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A step in the right direction


Well-Known Member
Hey all,

I think I made a good step forward in getting the hang of coticule honing.
For a while now I've been experimenting with my two cotis I recently found in some old knife shop. I tried unicot, dilucot, and things in between with a couple of different razors. But I never reached a sharpness level that would would actually make me want to try a shave. Well, I tried once but no real success.

So I got this old Le Tiernois I could never make into a good shaver. It's actually not hard to sharpen. I could easily get a very nice HHT3-4 edge with progressive honing on synthetics. But the shave was always brutal. Rough, bumpy, harsh ... I never made more than two strokes before I put it away. So it sounded like an ideal candidate for that allegedly smooooth coticule edge.

Tonight I gave it another try on my coticule. I opted for unicot and off I went. Since I used to sharpen this razor with a taped spine it took me quite a long time to set the bevel on slurry and make it shave my arm hair (btw folks, do you also have people asking you why your arm looks like chewed up? :| ).
After taping the spine for the second part of unicot I felt like mixing in some dilucot by thinning the slurry a couple of times before I went to water only. And since I have the impression that my hone is a tad on the slower side I gave it about 100 X strokes while rinsing two times in between.

I then tried a HHT and got maybe a HHT-0.5. Yet, this was much better than anything before. Then, after stropping I had a clean edeg with a very nice HHT sharpness - success!
BUT: I did not shave yet. I'm really curious if there's any difference. The edge seems pretty much as sharp as before. The shave will be the beta test. I'll report the outcome - stay tuned.

But in any case, tonight I guess I passed coti honing 101 and I'm in the next grade. I'm proud of myself:rolleyes:
Thanks to everbyody - I'm glad I found this site.

Thanks for sharing.

I struggled for a long time before I could get razor repeatably sharp. The only thing that kept me going was the notion that so many people in the past centuries must have succeeded to do it, hence I just kept fooling around. The learning curve reminds me a lot to when I learned to play guitar. I watched a friend playing the chords of Van Morrison's Gloria, and couldn't imagine I could ever learn that. But lo and behold, a few weeks later, I tackled those few chords myself, and I'd already forgotten what I found so difficult about it. But there was already the carrot of Jethro Tull's Locomotive Breath hanging in front of me, which I figured I could never learn... But also that was a piece of cake once learned.
Honing razors is pretty much the same. There's really nothing to it. :D

I hope it'll shave well, but I'm not convinced, unless you have particularly difficult hair to pass the HHT right of the hone.
Keep up the good work. :thumbup:

As said from me too, keep up the good work :thumbup:

Thing is, if you are going to unicot, its best to stick to unicot, mixing it up with a few dilutions wont give you a better edge if you do extra laps after adding the tape, the beauty of unicot is that secondary bevel is tiny, and tiny is good for bevel size on a coticule, if you put in extra laps you will increase the size of that bevel, taking away any advantage the unicot method has to offer, better to do extra laps before adding the tape, that way providing you are good at technique, you will be refining the edge before setting the 2nd bevel, and that should help in achieving a nice finish.

Most important thing to me, is to enjoy and learn, and that takes time, experimentation, and practice.


Best wishes, and the best of luck

Ralfson (Dr)
The good doctor Ralfson it right, as always. If you make the secondary bevel too wide before finishing it on water, it'll once again be out of range of refinement with only water on the Coticule, leaving you with the challenges of Dilucot.

But I would await the shave, before taking any other action. If the dilution stage was performed well, there's no reason why the edge shouldn't be excellent.

Kind regards,
Here we are, back again with the latest weather and razor report from the Swiss Alps.

A large low pressure system brought serious precipitation across the whole country. Heavy snowfall down to 600 meters made the avalanche situation incerase to dramatic levels. Several warnings have been issued - please do stay away from steep northern slopes. Forecatsts are updated hourly.

More breaking news arrive from the shaving front. member BlueDun was reported to have a had close shave this morning with his freshly honed D.F. Le Thiernois. Police investigations revealed that - despite the severity of the incident - no blood was shed. Our reporter on site was lucky to catch the victim for an interview and found an emotionally shattered man, unable to phrase himself in clear words. Among the few words that repeatedly left the victim's trembling lips were "I did it, I did it...". First aid was provided and the victim was given a bowl of cereals for breakfast, after which he recovered rapidly and went off for work.

Stay tuned for more breaking news ....

And here we are again with more news on the tragic shaving story we witnessed yesterday in good ol’ Switzerland. Our reporter Blade Sharp did not let up and managed to get another interview from the victim which revealed touching insights into a man’s emotional life. As a precondition for this interview the victim requested his identity to be kept anonymous:

Sharp: Thank you for sharing with us. How do you feel today?

Victim: Thanks for asking, Blade. I’m doing better now.

Sharp: Yesterday, we found you in a personal condition that can only be described as devastated. What happened?

Victim: (takes a deep breath) You know, it is not easy for me to talk about all this as it is so fresh …

Sharp: I totally understand but please share your thoughts with us.

Victim: Ok … well …You know, it all started about a year ago when I came across this shop in my hometown. I was on a Saturday afternoon shopping trip and then I saw these beautiful razors in the window. I heard about razors but I’ve never seen one in reality. It hit me right in that moment.

Sharp: So you decided to buy one?

Victim: Not that day. But I was infected. I’ve been a knife nut for a long time and I have all sort of knives at home and all the things that come with them like hones and such. The beauty of these razors just touched me and they made me think of my grandpa who probably shaved with one just like them. I actually never got to know my grandpa. He left us some years before I was born ( Editor’s note: victim is starting to cry …)

Sharp: I understand that this must be hard for you. Take your time, we can make a break anytime you want.
Victim: Don’t worry .. I’m ok. So to shorten up things, I eventually got into straight razor shaving and it made me feel great. You know, I felt like a real man, not like a chicken scraping it’s bloated face every morning with some cheap mass produced plastic crap.

Sharp: Sounds exciting!

Victim: It really was. And since I had all the honing supplies already at home I also started to hone my razors with my own bare hands. I did have some years experience honing kitchen and utility knives which helped me a lot and I did well on my razors right from the beginning.

Sharp. I understand. This sounds like a great thing to me so far.

Victim: Hang on. So one day I discovered this old knife shop. I stepped in and started to talk to the guy who ran the place. It turned out that he had two vintage coticules stowed away in the farthest corner of his shabby shed.

Sharp: Coticules?

Victim: Yeah … famous hones from Europe. People say they can do magic to a blade. They’re hard to get. I always wanted one and here I had two. I bought them right away. And that’s when problems started … (Editor’s note: Emotions were starting to overwhelm the victim again at this point. What a pitiful poor man)

Sharp: But you had these vintage coticules. Why were you not over happy?

Victim: Hey, f*** off you ignorant! What do you know !?!

Sharp: I’m sorry. Please continue.

Victim: Don’t EVER pick on me again!

Sharp: I promise!

Victim: Ok, .. well. I took the babies home and tried them out immediately. But no matter how hard I tried I was not able to reveal the alleged magic in these rocks. So I started to search the net and found this site called Lots of information. They developed honing methods that use coticules only. Can you imagine what this means?

Sharp: No .. err .. Yes, of course!

Victim: I read and read and then I started to practice myself. You know, it takes a long time to really master a coticule and my first results were correspondingly miserable. And then, two days ago it struck me again. I have this vintage razor who never gave me a particularly good shave. It was way too rough. An ideal candidate for this famous smooth coticule edge. Now it was my time. I sat down to meditate and then it was just me, the blade, and the rock. I followed every step of the instructions. I even put in some of my ideas but I should regret this bitterly later.… (Edtor’s note: Off he goes again …)

Victim: After honing I was almost able to perform a successful HHT on that sucker …

Sharp: HHT?

Victim: Shut up! The razor was sharp, really sharp. Like never before after honing on a coticule. I was excited, thrilled, walking on clouds. I could not wait for the next morning when I would shave with it and I posted my success immediately in the coticule board.

Sharp: And what happened then?

Victim: You promised that I will remain anonymous?!

Sharp: You have my word!

Victim: There is this uberhonemeister who runs that place. Supposedly he lives near the place where coticules come from. Some weird sounding place of which nobody knows if it really exists. Everybody is looking up to him so his word is the word of god. He replied to my post and you know what he wrote?

Sharp: I would expect that he backed you up!

Victim: By no means at all! “I hope it'll shave well, but I'm not convinced …” is what I got to read. NOT CONVINCED!

Sharp: That is bitter to find that your so called forum buddies let you down.

Victim: Not all of them. There’s this weird tattooed dude with a PhD. He supported me a little bit. But yet, in the same line he blamed me for daring to mix in my own ideas. Hey, if nobody would try new things we’d still be hanging out in trees eating bananas – UNSHAVED! But I was gonna show them. I would shave with that razor!
The next morning I got up really early. I took a shower and then prepared everything for the shave. I stropped as I never stropped before. I pulled a lather that would make every whipped cream jealous. And then I put the blade on my cheek …

Sharp: You’re killing me ...

Victim: ... and it was smooth ... you hear me: SMOOTH! I had made it! I did make a razor shave ready with a coticule! I did it alone! I showed them all!! They tried to keep me down but I succeeded!!!! I .. I.. I AM BORG. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!!!

At this point of the interview the doctor who was present insisted to step in. Later that day he let us know that he gives the patient good changes for recovery. Yet’ he may not be able to touch a straight razor again in his life.
Shocking isn’t it? How far a passion can take someone. And how reckless people treat each other in internet forums. Be warned out there and learn from this story that life has written. Educate your children. Have them grow beards down to their feet and make sure that they never, never ever touch a coticule!
LOL...Wonderfull Sir...simply wonderfull! There aint nothing like a true story of a life dangering situation. surely you werent aware it was contagious?

Wonderful wonderful wonderful, boy I bet you the 2 doubters have egg on their faces after reading that :blush:

I didnt mean to diminish your optimistic attitude, far from it, just that extra laps after adding tape can often result in a less than perfect finish, that and the HHT 0-5 you reported.

And dont you worry if I ever come accross "this weird tattooed dude with a PhD. He supported me a little bit" I will be having stern words with him, whoever he is..Bwhahahahaha

Best wishes and congrats to you my swiss chum
Ralfson (Dr)
What a splendid article in the Coticule Observer! Such tidings really make the day of our crew members, here at SHITCA (Secret Headquaterters for Instigation of Terminal Coticule Addiction). Yes, indeed! Another one bit the slurry! We're already approaching this year's quotum and it isn't even June yet.
Well Dun sir!:thumbup:
For a brief minute we doubted whether our target had hit all pameters to assure irrevocable instigation, but all turned out just fine. Please do not look upon our initial doubts as evidence of us being self-absorbed with our own successes.:blush: It was rather an earnest attempt to shield you from all too bitter frustration, should the sharpening endeavor turned out less well than anticipated. Here at SHITCA, we're accustomed to addressing our peers with honest respect and respectful honesty.

Once again: Well Dun! and thank you for that wonderful article in the Coticule Observer.

Kind regards,
Chairman of the SHITCA conglomerate.
What ralfy and bart said about the dilution during a unicot is correct. This was my biggest problem. i thought more was better. Now if I do unicot I just do 45 laps on water only and make a really micro bevel incase I want to touch it up without tape later.
Dear Chairman,

I took note of your items of written comment. I am willing to refrain from any legal actions or any other hostile actions against you and your association. As return service I demand that the following conditions are met:

- I will receieve a one-year membership with SHITCA.
- I wil receive a honorable mention in the SHITCA yearbook.
- You buy me a couple of beers.

Awaiting your positive reply I remain sincerely
BlueDun said:
Dear Chairman,I demand that the following conditions are met:

- I will receieve a one-year membership with SHITCA.
- I wil receive a honorable mention in the SHITCA yearbook.

The one thing you haven't known, for this is such a secret society, is that you are a member already! every time you allow your lips to speak of Coticules, you exude the passion that is tumbling within your very fibres, that is such an irrevocable force that it can infect others, it may begin with a slightly raised brow, or even a stuttered stumbling question (wha wha what is th that about them f funny y yellow st stones) But the seed is planted either way, and firmly.

Bwa Bwaha Bwhahahahaha (evil laugh)

Physician To The Chairman
Surgeon To The Queen
Ralfson (Dr)
BTW, 1k marked, Ralfy. :thumbup: :)

previously unaware SHITCA member
BlueDun said:
- I will receieve a one-year membership with SHITCA.
- I wil receive a honorable mention in the SHITCA yearbook.
- You buy me a couple of beers.

Awaiting your positive reply I remain sincerely

SHITCA membership exists only for life. As we speak, our resident tattoo artist is already on his way to put the secret sign on your buttocks. Please make sure that the area is cleanly shaved.

SHITCA - being secret - has no yearbook, yet our resident Zen Buddhist has been composing a new chant in your honor all day.
This chant will be used during every Tuesday's nocturnal BBW honing session.

The beers will be served in September during the upcoming members' gathering.

Kind regards,
B. Torfs.
chairman of the SHITCA conglomerate.
Bart said:
As we speak, our resident tattoo artist is already on his way to put the secret sign on your buttocks. Please make sure that the area is cleanly shaved.

Have you any Idea how hard it now is for me to NOT get a little something Tattooed on one of my Buttock? I think I may have found the perfect little space!