Choosing & Using a Straight Razor - pt 1

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39
I have been interested in starting to use a straight razor for a while now, thing is I am a chef so I understand the pricipals of a keen cutting edge. I also , as a hobby am a wood worker. I make teak garden chairs so my router and cutting blades need to be very sharp. I dont as yet own a straight razor but I do own a sheppenhaur tiger wet grinder with a leather stroppin wheel for my tools and do carve green wood for various projects and strop my carving and spoon knives . Do you think that getting these blades good for carving wood will give me the skills for putting a proper edge on a razor?
 
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5,194
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Sutton Coldfield
toastwars said:
I have been interested in starting to use a straight razor for a while now, thing is I am a chef so I understand the pricipals of a keen cutting edge. I also , as a hobby am a wood worker. I make teak garden chairs so my router and cutting blades need to be very sharp. I dont as yet own a straight razor but I do own a sheppenhaur tiger wet grinder with a leather stroppin wheel for my tools and do carve green wood for various projects and strop my carving and spoon knives . Do you think that getting these blades good for carving wood will give me the skills for putting a proper edge on a razor?
The edge on a straight razor is much more fragile than a woodworking tool and I have not yet come across any examples of machine honing or stropping. Everyone agrees that the lightest touch on the hone and strop is required in order to get an acceptable shave ready blade - maybe you could experiment with a cheap blade to see if your equipment works - I'm sure there would be a great deal of interest in your results.

If I've mis-understood your question and you intend to use normal hones and strops - the same advice applies regarding a light touch - there are loads of videos on youtube showing how it's done. One other thing to bear in mind is the grit rating of the hone which needs to be prettu high (8k plus) to get an acceptably smooth edge. Neil's subsequent post on Hones has all the details.
 
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3,185
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Radstock, Nr Bath. UK
Its quite different learning to hone a razor than learning to woodworking/carving tools, as such some people who come to razor honing from wood working and knife sharpening come in with an expectation that they will find it easy and don't.

I've done a fair bit of turning tool sharpening on a grinding machine but find honing a razor very different, I don't think I would put a razor on any powered sharpening tool as I want to retain total control and if something is rotating independently then its not under your immediate direct control in the same way as a stone held in the hand is.
 
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15
Many thanks for this, I am new here and bought a John Clarke and Son, Sheffield razor from Ebay recently for about £17. I am not sure if it worth any time an effort to restore it or not.

Wish I had seen this guide before making my decision :)
 
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