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Thread: Trouble with Razor

  1. #1
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    Default Trouble with Razor

    Hello all.

    I have a Ern No. 4 I picked up at an antique mall last year. I sent it out to have it rescaled and the edge cleaned up. When I got it back, the first few shaves with it were great, exactly what I would expect from a restored edge. It's a full hollow, 5/8" blade.

    But over the past year, I haven't been able to maintain the edge at that level, and I'm actually not sure why. It feels like it pulls more often than not, and it goes to the paddle and the honing stone more often than my other blade, even though I use them equally (I alternate each shave).

    Just today, I took it to my Naniwah 12k superstone and gave it 15 strokes each side. Then I took it to my Balsa paddle, and 10 strokes on each side of the blade on each side of the paddle, with Dovo Red and Black paste. Then 10 strokes on canvas, and finally 50 strokes on leather. It felt more like using fine sand paper than anything else.

    Now, I'd chalk this up to either the routine or to my technique, but whenever I do the same routine on my Dovo En Vouge No. 105, I have to be extra cautious the first couple of shaves because I won't even realize it's cut me until about 3 seconds after it has.

    The Dovo is likewise a 5/8" full hollow blade, which is why, when selecting blades at the antique store, I chose the Ern, I figured there'd be nothing to relearn about how to shave with it. The only difference between them is that the Dovo is a straight blade, while the Ern has a slight curve to it.

    Is there something about my routine that doesn't work with the new blade? Is there special technique needed for a curved blade over a straight blade? Could it be that my technique for actually shaving needs to be different between the two blades? I've had the Ern for about a year, and the Dovo for nearly 2, and I have always tried to be receptive to what the blades are telling me, but I haven't been able to get an easy shave out of the Ern for quite some time.

    Is it possible it hates me?

    Any advice would be much appreciated. I have included pics of the Ern, hopefully they help.

    Thanks all!
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  2. #2
    barba crescit caput nescit Phrank's Avatar
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    When you sent it to be restored and honed, was taped used on the spine for honing?

    If tape was used, 1 layer or two layers? If you didn't use any tape, or the right amount, that may be where your problem lies.
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    Senior Member Wolfpack34's Avatar
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    Based on what you have said, there are just too many variables to do anything other than guess at what your problem is. Bad technique? Who knows...only you. Unless someone could watch you shave they could never accurately comment. Bad stropping technique? Once again...who knows. Not enough stropping? Too much incorrect honing, pasting, etc.? Warped blade? All and many others...Who Knows!

    I can say 2 things, and be pretty confident that it would be advice that you should heed...#1 that the bevel I see in the pics appears to be very uneven and may be set incorrectly (in other words not set at all) and #2 That you should start over now at this point with another professional re-hone, from a very competent honer.

    I am sure you did not want to hear this...but...anything else I would say would just be a guess. I am sure others hereabouts will stop by this thread and offer other guesses, which will undoubtedly just enhance your confusion and in the end you will need to have the razor re-honed.

    Sorry...
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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    If it has been a year and this is your first year, regardless of how many times you have touched it up then I too say send it out, unless you have someone experienced near by that can help you in person
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfpack34 View Post
    #2 That you should start over now at this point with another professional re-hone, from a very competent honer.

    I am sure you did not want to hear this...but...anything else I would say would just be a guess.

    If that's what needs to happen, then that's what needs to happen, regardless if I want to hear it or not lol. There's no point in spending as much as we do on a razor then not being willing to spend a little more to make sure it works as it's supposed to.

    I see Lynn does honings, so I'll PM him about sending it over.

    Thank you, gentlemen!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phrank View Post
    When you sent it to be restored and honed, was taped used on the spine for honing?

    If tape was used, 1 layer or two layers? If you didn't use any tape, or the right amount, that may be where your problem lies.
    I actually have no idea on that. I didn't even realize tape was something used in the honing process. Is it something I may need to do when touching up on the 12k, or is that just for establishing the initial edge?

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigbobbieK View Post
    ...I took it to my Naniwah 12k superstone and gave it 15 strokes each side. Then I took it to my Balsa paddle, and 10 strokes on each side of the blade on each side of the paddle, with Dovo Red and Black paste. Then 10 strokes on canvas, and finally 50 strokes on leather...
    Hi,

    Your routine (above) does look a little odd. This is what you are doing:

    12000 grit naniwah
    5000/8000 grit Dovo Red (3 - 4 microns)
    14000 grit Dovo Red (approx 1 micron)

    Then you follow with 10 laps on canvas and 50 on leather.

    I would leave the Dovo Red out altogether - it is too coarse to fit in here. I am also a bit dubious about the black and my own preference is for 0.5 micron green chrome oxide which is 0.5 microns and around 30000 grit equivalence or thereabouts (like all the ratings quoted, it differs according to which conversion tables you use!)

    My own preference is the naniwah, no pastes or powders, then 50 laps on cotton and a good 60 or more on leather.

    If your razor was taped, then the tape would have lifted the spine of the hone, elevating the honing angle. If you darken the bevel (carefully!) with sharpie ink, and do about 15 laps on your naniwah then, if the blade was taped and you have not used tape you will notice a bright micro bevel forming - try shaving with it, nothing wrong with a micro bevel.

    If it was not taped and you use no tape, then the honing angle will be the same and the marker ink should disappear.

    Regards,
    Neil
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    Neil,

    This explains so much! Thank you!

    I actually tried to find the equivalency for the Red/Black paste when I was looking at buying it, and how it would fit in with a routine, but I never was able to locate any comparable measurements. Most of the honing instructions I was able to find assume you're starting from scratch and setting the bevel yourself. It was actually really difficult to find what I need just for touch ups.

    At this stage, I'm stuck with the Red/Black for the time being, as it's thoroughly impregnated into my paddle. I'd have to make another one to change things up. Not impossible, ut ot high on my list of priorities at the moment.

    Thanks for the info!

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    Senior Member Splashone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Miller View Post
    If your razor was taped, then the tape would have lifted the spine of the hone, elevating the honing angle. If you darken the bevel (carefully!) with sharpie ink, and do about 15 laps on your naniwah then, if the blade was taped and you have not used tape you will notice a bright micro bevel forming - try shaving with it, nothing wrong with a micro bevel.
    I think Neil has that backward. If the razor was initially honed without tape and you touch it up with tape a micro bevel will form, wearing away the marker just at the very edge. If vice versa, then the marker on the edge will remain as the stone cannot get to the edge.

    If it was not taped and you use no tape, then the honing angle will be the same and the marker ink should disappear.
    Or was honed with tape and you use tape the marker will be worn off all the width of the bevel.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    You are quite right, Splashone, thanks for correcting me - it would of course leave a shiny area on the top of the old bevel if it was taped by the other honer and the present owner honed it without tape, letting the the spine sat back down on the hone.

    My mistake!

    Regards,
    Neil
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