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Straight Razor Sharpening advice needed.

Discussion in 'Razors, Scissors, & Personal Grooming' started by wade7575, May 12, 2018.

  1. wade7575

    wade7575 Basic Member Basic Member

    384
    Apr 3, 2013
    I have a friend who has an old straight razor and he want's me to sharpen it on my K02 and I have lot's of different stones like Suehiro Sigma power 6 10 13K and many other stones that are top notch as far as quality goes.

    What I was wondering is what are most of them sharpened at as far as angles go,I know there's most likely no set rule and I was just wanting a good starting point,I can't post any pictures because I'm going to his house to sharpen it next week sometime.
     
  2. gadgetgeek

    gadgetgeek

    May 19, 2007
    So when you sharpen a straight razor, you lay it fully flat on the stone, so the angle is maintained by the blade itself. To get a shaveable edge, you are going for a close to perfect as possible. So you need very flat stones, and wider stones are better to keep a consistent stroke. A risk with narrow stones is that you can start to remove more stock in the center of the blade, and end up with a frowner.

    10k is around where you get a shaving edge, anywhere up from there will help, although there may get to be a point of diminishing returns. As far as what stones to use, the imperfections that are not a problem on knives can tear chunks out of a straight, so having very clean grit is very critical to getting anywhere. Many honemeisters recommend lapping all stones that have been used to sharpen knives as they may have a slight dish to them which will make it very hard to get a good edge. In general a 3 inch wide stone is considered a minimum, to maintain stability of the edge.

    I'm not going to say that it will be impossible to get a shaving edge off of a guided system, but I don't know that you'll have much luck.
     
    Mike Pierson likes this.
  3. wade7575

    wade7575 Basic Member Basic Member

    384
    Apr 3, 2013
    When you say you lay the blade on the stone would you lift it up just a tiny bit so the spine of the blade does not get worn down because if that got worn down that would also change the angle would it not over time.
     
  4. gadgetgeek

    gadgetgeek

    May 19, 2007
    Due to the way a razor is ground, to keep the same edge angle, you need to keep the blade flat on the stone, this also wears the shoulders of the spine, but because it wears at the same rate, it keeps the angle consistent. Certain over-sharpened blades or in other cases it can be useful to tape the spine with a layer or two of e-tape to up the angle, but that is a pretty advanced technique that is not generally needed.

    With a razor you are looking for a zero edge, no microbevel, and no burrs once the bevel is set. Any sort of burring while in the final honing process will leave a weakened edge.
     
    Mike Pierson likes this.
  5. wade7575

    wade7575 Basic Member Basic Member

    384
    Apr 3, 2013
    I understand the no burrs on the edge and that you want a really refined edge when you are done thanks for all of your help.
     
  6. gadgetgeek

    gadgetgeek

    May 19, 2007
    I hope I didn't make it seem to hard, but when I was active at SRP I saw the remains of a few razors that well meaning guys had killed with Lanskys. if you do want to go "off angle" as far as I know most guys limit it to the thickness of two layers of tape. As with anything, rules are for breaking, but I'd hate to see you ruin a buddies razor even if well meaning.

    I should have mentioned earlier (but forgot the name), Lynn Abrams is the guy you want to look at on youtube for help, he's among the best.
     

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