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    Senior Member richinva's Avatar
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    Naniwa 10k SS

    OK, so this occurred whilst honing a straight razor, but metal be metal (I think), so........

    My progression today was: 2k Gesshin, 4k GS, 8k Gesshin, 10k SS, what the? let's stop right there. Scratch pattern right off the 8k Gesshin was really sweet, and I thought, that 10k is going to be just oh so much more betterer, but, scratches got worse. Huh?? Went back to the Gesshin, scratches smoothed out. Tried several different combos, slurry, no slurry, etc., didn't change a thing. So, I went from the 8k straight to the 16k GS. Normally I would say this is a huge jump, but the metal doesn't lie, and the Gesshin handled it with no problem. I've witnessed the same thing off the 10k (pre-Gesshin) with knives, chisels, etc., but sort of pooh-poohed it off thinking it was the Indian and not the arrow, but now I'm not so sure.........Or is it the steel in the razor? I can understand not spending enough time on lower grits, but it shouldn't get worse. All honing with the least possible pressure.

    Any similar experiences?

    Rich

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    First of all, in terms of grit rating, 8k to 16k isn't a big deal. You're going from 2 micron particles to something like 1 micron particles. Not a big deal. A 2k to 4k jump is 7+ microns to 3.5 microns. That's a difference of over three microns and that's okay. There is absolutely no reason to put both an 8k and a 10k in the same sharpening scheme unless it is for a very specialized and desireable effect from a particular stone.

    As far as the Gesshin stones go, the 400, 1k, 2k, 4k and 5k stones are standard. It's hard to say what you should expect from the higher grit stones since Jon is always testing them and not bringing them in in large quantities. Nevertheless, the effect you observed is not uncommon.

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    Senior Member richinva's Avatar
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    So you're saying that the 8k may be higher than 8k and/or the 10k may be less than 10k?

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    I'm saying that grit rating and finish between different lines of stones don't always correlate. That is why many recommend staying within a particular line so you don't have these issues. Different abrasive particles have different shapes, not to mention other factors such as slurry effects, etc. There is more to finish than just grit rating.

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    If anything Grit rating is just confusing. Think of it as adding the words, super, best, ultra and whatnot, at the end of the day they really don't mean a damn. I would just focus on whether you like the finish or not and how it cuts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by memorael View Post
    If anything Grit rating is just confusing. Think of it as adding the words, super, best, ultra and whatnot, at the end of the day they really don't mean a damn. I would just focus on whether you like the finish or not and how it cuts.
    It would be less confusing if everyone used the same system. They don't, never will so for myself, I stick to what most makers of stones abide by and grade all the other stuff that doesn't play by the majority rule to the scale they shun. That, and being able to compare stones side by side makes the differences really stand out.

    But really, you're looking at several different stones that all behave in different ways with different steels and in different situations.

    Yes, a razor is still steel, but honing a razor is very much removed from what a knife or a tool is and as silly as it might sound, they all have very different needs from a stone and 'the Indian'.

    A razor is a low pressure honing situation with very little steel on the stone, and smoothness is of paramount importance. Things happen slowly with razors and that's just how it is. A knife can vary from a toothy, aggressive edge to super smooth, slick edge but a 'less than perfect' edge will still work very well, whereas something less than perfect in a razor will tear your face to pieces. Tools? All over the place.

    I'm not denigrating anyone's methods or what they like from an edge, but what works in one situation doesn't necessarily work in another.

    I don't know anything about the Gesshin stones other than hear say, but I do know about the SS 10K. Of any stone that I know of, the SS 10K is one of the slowest but smoothest stones available. If it's actually causing scratches, I have to wonder what external influences are causing that to happen. Is it contamination? Is it pre-existing scratches being brought out of the edge? Is it the known 'slowness' of the SS not taking out existing scratches as fast as say, the Glass Stone 16K, and it appears that the 10K is causing scratches, when in fact it can't get what's already there out fast enough? It could be any multitude of reasons, but the SS10K actually causing more scratches than a known 'fast' stone like the Gesshin 8K? Hard to fathom.

    As you obviously have the option to leave out the SS10K, and it's not pleasing to you, then leave it out! It's kind of like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer. If you don't like the end result, then stop doing it.

    I'm glad I don't have to rely on a SS10K, but I do have one, I have used it enough to know what it's like and the above is about the best idea I can come up with. It's smooth and slick, but slower than a glacier unless you can really push hard on it or only give it a little work to do. Razor folks seem to like them though. It's that ridiculous smoothness (slowness) that seems to attract them.

    I hope that helps somewhat,

    Stu.

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    What the others said, you more likely than not have stones that do not match well as far as how the result looks.
    If you really want to find out if those stones work together, shave with your razor after the 8k, 10k, 16k and see how the edge changes.
    Different stones will finish differently depending on the abrasive and the binder. The finish from 8k of one line may look finer than the finish from 10k in another line of stones, but the shave test tells you which you like better. For razors mixing and matching stones in progression works but one has to experiment a little bit to get the right mix, or go to a razor forum and get the info there.

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    Senior Member richinva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schtoo View Post
    .........If it's actually causing scratches, I have to wonder what external influences are causing that to happen. Is it contamination? Is it pre-existing scratches being brought out of the edge? Is it the known 'slowness' of the SS not taking out existing scratches as fast as say, the Glass Stone 16K, and it appears that the 10K is causing scratches, when in fact it can't get what's already there out fast enough? It could be any multitude of reasons, but the SS10K actually causing more scratches than a known 'fast' stone like the Gesshin 8K? Hard to fathom. ..........
    I guess that's my point. And you are most probably correct in I may not be using the previous stone enough. "can't get what's already there out...." Sounds more and more likely.

    Hammer analogy apropos in younger days, hopefully wiser than that now.

    Time to play with an old razor.

    Thanks.

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    Senior Member Cadillac J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schtoo View Post
    Of any stone that I know of, the SS 10K is one of the slowest but smoothest stones available. If it's actually causing scratches, I have to wonder what external influences are causing that to happen. [...] It could be any multitude of reasons, but the SS10K actually causing more scratches than a known 'fast' stone like the Gesshin 8K? Hard to fathom.
    Bingo. I've had a 10K SS for a long time, but have not really used it much because it leaves too nice/refined of a finish for my tastes on kitchen knives...so I couldn't imagine hearing that it was 'adding' scratches to any metal.

    I'm not familiar with sharpening straight razors, but the higher grit Naniwa SS series seems to shine (no pun intended) best when you build up some mud...but I'm not sure if that is copasetic in your realm.

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    Razor's in general are really complicated IMO, the varying steels and the varying stones used and the fact that you get to feel first hand what a razor cuts like on your face makes for a confusing combo when it comes to sharpening knives and razors and trying to use the "same" approach. I would definitely do the try different hones on one razor and stick with what works best. After trying about 30 different razors I finally found my perfect combo, a Puma 6/8 honed using nothing but a DMT C and a coticule, stropped on CROX. Some call me crazy, all I know is that works for me, been using the same straight and same coticule for about 4 years, no weepers and no irritation.

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