Couple of things I might add;
1) Never, ever, ever use slurry on your Shaptons past 1K. They are not designed for it & do not respond well to it.
What happens is that you have abunch of free floating loose grit particles on top of the stone, hitting into the edge every pass wrecking havoc. Not good.
2) There is really nothing to "get" with a Shapton. It's pure abrasives in a set, very hard matrix.
It abrades steel, nothing else to worry about, like slurry, soaking, whatever. Put it against metal & it will remove metal at any given grit size.
How you abrade the metal it is up to you.
3) Speed is a very relative thing.
You can never expect a Aluminum Oxide based stone (like 99.9% of all whetstones out there) to be as fast as a diamond stone.
Diamonds are far harder & has a very different, much more aggressive profile. Which makes them King at removing metal. But at the cost of very large & deep scratches.
That is why the are excellent when we need to cut a new bevel.
Simply put, I can spend 45 minutes on a Shapton 1.5K to cut a brand new bevel on a "ebay special" or I can spend 5 minutes on a DMT 325 & 10 minutes on a Shapton 1.5K & get the same result.
I usually avoid diamonds though & use my Shapton Glass 220 when some metal has to go. ABout the same speed as a DMT C/325 No harm in that. At all. It's just using the proper tool for the job.
I still claim, with the mindset of a madman, that the Shaptons are indeed fast, compared to any given grit size.
We must put speed in it's right context.
So, do not be afraid to use the 500 glass, when done, go to the 1.5K Pro & within minutes you will see a clear change in the way the light reflects of the edge.
Once it is all uniform, with no weird reflections & the blade easily cuts armhair, you're done. You have a new, fresh bevel that you can do whatever you want to do with.
No slurry, splash it regularly with water & if you get get a lot of swarf (not common when doing only razors) wipe it off with your hand.
Believe me, you will benefit greatly from keeping your Shaptons clean from 1K & up.
Not that you need to lap them mid session or anything, just regularly rinse of the swarf. AND DO NOT USE SLURRY! It's NOT a Coticule...
Last edited by honed; 04-26-2012 at 05:23 AM. Reason: spelling
Can-can scratch patterns!
Good comments, Honed... thank you. I have been leaving a very mild slurry on the stones, while I hone, from the quick lapping before each stone. I started doing this after watching the videos mentioned above. I will go back to spraying off the slurry before I lap and try to get more consistent. I also may consider getting a 220 to get those bevels going faster on heavy jobs.
I'm finding that the Pro 1.5 I just picked up is a nice transition from glass 1 to 4, but it seems terribly slow. I think I just may need to go lower in the grits and then up through that progression.
Thanks again, all, for your comments.
I see some very good advice so far, Gents!
Some of you know that I hone against some of the conventional thoughts out there, but I do use the Shaptons with some regularity
First, I recommend using the DMT to do most repairs and initial bevel setting. Even if you use tape to do the grunt work, and remove it for the actual honing.
2. The 500 Glass is an excellent and fast stone - it is a very good follower to the DMT to remove the diamond scratches. A light slurry from lapping will go really far, too. You can start with some circles and pressure, even if you came of the DMT, but no matter what, I highly recommend finishing with a lot of very light alternating strokes to really establish that 500 Shapton edge is rid of all the DMT and circle scratches.
3. The 1K can also benefit from a light slurry, too. I don't recommend it on any finer grit stones for razors. But if you used it on the 500, then you really should limit the use of slurry, IMO. Shapton - particularly the Glass stones - don't need help from a slurry, in fact, it will come back to haunt you. Once you've set things on the 500, you'll see a slightly toothy, almost serrated edge under the scope. The trick from here is to reduce the teeth and gradually thin the edge of the edge through abrasion. I would do about 100+ ultralight strokes, until the scratches of the 1K are clearly dominant all the way to the edge of the edge.
4. The 2K is as important in removing some of the exposed previous scratches from the 500 and 1K (any DMT scratches should be gone by this point...). Again, 100+ is good - we want to make the 4K the most effective, which means more on the 2K. Ultra light strokes are the key, and keep spritzing clean water to limit the amount of swarf buildup.
5. The 4K is a "critical leap" stone - where we change from sharpening to polishing. (A better progression would be the 4K-6K since that is the actual leap on the glass, but that's another topic). At this stage you want the edge of the edge, and the bevel to be as "pure" 4K scratches as you can get - you can't do too many strokes here (ultra light, and fresh water to limit slurry). You want to make that critical leap as easy as possible for the 8K.
6. On the 8K Glass, here's where your many strokes at the 4K will pay off. The edge will become polished for the first time. You really can't do too many strokes here, but if you find the edge of the edge fraying consistently, then you may need to reinforce the edge geometry with a piece of tape. If it frays here and there, then you probably missed some of the deeper scratches (my theory on overhoning can be found here). Be sure to keep the stone relatively free of swarf and to use ultra light strokes. 75-100 strokes or so should get you there, depending on the razor, but it may take more. Once you have FULLY established the 8K scratches, the speed at which the finer glass stones work is amazingly fast.
7. If you have followed my directions religiously to this point, you then only need about 10-20 ultra light strokes on the 16K. I find the shave directly off the 16K with only canvas and clean leather stopping to be very nice, indeed!
I hope this helps!
Last edited by jendeindustries; 04-26-2012 at 05:41 AM.
Just the fact that slurry is left on after lapping is enough for me...
That is OK with most other stones that are softer & to some extent depends on matrix breakdown.
Trust me when I say that the 1.5K is not slow. Not only from my experience, but from a lot of other very experienced guys. Look for other problems then speed of the stone..
Can-can scratch patterns!
Thanks, Tom... I'm seeing some good advice here that I can keep in mind the next time I sit down to hone.
On another side note... is anyone using an alternative to the expensive Shapton stone holder, such as the Steelex style adjustable holders? If so, do these fit well? Do the glass stones have enough clearance over the "lip" of the holder? Any other alternatives?
The Pro's have their box & those boxes works great for me & since the glass is the same size, you can use the Pro box for those too.
I usually put a piece of htissue underneath, to avoid grit contamination & to secure the stone even more.
Can-can scratch patterns!
I use a piece of 4x4 with a rubber mat on the bottom of the wood block, and between the block and the stone.
The wood is a piece of leftover treated fence post, but I wrapped it in plastic anyways.
This gives a little more clearance between the hand and work surface than the box that comes with the shapton pros.
and yes, no slurry after 1K, let the stones alone do the work. If you need to use slurry, you should rather go back a grit level and work some more there before jumping to the next grit.
I didn't get a chance to hone much this week, but two things from this thread that have already helped me out... 1) water with no slurry on the stone 2) spend more time on the 4k.
I will try to post some more notes later in the week if I am able to get some honing in.