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Thread: Lapping film, try it.

  1. #301
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    I like the water for lubricity as well as helping to see where the edge is making contact by watching the bow wave.
    One, two! One, two! and through and through...The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

  2. #302
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon P K View Post
    I'm about ready to jump on board with this lapping gig (didn't love the experience I've had so far with my little coti bout - the only hone I have so far)...

    Couple questions:

    For standard maintenance (i.e. NOT restoring 'bay blades), do I really need a DMT 1200 , DMT 600/1200, etc as a bevel setting plate? (would not some 12 or 15um film accomplish the same?)

    And, about taping spines - do you all do this? Yes/no?

    Thanks, Gents!
    Consider the bout as good training. You had to learn to align the blade and adjust the pressure properly to the bout to get a good edge. You learned the hard way but you learned. This skill will serve you as you start with films.

    For simply maintaining an already honed edge that has been dulled through normal use, all you need is 3u and 1u film. 3u is roughly equivelant to an 8k Norton. 1u is roughly equivelant to a 12k Nani. If you do a final round of laps over damp paper after your normal 1u laps, you will find a very sweet edge. If you also add lather to the film, you will have an edge that will rival a well-stropped 20k Shapton edge, if it all comes together for you. IOW it just doesn't get any better. You can move up to .3u film (about 60K ANSI grit, I think) but you won't notice much difference from the 1u over paper and with lather. I can't tell the difference, anyway.

    For setting a bevel, 12u film followed by 5u or 6u film will gitter done. You can also start with 600 to 1k grit wet/dry sandpaper if you like. The trick with the sandpaper is getting it perfectly flat. Best way is to spray the back with LocTite spray adhesive, available at Home Depot, and beginning at one end, roll it onto the plate. Make sure you get all the bubbles and wrinkles out at first contact cause you won't get a second chance. BTW this is also good for lapping your stones, if you use a full sheet on a 12x12 polished marble tile or a granite countertop sink cutiout or a glass coffee table top. You can even do your balsa block on it, before first applying an abrasive, or for dressing it up after slicing it up accidentally with a razor.

    Some guys who use film still like to use rocks for bevel setting or edge repair. Whatever blows your skirt up. Just make sure you lap your stones when you get them, and re-lap periodically, because a stone that just LOOKS flat might not BE flat, and this will compromise your results.

    Diamond film is much more expensive than silicon or aluminum oxide film. However, it is much longer wearing and cuts somewhat more aggressively. For that reason, you might consider going with diamond film in 12u for a bevel setter. Just saying. Or 15u. Bear in mind that most diamond film is in dinky 6x6 sheets, or round pieces.

    For heavy edge repair, coarser sandpaper works well. Or you can use what I use... the cheap diamond hone sets that Harbor Freight sells. They are not as flat as a DMT so you must carefully follow up with something perfectly flat, such as your 12u film, and be double sure that your bevel is flat and consistent. The best way of that is to raise a full length burr by honing just one side, verifying the burr on the entire edge with your fingers, and fold the burr over to the other side by honing the other side. After verifying that you have a full length burr on the other side, do 40 alternating laps to remove it. THERE. perfect bevel, the foundation of a perfect edge. You should only ever have to do this one time, so don't worry about losing a few microns of steel.

    No, unless there is a valid reason to tape, I never tape a spine. Valid reasons, to me, are
    1. The bevel angle is too small, and I have verified that by measuring and calculating. The cure is to tape the spine for the next few years and let the edge wear catch up with the spine wear.
    2. The razor is a full wedge or near wedge. Initially I hone normally, without tape. This is time consuming because a lot of steel from a wide area of blade is being removed. When I have a bevel or nearly a bevel, I tape and put a compound bevel on the razor. To hone a wedge with a simple bevel would give an extremely small (about 11 degrees, typically I think... just pulled that figure out of my behind so don't quote me) bevel angle. Such an angle not only is almost impossible for most steel to support, but also subsequent maintenance honing would be too difficult. So, tape is added to the spine for the last one or two stages of the progression. Only the minimum laps should be given. The compound bevel at 18 degrees or a bit less, very narrow, on top of the small primary bevel, will give a most satisfying shave, and will maintain well. When stropping on pasted balsa for maintenance, you should add the same number of tape layers as when honing the secondary bevel, or minus 1 layer if you used more than 2 layers. Stropping on a hanging leather strop should not require tape.
    3. Spot-taping to correct a blade twist. I am still developing my technique on this so you are on your own. Hopefully you will never need to do this.
    4. Taping a spine to preserve it in pristine condition. I have never done this and I would never do this UNLESS I bought a razor with a worked spine purely as a collectors item, not for everyday shaving, and while I wanted to put a shaving edge on it, I would not be shaving with it very much at all, nor honing more than once every few years. To me, a razor is either a piece of art, or a tool, one or the other. A tool used honestly will show wear. It is meant to receive wear. I don't tape the heads of my hammers. I don't tape my wrenches or screwdrivers. They eventually show the results of the working environment. My razors, if they are honed and used, show evidence of being honed and used.

    To tape without a reason is to prevent hone wear to the spine. However, you are not preventing hone wear to the edge, are you? It is the ratio of their measurements that determines the bevel angle. You do want to keep the bevel angle in the sweet zone, right? Since the razor ought to last a couple hundred years, in spite of the fact that you yourself won't be using it that long, you don't want to mess it up in just a few years, right? Or maybe you do. Anyway, its up to you. Your razors. Do it like you feel it. But tape is evil.
    "A noble heart embiggens the smallest man." (Jebediah Springfield)

  3. #303
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickboone1 View Post
    The problem I see with going too wide is you have a lot of wasted film there. Just go as wide as you need to, as wide as the blade is. Anything else is just wasted. It won't get touched by the razor. If you scoot it over to where you have the tang or the scales on there it's too good a chance your blade will no longer have contact.
    Agreed, of course. 8-1/2" x 11" film should be cut in thirds, long ways. 9" x 13" film should be cut in thirds longways, or fourths sideways. The idea is to get at least 2-3/4" width, or extremely close to it, as a minimum so you don't have to x-stroke a straight edge. And have the longest possible stroke length. Cutting too wide is not such a bad thing except you get fewer pieces than you might get. More pieces of good enough size = more razors honed from that sheet of film.

    Letting the shoulder ride on the hone is probably the most common newbie mistake, and causes a lot of frustration.
    "A noble heart embiggens the smallest man." (Jebediah Springfield)

  4. #304
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    Would anyone be interested in doing a "honing trade"? Now that I have the complete set of films for the full progression (I had previously only been using as a finisher), I'd like to get someone elses take on my edge. I have an unknown maker Sheffield half to 1/4 hollow razor that would be a good candidate. What I'd like to do is this:

    We send eachother a blade that needs to go from bevel to finish and hone them up, send them on back, and post our review/opinions here after the shave. Anyone interested?
    T.J. -
    I tried a MMOC once. I've sinced switched to straight razor shaving because it was less dangerous.

  5. #305
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    Might this be a good way to try out lapping films, without having to buy packs of 10? Sheets are $1.05 ea. Shipping is $5.

    http://www.sfjssantafe.com/items.php?Gid=353

    Or are these sheets different than what is being called "lapping film" in this thread?

  6. #306
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon P K View Post
    Might this be a good way to try out lapping films, without having to buy packs of 10? Sheets are $1.05 ea. Shipping is $5.

    http://www.sfjssantafe.com/items.php?Gid=353

    Or are these sheets different than what is being called "lapping film" in this thread?
    I don't think that is lapping film, no. If it were, that would be an incredible price. It might still work for honing razors, if you use spray adhesive to apply it to your plate, but I have no way of knowing for sure. Still, $6.75 for the assortment is a small price to risk on something that might or might not work.

    I suspect that it is just what they say it is: polishing PAPER. Probably not water stable. Probably not as long lasting as film.
    "A noble heart embiggens the smallest man." (Jebediah Springfield)

  7. #307
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    After a go-round on one of my favorite shavers (Hamburg concave full hollow) Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, I begrudgingly admit, I shaved like garbage. Very sharp, but very harsh. I had finished it on the .3 film with paper underneath.

    So I switched it up and went with a different razor (another full hollow Solingen, don't remember the maker) and finished on the 1um film with paper underneath. MUCH better edge and much smoother. My face is a lot happier today. It would seem that the trial and error is the only real way to determine what works for you. For example, I had a very competent member here hone one of my razors on a Coti...with no offense to the honer, I hated it. Very "sticky" feeling to me.

    The 1um finish and 1um/.3um laps on the balsa...SAWEET!
    T.J. -
    I tried a MMOC once. I've sinced switched to straight razor shaving because it was less dangerous.

  8. #308
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    Coti="sticky"? Never heard of that nor have I ever experienced it. The honing job on the Coti could have been sub par.
    Rick

  9. #309
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    Quote Originally Posted by TnutsShave View Post
    After a go-round on one of my favorite shavers (Hamburg concave full hollow) Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, I begrudgingly admit, I shaved like garbage. Very sharp, but very harsh. I had finished it on the .3 film with paper underneath.

    So I switched it up and went with a different razor (another full hollow Solingen, don't remember the maker) and finished on the 1um film with paper underneath. MUCH better edge and much smoother. My face is a lot happier today. It would seem that the trial and error is the only real way to determine what works for you. For example, I had a very competent member here hone one of my razors on a Coti...with no offense to the honer, I hated it. Very "sticky" feeling to me.

    The 1um finish and 1um/.3um laps on the balsa...SAWEET!
    I strongly dislike the 0.3um edges. They are too fragile and fall apart, which is what leads to the harshness.

    1um, for me is definitely the "sweet spot". Either 1um film or 1um paste on a hanging strop is the nexus of sharp and comfy for me.
    One, two! One, two! and through and through...The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphim View Post
    I strongly dislike the 0.3um edges. They are too fragile and fall apart, which is what leads to the harshness.

    1um, for me is definitely the "sweet spot". Either 1um film or 1um paste on a hanging strop is the nexus of sharp and comfy for me.
    I'm inclined to agree. I'm still chasing HHT5, not so much because I feel like I need it to pass for a great shave as I know that's not the case. More so just because I want to see it with my own eyes.
    T.J. -
    I tried a MMOC once. I've sinced switched to straight razor shaving because it was less dangerous.

  11. #311
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    Quote Originally Posted by TnutsShave View Post
    I'm inclined to agree. I'm still chasing HHT5, not so much because I feel like I need it to pass for a great shave as I know that's not the case. More so just because I want to see it with my own eyes.
    I find HHT5 are only possible on wedges, other than that there is always a ting sound.

  12. #312
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    the other day i got a HHT7.... *(there was a small flash of light and a tiny scream as the hair separated ~1/8" away from the cutting edge)....

    couldn't shave with that edge tho.... kept nicking me when i tried to place it on my face....
    a nice walk in the woods helps me relax and relieves tension....

    the fact i'm dragging a shovel and a body should be irrelevant...

  13. #313
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    Quote Originally Posted by paco664 View Post
    the other day i got a HHT7.... *(there was a small flash of light and a tiny scream as the hair separated ~1/8" away from the cutting edge)....

    couldn't shave with that edge tho.... kept nicking me when i tried to place it on my face....
    Save those edges for forays into manscaping.....
    One, two! One, two! and through and through...The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

  14. #314

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    A question for all: how to keep the paper from coming apart under the lapping film during the final honing stages. I'm talking about the copy paper.

    As stated before, I checked my ego at the door when I came in.

    Thanks for your help.
    Author of "Achieving Domestic Bliss Through Better Pharmaceuticals"

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    Quote Originally Posted by A35335 View Post
    A question for all: how to keep the paper from coming apart under the lapping film during the final honing stages. I'm talking about the copy paper.

    As stated before, I checked my ego at the door when I came in.

    Thanks for your help.

    It seems to stay together pretty well through one "round" of finishing. I would use a new piece for every razor, however. Are you finding that it's coming apart on you?
    T.J. -
    I tried a MMOC once. I've sinced switched to straight razor shaving because it was less dangerous.

  16. #316
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    Maybe you're pressing down too hard?



    Or perhaps you need to invest in PicoPaper?
    One, two! One, two! and through and through...The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

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    Quote Originally Posted by A35335 View Post
    A question for all: how to keep the paper from coming apart under the lapping film during the final honing stages. I'm talking about the copy paper.

    As stated before, I checked my ego at the door when I came in.

    Thanks for your help.
    I would cut the paper smaller than the film.
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  18. #318

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    Probably have too much water on my lapping plate, I'll try just enough to keep it from sliding and take another whack at it. Thanks.
    Author of "Achieving Domestic Bliss Through Better Pharmaceuticals"

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    Quote Originally Posted by A35335 View Post
    Probably have too much water on my lapping plate, I'll try just enough to keep it from sliding and take another whack at it. Thanks.
    i usually just put a few drops and wipe my hand across them to spread them out... if it moves i add another couple drops....

    with the piece of paper i find if i simply dunk it in the glass of water i have handy *(when honing...) then lay it on the flat surface i have absolutely no slippage....
    a nice walk in the woods helps me relax and relieves tension....

    the fact i'm dragging a shovel and a body should be irrelevant...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TnutsShave View Post
    Would anyone be interested in doing a "honing trade"? Now that I have the complete set of films for the full progression (I had previously only been using as a finisher), I'd like to get someone elses take on my edge. I have an unknown maker Sheffield half to 1/4 hollow razor that would be a good candidate. What I'd like to do is this:

    We send eachother a blade that needs to go from bevel to finish and hone them up, send them on back, and post our review/opinions here after the shave. Anyone interested?
    Let's do it, man. If you don't have my address, PM me. Though, you should. I need yours, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon P K View Post
    Might this be a good way to try out lapping films, without having to buy packs of 10? Sheets are $1.05 ea. Shipping is $5.

    http://www.sfjssantafe.com/items.php?Gid=353

    Or are these sheets different than what is being called "lapping film" in this thread?
    That could be micromesh.... Other than when some members around here sell a package I haven't seen it any cheaper. Maybe you could write them and ask? Shoot, I'd like to know. Just ask is it lapping film or micromesh. If they don't know, maybe tell them to take a better photo of it. Post it here. Or, send you a small sample.

    I found a place the other day that is pricing it good, but $50 min. order or a $5 charge.

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