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Honing the Wedge and smile faces on the blade.

Disburden

Well-Known Member
I would just do a rolling X stroke on the toe until you get a new bevel there. I don't think it's a big deal, but I can see how it can be annoying to have to use a special stroke to hit their normal curve bevel at the toe. I think this kind of toe was more common in the past, like I see in old barber's manuals on honing, the razors have huge smiles to the bevels. The bevels are almost twice as wide at the heel and the toe on the razors in these books. See the pic in this thread Sham posted a little while ago. The razor has a crazy smile honed into it, this guy knew what he was doing:

http://www.straightrazorplace.com/forums/advanced-honing-topics/51764-honing-art.html
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Well, here's the picture:

And with art it has little to do.

This condition is caused by a combination of 2 actions: exaggerated swaying X-stroke + exaggerated rolling X-stroke.
The result is exaggerated spine wear at the tip of the blade (you often see it at the heel also). As the spine area wears down, the edge bevel has to follow. The resulting bevel angle will be considerably lower at the affected spot. Such a wide, overly shallow bevel can cause serious trouble to sharpen up well and tends to chip/deteriorate very easily. The issue can't be corrected, because the steel at the spine is gone and doesn't grow back.

A properly honed razor can support a smile without the spine wear shown. Let's look at how it should be:
IMG_9099.jpg



Amazing how a flaw can he represented as skill.

Best regards,
Bart.
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
Yes i can see the razor has been over rolled. Luckerly i never managed that if any thing i have fell short. rather fall short than over shoot the toe. I find i can feel im my honing stroke and also by the sound change if my strokes needs ajusting towards the toe. keeping my eye on the slurry or water in front of my edge is also a good indicator. i hone the dovo up just before the corner and the shave is perfect. Also the bevel looks fine so i left it at that.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Awesome Sir Bart, and so very true, I think its important that people realise that the spine is a guide for bevel angle, and not the shape of the edge.
Back to the Dovo's, you cant hit that tiny little corner without giving it an almighty tweak at the end of the rolling X stroke, so I feel as does Gary that its better left alone, as working so hard for a tiny tiny section at the very tip of the toe, is A. Not worth the trouble, and B. Likely to cause more problems that it solves.
As for the "Art" in the top pic, I cant see it myself unless its a study in the art of how not to hone a razor :confused:

Bwhahaha

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Disburden

Well-Known Member
Bart, I have a few questions about your post on the Wade and Butcher:

"The resulting bevel angle will be considerably lower at the affected spot"

Wouldn't the spine and edge wear being honed down at the same exact time cause the angle to be the same on the spine and the edge? I don't understand how the angle would be changed if the spine of the razor is being honed with the edge, the resulting angle would be the same since both existing points on the razor were honed to remove the same amount of steel.

"Such a wide, overly shallow bevel can cause serious trouble to sharpen up well and tends to chip/deteriorate very easily."
If the honing is done the same way as the previous owner created this smile how is the shallow bevel going to cause honing issues? Also how is the blade going to chip and deteriorate if the steel is still well-tempered steel?

I don't see any issue with how this razor was honed in my eyes, I am not an expert. It does seem like there may have been chips in the edge, as Jimmyhad has mentioned, but it's fine to our eyes as it is now.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Those are interesting questions, Nick.
It is indeed possible that the spine wears at the same rate as the edge bevel, which would not alter the bevel angle. But, being in the habit of measuring blade and spine width to calculate the bevel angle on every wedge I've honed in the last 2 years, I can tell you that this is never the case when one turns up with uneven hone wear like that. Actually, when you look closely at that razor you can see how the spine is worn significantly wider than the bevel. Enough to indicate an altered bevel angle.

Shall we approach this more theoretically?
Let's consider a razor. Lay it flat on a hone. Due to the shape of any razor, the weight is not evenly distributed over both points (spine wear and edge bevel) that make contact with the hone. A mathematician can calculate it in detail, but I think that we can agree that more than 3/4 of the entire weight, even of a beefy wedge, rests on the spine. If would be honing with just the weight of the blade, that would certainly correlate to the spine wearing faster than the edge. But we're applying some pressure of our own, right? But that doesn't necessarily even things out: many hold the razor only at the tang while sharpening. Since the tang is directly connected with the spine and not with the edge, the exerted pressure will favor the spine over the edge. One could apply some serious torque to counteract, but it's not something I often read about... So far, all valuable reasons why the spine is expected to wear faster than the edge bevel. We can put a finger on the blade, to distribute pressure more evenly balanced (that is what I do while performing halfstrokes). But my measurements still show that most wedges with widened bevels near tip and shoulder have significantly reduced spines.

There's also the argument of blade curvature. I think we all agree that those old Sheffields were manufactured with a smile. So the blade was already smiling when new, when there was no widened bevel and spine wear at the tip. This we know, because there are so many other Wade and Butchers of the same model without the widened bevels that we see on the discussed razor.
I think we can agree that someone honed it that way at some point (probably due to a - in my opinion - wrong habit that he persisted over many sharpening sessions). If it was the kind of equally balanced wear that you would expect, the smile would be even more outspoken than it is right now. Let's look at a drawing to illustrate this claim:



Equal spine and bevel reduction results in a reduction of the blade width as well. Emphasis on spine reduction results on less reduction of blade width. I think we see the latter in this case. But even if I'm wrong, there never is any reason to put more wear on the tip of a razor than on the rest of the blade. What we see is, in any case, a very clear example of such unnecessary wear.

Now, about the consequences.
Let's talk about bevel width first, because, whether I'm wrong or right with my statement about that razor having a reduced bevel angle near the tip, a locally widened bevel IS what we can see here, without any further discussion.
There are two distinctions between wide and thin bevels. The first is the speed at which they can be abraded. A thinner bevel will hit its peak way faster than a wide one. This has, once again, everything to do with the distribution of applied honing pressure. On a wide bevel the pressure is spread out over a wider surface. The effect is dual: the hone works at a slower rate and on top of that it must remove a larger total amount of steel, to accomplish the same "refinement". This leads to an exponential rate of edge development slowing down, when bevel width increases.

Nonetheless, you might think, let's just do more laps then. But how are you going to do that without also abrading the already keen middle part of the razor any further? Luckily a Coticule doesn't overhone, so it's a possibility. But it'll remain a frustration to wait on the wide part to follow, preventing to loose the smile in the process.
Loose the smile in the process??!?
Indeed. While you are working to make the wide bevel sides at the tip to join and gain keenness, you're reducing the width of the already keen middle part of the razor. Your only solution is to apply more pressure to the tip, which achieves your goal, at the expense of the condition worsening even further. That is how I think the razor arrived at this point in the first place. And with art, that has not much in common.

The second, worse, distinction is that wide bevels, from a certain point onwards, do not take the same high keenness than bevels that are within reasonable limits. When sharpening, there are two things happening (that's the third time we have 2 principles in one process, but I can't help that either :)). The edge is pushed over the hone's surface: for the microscopically fine bevel tip, this is not an easy ride. The keener the edge, the finer the bevel tip and the more it becomes affected by collisions with swarf, stray honing particles and microscopic protrusions at the surface (exactly the same protrusions that do the actual abrasion). This is a deteriorating force. At the same time, steel is removed from the bevel faces. Obviously this is the "keenifying" force. And now comes the catch: on a wider bevel, the keenifying force slows down, while the deteriorating force remains constant. As the edge becomes increasingly finer, it becomes more affected by the deteriorating force, and at a certain point the keenifying force can no longer make up for what the edge looses. The hone has reached its limit, the edge is maxed out. A few final laps with light pressure or performed in stropping direction, may push the limit a little bit further, but not much. On a wider bevel, the limit will be reached sooner, at a lower level of keenness, because there simply is less "making up" for equal amounts of tip deterioration. The limit that can be reached is always a function of hone, steel properties and bevel width. By the way: this is the big reason why Unicot remains easier. It always works on a very narrow bevel. Most wedges are honed with tape nowadays, to assure good keenness. And even then they are often seriously hit with pasted strops, which have their own strategies to work around this issue.
So far for the troubles with a (partially) widened bevel, regardless of bevel angle. But I still believe the discussed razor has a lowered bevel angle as well.

After 3 ages of straight razor production, we see that all manufacturers have arrived at a bevel angle that centers around 17 degrees (I am referring the enclosed angle between both bevel faces, and not to the angle between the axis of the blade and the surface of the hone, as often used in knife an tool sharpening). The bevel angle doesn't need to be much lower for the edge to become weak and brittle. Microscopic chipping, both on the hone and during the first shave, is to be expected. Even if you manage to get get such a lean bevel sharpened without crumbling, edge longevity will be extremely poor, because the edge simply lacks the support of enough steel to cope with the occurring stresses during a shave.


And for these reasons, I say it is nonsense to call the discussed razor skillfully honed. I do not claim that it can't be turned into a good shaver. Any piece of good steel with the correct hardness and temper can be turned into a good shaver. There's the use of tape and also pasted strops have their own artifices to deal with the aforementioned issues. But it wasn't exactly requisite to put that heavy spine and bevel wear on the tip of that razor. In my opinion it's a butchered razor.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
What He Said.... :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

Large bevels, bad
Low Bevel angle, bad
Bevel width follows hone wear on the spine, not the other way around, otherwise all we would achieve when honing would be a wide polished spine.

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Disburden

Well-Known Member
Thank you for your post, your opinion now makes a lot more sense to me. :thumbup:
One of my favorite thing about your posts is the way you're very scientific about your beliefs. It is something I admire about people, this is what made me use my coticule in the first place.
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
This is the unfortunate reality of open razors… they are subject to physics of wear and tear, accident… and sometimes abuse.

The edge/bevel nearest the point is THE most fragile part of the blade… it is also the most exposed, the most used and thus the most sharpened.
This is in contrast to the heel; the heel has the tang/stabilizer and the middle for support. The middle has the heel on one side and the rest at the point on the other side for support (though has less strength than the heel). However the edge near the point has no other support but the middle, it is the end of the blade so there is nothing on the other side for support… (Think of shaving the end of a piece of wood across the grain… if there is no support at the end of the cut, the grain will split away). So it doesn’t take much effort to wear it down over time, or snap off the point during a restore.

While I do believe if properly honed, that blade should deliver a good shave… it certainly has very little or no COLLECTOR value… Put it up on auction and I guarantee… the only ones placing high bids will be those who know not better.

But however the poor razor ended up like that… most likely this was the original profile earlier in her glorious life.
TheOldEnglish.jpg
 

hi_bud_gl

Member
This is my first post and i have to say at first thank you for fixing the problem and letting me log in.
My purpose asking questions is not make your side bad ,etc,
only reason i will ask questions is to clear things up which i think is not correct.
This is the words Bart you have describe honing the blade wade&butcher wedge blade.
I am not the original honer of this blade. this is not my job but i think That blade has been honed to perfect condition.
I understand you think that blade honed not properly.
I like to know why you think and i will post your words and ask explanations for them.

Your words.(unfortunately i couldn't find in here that message.)
""his condition is caused by a combination of 2 actions: exaggerated swaying X-stroke + exaggerated rolling X-stroke.
The result is exaggerated spine wear at the tip of the blade (you often see it at the heel also). As the spine area wears down, the edge bevel has to follow . The resulting bevel angle will be considerably lower at the affecte Such a wide, overly shallow bevel can cause serious trouble to sharpen up well and tends to chip/deteriorate very easily. The issue can't be corrected,"

1 As the spine area wears down, the edge bevel has to follow . ( sham i think this is correct statement)
2.The resulting bevel angle will be considerably lower at the affecte Such a wide, overly shallow bevel can cause serious trouble to sharpen up well and tends to chip/deteriorate very easily. ( i have a big problem with this )
I do think your 2 statement are contraindicate each other.
You are saying bevel angle considerably lower ? Why? i think bevel angle never changed. it is how it suppose to be. if you keep blade laying flat on the stone (your first statement) Edge will follow the spine.
Your words"A properly honed razor can support a smile without the spine wear shown."
Now i am getting confused.
Please explain what are you talking about in this statement?
Thank you i will answer when i got your explanations.
by the way this is the link to the razor which we are talking about.

http://www.straightrazorplace.com/forums/advanced-honing-topics/51764-honing-art.html
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Hi Sham,
Welcome to Coticule.be.
I've merged the posts in the other thread that concerned your Wade and Butcher with your new thread about it.
hi_bud_gl said:
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Well on this website it's allowed to disagree and have a good old fashioned discussion. As long as everyone plays the ball and not the man, there will be no problem.

hi_bud_gl said:
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You named the thread "Honing Art?" on SRP. Nick (Disburden) asked about it here, and I stated that I don't find it honing art, but rather a perfect example of unnecessary hone wear. I also stated that such condition could compromise the hone-ability of the razor, and the longevity of the affected edge part.
hi_bud_gl said:
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I'll copy the correct and complete quotes:
Bart said:
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hi_bud_gl said:
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As I thoroughly explained it the long post with the drawing, the spine does not necessarily wear at the same rate as the edge bevel. As the owner of the razor, you don't have to speculate about it. You can measure the spine thickness at the tip, blade width at the same spot an calculate the bevel angle. We even have a
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to make life easy. You can then compare that angle to that angle measured at the middle of the razor, and maybe also a spot near the shoulder.
If they're all within close range, I stand corrected at this issue, but the fact remains that the tip of that razor has a lot of hone wear.

hi_bud_gl said:
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Don't you agree then, that the razor has considerably more spine wear at the tip of the blade? There are several pictures in this thread that show the same make of Wade and Butcher displaying a more normal and even hone wear.

Let's assume for a minute that your W&B was honed with respect for bevel angle consistency (which I still doubt).
I would still not call it "honing art". I'll tell you why:

I think we all agree that the next picture shows uneven hone wear:
fa5zkg.jpg
Now this razor is not mine, but I reckon that if it was, I could sharpen it and put you in my barber chair for a shave. I doubt you would notice anything wrong with the performance of the razor. But I think, that as soon as I would show you the razor I used, we would still agree that this Ern was butchered. At least, I think most people would agree, and if I were to sell it on Ebay, it would likely not fetch a high price.

It completely escapes me why you can show the same condition on a razor with a heavy smile, and everybody goes "WOW!"
To me not every woman with big boobs is a pretty woman.;)

Kind regards,
Bart.
 
Bart, I agree that the heavy hone wear would reduce , make shallower ( smaller) the angle of the bevel. This would make the bevel wider and as a result take much more time to hone no matter the starting condition of the edge. I also agree that the consequence will be that the bevel might be so thin at the point where the spine wear/bevel width is widest that it will be prone to micro-chipping.

I would venture a guess, based on a similar razor that I own that is near mint condition, that the edge originally had a "smile" shape. Therefore a rolling X stroke was required to hone it since the curvature of the spine and the edge are not proportional thus making the bevel angle change along the length of the blade. The extreme wear on the spine tells me that the user used to much pressure at the points on the spine where the spine wear is widest. In short, they were not accomplished at honing. But...we will never know how many people have honed on this razor so blame cannot be assigned to a specific person.

It is however, to me, Art! I love that blade!

Just my $.02,:)
 

Rosco

Well-Known Member
One topic. Two forums. Three threads. Here, a discussion. There, an argument. Anyone else getting confused? :confused:
In my post on SRP I tried to compare the hone wear on the wedge to the normal toe heavy wear we see all the time. It appears that a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.
Don't know why, but the razor still appeals to me. I like the shape a lot. It looks good cleaned up and honed. But now that I think of it, if I saw that razor on ebay covered in the usual grime I think that hone wear would shout at me not to bid on it.
I agree with Bart, and everyone else here that the current shape of the blade is due to consistent poor honing technique. The owner was probably pretty close to a perfect stroke in the beginning resulting in a slightly toe heavy wear pattern. As he adjusted his technique to get the curved toe sharp, the wear increased and exaggerated the problem. That's my thesis.
I agree with Sham that the blade looks beautiful as she is now. I wouldn't mind having one like that at all.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Rosco said:
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I have merged all threads about this topic on this forum, into one, in an attempt to clear some of that confusion.

And I do like the shape of that blade. I love swayback razors with a big smile, as much as the next guy.
 

hi_bud_gl

Member
This is a little hard to reply but i will copy and paste.
this question i asked early and didn't get answer Bart. please directly if you can answer to it.
your words ok.
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Tell me how would you hone wedge blade which will not have spine wear ?

now next is
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None of the pictures are wedge blades.
unfortunately i couldn't add the picture. please check second picture of the blade on srp. it shows bevel better.

http://www.straightrazorplace.com/forums/advanced-honing-topics/51764-honing-art.html
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
hi_bud_gl said:
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I said "spine wear shown", "Shown' is the past participle of the verb "to show". It means that you razor shows a certain amount of spine wear near the tip of the blade, that I believe is excessive and wasn't necessary at all. You seem to disagree with that, which is the topic of this discussion. All the other pictures I"ve shown in this thread, are mostly wedges as well, one probably the same make as yours, a few others resembling it well. All those razors show even spine wear, which, according to my beliefs, is how it should be.
hi_bud_gl said:
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I disagree sir.
The first picture in my post shows yours. The second shows another W&B. Look into the barbers notch. See how beefy that grind is? Qualifies as a wedge, imho. The third picture in that post, shows the same model. The fourth picture shows the same blade as the one you presented, without all the spine wear at the tip. A few posts further, the venerable Smythe showed us a Frederick Reynolds, another wedge not unlike yours, again with normal spine and bevel wear.
hi_bud_gl said:
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I'm not inclined to visit SRP at the moment, since I am banned there as of this morning. I can only guess why.

It seems that we will agree to disagree on this one. I just didn't think it was skillful honing, that the previous owners did. My opinion. I've been asked to dissect that opinion into detailed reasons. It makes me look as if am some kind of honing zealot, which I am not. The question was honing art? I said no. But you are obviously fond of that razor, so my sincerest congratulations for finding it. What I think of its hone wear is really not worth this big stir.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

hi_bud_gl

Member
I like you( This should be i want you Bart) Bart to see picture again and let me know
does width of the blade is shorter on the heel and the tip side of the blade compare to the middle? right?
That is why we call this blade smile blade?
Now as you can see hone wear of the spine of the blade is larger on the heel and tip side of the blade compare to the middle? right?
Now does this tells you spine and edge had wear down same time?
As person honed the blade same time he did put hone wear on the spine and same time width of the blade shortened? as a result you will not have weak edge ? it is just impossible to have ?(as long as you keep your blade flat on the hone)
if you put tremendous pressure only on the spine without letting the edge touch to the hone in that case you will have more spine wear and your blade will be (micro tone face)
 

hi_bud_gl

Member
Bart
i have nothing to do or have no idea you are not allowed to go to the srp.
i wanted to come your side and tell you what i think about that blade. you had different opinion and i appreciate your opinion. i wanted to understand how you can hone blade without putting the hone wear back of the wedge blade.
i wanted have direct questions and answer to them. You response was so long i couldn't reply to all. i love to your challenge and that is why i thought will be better we discuss our opinion differences in here and find middle ground.
whole point was to find out why you or i think this way.
So many people can read this post and learn from it.
As pictures goes Bart blade which i have put on srp is wedge blade and size is 9/8 Blade. i don't think so any of the picture you or another person showed do have as much as smile face or wedge blade. if that blades will have such a large smile face they must have same amount of hone wear.
As you can see none of them has such a large smile face. i will post pictures with smile blades. Again not my work. and you will see smile blades will have more hone wear on the spine toward to heel and tip. that is normal. Nothing wrong with it. it is just properly honed blade if you want to have smile on your blade you have to put hone wear on the spine( Again we are talking about properly honed Blade)
Can you tape the spine and hone make a smile face ? of course you can.
Can you left up the spine and hone the blade make a smile face? of course you can

But question is None of them will be properly honed Blade.
This is what i wanted from you but you never wanted to answer.
Now i will finish ( but will gladly answer to your question if you have any on this topic respectfully) about this topic and will ask you couple other questions which i have doubt in my mind.
I will go head and say your post yesterday on srp about coticules was great. i will come back and talk about them.
thank you
 
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