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I saw that... not that i have anything to contribute, but to suggest that some form of magnification might help.
If you do a TNT, can you feel anything less than perfect smoothness? I've been doing the TNT a lot lately (Thanks to Smythe's good advice) on finished razors, it's amazing what you can feel through your thumbnail. Use a gentle touch though on a finished blade. What about if you pass the edge of the razor over a freestanding piece of kleenex? does it catch the kleenex, cause any jerky movement in the kleenex?
If it's micro chipping, you may be able to feel them with your thumb-nail, and since it aint shaving anymore you have nothing to lose, though I haven't noticed that the TNT affects a well finished edge.
i have to agree with ray i would never use tnt past bevel stages. just get a little 30 k jewelers loop of ebay. . i put my razor near a 50 watt ceiling light and you will see what you need to see. after that i use the micr o scope that ralfy gave me at 60x and it works great.
i tend to use tpt if need be at the end of honing , even still some fokes say that can cause slight damage if your not care ful. hht and a loop should work just fine ,
I know this is a “touchy” and very controversial subject, many will disagree, but that’s OK… we are all still friends. Believe me; I am sober as I type this, and not making this up.
I have done this many times… I get the edge to shave ready, it cuts arm hair easily and passes the HHT, it is ready for the strop and shave… so far so good.
I then pass the edge through the thumbnail (TNT, yes, I know this is “heresy”), and as we all know it will pass the TNT. But it also still cuts arm hair easily, and passes the HHT (even if a point or two lower). This is a good razor with excellent temper that will deliver and above average shave, and will hold an edge for an above average length of time before needing a touch-up… I say it passes “The Test of Fire”.
Now for the benefit of those who disagree with the TNT after the edge is shave ready (polished). Let us assume the edge is ruined by the TNT after it is shave ready, then the question is…
How much effort will it take to get the edge back to shave ready?
I would back stone two rotations and hone six to eight rotations on a my Panama. I find that brings most razors back. I was trained to use the TNT test during honing with a light feel. The barber that taught me got razors sharp. There is more that one way to skin a cat that is why they give you so many to practice on.
For the record: I don't think the TNT is an edge destructing test. I have a book that states (in Dutch) that the TNT might cause slight wear on a finished edge. As so many things, I've accepted it a truth, because one simply can't reinvent the wheel for everything, and the book appeared resourceful. Hence I learned to rely on the TPT, which was said to be harmless, even on the finished edge. I never really cared to double check the writer's statement.
For the same reason, I never strop a razor immediately after the shave. I bet you know that rumor too.
Are these thing based on facts or fiction, perhaps age-old urban legends? I don't know. I've developed habits that avoid said practices, so I don't urgently care to know the truth.
But I would never chime in on a thread to contradict someone's advice, without having experienced myself that the advice is problematic. For the sake of the TNT, I do not have that first hand experience.
It amazes me time and time again how many do's and dont's circulate in the straight razor world that I have originally bought for being true and later, often years later, discovered had no practical bearing.
The "never use more pressure than the weight of the blade"- adage while honing? Bollocks.
The "never strop with more than the weight of the blade"-adage? Nonsense.
The "keep the strop tout at all times"-adage? Bullshit.
Should we add the "avoid the TNT once the bevel is set"-disclaimer to the above list? It's easy enough to run some formal tests and be done with it once and for all. I'll report back later.
Bart, I have had three razors that were sharper when stropped several days after honing or shaving. I still have the Fabyan Some Extra silver steel. I re-honed it last week and do not know if it sill is that way. I think you just do not know what stress is put into the steel when honing.
I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you're actually addressing here. Are you talking about letting the razor rest after honing, or after shaving?
Or are you implying that a razor improves during the first few shaves, because the steel needs to release stresses?
My razors shave best straight after honing, and they remain that way for a fair number of shaves, then they'll slowly start declining, unless I do a quick touch-up on a Coticule with water.
But it's true that I just do not know everything that's going on when it comes to how steel behaves in the edge of a razor.
I'm glad to see wiser heads than mine jump in on this.
Bart makes some excellent points. As one just recently emerged from noobdom, I'll agree that the meme of "no pressure" is everywhere. To this day, I'm convinced I've not yet overcome or fully grasped all the nuances.
But I do think that it breaks down like this: there are two types of people in this word. There are the types of people who understand intrinsically how the world works on a physical, tool-user level, the group of people who are good at working with their hands. The other type of people understand and manipulate the world in a different way. Think of it in simlistic terms, if you will, as the difference between operations and management. Not to say or imply that one is exclusivley better or worse than the other, or that each group doesn't have any overlap, or that being a member of one excludes the other. But it's been my experience that you can give a member of the former group a physical task to perform, and, with a bit of intial familiarization, will often be amazed at the progress that can be made. The other group, OTOH, is "all thumbs". Some people have a feel for doing stuff. Some people don't. If you have to give advice to both groups, IMHO, you've got to keep it relatively simple. Basic enough that the most extreme example of the second group can understand, and succeed with. The first group, OTOH, will quickly leave most basic instructions behind, and start to do things with it that break all the rules. If I was hanging out on, say carpenterstuff.com, as confidant as i would be in passing advice on the use of the circular saw, I would never recommend "advanced moves" to a beginner, and I can't help but think that the "no pressure" idea is nothing more than a function of exactly that.
You could apply the same dichotomous division to those who accept "rules" at face value, and those who question them. But then, I've always been the type of guy who, when the crowd is moving left, i'm dodging to the right.
I've seen one fellow do a TPT that would have, at the very least, resulted in a rolled edge. It was enough to make me cringe to watch him plucking it like a guitar string. In much the same vein, I've grown to believe that the TNT, if performed appropriatly, can be done in such a way as to minimize any possible damage.
And, for me, I find that there is something further transmitted through my thumbnail that is damped or lost in my thumb pad.
I have done a few rather informal test, testing for HHT before, and again after, the TNT, and i can't see any difference at all in the HT performance Wether it affected the shave, i'd be at a loss to say...
What is it that everyone says? It's all in the hands...?
The Fabyan was not coming sharp as I expected. I did not get back to it for several days. When I stropped it again it became HHT sharp. It displayed that same thing when stropped before shaving. When stropped after shaving it was not as sharp. Is that explanation more understandable? I recently re honed it along with three razors in my rotation that had deteriorated due to none use. I work so many razors I do not get to my rotation enough.
You were talking about letting a razor rest after the shave, and perhaps also after honing.
I too have noticed that the HHT-score of my razors becomes less during the shave. Stropping before the next shave brings it right back up. Long time ago, I've tried a couple of times to strop a razor mid-shave, in between the WTG and the ATG pass. Back then, I struggled with honing. My razors were only barely sharp enough, and I wondered if restropping before the ATG pass couldn't reawaken my edge that had so little sharpness to spare in the first place. I didn't find any noticeable improvement back then. But surely my stropping lacked efficiency, and as said, the razors had a lacking edge to start with.
I've been pondering over a good way to test the "razor need to rest" theory. The only way I can think of is to take 2 identical razors, sharpen them the same, and use them daily to find out how long the edges last. One is to be stropped before and after each shave, to other stropped twice before each shave. (twice, so both razors receive exactly the same stropping, only at different times). The razors need to be used until the shaving comfort is clearly gone.
If there is a difference, the experiment needs to be repeated with the razors is switched order.
Only if there is a clear difference found, e.g. one razor is good for 20 shaves and the other for 30, and if this trend is confirmed by a second test, I'd dare to draw a conclusion.
well bad news...Took the razor out for a spin again last night and the results weren't good. Again my first WTG pass on the right side of my face went well but then when I started the left side towards my jaw line I could definitely feel some pulling. My usual daily routine is to do one WTG pass with some touch up and an additional XTG/ATG pass on the mustache area. Well I tried that, but ended up grabbing another razor to finish it off. Definitely a crumbling edge of some sort. I then went back to my coticule with heavy slurry to start the process again. One thing I noticed while during that is that I could hear a slight "grinding" sound as though large metal particles or the jagged edge was scratching the stone. I didn't get a chance to do a full session since it was getting close to my usual bed time so I put the razor down and went to bed.. Any suggestions on how to tackle the razor at this point?
Folks please accept my apologies; I don’t want this thread to go off course with a discussion of the TNT so I will start another thread on the subject.
Mystryrazor, You have been getting good advice so far, but just for variety, let me add a few comments.
The steel in that blade could be the issue… and I am assuming you know your way around a hone so I won’t question your technique just yet.
Like most of us, as habit, you start with your RIGHT side first (I suspect you are right handed). But I believe I read in the thread at B&B you also tried the LEFT side first (after a touch-up) and when you got to the right side the razor did the same.
You also said the razor gave no irritation after the shave so I suspect the issue may not be micro-chipping.
I am also assuming you are paying attention to your shaving angles (flat, or almost flat on the face) because hi angles will dull even the best razors within a few strokes.
Now, if all the above is true, then there are one or two suspects left. It could be the steel in the blade may be a bit soft, so the edge fold-over under the load of shaving the first side and has nothing to offer the other side of your face.
But a couple of questions… Do you switch hands to do the other side of your face? Was the razor NOS or was it restored?
the razor is a NOS Fily #13 with baby blue scales that I acquired from a respected member over on B&B. The razor shaved fine but was not exactly to my standards as I prefer a coticule edge to a synthetic one. So I took the razor back to my coticules and honed it completely using the dilucot method. I ended up with a nice shaver, but nothing "special" as you usually expect from a fily razor. Out of boredom, I decided to try my hands at refining the edge again so I dulled the razor and went back to work on my coticule. After an extended session, I got the razor to pass the HHT with ease. Based on those results, I thought the razor was good to go. Only after my first shave with it did I realize that something was wrong with the blade. On the irritation issue, I can sort of feel the irration now, especially around my chin where my hair is thicker.