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An Opinion on Bevel Setting

IsaacRN

Well-Known Member
I had a discussion with Scott last night. I was taught so to speak, that when establishing the bevel, you should be able to shave arm hair. I have a Wootz Damascus that is giving me a heck of a time on the 1k Shapton. I just cant shave arm hair on it. I have spent a good 30-40 minutes on the 1k alone in progressions of 30 sets of x strokes. I was discussing this with Scott, who told me if i see the shiny edge under a light/microscope just move on to the Coti.

So without shaving arm hair I moved onto the Coti did my progression and ended up with HHT 2/3 off the stone, and 3/4 off the strop. I did another 40 x strokes on water only, and lost the HHT off the stone, but was still at a 3/4 off the strop. Then talking to Scott I did another 40 x strokes on a freshly lapped stone. Still no HHT off the stone and more of a HHT 3 after stropping.

Now im thinking I should take the razor back to the 1k all together. Do I have a sufficient bevel since it wasnt cutting armhair to begin with? Why was I losing my HHT benchmark the more trips on just water I was making. To say the least im going to bed a very sad person.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
The only logical explanation I can think of, is that you still had microserrations, left by the synthetic hone, present at the very edge. Eventually you probably went on to finish the edge with the coarser scratch pattern and serrations still partially present. The serrations lend the edge a performance on there own, but enough Coticule finishing removes them and leaves you with the keenness level form the "valleys" in between the (now removed) peaks of the serrations.

There is currently some experimentation done with finishing bevels left by stones in the 1K region. I'm not going to interfere with that stuff. Been there, done that, etc. It works, but an edge with a coarse scratch pattern underneath is not the same as an edge that is "pure" Coticule finish. The don't behave the same either.

What I still don't get (although everyone is of course free to do what he prefers), is what someone who has a Coticule and is going to use it for honing, is still going to bother with prior work on a 1K hone. I don't see any advantage. Yes, a 1k can be faster, compared to some Coticules, but when done, I personally remain in favor of eradicating all 1K scratches before any attempt to finish. A dilution phase, might or might not take care of that. With a Coticule induced bevel, I don't have any worries about that.

My advice is this:
Pre-dul the edge. If the bevel was any good (and I think it was), it will take you 2 sets of halfstrokes to shave arm hair off the Coticule with slurry. Make sure to check the entire length of the edge. If it takes longer, blame the bevel. Once the bevel checks out, start the dilution, and continue with the routine as you know it.

If you really don't feel like starting all over, and are reasonably confident about the bevel, you can try a couple sets of halfstrokes on very light slurry, followed by the same on pure water. Then rinse the hone and the razor well, and finish with X-strokes on water. But that will only work if the initial bevel was good.

Kind regards,
Bart
 

IsaacRN

Well-Known Member
Im definitely going to read up on bevel setting with the coticule, but for the sake of a quick reference how do you go about doing that? I always thought that it was extremely time consuming to have a bevel created with the coticule, hence why people are keeping 1k stones around. I thought if your not doing dilution, that the slurry that is turning gray ends up actually dulling the edge of the razor.

Here is another question I have. Many people say they are unable to pass HHT off the stones. So would one be able to shave arm hair when creating the bevel off the coticule? I would really prefer sticking to one stone from start to finish, as it would make things a great deal easier.
 

vgeorge

Well-Known Member
Isaac,

From the home page menu at coticule.be, open Coticule Sharpening Academy - read up Unicot and Dilucot Honing Methods. My personal vote will be also emphatically for "Advanced Feedback Markers."
 

life2short1971

Well-Known Member
I guess cause I didn't explain myself you misunderstood me. I wanted you to move on because you should have been able to set the bevel wit slurry in the same time you spending on the Shapton.
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Let's stop for a second to clarify a point:

Coticules are innapporiate for restorative corrective bevel work (sizable chips and such), and we keep low grit synthetics around for those and for when the bevel setting stage takes more than 5 minutes (at least that's when I bail, and that's exceedingly rare). However, every coticule I've used are fully capable of correcting any bevel issues that I would not classify as "restorative". So, a shaver that just needs touching up, or a full rehone, coticules are perfectly suited for, and it only takes me a minute (usually less) to reset a bevel

Recently, I honed a razor that had a very thin sliver of the edge broken off (very thin but almost a quarter inch long). I got it out very quickly by going to a 500 followed by a 1k, then coticule. The whole job took 10 minutes and the results were great. That job could have been done on a coticule, but it would have taken 45 minutes or more.
 

life2short1971

Well-Known Member
And when I talked to Isaac he had already been at at that long and thats why I suggested move to the coticule. Theres no way he should have spent 45 minutes bevelling a razor he predulled to hone.Whatevere was going on I know the coticule is capable of correcting.
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
life2short1971 said:
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Scott,

That point was for Isaac, answer his question, and for anyone else who may come along and read this later. I honestly didn't make the connection in the OP that he was talking about you, and your response as if picking up a conversation midstream only now makes sense to me :lol:

Cheers,

Paul
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Scott, you tried to help out a fellow with sound advice. That is admirable.

It is an almost impossible job. First we have to figure out what the problem is, going only by a written description. We can't see the razor, we can't see what the guy we're trying to help has been doing. But still we need to assume a cause for the problem. Then we need to formulate a solution. One that hopefully fits the situation and also the person's abilities. But before that, he has to figure out what the advice exactly means. He might have received different advices too, and brew some kind of eclectic solution out of that. Which might not work at all...
But even if the message comes through unaltered, the person still needs to put it into good practice. If he fails, we can wonder about whether he misunderstood the advice, or whether he didn't manage to execute it perfectly.
There are so many possibilities why our advice might not lead to success. Not much we can do about that. The last thing I had on my mind when I typed my previous post, was to criticize your advice. I only offered my own. And hope it helps.

Kind regards,
Bart
 

life2short1971

Well-Known Member
I didn't perceive any criticism only the same objective I have(had) which is to help Isaac maintain his razor. May I add I only wish I was half as good with words and instruction as you are Bart. I have much respect for you and the accomplishments you make with the time you put forth to help others and maintain this forum.
 

IsaacRN

Well-Known Member
Wanted to start off with a, Im not blaming anyone..haha. I think there might have been a bit of miscommunication with Scott. Now, im not perfect with honing, but I can put an edge on them. Usually HHT 3/4. One day ill be able to shave with a HHT 5.

A big problem that I have is that I have a few "exotic" metals that 1. all vary since they are handmade in metal materal. 2. Im scared to death to hone at times.

This is the first time im attempting to hone the Wootz. Im getting perfect undercutting bringing the blade back towards me. I was having some issues with the undercutting pushing the blade away from me. Regardless, it wasnt shaving arm hair after establishing what I thought was a bevel, and thats what I had always been taught. Under bright Light i did see a very faint shiny light on the edge. After working a bit more...that went dull. Which I had always thought the bevel was set, yet it wasnt shaving arm hairs.

I knew almost immediately that something was definitely wrong as it should not take 40 minutes trying to create a bevel on a 1k stone.

I do want to thank everyone for their replies on the thread. This is why I come here to learn :)
 
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