ShavingUniverse.com

Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.

Honing Help Please?

rickboone

Well-Known Member
For starters, if I am in the wrong section please forgive me.

I have read everything here about honing.

This was my first actual honing attempt.

Day 1: Took razor (Genco) and breadknifed then did the unicot method. Strop, test, FAIL.

Day 2: Do some touch ups on the coticule w/ water only. Go to pasted strops diamond spray then CrOx, linen, leather, shave....better but still FAIL. Later do 4/8K honing pyramid with Nortons. Test. Fail.

Day 3: Start with dilucot method. Do this, testing along way it is performing much better than previous two days. Take it to linen and leather. Shaves but lots of pulling, very uncomfortable.

Day 4: Water only about 100 strokes. Test shave, still not there. Do about 40 on CrOx and huge improvement on tests (TPT, HHT) but shave test is horrible. Pulling and such.

Day 5: Dilucot. Test shave. Better than all above but not smooth. 40 laps on CrOx, 60 linen 100 leather. Best it's been but still not where it should be.

While the edge appears smooth the edge just doesn't seem sharp enough. If that makes sense?! I feel like I am so, so close but after 5 days of honing the same blade it appears I am yet so far.

Each time, except where unicot told me not to, I have used tape. Yes, stone has been lapped and all that. First 2 days I was checking with microscope. The edge was looking great but shaving poorly.

Tonight's test shave was by far the best yet. If I'd of never experienced Bart's edges I would accept this edge. On a scale of 10 I would grade mine a 6-7 as far as the comfort and shaveability level.

Now, I know I am probably asking the moon. I mean Bart has honed (as well as most of you) many hundreds of razors. Me, this is my first one. So, for me to expect to get those results is kind of far fetched. But...I am here to learn.

I appreciate all your advice.
Code:
Please, Log in or Register to view codes content!
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Hi,
my advice would be to stick to the unicot method, do not add the layer of tape until the razors cutting arm hair very very easily, then do 30 regular strokes, and using a very light slurry and light honing stroke proceed with the tape, and finish with 60 light strokes on water only.
too many methods will just frustrate you and slow down the learning curve.

Also if I understand you, the edge was breadknifed? this will slow down the bevel setting stage a great deal, if ever I breadknife an edge I then use a 400 grit waterstone to bring the bevel back, once that shaves arm hair I dull on glass and proceed with a regular coticule hone.

and above all, hone happy, enjoy and learn as you go, keep up the good work, best wishes and I look forward to seeing, and helping your progress

Ralfson (Dr)
 

Andreas63

Well-Known Member
A breadknifed edge require a lot of work before the bevel is established :cry:

As Dr Ralfson wrote, do not move "upwards" in your honing before the razor easily shaves armhairs. Otherways you will get a nice polished dull edge :(

It's always easier to start with a full hollow than a 1/4 hollow or a wedge: the first razor I tried to hone was a Heljestrand nr.7 1/4 Hollow with no spine :w00t: : it drived me crazy!

Start with a nice hollow ground :) and set the bevel properly before you move "up"...and stay with Unicot at the beginning...IMHO, for a beginner, it's much easier to learn than Dilucot.

Best regards,

Andreas
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
rickboone said:
For starters, if I am in the wrong section please forgive me.
It’s the correct section, and you’ve come to the right place. I was wondering how you were doing. :)
rickboone said:
I have read everything here about honing. This was my first actual honing attempt.
Reading your entire post, I think you’re not doing as bad as you might think. Without doubt, you still have a way to go, and there will be some more of the same frustration ahead of you. I believe all competent razor sharpeners go through it one way or another, before they can put a comfortable edge on a razor. That statement is applicable for all honing setups, Coticules are no exception, to say the least. It took me several weeks before I was granted my first successfully honed razor, and after that it took me almost a year to reach the competence of honing razors with a 99.9% predictable success rate. There was far less information available back then, so you will be able to shorten the learning curve considerably. And you already made some significant progress.
rickboone said:
Day 1:Took razor (Genco) and breadknifed then did the unicot method. Strop, test, FAIL.
Day 2: Do some touch ups on the coticule w/ water only. Go to pasted strops diamond spray then CrOx, linen, leather, shave....better but still FAIL.
Based on those 2 statements, I think you got stuck at some early part of edge refinement, or maybe didn’t quite ended up with a good bevel.
On a razor with a good bevel, Unicot works as reliable as Swiss clockwork. No matter how slow or fast the Coticule, there are no variables for doing the taped steps. If it fails, it’s nearly always a problem with the “bevel-stage”.
In essence, pasted stropping relies on the same principles as the added layer of tape in Unicot. The tape tips the razor on the very edge, relaying all “keening” to that part. The pasted strop does the same by folding around the edge a bit. Both principles are closely related, with the main difference that the taped approach creates a clean transition between the main and the secondary bevel, while the stop creates a gradual (convex) transition.
Your testimony that also pasted stropping did not deliver the desired results, pretty much confirms that you went to the finishing stage too early.

rickboone said:
Day 3: Start with dilucot method. Do this, testing along way it is performing much better than previous two days. Take it to linen and leather. Shaves but lots of pulling, very uncomfortable.
Lack of keenness. Somewhere along the lines, to edge no longer followed. Since so many guys in your thread on SRP were making the point that Coticules are too difficult for a newbie, I will try to put my finger on one of the differences that might be perceived as difficult, in comparison with synthetic hones. On synthetic hones, you progress through a number of different grits. The problem is knowing when the edge is ready to go to the next grit, but at least, the grit stays constant while you’re working on a given hone. Coticules don’t work that way. In a manner of speaking, we have a stone with a variable grit rate (this isn’t a physically correct statement, but Coticules do vary speed and keenness limit with the thickness of the used slurry). That gives you total control over what’s happening, but also total freedom to mess things up. You can allow slurry to become denser and actually reset the keenness of your razor to a limit you had crossed already. Or you can dilute too soon, which will have the same effect as going to a next grit too soon with a synthetic setup.

I am always putting much thought in what it is that makes successful honing on a Coticule a bit of a challenge, on top of the general honing challenge of making a steady honing stroke. It must be something that those, who have mastered it, have caught on automatically, since no one of the experienced guys is able to pinpoint it. I think the ability to control slurry is very important in that respect. If you can’t manage to keep a particular slurry density at a constant level for a while, you can’t probably manage to get good results off a Coticule. If you have problems loosing all slurry, or you’re allowing it to dry out, you can’t possible have good results off a Coticule.
rickboone said:
Day 4: Water only about 100 strokes. Test shave, still not there. Do about 40 on CrOx and huge improvement on tests (TPT, HHT) but shave test is horrible. Pulling and such.
Probably still too early to finish on water.

rickboone said:
Day 5: Dilucot. Test shave. Better than all above but not smooth. 40 laps on CrOx, 60 linen 100 leather. Best it’s been but still not where it should be.
While the edge appears smooth the edge just doesn’t seem sharp enough. If that makes sense?!
Yes, that makes sense. You are starting to arrive somewhere. I think success is nearby. On a Coticule, sharpness is all you need to worry about. It can be evasive, but once there, you’ll find that the legendary smoothness came for free.
rickboone said:
Now, I know I am probably asking the moon. I mean Bart has honed (as well as most of you) many hundreds of razors. Me, this is my first one. So, for me to expect to get those results is kind of far fetched. But...I am here to learn.
I appreciate all your advice.
Well, you’re not asking for the moon, as far as I’m concerned. It is not as if Coticules only work after years of experience.

Let’s end with some practical advice.
I would take that Genco through Dilucot again, but start on a thin slurry. Half the density you’re used to. I recommend the updated procedure, as it is laid out in the Dilucot article on this website.
As soon as you’ve finished, perform a HHT. (use thick, freshly washed hair, the hair must be held at the root side, try it both directions when in doubt)
It must pass, at a minimum distance of 1/2” of the holding point.
If it doesn’t, you’ll probably notice that the hair can “play violin” with the edge (a faint ringing sound can be heard while you drag the hair across). If you get that, don’t give up. I get that half the time, and I tell you, it’s just a matter of trying some additional finishing strategies to make it pass.
Here are some things you can try. Perform a HTT after each attempt.
1, Use 5 sets of 10 halfstrokes on water (add some pressure).
2. Make 60 strokes on water in stropping direction.
3. Rub the Coticule *once* with the slurry stone and make 30 stropping strokes.
4. Put shaving lather on the Coticule and make 60 light X-strokes.
5. Make 50 very diagonal (almost perpendicular with the hone) X-strokes.

If one of this attempts gives you an improvement, but you’re not quite there, repeat it!

If you eventually get a loud violin, but still can’t manage to pass the HHT:
6. add a layer of tape to the spine and make 30 of the lightest X-strokes.
(It’s technically a Unicot, but we don’t need the light slurry at this point)

The hair WILL now pass the HHT. Or something is very wrong.

Strop 60 laps on a good linen and 60 laps on clean leather. Try the HHT again, There must be a distinct improvement. The hair must pass at 1” and further away from the holding point. If not, we must discuss stropping.

That is the edge that should be reached on a Coticule in order to make it shave well. After a full test shave, you can try to add some laps on the CrO-pasted strop. On a perfect Coticule edge, it won’t make any difference.

Please let us know how it goes?

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

rickboone

Well-Known Member
Okay, My bevel is proving to be set pretty well. However, reading and thinking I can probably say that I haven't spent enough time with slurry. I think I was under the impression that the slurry would be like being on a low grit stone cutting away steel left and right and thus a lot of time shouldn't be spent on it.

I breadknifed because that's what the unicot instructions say to do.

With the unicot method...say I go through everything listed under the sharpening academy instructions and my edge is still not sharp. What do I do? Go to cot with just water or what?

I think the first time I did it I didn't spend enough time on the half strokes to create a good enough bevel. My test for shaving arm hair was probably forced results. Meaning it wasn't cutting as well as it should have been before moving on. However, I had spent an immense amount of time on these half strokes and was getting nowhere.

Now, with a set bevel the razor is shaving arm hair and facial hair but..not good enough.

Where do I pick it up again?
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
rickboone said:
I breadknifed because that's what the unicot instructions say to do.


Where do I pick it up again?

The instructions say to dull the edge by lightly drawing it over glass, breadknifing is a completely different thing.
I would pick up again by doing just that, then in order to establish a flat even bevel continue just as Bart says,

"I would take that Genco through Dilucot again, but start on a thin slurry. Half the density you’re used to. I recommend the updated procedure, as it is laid out in the Dilucot article on this website.
As soon as you’ve finished, perform a HHT. (use thick, freshly washed hair, the hair must be held at the root side, try it both directions when in doubt)"

That should see you right
Best regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
(edit: sorry Ralfson, I was typing while you were writing you answer;) )
rickboone said:
I breadknifed because that's what the unicot instructions say to do.

Breadknifing is the wrong word. It uses the same "cutting" motion, but instead of one stroke on glass, "breadknifing" on a coarse hone is used to remove a large part of a damaged bevel (e.g. one with a missing chip after hitting the faucet).
The dulling stroke on glass is just that: the slightest possible dulling as an aid to recognize a perfect bevel at the moment the edge start responding to the hone again.

rickboone said:
Where do I pick it up again?
My advice in the previous post remains the same:
Don't hesitate to ask for clarification if something is not clear.
If one thing applies to honing, is that you can't get it right "by coincidense".
Imagine you would put all separate parts of an engine in a large box and give it a good shaking. How big would the odds be that you'd find a working engine in the box? The same can be said about honing, certainly on a Coticule where you have to carefully plan when to use slurry.



I would take that Genco through Dilucot again, but start on a thin slurry. Half the density you’re used to. I recommend the updated procedure, as it is laid out in the Dilucot article on this website.
As soon as you’ve finished, perform a HHT. (use thick, freshly washed hair, the hair must be held at the root side, try it both directions when in doubt)
It must pass, at a minimum distance of 1/2” of the holding point.
If it doesn’t, you’ll probably notice that the hair can “play violin” with the edge (a faint ringing sound can be heard while you drag the hair across). If you get that, don’t give up. I get that half the time, and I tell you, it’s just a matter of trying some additional finishing strategies to make it pass.
Here are some things you can try. Perform a HTT after each attempt.
1, Use 5 sets of 10 halfstrokes on water (add some pressure).
2. Make 60 strokes on water in stropping direction.
3. Rub the Coticule *once* with the slurry stone and make 30 stropping strokes.
4. Put shaving lather on the Coticule and make 60 light X-strokes.
5. Make 50 very diagonal (almost perpendicular with the hone) X-strokes.

If one of this attempts gives you an improvement, but you’re not quite there, repeat it!

If you eventually get a loud violin, but still can’t manage to pass the HHT:
6. add a layer of tape to the spine and make 30 of the lightest X-strokes.
(It’s technically a Unicot, but we don’t need the light slurry at this point)

The hair WILL now pass the HHT. Or something is very wrong.

Strop 60 laps on a good linen and 60 laps on clean leather. Try the HHT again, There must be a distinct improvement. The hair must pass at 1” and further away from the holding point. If not, we must discuss stropping.

That is the edge that should be reached on a Coticule in order to make it shave well. After a full test shave, you can try to add some laps on the CrO-pasted strop. On a perfect Coticule edge, it won’t make any difference.


Kind regards,
Bart.
 

rickboone

Well-Known Member
Alright...I stepped away from this because I was reading the excellent exercise article. I think I'm going to try that 6 day exercise with another razor.

Also, reading that and reading this I am thinking my slurry has been too thick. Even if I've made up for the thick slurry at the beginning at the end before going to water it has been too thick. So, going to water really hasn't done much good as the exercise article suggests.

The article states: milky slurry at beginning. And, traces of slurry at end (before water). Where can I find photos of these to compare the differences? My traces may not be your traces.

Now, I'm going back through the words of wisdom here and taking some notes. Thanks!

It is also good to see the suggestion of setting the bevel if not done in 10 minutes go to DMT. I wish I'd of done that. But, hindsight.... I got it set it just took hours.

Alright, spectacles on and we're off and reading. Thanks! I say "alright" a lot.
 

rickboone

Well-Known Member
I would take that Genco through Dilucot again, but start on a thin slurry. Half the density you’re used to. I recommend the updated procedure, as it is laid out in the Dilucot article on this website.
As soon as you’ve finished, perform a HHT. (use thick, freshly washed hair, the hair must be held at the root side, try it both directions when in doubt)
It must pass, at a minimum distance of 1/2” of the holding point.
If it doesn’t, you’ll probably notice that the hair can “play violin” with the edge (a faint ringing sound can be heard while you drag the hair across). If you get that, don’t give up. I get that half the time, and I tell you, it’s just a matter of trying some additional finishing strategies to make it pass.
Here are some things you can try. Perform a HTT after each attempt.
1, Use 5 sets of 10 halfstrokes on water (add some pressure).
2. Make 60 strokes on water in stropping direction.
3. Rub the Coticule *once* with the slurry stone and make 30 stropping strokes.
4. Put shaving lather on the Coticule and make 60 light X-strokes.
5. Make 50 very diagonal (almost perpendicular with the hone) X-strokes.


BTW, for clarification is the spine taped on these? The dilucot or the 5 additional suggestions?
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
No tape needed for the Dilucot or any of the suggested 5 extra finishing strategies. :thumbup:
For the record if I fail after Dilucot I do an extra 50-60 laps on water, HHT again.
sometimes I do the slurry stone rub and then 50-60 water, and sometimes I try other things, I think the important thing for me is that as my experience has grown with this method I find I can usually tell which strategy to try, I am sure this will come to you and anyone else for that matter as they progress :thumbup:
Hope this helps
Regards
Ralfson (Dr)

P.S.
Sir Bart, Great Minds? ..lol
Seriously good advice Sir Bart, as always from your good self.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
We are talking about the Genco, as you stated it was honed up to your latests results.
If I understood you correctly, you had tape on it for doing the Dilucot.
(which is okay, you can dilucot with or without tape)

With my recommendation to start on "half" slurry, you need to match the previous situation. Hence, use tape if you had it on earlier.

Kind regards,
Bart
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
We are talking about the Genco, as you stated it was honed up to your latests results.
If I understood you correctly, you had tape on it for doing the Dilucot.
(which is okay, you can dilucot with or without tape)

With my recommendation to start on "half" slurry, you need to match the previous situation. Hence, use tape if you had it on earlier.

Kind regards,
Bart

My bad, I didnt take that into account, if the blade geometry doesn't call for a taped spine and we are not using low grits, e.g. 1000 and less, then I dont tape the spine very often, the feedback can be a little confusing, until you know the hone and or razor well.

Best wishes
Ralfson (Dr)
 

rickboone

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
We are talking about the Genco, as you stated it was honed up to your latests results.
If I understood you correctly, you had tape on it for doing the Dilucot.
(which is okay, you can dilucot with or without tape)

With my recommendation to start on "half" slurry, you need to match the previous situation. Hence, use tape if you had it on earlier.

Kind regards,
Bart

Yep, I've had tape on pretty much since the bevel was set. That's the way I understood it to go. Kind of when in doubt, add tape.

Well, I have thought about all that was suggested, all I've done and read over these things. I took tonight off of honing and just reflected. I feel as though I'm really, really close on this and look forward to attempting the suggestions you've written. I will definetely post my results or frustrations. LOL. When honed it will go to a dear friend wanting to get into straight shaving. And, I will be on the hunt for more razors to hone and practice on.
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
If that's any help, you might want to check out
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
thread, where I was posting pictures of different slurry densities. Also, you've got very valuable feedback from our fine members over here in it. Worth checking in my opinion when you're starting.

cheers,
Matt
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
Yes, all the same company... they produced a line of razors called Pyrimid (if I remember correctly "Pyramid Brand" is stated on the original box)...

In any case you will a pyramid stamped on the tang with a number in it...
 

rickboone

Well-Known Member
Smythe said:
Yes, all the same company... they produced a line of razors called Pyrimid (if I remember correctly "Pyramid Brand" is stated on the original box)...

In any case you will a pyramid stamped on the tang with a number in it...

I haven't noticed that.

This is about annoying. I've done everything suggested, more than once and still getting nothing good off this razor. It really seems as though it is getting duller. Won't pass any tests and won't shave at all.


UPDATE:

I went back and did the 5 sets of 10 half strokes. Then I did about 60 of the lightest passes on clean water. I can't do an HHT to save my life, so I tested on leg hair after each. After the half strokes it was cutting, but rough. After the water it was better but seemed to need some smoothing out.

I got my Thurnigan out. I'd never really cared for this stone in the past as I couldn't see it doing much. But, what do I have to lose, right? I took my BBW side of my slurry stone and created a bit of slurry on the Thurry. Ha! Rhymes. I did about 50 passes, diluting every 8-10 by refreshing. Checked leg hair, wayyyy smoother and keener feeling. I stropped on linen then leather and test shaved.

So, I've got it where I am wanting it...almost. I want a bit more out of it. I am going to do another 50-60 on the Thurry and see where that takes me.

Do you think that's a good thing to try? I have pasted strops as well I could use.
I will have a Shapton 16K next week.

Most of all, what does all of this mean? Is my coticule just that fast of a cutter that it perhaps won't make the best finisher?

2nd UPDATE:

50 on Thurry w/ plain water. 20 on pasted linen, 60 on leather. Razor got duller. Back to pulling.
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
I am not suggesting the Genco brand is no good... It's just, that some Genco razors are very difficult to get comfortably shaving sharp, because they have very hard steel that would tend to micro-chip at the edges.

Ordinarily, this would not be much of a problem... but it is frustrating for someone just starting to hone razors (even I find them difficult to get sharp... and I have been doing this for quite some time).

You may find a cheep microscope usefull, so you can see if there are chips at the edge... Or... I would suggest you try a different razor... (different model or brand).
 

rickboone

Well-Known Member
Smythe said:
I am not suggesting the Genco brand is no good... It's just, that some Genco razors are very difficult to get comfortably shaving sharp, because they have very hard steel that would tend to micro-chip at the edges.

Ordinarily, this would not be much of a problem... but it is frustrating for someone just starting to hone razors (even I find them difficult to get sharp... and I have been doing this for quite some time).

You may find a cheep microscope usefull, so you can see if there are chips at the edge... Or... I would suggest you try a different razor... (different model or brand).

I do have a microscope. The edge actually looks pretty darn good. I'm going to try one more thing and if it doesn't work I'm going to start over with the unicot method.
 
Top