Honing your first straight razor

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Money saving tips

I am doing this as a guide on ebay.
How to hone a straight razor, including re-setting the bevel.
1. Using electrical tape, apply a layer of tape to the spine of the razor. This will protect the spine from spine wear and give a finer edge.
2. On the 1000 grit whetstone, lay the blade flat to the surface of the stone (the stones should soaked in water for 10 minutes before use).
Then move the blade in a tight circular motion towards you in an anti-clockwise fashion 20 times, then turn the blade over to the other side and use a circular motion clockwise 20 times away from yourself.
3. Keeping the 1000 grit stone wet with a spray gun, do a further 30 laps with a medium pressure in an "X" shape, only turning the blade on the spine, do not take the blade off the stone.
4. Moving on to a presoaked 3000 grit whetstone, do 40 laps in a circular fashion towards you in an anti-clockwise fashion, then a further 40 laps, clockwise away from yourself using a medium to heavy pressure. Finish off with 5 "X" laps medium pressure.
5. Repeat this process of No.4 only using the weight of the blade, no pressure at all. Then 5 laps with no pressure.
As a benchmark, at this stage you will be able to pick up your arm hairs. If you can't, you have done something wrong or there is too much wear to the spine of the razor.
6. From there, move up to a 6000 grit whetstone and just do 15-20 laps, no pressure.
7. You will now be ready to use your 4 sided, pasted balsa wood strop. I do 100 (hundred) laps on each pasted strop, starting with the 8000, 10,000 14,000 and the 50,000 grit pastes. then i finish off with a 100 laps on a good quality leather strop. I actually use a superfine vintage seal skin strop.
6. The alternative is that you will need up to six wetstones at around 100€ + each which is quite an investment.
Or you can use this money saving tip and use the same grit sizes, but in diamond pastes.
7. This is my No. 1 tip for saving your money. What i did was to get a wine bottle box from a pound shop, it cost me €5. The box is made of balsa wood, which is perfect and you have four sides in one strop.
8. Next you buy 4 pastes which will be 8000 grit, 10.000, 14.000 and finally 50,000 grit for a superbly smooth finish.
9. Spread your pastes on each side of the box, mark them according to the paste grit size, so you know which is which, then place cling film over each side of the box to protect the pastes. There you have a perfectly good honing tool for €25.
10.The only stones you will need are a 1000/3000 grit wetstone to set the bevel. This stone is crucial, without this stone, you will be wasting your time.
Next stone is a 6000 grit KING superstone S-3 185 x 62 x 15mm, this stone will refine the edge of the blade before you move on to your pasted strop.
Here are some ebay item numbers that are currently available (12/02/2015)
Products and suppliers: 330863505969
6000 grit water stone here: 321635109951

1000/3000 stone is here: 400786911020

These are the exact stones that i use with great success.

Any questions, just fire away please.

Best regards
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