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Long Term Honing Wear

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Some of my razors are starting to rack up some miles on the hones now, and I've started to notice a pattern in the hone wear I'm putting on my blades. I seem to have developed a habit of doing a 30[sup]o[/sup] or more heal leading stroke and I've noticed that the spine directly over the stabalizer is showing less wear than the spine closer towards the point. And the spine wear towards the point is showing generally more wear. I seem to be headed towards owning a bunch the classic eBay special shape razors.
Is this something I should try to break myself of? I guess it only really matters if I'm sending razors to other guys to hone, and continue to maintain my own with exactly the same stroke. But I sometimes worry that just variations in my own stroke messes up the geometry of the edge near the heal. BTW, I tend to used the heal a lot, probably more than most guys.
Anyone else have this problem?

Kind regards,
-Chris
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
This is my reason to avoid having the razor diagonally on the hone. I like the spine to wear to look even. No that it would effect the performance, as such, bit in the long time, I would like to avoid tapering blades, etc.
The best way to avoid it, in my opinion, is to aim for a well balanced, symmetrical, slight smile. It looks good, rules out any possible issues with warp, and can be easily maintained throughout many sharpening sessions.
But most importantly, a smile allows you to isolate certain parts of the edge. Want to do some extra work at the heel only? A smile allows for it. The tip stayed behind a little bit? A smile allows you to do strokes that favor only that part of the edge.

An of course, a smile shaves well.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Thanks Bart.:thumbup:
I've noticed in your videos you tend to keep the razor pretty square to the stone.

I'll get on evening up the hone wear.

Cheers,
-Chris
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
I always try to keep a slight smile to the razors that I hone. I read about it in a barber's manual (I'm sure it was on SRP, but can't swear to it), and it made a whole lot of sense to me. I've had great results ever since. :)
 

deighaingeal

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
snip

An of course, a smile shaves well.

Kind regards,
Bart.

...and they look happy doing it. I have just started noticing the same thing. I am still working hard to eliminate the habit and I haven't been honing long. This may be a habit best left unlearned.
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
Chris, to which side do you dress while honing? It could make all the difference. YRP, Denny
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
Bear in mind you’ve been perfecting your honing skills, so you will put some mileage on those "test" razors… but for 90% of the rest of the folks, who simply want to keep their razor(s) sharp, will only be doing a touch-up and so may not notice any wear for many years.

Also remember razors are ground by hand (on a machine, but it’s the hand that guides the blade between the wheels) and so is not in any way perfect. Eventually the user will put some were on that blade which will grow, and then uneven wear will be more pronounced… not much he can do about that.
So don’t beat yourself up too much… unless you notice a recurring pattern on different blades.

But the average razor will show more wear near the point than any other part, because the point end of the blade is… “the end” of the material. Also, even though you use the heal more than usual, we can all agree the point get the most work, so it will get dull more than the rest of the edge… and thus will get more attention when sharpening… again more wear… nothing much we can do about that… it’s natural.

Of course it’s possible to wear the point unnecessarily… a bit too much pressure at the point, problems with the steel at the point, and maybe a few others I cant think of right now.
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the good pointers guys, well everyone except that darn Denny, I think his post was aimed more at shit disturbing than any overbearing desire to help! And I tuck left, thank you sir!:D

I eyeballed my razors really well, and on my NOS razors that have only had me driving them, my spine wear is nicely even across the length, but it doesn't start for a scant 1/4" in front of the stabilizer, on a couple of them, it's a perfect, clear delineation.
I don't think I've got as much tendency to over hone on the toe as I thought, but I can surely see the lack of wear over the stabalizer throwing things out if my stroke isn't perfectly identical every time.
I'll work on keeping the blade square to the stone.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Wonderful thread :thumbup:

I too have a collection that is full of razors with a little more spine wear that I would wish for, and agree that over time it can serve as a good pointer for out honing stroke.

At the end of the day if we hone and re-hone our razors they will of course wear, I have DA's only a year or less old that show they have been honed more times that a regular guy would have done in a lifetime, and I have razors over 150 years old that show the same amount of wear.

If I was buying or selling I would look at that wear as a downside, but the truth is that it just happens when we use the razors as they were intended.

Regards
Ralfson (Sleepy Dr)
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
Gentlemen, do you rely only on regular coticule honing to form the smiles on your blades, or do you go to a coarser hone to initialize it?

thanks and regards,
Matt
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
That's a good question, Matt. I seldom use a coarse stone as the worst I usually have to overcome is "the down-stroke", but I've been trying to coax a strangely shaped blade back to nice geometry using only focused honing on my coticule, and it is taking a really long time to show any difference. As a matter of fact, I'd be hard pressed to say it's done anything. Maybe a coarser stone is the answer.

Cheers,
-Chris
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Matt said:
Gentlemen, do you rely only on regular coticule honing to form the smiles on your blades, or do you go to a coarser hone to initialize it?

thanks and regards,
Matt

I don't initialize it on a coarser stone. But even on a straight edged blade, you'll see the first minute signs of the developing smile after I honed it 2 or 3 times. But you'd have to look real close.

I generally don't like to remove any more steel than strictly necessary.

Only on a rare significantly warped blade, I might induce a more pronounced smile immediately. Because such a smile will overrule that warp, as explained
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.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
OK, this is golden:
Bart said:
Under no circumstances I advocate the so-called 45 degree stroke, and I deiberately left it out the article that describes the various honing strokes. A word of explanation: during the "S" and the "T" part of the roling stroke, only a small part of edge and spine is in contact with the hone. With an heavily angled stroke, the edge does not mate with its normal counterpart at the spine, but on a spine-part diagonally across. The "normal" counterpart is located off the hone, below the surface, while the rest of the spine is raised above the hone. It isn't too difficult to see that the resulting bevel angle at will be lower than the normal bevel angle. That also explains why on smiling razors that are honed with an exaggerated swoop, we usely see a widened beve at the shoulder and often also at the tip. On a straight (non-smiling) edge, honed without rolling stroke, this does not occur, yet there is not one single reason why a 45 degree angle would offer any honing advantage.

Sometimes, I come to the realization that all the questions i could ever come up with have been addressed at some point.... and quite well too. I'll shut up now, and just read the archives;)
Thanks Bart, once again!:D
 
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