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honing problems on a Dovo carbon

Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:58 pm

I am a new straight razor shaver. I purchased a new Dovo and paid to have it honed before being shipped. I received it in February and after a shave or two touched it up myself. I got a better edge than what I received since then I have touched it up several times with diminishing results.

I finally decided to take it down to a coarser grit, reestablish the bevel and work back through my progression. At 1200 grit I found I was getting irregular scratches at the edge. The tip and heel were being ground more than in the middle. When I worked thorough the progression and shaved I found the edge was pretty irregular, some good spots, some not so good. Shave-able, but not what the razor is capable of doing.

So is my technique bad?

Do the Dovos come from the factory with irregular grinds and I just need to take the time to work a new bevel all the way across the edge?

Can I feel for burr formation to determine when I reach the edge, or is that no good on a straight razor?

Here is my progression:
King Ice Bear 1200, 4k, 6k
Naniwa Superstone 8k
Balsa strop with 1 micron diamond spray
Rough side leather strop

Stones were leveled with a DMT extra-coarse plate

I use just enough down pressure to maintain even contact across the edge. I place the index finger of the right hand on the convex edge toward the spine, with a loose grip on the scales, and two fingers on my left over the convex at the toe again toward the spine. I use the water beading in front of the edge to ensure even contact.

Thanks for any thoughts. I can shave with what I have...but I wouldn't be using a straight razor if I left well-enough alone:)

Re: honing problems on a Dovo carbon

Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:30 pm

I just hold the shank when honing razors. You really shouldn't need to touch the blade at all.

Re: honing problems on a Dovo carbon

Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:36 am

Pass on burr formation as a technique for doing razors. Also you will need a consistent geometry - no smiles or frowns and no irregularities. Then you can go with refinement.

A 1 micron diamond spray finish will be harsh. Diamond at this level of refinement isn't 'comfortable' so you should consider a finer edge and CBN or Chromium oxide. Diamond begins to be more comfortable at finer grits in the range of tenth micron or finer.


Re: honing problems on a Dovo carbon

Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:37 pm

Ok, so I spent part of the afternoon working on this razor, and I am stumped. :oops:

The edge is wavy. Not exactly smiles or frowns, more like: :? . So how do I correct this?

I had a lot of trouble establishing an edge. I think part of it is I am spending so much time on my 800 King, that I am fatiguing and my technique gets sloppier with time. Can I use a higher grit stone to establish the edge? What grit range am I looking for?

I know Ken has recommended EP stones, freehand to get good results. I feel like having a small contact area would only exacerbate whatever I am doing wrong. Can someone explain how this is a useful approach?

In fact, any thoughts at all would be helpful...I'm kinda at the end of my rope. :roll:

Re: honing problems on a Dovo carbon

Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:21 pm

I need visuals. Post some pics.

Re: honing problems on a Dovo carbon

Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:37 pm

Wavy edge I thought maybe blade warped slightly from polishing on a wheel or the like. But new razor. Then you also said it was honing on tip and heel but not in the middle, so I thought dished stone, you said you flattened it with a dmt plate. I guess I wonder if you flattened it completely. Draw hash marks in diamond fashion on the face of the stone with a pencil then flatten it again and keep checking to make sure it is totally flat. If you already did this, I'm a little stumped.

Re: honing problems on a Dovo carbon

Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:50 pm



Ok, first try using Photobucket. Hope this works.

I tried to use the shine from the lighting to show the shape of the bevel. On the side with the logo, the bevel is very thin in the middle. On the side without the logo, the bevel is thin toward the toe, and toward the heel. No obvious warping when I sight down the edge, but I don't know that I would recognize it if I saw it.

Re: honing problems on a Dovo carbon

Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:07 am

Is there a corresponding high and low spot on the spine that matches the irregularities on the edge?

Re: honing problems on a Dovo carbon

Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:54 am

More of less. You can kind of see it in the bottom photo.

Re: honing problems on a Dovo carbon

Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:58 pm

Tough for my old eyes to see. I suppose either the stone is not flat, the spine (at least) has hard spots in the steel or maybe a technique issue. I've never seen this issue on a razor but I suppose it just could be a bum blade. Have you tried using tape on the low spots in the spine?
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