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stringer

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So... @stringer... given experience from your quest... what is:
  • your most pleasurable stone to use
  • the one you find makes the most comfortable and sharp edge
I'm all about the Arkansas stones for balance of comfort and sharpness and my new 6"x2" butterscotch is the perfect size to use. I'm going to keep experimenting with the coticules and I find my coticule/CBN hybrid edges to be on par with my Ark edges they are just more finicky to achieve. It's kind of a toss up on time. Tortoise and hare kind of thing. I'm doing Shapton Glass 2-4-8 for most of the work. The finishers are just icing on the cake so my real MVP stone is the Glass 2k.

So... @stringer

Also.. have you managed to get to the goal of shaving your moustache like the video you posted?
No. And my honing of bellied hollows has improved drastically. My edges sing like crazy and have no issues doing actual shaving activities. I think it must be a hair consistency thing. I just use the same little pair of Tweezerman scissors and electric trimmer that I've used for years when I need to pare back a bit or knock down some wild ones.
 

Luftmensch

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Thanks for the reply!

Hmmm... damn you... maybe I should give this Arkansas nonsense a go then! All for the fun of course.

A hybrid edge is fine! My progression is through a Naniwa-SS set of: 1k-5k-8k-12k. That was back in the day. Since my bevels are all set, the reality is I don't need to go below 8k anymore. I have a couple of hard Nakayamas and a Shobudani to finish on. So 'heavy' maintenance might look like 8k-12k-Jnat-Strop. More routine maintenance might look like light passes on a Jnat then stropping.

I purchased a few Mikawa Nagura a while ago but I haven't invested the time into 'discovering' them... been preoccupied with other things I guess!


I think it must be a hair consistency thing
Oh definitely... the hanging hair test is good to test the consistency of sharpness along a blade. It is good as a yard stick for an individual to gauge sharpness.... but that is within their own frame of reference. We all have different hair! What works on one person's hair might not work on another. So it is not much use as a global or absolute reference for sharpness.

My beard hair is pretty thick and wiry so passing the hanging hair test for me is relatively easy. They jump out the way like they had an electric shock! I can trim stray hairs by passing the razor over them in the air - usually. On the other hand, my shoulders have a mix of thick body hair and small, nearly blonde hairs. Those small hairs.... not a chance i'll be able to pop them in twain when suspended!
 

kayman67

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You could try this, a set-up I've used, albeit with a fully burnished hard black ark, but should make very little difference.

SG 2k HR, 4k HC (HR works as well, had them both), 8k HC (maybe the nicest 8K stone for this and should give pretty much a mirror finish, while HR not, but delivers a good clean edge that will require more work after) and the ark with a mix of 1:1 water / ballistol. Even if slow, it should deliver a very good edge.
Instead of translucent, that are fairly expensive these days (and a pain to lap and burnish if necessary), some people use different stones, like charnley (unfortunately also getting pretty expensive, but mine is super nice to use and taking it to a perfect surface is really much easier) or some hard naturals from all over the world, like cnats (some are not really that good), ceramics. There are a variety of stones that actually work and I've tested as many as I could get. One of the nicest is a stone called Special Stone only for Good Razors. And this is so interesting as it looks like doing nothing under the microscope as far as I can see, but you get this great shave out of nowhere. It works in a very strange way, very strange particular stone maybe as I could find only one. To be noted that they are not all the same with La Lune for some reason, even if they are called the same a lot. The La Lune(s) that I've seen (purple, blue), were definitely different. I need to test this more to see what's what.
 

stringer

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My mystery hone has been in the simple green for about 48 hours. It's now a light grey color. It's very coarse. Mottled. There's still some embedded oil and swarf, but not much.


IMG_20191210_210241.jpg

IMG_20191210_210258.jpg

IMG_20191210_210412.jpg
 

Desert Rat

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Reel coarse doesn't sound right but the surface of the stone can be dressed all kinds of different ways. The mottled appearance is unique to washita's I believe. If you have a scale a washita will come in under 2.300 SPG or maybe right around there if it has absorbed some moisture.
Left to right coarse to fine.
 

inferno

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I'm all about the Arkansas stones for balance of comfort and sharpness and my new 6"x2" butterscotch is the perfect size to use. I'm going to keep experimenting with the coticules and I find my coticule/CBN hybrid edges to be on par with my Ark edges they are just more finicky to achieve. It's kind of a toss up on time. Tortoise and hare kind of thing. I'm doing Shapton Glass 2-4-8 for most of the work. The finishers are just icing on the cake so my real MVP stone is the Glass 2k.



No. And my honing of bellied hollows has improved drastically. My edges sing like crazy and have no issues doing actual shaving activities. I think it must be a hair consistency thing. I just use the same little pair of Tweezerman scissors and electric trimmer that I've used for years when I need to pare back a bit or knock down some wild ones.
i have the spyyderco UF and according to people in the know its like an ark. but its a synth. ymmv.
 

inferno

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a good trial run with razorz imo is shaving your head before moving onto you face. its much easier. and when you can do that very good then its time to move on to the hard stuff.

i used to shave my head about 2x a week for several years. and it makes you sexy.
 

kayman67

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Just had a strange experience these days. I've changed my mug (a less fancy word for shaving lather bowl). Not the brush or anything, just the mug itself. And got a different lather out of it and a crappy shave. Got my old bowl back, same razor without even stropping and got great shave. Went back to the mug, crappy...
Honestly, something beyond unexpected. How the heck could such a simple thing matter this much?
 

Foltest

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Just had a strange experience these days. I've changed my mug (a less fancy word for shaving lather bowl). Not the brush or anything, just the mug itself. And got a different lather out of it and a crappy shave. Got my old bowl back, same razor without even stropping and got great shave. Went back to the mug, crappy...
Honestly, something beyond unexpected. How the heck could such a simple thing matter this much?
Easy answer for that, mug texture makes lot of difference when preparing the lather. When I tried to make lather in smooth bowl it didn't do ****. I switched to rough ceramic bowl and since then I had no issues.
 

kayman67

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Definitely something like the last thing to consider when using, but as it turns out, everything matters.
 

kayman67

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A few more things to consider.

For a month or so, I did a test with 2 razors and a b-hone (this is just a barber's hone).
In general b-hones do what they are supposed to do, but rarely are they worth mentioning. I might have one now.
I've been reading about how some Cattaraugus hones improve 8k edges and are quite competent. Now the problem with b-hones is that sometimes or maybe most of the time, they aren't exactly straightforward considering condition. So I took my time reading and doing this, to get as close as possible to that gummy feeling they wrote about.
Usually b-hones have a slower/finer side, even those that aren't double sided. And usually that site is the one with the label. But with Cattaraugus hones, the label side is the fastest. Keep this in mind if you have no papers for it. These papers are also interesting as they advise for stropping after every honing session and to finish with light short passes. This is a good approach for a variety of finishers (thuringians, coticules and so on).
With everything in good working order, I got my first razor and did 24 passes on each side. That's actually a number suggested for this particular hone at the top end. And ended up with the sharpest this razor ever been. To be fair, a razor I did struggle with sometimes, but easy-peasy now.
But just how fine is this hone? I can't tell. What I can tell is that I have a fine dressing stone and on anything similar to a Swaty, I get slurry from the dressing stone. With Cattaraugus I got slurry on both sides from the b-hone. This is what I usually use to determine if the b-hone would be interesting, as a first step, after making sure there are no integrity problems (some older hones have binder problems). This means it is quite fine on its own. Anyway, this old hone worked great again and again. For me was a bit of a disappointment really, because made my pile of stones look like completely unnecessary. And for the most part I am aware most of them are redundant, but being made so by a cheap old hone...

Second thing to consider is a bit different as well. I was wondering just what stones exactly would be a nice buy for knives (albeit for light usage) and could be used successfully for razors, too. And I found that the Chosera based Kramer stones do the job nicely. In fact I think I like more the Kramer 1000 (I also have the Chosera 1000).
Took an old razor (carbon) and established the bevel on the 1k. Got it to a very clean edge and shaving hair. Now the problem is that in a normal set, the next stone is the 5000. Most people would say that from 1 to 5 is a big jump, but didn't feel like it here. Took my time on the 5000 and for all intended purposes, the edge really started to shine. This takes a bit more because of the following. I am being asked a lot how do I know when to stop. There are markers. The sound changes. The feel changes. The swarf changes. If the stone remains as clean as possible and all is smooth, that's about it. Even if it's close to this and not the final stone, would still be enough. And finished on a coticule, soap&water, short passes, about 80 since the stone itself is slow. Coticules will make a scratch pattern of their own, but this is normal. The razor could pop hair mid air with no dragging whatsoever. Perfect shave after.
It is worth mentioning that I used no slurry on anything. I killed the edge once after setting the bevel on the 1k and did another 40 alternative passes on it. And once with the 5k. The 1k was conditioned with Atoma 400 and the 5k+coti with Atoma 1200. No stropping between them. No paste stropping done at all.
 

kayman67

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This one has nothing written, except Cattaraugus.

I think I forgot to mention that on Kramer 5000 (it's the same for every single high grit stone), the surface should be cleaned as needed or after every side, with something like Atoma 1200 or a fine dressing stone. Don't over do it, doesn't take much. Sometimes my hand is just fine.
 

kayman67

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When flipping the razor, as previous swarf can limit the stone's capabilities to clean and polish the edge.
 

kayman67

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I think a clean surface gets critical the higher the grit, hitting maximum on 20k, but it does have an impact right away even on something as low as 5k, being related to how the stone would load with a particular razor.
 

VICTOR J CREAZZI

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No argument there. Just that 'after every side' would have meant 'after every stroke' for me. Seemed to be a bit excessive. I do use half strokes at times in the lower grits.
 

kayman67

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I understand. By the time I get to that step, there's no swarf to make a difference.
 

kayman67

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On this hone, as I read the papers, the lighter side (there is as white) is faster (more abrasive) and the darker side (there as black - is it black?) would be finer. The instructions are pretty much the same though.
 

stringer

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So I've only tested one razor so far on the jasper. My normal test razor. Wm Elliott 1910 English steel, German ground. Full hollow. Early signs are promising. It reminds me of my translucent Arkansas. Except it's harder and finer and faster. Very impressive. It doesn't produce as smooth of a shave, but the edge is definitely more keen. I think that I will be able to dial edges in pretty nice with some loaded strops or even by finishing with a few mellowing strokes on a coticule. I don't know how this thing would do bringing a 5k edge up to finishing level or anything like that. But I can tell you that it took a very sharp and smooth Arkie edge and improved it.
 

kayman67

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Using some water/ballistol mixture might improve the sharpness while keeping the aggressive side under control.
 

stringer

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eBay seller. They have a bunch of cool jasper stuff. Now that I know I like the little one I'll probably get one a little bigger. Not full size bench. But 6x2 or so. They have Owyhee jasper which is what the razor forums covet. And the prices are very competitive if you're looking for a finisher on a budget.

https://ebay.com/usr/custommadesharpenersandkinves

Hopefully their rocks are better than their spelling
 

stringer

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I did another 50 laps on the jasper and then another 50 laps on my fastest strop. I was much much more careful and methodical. I still managed to give myself three little weepers around my Adam's apple. Smooth, but dangerous. Especially if you have any lateral movement whatsoever.
 
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