Blades under Magnification / Microscope

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Blades under Magnification / Microscope

Postby ShavingB » Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:53 pm

So today I decided I need to sharpen that Wade and Butcher now that I have a bit of time.. it took me a couple of hours. There were a few chips along the edge of the blade.

I started on a 6000, I didn’t want to go lower because of the smiling razor and on a lower grit I could have messed it up quickly. I then went to 8000 and finished on a 12000 then to a strop with compound and finally leather. The edge would pass the Hanging Hair Test. To be honest not quite as sharp as my Eiko though. I had a issue on one part of the blade that wouldn’t pass the HHT but good by the end.

Anyway so this is where it was when I got it..

Image


Then when I was done...

Image

For some reason it appears to have a double bevel but I think that is from stropping.

Image

And then compared to a Personna Blue DE blade on the left and the W&B straight on the right.

Image

It looks smooth so now time for a shave


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Re: Blades under Magnification / Microscope

Postby RiverValleyTrading » Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:18 pm

ShavingB wrote:So today I decided I need to sharpen that Wade and Butcher now that I have a bit of time.. it took me a couple of hours. There were a few chips along the edge of the blade.

I started on a 6000, I didn’t want to go lower because of the smiling razor and on a lower grit I could have messed it up quickly. I then went to 8000 and finished on a 12000 then to a strop with compound and finally leather. The edge would pass the Hanging Hair Test. To be honest not quite as sharp as my Eiko though. I had a issue on one part of the blade that wouldn’t pass the HHT but good by the end.

Anyway so this is where it was when I got it..

Image


Then when I was done...

Image

For some reason it appears to have a double bevel but I think that is from stropping.

Image

And then compared to a Personna Blue DE blade on the left and the W&B straight on the right.

Image

It looks smooth so now time for a shave


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Great job on the blade edge Bradley. Looks quite good.

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This is how my Father shaved
This is how I shave.


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Re: Blades under Magnification / Microscope

Postby Mikaar » Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:39 pm

ShavingB wrote:So today I decided I need to sharpen that Wade and Butcher now that I have a bit of time.. it took me a couple of hours. There were a few chips along the edge of the blade.

I started on a 6000, I didn’t want to go lower because of the smiling razor and on a lower grit I could have messed it up quickly. I then went to 8000 and finished on a 12000 then to a strop with compound and finally leather. The edge would pass the Hanging Hair Test. To be honest not quite as sharp as my Eiko though. I had a issue on one part of the blade that wouldn’t pass the HHT but good by the end.

Anyway so this is where it was when I got it..

Image


Then when I was done...

Image

For some reason it appears to have a double bevel but I think that is from stropping.

Image

And then compared to a Personna Blue DE blade on the left and the W&B straight on the right.

Image

It looks smooth so now time for a shave


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That's a great improvement on that razor. Maybe compare this razor to the edge on the other Eiko and see how they're different.


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Re: Blades under Magnification / Microscope

Postby JHBBlade » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:08 pm

Great work ShavingB.

Some facts that help put what one sees under an optical microscope in perspective are useful.

Beard hair will vary from :
20 to 180 micron.
So let's say the average hair is 100 micron.
This is 0.1mm
And it is 100 000 nanometers.
The hard cut lê sheath on a hair is about 5 micron or 5000 nanometers thick.

An optical microscope can't resolve detail that is smaller than half the wavelength of light. Light has a wavelength of say 0.4 to 0.7 micron. So optical resolution hits a limit at 0.2micron. Or 200 nanometers.

Science of sharp (and Gillette patents) show you need an edge radius on a blade of less than 50 nanometers. Gillette aim for 20 to 30 nanometers.

So to summarise

100 000 nm = hair thickness

5 000 nm = cuticle thickness of the hair

100 nm = the maximum thickness of a blade edge for a comfortable shave

20 to 30 nm = ideal edge radius (40nm to 60nm edge.

Then remember we can't see a damn thing with an optical microscope below a size of 200 to 250 nm (nm=nanometers)

So everything we really would like to see for the purpose is shaving is smaller than what we can see with optical microscopes.

However a bevel that is dark and is not reflecting light is telling us that everything that we'd like to see is less than 200nm. This is good. Because as orders of magnitude go, it means there's a chance that we're closer to the 20 nm radius we are seeking than if all the features of the bevel were reflecting light.

There is an issue of light diffracting around the edge of a blade that i must get my head around.

But ShavingB, your honing of the W&B looks good. The bevel closest to the edge is dark. This tells you :
1. The bevel is set. No doubt at all.
2. The features of the edge are smaller than 200nm.
3. It is very well set up for a good pasted strop and a shave.

As it is only the very edge of the bevel that needs to work, one can argue that having a non-refective bevel is not a pre-requisite for a shave ready edge, and I'd agree. However, for my level of competence I find the non reflective bevel to be re-assuring to me that I'm 95 percent there.

When I stated honing, I'd often think I'd done a good honing job only to be dissapointed by the edge, then I'd see bits of the very edge of the bevel reflecting light to me under the microscope. Now I know that if I hone till thisr reflective bits are gone then I'm basically there. Just needs a half dozen laps on pasted strops.

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Re: Blades under Magnification / Microscope

Postby JHBBlade » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:12 pm

@Shavingb, did you tape the spine when you honed the W&B?
If you did it would explain the dark edge.

If not then I've no idea how you achieved a double bevel. I've sometimes done that near the heel if the blade by accident as the spine or the the shoulder can mess you around I'd you're not careful to keep consistent heel forward angle on the strokes.

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Re: Blades under Magnification / Microscope

Postby ShavingB » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:20 pm

Mikaar wrote:
That's a great improvement on that razor. Maybe compare this razor to the edge on the other Eiko and see how they're different.



Thank you Mikaar, I will look at doing this comparison this week.





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Re: Blades under Magnification / Microscope

Postby ShavingB » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:25 pm

JHBBlade wrote:@Shavingb, did you tape the spine when you honed the W&B?
If you did it would explain the dark edge.

If not then I've no idea how you achieved a double bevel. I've sometimes done that near the heel if the blade by accident as the spine or the the shoulder can mess you around I'd you're not careful to keep consistent heel forward angle on the strokes.

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Very interesting about the details of the edge and what we can see with a microscope. It’s good food for thought!

Yes I did tape the spine however I had it taped the whole time. I was nervous I do damage as I haven’t honed a smiling razor before. Although I only went down to 6000 so maybe I didn’t hone enough to completely remove the old bevel. I am not sure. I’ll see next time I put this razor to a home but for now I’m going to test it some more as is.

Did you come right with that other razor that was giving you problems?


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