Wade & Butcher...hard to get the edge just right

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by Scorpio, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. Scorpio

    Scorpio Big Hitter

    I have this W&B that I have been using for some time. It shaves good but I just can not get the edge just right. I have tried everything I Know(not much at this point) 8K 50 laps, 100 laps with the 12K and 75 laps on the strop. The only thing I have not tried is finishing with a chromium oxide paste or the 0.5 micron paste but that is because I have not acquired them. Maybe I'm being just a perfectionist but I think it could be a smoother shave. I read somewhere that W&B's were notoriously hard to hone. I guess I am learning that first hand.

    Any ideas?

    I guess I should just get the pastes to finish the edge.
  2. xChris

    xChris Member

    Yeah, I'd have to agree that a paste of your choice is the next step since you're already up to 12K in the stones. I'm sure you're aware of the inventory (handheld & bench strops) that Tony Miller has for pastes. Personally, I use a TI paddle strop with 1.0 micron & 0.5 micron diamond pastes right now. However, I do need to get a chrome oxide option at some point. :rolleyes: :D
  3. Bill

    Bill Man of Steel

    Depends on which WB. One of the smaller ones or one of the lip loppers?

    For a wedge, use a piece of electrical tape on the spine. Leave it there until you strop. I use a scything stroke to sharpen the bigger razors and anything that has a smile to the blade profile.

    I basically use three stones (out of the 20 or more that I have)

    • 1,000 for dull or eBay razors
    • 4,000 side of the Norton ~ 2 pounds pressure throughout
    • 8,000 side of the Norton ~ 2 pounds pressure for 80% of the work. The last 10 to 15 passes are at less than 1 pound pressure
    Once in a while I may play with the synthetic 12,000 Japanese water stone I have or the coticle, but not very often. Usually only if the razor is not responding the way I want it to.

    After the stone work, I jump to the .5 green paste on my flatbed hone bed from HandAmerican. After the green, I go to plain leather for 25 laps. If that doesn't do it, I go back to the green and finish with it. That usually does the trick...
  4. DMS

    DMS New Member

    Bill, do you think it's important to angle the blade on the pasted leather to match the scratch pattern from the stones?

    I've heard one very reputable homemeister say it's important, but IIRC from the video on your CD you go pretty much straight up and down the pasted leather with the blade perpendicular.
  5. Bill

    Bill Man of Steel

    Don't really know for certain if I'm 100% correct. I just know it works for me. I do know that when I am grinding knives and need to take out the previous grit marks left by sand paper, I will change the direction I am sanding with the next higher grit because I can see when all the marks are gone. I keep changing directions until I get to the 1,000 grit stage of sandpaper. Then, if I want a brush/satin finish, I will drop back down to a 600 and run it in the direction I want the pattern to run.

    I just apply the same reasoning with honing. While using the X pattern, I may lead the stroke with the tip of the blade for 5 of 10 laps. On the next series I may lead with the heel of the blade. On a third, I might just run things perpendicular if the hone/leather is wide enough.

    For the blades with a smile, I almost always start with a leading heel and scythe through the stroke almost to the point where the tip of the blade winds up leading the stroke. All the while, I am imagining that I am slicing off the thinnest of layers that I can.

    There may be some validity to keeping the striations running parallel, but I just haven't found it necessary. I think you should try all options and then keep the one that works best for you. But practice on the junkers... :D
  6. Scorpio

    Scorpio Big Hitter

    Today I bought Chromium Oxide compound. I applied the compound to a strop and worked it with a little mineral oil to spread it across the strop. Once it was dry, I ran about 25 laps with the W&B and voila!!! this seems to have given the edge that last push to sharp and smooth. The proof was in the shave. By far the smoothest shave from that razor. A two pass and a touch up BBS with a two day stubble. A good finish to a long day.

  7. DMS

    DMS New Member

    Another convert to the green leather :D :signs107

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