Straight Razor Issue

UncleBoots

Gold Member
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
142
I am on to the diamond pasted balsa strops. Getting there was a bit more complex than I thought, and involved getting to know my finest-grit diamond/CBN stones better, which was one of my goals here.

The Venev, which is oddly labeled both as 2000 grit and 0-1 micron (The Shapton 16000 stone is labeled 0.92 microns, for comparison), polished like a 1 micron stone, but also left occasional rogue scratches. Whether those were due to some out-of-size particles, or merely particles that had broken out of the resin and stayed with the water on the stone and rolled around under the blade, I can't say. But either way, it wound up not being suitable.

The Nanohone 1 micron, which is an interesting soft matrix with holes in it, worked great. Any rocks breaking free of the matrix would have probably just fallen into one of those holes. So it polished the bevel up nicely, but if I raised my elbow enough to reach the bevel on the toe, those holes would make the illusion of stone flatness fall apart, and things would get caught. No.

What did the trick was a 15000 grit metallic bonded CBN stone. Metallic bond means stones aren't going to be breaking out of the bond, and the stone can be used without water, so no floating particles in a slurry. It's an Edge Pro-sized stone, 1"x6", so there wasn't much working room by the time you leave room for both my fingers and the honing guide on this large razor. But there was enough to get a some proper lines onto that problematic toe.

So I've moved on through the 0.5 micron diamond-pasted balsa strop, and the 0.25. Only the 0.1 remains. What things look like now is this:

The problematic toe, on the logo side of the razor.
XTRA SMALL P25 logo toe (2).png
No longer so problematic. I know there's still a band of shinier metal at the edge, and darker metal above that (speaking of the mircoscope picture; the darkness is just an artifact), but I know from observing the steps that the shiny part is 15000 grit CBN scratches, and the dark sliver is actually polish from the 0.25 micron pasted balsa strop. The edge feels, for the first time in the whole process, uniformly sharp along its whole length.

Other areas are more straightforwardly in good shape.

The toe on the other side.
XTRA SMALL P25 no logo toe (2).png
A heel.
XTRA SMALL P25 logo heel (2).png
A middle area.
XTRA SMALL P25 no logo middle (2).png
Tomorrow I expect to strop with the 0.1 micron pasted balsa, then put it on the hanging leather strop and shave with it. The signs look good. Fingers crossed.
 

UncleBoots

Gold Member
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
142
Done with the 0.1 micron pasted balsa strop. The razor is shave-ready!

A Middle
XTRA SMALL Point 1 micron no logo middle (2).png
A Heel
XTRA SMALL Point 1 micron logo heel (2).png
The toe on the logo side is still the worst place, but, you know, it's not bad. Might be a bit less comfortable there than the rest of the razor, but it should shave fine.
XTRA SMALL Point 1 micron logo toe (2).png
Next: strop on leather and shave!
 

UncleBoots

Gold Member
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
142
It shaves!

I think I'd been harboring a secret fear that, diamonds or no diamonds, the edge would be a mess of tiny invisible serrations that would make shaving with it make about as much sense as scratching yourself with a cheese grater. But no, it shaves just fine. Actually better than just fine. This is a really keen, comfortable edge. It is more comfortable than my comparably-sized Butch Harner in 51200 steel, though that could be that I've gotten better at honing since I honed that one (likely; I don't think I had the microscope then). Great razor. I like it a lot.

Now all that remains is disinfecting, packing up, sending back.
 

Ernie1980

Gold Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2012
Messages
7,457
Wow you took a lot of time and effort into getting that razor shaving! I enjoyed the read, well done:thumbsup:
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2020
Messages
55
Wow you took a lot of time and effort into getting that razor shaving! I enjoyed the read, well done:thumbsup:
Indeed, seems like a lot of effort to be clean-shaven for a solid five hours. Unfortunately, most people don't appreciate this. Anyhow, thanks for the good read!
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2009
Messages
1,026
I get a heck of a lot longer clean shave than that out of a straight. Generally with a two-pass WTG/ATG shave, nearing 12-16 hours where I can't feel any stubble against the grain, depending on the razor and what it was honed on.

Nice job straightening out the razor. I made a razor from HSS also, it shaves very nicely, but definitely benefits from diamond hones to do the honing/deburr stropping.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2014
Messages
2,177
I've always wondered if hss would make an adequate razor steel, and enjoyed the detailed play by play. Congratulations on the success.
 

David Martin

Moderator
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
Messages
19,520
Well, straight razor & double edge razor shaving is an area that obsessing over blade sharpness is acceptable. So, glad you got a good shave. DM
 
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