lets have a new razor thread.

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Desert Rat

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Day 1
Oxford German

View attachment 70783
I deliberately picked my weakest finishing coticule first. I actually use this one the most. It's the larger one from the pic above. It's fantastically fast from bevel set to pre finish and then it never really gets any better. The shave was as I expected. Plenty of sharp enough for my cheeks and mustache. My neck was rough. I usually do one pass South and one pass North. With this coticule I always get a little worried because the south pass it seems to just barely get through. But then you do the other pass and a little tugging, but it's alright. Beats the hell out of contact slices from an ultra lively edge any day.
And then you think, well it's not really that close, it didn't feel that close. But you wash your face and it looks pretty good. And you think well it won't last. But it does. It just works. No thrills but no risks either.

Day 2 - This morning
View attachment 70784

This one is quality. I was impressed. The coticule plus a little heavier grind is a real winning combo for me. The red imp 132 wedge is about a half hollow. It has a sister the 133 that is about 3/4 hollow. They are great razors with terrible scales. I got lucky on this one, the scales are great. So was the shave. The extra weight eliminated the tugging problem I had with the lighter blade yesterday.

Tomorrow I'm using a Torrey "Our Beauty".

Coincidentally, I got a 1890s Torrey 4 Step Paddle Strop/Hone in the mail today and the hone portion is a coticule. So I'll have to pick out 3 more razors to hone and include it in the competition. I made a little video to show it off.

Good stuff Stringer. Love that Torrey paddle strop.
I seen one of those red imp razors today at a antique store. Wanted a little more then I was willing to pay but it was in real good condition and a handsome razor so perhaps it wasn't that far out there.

Are you using any particular honing method with the coticules or just winging it? Plain water?
 

stringer

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Good stuff Stringer. Love that Torrey paddle strop.
I seen one of those red imp razors today at a antique store. Wanted a little more then I was willing to pay but it was in real good condition and a handsome razor so perhaps it wasn't that far out there.

Are you using any particular honing method with the coticules or just winging it? Plain water?
Here's my progression after bevel set on SP 1500. This is a little bit overkill on purpose. You can't really overhone on coticules, but this should be enough strokes to get close to maxing out the potential of each stone.

Each razor has had the bevel fixed and set with the Shapton Pro 1500. After that each got the exact same progression, just with different coticules.

Dilucot
3 rounds
1. Medium slurry generated by the other coticules - 50 laps
2. Dilute by 1/2 - 50 laps
3. Flood with fresh water, drop of propylene glycol - 50 laps
4. Plain linen strop - 50 laps
5. Horsehide Shell Strop - 50 laps

The three coticules are described above.

Today I used a Torrey with faux tortoise scales. This one is a little bit of a lightweight for me. Everything about it is dainty. Thin spine, 9/16

, light scales. The shave was uneventful. Plenty keen enough. Very comfy, especially around the mustache. I would like to find one of these in 6/8. I have one but it's in really rough shape and by the time I get rid of all the rust and pitting it will probably end up a 4/8.

IMG_20200207_084857.jpg


Tomorrow I move to coticule candidate #2. First test razor will be Union Razor Works, NY with bone scales.
 

stringer

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Coticule #2 is a true finisher in my opinion. I would not hesitate to sell a razor finished on this hone so being shave ready. That first one is just not quite there. I get irritation from tugging on my neck and the against the grain pass on the mustache is not as close or as smooth cutting as I prefer. That is a delicate balance, because when you try to up the keenness it's difficult to maintain the smoothness. I really enjoyed my shave with the Imp wedge. But that's an exceptional razor in great shape with a heavier grind. The 1890s hollow grinds on the other two just didn't get enough firepower out of this stone to suit me. I don't think it would take much to bump them up. And back to that balancing act. I never get tugging with my Japanese razors finished on CBN. But I never get contact slices or weepers with a razor finished on a coticule.
Candidate #2 gets razors plenty sharp. Still really smooth. Yesterday I used the Union Cutlery Works with bone scales. Heavy but even hone wear. The shave was excellent. No pulling. This stone feels creamier and finer when you are using it and the edge produced reflects that feedback.

IMG_20200208_072452.jpg


Today I used a stainless steel scaled razor that is simply marked "SOLINGEN". I think that these stainless steel versions were surgical razors. At least, I have a similar Heljestrand that I'm certain was a surgical razor. Heavier grind. I would call it half hollow. The blade width is less than 5/8 but it still feels substantial in your hand due to the grind and the heft of the steel scales. This thing is a precision instrument. I will probably sell all of these razors eventually but I predict I'll hold on to this one for quite awhile. It's pretty special. The grind is perfect for me and with this coticule edge it becomes the velvet squeegee. I did a rub with alum block after and there was no burn whatever.

IMG_20200209_071414.jpg


IMG_20200209_073350.jpg
 

stringer

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I would call that a near wedge or quarter hollow at most, not that there is anything wrong with heavy grinds.

This is my type of grind.


That's a bellied double hollow. I like those too. They don't do so great off of coticules for me. Too much chatter. The classifications of the grind types are all pretty subjective, that's why I include the pictures. There are so many different ways of achieving the grind. And the words changed in meaning a lot over the years.

Here is 7/8 Hollow



I consider this one to be about a 3/4 hollow


IMG_20191104_112515.jpg


I have stuff that's etched Extra Hollow Grind or Double Hollow Grind that has a heavier grind than that stainless one.

IMG_20191030_180436.jpg




Half hollow

IMG_20200206_070049.jpg


IMG_20200209_073350.jpg



Here's what I would call a near wedge.
IMG_20200122_211937.jpg
 

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VICTOR J CREAZZI

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The classifications of the grind types are all pretty subjective, that's why I include the pictures. There are so many different ways of achieving the grind. And the words changed in meaning a lot over the years.
:Iagree:

My personal method of classifying a grind is to mentally place a straight edge on the hollow, if the sagitta is half way to the center line of the razor, then that grind would be ~ half hollow, etc... That at least takes the subjectivity out of it because these dimensions could actually be measured, but as you say the whole thing is so variable that it's pointless to argue about.
 
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kayman67

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I need more razors :D

I found this No. 8 and it was so used that both sides were as one, really burnished and ultra smooth. I decided to experiment some things. I lapped the hone, started conditioning (it's still far from fully done). I had time to only test how fast this can recover a killed edge. From not cutting anything to shave capable took 40 passes on each side and another 40 on clean leather (I just decided to stay with 40 for a bit of symmetry, I did cut tests every few passes on the hone). Now, it wasn't the best shave that razor has to offer, but there's room for improvement since the hone was just starting to work. Under is the other one.
20200209_021140.jpg
I'm curious what was the condition you found yours.

Moving on to coticules, these are just crazy stones. I would say more than Jnats. The big one right here gives such a comfortable shaving, it's on par with best Jnats I used or know to date. Such a good stone. And what's interesting is the fact that it shouldn't be, based on the noise it makes (you would think it's gravel even without slurry), unless under running water when gets dead silent. I've looked at the edge and the pattern is super fine with no scratches at all. Usually with coticules, the need for stropping is a given. So I tried something after this (I did it before many times, but not with the same results). I stropped on the finest Jende poly strop (with same compound obviously, as the strops are the same without the compound, being color coded just for convenience and not preloaded). That's 600k I think. I'm a bit sad I found out about the sales just too late. All out of stock now. I would have wanted to buy some more of this. Anyway, I did just 20 passes. After, I got maybe the closest shave possible with anything. Still very comfortable and no signs of being too sharp or aggressive. First pass was so close, I barely could feel anything left and I just didn't do the second. As a side note, it lasted longer than a 2 or 3 passes. I might have some idea why, but not entirely sure. Also, the edge was very resilient for some reason. I don't know what's with some naturals that have this effect to such a strong level.
20200209_021513.jpg
Another reason coticules are crazy, is the small one. It just gets to a mirror like surface level on its own (that's why, while still dry, it reflected the light and my camera wanted to focus there all the time). It is super hard and very very fine. This tops anything I tried in terms of sharpness. Imagine something like a glassy translucent, only with the added benefits of a very very fine slurry to boot and high speed in general, plus just water. Gets back to being glossy very easy (doing the same with a translucent would be a pain in every way imaginable). As a particular behavior, on this razors stick like on nothing else, even with a very narrow bevel and taped. On the first one, nothing does, ever. And with this one stropping does pretty much nothing improving the edge.
20200209_021620.jpg
 

stringer

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There was some weird funk on my Cattaraugus when I got it. Nothing crazy, just years of dirt and swarf and oil. It doesn't feel like it would do great in any prolonged soak so I just scrubbed the black side with dish soap and a non scratch scotch Brite pad. I ignored the other side. Then I lapped the finishing side on synthetic stones. I tried sand paper at first but the binder kind of gummed it up. So I went to the Debado 200. Then a worn cheap diamond plate. Then a well soaked Rika 5000 to polish it out a bit. You can still see some of the white particles from the Rika. I'm happy with my progress with it so far. I use it with water. It can take an edge off of that gritty coticule and make it sharper without losing the comfort. And quickly. I see it as kind of cheating. It kind of feels like using a diamond coated steel on a kitchen knife a little bit. And then you are like, why I am using this silly thing when I have dozens of more appropriate tools. Why? Because it's convenient. And it's not really like using a diamond steel. Big sharp particles jammed together in a pretty firm binder. But polished and burnished so they don't scratch deep like diamonds. I don't know how long it would take to start seeing edge degradation. Probably not in a human lifetime if you supplemented it with a really good stropping routine. I haven't used any other barber hones but this one is definitely impressive.

IMG_20200123_203659~2.jpg


IMG_20200209_190045.jpg


It does absorb water a little too. There's only about 30 seconds between these photos

IMG_20200209_190202.jpg


IMG_20200209_190239.jpg
 

stringer

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Today's razor was an 1890s New England Razor Co 5/8 Hollow with black rubber scales.

I made a video too.

 

Desert Rat

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Good job on the videos and I enjoyed the history lesson too.
What do you know about the magnetic razors? I guess more than one company made them?
 

stringer

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Good job on the videos and I enjoyed the history lesson too.
What do you know about the magnetic razors? I guess more than one company made them?
Lots of razors were marketed as magnetic. Mostly seemed to be a Solingen thing but I've seen Sheffield and American razors with it too.
The most common ones
Griffon Carbo Magnetic - imported from Solingen by Silberstein of NY
I think that's the name, I would have to look it up. I also suspect these were made by Camillus/Germania/Imperial.
Boker Damascus Magnetic Steel - Solingen/USA. They also did lots of private label that had similar markings
EMDE Bros - Electro Magnetic
D. Peres - Magnet Diamond Steel

There were probably also steel manufacturers selling steel called Magnetic and so razors made with that steel would be Magnetic steel razors.

And this is just off the top of my head.
 

stringer

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I agree! It was like a journey. I really enjoyed it.
Thank you. My goal is to demystify it a little. Compared to all the variables with knives, razors can be very simple and straightforward and fun if you keep it simple and straightforward and fun. No crazy formulas or millions of steps or expensive finishers or messing with compounds and sprays. 2 stones, 2 strops.
 

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True. This being said, I still find myself looking at some high end Jnats that I don't need...

Speaking of expensive, the Norton hone just got over 1000$. 1125 if I remember correctly. I'm pretty sure that by now it's not used only for competition axes, as I've been reading more and more about it being considered the best 30k solution out there.
 

stringer

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I'm not saying that I practice what I preach. Just that it's possible to have very simple solutions that work very well. I had to do a lot of testing to figure that out as I know you can relate.

IMG_20200211_110437.jpg
 

stringer

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I uploaded some more videos.
The other two knives are
J. Wostenholm and Son EBRO
And a FrankenFriodur. I bought a 4 piece lot of Friodurs with no scales wonky bevels and heavily tapered toes. Good practice razors.

wostie bevel set

Wostie on Torrey coticule

FrankenFriodur bevel set

FrankenFriodur on Torrey coticule
 

Desert Rat

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I wish I had them video's when I started. The first one you did Stringer I consider the most important because I think most of the problems are guys not getting the bevel set and then blaming the finishing stone ect. Plenty of discouraged guys out there.

Here is my Magnetic, It's a "Stone Fisher" which was a Seattle hardware store. Things are actually magnetic, odd...




I can't get over how well I like that little JNAT hone I bought from Alex. I still know next to nothing about JNATS but I am looking at another one trying not to spend money on other stones in the mean time.
 

stringer

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I haven't come across that magnetic etch before. I looked up Stone Fisher. They were a dry goods store that became a department store chain. They started in Tacoma and didn't open a location in Seattle until 1900. It was there for a long time and the razor has pretty classic styling. Call it 1900-1930.

I don't think Stone Fisher manufactured anything. If it's not stamped Germany somewhere then I would guess it was made private label by some member of the Cattaraugus branch Case, Champlin, Korn, Robeson, Geneva, Kinfolks, etc or by Boker USA or some similar outfit. It's also very murky with all the shenanigans going on with people trying to avoid tariffs. In my research I've found ads where steel wholesalers are advertising in trade journals that they can sell you Sheffield steel German forged razor blanks that get shipped to Canada first to beat the tariffs. There's all kinds of crazy Congressional testimony where people are arguing for or against the tariffs. Saying that the Germans are undercutting the prices with their new machines that produce better razors cheaper. And the English are undercutting the prices by producing crappy razors cheaper. Frederick Reynolds is a frequent target of scorn. If I come across more info I'll let you know.
 

Desert Rat

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I haven't come across that magnetic etch before. I looked up Stone Fisher. They were a dry goods store that became a department store chain. They started in Tacoma and didn't open a location in Seattle until 1900. It was there for a long time and the razor has pretty classic styling. Call it 1900-1930.

I don't think Stone Fisher manufactured anything. If it's not stamped Germany somewhere then I would guess it was made private label by some member of the Cattaraugus branch Case, Champlin, Korn, Robeson, Geneva, Kinfolks, etc or by Boker USA or some similar outfit. It's also very murky with all the shenanigans going on with people trying to avoid tariffs. In my research I've found ads where steel wholesalers are advertising in trade journals that they can sell you Sheffield steel German forged razor blanks that get shipped to Canada first to beat the tariffs. There's all kinds of crazy Congressional testimony where people are arguing for or against the tariffs. Saying that the Germans are undercutting the prices with their new machines that produce better razors cheaper. And the English are undercutting the prices by producing crappy razors cheaper. Frederick Reynolds is a frequent target of scorn. If I come across more info I'll let you know.
Thanks for that Stringer.
Always been shady stuff going on and there still is. I have an older knife stamped "Green River" on the handle but Green River didn't make it. I guess at one time England tried to put Green River out of business by flooding the market with Green River stamped knifes sold at below cost. Not at all a bad knife for the period, fruit wood handle and a tapered tang.
 

vicv

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I used to have a very hard time getting a good Edge on my razor that I could comfortably shave with. I tried Stones. I tried lapping film. Nothing ever seemed to work. I read the science of sharp blog and I tried his method
https://scienceofsharp.com/2016/04/14/simple-straight-razor-honing/

it's so simple and it works every time. It might not be as sexy as using a $700 natural Stone but it produces a better Edge than anything else that I've seen. And it doesn't have to be expensive stuff. For the metal polish I use autosol. For the diamond on leather I used the cheap .5 Micron Chinese paste. leather is just a couple pieces of 12 inch by 2 inch 3 mm veg tan I bought from my local leather supplier and glue down to a piece of glass
The stones I use are a combo 1k/6k king
 

VICTOR J CREAZZI

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I used to have a very hard time getting a good Edge on my razor that I could comfortably shave with. I tried Stones. I tried lapping film. Nothing ever seemed to work. I read the science of sharp blog and I tried his method
https://scienceofsharp.com/2016/04/14/simple-straight-razor-honing/

it's so simple and it works every time. It might not be as sexy as using a $700 natural Stone but it produces a better Edge than anything else that I've seen. And it doesn't have to be expensive stuff. For the metal polish I use autosol. For the diamond on leather I used the cheap .5 Micron Chinese paste. leather is just a couple pieces of 12 inch by 2 inch 3 mm veg tan I bought from my local leather supplier and glue down to a piece of glass
The stones I use are a combo 1k/6k king
I have a razor that I finished on a 6k King followed by CrOx on a cotton belt laid on a table, just to see how simple and cheap it could be. The razor is very usable. Normally I use Naniwas and clean strops.
 

vicv

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Once again I can't argue with a guy with such a great name.
I've used crox too. Or in this case Lee Valley compound. It has some larger alox mixed in as well. I believe though it's important to have it as a hanging strop and it be denim. The abrasive type or size isn't important. I've also used cotton on a table and the results are not nearly as good
From my perspective the issue with just stones is it makes too sharp of an edge. Has too much bite and digs into skin as well and cutting hair. With a hanging pasted strop you're slightly rounding over the edge. Makes for a smoother shave. It's bad for knives good for shaving
 

Desert Rat

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A new to me Kamisori. I wanted to do a full Arkansas stone progression with this one which is pretty normal for me. It wasn't in bad condition, just some very small chips and dings barley visible to the naked eye. I put it on a Washita to set the bevel and with some localized pressure had everything going in the right direction. Then I went to Kapton tape to finish things up. About an hour later and no less then four Washita stones it was apparent that I would be several hours just removing the small chips. Them Washita's wanted nothing to do with this steel. I switched to my little coticule on the manufactured coticule slurry and had the damage out in about fifteen minutes.


I wish I had a couple more inches to work with on that coticule but it never disappoints with a mid to upper level HHT and a real comfortable shave.

Does anyone know the maker of that kamisori or what the kanji says?
 

kayman67

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Kapton tape is developed by Dupont which is a HN general purpose film with silicon adhesive. Kapton® polyimide films shows excellent electrical insulation properties, high temperature resistant, and excellent solvent resistant. Kapton tape combines excellent physical, electrical, and mechanical properties, and has been used in applications at temperatures as low as -273°C (-459°F) and as high as 400°C (752°F).

end of quote
But these days many Chinese manufacturers make something that looks like this and maybe mimics some of the behaviour, but for razors is not as resilient.
 

vicv

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Ok I know what the tape is. I was wondering what it had to do with sharpening
 
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