Example of the development of a razors edge.

The photos above are dramatic, they were created in my workshop with ordinary and common stones and they help to illustrate how a razors edge can be manipulated, and how it is manipulated whether you know it is happening or not.
The way I use a stone like the Okudo asagi is to make a diamond plate slurry lets say that looks like whole milk (not cream), and hone your razors bevels for how ever many strokes it takes to remove the previous scratches. It can be as few as 15 to 35 strokes.
Next I use a tomonagura  whole milk consistency slurry or slightly thinner, like skim milk for the same number of strokes. I always count so I know where I have been. To transcend to clear water I do this by when I am ready, I make a full pass with my razor and then rinse off the slurry that is on the blade in my water bath and I carry back to the hone the clear water that was left on the blade by the rinse. This water is now in play. I will do this several times until I am honing only on clear water. Then I strop 20x and test for HHT.
If I pass fine, I can strop more or test shave. If it doesn’t pass I will try 10 more strokes on clear water, strop and test, if still no HHT I try stropping 10 more times. If it still fails HHT I will go back and do a full bevel bevel set again and go through the whole routine but using fewer strokes at each level. I find that a razor can fail both HHT and Shaving Test if a false edge was developed and either broken off crudely, or it just folded over. I always felt that adding more strokes is not the only answer, a few maybe but not a lot unless your stones are totally slow cutting. If you are using fast cutting stone then more strokes just removes more steel when the problem might actually be 1) your technique is poor, 2) you have developed a false edge and failed to remove it through gentle abrasion, 3) you geometry was off from the bevel set stage.
The above assumes that you are using razor quality fast cutting stones. I have seen through my microscope what perfect geometry looks like, where the bevel setting scratches should lead all the way to the edge from the base of the bevel in long continuous scratch marks. If they do not reach the edge then the bevel is not set. If your scratches reach the edge as continuous scratches and you continue to hone a feather edge will develop but the razor does not get sharper and sharper after that point in time. If the razor did continue to get sharper the more strokes you add, then in theory the razor after 5,000 strokes would be sharper than after the first 1,000 or 100 strokes and we all know that this does not happen to be the case.
I feel that there are sweet spots in time at all of the razor honing stages of bevel setting, edge refinement and edge finishing which includes those final few strokes and stropping. The development of the edge can fail to configure at any one of these stages, and fail independently of the previous or following stage. If you keep this in mind and if you have a regular method you can reverse engineer your technique and begin to eliminate your technical errors.
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