09-08-2014, 03:10 PM
#1
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Just curious... I used the scary sharp system, taken to extremes, for a Rolls Razor wedge blade and it's worked fantastically. Basically I could hone the blade to shave worthiness and I know nothing about honing.

Has anyone here used it for a straight razor?

If you don't know what it is google it. It's mostly used for shop tools, but they stop long before one stops for a shave worthy edge. I took my sheet stock up to 1u before going to the Rolls case to produce a secondary bevel (and then stropping). I'm 4 shaves and 4 blade stroppings in and I'm getting fantastic shaves and results. That's not what I expected as a nob honer and I can only give credit to the scary sharp system/method.

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 09-08-2014, 03:29 PM
#2
  • SRNewb
  • Senior Member
  • No. Va, USA
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I use it. Wet/dry on plate glass, 800 grit to set the bevel, up through 2500 or 3000 when I can get it. I often follow that with a couple hundred passes on a very hard Arkansas stone. Strop on webbing followed by leather. I get a great edge that shaves well and pops hairs with a nice "ping" on an HHT.
I will point out though, that this is an interim measure until I can afford a decent set of hones in the future. I think it's important for me to learn to hone on the proper stones(minimum 4/8k), but I get great, comfortable shaves with what I am doing at the moment.
But I have sharpened knives and tools all my life, and know what sharp is. I have never publicly mentioned this until this thread was started simply because I really believe it is my own personal experience over the years that has helped me to be successful doing this, and I would not recommend it to a novice. Probably a good way to ruin a razor and to put someone off the straight for life if it goes wrong. MHO.

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 09-08-2014, 04:46 PM
#3
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I honed some of my first small, extra hollow blades on a Rolls hone and got good results.

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 09-08-2014, 06:14 PM
#4
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Yes, you just use lapping film (oops, not micro mesh) instead of sandpaper for the final steps.

The finish is harsher, but it works. You're pretty limited in terms of finishing options though, unless you switch to a wetstone for the final finish.

Other than that, there's really no downside unless you sharpen a lot of razors.

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 09-08-2014, 08:20 PM
#5
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(09-08-2014, 03:10 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Just curious... I used the scary sharp system, taken to extremes, for a Rolls Razor wedge blade and it's worked fantastically. Basically I could hone the blade to shave worthiness and I know nothing about honing.

Has anyone here used it for a straight razor?

If you don't know what it is google it. It's mostly used for shop tools, but they stop long before one stops for a shave worthy edge. I took my sheet stock up to 1u before going to the Rolls case to produce a secondary bevel (and then stropping). I'm 4 shaves and 4 blade stroppings in and I'm getting fantastic shaves and results. That's not what I expected as a nob honer and I can only give credit to the scary sharp system/method.

Please give details of how you did it.

Mickey. Another loser addicted to Rolls.

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 09-08-2014, 10:19 PM
#6
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I'm still trying to figure out if the Rolls is a SE razor or a straight razor. I think it's both since the "guard" is there more to protect the blade from us, and to protect our fingers from the blade. It certainly isn't a safety razor. Hopefully this will be OK in this section.

Mickey I'll give full details in my Rolls adventure (in the SE razor section) when everything solidifies, but I can give you a quick rundown. Right now I'm still in the process of trying to make a system that anyone can use to get their Rolls in shape and keep it there.

The Scary Sharp system uses abrasive papers on a flat surface. The least expensive way to get that flat surface is to buy a piece of 1/2" thick "float glass". This is glass that is made by floating it on liquid sodium metal. My glass supplier called it annealed glass. But you want to make sure it's "float glass".

Since no wear occurs to that surface there will be no maintenance of it other than keeping it clean.

The other part of the Scary Sharp system uses abrasive paper, silicon carbide wet or dry paper. The coarse grade sets the bevel and makes the edge, the other grades remove scratches and refine the edge. I bought paper in the following grades: 800, 1000, 1200 (yet to arrive), 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000, 4000, 5000 (5u). That's where the wet or dry paper stops. From there you need to move to AlOx lapping film. It begins with 3u and goes to 1u, and .3u. So far I have yet to use the .3u lapping film.

I also bought a 20x B&L 3 lens (selectable) magnifier to better see the edge.

To start, remove the wire guard on the blade. Be careful and don't bend it excessively. Too, even though the blade is too dull for shaving it's probably still plenty sharp. If the blade is rusty use some wet or dry paper in 1200 grit or higher to polish it up. If the edge itself is rusty and pitted I suspect you'd need to do as I did (continue reading) to prep the edge prior to making the bevel and first edge. But I really don't know, it's just a guess. The magnifier would be extremely valuable to evaluate that edge. You don't want to refine an edge that is still rust pitted but invisible to the unaided eye.

Check the edge with the magnifier and see what you have. My edge had microscopic chunks removed from it. My mentor suggested I use a coarse grade of abrasive and use a slicing action on it to remove any loose metal and get down to a solid edge. When that was done I used the 800 grit paper, dry or with very little water, to set the bevel. One stroke is one pass on each edge. I have no idea how many strokes it took to set the bevel and get an edge, but you want this coarse abrasive paper to do that work. Understand, it's coarse paper to us, but quite fine for most other uses. It cuts fast so you won't be there all day. It might have taken 30 strokes for me to make the bevel and bet a sharp edge. Don't press heavily; very light pressure gets it done. Whoops! I forgot to tell you to just lay the blade on the paper. The cutting edge and the spine produce the proper angle. Don't place undo pressure on the spine; there's no need to abrade it away. If you wish to use the paper wet use a little water, but don't get the paper underneath wet. Mine curled and it needs to be flat. To make sure I had a good edge I used the magnifier and examined the blade. You need to make sure you have an edge at this point.

When I was done with a grade of paper I rinsed it off under a stream of water, dried it (blotted up water is more like it), and put it back into it's folder for use the next time. It would be a waste to trash it since it has so much life left in it. It would also be quite expensive to trash the sheet.

After the first step where the edge was made and the bevel set, from here on out all we do is remove scratches and refine the edge. Move to finer and finer grit papers (bigger numbers as long as it refers to grit). On the lower grades I used 6 strokes (1 pass on each edge), when I got to the finer grits I used 12 strokes (2500 or so). I also used a very small amount of water on the paper near about 2500 grit and higher. Again, don't get water between the paper and glass.

After 5000 grit we move to lapping film. Be sure the back of the polyester film is clean. use some detergent and a water stream to clean both it and the glass, wet is OK here since it's a polyester film and not paper. Again, using some water on the abrasive side use 12 strokes on the 3u and on the 1u. I didn't use the .3u, but I probably will next time to see what it does for the edge. I didn't check the edge after each abrasive grade after 800 grit, but just once in awhile through the progression. The edge looked really good after the lapping film point; almost mirror like. But I wasn't done.

I cut a piece of 1u film to fit on the Rolls hone. Use just a very thin film of petroleum jelly to make it adhere and work out any bubbles and such to make it flat. Also, before putting the film onto the hone make sure it's clean and flat, same goes for the back of the film. You need to take pains at this point. The edge we're working with is extremely fine. You also want to use a tiny bit of oil on the lapping film. Any oil will do, even vegetable oil. 2 drops is plenty, spread it out with a fingertip. Place the blade in the Rolls case and give it 20 strokes to set the secondary bevel. You may or may not notice a slight staining of the oil, but metal will have been removed whether you can see it or not.

I have a number of strops (since I'm experimenting with this process as it regards the Rolls) and I finished the blade with 30 stokes with a Rolls strop impregnated with .25u diamond, then after that another strop treated with balm and .3 - .4u FeOx was used for 50 strokes. After each shave I've been giving the blade 50 strokes on the FeOx strop. So far I'm 4 shaves into the blade and the shaves are incredible and the edge (secondary bevel)is like a mirror at 20x. It's extremely thin, but it's there and mirror like.[/i]

To find the abrasive materials I used Amazon. I goggled magnifiers or loupes to find my B&L 3 lens magnifier. It cost possibly $30 and it's worth every penny IMO. It's not easy to use (good thing I didn't get the 40x triplet!!) but it's getting easier each time I use it. It needs to crowd the edge to be seen and it tends to shade the required light. BTW, you want reflected light so the hands are doing many things to get it right... holding the blade to catch reflected light, and the other hand moving in closely yet not blocking the light, and the head moving in to use the lens. It's a juggling act to get it right and not at all easy. But 20x will show flaws in the edge. It'll also show it to be a thing of beauty when the edge is right.

Google diamond strop spray, or I can tell you where I bought mine, Straight Razor Designs. I bought both the .5u and .25u sprays, but so far have only used the .25u spray. It has worked fine. I bought both because I'm experimenting. It might turn out that one works better than the other, or it might turn out that either works as well as the other, or that neither is needed. I simply don't know yet.

After the blade has been honed and final sharpened I put some Renaissance Wax on it to keep the blade and more importantly, the edge, from rusting. A very thin film is all that's required. In the past I used petroleum jelly, but that makes for a very slick blade to hold. The wax results in an easily handled blade. I also like to put some of the wax on a fluffed up Q-tip and get the wax inside the blade where it connects to the Rolls sharpening jig. The guard needs to be put back on to the blade; does anyone really like to handle an extremely sharp but slippery blade? Not I. An edge that sharp will cut to the bone with only slight pressure, do I need to say, "Be extremely careful.", when putting the guard back on?

Ok, done the way I outlined above what can be expected? My first shave was really good but harsh. More stropping with the FeOx strop would make that first shave less harsh. Each shave thereafter has been even better as the edge gets further refined by stropping on the FeOx strop after each shave. I'm 4 shaves in and the last shave was just incredible.

It's a different sharp than a bladed shave. But my guess is that 98% of stubble was removed in the first pass on the last shave. After my normal 2 1/3 pass shave I had a BBS to rival any shave I've ever gotten. It's been 26 hours and I could use another shave, but too, I wouldn't be embarrassed to go out with what little stubble is felt by me. It was a really close shave. The Rolls is capable of a really nice shave. I never thought I'd get to this point. Be aware it requires a much different technique than any other razor with a handle. Forget "no pressure". Pressure is required, of a sort. So too is a firm hand. As Yoda would teach,"Don't try, do.". It's like breaking boards with your hand. Don't try to break the board you see on top, break the board 5 boards down, even if there's only one board there. That's the best I can describe it. If you're afraid of the blade you won't get a good shave. Treating it lightly as though it's a Muhle '11 R41 is definitely the wrong technique.

I was told that some folks can't get a decent shave after 100 tries. I was a fast learner once I realized the technique I knew and was employing wasn't going to work at all.

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 09-09-2014, 01:33 AM
#7
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Brian,
Thank you very much for that detailed information.

Now I must go about gathering the materials and also gather the courage
to make a start.

Mickey

P.S.

I have been working with a lady in Modi-in, Israel on an electric lathering bowl. She is a ceramic artist and potter.
The heat source is a common candle heater (about $5 to $7 CAN).
The bowl needed some alterations to work properly.
We both agree that we have gone about as far as we can.
I find it needs some minor alterations in my shaving protocol but that warm lather is so good. She - Michal Yoresh - named it after me.
Have a look.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/196465491/a...=related-0
M.O.

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 09-09-2014, 09:17 PM
#8
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Mickey, I first tried my hand at the kitchen knives. Just make sure the paper is flat or the knife will try to grab it and slice it. Use no water under the paper as it makes it curl; on top is OK. Use no pressure too. Just try to remove a slice of the paper while holding the knife at the proper angle; 15° or 20°. The paper must be held from moving too. Whichever angle you choose, it must be the same for every stroke. I took our knives to 2500 grit I think, but next time I'm going to stop at 1500 grit. A knife edge can be too sharp. At 1500 grit the edge still has micro serrations that help it to cut better. Or so it seemed as I was sharpening and testing the edge.

Honing a wedge blade is actually easier than a knife since the spine controls the angle and it's the same every time. Again, use no downward pressure. The less pressure used the sharper the edge. And no pressure on the spine either. I have a Rolls blade that I'm going to hone for a friend and someone thought that pressure on the spine was the way to sharpen it. It has pretty significant flats on the spine. I used a finger on the concave side toward the edge, my thumb pushing, and virtually no down pressure, just enough pressure to maintain contact with the abrasive. Make one pass, lift it up and pull it back, flip the blade, make another pass. That's one stroke. It's very fast but there's no need to hurry.

You'll do fine. It's really easy. Check out youtube for "scary sharp". They'll be aimed toward shop tools, but the technique is the same. One thing you'll run into will be the use of PSA backed papers. We don't use adhesive backing. Too, a piece of 12"x12" glass is fine. I noticed at least one video where the gent had a piece of glass 3' wide. Too, they'll go back and forth. Our wedge blades will only go in a forward cutting direction.

If you can find a good deal on a surface block, they're made of granite and are also highly flat, they'd also make a good surface for the paper. But compare prices. I didn't look hard, but the surface blocks that I found were 2x the price of the glass. Maybe you can find a used one for cheap. They are substantially thicker and heavier, and for me that was another strike against them. I need to store mine out of the way.

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 09-10-2014, 06:10 AM
#9
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Instead of wet/dry sandpaper or micro mesh, you could use lapping film. Some people interchange micro mesh with lapping film, but they are two different creatures. With regular straights that need a lot of edge repair, you can start at 30 micron and progress down, 15, 12 9,5,3,1,.03 and add paper under the last in the progression and do your laps again. Usually 40 to 60 laps each step gets the job done. Do a thumb test or skin shave test to see where the edge is. If the straight doesn't need a lot of work or isn't a near wedge like the Rolls you could start at 12 micron and work your way down.

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 09-14-2014, 04:12 AM
#10
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There are two threads devoted to this that have been kicking around for some time.
One started in 2011 with 40,000+ views and another that's 24 pages long with nearly 110,000 views.
Finishing with just 1Um film can leave a very nice edge but the trick is to lay a sheet of WET paper under the film for the final 25 or so strokes then linen with CrOx /diamond (.5) then strop.
One amazing edge.
Just demo'd it at a meet up and guys were amazed. One , a 30 yr. veteran of honing said this was the edge he's been searching for all these years. And he had over $5,000.00 worth of every stone made.

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 09-14-2014, 11:52 AM
#11
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Colton belting strop, Crox, 20-40x. If still not sharp enough 20x on a barber hone. If still not sharp enough... Back in the box and start with another one.

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 09-14-2014, 02:43 PM
#12
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(09-14-2014, 04:12 AM)mycarver Wrote: There are two threads devoted to this that have been kicking around for some time.
One started in 2011 with 40,000+ views and another that's 24 pages long with nearly 110,000 views.
Finishing with just 1Um film can leave a very nice edge but the trick is to lay a sheet of WET paper under the film for the final 25 or so strokes then linen with CrOx /diamond (.5) then strop.
One amazing edge.
Just demo'd it at a meet up and guys were amazed. One , a 30 yr. veteran of honing said this was the edge he's been searching for all these years. And he had over $5,000.00 worth of every stone made.

Interesting. Links?

$5000 of each stone? I'm glad I stumbled onto this as soon as I did then. No way would I have spent that! Disposable blades are extremely inexpensive compared to even one type of stone that gent has.

The Rolls subject was begun here maybe 1.5 years ago, and just dropped. I inquired and the gent didn't seem interested in pursuing it. But I certainly was interested in pursuing it since I was interested in the Rolls, had what I needed to get going and no where to turn for information.

Yeah, I know nothing about honing and I'm getting amazing results with what I'm doing. And I did the very first time. But instead of guessing about edge condition I examined it at 20x (reflected light) and didn't move from the 800 grit wet/dry paper until all issues with the edge were resolved and I had a good edge started. The rest is just removing scratches (I can see them at 20x) and polishing until I get to the secondary bevel using the Rolls case. The finished edge and secondary bevel are things of beauty and like a mirror.

But this thread isn't about the Rolls, though I appreciate the help. I was asking if it has application to straight razors.

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 09-14-2014, 04:20 PM
#13
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Sounds like you naturally knew what to do.

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 09-14-2014, 10:37 PM
#14
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LH66, with a Rolls blade it's easier to do than you can possibly imagine. Just get the bevel/edge right with the coarse grit. After that it's just removing scratches, basically.

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 09-15-2014, 12:58 AM
#15
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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(09-14-2014, 10:37 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: LH66, with a Rolls blade it's easier to do than you can possibly imagine. Just get the bevel/edge right with the coarse grit. After that it's just removing scratches, basically.

That is honing in a nutshell with any system. If you don't set the bevel properly at the start you are just polishing a, well you get the idea.

Bob

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