated.

    edit: I have also used lampblack, both on the newspaper and the leather belt, but it is of not much help.
    Last edited by slickshave; 03-03-2012 at 05:42 PM.

  2. #2
    I used Nakayamas for my house mainaman's Avatar
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    Fialrmonica are all straight edges not smiles, I would think it was honed such as to change the edge shape.
    Could you post pics?
    Also you will need leather strop you can make your own, just grab a piece of leather from e-bay cut sand it flat to 1k sand paper and there you have it.
    I am sure others will post links to cheap reliable strops you can get online.
    Stefan

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    Know thyself holli4pirating's Avatar
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    Did you ever get great shaves with the filly? My first thought is that it just isn't fully honed/shave ready and may need some time on lower grit stones.

    I never recommend stopping on a leather belt. They can have grit in them, for various reasons, and are more likely to do harm than good.

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    epd
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    LWelcome to SRP!
    If your razor is sporting a smile you need to adapt your honing strokes accordingly.
    IMO problem lies with your hones, or lack of hones.
    I suggest sending it out for honing. While its gone read all of the honing related information available to you until it gets back. We have multiple honing pros in the classified section.
    Id say I needed a FULL set of hones, 20hrs research and 100 hrs experience on "straight" not smiling razors to tackle my first smiling edge.
    Practicing with your hones of "unknown grit" will make the job more frustrating then it has to be. (believe me I started with 3 unknown stones and sandpaper for the bevel)
    Im only trying to preserve your precious filarmonica, I wouldnt touch a hone to it until your good and ready.
    A strop wont cure your edge, only refine them IMO

    Good luck
    Ps, im looking for a good shape #10 so maybe put up a pic or two!
    Last edited by epd; 03-03-2012 at 06:05 PM.

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    I bought this new (strangely it was on sale and cost less than the dovo, about 4 yrs back; I gave up on both for about 3 years!), not honed by anybody (couldn't afford it). Also, I live in India now, and cannot send it out for professional honing (the barbers here all use shavettes, and the really old ones have kind of retired).

    I do get great shaves with the filly. As I said, the middle and parts of the tip and base are very sharp. It's only that when I pull it on my face, some parts will be cleanly shaved and some not, so I have to go over them again with the middle of the blade (not easy for me to do with a 3 inch blade). I've been trying for a week now, I get great shaves after some 5 passes or so, which is painful without a good moisturizing cream. The dovo does great in only 2 passes as I do not have to go back and touch up everything.

    The only strop I can afford is the Frank Shaving one (actually the only registered postage I can afford is from china/HK; unregistered mail mysteriously gets lost in Indian post/customs). It would be nice if I could get someone to bring me a strop from star shaving supplies. A full set of hones is kind of out of question.

    To reply to epd, the filly is not in pristine condition. I honed under the assumption that it was supposed to be honed/stropped like a straight. The spine at the tip and base is a bit flattened; not a whole lot, and the base of the spine more than the tip (visible in photo). It's night here, I can post better pics in the morning. epd, you can maybe PM me if interested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slickshave View Post
    Name:  IMG_0263.jpg
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    I bought this new (strangely it was on sale and cost less than the dovo, about 4 yrs back; I gave up on both for about 3 years!), not honed by anybody (couldn't afford it). Also, I live in India now, and cannot send it out for professional honing (the barbers here all use shavettes, and the really old ones have kind of retired).

    I do get great shaves with the filly. As I said, the middle and parts of the tip and base are very sharp. It's only that when I pull it on my face, some parts will be cleanly shaved and some not, so I have to go over them again with the middle of the blade (not easy for me to do with a 3 inch blade). I've been trying for a week now, I get great shaves after some 5 passes or so, which is painful without a good moisturizing cream. The dovo does great in only 2 passes as I do not have to go back and touch up everything.

    The only strop I can afford is the Frank Shaving one (actually the only registered postage I can afford is from china/HK; unregistered mail mysteriously gets lost in Indian post/customs). It would be nice if I could get someone to bring me a strop from star shaving supplies. A full set of hones is kind of out of question.

    To reply to epd, the filly is not in pristine condition. I honed under the assumption that it was supposed to be honed/stropped like a straight. The spine at the tip and base is a bit flattened; not a whole lot, and the base of the spine more than the tip (visible in photo). It's night here, I can post better pics in the morning. epd, you can maybe PM me if interested.
    Looking at the photo the bevel seems a lot wider in the middle of the blade, but that may be a trick of the light, plus the reflection from the toe to the middle looks like the blade is distorted at that point, once again that could be a trick of the light, the spine wear looks pretty even, so unless it's been honed with a lot of pressure in the middle of the blade I would check that the edge is truly straight.

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    The bevel is wider in the middle, that came from my trying to hone/strop the full 3 inch length instead of using a thin hone/strop. The spine is also actually thinner in the middle than the heel and toe, so that may be another reason for the wider bevel, but I don't have enough experience to say that for sure. The blade is not distorted, I'll post better pics in the morning. The spine wear is mostly even, except a bit at the toe and heel due to my ineptness. However the spine has a smile curve and also is thinner in the middle (even after my inept honing/stropping). I tried to bend my mind around how that would effect the edge and failed. Hence my questions here. This filly and the dovo I have are the only two razors I have ever seen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slickshave View Post
    The bevel is wider in the middle, that came from my trying to hone/strop the full 3 inch length instead of using a thin hone/strop. The spine is also actually thinner in the middle than the heel and toe, so that may be another reason for the wider bevel, but I don't have enough experience to say that for sure. The blade is not distorted, I'll post better pics in the morning. The spine wear is mostly even, except a bit at the toe and heel due to my ineptness. However the spine has a smile curve and also is thinner in the middle (even after my inept honing/stropping). I tried to bend my mind around how that would effect the edge and failed. Hence my questions here. This filly and the dovo I have are the only two razors I have ever seen.
    Try to post some better photos, stropping your razor will have zero effect in terms of wearing away metal on bevels or the spine , however a hone will, if the spine is curved sideways looking from the pivot point to the toe, then it would be easy to take more material off one side of the edge than the other on a hone, because the razor's edge would in this instance have a slight curve and a flat hone does not, so you're only honing the belly on one side and the toe and heel on the other, there are ways to get around this but it very much depends on your skill and what type of hones you have.

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    That's not a smiling razor at all.

    It most likely needs to be honed properly, which you don't have the tools for, so your best option would be sending it out to someone who can hone it for you.

    And welcome

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    Welcome to SRP!

    I agree it does not look like a smiling blade to me. It appears from the photo that the bevel is basically even from the heel to a bit past center, but it is hard to tell - there could be something going on in the middle section as well.

    It doesn't sound like you are doing any honing at this stage. So I would mirror the recommendation above - take a look in the classifieds and find an advertising honer in your general vicinity. Send that razor out to them and you won't know yourself when it comes back!

    James.
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