Hone Progression

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by SevenEighth, May 14, 2018.

  1. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    So far I seemed to have made every mistake under the sun regarding honing, hooking, misunderstanding the different grits between manufacturers, not understanding lapping, not inspecting with magnification.

    I started with Shapton stones but didn't buy high enough grits to finish. I have compensated with chromium oxide to date. It's been fairly successful and I've taken a couple of razors to shave ready, and corrected the frown on another so I am making some slow progress. Now I want to set the bevel and work all the way through properly.

    Based on advice I read from @FergieBilly I've now added a Naniwa Pro 1K, a Naniwa 12K and a set of lapping films.

    I have also got hold of a USB microscope.

    Realising I still have a mixture of systems I would appreciate advice on the best progression.

    On Shapton I have 1k 4k 8k and 12k
    In Naniwa I have 1k and 12k
    + lapping film and CrOx

    Here's what I was thinking :
    Naniwa 1k
    Shapton 4k, 8k (should I use the Shapton 12k before moving to the Naniwa? )
    Naniwa 12k
    (should I use lapping film next or move straight to CrOx)
    Chromium Oxide paste.

    Should I invest in diamond pastes as well or is that over-kill?

    I have carbon and stainless blades to work on, any advice on different approaches for the stainless?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    Progression Looks Fine..I Would Use the Shapton 12 K Before the Naniwa 12 K..YES..Keeps a Tight Progression..The Shapton 16 K is the Equivalent to a Naniwa 12 K..Different Grit Rating to Naniwa & Most Synthetics...You Will Get a Lovely Shaving Edge from the Naniwa 12 K..;)

    You Can Use 1 Micron = 16 K..Lapping Film to Take it to a Higher Grit if You Want..Lapping Film is Very Compatible & Consistent with Synthetics Stones..Personally Speaking Diamond Pastes are Ruffer Cutters than Chro/Ox Paste..Chro/Ox is Far Smoother in My Books..Thats Me Talkin Mind..:D

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  3. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    Thanks - exactly what I needed. Appreciate it.
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  4. RezDog

    RezDog Well-Known Member

    Well what did it for me was working the 1K until I could get a decent shave from it. If you have a fully developed apex from toe to heel, strop it well, it should be an OK shave. All the magic happens on the lowers grits. Master the 1K and your edges will improve immensely.
    The progression look fine, I would not bother with the film or diamond pastes. Also don’t spend too much time playing around on the high grits, and as always pressure is friend and foe. Start the grits up to 8K with light pressure and finish with the lightest strokes you can and still move water. The movement of the water is a good indicator of your progress on any particular hone.
  5. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

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  6. Rugger007

    Rugger007 Active Member

    The Shapton’s 1,4,8,12 followed by Naniwa 12k will work just fine. If you are going to follow with an abrasive such as CrOx, I would suggest using it on balsa. It takes the edge to a complete different level. My personal preference it to use CBN rather than CrOx or diamond, however I only do this for kitchen knives these days.
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  7. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    "90% of honing is done at the bevel set" ~gssixgun ca 2008

    9% is done in the pre finishing stage, and the last 1% is what we all waste money on and then argue about

    No really

    The "1k Shave Challenge" like Shaun mentioned is the acid test of your honing ability, you really should be able to hone a bevel set on the 1k, strop it on ONLY leather and get a decent shave.. Once you can achieve that, honing becomes pretty easy, right up until you think you know it all and a razor comes along and kicks yer butt :p
  8. Arnout

    Arnout Well-Known Member

    A good bevel is indeed 95% of the work. The other stones are a matter of not destroying the nice bevel while refining it.

    There are different ways to get to sharp, your progression looks good. I wouldnt invest in high grit synthetics but rather in a good natural finisher, but each his own!

    A few years ago an 8 k was considered a finisher,..
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  9. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    I followed everyone's advice. I have a problematic Dovo Master's which arrived with a frowning edge. I have done some work on it in the past, with OK results.

    Monday night I started from scratch, on the 1k Naniwa Pro. Halfway through the progression I realised that the blade had a bulge running part way through the face like it was a bellied hollow for only part of the blade. I guess the blade warped during forging.

    Well I progressed and finished on the 12k Naniwa, one lapping film then CrOx. Then stropped the life out of it.

    It ended up looking ugly but with no wobble despite the warp.

    Arm hair test : hairs popping off as soon as I touched the blade to them.

    I have just shaved with it and it shaves very well. Not yet my favourite, but very good.

    Thank you everyone. Seriously. I have been lurking round this forum for some time. Read lots on honing in different places but it's the advice here that has helped me the most. I know it's only the first step on a honing journey, but feeling like I can now start to maintain my own razors is a very happy day for me.
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  10. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    Point taken.

    I am nervous of the natural stones. I have made so many mistakes already, I wanted first to get started with synthetics.

    I get the potential difference and fully intend to try that route. When I do I will look at the videos you have posted on other threads.
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  11. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    Those ratios are really helpful
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  12. Arnout

    Arnout Well-Known Member

    Nice one.

    A warped blade profits from a narrow or a slightly convex( cylindrical) stone.
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  13. Arnout

    Arnout Well-Known Member

    I didnt get to make videos

    Naturals vs synthetics:
    A synthetic is easier to set a bevel and do the first progressions because they are fast and rather soft. In addition, Low grit synthetics can be bougth rather cheap.

    But in higher grit it becomes a different story, synthetic finishers are expensive and they devaluate, good natural finishers go from cheap (welsh slates for instance) to prices that can be compared to high end synthetics ( coticule, thuringer, charnley forest, some jnat,...) and off course there are a few morons paying jackpot prices for a pristine stamp,box or sticker on an esher, jnat,... but they are more into collecting stones than honing. And if the natural stone is not your thing, the longer you put it in the drawer, the more expensive it becomes.

    Synthetic high grit stones are difficult.
    They have a soft binder and have agressive, hard abrasives.
    That makes it easy to fuck up:

    Little to much pressure on an agressive stone: you get real deep grooves into the stone, making it a serrated knive instead of a smooth razor.
    Way to much pressure on a soft stone and you cut the stone rather than sharpen the knive.
    Heellift on a soft stone? You cut the stone.
    Abrassives clit together? You get deep, agressive grooves.

    A few strokes to little and you still have the deep agressive serations (honemarks) of the previous stone, a few to much and you devellop a wire edge, a few more and the wire edge starts to crumble,....

    A jnat progression is way easier to get a good edge, you can even set the bevel if you have yae botan nagura or rougher.
    End on tomo slurry for a soft edge, on water for a more biting edge.

    An esher, easy to pick up after a 5k
    Make slurry, 20 laps on slurry, dilute a bit, 10 laps, rinse stone, 10 laps, done.
    After a 12 k, idem.

    Coticule as finisher after a 5k, so without the bevelsetting and one stone thing, easy.
    Make slurry, rinse slurry, do 20 laps, rinse stone, do 20 more laps, rinse stone. If you want a sharper put the stone under a light running tap and do 10 more.
    Mastering the dilucot takes some time.

    Charnley forest, 100 laps on water after an 8k solves the issues.

    Welsh slate?

    But, if you dont have a good bevel, it is a different story.:
    The serrations left by a natural stone are soft, unpronounced. The cutting depends fully on the bevel angle and radius.
    The serrations of a synthetic are deep, pointed grooves. A poorly set bevel with a big radius or where the bevel is not yet reached can be sharp because of these spikes

    Adding a few small groves in the spikes of a poor bevel will make it cut a bit better.

    Softening the edges of the spikes on a poor bevel will make it clear that it is a poor bevel. It will dull the knive.

    In addition, a crox pasted strop is another way to give a pretty nice finish on a knive,....
    Cheapest of all, in parts of europe it is still the way to go!

    But, it all start with, wat kind of edge are you looking for? Agressive,biting?
    Go manmade.
    Soft, forgiving? Go natural
  14. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    Wow - an amazing amount of info - thank you.

    Sorry - didn't mean to imply you'd recorded the videos, just linked to one I believe.

    You lost me in the Welsh stones. I have two Welsh stones that I picked up and could use at some point. Is that a high lap stone?

    What natural stone would you suggest starting with - a jnat or a Belgium stone?

    I like a very very sharp blade. For 20 years I straight shaved and the guy that sharpened my two razors at that time would put an insane edge on them for me. Was it aggressive - not sure but it was way sharper than the "shave ready" Razors today. Then I gave up for a decade because I couldn't find anywhere to get similar.

    What I've come to understand following the discussions in this forum more than any other is that the type of edge is more subtle than sharp or blunt. It's very helpful what you describe above.
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  15. Arnout

    Arnout Well-Known Member

    Shave ready is a wide range.
    A hard Jnat goes really sharp rather easy while staying soft.

    Mind, i had 2 people already who asked for verry sharp but they were looking for agressive rather then sharp.
    They were missing the raw face feedback from an agressive edge. One pass on diamant paste solved it,...
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  16. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    Synthetics are Not All Soft Bevel Hones..A Naniwa 1 K Chosera or Pro Stone Synthetic as its Called Now is Far From a Soft Stone to Hone On..Its a Fantastic Bevel Stone..The Naniwa 1 K Super Stone is a Far Softer Stone..YES..But..Its Probably Easier to Use for a Beginner to Set Bevels..Its More Forgiving to Beginner Honing Skill Errors..In My Books Anyway..;)

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  17. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor


    Or simply put

    Synthetics are an exact science, Naturals are a romance

    Honestly and I have said it many times

    "It is hard to beat a Naniwa SS 12k finish with any stone/hone at any price if it is done with experienced hands"

    @SevenEighth Which I do believe you said you own, That hone will be hard to beat once you learn to really use it

    That being said I mostly finish on Naturals, but it is mostly to keep the monotony out of professional honing, Natural are fun to mess with, Synthetics are almost boringly accurate
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  18. Arnout

    Arnout Well-Known Member

    Billy, in the low grits I often use synthetics, it's fast. But i would put hardness in perspective!
    The chosera is indeed a tad harder, the ceramic shapton is much harder, but i also set bevels on an oozoku lv5, (with yea botan), and that is a verrrry hard stone in comparison,...
    The dmt 1200 is the hardest of all, and the fastest, and it is easy to put a bevel with it, but it takes most work to get rid of the honemarks,...

    But is the superstone a little more forgiving because off the hardness???

    Sixgun, there is a lot of exact science in jnats and nagura. Honingresults using comparable stones and comparable nagura are verry consistent. But there are 4 variants of each nagura, there are eastern and western mines, different hardnesses,..
    raping a jnat with a dmt to get slurry is not really how the stones are used in the system but the traditional nagura progression gives a foolproof pyramid honing progression.
    Again, if you use the cheapest koma nagura after other high end nagura you will start to doubt the nagura system, turning into a romantic pick a stone gamble, yet, that is why they differentiate the nagura quality.

    Other natural have pretty easy systems as well. Arkansas has a well described coloursystem, and there is still a lot of knowledge about using the stone, it is even in English, but it is not really published for free on the www.

    Esher, get 2 yellow green Eshers, and you will find they hone really comparable, but a crappy thuringer is not per se an Esher. There are lots of tekst describing the use of Esher, but again, not for free on the www.

    There are also other cases of course, there are soft coticules and hard coticules, some have granates of 4/5 microns, other have 15 micron granates, some have 30% granates, other 45%,...
    But they are all called coticule, and the guy selling it to you will tell you if it is good for honing razors or not,...
    That makes natural stones romantic!

    The synthetics,
    I can take a shapton 30k, make a slurry with a dmt on it and try to hone a razor, maybe it works? People do it on the jnat all the time?
    But there is exact science, meaning standardification, so I can take a king 1k, a superstone 4k, the chosera 8k and a Shapton 10 k as a finisher.
    But there is no standardification, the 8k is finer than the 10 k, one naniwa is more aggressive than the other with the same grit, meaning you need to do more laps?

    10 year ago the king 8k was a good finisher, do a search, here, b&b, you might have told it yourself. Now it needs to be a 12k, or a 16k, or a 20k,....

    In my opinion, there is no exact science in honing a razor, there is in honing DE, SE blades and cassettes, but for me, they are still far from a natural honed straight
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  19. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    The Naniwa Super Stone Bevel Hone is a LOT Softer then the Naniwa Chosera..Night & Day to be Honest..It Cuts a Slightly Deeper Bevel..Its Kinda Sandy Like to Hone On & Offers Tons of Feedback..In Other Words..It Has Far More Cushion than the 1 K Chosera or Pro Stone & Far More Forgiving to Use for a Beginner than Its MUCH Harder Brother So Ta Speak..;)

    I Use the Naniwa Chosera 1 K Most of the Time as I Hone Quite a Number of Razors..Its Far Harder Wearing Due to its Hardness & Composition..I Treasure the 1 K Super Stone for its Ability to Cut a Slightly Deeper Bevel with Razors that have Factory Grinding Issues on the Hone..It Just Tends to Clog Up a Bit for Honing a Lot of Razors is All..:)

    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  20. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    I find the Naniwa SS series to be the closest in feel to a J-nat, I remember back in 09 when they were hitting the scene reading that they were designed to feel that way

    They are pretty foolproof with just some practice...

    This might be my favorite honing vid on my channel

    Instead of me doing the honing and making it look really easy it shows some of the obstacles that a new honer faces @SevenEighth this might have some good hints for you

    Last edited: May 17, 2018

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