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Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.

Posted by TerriLiGunn 
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Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
February 13, 2016 02:07AM
Well...I got a Gold Dollar straight razor to experiment with. I ground the edge down with a DMT EC cutting directly into the stone, then reset the bevel working up through to the EF. This would easily push cut across the grain phone book paper, so I tried to shave....was a bit irritating.
So tonight I just went up to a Spyderco UF finish. Just for kicks I tried to dry shave a spot of my beard....almost no irritation. So I am thinking about this and going to try to shave with it.

Now some info. I do not know how to use a straight razor to shave. So I am going to see how this works.....probably not well.
I have over the years tried to shave with various knives I have, all with irritation involved....usually a lot.

So any advice for trying to shave with a straight razor? Or am I crazy for trying to shave without stropping?
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
February 13, 2016 02:47AM
Did the strop come before the stone? Is that a question which can ever be answered?

With shaving, it is often argued that the ideal edge, for comfort, is stropped as it rounds it slightly to prevent it taking off a layer of skin. This is why even Murray Carter tends to advocate stropping on loaded leather for a razor.

Experiment and see and report. Maybe start a new trend of stone only shaving.
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
February 13, 2016 02:54AM
I had thought about the micro rounding of the edge in shave comfort. But test it I will. What ever deity is up there please watch out for my face.
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
February 13, 2016 03:41AM
Ha. I tried shaving with a King 8K finish on a 1095 Schrade, it was doable but not fun. On a high grindability steel with a really high grit finish (10-12K), I could see it being doable without stropping. Even then, I think shaving is one of those things that is still going to be really relative.

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Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
February 13, 2016 06:53AM
Well - my girlfriend use a straight razor when shaving her legs.
Her explanation is that straight razor does not irritates her skin.

Last year I was "forced" (another lame excuse to buy more stones the finger smiley ) to learn how to sharpen such blades and I accumulated some fine stones and started learning...

From what she told me - a shave after 8k imanishi bester or good quality thuringian slate or belgian coticule without stropping is as comfortable as one after welsh slate stones or dedicated vintage barber hone + stropping.

I do not shave my face with straight razor although I am fan of classical wet shaving with DE safety razors so I can not speak about the quality of the edges I create on the face.

I new some old barbers that never use stropp back in the days when using straight razor was legal here in BG - most of them used dedicated Turkish oil stones as one and only piece of equipment to maintain their razors.

What I am interesting is i some of you guys in the US or Canada try translucent and surgical black arkansas stones combo with and without stropping and "report" back

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Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
February 13, 2016 07:01PM
Quote
CliffStamp
Did the strop come before the stone? Is that a question which can ever be answered?

With shaving, it is often argued that the ideal edge, for comfort, is stropped as it rounds it slightly to prevent it taking off a layer of skin. This is why even Murray Carter tends to advocate stropping on loaded leather for a razor.

Experiment and see and report. Maybe start a new trend of stone only shaving.

Ha! If I had any patience for online knife/razor communities I would have already started that trend. I've been using my knives to shave for a while now, especially my Calton 1095 necker.

My edge bevels are at ~7.5 dps anyway, and I just take the edge bevel to 13k on my SPS-II stones, microbevel on my Spyderco F and then UF at 15 dps.

I use the F first because it creates a wider micro bevel. With the UF alone the apex is so thin and has such a high level of push-cutting sharpness that it is a bit scary to use to shave.

It gives me a much closer and more comfortable shave than a brand new safety razor, actually. I can't comment on comparing this method to a strop because I don't even own one anymore.
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
February 14, 2016 12:05AM
I can get a comfortable shave off my spyderco uf bench stone, I get a slightly less comfortable shave directly off a Chinese natural stone cliff sent but neither are as nice as an edge with a couple passes on the strop.

Might I suggest going with the grain nail you get the hang of it and I find shaving after a hot shower better than before

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Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
February 14, 2016 02:38AM
There is a member on BF that shaves with just a stone finish. He was discussing it with ToddS (scienceofsharp). I don't remember the details, and Todd seemed surprised.
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
February 14, 2016 02:48AM
Mark: What stones are you using in the lead up to the UF stone?

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
February 15, 2016 02:50PM
Bill, the last time I sharpened it (quite a while ago) I used my Norton 4k/8k stone. I tried the edge from the 8k and it was uncomfortable.

www.theflatearthsociety.org

BIGFOOT FINDS YOU, YOU DON'T FIND BIGFOOT!



IT IS THE E-NEP THROWING BROTHERHOOD
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
February 15, 2016 04:26PM
I don't shave, so I can't speak from experience, but from what I have read is that you can shave straight off a stone, and some stones are better for this than others. That being said, stropping usually improves the feel of the shave. Science of Sharp (Todd) has a great piece on his blog [scienceofsharp.wordpress.com], and a thread on the SharpeningForum.com about it also, with a long term test: [www.sharpeningforum.com]


I wonder if micro-convexity can be useful in knife sharpening. I am not sure how to check, I can rarely see any improvement, other than a small increase in ease of push cutting, when stropping knives.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
February 15, 2016 05:49PM
Okay finally did a partial shave. Results were sub par. There was a very slight irritation compared to my DE safety razor.
I could have done my whole face but I realized it would be just more irritation then I was aiming for. I did do a few passes on all the major areas cheek, under nose, under the jaw, neck, and chin.
So now my plan is to try a different methods for sharpening it. Since I used diamond plates then a ceramic for the sharpening I will now try water stones and work up to a king 6k finish before going to the spyderco UF stone.
This might give me a smoother edge, I will report back in a couple days.
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
February 20, 2016 02:51PM
I decided to finally buy a straight razor as the point on my Calton 1095 necker was getting in the way while shaving my neck line.

The as boxed edge on the Dovo Bismark I bought pretty clearly shows why it is recommended to "hone" a brand new razor before trying to shave with it.

As boxed (At 50x optical and 5x digital magnification):



As sharpened by me:



I raised the level of polish on the edge bevel using 3k, 6k, 10k, and 13k SPS-II stones and then set a 15 dps microscopic apex bevel using Spyderco F rods (oiled, grams of force, 5 pps, 1 double angle deburring pass per side, 5 pps) and then moved to the Spyderco UF rods (again, oiled, grams of force, 5pps, 1 double angle deburring pass per side, 5 pps).

As I noted above, I use the Spyderco F rods first to create a wider microscopic apex bevel. I tried this technique on my Calton 1095 necker with just using the UF rods for the microscopic apex bevel and found that it produced too high a level of push cutting sharpness that was frankly a little disconcerting to shave with. I did not find any substantive drop in closeness of shave by making the microscopic apex bevel wider, so I incorporated that into my technique.

I'll let you all know how this finish performs for me on an actual straight razor
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
March 07, 2016 05:02PM
I got frisky you might say and finally reset the bevel on my razor with a King 1K, then refined the edge on my Taidea on the "3K" side. Finished up on a King 6K stone.

The results were some improvement to my earlier experiment.
This time though I actually tried to do a complete shave with the razor. I had to go back over twice to get most of the hair. So I am now a bit raw I think mostly do to lack of experience then the actual razor. My cheeks which are the easiest didn't feel any irritation. The tricky spots like under my neck and under my nose are red now. I did nick my chin.

So I think given enough practice shaving this way I will know if I have it pretty close to what a strop can do on a straight razor.

Sadly my main stumbling block is my skill level with shaving with the dang thing.

Next test when my face recovers will be using the Spyderco UF stone as the last step.
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
March 30, 2016 07:25AM
Decided to try my Shapton 12K, this was a vast improvement. Still under my nose was irritated enough I stopped and finished that part with my safety razor. I would almost consider this a successful shave.

I honestly am very curious now to actually try a stropped razor to compare.
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
March 30, 2016 11:16AM
That bit under your nose is hard. I struggle with it when I use my razor. Two things I find help are
1 shave that part first while the razor is at its sharpest
2 keep the skim as tight as you can. Push up on your nose with your off hand while pulling your top lip down by opening your mouth.
That should really help. The other thing that helped me when I first start started with the straight razor I went to a barber and had a few shaves. This really helped to figure out the technique.

www.theflatearthsociety.org

BIGFOOT FINDS YOU, YOU DON'T FIND BIGFOOT!



IT IS THE E-NEP THROWING BROTHERHOOD
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
May 04, 2016 02:04AM
Well interesting discovery.

I recently cut the edge off and pulled out my pocket microscope to check as I reset the edge bevel.

The edge is chipped all along the length.

So I then reset the edge using my Taidea "3K" stone. This lead to more chipping along the edge. So I cut the edge off until the chips were gone. I just reset the edge with the Taidea and then raised the polish with the Shapton 12K. Checked the edge again. The chips are back. I then did 5pps of higher angle deburring passes on my spyderco UF stone. Chips are minimized but still there. So I'm stuck on what to do and what this means to my experiment.
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
May 04, 2016 03:18AM
Terri, there are a lot of possible issues :

-how do those stones work on knives with similar edge angles
-how much work are you doing on the razor
-how much force are you using, is there any deflection at all in the bevel
-do you have a very weak/muddy stone like a king 1000, if you reset the edge does it chip out with that
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
May 04, 2016 04:24AM
I'll have to double check on similar edge angles, I have 2 knives of a similar edge angle. The Buck BBW in 420HC and the Endura 4 in ZDP-189.

I do have a King 1K, but well it currently is in 2 pieces and its replacement is around a week or more away.

As to the Taidea it is a very muddy stone on the "3k" side. I use the 3K in parenthesis because I think it is more like 1200-2000 grit really.

I felt bored while watching reviews and reset the edge bevel again using just the shapton 12k. Never doing that again. I used under a pound of force for the process, say around 8-10 ounces. Then did 5pps edge trailing and the chips are still there, but it will push cut across the grain phone book paper on a true 90.
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
May 04, 2016 11:41AM
Terri,
What type of sharpening method are you using? Are you cutting off the edge after the 1k? Are you forming a slurry and watering it down slowly on the mid-rangeand finishing hones? Have you tried a layer or two (or three) of electrical tape to see if that stabilizes the geometry? Are you over-honing? How many pps are you using per stone? How many times have you sharpened the razor after using the diamond hones? Have you tried leaving out the Taidea 3k?

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/04/2016 11:43AM by jasonstone20.
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
May 04, 2016 11:40PM
Wait. Buck has a knife called the BBW?

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
May 05, 2016 02:18AM
Bugout Bill-
It actually is called the Bantam BBW
http://www.buckknives.com/product/bantam-bbw-knife/0284FAM01/

Jason-
What type of sharpening method are you using? Three step method. With edge trailing on the last 10-15pps on the finishing stone.
Are you cutting off the edge after the 1k? I am not.
Are you forming a slurry and watering it down slowly on the mid-rangeand finishing hones? I only do this on the last 10-15 edge trailing passes on the Shapton 12K stone. The rest of the time I just get the stone muddy and keep it muddy for the whole process.
Have you tried a layer or two (or three) of electrical tape to see if that stabilizes the geometry? Nope.
Are you over-honing? Not sure, could be, but I am still learning here.
How many pps are you using per stone? I actually didn't fully count. I just sharpened on the Taidea till light stopped reflecting then raised the grit finish and then did 10-15pps edge trailing.
How many times have you sharpened the razor after using the diamond hones? 5 times.
Have you tried leaving out the Taidea 3k? Yep, reset the edge with just the shapton 12K. Never doing that again.
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
May 05, 2016 04:19PM
Terri,
I found some videos that could help:

[youtu.be]

Keith has a straightforward view on razor honing, and so does Lynn Abrams:

[youtu.be]

There's more, if you don't get results trying these or if you just want more information, let me know.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
May 05, 2016 07:39PM
Thanks, I think I have watched one of those a long time ago. But maybe I am forgetting something.

Good news is I got my replacement King KDS 1K/6K stone yesterday. Full week early straight from Japan and perfect shape. Now though I am using the 2/3rds of my old King 1K as a conditioning stone. Which is really useful because the 6K side is much more prone to loading then my stand alone King 6K.
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
June 30, 2016 01:09AM
Okay little update since I had the time.

I pulled out the straight razor and tried to reset the apex so that all chips were gone. It took trying it on a 1K king, Soft Arkansas, and finally the 6K king. The 6K was the only thing that did not create new chips. The chips are only visible under 50X magnification.

That done I did a few passes on my face and it was initially not bad, but not what I think it should be, so I decided to check the edge under magnification. The chips are back. So I am starting to think something is up with the razor I have.

What do you all think, razor or me?
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
June 30, 2016 01:50AM
Shouldn't be chipping. I'm going to say you, no steel, no its definitely you, or maybe the steel. I really don't know. I am going to suggest we blame chum.

www.theflatearthsociety.org

BIGFOOT FINDS YOU, YOU DON'T FIND BIGFOOT!



IT IS THE E-NEP THROWING BROTHERHOOD
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
June 30, 2016 01:56AM
Terri-
It could be a few things, the razor is starting to sound like it could be the problem. Do you know anyone you could send it to so they could hone it and take a look at it? Apparently there's a big argument between the razor guya right now, one pro-Gold Dollar and one anti-Gold Dollar, but some of the more sensible guys aren't mixed up in it. Maybe try ordering a new Gold Dollar and see if that one does the same thing? My Gold Dollar sharpens fine, although I don't shave.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
June 30, 2016 02:07AM
Jason-
Sending it to someone might be an idea, but I am sort of reluctant to do so. Frankly only someone on here would be someone I would send it too.

Yeah I think I will get another Dollar razor, and perhaps send this one on a pass around to see what people think of it.
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
June 30, 2016 02:13AM
I'd agree with Mark on blaming Chum.


I would suggest not using the arkansas stone simply because I don't like them and it may not be abrading the steel as well as a more friable abrasive, leading to stress on the steel.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Straight razor sharpening. No stropping experiment.
June 30, 2016 04:46AM
Tomorrow I'll cut the edge off til no sign of chips remain and reset it with just the king 6k. Then test it again.