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An interesting thread developing over at Olivia's

My 2c would be that if you use too much pressure, all kinds of ugly things may happen... :thumbdown: My coticules and BBWs never got me a wire edge. :thumbup:
Hey dude,

you sure put some oil in that starting fire. Especially with some well known people with dedicated opinions who seem to follow that thread too.
Well, for my part I go and grab popcorn and beer and just enjoy the upcoming show .. :lol:

BlueDun said:
Hey dude,

you sure put some oil in that starting fire. Especially with some well known people with dedicated opinions who seem to follow that thread too.
Well, for my part I go and grab popcorn and beer and just enjoy the upcoming show .. :lol:


Sounds Good for me, now lets sit back and watch the show ;)
The following is my personal opinion based on conclusions drawn from my experiences… do with it as you wish.

Though it’s highly unlikely to get a wire edge from a Coticule I believe it can happen… or I should say… you may say it’s a “wire edge” but it is most likely a jagged edge, this can happen if the steel in the blade is hard and tend to micro-chip so much that you may suspect a wire. So it’s a good idea to know the difference between a wire edge and a jagged edge as they both are similar, but are born of different parents.

A wire edge can sometimes be formed if the steel is softer; as we all know the steel at the developing edge is very thin, soft steel is flexible and will tend to bend away from the surface of the stone, when this happens the steel immediately (maybe a few microns) behind the edge is abraded away leaving what some folks call a filmy edge (the tail of a “Y”), this filmy edge is easily damaged (torn up) under the stress of honing, creating a jagged edge.
A jagged edge can also be formed if the steel is harder; again, as we all know the steel at the developing edge is very thin, but harder steel is brittle and will tend to micro-chip at the edge creating a jagged edge…. It looks like a filmy edge that has been torn up.

However I also believe you may get this same condition with the use of too much pressure in the stroke. Pressure is a good thing, it removes steel quickly... nothing wrong with that. But used in excess at the final stages of sharpening can cause the same condition in middle-temper steel; under pressure, the steel at the very edge bends away form the surface of the hone (in much the same way softer steel will under it’s own weight) creating the same filmy edge and can also be torn up under the rigors of honing to become a jagged edge. However, the fix in most cases is to use much less pressure at the last few strokes so the steel will “spring” back allowing the very edge to contact the hone and abrade away the “film” (abrade away the bottom of the “Y” forming a perfect “V”.
(Note to self… Draw Diagrams)

But I suspect the Coticule has a peculiar nature that does not lend itself to creating a wire even with unusually high pressure… certainly not as easily as other hones (almost all man-made hones for example).But some folks describe a feeling of the edge “digging in” or “draw” from the razor at about the time when the edge is sharp. Note: the sensation is very unique to the Coticule, it does not exist when the blade is dull (bevel rounded), only when the edge is getting sharp (bevel flat). I suspect at the micron level, the steel at the bevel is being cut from the very edge, the top-side bevel is at its closest to the surface of the hone allowing the edge to also “sheer” or “peel” the surface of the hone… you could say… at that point, the very edge is being worn away as it “sheers” the surface of the hone, at the same time the edge is being created when the bottom-side bevel is being cut from the very edge… in such a case, a wire cannot easily take form.

I also believe a wire can be formed with half-strokes on a finishing hone (Its inevitable but not such a bad thing so bear with me)… when you do half-strokes you are abrading one bevel on one side of the blade, as the bevel flattens, the back stroke (spine leading) will deposit steel particles at the edge, still attached to the edge, these particles will turn towards the top-side of the blade preventing the forward stroke (edge leading) from removing them. However unlike a wire edge they are not firmly attached to the main body of the steel, when the blade is flipped, the first stroke (usually “edge leading”) and will immediately abrade away that so-called “wire” long before the end of that stroke… indeed sometimes if you look at the surface of the stone at the beginning of that first stroke you see the mark of the outline of the edge on the surface of the hone… gives you an idea of how quickly the so-called “wire” is removed… it is not “broken off” but is in fact brushed away by the surface of the hone leaving a sharp smooth edge.

Hope my long wind makes sense.
Makes a lot of sense, but the short version is that on slurry the limiting effect of the slurry itself prevents the edge from disintegrating, whatever form such anomaly might take.
Also, on the other uses, doing too much has never revealed any other disadvantage to me than merely waisting steel.

When you sharpen a regular knife on a Coticule (a situation where it is considered perfect practice to deliberately raise a bur, before flipping the knife on the other side), you'll notice how much smaller that bur is in comparison with most other hones. In fact, it's so small that inexperienced guys often have problems detecting it.

Honing a razor on a Coticule, when the outcome doesn't feel right, trust me, the problem won't be overhoning. Most likely "underhoning"...
On a razor that shaves well, one can do a few 100 laps each day, without any adverse effect on the shave. This has been tried and confirmed.

Best regards,
The only time i noticed a rough part of my razor edge, was the first razor i honed . It was one section on a cyril r salter razor. I used a real poor hone and i was used loads of pressure. The edge sort of crumbled away. I have never come across a that since.I'm sure if pressure is ok you will be fine. I never found this with synthetics. One thing i have noticed with my loop is some minute chips. may be due to over doing it or bad layer of steel. I just hone past this and every thing seemed ok. May be a less smooth shave can be a sign of just going a little to far . I just rehone in that case. I've performed hundreds of laps on coticule and never had any issues. I would'nt like to do the same on nortons etc. i just use tpt quite a lot so long as the edge is feeling sticky smooth ,i no i have a nice edge. If it was to become jagged or rough i no i've nackerd the edge.This has never happend on coticule in my time of using one.