Friday, February 01, 2013

Zulu/ Escher touchup

Decided to touch up the Revisor yesterday and thought I would  mix it up a bit and see what using escher slurry on the Zulu would bring.

I dipped the escher slurry stone in water and rubbed it on the Zulu a few times. I didn't know if the slurry would come from the zulu or the escher stone. Which was harder? I was guessing the zulu.

The slurry came up as the same color as the Escher stone so I knew I was honing on that. The slurry stayed fine for about 20 laps then I had to water it down a bit to keep it from getting too thick. another 10-15 laps there. then a slow dilute and just a few laps on plain water.

Great shave this morning but definitely a more sharp and less smooth edge than I am used to from the Zulu on water or on it's own slurry.Seemed much more Escher than Zulu. I actually prefer the Zulu edge. This was VERY sharp though. Sharper than normal.

Just playing around :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I conquered the Imperial!

Well I put the cursed thing in it's box for a few days but got the itch to hone yesterday and figured why not play with that? I had nothing to lose.

So  I dulled it on glass and put it on the oiled cretan with slurry. Lots of circles and half strokes and X strokes and it didn't seem to be doing ANYTHING( no surprise, I still dont' get this stone) so I switched to my BBW on my Nouvelle Vein coticule
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Used a  slurry and went to work. this BBW is magic because very quickly it was shaving arm hair! SO a few more X strokes on slurry.
Then ,since this was an experiment, I decided to take out my not often used Welsh Thuringian slate hone and make slurry with a BBW bout! Never did that before and it worked great. Made a great purple slurry and went to work with X strokes, only adding water to keep the slurry from getting too thick. Keenness went up here as well. Nice. Went to a slight dilute at the end and stopped when the stone started creating a suction on the blade. That seems to be the cue that it's time to go on

 So then I switched to the Jade coticule
Made a light slurry here and did a normal dilute. went great and it was getting keener very quickly? What the hell? One thing I did do was to make SURE the edge was undercutting everything and that I was sharpening the edge, not the bevel. Whatever it was it was finally getting sharp.

Dilute onto about 20 laps on plain water( never rinsed the coti though, just the blade) and then switched to my Les Lat bout for 40+ laps on water( it is very small) I LOVE this bout and it was making swarf off water! Excellent. I thought about putting on another finisher but decided to jsut shave with a coticule edge, which I haven't in a long time.

Under the scope was this beautiul, sandblasted coticule edge that I love so much. 30 on linen and 50 on Buffalo 20 on palm and then put it up

EXCELLENT! Did  a full pass with it and it was most awesome. I finished the second pass with a Flaschner I am testing but I could have finished with the Imperial as well. FINALLY!It held the edge for the whole shave no problem.
Wow, that was close.:)
Just about tossed the sucker.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Imperial Razor bevel re set

This razor is a pain in the ass to hone well. I even had one of THE honemeisters , Stefan from SRP ,hone it and he had to tape it to get it shave ready, on the Zulu no less. It's a great looking razor though, 5/8" made in Germany and Extra Hollow ground with gorgeous ivory scales. Probably early 1900's.

Problem is is doesn't like to get very sharp. Or hasn't. I've honed it three times in the last few days with not much luck. About 80% of what I like. It shaves,but doesn't MELT the beard. I can get a mediocre shave any number of ways but I want what I want.Plus it's fun to try to figure out each blades secret.

I've kinda reset the bevel with the Cretan but decided to take it down to the King 1k and really do it right.The bevel looked fine under the scope and in the sun but almost everytime I've encountered a problem like this a real bevel re set made all the difference.I even finished it yesterday on my escher and thought it would be good but not good enough. If the bevel isn't right, the finisher doesn't matter, really.

So no slurry on the King1K and lots of half strokes and circles and working little parts of the right side that I noticed were not even. Got most of it straightened out and it shave arm hair. Kinda. But I didn't want to spend too much time there so onto the BBW side of my coticule.

I made the slurry from a coti bout to see if that would make a difference- it seems to cut slower this way but I could be mistaken. Anyway lots of X strokes and push strokes and some elliptical strokes and it was mowing down arm hair no problem.

SO I resisted the urge to keep going and I tuned the stone over( a BEAUTIFUL looking coticule with lots of blue lines and orange dots on the surface.
Built a light slurry and went to work.Mainly X strokes and the slurry was getting darker so I know it was still sharpening. Perfect. I want this more sharp than smooth right now.

My guess is that this blade has been taped for a while and it's thrown off the blade's geometry.We'll see. I think I had to hone off enough spine to even it out; and it still might not be done. That's what Sham had to do with my Geo Holstenholm pipe razor and now it shaves like a champ.Ain't that pretty but hey, it's a tool, not an object' de art.

Did a dilute as usual with finger drops first, then rinsing the blade but I never rinsed the stone. About 60 total reps with about 20 on basically pure water. Hair tests were great.

Next I tried the Oiled Cretan thinking it should be about 10k but after 30 reps the edge went backwards so I figured wrong.
Went to the Chinese 12k stone which I love to hone on, it's like skating on glass. It just requires a lot of reps, which for me is a good thing. I love to hone, I find it so meditative and relaxing.

About 50-60 reps of X strokes here until the blade started "sticking" with suction to the hone. I sure sign on the C 12k that it is done.Tests were good, a crispy cut on the leg hair, as always with this stone.Nice to have such a big chunk of it.

Next onto the Naniwa 12 k SuperStone, an excellent synthetic. This always makes things sharp. Not that smooth though and I wouldn't want to shave off of it without a lot of extra stropping but it told me some things: one that the C12k is close to 12 k and too, my progression was going well. About 30-40 laps here, stropping as well as the suction began. Had a very good feel on this blade hone surface towards the end and the blade really felt very flat on the stone the entire stroke.

Finished with the Zulu Grey for 50 laps on water and it felt like a perfect progression from the Naniwa stone.The blade liked it immediately and gave great feedback for all the laps. Tested after 30 laps and it was great so I did 20 more and it was better. The zulu requires a lot of reps on water only, like the C12k , which is nice because it's almost impossible to over hone the edge on water.

20 laps on linen and 40 on Buffalo leather and tests are great. We'll see tomorrow. If this doesn't work  I'm going to give this one a rest for awhile. I've got too many good shavers to spend too much time on a dud.

 No go. It was really no better than before. Lots of tugging and pulling. I'm giving up on this one. Too many good blades to use. Any body wants to buy it cheap let me know.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

My favorite progression of stones

I have a lot of stones, many of the same kind, and I often wonder which ones I would choose if I had to narrow it down to just a few. Which would be my best bevel setters, my fastest cutters,my finest finishers?

Well I think I know. After getting pretty frustrated with slow progress on the German Sunrise blade I took a close look at the bevel and realized that one side was not as wide as the other. So a full reset and hone was in order. Which progression would I use

Bevel Setter: My only real no brainer, the Chosera 800 with 600 grit slurry stone. This thing is amazingly fast and leaves a beautiful polished edge which more often than not shaves arm hair easily.

Bevel Refiner and 1-4 k stone
My white grey cretan that I got from Emmanuel was my first choice and really another no brainer. I love this stone and it always works. The other option would be a Belgian Blue Whetstone but I just love honing on this rock. I use the slurry stone on it dry and then add some water to make the slurry. Then I hone on it, not diluting at all til it's almost dry and finish on that. Cuts very fast and also leaves a great polish for this level.

5-8 k Stone : Getting it shave ready
A coticule is the choice but which one? I have more than a few but this vintage combo stone, which I think is a la Petite Blanche is a great cutter and finisher. Plus it has a great BBW attached . I also chose to use my Jade Marbel  coticule to make slurry as it is great for the final finish on water AND has an excellent BBW side as well.

Jnat: Polish
I thought the Jnat would be a great polisher before the  Zulu but which one? My Oozuku Asagi works like a charm on water so I picked that one. Always works too. The Escher could have been a good choice here too but I love my Oozuku :))


These days what else but the Zulu Grey stone? It's my choice and I think it's awesome. The Uchigumori would have been an excellent choice as well.

If I subbed out the Escher and Uchi that would be the second team :)) My second coticule choice would have to be my Vintage Deep Rock coticule , or the Les Lat , or.......

we'll see tomorrow how the Sunshine fairs.





Saturday, January 05, 2013

Finishing with the C 12 k

Decided to test out some of my other stones after my Zulu binge,:))

Dulled my german Sunrise 5/8 on glass and started over with my new oil soaked cretan hone and slurry. Actually had a hard time getting this to shave arm hair and it surprised me. Lots of half strokes and circles and x strokes.

Had to go to a dilute and then things started to happen.

Then went to my La Verte Coticule on slurry and started with circles. Now it was sharpening fast and it was good to use my La Verte and see it working again. I another dilute and finished on water and it was pretty keen. Definitely shaveable but that was not the experiment

Brought out my Welsh Thuringian and did 20 laps on water and this really brought the edge up! Surprising. Should have stopped there but this was about the C 12 k

Splashed on some water and did about 60 laps and it felt very good and leg hair tests were good but not excellent.

20 on linen and 30 on leather then let it rest overnight

Shave report:

20 on linen and 40 on leather  and the shave was good but not great. Definitely not a one pass shave but nice. No tugging on pulling and it got my chin and stache area no problem. Second pass was with a 5/8 russian finished on zulu and I could immediately tell the difference.

Tomorrow. the Sunrise goes on the zulu and the russian goes on the Uchi for further comparison.

Monday, December 31, 2012

5/8"W & B near wedge shave report

This blade was 95% great yesterday but not 100% smooth. So I put it on the Uchigumori stone on water  for close to 100 laps. Then 20 on linen and 40 on leather and let it rest overnight.

This morning another 20 and 30 and it was PERFECT! Completely sharp AND smooth. Coudn't ask for more. Again, a basic one pass shave. Did a second but it was almost besides the point.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Geo Westenholm Pipe Razor

This was a very troubled razor that  I finally gave up on and sent out to Sham at Razor and Stone to have honed. Sham is a wizard with a razor and stone and he took off A LOT of metal,( as shown in the photo) to get the edge( this is a true wedge) but it is a magic edge. Haven't shaved with it in a few months and didn't want to put it on the Zulu as I know it didn't need it.

Sham finished it on a JNat I believe and after 20 laps on linen and 30 on Buffalo leather I got an easy one pass shave! Beside a quick touch up on some little spots there was nothing left to shave after ONE with the grain pass.

And, as with most wedges it was perfectly quiet. Very nice shave. This blade is at least 150 years old! Crazy.