float glass and lapping film

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by emmijack, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. emmijack

    emmijack Well-Known Member

    I bought a piece of 10 mm glass from a local glazier recently, 360mm x 220mm , put some self adhesive rubber feet on the underside of the glass, there are three grades of lapping film stuck to the glass, the brown is five micron, the lilac is three micron, and the white is 0.3 micron,
  2. Williams Warrior

    Williams Warrior Well-Known Member

    Does that stuff work as good as a wet stone?
  3. emmijack

    emmijack Well-Known Member

    This is a first for me, I have read good reviews, I will let you know how I get on
    Williams Warrior likes this.
  4. PanChango

    PanChango Not Cute

    I look forward to your results.
  5. lindyhopper66

    lindyhopper66 Well-Known Member

    Lapping film works great. I've honed about 2 dozen straights from bevel to finish with lapping film so far. Badgerandblade has a few long threads on lapping film and how people use them. You can touch up a razor with 1 micron or start at 3 and go to 1. I've set bevels with 12 micron or for really rough edges started at 30 micron. No worry about lapping a stone over and over to keep it flat and no need for X strokes. You can just go back and forth laps or if you have trouble getting the bevel start with circles or ovals.

    If you need more specific info, try badgerandblade website or PM me.
    Slipperyjoe, Hanzo and Bluebriz like this.
  6. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    Why not share the info here publicly so everyone can learn?
    Williams Warrior likes this.
  7. emmijack

    emmijack Well-Known Member

    I tried the lapping film this morning with my Hamburg Ring straight, this razor has been tugging recently, I started with 50 laps on the 5 micron, then 50 on the 3 micron,finally 50 on the 0.3 micron as I don't have any 1 micron at the moment, I finished with 100 laps on my illinois 827 strop, I shave tested it afterwards and I must say that there was no tugging , but I do think that the edge would benefit from some laps on 1 micron film, maybe 3 micron to 0.3 is too big a jump in one go!!!
  8. lindyhopper66

    lindyhopper66 Well-Known Member

    Basically, you just get a flat piece of glass or "marble" square from a hardware store. I'd suggest 12, 9, 5, 3, 1 micron film or at least the 3 and 1 if you're just doing touchups.

    Cut your paper into at least 3 inch width for the blade length. Put water down on the glass or marble plate after making sure it's clean. Then place your film along one side of the plate. The water suction holds the film down well enough. Some people buy film with adhesive on the bottom.

    Then put water on top of the film. The shiny side of the film goes down against the plate and the polishing compound, chromium oxide or diamond dust or silicon carbide.....usually chromium oxide, side goes up. Make sure there are no bubbles under the film. Press them out. Spread the water about. I use a squirt bottle for my water.

    If you're setting a bevel, use 30 or 15 or 12 micron and do 60 back and forth laps, keeping the spine and edge flat on the film. Remember with honing, you are moving the cutting edge forward. This is the opposite of when you are stropping. You do not need to do X strokes. If you have a smiling edge you may want to do heel forward 45 degree angle laps with a swooping off the film at the end of each half lap.

    Try a hanging hair test or wiggle the blade edge against your thumb and see if it grabs and feels sharp. Try popping hair mid length on your arm. If the 60 laps don't get you there do a few more laps or try some circles or oval laps down the length of the film.

    Once you have the bevel to your satisfaction, it's all gravy. Each time you use film, you'll see a buildup of metal on your film. So rinse as well as you can, blot it dry with paper towel and put it away for another day and another razor. It will be good for several honings. Some people even hang up their film for full drying.

    Then do 60 back forth laps on each level of film you want to use. You are making smaller and smaller crosshatchings on the edge if seen under the microscope until it looks fairly smooth. As I said previously, I take it from the 30 or 12 to 9, 5, 3, and 1 micron. Once you've made that progression, put a piece of printer paper on the wet plate and wet the top of the paper and place the 1 micron on top of the paper and add water to the polishing top of it. Do 40 back and forth laps.

    After this you can go to your linen/cotton/webbing component of your strop and do 50 laps and 100 laps on your leather and you're done.

    Some people use 0.3 micron after the 1 micron, but most people can't see an improvement. Remember to use paper for the last film lapping to smooth out the harshness some people feel on the edge when honing with film.

    I usually like to do a few laps on chromium oxide (0.5 micron) on balsa followed by ferrous oxide(0.25 micron) on balsa and maybe diamond slurry 0.125 on nanocloth on glass before going to the strop, but it's not necessary.

    I found full hollows easy to hone as a beginner. Wedges are a little more difficult because of the angle and you may need to add electrician's tape to the spine up to 4 layers. Dubl Ducks and C-Mons are dead easy to hone on film.

    You can add one layer of tape to the spine to protect from spine wear when you hone. I usually don't.

    I hope this helps. If you want more detail or have specific questions along the way, ask them in this thread.
  9. lindyhopper66

    lindyhopper66 Well-Known Member

    One more thought. It is important to keep the shoulder off of the film/plate when honing, the same as if you were honing on a coticule or JNAT or synthetic hone. The shoulder would lift the heel off the film and so the complete edge would not be honed, but your toe would be overhoned. To keep the shoulder off, you sometimes need to use that slanted angle movement across the film, but ever so slight.
    Slipperyjoe and Queen of Blades like this.
  10. emmijack

    emmijack Well-Known Member

    For the first attempt I am quite happy with the results, the edge passes the cutting arm hair midway and HHT effortlessly along the full length of the blade, I have just ordered a pack with some courser grades for bevel setting and some 1 micron which is now back in stock where I bought the last lot from!!!
  11. lindyhopper66

    lindyhopper66 Well-Known Member

    Great news.
  12. Not Telling

    Not Telling Member


    I'm using a 1000/6000 combination water stone then finishing off with various grades of lapping film. My lapping film setup looks remarkably similar to the one in the OP, but I have just two grades on there - 1 micron and 0.5 micron. It works great. I'm very impressed with lapping film.

    I've been restoring Rolls Razor blades on mine but I have a Gold Dollar practice razor coming in the mail as well as two vintage French junkers upon which I intend to practice my restoration techniques before honing my daily user, which is a 1910-ish Altona razor.
  13. oscar11

    oscar11 Well-Known Member

    Robert covered it well and it works great.
  14. Tsalagi44

    Tsalagi44 Active Member

    Where is the best place to buy lapping film? Everything I have found is in bulk. Thanks.
  15. Not Telling

    Not Telling Member

    I bought mine off ebay from a dude in the UK. He gives you 1 US Letter sized sheet of each grade - 40 microns, 30 microns, 15 microns, 5 microns, 1 micron, 0.3 micron - this has given me three pieces of lapping film from each US Letter sheet. Wasn't cheap, but it was easy to find - http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/350826859936

    You can track down the required grades of lapping film separately as individual sheets and it'd probably be cheaper than the way I did it.
    Tsalagi44 likes this.
  16. lindyhopper66

    lindyhopper66 Well-Known Member

    In the USA, bestsharpeningstones.com has a pretty good selection. Do a search on ebay and you'll usually find someone with a variety pack. I like buying the micron grade I need in some kind of "bulk", say 10 sheets. Try WTB in the badgerandblade.com forum or you could PM rickboone1 on badgerandblade. He usually sells packs of lapping film. He lives near Columbia, South Carolina.
    Tsalagi44 likes this.
  17. Tsalagi44

    Tsalagi44 Active Member

    Thank you both.

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