11-30-2019, 04:32 PM
#1
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Gents,

What do you all think about the hanging hair test?

I could sort of care less, since the hanging hair test isnt putting the tool to the face to remove hair.  I am also not so sure that you can’t get a superb shave from a razor that doesn’t pass it.

That being said, it is a fun little trick and it impressed the hell out of my six year old daughter and 12 year old son!  

Just for fun I killed the edge, re-honed, and finished the Wacker razor with the purple welsh which I will be using Monday morning.  I really really liked the tactile and auditory feedback from the Purple Welsh, and the resulting edge did look a little better to my eye under a 10x loupe than I have achieved with my ZG.  So I figured I would try the fabled HHT.  It passed at multiple spots along the edge.  

Since this was the first time I tried this test...I was surprised that it worked with a solid “plink-plink-plink” over and over again.

I am going to really finish the razor tomorrow with 7 light laps on a CrOX treated felt pad strop, rough leather strop, and then smooth leather strop before shaving with it Monday morning. 

I guess we will see how it goes...should be nice after taking the weekend off from shaving!

Vr

Matt

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 12-01-2019, 04:59 AM
#2
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I hone a lot of razors and I use it, I have my own personal calibration test,  my HHT is different from the many tests I have seen, my test requires the razor to remain stationary absolutely no movement of the blade, then with a fairly long hair move the hair slowly to the blade using a light touch the edge should easily cut the hair.

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 12-01-2019, 05:06 AM
#3
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(12-01-2019, 04:59 AM)Jamie Mahoney Wrote: I hone a lot of razors and I use it, I have my own personal calibration test,  my HHT is different from the many tests I have seen, my test requires the razor to remain stationary absolutely no movement of the blade, then with a fairly long hair move the hair slowly to the blade using a light touch the edge should easily cut the hair.

Thanks Jamie! I will fool around with that after I try the CrOX.

I hope that all is well!

Vr

Matt

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 12-07-2019, 07:02 AM
#4
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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It’s a lot of fun watching you learn Matt, I’ve honed SR for >10 years now, and it’s a lot of fun. The rocks can be a rabbit hole though, just wait until you get into jnats or coticules! Here’s some thoughts on HHT.

Pros:
- the single job of a SR is to cut hair, so cutting hair is a good test
- you can, and should, test every mm of an edge whether your learning or a pro - testing very short sections is difficult with other tests
- the test is different root in from root out. This difference can tell you about sharpness. Hair is more difficult to cut root in.
- with a good loupe, the HHT test can take you from bevel set to finish, no other tests needed unless you just want to, and learning other tests is good

Cons:
- hair from different heads is different, even from different places on the same head. Hair extensions are a good source of consistent hair
- it’s difficult if not impossible to really compare sharpness between different types of stones, jnat vs synth, coticule vs thuri, etc
- like all tests, you have to practice, observe, and learn

I use HHT to determine bevel set and the fineness of the final edge.

In determining bevel set, I usually use a loupe until I can no longer see any edge artifacts, no shiney lines, sparkly thingys, and the edge itself is straight and even, and the scratch pattern is uniform toe, middle, and heel. Then after 4k or 5k, I strop 10 canvas/20 leather on a Kanoyama strop, but any strop will do fine. The edge should easily pass HHT along every mm of the edge. If it does, I’m 5-10 minutes away from a perfect edge. Stropping between grits, especially the first time that you hone a razor, brings up a little polish and helps you see stuff with the loupe.

The finished edge, after stropping should return silent HHT root in or out. But often it doesn’t. For example if you haven’t hit the heel and or toe as well as the middle, and the loupe will show coarser scratches there compared to the middle. Sometimes a razor will have a little frown or overgrind (sometimes just on one side) that’s difficult to see but the HHT has no problem identifying part of the edge that isn’t as sharp as the rest of it. Sometimes steel, especially vintage steel, can’t hold an edge from very fine finishers, and the HHT will get worse as you get above say 12k or using an extremely fine jnat. It doesn’t happen too often, but it does happen. If it does, try a layer of tape to increase the bevel angle a little.

Tips
- humidity makes a difference. When my test hair dries out in winter, nothing will pass HHT until I humidify it a little. You can also pass the hair between damp fingertips before testing. Coticule.be recommends this
- the old coticule.be site has some good info on HHT worth reading
- sometimes any given single hair won’t cut, it’s damaged or something, IDK. If your edge that should cut hair doesn’t, the first thing to do is try another hair!
- use hair that’s clean, undyed, and unconditioned
- use dark hair - I use a piece of paper as a background to see how the hair performs at the edge, and most paper is white, blonde or light hair is a lot more difficult to see
- how the hair behaves when it touches the edge is worth noting, if it catches and cuts silently with no effort, you’re there. If you have to work it, you’re not
- on very hollow razors, sometimes the hair will ‘ping’ as it cuts, Filarmonicas can exhibit this. If it pings, you can do better. If you can get silent HHT root in or out on a full hollow razor, the razor is holding the edge and you’ve done a good job honing it

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 12-07-2019, 12:06 PM
#5
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Wow! Thanks Steve! This is great information! I sort of intuitively thought that stropping between steps in the progression might help!

It just makes sense to me to refine the edge as much as possible in every step, obviously and especially in the last one.

Have a great weekend!

Vr

Matt

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