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WittyAg
10-11-2009, 07:00 AM
I'm brand new at the straight razor game and will be acquiring a freshly honed Dovo Special off of a fellow B&Ber in due time. As part of the deal I will also be acquiring a leather strop from him. I'm pretty sure I'll be fond of straight razor shaving, but I'm definitely going to listen to the suggestions of "try it and see" before making any purchases regarding hones and pastes for now.

Assuming that I catch the bug, what equipment would I necessarily need to get eventually in order to maintain a sharp edge without breaking the bank? I've heard some things about a barber's hone, a chinese 12k, or a coticule, but aren't all of those used as finishing stones? I wasn't sure that if a blade was already well honed that any of these would be sufficient to maintain a fine edge, or if I would need a coarser device in addition to a finishing stone. Any suggestions for a newb are welcome. :confused:

mdunn
10-11-2009, 07:41 AM
barbers hones, chinese 12ks etc are used on a blade that has been shaving sharp, but through normal usage has dulled a little - a finishing stone and a strop are all you will ever need

BUT

you can also get a pasted strop which acts like a very high grit hone to extend the ammount of time it takes between honing sessions.

You only need a coarser stone if you plan on sharpening blades yourself from scratch, rather than just maintaining an edge

Ray-man
10-11-2009, 11:49 AM
For now, you can use a hard pasted strop to and your leather strop to maintain your razor for sever months. Later on you will need to touch up the blade. I would recommend that you get yourself a Norton 4/8k stone and an old razor. Take the time to learn how to sharpen that razor and by the time you do that you will be ready to do it to your good razor.

If you can afford it, get a 220/1000k norton also to set the bevel.

That should be all you need to maintain your own blades. A barbers hone is nice, but I don't find them necessary. I know a lot of people who shave right off the 8K stone.

You can also get different stones than Norton. 3/5k Naniwa, or 4/8k Shapton work well also.

I have all three and find the Shapton to be the most consistant for my use, but then I do many more razors than you right now.

Ask lots of questions when you start, there are a lot of people here eager to answer your questions.

Godd Luck,

Ray

leighton
10-11-2009, 12:17 PM
Read the link in my sig. Feel free to ask any questions that you have afterwards.

chess1
10-11-2009, 12:39 PM
cheap and easiest will be barber hone . But if you want to learn etc then above suggestions are good.

professorchaos
10-11-2009, 12:40 PM
For now, use a pasted paddle strop to maintain the edge. They are much easier to use than a hone. It can be pasted with either chromium oxide, diamond pastes or some combination thereof, depending on how many sides you get.

In time the razor will need to visit a hone. By that time you'll have a good idea of what a shaving sharp razor feels like. You'll also have an idea of what you like in an edge. That should inform your selection.

Don't worry about hones to set bevels until you need to. A Coticule and a pasted paddle strop can fill most of your needs for a long time. (Until HAD grabs hold.)

leighton
10-11-2009, 12:41 PM
cheap and easiest will be barber hone . But if you want to learn etc then above suggestions are good.

I disagree, pastes are cheaper and far easier.

chess1
10-11-2009, 03:50 PM
I disagree, pastes are cheaper and far easier.

Pastes is the worse you can do to the edge. Edge gets fragile and broke down so often after 1 week use you have no edge left.
This is why i don't use or advise anyone to use it. This is my personal experience. you may have different opinions.

I would like to hear how hard to make 2-4 strokes on barber hone? what makes it so difficult?

leighton
10-11-2009, 04:06 PM
I am continually surprised how hard it is for some people to understand. Even after personally teaching them. I can only imagine how difficult it is for some people to learn on their own.

Myself on the other hand. I had to teach myself with no guidance from anyone. Other than "oh, you just keep the spine on the hone, other than that, its the same as honing a knife." Didn't have the aid of visuals or videos or guides. Had to figure out everything on my own. Even had to figure out grit progression, but grit progression made perfect sense from the beginning as it applies to everything, not just straight razors.

So on that extreme, of course people can hone themselves.

However, everyone needs to learn to strop properly. No ifs ands or buts about that. I'm sure we are in agreement about that. Pastes = the same stroke. Therefore, everyone should be good at using pastes. Therefore, pastes are easier to learn. And definitely cheaper. Most people should have a practice strop they don't use anymore. MParker and most of us agree that a cloth component = better than leather alone. Therefore, a new strop is needed. The back of the cloth strop can be pasted as well, leaving one clean side and one pasted side, with no additional expense other than the cost of paste.

Luc
10-11-2009, 04:10 PM
I have my barber hone ready and waiting for a straight to get dull...

chess1
10-11-2009, 04:17 PM
what are you saying is 2-4 strokes on barber hone is hard for some people but learning how to use strop easier?
I would say this if anyone has problem to keep blade flat on small hone which fits inside his hands and make 2-4 strokes is hard then that person shouldn't shave with straight.
it is very hard me to understand making 2-4 strokes takes less then 15 second and brings back your edge it is early condition is harder then making 30 laps on strop.

chess1
10-11-2009, 04:24 PM
I have my barber hone ready and waiting for a straight to get dull...

You need to know your barber hone. how it acts. fast cutter slow cutter etc.if you use barber hone after getting your blade honed ones you can use barber hone and keep that blade sharp forever.

Luc
10-11-2009, 04:28 PM
You need to know your barber hone. how it acts. fast cutter slow cutter etc.if you use barber hone after getting your blade honed ones you can use barber hone and keep that blade sharp forever.

Thanks for the tip.

The grit seems very high but I don't know much. I will take it slow when I will start honing and report back for sure!

professorchaos
10-11-2009, 04:50 PM
I've had several barber's hones over time, didn't really care for them. At first because they are so small. Once I got accustomed to their size, I realized I didn't like the edges they produce. Unless there are significantly finer ones out there than the ones I used, I'm not interested.

Also, I haven't found that pastes are bad for an edge so long as you don't over do it. Sure, too many laps will create a fragile edge but too many laps on a barber's hone isn't good for it either. I've gotten over 30 shaves off an edge finished on .25 diamond paste (without touching it up.)

huntmol
10-11-2009, 04:53 PM
If you've got a strop and a shave-ready razor, I would go for this:
http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2004920/5985/Natural-Water-Stone--8-x-2-x-1.aspx
It's only $20 and that's all you'd need for a long, long time.

chess1
10-11-2009, 04:57 PM
I've had several barber's hones over time, didn't really care for them. At first because they are so small. Once I got accustomed to their size, I realized I didn't like the edges they produce.

have you tried any of this stones
C mon
Frictionate00
Panama
barber hones?
these hones works wonderful.

chess1
10-11-2009, 05:00 PM
I've gotten over 30 shaves off an edge finished on .25 diamond paste (without touching it up.)

i think depends on personal preferences.
i have seen so many people complaining about .25 diamond paste which gives harsh edge.

leighton
10-11-2009, 05:57 PM
what are you saying is 2-4 strokes on barber hone is hard for some people but learning how to use strop easier?
I would say this if anyone has problem to keep blade flat on small hone which fits inside his hands and make 2-4 strokes is hard then that person shouldn't shave with straight.
it is very hard me to understand making 2-4 strokes takes less then 15 second and brings back your edge it is early condition is harder then making 30 laps on strop.

I don't understand what your saying, maybe its the language barrier.

Are you saying it takes 30 laps on a pasted strop to refresh an edge?
Are you also saying that its easier and more important to learn to hone than it is to strop?

If so, I completely disagree. Stropping is essential to edge maintenance. It only takes 15 laps at most to refresh an edge with pastes. And even then, you really don't need to if you have a cloth strop. You can go 6 months to a year with proper stropping, and at that point, might as well send the razor out the be honed properly or do it yourself.

leighton
10-11-2009, 05:58 PM
have you tried any of this stones
C mon
Frictionate00
Panama
barber hones?
these hones works wonderful.

They are also rather rare.

Its not like there is a quality barber's hone manufacturer left in the world. A beginner cannot reliably find themselves a good barber's hone without scouring ebay/antique stores/etc. for a vintage one.

chess1
10-11-2009, 07:52 PM
we are talking about which is easier.
make 30-50 laps on strop or 2-4 strokes in small barber hone?
you said using barber hones is difficult?
now you are talking about importance of stropping or honing? i don't care about this part
i am saying as i said early
if you wanna keep shave ready edge forever
barber hones is the best solution.
you come up and said you are disagree and said pastes is cheaper and better solution.
100 years people used an more then 6.000.000 barber hones made.
if it was not necessary i don't think they would made so many of them.
you just need to know when and how to use them that is all

leighton
10-11-2009, 08:30 PM
I've seen the results of many of these DIY amateur hone jobs. I cringe thinking about them.

Yes, a hone is the only way to be absolutely sure the edge will be sharp forever, however, it does require a skill set.

The question however, was edge maintenance. I think we have all been answering a different question. For edge maintenance from 6 months - a year (possibly forever according to some), a linen/leather strop is all that is needed. Past that, either learn to hone yourself or get a 2nd razor and send it out.

professorchaos
10-11-2009, 09:33 PM
i think depends on personal preferences.
i have seen so many people complaining about .25 diamond paste which gives harsh edge.

Indeed it does! I find the .25 diamond paste to yield smoother edges than the Chromium Oxide.