07-11-2015, 06:16 AM
#1
  • refles
  • Senior Member
  • New York
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Just started on the path of the straight razor, I've been playing with one several weeks and have had my ups and downs (more ups than downs but that could be because of the overall slowness of my technique) . I was wondering if/when the time comes just to keep the edge myself can I just use 1 stone for simplicity sake? Just to keep the edge not to reset anything, or is that the wrong approach and logic? 

I was looking at a Belgian Blue or Conticule, I realize the BBW would be a slower, longer process but have read (and believe) its a finer stone so the result is a smoother finish (?). But I'm not entirely sure as this is all accumulated book knowledge right now and there's a tremendous amount of detail online to go through and I haven't found exactly what I'm looking for. It could be that it isn't so that's why I don't see it, but wanted to ask for the guidance on this.

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 07-11-2015, 07:06 AM
#2
  • jtmke
  • Ex shaving hater
  • milwaukee
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You you can keep a razor up to snuff for a very long time with a finish hone

Naniwa 10 or 12k
Couticule 
Ck 12

Really anything above 8k can provide great shaves. Even 8k with great technique will work.

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 07-11-2015, 07:13 AM
#3
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Get yourself the Naiwa 12K then get your razors honed professionally and as long as there are no accidents you should be able to keep the razor maintained for a very long time.

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 07-11-2015, 08:01 AM
#4
  • refles
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  • New York
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Thanks jtmke, Jamie for the guidance there, was so focused those 2 stones for some reason I forgot about finishing stones, if my purpose is just to touch up and maintain the edge outside of stropping when necessary. 

is this the same purpose/intention as barber's hone, just more modern/larger setup rather than a small piece of stone that the barber's usually is?

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 07-11-2015, 08:51 AM
#5
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yes, the stones talked about are replacing a barber hone.
--
How doable is coticule sharpening for you?
If other, I d take the 3000/ 10 k combination stone from Naniwa. If you have small nicks in your blade it will take too long with a 8k,10k synthetic or  12k natural stone.

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 07-11-2015, 10:35 AM
#6
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I have been using straight for over a year and had them professionally honed when bought. I have a coticule that I use for touching up the razors and so far it's working well. When the razor needs honing again I plan on sending them out but I anticipate that would be awhile since I've been able to maintain the edge so far with the coticule. For now I don't have any intention of learning how to hone so in happy with this setup.

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 07-11-2015, 12:06 PM
#7
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(07-11-2015, 08:01 AM)refles Wrote: Thanks jtmke, Jamie for the guidance there, was so focused those 2 stones for some reason I forgot about finishing stones, if my purpose is just to touch up and maintain the edge outside of stropping when necessary. 

is this the same purpose/intention as barber's hone, just more modern/larger setup rather than a small piece of stone that the barber's usually is?

Yes definitely I'm not anti Coticule but I would advise against one for refreshing your razors and stay with the Naniwa, also get yourself a few sheets of 320 wet & dry a large marble food prep slab from your local supermarket which are perfectly flat so you can slap your paper on plenty of water just to lap your Naniwa occasionally, cheaper than investing in a DMT plate, also no need to soak your Naniwa just spray and away to go always store the stone in a cool dark dry area never allow to dry in the sun.

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 07-11-2015, 01:15 PM
#8
  • Macko
  • Senior Member
  • Virginia
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I'm with Jamie on the Nani 12k, with a good bevel set ( and a good strop), it will keep you going for years.

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 07-11-2015, 06:27 PM
#9
  • refles
  • Senior Member
  • New York
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(07-11-2015, 08:51 AM)Bibbelmann Wrote: How doable is coticule sharpening for you?
If other, I d take the 3000/ 10 k combination stone from Naniwa. If you have small nicks in your blade it will take too long with a 8k,10k synthetic or  12k natural stone.

I don't have any preferences right now so I wouldn't mind to try ( the key word  Angel  using a conticule if that's the guidance being given. I haven't sharpened anything in so many years I can only recall having watched my grandfather do it, nothing more. So it would be learning the complete process from scratch in this case. I do see your point if I do have any accidents that causes a nick in the blade or what have you so having something so fine would be extremely time consuming but not impossible. 

Thanks for the response, I'll look at the potential of a Naniwa combination stone. 

(07-11-2015, 10:35 AM)CanuckShaver Wrote: I have been using straight for over a year and had them professionally honed when bought.  I have a coticule that I use for touching up the razors and so far it's working well. When the razor needs honing again I plan on sending them out but I anticipate that would be awhile since I've been able to maintain the edge so far with the coticule. For now I don't have any intention of learning how to hone so in happy with this setup.

Your process sounds like what I'm after at the end, complete honing by a pro which may or may not happen depending on the level of skill I acquire being about to touch up the straights I have with the single stone. Thanks for sharing as I thought my idea was a bit silly and didn't know if it was sound. 

(07-11-2015, 12:06 PM)Jamie Mahoney Wrote:
(07-11-2015, 08:01 AM)refles Wrote: Thanks jtmke, Jamie for the guidance there, was so focused those 2 stones for some reason I forgot about finishing stones, if my purpose is just to touch up and maintain the edge outside of stropping when necessary. 

is this the same purpose/intention as barber's hone, just more modern/larger setup rather than a small piece of stone that the barber's usually is?

Yes definitely I'm not anti Coticule but I would advise against one for refreshing your razors and stay with the Naniwa, also get yourself a few sheets of 320 wet & dry a large marble food prep slab from your local supermarket which are perfectly flat so you can slap your paper on plenty of water just to lap your Naniwa occasionally, cheaper than investing in a DMT plate, also no need to soak your Naniwa just spray and away to go always store the stone in a cool dark dry area never allow to dry in the sun.

Understood, my most sincere thank for the thoughts and guidance given thus far. I'll be reading up on Naniwa shortly and will probably lean towards that direction. Based on how you describe it its not that intensive a maintenance routine for the Naniwa. 

Because the Naniwa are synthetic it should take a bit of time before the surface isn't level anymore, would that be a correct assumption or its not level out of the box?

(07-11-2015, 01:15 PM)Macko Wrote: I'm with Jamie on the Nani 12k, with a good bevel set ( and a good strop), it will keep you going for years.

Awesome, thanks for the reassurance as that's my end game. Many thanks to you Macko, Jamie, Bibbelmann, [b]CanuckShaver [/b]for your input on this concept I had. Watch and reading about this online you always see the gents with the 2 or more stones working their progression and your like...wow.... that's a ton of work, time and clean up (with an infant and toddler around hence the idea to try to keep it to 1 stone). 



I welcome and thank in advance any other thoughts on this or if I've overlooked something. Been using a straight for the last several weeks and have definitely enjoyed the experience.

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 07-24-2015, 04:55 AM
#10
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(07-11-2015, 06:27 PM)refles Wrote:
(07-11-2015, 12:06 PM)Jamie Mahoney Wrote: Yes definitely I'm not anti Coticule but I would advise against one for refreshing your razors and stay with the Naniwa, also get yourself a few sheets of 320 wet & dry a large marble food prep slab from your local supermarket which are perfectly flat so you can slap your paper on plenty of water just to lap your Naniwa occasionally, cheaper than investing in a DMT plate, also no need to soak your Naniwa just spray and away to go always store the stone in a cool dark dry area never allow to dry in the sun.

Understood, my most sincere thank for the thoughts and guidance given thus far. I'll be reading up on Naniwa shortly and will probably lean towards that direction. Based on how you describe it its not that intensive a maintenance routine for the Naniwa. 

Because the Naniwa are synthetic it should take a bit of time before the surface isn't level anymore, would that be a correct assumption or its not level out of the box?



(07-11-2015, 01:15 PM)Macko Wrote: I'm with Jamie on the Nani 12k, with a good bevel set ( and a good strop), it will keep you going for years.

Awesome, thanks for the reassurance as that's my end game. Many thanks to you Macko, Jamie, Bibbelmann, [b]CanuckShaver [/b]for your input on this concept I had. Watch and reading about this online you always see the gents with the 2 or more stones working their progression and your like...wow.... that's a ton of work, time and clean up (with an infant and toddler around hence the idea to try to keep it to 1 stone). 

I welcome and thank in advance any other thoughts on this or if I've overlooked something. Been using a straight for the last several weeks and have definitely enjoyed the experience.

The Naniwa is actually quite a bit 'softer' than coticules or some of the other synthetic hones so it would need lapping more often than the others. To put that in perspective though, if you're only using it to refresh/maintain a couple of razors a few times a year, we're talking about needing to lap it once ever 3-5 years whereas a coticule under similar light usage would need it probably once every 30. And lapping the Naniwa should only take ~10 minutes (if that) so you're not talking a lot of work.

As Jamie mentioned, a marble food prep slab is a great lapping surface.  If you want to go even cheaper, you can also pick up a good 12"x12" marble floor tile from Home Depot or Lowe's for under $5. First, go to the hardware department and grab a carpenter's square off the shelf... take it over to the flooring department and use it to make sure the top surface of the piece of marble floor tile you're getting is flat... then put the t-square back in the hardware dept. where you found it.  Worked like a charm for me, and I've used that piece of floor tile to lap more hones than I can remember. 

You can also check for sandpaper while your there. Silicon carbide is best -- it holds up better to stone (synthetic or natural). It's great for metal so it's usually found in the auto body section of car part stores but HD or Lowe's might carry it.  If not, aluminum oxide sandpaper (used for wood and metal) should work okay too. Whichever you use, be sure to rinse the hone when you done so no sandpaper particulate remains on it.

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 07-28-2015, 10:50 PM
#11
  • refles
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  • New York
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(07-24-2015, 04:55 AM)Malacoda Wrote: The Naniwa is actually quite a bit 'softer' than coticules or some of the other synthetic hones so it would need lapping more often than the others. To put that in perspective though, if you're only using it to refresh/maintain a couple of razors a few times a year, we're talking about needing to lap it once ever 3-5 years whereas a coticule under similar light usage would need it probably once every 30. And lapping the Naniwa should only take ~10 minutes (if that) so you're not talking a lot of work.

As Jamie mentioned, a marble food prep slab is a great lapping surface.  If you want to go even cheaper, you can also pick up a good 12"x12" marble floor tile from Home Depot or Lowe's for under $5. First, go to the hardware department and grab a carpenter's square off the shelf... take it over to the flooring department and use it to make sure the top surface of the piece of marble floor tile you're getting is flat... then put the t-square back in the hardware dept. where you found it.  Worked like a charm for me, and I've used that piece of floor tile to lap more hones than I can remember. 

You can also check for sandpaper while your there. Silicon carbide is best -- it holds up better to stone (synthetic or natural). It's great for metal so it's usually found in the auto body section of car part stores but HD or Lowe's might carry it.  If not, aluminum oxide sandpaper (used for wood and metal) should work okay too. Whichever you use, be sure to rinse the hone when you done so no sandpaper particulate remains on it.

John, thank you for adding your perspective localized insight as I think I will be using this to walk through home depot!


I was reading lapping progression, for the sandpaper route would that have any benefit to the synthetics of natural stones? Quick search on Amazon showed silicon carbide to come in 220, 320 and 400 grit flavors. Would a 220 grit paper leave fine lines on a stone that may impact the blade's edge? 



Just an update here as well.. been reading up on the Naniwa's and other synthetic options and seeing that I may try and learn to maintain my Japanese kitchen knives as well. But I've also been looking up coticules as well as I see that its fairly common but the wealth of information regarding coticules is head spinning. That the characteristics on the coticule can change depending on which area of the larger rock it comes from!?! 


Thank you very much all for all the great help as I definitely have gone back to this thread to simply re-read everyone's thoughts as I learn more about the stones to see what new realizations may have missed based on the responses initially.

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 07-28-2015, 11:52 PM
#12
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naniwa lapping stones are 220 grit. 220 or 320 should both work fine. i have used both and have not had any bad effects. you should flatten at least twice to be sure.

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 07-31-2015, 02:32 AM
#13
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Firstly welcome aboard, good luck with straight razor shaving. If you planing to buy only professionally honed razors then Naniwa 12k is very good option for only touch ups and maintain the edge for a long time. I tried Chinese PHIG(C12k), Coticule and Naniwa 12k for finishing or touch ups, I can say Naniwa 12k is top notch. If you want to hone your own razors in near future, I suggest synthetic hones such as Norton 4/8 or Naniwa 3/8 then Naniwa 12k. Every individual natural hone has it's own features and learning time, Coticule on the other hand is a different world for sure. If you want honing with only 1 stone, you can use Coticule. It takes time for sure but it is a cheap and viable option for one stone honing. It took me almost 1 year of practicing and more then 100 tries on my Coticule to get keen and very smooth edges. My Naniwa 1-3-8-12 progression on the other hand is solid, easy and same fantastique results every time Smile

For lapping 220/320/400 progression is good for synthetic stones but for my natural stones I go up to 1200 grit. I use 400 grit diamond lapping  plate and it works good. Naniwas are soft but I lap my stones after every honing session to prevent cloging so I don't need to worry about Smile

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 07-31-2015, 08:13 AM
#14
  • refles
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  • New York
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(07-28-2015, 11:52 PM)lostinhk Wrote: naniwa lapping stones are 220 grit. 220 or 320 should both work fine. i have used both and have not had any bad effects. you should flatten at least twice to be sure.

(07-31-2015, 02:32 AM)Chinaski Wrote: Firstly welcome aboard, good luck with straight razor shaving. If you planing to buy only professionally honed razors then Naniwa 12k is very good option for only touch ups and maintain the edge for a long time. I tried Chinese PHIG(C12k), Coticule and Naniwa 12k for finishing or touch ups, I can say Naniwa 12k is top notch. If you want to hone your own razors in near future, I suggest synthetic hones such as Norton 4/8 or Naniwa 3/8 then Naniwa 12k. Every individual natural hone has it's own features and learning time, Coticule on the other hand is a different world for sure. If you want honing with only 1 stone, you can use Coticule. It takes time for sure but it is a cheap and viable option for one stone honing. It took me almost 1 year of practicing and more then 100 tries on my Coticule to get keen and very smooth edges. My Naniwa 1-3-8-12 progression on the other hand is solid, easy and same fantastique results every time Smile

For lapping 220/320/400 progression is good for synthetic stones but for my natural stones I go up to 1200 grit. I use 400 grit diamond lapping  plate and it works good. Naniwas are soft but I lap my stones after every honing session to prevent cloging so I don't need to worry about Smile

Chinaski lostinhk, firstly Welcome to the Shavenook! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I was wondering if synthetics needed to be lapped up that high, so that's good info that they don't but that the naturals do.  Will report back as probably will just settle and pick a stone shortly.. but realized its not that important yet as my new straight came honed already. Love the information I've been getting on this... much appreciated, thank you all!

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