Cure for microchipping?

Paul

Well-Known Member
Well, after all the razors I've honed, it was bound to happen. Oddly enough, it's the first time that I've experienced a razor that appeared to be ready to go (excellent feedback on the hone, HHT-4, and positive TPT)... Yet, when I shaved, it bit me several times... In areas, and in ways that it had no business biting me...

The razor that I used had a chip in it, and I worked it out on a Shapton 1k. After it was gone, I went to the coticule. Utilizing the dilucot method, I took the razor through the progression, and I was very confident that the result would be as delightful as the process. Wrong...

I do not use any scopes (and while in transition from my "home" to my new "home", I don't even have one with me). The only conclusion that I could draw was that there was some microchipping. I thought about completely redulling the razor before going to the Coticule, but I had no reason to believe that any chips were left... even microchips because after the visible chip went away, I worked on it a while. Additionally, I spent some extra time on the initial stages of the coticule (waiting until the sensations were unmistakeable).

So, here's my question. I decided to audible, and turned it into a UniCot edge. HHT was again excellent, and I would normally expect the shave to be as well... Should that fix the microchipping?
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
Possibly… but it depends on the blade, if your blade is very hard it may have a tendency to micro-chip (because the steel is brittle). Adding a layer of tape on the spine will increase the bevel angle making the edge stronger (more material), and less likely to micro-chip.

I have had a few such blades that appear ready to go, pass all the usual tests and I am full of confidence… but at some point during the shave, the edge just goes south… and sometimes I would make the excuse “it’s just a bad day”, and so I go back to he hones. Sometimes the edge does in fact improve, but many times it does not… those blades I mark as unusable… and thus… see below…

The following is my opinion…
I have said this before in another post but it bears repeating… after you sharpen the blade and the edge passes the HHT (or whatever test you do for sharpness) pass the edge through your wetted Thumb Nail (that’s not a typo) … Do the TNT).
Now I know I will get hate mail for that statement but… we need to understand that if done carefully the TNT will not destroy a shave ready edge IF THE BLADE IS OF GOOD STEEL.

If the blade is of good steel, and you did a decent job of sharpening the edge. it will survive two or three passes through the wetted thumbnail and still cut hair with ease… But don’t believe me, try it for your self… if only to prove this dude hanging "up-side-down" a fool (believe me, I would enjoy being proven wrong because then I’ll know I need help).
If the steel is not well tempered (too hard) the sensation will be very uncomfortable and feel like the thumbnail is ripping the steel, and the blade may have notches caused by the thumbnail… when you are sure those notches didn’t exist before… bad steel.

We read time and time again from those popular folks in the forums that the TNT will ruin a shave ready edge… or make it dull, or something like that… but how many of us have actually tested that statement?... it could be, those who first came up with that statement were testing badly tempered blades… and the rest of us simply believe and never challenge it.
Here ends my opinion.

Hope this helps my friend.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Hard to tell without magnification, what's exactly wrong.

I've had razors with the temper at the very edge affected, probably by an overheated restoring job. Mostly, the problem gets cured after 3 or 4 bevel resets. Basically just working past the bad steel.

I've also had razors that had internal holes in the steel, caused by corrosion. What appears as a small pit at the surface can hide a whole cave system under the surface. I'm not making this up: corrosion can take many forms. I've been lucky, finding solid steel further down the razor. But I've also found myself throwing the towel after countless times of removing the crumbled part, completing a new bevel, refining it only to find things weren't improving. Very frustrating.

It's also possible that you went overboard with pressure with the 1K, while honing that chip out. I don't know how forgiving the Shapton 1K is to that, but pressure can put a lost of stresses into the thinnest part of the bevel. Stresses that interfere with the sturdiness of the final edge. I don't know if you did a dulling stroke on glass before starting out on the Coticule, but I always do that, and not just because it turns bevel correction stage into a no-brainer. Coticules are mild bevel workers, I've come to trust a bevel produces by a Coticule over anything else. Unicot may have done the job, but if not, a dulling stroke that forces you to create a new edge is virgin steel, will in the majority of cases settle the problem.

If the problem keeps persisting, sooner or later, you'll have to look at the edge with magnification. If you have a good flatbed scanner available, try placing the razor on it, with one side flat on the glass, and scan it at the highest resolution. You might be surprised about the amount of detail you can see at 1800 DPI.

Good luck to you Paul,

Bart.
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the replies, guys.

Bart, It's entirely possible that I used too much pressure, but I don't think so (I didn't use any more than I do with my coticules). However, I've not used too much pressure on the Shaptons previously, so I don't know. I did not do a dulling stroke (although I did consider it). Instead, I opted for a little additional work on both the Shapton and the Coticule. Unfortunately, here, I don't have access to a flatbed scanner, either. I need to get a microscope...

Smythe, I've never thought about testing the TNT after the edge was "shave ready", but I did it after the bevel setting stage. It felt normal. However, I'm sometimes clumsy, and have contacted my thumb nail when shaving. It felt very similar to the TNT, and it didn't seem to adversely affect the edge at all. That's very interesting, and it's very helpful too. I will test it if it still is problematic.

For the record, it is an Ern that Max restored (appears to be in fairly good condition), so I would assume that the temper wasn't messed up during the restore.

I hope the Unicot edge fixed it, but I'll report back. Thanks again.
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
Well, from what I can tell from his posts, he uses greaseless on buffer wheels to grind/polish blades… now you all know my opinions about grease-less on buffers….

However if the edge was burnt then it’s less likely to micro-chip… instead the edge would bend or “micro-fold”. So if the blade was honed well, it would cut well for a short time, and then begin to “skip” over whiskers and not cut… how soon that will happen, would depend on how soft the steel is. But I am sure he knows better than to sell a blade with a burnt edge.

Wadaminit??? was that blade previously "shave ready" and is now due for a touch-up?
 

mrmaroon

Well-Known Member
Ive got an ERN Damocles razor and it was a big step for me to actually get it shaving well. I would think I had it honed well, but after 2-3 shaves it would drop back to an unusable (by my standard) state. It took a lot of time to get it dialed in and on top of that it had a slight warp to it :scared:.

My advice and what worked for me was use a coticule for the bevel stage and then go do your shaptons or nortons or whatever. For some reason the bevel set on a coticule always fixes 75% of my trouble, whereas setting it on a norton wouldn't do.

FWIW,
MrMaroon
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
mrmaroon said:
Ive got an ERN Damocles razor and it was a big step for me to actually get it shaving well. I would think I had it honed well, but after 2-3 shaves it would drop back to an unusable (by my standard) state. It took a lot of time to get it dialed in and on top of that it had a slight warp to it :scared:.

My advice and what worked for me was use a coticule for the bevel stage and then go do your shaptons or nortons or whatever. For some reason the bevel set on a coticule always fixes 75% of my trouble, whereas setting it on a norton wouldn't do.

FWIW,
MrMaroon
Caleb, why would you use synthetics after the bevel setting stage? I did use the coticule to complete the bevel setting process.

Smythe, It belongs to a buddy, and it was "shave ready" apparently and due for a touch up... I laughed at him for sending me a razor with a visible chip for a touch up...
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
Oh, so that would explain why you had to reset that bevel on a supposedly "shave ready" razor.

Well… I have no doubt about your ability to do a good Dilucot, so if only the Unicot produces a reliable shaving edge on that razor, then you may assume the razor was initially sharpened with that method (tape on the spine) for one of the reasons discussed in any of the posts above.

[sub][sub]{here is where I would often state my rules (spew self-platitudes) for selling razors... deleted}[/sub][/sub]

Yes, please let us know how it works out.
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Smythe said:
Oh, so that would explain why you had to reset that bevel on a supposedly "shave ready" razor.

Well… I have no doubt about your ability to do a good Dilucot, so if only the Unicot produces a reliable shaving edge on that razor, then you may assume the razor was initially sharpened with that method (tape on the spine) for one of the reasons discussed in any of the posts above.
You know, I've been thinking about this since you posted it, and I believe I remember hearing or reading that Max uses tape on all his razors... I'm pretty sure I did, but don't quote me on that.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
The previous bevel angle should be irrelevant, if you reset the bevel. You took out a missing chip, a task that couldn't be completed with creating a fresh bevel at the same time. If the razor shaved well earlier on, the possibilities of compromised steel are ruled out.

Did you started the dilution phase right away, after the bevel checked out on the Shapton 1K? That would almost certainly leave remnant 1K scratches and serrations at the edge. I think "overhoning" is often just that: coarser scratches from previous grits playing havoc during the finishing stage.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
The previous bevel angle should be irrelevant, if you reset the bevel. You took out a missing chip, a task that couldn't be completed with creating a fresh bevel at the same time. If the razor shaved well earlier on, the possibilities of compromised steel are ruled out.

Did you started the dilution phase right away, after the bevel checked out on the Shapton 1K? That would almost certainly leave remnant 1K scratches and serrations at the edge. I think "overhoning" is often just that: coarser scratches from previous grits playing havoc during the finishing stage.

Kind regards,
Bart.
No, I didn't start diluting immediately. I did 2 sets of half-strokes on my slurry, checked the bevel, then began the dilution stage. It's entirely possible that it wasn't enough. However, I felt that the feedback was indicating time to dilute. Maybe I misread the feedback? I'm certainly not ruling out "operator error" here. I am really anxious to try the unicot edge to see how it works...
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
The secondary bevel seemed to improve the edge significantly... I do find it interesting that this edge is the crispiest edge from my experience with Coticules. It's very nice... I almost want to hang on to the razor for a while :blush:
 

mrmaroon

Well-Known Member
Caleb, why would you use synthetics after the bevel setting stage? I did use the coticule to complete the bevel setting process.
Wait, are you using your shaptons for the whole process, or coticule only? My ERN honed up great on a coticule only setup. It was with synthetics that I was having trouble. I think the rounded bevel from coti+slurry allowed me to keep the apex of the blade from chipping:confused: I have no idea why it worked, but it did give me a vast improvement when using synthetics.

Hope this helps,
MrMaroon
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
mrmaroon said:
Wait, are you using your shaptons for the whole process, or coticule only? My ERN honed up great on a coticule only setup. It was with synthetics that I was having trouble. I think the rounded bevel from coti+slurry allowed me to keep the apex of the blade from chipping:confused: I have no idea why it worked, but it did give me a vast improvement when using synthetics.

Hope this helps,
MrMaroon
Per the OP, I set the bevel with a Shapton 1K, then I moved to the Coticule. My question to you was in regards to your advising me to go from Coticule to synthetics which was confusing to me.
 

mrmaroon

Well-Known Member
my mind was a little fried, forgive me. I was imagining the time I had this problem with my ERN, I was using synthetics. I don't have a clue what you should do for dilocot, except keep adding tape until it stops:confused:

Regards,
MrMaroon
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
i've been lucky and never had chipping problems yet. may be the odd chip when i have honed a blade a little to much. bart did recomend set bevel with one layer of tape and then add one layer and finish with unicot as normal this was for ti that can be brittle. . this would surley solve your problem.. i never used shaptons . i have and do use 1k naniwa and its a great bevel setter . never had any chiping from the naniwa, this saves my slurry on my coticule.After 1k i use dilucot all the way i always check the edge for chips etc.
 
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