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Thread: Hone/Strop for wedge blades?

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    Default Hone/Strop for wedge blades?

    I'm a complete beginner with honing/stropping. I don't use straights, but I have some of the old "lather-catcher" razors, and a couple only use the wedge blades. I'm curious to see if I can learn to hone and strop a couple of these old "wedge" blades. The razor handle often came with the little extension that can hold the blade for honing/stropping. Since it's kind of a lark to me, I don't want to break the bank. I got an old "Crown Jr." hone along with some razors that I was buying, and wondered if it's at all usable with these blades. Also, on eBay I see tons of inexpensive strops, some old, some new from China, some with wooden handles, etc. I understand that you get what you pay for, but just for learning and trying this, any opinions about the hone I have in this picture, inexpensive strop options, etc.
    I'm hoping I can get these pictures to work:

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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    Well it's worth a shot. For the cheapest strop you can try newspaper or the inside of a cereal box supported on a flat surface. Leather would be better but you could try one of those first.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    I have a few of those too, mine are all Henckels brands, but wedge blades are all the same basic principal. They do share some similarities with straight razors, mostly in regard to blade geometry and material. They do need to be sharpened with a bevel set and then polished. From there maintenance is very simple and you could easily maintain those blades with a barbers hone and a strop. A leather strop daily, or before/after use to keep the edge aligned and shaving smooth and periodic maintenance with the barbers hone. There is a guy in Grain Valley Missouri that has done a lot of those. I think you could try a PM with a user name Modine, his name is Mike and he does very nice work. Those old wedge razors are great shavers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RezDog View Post
    I have a few of those too, mine are all Henckels brands, but wedge blades are all the same basic principal. They do share some similarities with straight razors, mostly in regard to blade geometry and material. They do need to be sharpened with a bevel set and then polished. From there maintenance is very simple and you could easily maintain those blades with a barbers hone and a strop. A leather strop daily, or before/after use to keep the edge aligned and shaving smooth and periodic maintenance with the barbers hone. There is a guy in Grain Valley Missouri that has done a lot of those. I think you could try a PM with a user name Modine, his name is Mike and he does very nice work. Those old wedge razors are great shavers.
    Thanks! Actually, Mike did two of those for me a few years ago and did a great job. I'm just looking at retiring soon, and thinking that with extra time on my hands, I would like to see if I can learn how (not for money, just for my own use

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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    The process is almost the same as a straight razor blade but with the wedge blade, they should be flipped end for end in the holder while doing low grit hone work to keep them straight. The visual through a loupe for the honing progression and the hones used is the same.
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    Mental Support Squad Pithor's Avatar
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    I strop my lather catcher wedge blades using a designated strop, in my case a 'Magnus' brand apparatus that came with a seven-day Heljestrand lather catcher set. A very ingenious piece of engineering.

    A paddle strop will do just fine, though. With hanging strops there is the risk of cutting/nicking the strop more than with straights. A fabric (or newspaper) stropping is very advisable, as it is for general stropping.

    A note of caution:

    When honing this type of wedge blade, ALWAYS TAPE THE HOLDER!

    The holders are generally made of softer (possibly alloy) material and will wear quite fast on the hones.

    Another trick is using a modern GEM blade. I'm not sure, but I think most Kampfe models require a shim; a GEM blade spine will usually do the trick.

    For further reading, another rabbit hole.

    Enjoy, lather catchers are very fun to use.

    Best regards,

    Pieter
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    Thanks, Pieter, for the info. I do have a couple of questions, though... when you say "tape the holder", are you referring to the extension you see in my picture that is holding the blade? I'm also not sure what you mean by using a modern GEM blade. Are you just saying use the modern GEM blade instead of the wedge, or somehow using the GEM blade to help hone the razor? I wonder if anyone has made pics or a video of this process. Maybe sometimes when you get a chance, you could take a picture of the GEM blade method you mentioned and also your Magnus hone. Thanks for your time.
    Cleave



    Quote Originally Posted by Pithor View Post
    I strop my lather catcher wedge blades using a designated strop, in my case a 'Magnus' brand apparatus that came with a seven-day Heljestrand lather catcher set. A very ingenious piece of engineering.

    A paddle strop will do just fine, though. With hanging strops there is the risk of cutting/nicking the strop more than with straights. A fabric (or newspaper) stropping is very advisable, as it is for general stropping.

    A note of caution:

    When honing this type of wedge blade, ALWAYS TAPE THE HOLDER!

    The holders are generally made of softer (possibly alloy) material and will wear quite fast on the hones.

    Another trick is using a modern GEM blade. I'm not sure, but I think most Kampfe models require a shim; a GEM blade spine will usually do the trick.

    For further reading, another rabbit hole.

    Enjoy, lather catchers are very fun to use.

    Best regards,

    Pieter

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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    I'm with Pithor and tape the holder/stropped handle shown in your last picture, while honing. There is no need to tape it for stropping.
    It's not what you know, it's who you take fishing!

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    Mental Support Squad Pithor's Avatar
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    Sorry I wasn't quite clear in my previous answer. Like Rezdog said, the tape goes on the extension bit, as you would put tape on the spine of a straight razor to hone it. Stropping is fine without.

    I meant that, instead of designated wedge blade, you can use modern GEM blades for shaving. This possibly requires adding a bit of thickness by means of a shim placed underneath the spine of the blade so the lather catcher can hold the blade in place. I'll try to snap a picture for illustration.

    It is completely possible that you're able to use a modern GEM blade without a shim, I'm not hands-on familiar with Kampfe razors.
    Last edited by Pithor; 09-10-2017 at 02:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pithor View Post
    Sorry I wasn't quite clear in my previous answer. Like Rezdog said, the tape goes on the extension bit, as you would put tape on the spine of a straight razor to hone it. Stropping is fine without.
    I meant that, instead of designated wedge blade, you can use modern GEM blades for shaving. This possibly requires adding a bit of thickness by means of a shim placed underneath the spine of the blade so the lather catcher can hold the blade in place. I'll try to snap a picture for illustration.

    It is completely possible that you're able to use a modern GEM blade without a shim, I'm not hands-on familiar with Kampfe razors.

    Thanks, Pithor, I appreciate it. If you have time to snap a pic, it would be appreciated. I do use modern GEMs with some of my lather-catchers, but there are some that won't take them, so that's why I'm toying with the idea of learning to hone/strop. Thanks again,
    Cleave

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