Advice for honing an uneven bevel

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by SevenEighth, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    I bought two Dovo Masters razors and have had problems with both of them.

    The first came with a frown from the factory. As I was honing I noticed an uneven bulge / warp along the face of the blade - like it has a graduated belly at one end. I assume this was what was causing the frown. Despite my inexperience I dived in and ground out the the bevel straight, took a load of metal off the spine. More by luck and guessing I seem to have sorted it out. Takes a great edge - and now shaves beautifully.

    The second has an uneven bevel on one side. It graduates from a wide to a narrow bevel. This is only on one side of the blade. The bevel seems to follow the spine as far as I can see.

    Any advice for correcting this? Is it best to tape up one end thicker than the other or to grind down the spine until it is even? Can I correct it just by applying more pressure to that end of the blade?
    Keithmax and lindyhopper66 like this.
  2. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    First off, pics pics pics, so we can fully see the problems. You shouldn't have severe problems like you mentioned with the Dovo.
    Second, taking metal off the spine is only done in very very rare circumstances. You can easily ruin a blade this way.
    You were right in taking out the frown. Pressure can be used, on uneven blades, but I've found a rocking motion, or a narrow stone works better. The rocking motion will usually take care of an uneven blade, and set the bevel evenly.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  3. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    I will try to take pictures but not sure how to take a good shot.

    Just to be clear, this is two different razors. The one with the frown is sorted. Well at least to my satisfaction anyway.

    I am a glutton for punishment, after buying one problematic Dovo Masters I went and bought another which also has problems.

    I have bought a few Dovo's and the rest have been OK. Two were every almost shave ready from the factory, but these two I bought in a bricks and mortar shop and was able select them or of stock.
    Keithmax likes this.
  4. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    Never Seen a Shave Ready Dovo from the Factory..Never Seen One Bevel Set Either from the Factory..I Have Honed Many..Including Dovo Masters..They are Just Roughly Pre Bevel Set from the Factory..Few Come with Even Pre Set Bevels..Thats Normal..Moreover..Most SRs Regardless Whom Makes Em are Not Perfectly Ground..That is to Say..There Can be Be Slight Twists in the Blade from Heel to the Opposite Toe..Slight Bends in the Blades Etc..;)

    I have Seen Some Cowboy Vendors Running them Up & Down a Low Grit DMT & Declaring them Properly Honed..In the UK at Least..They Can Make a Darn Mess of Em..Other than that Dovo Razors Hone Up Typically Well..:)

    Keithmax likes this.
  5. lindyhopper66

    lindyhopper66 Well-Known Member

    Congratulations on sorting the frowning razor. That is a difficult one to fix. I would have sent it back to the vendor.

    Often the bevel looks uneven, but doesn't necessarily mean the bevel is problematic. It could still give a great shave. All modern Dovos need to be honed after you buy them, unless you get them from vendors like The Superior Shave, especially and then Straighrazordesigns. In fact most modern straight razor makers and vendors do not fully hone the razor to be shave ready. In the old days, they did. I have a few Dovos from the 1940's to 1960's that were NOS and shave ready from the factory.
    gssixgun, Keithmax and Billyfergie like this.
  6. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    I believe you. I think I really got lucky with two of them. The rest... Weren't so lucky...
    Billyfergie likes this.
  7. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    Makes sense. I think I will either get the other Dovo honed or practise on some Gold Dollars in the meantime.

    I'm still interested in advice and so will post pictures.
    DaltonGang and Billyfergie like this.
  8. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    Finally I have got round to taking pictures... Thank you to everyone for their patience.

    The toe and heal of the bevel are much narrower than the rest. Maybe it's just case of working on this for a while on the 1K stone.

    I want to sort this razor out because it's twin - which was in a worse state - is now shaving perfectly since i spent a lot of time on it. I'd like to get the pair shaving equally well because I want to try a focus month, just shaving with these two razors.

    Looking for any tips or advice...[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
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  9. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    Thats Very Typical of Factory Grinding..On Current or Vintage SR..My 1st Port of Call is to Pull in the Heel Area Bevel Wise..Then Pull in the Rest of the Bevel Accordingly Between the Heel & Toe..;)

    Once the Penny Drops here Ones Honing Skills will Go through the Roof..There are Few Razors from the Factory or Otherwise that Do Not Require Work at the Heel on the 1st Instance..:happy088:

  10. lindyhopper66

    lindyhopper66 Well-Known Member

    To my eye, the edge is still straight, though the bevel goes up and down. I don't think you have a true frown. Have you tried honing starting at 1K, then 4 or 5 K, 8K, 12K? You could send it Glen Mercurio to have him hone it or ask for a replacement from the vendor.
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  11. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    Sorry - I'm not very clear am I - the other masters razor had a frown - this one just an uneven bevel. I sorted the frown. Now I want to sort this one.

    I have taken 3 razors through the full progression successfully and I've corrected a frown. Looking for hone ninja tips for this blade.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  12. lindyhopper66

    lindyhopper66 Well-Known Member

    I think if you just put it through the hone progression, it should all work out. An uneven bevel will not necessarily mean you won't get a good shave once you've finished your honing.
    Keithmax, Billyfergie and SevenEighth like this.
  13. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    There might not be anything to sort out. The blade just might have a wonky grind, which can make the bevel look wavy. I've seen this many times. Just hone it normally, and watch the way it pushes water. If it is pushing evenly, all is well. If not, then there is a another technique that can be used to hone it.
  14. Arnout

    Arnout Well-Known Member

    The bevel, big change the edge follows the spine, so it will hone well on a big stone.

    If you add a bit of roll in your stroke the heel and toe will wear with the rest off the razor.

    On a narrow or convex hone, you can work the bevel so it looks even and is sharp, but after that you will have issues on wide stones,..

    Ps, it looks like you have quite a brim.
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  15. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    I roll the strokes on these kinds of blades, if they aren't pushing water evenly. Works every time.
  16. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the advice.

    What do you mean by the term brim?
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  17. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    It is called Honing Gymnastics

    These are the moves required to hone through or around issues

    The same move can be done on a narrow or wide hone, honest they can, but you might have to use a thin hone and a wide hone to realize it (I did)

    Basically the Frowns and Off Grinds are caused by how Dovo and most of the others set up the razor bevel, but hey don't point it out or the Dovo vendors get angry with you LOL.. You can see exactly what they do in their vids and watching them might actually help to think through the fixes

    Now this is a vid I did on fixing the same issues on an uneven Kamisori

    the Techniques are NOT the same but the principals are, the idea is to apply selective pressure to the uneven spots to bring them into line and then blend the rest of the blade as you do, just as @Billyfergie was explaining. To be clear the bevel doesn't have to be even as @lindyhopper66 was explaining to give a good shave. But I also like to get them as even as possible :p
    Once the bevel it even and blended you are good to go from that point forward

    Three things can cause this
    #1 Bad Honing (Watch the vids it will explain that)
    #2 Uneven Spine
    #3 Uneven Grind (Thickness) @DaltonGang pointed this out very well above

    Remember NOT the technique used only the principles behind it

    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  18. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor

    One other thing to mention not just for you, but in general

    When looking at a razor like this the uneven bevel can really mess with your eyes and deceive a person into seeing a "Frown"

    You can of course put the razor edge down against a Flat surface and check with a light behind it, but for a fast check you can hold the blade silhouetted against a light or window and see the contour for what it is


    Just a hint for everyone
  19. Linuxguile

    Linuxguile dating an unusual aristocrat

    Supporting Vendor
    That's a great tip Glen!
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  20. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    I wish I had taken photos of the other razor before I honed it. On that razor when I put the edge down on a flat surface there was clear daylight under the centre of the edge, maybe even a millimetre.

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