08-02-2015, 07:21 AM
#1
  • Scoti
  • Member
  • Ontario, Canada
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So I've been reading around the forums lately and see many threads regarding hones and stones. What has hit me as the most puzzling is beginners asking if they got the right stones.

I've got to say most of the time people research which stones to get in advance of buying them.

You wouldn't blindly buy a car without researching it right? Hones are the same way. When buying a new stone you would have read something, somewhere that prompted you to get the stone(s).

Someone claiming that they've had success or from many people proclaiming their superiority over other stones...

This is basically what you need for honing a razor from scratch with the bevel not being set prior to honing.

A bevel setting stone 800-2000g
In reality the bevel can be set on a 4k as Lynn Abrams and many others have shown, any stone can set a bevel it's just a matter of how much time it takes. Coticules on slurry can set bevels but they take a long time depending on the specific coticule and its properties.

A stone to refine the edge 3000-6000g. I've never been one for synthetics and any good mid range stone will go well in here natural or man made.

A stone to finish the edge. 8000g and up. Back a few years ago an 8k stone was a finishing stone. People happily shaved off it. It will provide a great shave when done right. Honestly as I was once told you need to be nailing edges off the 8k before going to a finisher. Very true words.

There are many options to finish a razor ranging from Coticules, Black/Translucent Arkansas, Jnats, Eschers/Thuringians, Apache strata, Charnley Forest, Pastes and many, many more options if you want to go further then an "8k" edge.

Really hard to qualify an 8k edge as many stones use different binders and manufacturing processes that react differently with different steels.

I just don't like all the "this stone is better than that stone" hoopla. An 8k X should get you to roughly the same place as an 8k Y.

The goal is to obtain a nice, comfortable, clean shave, that's it.

Who's to say a $10 flea market stone won't give you as good a shave as a $300 dollar finishing stone. No body.

If people spent as much time fussing over the brand the manufacturer slapped on their synthetics, or which mine their stone was from. They would be dang excellent honers. The trick is to maximize what YOU can do on YOUR stones.

Everyone has there preferences and there's nothing wrong with that. Diversity is key, helps growth and change and keeps information flowing.

The only "right" stone(s) is the one that gets you shaving comfortably and happily.

Scott.




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 08-02-2015, 07:35 AM
#2
  • DLP
  • Senior Member
  • Missouri
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I agree with you you are saying above and the same hold true for brushs, razors, soaps/cream and pre/post shave products.

having said all of that what does your honing setup look like?

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 08-02-2015, 07:44 AM
#3
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I like my synthetics and the definite constant they provide when I go from my 1K Chosera bevel setter I want to know the exact number of the next stone in the progression, honemiesters and  straight razor users won't be fooled by Naniwa and Chosera hones if they didn't deliver, all synthetics are not born equal and niether are all naturals.

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 08-02-2015, 07:53 AM
#4
  • Scoti
  • Member
  • Ontario, Canada
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(08-02-2015, 07:35 AM)DLP Wrote: I agree with you you are saying above and the same hold true for brushs, razors, soaps/cream and pre/post shave products.

having said all of that what does your honing setup look like?

[Image: e3bb27167e0697eed0a5412655399176.jpg][Image: 653ab316cbcd6184354327471a87b2ad.jpg]

I use some more then others. Haven't really gotten all the stones I want but I have more then I need. If you have any questions about them please ask.


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 08-02-2015, 08:25 AM
#5
  • DLP
  • Senior Member
  • Missouri
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I like the Keen Kutter in the tin.  most come if a box if anything.  What is the black stone in the middle?

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 08-02-2015, 09:24 AM
#6
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Here's what I use:

Chip removing, serious bevel resetting: DMT 600

Bevel setting (normal): DMT 1000

Edge prep: DMT 8000 (yes, I sometimes go from a DMT 1000 to the 8000)

Finishing and gentle bevel resetting: Coticules (La Verte, La Grosse Jaune or unknowing 'vintage')
                                                     Oozuku Namito Karasu with several naguras (very versatile setup, perfectly capable of taking the edge from the 1000 stage on up to a phenomenal finish)

Pure finishers: Welsh tri-hone setup (nice, for the price)
                     Black Arkansas hones (only good for pure finishing)

-------------------------

You don't need all these hones, of course. My usual sequence is DMT 1000, 8000, FINISHER (Coti or Oozuku). Sometimes I'll throw in the Arks or Welsh hones after the coti - just for variation.

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 08-02-2015, 11:02 AM
#7
  • Scoti
  • Member
  • Ontario, Canada
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(08-02-2015, 08:25 AM)DLP Wrote: I like the Keen Kutter in the tin.  most come if a box if anything.  What is the black stone in the middle?

It's a really beautiful old barber hone, dual sided. The top of the tin is a beauty as well. The black stone in the middle is an 8"x3" Black Arkansas. Well broken in. Leaves an absolutely killer edge for me anyways.


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 08-02-2015, 11:04 AM
#8
  • Scoti
  • Member
  • Ontario, Canada
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(08-02-2015, 09:24 AM)yohannrjm Wrote: Here's what I use:

Chip removing, serious bevel resetting: DMT 600

Bevel setting (normal): DMT 1000

Edge prep: DMT 8000 (yes, I sometimes go from a DMT 1000 to the 8000)

Finishing and gentle bevel resetting: Coticules (La Verte, La Grosse Jaune or unknowing 'vintage')
                                                     Oozuku Namito Karasu with several naguras (very versatile setup, perfectly capable of taking the edge from the 1000 stage on up to a phenomenal finish)

Pure finishers: Welsh tri-hone setup (nice, for the price)
                     Black Arkansas hones (only good for pure finishing)

-------------------------

You don't need all these hones, of course. My usual sequence is DMT 1000, 8000, FINISHER (Coti or Oozuku). Sometimes I'll throw in the Arks or Welsh hones after the coti - just for variation.

How long are you on the 8k after a jump like that?


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 08-02-2015, 11:09 AM
#9
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My own progression Chosera 1K, Chosera 5K, Naniwa Snow White 8K, Naniwa 12K, Suehiro Gokumyo 20K. Here's a few shot's I took at X 500 magnification.


[Image: Chosera%201K_zpsp4tpm3u1.png~original]

[Image: Chosera%205K_zpsg6nmbjhj.png~original]



[Image: Snow%20White%208K_zpsspao0kk0.png~original]


[Image: Naniwa%2012K%202_zpsabjgn1id.png~original]

[Image: Suehiro%20Gokumyo%20%2020K_zpsklhpb4jt.png~original]

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 08-02-2015, 11:41 AM
#10
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(08-02-2015, 11:04 AM)Scoti Wrote:
(08-02-2015, 09:24 AM)yohannrjm Wrote: Here's what I use:

Chip removing, serious bevel resetting: DMT 600

Bevel setting (normal): DMT 1000

Edge prep: DMT 8000 (yes, I sometimes go from a DMT 1000 to the 8000)

Finishing and gentle bevel resetting: Coticules (La Verte, La Grosse Jaune or unknowing 'vintage')
                                                     Oozuku Namito Karasu with several naguras (very versatile setup, perfectly capable of taking the edge from the 1000 stage on up to a phenomenal finish)

Pure finishers: Welsh tri-hone setup (nice, for the price)
                     Black Arkansas hones (only good for pure finishing)

-------------------------

You don't need all these hones, of course. My usual sequence is DMT 1000, 8000, FINISHER (Coti or Oozuku). Sometimes I'll throw in the Arks or Welsh hones after the coti - just for variation.

How long are you on the 8k after a jump like that?


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I usually just stay long enough to tone down the scratches from the 1000. It's generally about 50-75 circular strokes/side followed by 50 X-strokes. I don't sweat the edge quality at this stage as long as the bevel is still properly set. Once I move to the coti or Oozuku+botan all the scratches are removed anyway. I just find the jump easier if I spend time on the 8000 before the switch to the natural hones. 

I follow the edge progress with a loupe.

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 08-02-2015, 12:56 PM
#11
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Technique and broad concepts are so important.
In some ways sharpening is made mystique and way too complicated, IMO. I recently read the Iwazi teaching manuscript for Japanese barbers, and my thoughts TODAY, after some time investigating are: It is excellent, as are some other sources, but overall it is exaggerated. And the way to learn sharpening is obscured by so much details
What do you think of this? I mean, take in all the details, and then break it down to something like this


ahem.. while I had good results sharpening like this this evening, no experience yet! Angel

Here´s my notes, Murray Carter goes more into what he does:
establish an edge and once that is done, keep the cutting triangle (edge) that way: clean stones, prepared corners, no leading edge on the pyramid above the edge setting stone. Strop on a hard surface, no leathering, and no thick slurry

Happy Sharpening Biggrin
Philipp

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 08-02-2015, 09:16 PM
#12
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I won't be adopting any of the above methods or techniques for sure I have no idea where some of his ideas come from.

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 08-02-2015, 09:47 PM
#13
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Oy! That's an interesting honing technique. Still, if it works for him all is well and good. 

I'll stick to my own technique though. Smile

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 08-03-2015, 05:21 AM
#14
  • Scoti
  • Member
  • Ontario, Canada
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He's a master blade smith. This is old news guys.


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 08-03-2015, 05:49 AM
#15
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Yep, and there's more than one way to skin a cat. 

As Bibblemann says, we sometimes over-complicate what is actually a simple process - grinding down a wedge of metal on finer and finer grits so that it will shave comfortably. There are many ways to get there, and they're all valid if the result works for the shaver.

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 08-03-2015, 07:33 AM
#16
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
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(08-03-2015, 05:21 AM)Scoti Wrote: He's a master blade smith. This is old news guys.


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But there is a schism between knife sharpeners and straight razor honers. The groups don't seem to really acknowledge how each can/have influenced the other. In the straight razor world Carter is considered a madman while he seems to believe the hone meisters have got it all wrong.

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 08-03-2015, 08:06 AM
#17
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As I went from knives to razors, where I am a Newbie, I have degraded my edges by multiple stones and stropping.
For me, what MC does and explains it is what I needed to hear.


My notes on what Murray Carters tought me by his videos:

establish an edge and once that is done, keep the cutting triangle (edge) that way: clean stones, prepared corners, no leading edge strokes on the pyramid above the edge setting level.  Strop on a hard surface and no thick slurry.

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 08-03-2015, 09:09 AM
#18
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(08-02-2015, 12:56 PM)Bibbelmann Wrote: Technique and broad concepts are so important.
In some ways sharpening is made mystique and way too complicated, IMO. I recently read the Iwazi teaching manuscript for Japanese barbers, and my thoughts TODAY, after some time investigating are: It is excellent, as are some other sources, but overall it is exaggerated. And the way to learn sharpening is obscured by so much details
What do you think of this? I mean, take in all the details, and then break it down to something like this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTV4ph1LE3c

ahem.. while I had good results sharpening like this this evening, no experience yet! Angel

Here´s my notes, Murray Carter goes more into what he does:
establish an edge and once that is done, keep the cutting triangle (edge) that way: clean stones, prepared corners, no leading edge on the pyramid above the edge setting stone. Strop on a hard surface, no leathering, and no thick slurry

Happy Sharpening Biggrin
Philipp

Oh no you brought up the Murray Carter video.  FOr those who don't know who Murray is he's a custom knife maker and one of the best knife sharpeners in the world. I agree with Murray's statement that all sharpening and honing is 90% technique 10% tools. The other thing about that video is Murray didn't shoot it all in one take, he messed up a few times ,or didn't get the edge he wanted and tried it again. That video you just posted as caused so much arguing among razor people that Murray actually told a mod from another forum to bring his stones and head out to Murray's place so he could show this mod he was for real and they could hone together. The mod declined.(all expense paid trip by Murray fwiw) I have spoken with Murray several times on the phone and through emails and the man knows what he's talking about. He lived in Japan for many years and is actually a certified Japanese bladesmith now I believe he is 18th generation. Hes one of the nicest guys you can talk to. If you have any questions for him just shoot him an email he will get back with you. I called BS on his honing methods a few years back and we had several conversations and eventually he proved me wrong.

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 08-03-2015, 09:35 AM
#19
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So my impression did not fail me Smile
It goes to show that technique is everything and the effort up to the user. Thanks, Justin!

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 08-03-2015, 09:41 AM
#20
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
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(08-03-2015, 08:06 AM)Bibbelmann Wrote: As I went from knives to razors, where I am a Newbie, I have degraded my edges by multiple stones and stropping.
For me, what MC does and how it explains it is what I needed to hear.


My notes on what Murray Carters tought me by his videos:

establish an edge and once that is done, keep the cutting triangle (edge) that way: clean stones, prepared corners, no leading edge strokes on the pyramid above the edge setting level.  Strop on a hard surface and no thick slurry.

But you are saying " as I went from knives to razors". Your experience and knowledge with knives is influencing how you look at and practice razor honing. That is a completely different experience from those who don't hone knives and that's probably the majority of those trying razor honing on the forums. To them MC may as well be speaking Greek and practicing his teaching impossible.

In trying to learn honing what is frustrating is the lack of a simple mechanical way of honing that gives the novice testable results to build on. I found following Lynn Abrams video with my Naniwa hone set a break through . He shows his circle honing method and pretty precisely the number of circles and hone strokes needed to arrive at a sharper razor. By simply duplicating his demonstration I got a sharper razor; not my yet to be completed honing education but I did see positive progress. The next problem would seem to be testing the razors edge as we hone it to understand if what we are doing is correct. Here an understanding of how to use the  thumb nail test, thumb pad test , hanging hair test and shave test would be important as ways of testing progress .

Its depressing to have read so much over the years about honing and the confusion , contradictions and lack of clarity universally experienced in everything I've read and seen.

" Honing is an art", " there are many ways to get to sharp" " for me using my coticule or Norton is all I need" " you'll find your own way of honing, that's right for you". A heavy hone should be thrown at the heads of the guys saying this because the newb is bound to experience failure in honing and what is needed is clear practical direction which leads to results  not so much " my theory of honing" or " the philosophy of honing you'll get when you learn how to hone.

Unlike other poets Bertolt Brecht's poems are clear and easy to understand , Brecht wanted to teach with his poems so he said he wrote them so that " even a donkey could understand them" . I think we need from experienced hone meisters a consensus of exactly what hones a newb should use that will insure the easiest and fastest results that lessens the chances of  frustration and failure and a practical demonstration of honing that even a donkey can understand and duplicate.

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