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Some success

dnullify

Well-Known Member
Hey all!

I received my 150x50mm BBW last week and have been playing with it a lot (and consequently bombed a calc test).

of the 4 blades i have, i've managed to get one completely shave ready- a first so far. Whoever branded the BBW with the 4k mark was incredibly wrong. it finishes! i got a HHT 3.5 right off the stone, which upped to a 4 after 40/60 on the strop. I think some of my success was due to the fact that i had set the bevel on my DMT 1.2 right before sending the lot back to DMT for CS (it's been a MONTH, not the best CS if you ask me), so the bevel was already more or less set. I played it by feel, roughly following the procedure written in the study for BBWs. once i realized that i had honed the heel leaving the toe barely at a HHT2, i thickened the slurry and did a whole bunch of x-strokes and dilutions until i was at a misty slurry. then i rinsed, and finished on a misty slurry. best shave i've had yet, BBS on the cheeks where i was able to go ATG, and pretty close on my neck which has always been a trouble spot with me.

Of the rest, i think that i am just unable to deal with the current bevels. one definitely has a warped blade, and i was able to put something of an edge on it, though it is slightly less keen toe-wards. i'll give it a test shave. My dovo "Best quality" is a real pain! the bevels came from the factory completely uneven, which is causing a lot of inconsistency. I'll have to straighten it out with the DMT.

How much bevel work should i be able to do with a BBW? i may have the slurry wrong or something, but but i do know that it is often described as "slow", perhaps in comparison to coticules. I have no problem with it's speed, however i don't have much other than a Sic stone right now to set bevels.

And, speaking of slurry, i seem to be going through quite a lot. i don't see any noticeable difference to my rock so far but i am beginning to wonder how long it will last at this rate.

In any case, this is a lot of fun, and relaxing. I'm seriously thinking of picking up a 30x125 or 40x125 coticule soon, now that i'm more than comfortable with the 50x150 bbw. I have no idea about what and where to buy, but i shall continue reading.

thanks for all the help everybody!
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
I think the amount of bevel work possible with a BBW is probably only limited by your patience. And once the bevel is initially set, (other than the down-stroke) barring an unfortunate incident, you probably won't need to do much bevel repair at all.
I've been honing now on coti for about 9 months and though I can't speak much for BBW honing, I've yet to see a need to lap a single stone after an initial lapping. I don't seem to be able to wear them at all. Even the one I have dedicated to knives and chisels isn't showing any wear at all. I have a feeling that you'd be hard pressed to wear your BBW out in your lifetime.

I find honing relaxing too. I can lose myself in it and spend far more time at it than the blade really requires.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
I love this thread already. The BBW is really under documented. That statement counts double for the field of bevel correction. There definitely is speed difference between BBWs, but in absence of layer determinations, that is something you'll have to find out for your specimen. The slurry being purple makes it no so easy to spot any discoloration, but when closely observed , one can see small hints of discoloration added at the end of every stroke. For bevel work on a BBW, you must not be afraid of thick, paste-like slurry. You don't need loads of it, because only the slurry caught between the steel and the surface of the hone does the work. If you add too much water at the start, you'll need to make way too much slurry to get it thick enough. Just moisten the surface and wipe away all the water with a finger before you start rubbing with the slurry stone. Make the slurry thick enough to be slightly grainy. (Maybe it's good to repeat that I am not talking about Coticules, this is a different animal) As long as you're doing bevel work, keep that graininess. Add small drops of water if you must, but take it easy. Many BBWs display only minimal slurry dulling. That's something you'll have to fins out for your specimen. If you put a razor on it that shaves arm air and it looses that ability from this kind of thick slurry honing, then you know. It.s still good for removing steel as fasts as the stone will ever get, but before testing if the bevel is taking shape, you'll need to do something more. It may very well help to do 30 laps in stropping direction only, before you can pass the arm-hair test (AHT).
If the AHT shows that part of the edge is not coming along, here's what to do: In your mind, divide the bevel in 6 parts: Tip-left, tip-right, middle-left, middle-right, heel-left, heel-right. It doesn't matter what you call left or right. If the tip stays behind, work on that part only. If the heel-right part of the bevel looks narrower than the heel left part, concentrate on that side of the heel. These are just examples. Looking at a bevel this way, puts you in complete control. All you have to do is look closely and do the AHT. That will point you in the right direction. (provided that you pre-dulled the edge with a dowstroke on a glass, before starting the bevel work).

Once the bevel is in shape, you'll need to catch up with whatever keenness you're still short, for a great shave. Also that depends on the BBW. On some, 50 laps on water or very thin slurry is all that it takes. Others need a dilution stage. You'll just have to work that out for your particular stone. In absence of success, Uniblue (the procedure used in the BBW-study) is pretty easy and straightforward.

Kind regards,
Bart
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
I couldn't have put it better myself (shorter maybe?) lol

Never underestimate your BBW, it should with enough practice and the right technique, give you wonderful shaves, it will as said set a bevel easily, once you have learnt how best to have the slurry for your particular stone, what I do is start with a thick slurry as Sir Bart says above, then if the edge (from predulled on glass remember) after say 3 lots of 50 half strokes, fails the AHT, I dilute it slightly and try again. Sooner or later you will find the sweet spot, from there I dilute again and do 100 or so regular X strokes, and dilute down to a very watery slurry to finish on another 100 X strokes, again as said it worth realising that you have to play around to find what works best for you and your stone.

Either way I think it's fair to say that those that enjoy using their BBW will also enjoy a great shave off it in the end

Damn, now I want to break my out and go for it! Lol

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

dnullify

Well-Known Member
It is a fun stone!
I kinda don't want a coticule, because i may never use my BBW. but the BBW makes me wonder what the coticule is like...


Anyway, i worked on the razor i am assuming is warped, due to the weird bevels and related hone-wear.
Any way, i tried the paste-slurry like you mentioned, then wiped it off the hone (saved it on the slurry stone for later), and then covered the rock with water to check the bevel. the blade now undercuts water evenly on one side and about 95% on the other. progress!

Is there an alternative to the AHT? i'm going to run out of arm-hair.

Hey Bart, did you by any chance make a honing video with the small coticules you mentioned earlier?
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
dnullify said:
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Theres the LHT (leg of course) thats my preferred one, Mrs Ralfson (Dr) doesnt like the stubble when I cozy up, so arm is frowned on, and stomach is a no no ...lol

you may find that the AHT works just as well when you selectively shave just one or two hairs at a time, moving around your arm, and trying each section of the blade as you go, its surprising how you can get away without looking like you stood to close to the bonfire on one side..

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
dnullify said:
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You don't need to shave whole patches. Popping 1 or 2 hairs per edge part you test will do.(see my previous post)
I hone a few razors per week and my arms look normal. :)

dnullify said:
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No, it's on the to-do list, but not yet. It'll be announced once I put it on Youtube.

Glad to hear you're enjoying your BBW. They are in no way less than a Coticule, just slower on average.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

RicTic

Well-Known Member
I wish someone would have pointed this little piece of common sense out to me earlier.
I've been scything whole patches of hair.
By now, I'm sure I'm more streamlined than an olympic swimmer. :(
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
You mustn't worry too much about bevel uneveness. While shaving, it is the very edge, at the apex of the bevel, that is going to define how well the blade shaves. For the keenness of this apex, it doesn't matter how symmetrical the bevel triangle is. As long as both sides exist and as long as they're flat.

What you need to do, is to confirm that they are flat, and fully extended to form a keen tip. For the sake of bevel correction, it suffices to shave arm hair along the entire edge. But the usefulness of that test depends entirely on the act of "pre-dulling" the edge prior to the bevel work. It is a mathematical fact that, as long as the above conditions are not met, the bevel tip will not gain any keenness. As soon as it starts doing that - which we monitor with the AHT - there is no doubt that the bevel is set, and you are ready to move on with the finer stages of honing. As such, the AHT is your milestone to know when to proceed to the next step. But without "pre-dulling", you'll never know whether you've passed your milestone or not.
Pre-dulling a good bevel, it takes less that a minute to pass the AHT milestone. On a bevel that requires work, it takes as long as it takes.

If you notice that all of the edge passes the ATH except one part, check both bevel sides, and start working on the narrowest side of that part. If both are symmetrical, you'd typically do 20 halfstrokes per side. But if it was asymmetrical, you can do 30 on the narrowest side and 10 on the wider side. After doing 4 or 5 of these sets, it's time to check again. Keep a sheet of kitchen roll nearby to clean the edge before the AHT. Stay at it till it passes the ATH. At that point finalize your bevel stage with 2 final sets of halfstrokes on the entire edge, using slightly thinner slurry. You have now passed the AHT milestone. And your next milestones becomes the HHT. For that you can use the Uniblue approach or continue with dilution of the slurry and finally finish on very thin slurry, or clear water, wathever works best on your BBW.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

dnullify

Well-Known Member
alrighty.

so, right now it's a average HHT3 Across the blade, perhaps less towards the tip. not the keenest.

Would that indicate a well-set bevel? i'm contemplating either continuing with a fresh dilution, or dulling on glass and doing the uniblue.

also, for a normal honing without bevel correction, i should probably not start with paste-like slurry right?
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
dnullify said:
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If you are getting a HHT3 you are way past the bevel setting stage, the HHT is most often used as a test at the finishing stages of honing, if the tip is a little behind it is worth concentrating a little more on that area, as Bart says above.

dnullify said:
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I dont quite understand this question? do you mean for touching up (no bevel correction needed) or for a full hone job? I dont see what you understand to be "Normal honing"

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

TM280

Well-Known Member
For my part, I am getting the impression that BBW gives me a lower HHT off the stone (not using tape), but a huge jump after stropping. From the shaves I've had, if I am getting some HHT cutting at about 10 mm off the stone, I am pretty sure I am going to have a great shave. This typically gives me a low 4 after stropping, but shaves smoother than coticule edges at this level.

But I'll see with another stone I have just tried a razor on. This one needed back honing in order to get any HHT off the stone.

regards,
Torolf
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
dnullify said:
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My friend, you are done. Finito. If you've passed HHT-3, coming right of the hone, then it's time to strop and test shave.
Strop the razor very well, 60 laps on linen and 60 laps on leather. When done check again with the HHT, which should now be a solid 4.

I've had similar results with paste-like slurry, on some BBWs. Being used to Coticules, that came as a complete surprise to me. As said, BBWs are for a huge part Terra Incognita. We don't even know for sure if their abrasion if as garnet-based as that of a Coticule. Perhaps most abrasive particles of the BBW break down into smaller ones during the honing process. Paste-like consistency of the slurry would certainly promote such a breakdown.

dnullify said:
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At this point, I'd opt for the test shave. There's always time to do additional finishing later, but if you don't test the edge as it is, you might miss out on some great result. What you definitely must not do, is to dull on glass. Dulling on glass is the first thing to do before starting with bevel correction stage. The bevel on that razor is now fully developed, there is no need to dull it again. Should the razor not turn out to shave very well (which would surprise me, considering you passed HHT-3) you can always refinish with the final steps of Uniblue. (3. Apply one layer of tape. 4. Perform 20 X-strokes on halfway thinned slurry. Rinse razor and BBW. 5. Rub the BBW back and forth ONCE with the slurry stone (apply gentle pressure). 6. Finish the razor with 50 X-strokes in stropping direction).

dnullify said:
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That is a good question. I can't answer that. On the BBWs that granted me HHT-3 on paste-like slurry, I couldn't match that result on a more fluent slurry, unless I took it through a full dilution stage, and then aimed for HHT-3 while finishing on water or misty slurry.
On such BBWs I find it easier to rub a bit of paste-like slurry, make 50 laps with some pressure in stropping direction, and finish with normal light X-strokes on water only. But my experience is limited to only 7 BBWs and they don't all behave the same.

The best way to maintain your edges is to perform a "touchup" at the earliest sign of keenness decline. Or just every 7 shaves, without giving it much further thought. I'd give it 30/50 laps with water on the surface, or with a hint of slurry (one rub with the slurry stone). Always strop thoroughly after a touchup. (60/60) In between shaves, 20/40 should suffice. With a good touchup regime, the edge can last a loooong time, before it ever needs full honing. But over that long time, depending on the coarseness of your beard and the brittleness of the steel, the edge will accumulate microscopic chips missing, that fall beyond the power of your touchups. Eventually, full honing will be in order.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
Bart i agree that blades accumulate load with a time elapsed.Although ,i have some razors ,which i never came back for a totalitarian honing.When i am feeling that the edge is not the required after a clear water honing i return back on the very very thin milky slurry (i can't say how many rubbing with the slurry stone because independent of the coticule)continuing with the normal procedure .What is your opinion please.
Best regards
Emmanuel
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Emmanuel said:
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That sounds to me like a power touch up, and a very valuable tool it is too :thumbup:
I have no idea how long before the power touch up loses its effectiveness as I have never used a razor that long before honing it again..lol

Best regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
It totally depends on the razor, it's steel formulation and heat treatment and on the bevel angle, how prone it will be to accumulate microscopical chips during use. I have once teared a visible chip out of an edge, when I spotted a missed hair at the corner of my mustache 2 hours after shaving. I took the razor and shaved the whisker dry. The edge said "ploink" and out came a nice chip of the edge. The whisker was gone too. :) So, beard preparation is a factor in edge longevity as well.

If I don't raise the bevel angle (by applying tape) of a Theirs Issard Silverwing, it will already accumulate serious micro-chipping from one shave. Someone in my older posts, there ought to be a picture of that. Ah, here it is:
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Edge longevity sure isn't the same on all razors.

But I try to give advice that works for all, which is: touch up early and often, and once the touch-ups stop working, it's time to rehone. If you never used a pasted strop, it will take a minute to pass the AHT after pre-dulling the edge. The effect of a stroke on glass is really almost nothing. But if the bevel is convex, or tired and out of whack, the pre-dulling will expose it, and you'll need to do the work it takes to fix it.

That doesn't mean that an experienced person can't skip all that, and just do what he know will be the minimum required to get a worn edge in peak condition.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
Ralf my valuable tools are just my coticules ( not to think the novices that we have hidden tools or magic hones ).One that i can remember is a kama from my father and a old T.Issard, have not fully honed the last four years, while remaining in my rotation razors.
This is my honest narrative.
Best regards
Emmanuel
 
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