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Couple Questions about my Coticule and Honing

gull

Active Member
Hi all, I have a few questions.

I've been trying to hone my blade, and I've had moderate success. I can get a blade that shaves alright, but I always feel that it is lacking in keenness. The HHT is, at best, a two. I've tried stropping more, I've tried doing more laps on water, I've tried honing on lather, I've tried Crox, and I tried one rub with the slurry stone and diluting. Right now I'm just a little frustrated.

Any suggestions are welcome on how to solve my problem. I've considered using the BBW, but I don't know how to use it properly. My BBW also has large scratches on it, and I'm not sure if that's a problem or not.

I also was hoping you all could identify my rock. Here are some pictures of the coticule and also of my BBW.

http://imgur.com/a/P9sXG#cZWqq

Thanks in advance.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Without a side view, I can't be sure, but the back of your stone looks more like slate to me than like BBW. If the Coticule is glued to slate, the back has no honing purpose. The Coticule itself appears to be a La Dressante. It's the only layer I know with these typical diagonal lines that are more pale than the rest of the surface.

It will serve you well, it's just a matter of practice and finding the right "modus operandi".

Have you ever tried following the
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approach to the letter? That remains the easiest way I know to get a great edge off a Coticule.
Right now, if even a CrO pasted strop doesn't bring out sufficient keenness, I'd be inclined to say your razor lacks a good bevel.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Loric

Active Member
I agree that it sounds like a bevel issue. I also have a La Dressante (it looks very much like your stone) that is a touch on the slower side. So when I set a bevel on it I have to do lots of work on a heavier slurry, not super thick, but a good milky slurry. Sometimes I'll even have to refresh the slurry once or twice if its taking a very long time to get where I want it to be. Just pay attention to when your edge will cut arm hair before you move on to dilutions. Also if your stone is anything like mine, its slow on water also. So expect to do lots of laps there too.
 

gull

Active Member
Here's a picture of the side of the coticule.

http://imgur.com/a/xhKtT

I also attached a picture of the type of slurry I use to set the bevel. Do you all think it is too thick?

Loric, just how much work do you usually do on the bevel setting stage? For this razor I did about 5 rounds of 30 halfstrokes each. I can't imagine it taking longer! :scared:
 

Loric

Active Member
I think your slurry is in the ballpark. How fast does it darken as you use it?

gull said:
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I enjoy honing, so probably more than I need to sometimes. But honestly I work till its where I need it to be. Its not so much about you deciding its done, as the razor telling you its ready to move on. One of the toughest skills for me is still observing what the hone/razor is telling me. I have enough practice to know what works(usually anyway), but its not the same thing. Its probably blasphemy here, but if you dont want to spend the time setting a bevel on a slower coticule, you could use another coarser hone. Synthetics and DMT's are great for removing metal fast to set a bevel. I'm assuming your honing a new factory edge or a vintage razor that has not been professionally honed recently? Razors like this need some extra love the first time you hone them, however after that maintenance honing is a much simpler matter.

For what its worth, I have set bevels on a couple big Sheffield wedges with coticles when I did not have anything else to keep me busy honing. I find honing to be a zen activity, and if you have to remove a lot of metal at one time doubly so.
 

pinklather

Well-Known Member
Gull, what razor are you working on? 'Trying to eliminate razor issues, such as known poor blades like Gold Dollar.

Your Dressante looks similar to mine, and I love it. I don't set bevels on it. For fast processing, I use a Petite Blanche.

Perhaps post a photo of your razor.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
I will just echo, that to me it sounds like a bevel issue, its important that the entire edge shaves arm hair before moving on, and I mean shaves arm hair easily, after that you should find it easy going, and as Sir Bart says you may wish to consider trying Unicot, it really is a very simple way of getting a wonderful edge.

Best of luck, and kind regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

bbr6704

Well-Known Member
gull said:
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I'm new in coticule honing, but my dressante on slurry can't go that fast!... So I takes me really longer to set a bevel able to shave arm's hairs!

And it also takes me longer after to get a good result (I have to double unicot process to get a good edge, and more again when i'm doing unicot...)

Maybie that will improve with parctice, but I won't go faster than my stone!
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
gull said:
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Your Coticule is a glued specimen. This is not abnormal. Only a small part of the extracted rocks can be cut in such a way that they remain bonded to the natural BBW counterpart. The glued stones however are glued to a Brazilian slate that has no sharpening use. Hence, you can't use the back. In fact, it will slightly dull your razor. (I've tried).

But not to worry. The Coticule part is perfectly capable to give you the edge you're after.
Your really need to use the "beer bottle trick" (BBT) as described in the Sharpening Academy. (it's included in both the Unicot and Dilucot articles). The BBT makes sure that you stay at the bevel-stage, until you are ready to move on. That is when the razor shaves arm hair.
The time it takes can indeed vary a lot. Nothing sensible to say about that, other than to keep at it. Some guys jump to a faster hone, if it takes too long. Once done on the coarse hone, I recommend to use the BBT again. You might think that is very counter productive, but it isn't. With the bevel ready of a coarser hone, let's say 600 grit, it will really take you only a minute to reach the shaving-arm-hair level again with just your Coticule. This will also confirm that you are doing everything well. If it takes longer than 2 sets of halfstrokes after a BBT on a bevel that was ready on a 600 grit stone, there is something terribly wrong with the honing stroke.
At the same time, the BBT after the coarser stone makes sure that you eradicate the coarser scratches.

For a final word of advice. Do use pressure. About the amount you would put on a pencil eraser. Reserve lighter strokes for the final 30 finishing strokes. (or in case of Unicot, as soon as you've put on the tape).

Best regards and good luck,
Bart.
 

gull

Active Member
Thank you everyone for the helpful advice and information! :thumbup:

Shaving arm hair is something I'm still confused about. How easily should it be cutting the hair? The razors I've honed on my coticule have all shaved arm hair, and that is why I thought their bevels were set. But cutting and cutting well are two different things. Should the razor be cutting hairs like a laser? Should the hairs be popping? What should I be looking for, and are there other tests I can use to tell if the bevel is set?
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
In a word: Effortless.

It will cut like a really sharp razor, not a laser or a sharp knife. The hair won't jump, it will just be wiped away. No big deal :)
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
I find that when shaving arm hair the edge feels incredibly sharp and very crispy, you almost would believe it was good enough to shave your face.

Best regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Tok

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
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I don´t want to hijack this thread, but what´s about my La Veinette mentioned here:
http://www.coticule.be/the-cafeteria/topic/666.html?page=2
…?

I mean, it has this pale lines as well. Or are they different from the ones you mean?

Kind regards,
Tok
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Yours has 4 different markers that all point to La Veinnete (it's a combo, it has white lines in the lateral pane of the BBW, the surface looks creamy with a uniform color hue, it's transition line looks typically Veinettish)

Gull's Coticule is glued (only rarely we see glued La Veinettes), the surface caries a series of parallel, well formed lines, with slightly different color hue than the rest of the surface (not just a brightness variation). Those are both consistent markers for La Dressante -upper part of the layer.


That is really all I can say about the matter. Determining Coticules is not always easy, certainly not when all one can go by is a couple of pictures. People ask about their hone and I try to answer to the best of my knowledge about them. All I can do.

Best regards,
Bart.
 

Tok

Well-Known Member
Bart,

That sounds a bit like you feel attacked and that is absolutely not my intention. I want to point out, that I don´t want to question your identification on any involved coticule. I´m not asking whether his coticule could be a glued La Veinette and I´m not asking whether my coticule could be something else. In fact, it has nothing to do with the two mentioned stones at all. I have seen those white lines on other La Veinettes (on pictures; Coticule 12 from the Vault seems to have them, too) as well. That´s what I was wondering about.

Kind regards,
Tok
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Rest assured, I didn't take offense. I only wanted to emphasize that Coticule determination based on pictures often remains a matter of "most likely" instead of certitudes.

Bart.
 

gull

Active Member
I have a razor that was sharpened on naniwas. Would giving it a few laps on water give it a proper coticule edge? Or would I need to use some slurry?
 

geruchtemoaker

Well-Known Member
gull said:
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it depends on what you call a coticule edge. if it just needs a touch up or it doen't need anything but you just want in more smooth I would do a few strokes eg 2 sets of halfstokes and 50 x-strokes or so on a coticule, then it will gain a bit of the smoothness of the coticule

kind regards
Stijn
 

gull

Active Member
The blade was still harsh, so I just dulled it and did a dilucot. So far this is the best edge I've gotten! It was still a HH2, but the shave was great. I think I'm getting better, but progress is slow.
 
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