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X pattern consistency

Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:32 am

My new finishing stone (Nakayama iromono) for razors is too narrow for the length of a razor so I have to use the x pattern on it. All of my previous stones are wide enough that I do not have to do this. To keep the scratch pattern consistent all the way through should I use the x pattern anyway on all of them? Or is the last one such a fine finish it won't really matter much? This didn't occur to me until after my sharpening session.

Re: X pattern consistency

Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:45 am

X pattern, scrubbing, circles or whatever floats your boat. It all gets the job done.

Re: X pattern consistency

Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:07 am

Interesting question. At that level...it all matters imo. The comfort level of your shave will tell you what works...(ie: the skin doesn't lie)

Ken would be a good person to help here...or maybe Swarfy...

Re: X pattern consistency

Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:11 am

I would agree with Jason. I've found the more thought put into a simple process the results decrease exponentially. Keep it simple and just sharpen it.

Re: X pattern consistency

Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:28 am

I sharpened three razors tonight and the first two I did just that. I just sharpened them like I normally do and then I had that thought about the scratch pattern. I thought at that high of a grit it might not matter. The third one, I did use the x pattern throughout all stones. Doing that wasn't that big of a deal. I just never had to do it that way before but the stroke is still natural to me. I took a picture of that one at 400x and posted it here under the restore with naturals. I was curious about this not because it thought it was the end of the world, but more curiosity in the academics or purist form. Wondered what other people thought. I thought it was an interesting question. Thanks to everyone who replied. I wonder what ken would say...

Re: X pattern consistency

Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:41 am

pjwoolw wrote:I would agree with Jason. I've found the more thought put into a simple process the results decrease exponentially. Keep it simple and just sharpen it.


I understand what your saying. Athletes (all humans) work their best when the brain (or ego) is quiet or still.

ie: the problem with Tiger Woods

However, experimentation, testing, results and comparison are never a bad thing. Objectivity...

It's like Beethoven said, learn the rules 'and then' forget them.

I learned a lot by hanging out at the Straight razor place. Those dudes take sharpening to the next level...a lot of it through analysis.

Re: X pattern consistency

Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:32 am

I sharpened at least 1000 razors over the past year and found even the most season straight razor users could hardly tell the difference between a 8k edge from a super stone or a 15k edge from a Japanese natural. These were quick and dirty progressions that would probably make most SRP honers cry and cringe but they worked and had positive feedback.

Like Pete said, don't over complicate it because that usually when it all goes to hell. If you know how to sharpen then you know how to sharpen, razors are nothing special they just need to be refined for their task.

Re: X pattern consistency

Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:43 am

Can you get a razor as sharp as a $1 bic?

Re: X pattern consistency

Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:02 am

Haha , oh straight razor place. Thats the same place that goes on about magical "pyramid honing"...

In regards to RWs question , i frequently use 1x6" size stones on my straights. I just do edge leading strokes working heel to tip utilizing the full length of the stone. All this stroke counting and starting on this type of stroke and moving onto this type of strokr is garbage imo. The end goal is to remove previous scratches and establish finer ones. Thats it. You have the microscoe , check your work and soon you wont need to to know what works for your stone/razor/technique combo.

Ive seen work done by "professionals" stroke counters that claim that that anything more than x number of strokes on y finishing stone causes microchipping. Your already doing much better than that crowd. Keep up the good work.

Re: X pattern consistency

Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:08 am

Sadden wrote:Haha , oh straight razor place. Thats the same place that goes on about magical "pyramid honing"...


Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. :)
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