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Different stones= different results.

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Boy what a difference i've found between my two stones. I've been struggling for quite a while to get a really nice edge from my first coti, a vintage of unknown origin, and after two full months and tens of sessions, I could very consistantly only reach edges just below what I need to shave with. A few tricks here and there seemed to help, but, whatever I tried outside pure dilucot seemed like a cheat or crutch.

After just two sessions with my new Dressante, I actually achieved an edge that gave a very nice shave. All my practice seemed to prime me to succeed with this stone.

Out of curiousity, I decided to hone two similar razors, one each per stone.
The two stones seem to have some different qualities that are kind of hard to put into words, but I found that my Dressante seems to be quite fast with slurry, whereas my vintage seems to be quite slow. With plain water, I'm hard-pressed to say which is quicker, but I found that the vintage had a certain graininess that didn't seem to be present in the Dressante. In spite of the sense of abrasion, it seemed to be a very slow go to get to a very smooth draw, but the Dressante seemed to reach that point quicker. The by the time I'd reached the water stage both hones felt indistiguishable.

The shave from each edge was quite different. The edge coming off my vintage was my typical "smooth yet not quite keen enough", but the edge off my Dressante was very keen and smooth. Perfectly acceptable, though I could wish for a tad more keenness.

It was quite engaging to use two different stones, one after the other. I couldn't help but try to compare and contrast each experience, and I really think that the practice I got in on my vintage really helped to achieve a nice edge out the gates with a different stone. I'd surely call it a great learning experience. I can't wait to see what I can achieve with this Dressante.

Cheers all,
-Chris
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Chris,
Sorry if I asked this before (I don't recall), but have you ever decided to take these somewhat lacking dilucot edges through the tape stages of Unicot?

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Hi Bart,
Yes, I have, on three occasions. To no real effect. It was one of the first things you suggested to me to gauge whether I was maxing out my hone. I haven't tried unicot yet on my new Dressante, but with my vintage I have. I really didn't notice any improvement. The first time I tried it, I think it improved the edge only slightly, and on the other couple of times I've tried it, I couldn't tell a difference, though it's been some time since i've tried; it may be worthwhile to try again.

What I have tried, that makes me think that the coti might damp down the keenness on it's own, was to hone a razor to scary sharp with a progression of synthetics, and then make a few light x-strokes on my vintage. About 10 laps give a nice mellow feeling to the edge, 30 or more drop the keenness to something comparable to what I can achieve with dilucot. Lather and oil each also upped the level a bit, and I tried using more pressure as you suggested to me in a thread on B&B, but I think my pressure is OK. For the past couple of attempts, I've played with applying more pressure, but it seemed that during the final stages, it made no effective difference in feel. Again, it's hard for me to describe, but during the final x-strokes, if I applied pressure to a stroke, it seemed to pass over the hone with no increase in cutting sensation, unlike applying pressure at different stages, which did deliver a more aggressive feeling to the cutting action. (Did that make any sense?)
Pasted strops can up the keenness, but someone once warned me that the "wow" factor would wear off fairly quickly.... and I'll be damned if he wasn't right.

....now that you mention it, I think I will try unicot next time on my new stone.

If it's not an imposition on Gary, I'll ask him to bring this vintage hone with him to the coti weekend. I have plans to send it out to him and to Ralfy, to try for me to see what they think of it, i hope he may be willing to bring it. If you guys could find the time to check it out, I would be most appreciative.

Regards,
-Chris (try anything once) Calvé:)
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Thanks for answering that question.

I think it's time that we rule out a few possibilities:

1. you like sharper edges than a Coticule will provide. The free honing service can provide and answer. Have one of your razors honed by Ray, Ralfson or myself and find out if you find it sharp enough. I would stand surprised if you didn't, but sharper does exist, and we all have a different face and use a slightly different shaving technique.

2. that vintage Coticule offers sub-par keenness. Unlikely, but not completely impossible. It's good that you now have that La Dressante au Bleu from Gary. At least he can confirm that it delivers a the typical keenness that can be attained with a random Coticule.

3. your stropping procedure for freshly honed edges leaves something to be desired.

If you don't mind, could you do me a favor and run a test?
Hone up 2, preferably identical, razors, to a level where you know that they will be keen enough for your liking. It's okay to use your synthetic hones, if that's what it takes. Next, apply a layer of tape to both razors, and give them 30 light laps, each on a different Coticule. Use only water and your lightest laps. (Unicot, working on an extremely narrow secondary bevel, requires light laps). Remove the tape when done.
Next compare both edges with the HHT. Note the results. Strop them and perform the HHT once more. Again, note the results.
Test shave them both during the same shave, and let us know how they shaved and compared to each other.

If you could do that, we might be much wiser.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Thanks Ralfy,
I know i said I'd send you a razor to try, but be glad you dodged that bullet (at least for now). I don't think Gary thought too much of shaving with the blade I sent him, though he was too polite to say so ;)

I do think I've come aways since I sent him that one, and the one I was going to send you never really amounted to much since I think it's plated with nickel. I was going to do a different one up in the near future. The problem is, I don't have that many blades, and some have great edges on them that I have no desire to mess with just yet (though the Dovo from SRD could use a more forgiving edge), and I have a couple really nice ones, but I'm not sure if i'd trust 'em to two seperate postal services.... they're my babies!.... even if they don't shave!

Bart, thank you for another very thoughtful reply.
I do think that a coti edge is my prefered edge as I've now used a blade honed by the venerable Smythe, the J Haywood i sent to Gary (That thing is crazy keen!) and various other finishes, the coti edges are the most comfortable edges I've tried so far, including synthetic, C12k, and Thury. The edges I get from my synthetic progression are too sharp, and are very unforgiving. Also they leave me inclined to in-growns.

I believe my stropping is OK because I can coax an improvement out of just about any edge with stropping. If I couldn't improve my edges off the hones with stropping, I would focus on that. Not to seem dismissive of your suggestion, I just don't think my stropping is the issue here. I can routinely improve a hht 0 or 1 to hht 2 or 3.

I will try the experiment as you've suggested, but I've got a birthday party to go to so probably not until tomorrow. I've got two identical razors that will be perfect for the test. I was holding one back as mint NOS, but WTH.... let's hone her up! I need one to send to Ralfy anyways...

Gotta go... the whole famn damly is waiting for me to get off the computer!

Thanks guys!

-Chris
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
wdwrx said:
Thanks Ralfy,
I know i said I'd send you a razor to try, but be glad you dodged that bullet (at least for now). I don't think Gary thought too much of shaving with the blade I sent him, though he was too polite to say so ;)

I do think I've come aways since I sent him that one, and the one I was going to send you never really amounted to much since I think it's plated with nickel. I was going to do a different one up in the near future. The problem is, I don't have that many blades, and some have great edges on them that I have no desire to mess with just yet (though the Dovo from SRD could use a more forgiving edge), and I have a couple really nice ones, but I'm not sure if i'd trust 'em to two seperate postal services.... they're my babies!.... even if they don't shave!

Bart, thank you for another very thoughtful reply.
I do think that a coti edge is my prefered edge as I've now used a blade honed by the venerable Smythe, the J Haywood i sent to Gary (That thing is crazy keen!) and various other finishes, the coti edges are the most comfortable edges I've tried so far, including synthetic, C12k, and Thury. The edges I get from my synthetic progression are too sharp, and are very unforgiving. Also they leave me inclined to in-growns.

I believe my stropping is OK because I can coax an improvement out of just about any edge with stropping. If I couldn't improve my edges off the hones with stropping, I would focus on that. Not to seem dismissive of your suggestion, I just don't think my stropping is the issue here. I can routinely improve a hht 0 or 1 to hht 2 or 3.

I will try the experiment as you've suggested, but I've got a birthday party to go to so probably not until tomorrow. I've got two identical razors that will be perfect for the test. I was holding one back as mint NOS, but WTH.... let's hone her up! I need one to send to Ralfy anyways...

Gotta go... the whole famn damly is waiting for me to get off the computer!

Thanks guys!

-Chris

i did try the razor criss sent me . i actauly took it on holiday with me. the razor as criss as noticed him self, just was not keen enough. thats all it was lacking just a little more sharpness. I think it just needed more work at the bevel stage then may be the rest would of followed may be more practice. the razor passed the hht in parts which proved parts of the edge were shave ready. it was just a thew areas that did'nt pass well enough which was why the razor was'nt fully performing. when i got back of hols . i stropped the razor and there was no improve mant so i'd say it was in need of a little more honing. also its not one of the easiest razors as it has a slight smile and i'm sure it was half wedge. i rehoned from start with my fast coticule for a new bevel and my hybrid side and finished on my la grosse jaune and it did shave realy well. criss your not far of, and if it makes it any easier i can remember night after night i was getting the same results and i still do but no where as often. its only the last two months i have actauly got consistant results with the hones i just mentioned. I feel i have more confidence in the hones i now use evry time . why because they work for me . may be your two hones will complament each other in some way. yes i will take the vintage to coticule pilgramage. infact i'm meeting bart on thursday and i'm sure he will give it whirl for you i will try it out to.

cheers gary
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
OK! Some enlightening results!

I took two identical Shapliegh 6/8 HG razors through to the sharpest edge i possible could do.I started by down-stroking both razors on a glass and resetting the bevel on my new Dressante and then I did a dilucot through to the end of dilution. Instead of going to water on the coti, I went to my Nani12K and then spydee UF w/ lather. this process usually gives me a scary sharp edge, and this time was no different. Each razor got pretty much identical treatment, but with a bit of variance to account for slightly different feed-back. After stropping, a definate HHT 5. Both razors showed equal performance on HHT and AHT.
So then onto the different coti's. Taped, and 30 laps with my very lightest x-strokes.
The results: before stropping, Dressante= hht 4, Vintage, hht 3 ish.
After stropping: Dressante: hht5 ish. Drops silently, anywhere on the edge.
Vintage: HHT4 (just the faintest noise before dropping, but not a pop.... more of a whisper.)

So, my conclusions, (and please, feel free to jump in with your opinions):

I shouldn't have given up on unicot so early in the game. Dilucot is my ultimate goal, but obviously my unicot has improved as well. I've definatley improved my results over my previous attempts. I chalk this up to lots of practice. I've been working pretty hard to get the dilucot to work for me, and one of the side effects, I'm sure, has been an improvement in my strokes. Practice makes perfect and all....

My stropping is good. I use a TM linen (usually about 50 or more laps) and a vintage Russian shell (usually 60 or 80 laps), and my technique is pretty good if my results can tell the tale. At no point did I experienced a drop in keenness after stropping.

The vintage coti is fine. Not that I really did think it wasn't, but I do believe that it leaves just a tad less keen edge. During the HHT there was a very slight, yet still noticeable, difference in the test. I've convinced myself that it is probably one of the old "faster" types. Not impossible to work with, but maybe just a little more difficult. Probably not the best place to start as a n00b, but really, I don't think there is anything wrong with it. Dilucot is just harder to do than I anticipated. At least for me.

I prefer working with my coti over the synthetic hones. I have no idea why, but I do. Maybe I'm deluding myself, but I think that the feed-back from the coti's is richer, or has more texture.... or some damn thing. I also like the idea that it functions so well over such a range of stages. This is the first time in a while I've even used them, and to be honest, I haven't missed 'em at all. The Nani feels particularily cheap, like honing on a piece of plastic. As good as a job as it does, I just don't like the feel.

So... are we enlightened any? I've learned a bit. Thanks for the impetus, Bart, I appreciate your finding the time and making the effort to guide a n00b like me. Now where the hell is that darn "thanks" button?!?;)

Test shave tonight, if I don't fall asleep on the couch; I will be sure to update you all then.

Cheers,
-Chris
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Gary, Thanks, buddy!
I'll get that hone packed up, and send my Boker with it. I'll get 'em into the mail this afternoon.

You are right about that j Haywood, it's very wedgy, and the bevel on it is huge! It is seriously sharp though. You did a fantastic job on it! I'll be happy if I can come even close to that quality of edge.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Thank you, Chris. Both razors now carry a secondary bevel that was cut with only the Coticule you used for creating it. That gives you a very precise indication of the keenness they will provide, along with all other qualities that came with it.

If you can do it on a secondary bevel with Unicot, you will also be able to eventually create a very similar keenness on a primary bevel with the aid of the Dilucot method. Just realize one thing: with the taped razor, you were working on an extremely narrow region of steel. With an untaped razor, that region will extend to the full bevel width. Even if you were to increase your honing pressure accordingly, you still would need to remove more steel. Now, I'm not advocating that you push your razors into flexing, but just that you stop being afraid of some pressure when working on a full bevel width. Somehow, I am almost convinced that your problems boil down to that. It does not hurt to add 30 - or even 60 or 100 - lightest laps to a great Coticule edge, but if the edge lacks keenness, those lightest laps will just put some extra polish on that keenness lacking edge. (As explained, this statement does not apply to Unicot).

But let's first find out how your razors shave...:)

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
....stop being afraid of some pressure when working on a full bevel width. Somehow, I am almost convinced that your problems boil down to that....

Copy that!

I have been trying to add more pressure, especially in the earlier stages. I have a feeling that may have been partly what led to my initial success with my new stone, more than anything. I've also been trying to utilize the 1/2 stroke more consistently as well, complete with the finger.
I guess the ethos of "no pressure" is just so prevalent it's proven a little difficult for me to overcome it. Indoctrination and all, ya know?;)

Gary, that hone and my Edelweiss are on their way. If they don't make it in time, or you don't have the inclination to deal with it at the Coti Weekend, that's fine. I'm sure you'll have plenty to do as it is, and you've already done a tremendous amount for me. I do hope you find the edge on this razor shaves a little better than the last. I thought it wasn't too shabby.

Cheers all,
-Chris
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
ah the hone should get here in time. what method have you used this time criss? and what hone was the boker honed on? new or vintage one?
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Gary, this razor was straight dilucot done with my new Dressante. It passes the HHT with about a 4. It's actually a very nice razor to hone, its been the one that has given me the greatest success with any honing process. I found the shave from its last honing quite pleasant. I don't expect you to hone it (unless you want to:D ), just try it out and tell me where or what needs improvement, if you would be so kind, as you have already done a tremendous amount on my behalf... Normally I would at least buy you a case of beer for your troubles.... but shipping would kill me on 'em.:D What can I do to re-pay you? Is there anything Canadian you're interested in having sent out? It would be my pleasure.

As far as the stone, I'm more or less simply curious to hear how you would rate it, and how it performs for you. After the test Bart had me perform, I more confidant now it's a decent stone.

Cheers,
-Chris
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
it's no problem criss. and i don't mind at all its my hobby and i enjoy what i do as we all do on here. thats what forums are about helping each other along . with out bart and the others i'd still be strugling along , i still do some times .i'll shave with the razor and let you no what i think i'm sure it will be a improve mant. if its fine i can leave the razor as it is if i think i can get it any sharper for you do you want me to hone it, i don't mind.i was thinking of honing your broker on the vintage to see how it goes i can also hone my best quality dovo up too.

cheers gary
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Gary, if you'd like to hone that razor, I'd love to try it out; the job you did on the other is fantastic! I've thought of a little gesture I can do for you too, so keep an eye on your mailbox! A very Canadian treat is coming your way!

Update: (sorry for taking so long, I was dead tired after a very long day and didn't even have the energy to type)

The shave was pretty good. Both razors wacked whiskers off with no problem. There was a very slight difference in the level of keenness. The vintage was a little less sharp seeming than the Dressante honed razor, though both seemed to lack a bit of smoothness. After the shave, my skin felt a little abraded, with a bit of redness, and feeling very much alive!

I think that they might benefit from a better stropping. I was wondering if honing with tape and stropping without was enough to make a difference, or if the bevel angle was changed enough to be noticable in the shave results? I'll strop 'em well again before I use them tomorrow, and maybe allow just a bit of slack in the strop next time.... or maybe put the tape back on.

Cheers,
-Chris
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
you don't need to tape just strop. criss i was at a stage when my razors were shaving but lacked this coticule smoothness every one mentions. i could'nt under stand it. i persumed it was my coticule. the secret is you will only experiance that special smoothness from coticule when your blade is absalutley sharp smoothness will just follow. thats what i have found while i have been using coticules so this what i have experianced. i never under stood the differant felling on face . i do more now as for my la grosse jaune and my hybrid side they leave a real mellow edge . the razor i honed for you is a mellow edge . my other side of my hybrid is may be engaging or brisk defanatley not mellow. i need to get to no the differance between those two. mellow edge to me is very decieving in the way that the edge feels like it dull but removing wiskers very easily with such a gentle feel ie soft.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
wdwrx said:
The shave was pretty good. Both razors wacked whiskers off with no problem. There was a very slight difference in the level of keenness. The vintage was a little less sharp seeming than the Dressante honed razor, though both seemed to lack a bit of smoothness. After the shave, my skin felt a little abraded, with a bit of redness, and feeling very much alive!
It's normal. I made you tape the spine and perform laps on water only. Two years ago, when Unicot was still under development, I kept experiencing a slight harshness in the edges with a secondary bevel cut on water only. They were more than keen enough, but in comparison with a successful Dilucot, there was a certain skin-friendliness lacking. I tried 1 layer of tape, 2 layers, 3 layers, but nothing really worked. Till I got the idea to add the step with the thin slurry, immediately after taping. Somehow, Coticule slurry smooths the tip of a bevel and after that it can be made a tad keener by removing more steel of the bevel sides. Yet the tip remains smooth. If you cut the secondary bevel with water (instead of misty slurry), the new tip has never been "massaged" by slurry. That's the theory. I don't know how much truth there is in it, but the fact remains. A Unicot with the misty slurry step is smoother than a Unicot performed on water only.

For our little experiment in this thread, I didn't speak about the misty slurry step, because I wanted to keep the variables as few as possible. But the razors should have been plenty keen, and probably as keen as you will ever be able to make them with a Coticule. They just can be a bit smoother, that's all.
For that, you need to follow the Unicot procedure as laid out. I've literally spend months fine-tuning the procedure.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Now That is very valuable information Sir Bart :thumbup:

And not only makes perfect sense, but follows my own experience too

Thank you for sharing kind Sir

Toodles Chaps
Ralfson (Dr)
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Bart, you're a genius!
Pressure! I think it was all in the pressure.
OK, I was browsing quick through the honing section of B&B, and bumped into a thread that was asking about the grabby (sticky) feeling that is mentioned now and again, and something Gary said got me to thinking... so I grabbed my coti, and that razor I did with the unicot bevel, which I wanted to tweak a bit.... and started messing around with that grabby sensation the edge sometimes seems to have. I was mostly just playing around, chasing that feeling, flipping the hone, working a bunch of wierd angles.... and then I tried something different.... (now remember, I've got Bart's admonition in mind about being shy of pressure) and I started torquing the razor's edge down into the hone...... And Boy! did that change the feed-back.... so I just went with it, keeping that edge torqued into the hone.... all the way through, with a nice finish on water with some light strokes and I think it worked! This edge is crazy sharp! HHT4, and a quick test shave on my cheek shows some very good keenness.
Now, this makes a bit of sense to me. by just letting the edge flop along the hone like a fat chick on a greased water mattress, I wasn't able to over come the slurry dulling because there was no balancing cutting action. Explains my inability to get any keenness. I wasn't working with any efficiency.... just rubbing away... polishing up that bevel with out really ever cutting the bevel. I also think it might explain my first intial heavy-handed successes... I though that the way to improve on those results must be to use less and less pressure.... so I got further and further away.... wondering WTH?!?! And trying to get lighter and lighter, ironicly, pushing success even further and further away. Huh. What a dummy!


Any whooo... way past bed time...
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
i remember honing a kropp somtime ago . when i started using the new dilucot methiod i was care ful and used light pressure. the shave was ok . i started again using figer pressure and i just went for it . Of the hone i could pass hht 3/4 no problem the shave was amazing.if i hit violin after hone . i just do a thew sets with pressure and follow with light laps on water . this gaurantees my keeness boost. if the heal lacks i hold finger down on that area and do the same .this is what bart recomended to me and it works.i'd never of tryed it other wise .
 
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