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HHT- 0 every time I hone.

Disburden

Well-Known Member
I've been honing now for about two months to get edges on my razors and I can never pass the HHT no matter what razor I hone. Last night I took an old Henckles 50 in nice condition and dulled the edge on a glass. I then took a coticule with slurry and proceeded to do 3 sets of half strokes (50 reps each), I made sure the slurry didn't get dry and I added water to prevent this and sometimes had to refresh the slurry. I then went to normal X strokes after that cut arm hairs.

The edge at this point was cutting my arm hairs half height, which is what I heard was what I was aiming for. I also used a sharpie to make sure the edge was being honed evenly, my pocket microscope helped me with this as I looked to make sure the bevel went even from heel to toe, I love that tool!

The hht didn't work no matter what I did. I held the hair at the root and tried to even cut the hair at the point near my fingers and the hair would be moved around by the blade without even digging into the hair! This result was the same all the way down the hair. I kept using the slurry on the coticule until my TPT was very sharp and I had little lines cut into my thumb pad from the tests.

I then started to dilute the slurry on the coticule and then reached about 200 laps and the TPT was again very very sharp, I thought I was going to cut my thumb and bleed from it, so I stopped. Again the HHT did nothing and the hair would even catch the blade, it just was pushed aside by the razor.

I then did 100 laps on BBW with slurry and back to Coticule water for about 200 laps. The edge looked even all the way from heel to toe again until the microscope.

This morning the shave was a lot better than before I honed last night, I still had to do 4 passes to get stubble removed, but like Bart I have stubborn hair!

I am wondering if I keep going back to the slurry and coticule again with the same razor will I eventually reach the keen edge to make hairs silently fall in half from the HHT.

Also after I stropped the razor the HHT was still at 0.
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
thats strange.I always find i have to be finishing at the very last stages of lilt like water and then after fresh water honing i can pass hht every time. I test of the hone with a slightly stronger hair. I won'nt pass on finer hairs untill i have stropped.If i'm lucky i will get a real pop and jump of the hone,it can be done. I add water often and keep it on the hone, by doing this with more laps it just keeps the keeness there and going forward. If you don't keep watering the hone the chances are you will loose that fine edge. After your cutting arm hair i would try 10 to 15 laps then add 3 to 4 drops and repeat until the hone stops cutting and you have a puddle of water on the hone . Then rinse and carry on then clean hone add fresh water and finish with just 30 laps . Then check hht with a strong hair, if that pops, try a medium hair. If all fails try honing on water for a nother 50 laps. Or go straight to unicot finishing stages . Add another bevel and your bound to pass hht.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Hi Nick,

Reading your story, I think the issue we need to consider is that the source of hairs you use for the HHT doesn't work for the test very well. After all, using the HHT is all about calibration: correlating the result to the perceived keenness during the shave. In case the hair you use doesn't like to pass the test, there's no much use doing it. We all know for fact that a lot of excellent razor sharpeners don't use the test at all. If your shaves are good, there's nothing to worry about when the test fails. But, at the same time, every time I ever tested a razor that shaved well, it passed the HHT with the hairs I use, and I don't think anyone can present a razor that would shave well and not pass my test. The opposite is not true: razors can be made to pass my version of the HHT without shaving well, but in such case I can easily see a sawtooth pattern under magnification.

The big advantage I find in doing the HHT, is that I can stay working at the hone till I'm pleased with the HHT score. No need to get my face lathered up for a partial test shave, going back to the hone for some additional laps, stropping once more, relathering for more test shaving, more honing, etc... The HHT is much quicker, and in my opinion, also more reliable. Getting the feel for a blade based on one or two shaving strokes on different parts of my face, is not all that easy. The HHT, on the other hand, has never lied to me.

But how to fix your test? I reckon you've read the
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, and took the recommendations about harvesting freshly washed hair. But even then, your observation that a shaving razor doesn't even pass HHT-0 is very odd. After all, your aiming to cut the hair at the holding point, which is basically the same as shaving it. At the same time, the edge is severing arm hairs at half height above skin level, which is technically a form of HHT.

That's why I think you should try to find a different source of hairs.

Another option for you is to send me a razor that you honed and shaves you well. I'll give it a full assessment (HHT, test shave, visual inspection) and report about it. After that, I'll rehone up to my standards (usually HHT-4 with the hair I use), and send it back. You can then try your HHT-version on the razor. Perhaps one of our US-based members with HHT experience can match that offer, which would be cheaper for postage, but if not, I'd be happy to be of service.

In the mean time, you could try a few different hair sources. (I'd stick with human hair though).

Best regards,
Bart.
 

Disburden

Well-Known Member
I ran out of tape and I love using my BBW stone so that's why I haven't been using the second bevel like with the unicot method. I am going to try this again tonight with a different razor and then compare the two edges with a shave tomorrow (I shaved today already). I am thinking either one of the two has happened:

1) I took the edge too far with slurry and didn't add water soon enough, dulling the edge with the very bloody smelling slurry, or;

2) I didn't take the edge further enough on the slury before moving to dilution and BBW slurry.

I will see what happens if I try to start to dilute early with the Bengall have tonight.
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Another consideration is that you have to learn how to do this test (which is obviously less of a consideration when you are getting HHT-0 results). This was never more evident to me than it was yesterday. During a honing session with a gent learning to hone, we went through the process and he was going to do a HHT to evaluate our progress. Based on the TPT and what we'd done, I expected a HHT-2/3. However, he never got it to work :O

So, I did it, and it was a HHT 3 :confused:

I have no rational explanation for why one would have to "learn" how to execute this test effectively, but in my hands it worked and in his hands it didn't (and I'm very slow and gentle with my motions... no quick jerky "swipes"). Consider the source of the hair, and calibrate your test. You'll get there. However, if the shaves are great, and you can tell by other tests where you are in the process, you may not need it :)
 

Disburden

Well-Known Member
The shave was good, but not great and I feel it could get a lot closer with more experience in honing, shaving, and stropping. Thanks for all your help, Bart, I really appreciate everything you said and offered to me, you're the best! The shave, hopefully I can explain in detail, ended up okay. What I mean by okay is that my face feels mostly smooth but I can still see a shadow which I wouldn't see if I shaved with say a Gillette Super Speed. My neck also had a red band on it after I shaved because I had to do quite a few passes to get good results (I even had to do 4-5 passes with a Super speed). Before I hone again tonight on my Bengal I am going to wash my hair right before the honing and see if that helps the test, I did wash my hair yesterday but it was hours before I honed the Henckles; Maybe oils built up in that time?


If I did keep that razor on a slurry and dilute it would I harm the edge? What about if I took the henckles and brought it back to that slurry stage without dulling the blade again? I am just having fun with experiments, I own several blades. Thanks!


Is the HHT really that complicated where I could be doing it incorrectly? That's very interesting...
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Disburden said:
If I did keep that razor on a slurry and dilute it would I harm the edge? What about if I took the henckles and brought it back to that slurry stage without dulling the blade again? I am just having fun with experiments, I own several blades. Thanks!
No problem going back to slurry, as long as you remember that slurry resets the keenness to a certain level (depending on the hone and the density of the slurry). We've been experimenting lately with blue slurry on the Coticule, and early impressions are that such a mixed slurry can be more forthcoming in delivering high keenness. Something that might be worth trying. Another technique worth trying is to change to X-strokes in stropping directions at the very end of the dilution phase.
If you really keep struggling, nothing works better than buying tape and diverting to Unicot. Nothing better than a somewhat lacking Dilucot as base for Unicot.

Disburden said:
Is the HHT really that complicated where I could be doing it incorrectly? That's very interesting...
I don't know. Never had that problem. But I do know it makes a big difference wither the hair is held at the root and or at the tip.
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
I would certainly be more than willing to take the razor in and see what I can do with it if you like. Just let me know and we can make arrangements.

Ray
 

Disburden

Well-Known Member
Very interesting ideas, I will keep everyone posted later on in the night. I never tried BBW slurry on Coticule, I have no idea why, I never even thought about that being a possibility. :thumbup:
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
Disburden said:
If I did keep that razor on a slurry and dilute it would I harm the edge? What about if I took the henckles and brought it back to that slurry stage without dulling the blade again? I am just having fun with experiments, I own several blades. Thanks!
No problem going back to slurry, as long as you remember that slurry resets the keenness to a certain level (depending on the hone and the density of the slurry). We've been experimenting lately with blue slurry on the Coticule, and early impressions are that such a mixed slurry can be more forthcoming in delivering high keenness. Something that might be worth trying. Another technique worth trying is to change to X-strokes in stropping directions at the very end of the dilution phase.
If you really keep struggling, nothing works better than buying tape and diverting to Unicot. Nothing better than a somewhat lacking Dilucot as base for Unicot.

Disburden said:
Is the HHT really that complicated where I could be doing it incorrectly? That's very interesting...
I don't know. Never had that problem. But I do know it makes a big difference wither the hair is held at the root and or at the tip.

I have converted failed dilucot attempts into tremendous unicot finishes.

It was really weird. I had him switch the direction of the hair and it didn't work. Then I took the hair from his hand and it worked :confused:

Like I said, I have no rational explanation for why :huh:
 

Disburden

Well-Known Member
rayman said:
I would certainly be more than willing to take the razor in and see what I can do with it if you like. Just let me know and we can make arrangements.

Ray

Very nice of you, Ray, Thank you! I am going to experiment more on my own, if I get frustrated I will let you know.
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
We've been experimenting lately with blue slurry on the Coticule, and early impressions are that such a mixed slurry can be more forthcoming in delivering high keenness. Something that might be worth trying.

Ha!!! I had this idea right when I got my combo slurries, but then everyone said 'no no no, stick with the yellow side' :) Now I know, you were just envious of my possible groundbreaking discovery! :lol: :lol:

kind regards,
Matt
 

Disburden

Well-Known Member
Okay, guys, here is the update.

Last night I took my Bengal with custom scales and dulled it on a beer bottle. I then took the edge to my arm hairs to see if anything would be cut from the dulled edge, nothing, just silent dull blade.
From there I used slurry on the coticule and made sure that the slurry didn't get dry and dull the edge further, it was just milky enough to be seen floating in the water on the stone, not thick like cream. After quite a lot of passes on a half stroke I checked the bevel for evenness, it looked fine in my microscope (Again best tool ever!). I also used a marker to make sure I was removing steel all the way down the blade, which I was, good news. :thumbup:

I then cut arm hair and refreshed the slurry adding drops of water every 20 laps or so on the X stroke. Again the arm hair was popping off well.

Once the slurry was almost all water I then took out my BBW slurry stone and made slurry directly on the coticule, it was now a light purple slurry floating in some water and a tiny bit of coticule slurry. After this step the hairs on my arms and leg were flying off from the razor at half length, the blade was literally covered in hairs after this test! I really think the mixing of slurry may lead to a newly accepted honing technique.

I then dullited to all water and made about 200 water only passes. I stropped on linen and then tried the HHT. Once again the TPT was used throughout the whole cycle and was nice and sharp. I just washed my hair and it was just dried so the HHT should've worked easier, but it didn't I think my hair is too oily for this test? I don't really know until I find someone else to use their hair .:blink: I did try my girlfriend's hair once but her hair is very thin and light (blondes!) so I had no success with it. After trying the HHT over and over again I got it to work, once work, but I did get it to work. The hair was cut half way along the shaft of the hair and didn't make any popping or cutting sound! I think that counts as a pass!

I test shaved this morning and the shave was very nice and smooth, I love the coticule edge, it's not rough at all and I can make multiple passes on my sandpaper facial hair. I think my next step is stropping practice, which I am starting to see I am horrible at. Luckily Bart gave me a nice tip on how to practice my stroke without turning my wrist, which I do a lot and it's annoying.

Cheers!
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Disburden said:
From there I used slurry on the coticule and made sure that the slurry didn't get dry and dull the edge further, it was just milky enough to be seen floating in the water on the stone, not thick like cream. After quite a lot of passes on a half stroke I checked the bevel for evenness.
Maybe that's just a tad (not much) too thin. In my experience, slurry that's just starting to look opaque is best for bevel work. Anything denser than milk (or cofee cream at the very densest), is not going to be any faster, but does augment the "slurry-dulling" effect. When doing halfstrokes, the slurry should start turning gray within 10 laps or so.
Disburden said:
I then took out my BBW slurry stone and made slurry directly on the coticule, it was now a light purple slurry floating in some water and a tiny bit of coticule slurry. After this step the hairs on my arms and leg were flying off from the razor at half length, the blade was literally covered in hairs after this test! I really think the mixing of slurry may lead to a newly accepted honing technique.
As a matter of fact we were conducting research on this in the Researcher's Mess. It appears that "hybrid" slurry, as we call it, makes it easier to hit good keenness with the Dilucot method. We don't know if this is true for all Coticules. And neither does it seem that the end results are keener, yet instead just easier to attain.
Since the ghost is out of the bottle now anyway, I might just transfer the entire thread to the public part of the Cafeteria, but I have to get the involved researchers' permission first. There's more to this than just mixed slurry.
Disburden said:
After trying the HHT over and over again I got it to work, once work, but I did get it to work. The hair was cut half way along the shaft of the hair and didn't make any popping or cutting sound! I think that counts as a pass!
That is actually score 2 on the HHT-scale of 5. HHT-2: hair catches and slices lengthwise.
But as I stated earlier, it also depends on the hair. Most of us aim for HHT-2 or HHT-3 straight off the Coticule, but - and this is most important - all that genuinely matters is that you correlate your own result to the shaving performance of the razor.
Disburden said:
I test shaved this morning and the shave was very nice and smooth, I love the coticule edge, it's not rough at all and I can make multiple passes on my sandpaper facial hair. I think my next step is stropping practice, which I am starting to see I am horrible at. Luckily Bart gave me a nice tip on how to practice my stroke without turning my wrist, which I do a lot and it's annoying.
The HHT can also be an excellent means to evaluate your stropping efforts. Coming straight off a Coticule, an efficient stropping session should improve the HHT-results with at least one point, often even two.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Disburden

Well-Known Member
The initial slurry for the bevel was very quick, it only took a few seconds to get blackish swarf floating on the hone's surface. Its a small 6>2 stone, but it seems to cut fast.

The bbw hybrid slurry worked well, but I am too new at this to know why or if it was my improved stoke or not. Can't wait to hear what you guys have been up to (bbw by itself start to finish is a rumor on SRP). I am loving this site, thank you.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Disburden said:
The initial slurry for the bevel was very quick, it only took a few seconds to get blackish swarf floating on the hone's surface. Its a small 6>2 stone, but it seems to cut fast.
Aah, just perfect.:)

Disburden said:
The bbw hybrid slurry worked well, but I am too new at this to know why or if it was my improved stoke or not. Can't wait to hear what you guys have been up to (bbw by itself start to finish is a rumor on SRP). I am loving this site, thank you.
Well, we're up to several things with the BBW. Hybrid slurry is just one thing that came up recently.
 

Disburden

Well-Known Member
I am really excited about joining these forums. Now my Naniwas are sitting on a shelf a long with my Norton 4/8K begging for attention and lapping!
 
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