Archive for March, 2014

1″x6″ Chosera Stone Straight Razor Microscope Progression

March 29, 2014

When it comes to honing razors, my go to stones are the 1″x6″ size. This is because many of the vintage razors out there have some sort of warping, smile, frown, or years of uneven hone wear that makes it very difficult for the full size stones to fix without either removing a lot of steel from the blade and/or causing a lot of unnecessary hone wear. Not to mention, the time and frustration it can cause, especially to newer honers. Simply put, the 1″ wide stone can do a better job in many of these cases, not to mention saving money, space, and having much greater portability.

With more people using the 1×6 stone size, I put together a micrograph progression of what an ideal bevel/edge looks like at each of the Chosera grits. The razor used was a Geneva Cutlery (NY) 1/4 hollow ground that was already in shaving condition. In the case of this razor, the average stroke count was approx. 150 alternating askew X-strokes. All pictures are taken on a Veho-400 USB microscope and the actual picture size is 0.75 mm tall by 1 mm wide.

1. Chosera 400

1. Chosera 400

With the 400 and 600 Choseras, the edge is pretty even, but rugged. More importantly, if you look at the top ridge, it is actually pretty “thick”. So while it is even, it is still too thick to cut into arm hair with ease.

2. Chosera 600

2. Chosera 600

The 400 and 600 Choseras are probably best for cleaning up deeper scratches from diamond plates and for repairs.

 

3. Chosera 800

3. Chosera 800

The 800 Chosera is a bevel setting stone, as well as a transitional and repairing stone. Notice the bevel has a matte finish, and the ridge, while slightly wavy, is noticeably thinner – but still too thick for cutting hair. This edge will cut arm hairs with some pressure.

4. Chosera 1K

4. Chosera 1K

The 1K Chosera is a bevel setter, and can handle minor repair/touching up. The bevel is beginning to get smoother and brighter, and the edge of the edge is beginning to become more uniform. It is very important that the 800 and 1K stones are done as perfectly as possible to prevent more work at later stages. This edge will cut arm hairs with a little pressure.

5. Chosera 2K

5. Chosera 2K

The 2K Chosera begins to polish the bevel and refine the edge of the edge. The ridge line is still slightly rounded, but is much more uniform. More importantly at this stone, the bevel is not revealing any hidden deep scratches that will cause micro chipping later. This edge should cut arm airs with little to no pressure.

6. Chosera 3K

6. Chosera 3K

The 3K Chosera adds more polish to the edge, and brings out the bevel’s surface even more. The ridge line of the razor may look frayed some, but you are almost looking “into the edge” at this angle. This is the micro chipping effect, which is inevitable, but it is of the 1K and 2K scratch level, which will clean up. It may be worth adding more strokes to this level, or jumping down a level or 2  if there is too much fraying. This edge should cut arm hairs with little to no pressure.

7. Chosera 5K

7. Chosera 5K

The 5K cleans things up. there will always be an element of a frayed edge, but the line is very even and the depth of the frays terminate very quickly. You cannot do too many strokes at the 5K level. This edge should cut arm hair effortlessly, and it should feel like it shaves (I don’t recommend it, though!)

8. Chosera 10K

8. Chosera 10K

The 10K Chosera really brings a polish to the bevel and the edge is very consistent. Like the 5K, you really can’t do too many strokes on the 10K, but if you are getting frayed edges, you need to step to the 5K or back as far as the 1K, 2K, or 3K to clean them up. This edge should slide through arm hair effortlessly.

After this, you can strop and shave, or continue with further refinement.

 

Oboes.ch Reed Knife + 1,500 grit Shapton Pro Travel Sharpening Stone (2 Videos)

March 27, 2014

An introduction to using the Swiss Star Knife from Oboes.Ch on a custom 1,500 Shapton Pro grit travel stone by Tom Blodgett of Jende Industries, LLC.
This video first introduces the 1,500 grit Shapton Pro 1″ x 6″ stone, which is mounted to an aluminum base for better stability. The stone is stored dry in a sheath and just needs a quick splash of water before use. Then he uses the Oboes.ch Swiss Star Reed beveled reed knife to demonstrate how to properly use the stone in order to refresh an edge that is simply tired or dull, but otherwise in good condition.

The second video shows how to effectively account for the rounding by using a permanent marker to mark the edge. On older single bevel reed knives, there is almost always rounding that has occurred at the edge, either through sharpening and/or stone wear over time. When touching up the edge of the reed knife, it should remove the marker from the edge of the blade. If you use the travel stone on your older reed knife, it may not work when the blade is placed flat on the stone. If it does not remove the ink when flat, then the blade should be raised off the stone slightly in order to abrade the actual edge.

This stone can also be used on hollow ground knives and of reed knives of all makes. Enjoy!

Setting a Straight Razor Bevel on a 1K Chosera EP Stone (Video)

March 14, 2014

I was asked to show the best way to set a bevel on a 1K stone, in particular on a Chosera 1″x6″ Edge Pro sized stone. FWIW, I do the majority of my razor honing on 1×6 stones because the 1″ width can easily accommodate most warping, frowning, and smiling blades better than a full sized 3″ width stone can. It’s a personal thing for me, as I have all the corresponding full sized stones as well, but for others, it is also a space and money thing.

Anyway, there are 3 basic strokes demonstrated in the video: Circles, Knife Strokes, and X-Strokes. There is a synopsis below the video. Enjoy!

Circles – are the most aggressive action, and are best for repairing chips or creating an initial bevel on a razor that is in need of serious restoration. I generally do sets of 20-25 circles per side with pressure. It may take many sets to do what needs to be done, but this is the stroke to get that work done. Once a bevel is established using circles, it will need to be refined with knife strokes on the same stone before moving to a finer stone.

Knife Strokes – are single sided back and forth strokes made without turning the blade over. It is “half an X stroke”. This stroke is best for light repair, or a quick refresh of a tired edge that has been maintained for a while. It uses less pressure than the circle stroke, and cleans up the messy edge the circles make. I generally do sets of 20-25 strokes per side. You shouldn’t need too many sets to accomplish your goal here if you’ve used circles, but if you start here, it may take several sets.

X-Strokes – are the usual method of alternating, single side honing strokes, and uses no pressure. This is the least invasive method, and the one that prepares the bevel/edge for the next grit level. I recommend at least 50-100 strokes to firmly establish the depth and consistency of the 1K stone. This will help prevent micro chipping at higher levels.

When to use each stroke?

If your razor is an Ebay special, or has serious restoration issues, then you will want to start with circles, clean up with knife strokes and then finish with the X-strokes – all on the 1K stone.

If you are maintaining a tired shaving edge with maintenance wear, I would begin with the X-Strokes, and if more aggression is needed, move to the Knife Stroke, and if it is really bad, resort to the Circles (and then work you way back up).

I hope this helps!