Thread: Achieving "shave ready" on Norton 8k

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    Achieving "shave ready" on Norton 8k
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    Junior Member hi_flyer747's Avatar
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    I've heard from many members of this forum that it is essential to achieve a comfortable shave on Norton 8k. That this is an important step in learning how to hone. My question is how this is achieved? For example, in my case I set a bevel on a shapton 1k which looks very consistent through my microscope. I then do about 40 X strokes on the Norton 4k followed by no more than 30 X strokes on the Norton 8k (I was told that no more that 30 x strokes should be done on 8k because edge starts breaking down). Ok so now I test shave and it's not comfortable. Do I go back to the 4k and do several strokes and then move back to the 8K or do I just return to the 8K and do additional x strokes and try again. Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated as i'm getting close, but still no cigar.
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    Senior Member RezDog's Avatar
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    The foundation to a great edge is the bevel set. You can get a reasonable shave at the 1K level actually. All of the magic happens on the 1 & 4k hones. The 8K is where the refinement of the bevel begins. Once polished on the 8K the shave really starts getting smooth. Essentially I hone with a loupe as my guide. The number of strokes have nothing to do with my progression to the next hone. As the marks from the previous hone disappear the strokes get very light and the scratch pattern from the present hone will be more shallow and easier to remove on the next hone. You can check the feel of your edge by stropping and shave testing at any point in the progression. Once the bevel is set the blade should shave, or you have not got the bevel set.
    Last edited by RezDog; June 27th, 2017 at 02:43 PM.
    Shaun
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    Senior Member paulblo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hi_flyer747 View Post
    For example, in my case I set a bevel on a shapton 1k which looks very consistent through my microscope. I then do about 40 X strokes on the Norton 4k followed by no more than 30 X strokes on the Norton 8k (I was told that no more that 30 x strokes should be done on 8k because edge starts breaking down). Ok so now I test shave and it's not comfortable. Do I go back to the 4k and do several strokes and then move back to the 8K or do I just return to the 8K and do additional x strokes and try again. Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated as i'm getting close, but still no cigar.
    1K - What does "looks consistent" mean? As Sawn has said, is the bevel set? 1K will shave arm hair! It will feel sharp when shaving the arm not smooth.
    Do not continue with other stones till it shaves all the way along. Test entire edge!
    What does 4k look like? It should shave arm hair much easier without grabbing as much.
    If you're good to this point - 30 or so on 8k then strop and shave. It should be pretty decent. If not, try a few more on 8, strop and test again
    Who told you 30 on 8K will kill your edge?

    Paul
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    Junior Member hi_flyer747's Avatar
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    Hi Shaun,
    thanks for the response. I can shave arm hair off the 1k along the full length of the blade. The bevel and edge are consistent from heel to toe on both sides of blade, so I'm certain bevel is set. I can get a shave off the 8k, but I have a Feather Artisan shavette that I use as my reference and I've not been able to achieve that level of comfort.
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    #5
    Junior Member hi_flyer747's Avatar
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    Hi Paul,

    Hope you're well...

    By consistent I mean the bevel scratch pattern and the edge appear consistent on both side of blade from heel to toe. It will shave arm hair quite easily along the full length of blade when I'm finished with the 1k. After thousands of x strokes I have developed a very light touch on the stone and I carefully monitor water pattern in front of blade. The 4k edge has much finer ridges on it and, yes, will shave arm hair. I then go to 8k and monitor edge and do about 30 x strokes/strop 60 on leather/then test shave. It will shave cheek quite easily, but pull on neckline. Shavette is consistently much smoother.
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    Senior Member paulblo's Avatar
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    Norbert the 8k edge should be dead straight - very uniform serrations if you can see them.
    If it shaves the cheeks well it should shave the neck pretty good too. Technique will come into play here as well.
    I assume you are not shaving down the neck (against the grain). Shave up the neck towards your head. For me obliquely upwards towards the center of the face.
    Try a few more on 8k and strop around 80 times, no linen! 60 is a little light for me (depending on what you're stropping on)
    Stropping is more important than honing and harder to learn.
    When comparing to a DE blade you will need to go higher in grit. If your 8 is ok, try 25-30 on Gokumyo strop and shave. This should be a fine shave.

    Paul
    Last edited by paulblo; June 27th, 2017 at 03:47 PM.
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    Junior Member hi_flyer747's Avatar
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    I was beginning to wonder whether beard toughness or technique was entering into it. At the 8k, edge is nearly dead straight with only hint of ridges if I look closely. And yes, I do shave down my neck which works ok with a DE and my shavette, but maybe is incorrect technique with honed straight razor. I will try 80 x on strop which is a Straight Razor Design strop. My Gokumyo is in Manchester, UK (I'm in Toronto at the moment), but will follow your advice when I get back. Thanks again for your help and patience, much appreciated.
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    Senior Member RezDog's Avatar
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    When checking to see if the bevel is set, I do not check it by looking at the sides on the bevel, but by looking almost straight down on the apex, and with a good light source. There should be no white line down the middle not any sparkles while looking down. I only look at the sides of the bevel once I move up from the 1K
    Shaun
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    #9
    Paulblo is of course correct when he says "If it shaves the cheeks well it should shave the neck pretty good too." If a shavette is your point of reference it might be a matter of technique. I've never used a shavette but I have heard that the appropriate angle can be different from the appropriate angle for a straight razor.
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