Honing a damaged blade

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Revision as of 16:25, 24 September 2008 by Bart (talk | contribs)
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Keep in mind before reading, that this is not the only way to skin this cat, but it is the most consistent way I have found…. This is called the "Progressive Honing Method". The Norton Pyramid Honing method also works well, after the initial bevel is formed…

  • Stones needed: ANY BRANDS…..
    • A bevel setter approximately 1k
    • A sharpening stone approximately 4k
    • A polishing stone approximately 8k
  • Stones that make life easier or better:
    • A low grit stone 220-600 grit
    • A high grit finisher above 10k

First let us take on a straight edge razor, with damage, a frown, or uneven wear.

First the edge needs to be straight there are a few ways to accomplish this, but the fastest and most accurate way I have found, is what is called the bread knife method:

  • Take the razor, place it on the lowest grit stone you have, edge straight down on the stone, and try and cut the stone, like you would a loaf of bread (I hold the blade itself, dead center) this totally dulls the edge and squares it up taking out nicks, chips, frowns and sometimes heel and toe wear..
  • What you end up with is a nice flat straight edge that is absolutely dull…

Now comes the re-set, this is what I have used with the most consistent success….

Use 3 layers of electrical tape on the spine, this concentrates the honing to the edge, use a low grit stone I use a 220 Norton here, you are re-cutting the edges of that square bevel off, it needs to take a lot of metal off fast (any fast cutter would work) Do heel first angled laps, no X stroke here, across the hone you might as well get a nice even bevel started right off…I have my own system here…. I use 10 lap sets on all my honing, after 10 laps I rinse the stone and spin it so I am using the other edge now, and repeat until the edge starts getting sharp…

As soon as you can feel an edge, I switch up to make sure of an even bevel… I do 3 of the heel forward straight laps down the hone, then 2 actual X strokes still heel forward, then 3 straight then 2 X stroke laps continuing with the 10 lap sets until I have a sharp edge… It will feel like a very sharp kitchen knife at this point….

Now comes decision time, remove the 3 layers on tape at this point….. I personally use 1 layer of tape until I finish on the stones but that is your decision…

Move to your 1k stone and establish a true bevel, this will go much faster, and way more even, since you started the work on the low grit cutter… Again I use a 10 lap set, with the 3 straight and 2 X strokes mix, spin the stone and repeat, until that edge is nice, even, and sharp… At this point the edge is passing the TNT the TPT and it will pop arm hairs at the base of the hair with just a touch….

For stubborn spots that just don’t want to come into line, using circular or Japanese style honing methods, will normally do that for you, just remember to follow that with a 10 lap smoothing set…

Again where you go from here is your choice as you now have an established bevel…. For me I go to a 2k Shapton to finish the bevel setup, and to align the edge to the Shapton stones It doesn't take many 10 lap sets now to refine the edge and all laps are done using a smoothing X pattern…. Taking this re-fined bevel I head to a 4k Shapton, and sharpen the edge… Again using 10 lap sets with the X pattern At this time the edge will pop arm hairs above the skin level with out a problem…

Then I move to the 8k Shapton and polish the edge into shaving sharp levels…

From here where you go is only personal preference, but I take it to the 16k Shapton and get it really smooth…..

I don’t touch the edge at all above the 4k level except on arm hair and then very little…. There should be no need for it. You should now have a shaving sharp edge that you would take to the “user appropriate” strops, again a personal preference here….

Like I said at the beginning there are other ways to get there, but I have worked on this method now for awhile now and it seems very consistant...

For smileys this needs modification on the bread knife method and the type of stroke used on the hones...