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Dilucot issues.

cyclelu

Well-Known Member
Hello All,

I have been struggling with Dilucot for a while now, but have not been sure of where my problem is. So this weekend while at Hog's I used his bout and did Dilucot on 1 of my razors. I must say that using the bout I was able to get very close to a great edge, I think I just needed a bit more laps on plain water.

What I have learned from this experience is that on the bout I did not experience any drying of the slurry that I have been experiencing on my #56. I think that my problem has been at the first stage while trying to correct the bevel, I have had to add water a bit sooner than I thought that I should. Had not come to that conclusion since I have been able to get the best edges using Unicot.

My question, would starting with a bit thicker slurry be advisable? Would it be to detrimental to begin with a thicker slurry even if I start to dilute a bit quicker than the norm?

I have not been posting since I was not sure where my problem might be. I have been working on learning the stone and trying more dilutions and have been getting better, but not getting it right.

I have taken a couple of razors and gone through the entire Dilucot process, to the best of my ability and when I test shaved went back to the stone and finished with an awesome Unicot edge.

Thank you in advanced for any suggestions, even if it is to stick with Unicot. I do love how nice the edge is with Unicot.

Best Regards,

Lu
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
Hi Lu--Saw your pics in Miami. I was raised in W.Palm for the first part of my life. The patio brought back memories.

There are numerous strategies that will work for you. I saw all the stones you have available and might suggest that you start with a downstroke on glass and then set the bevel with a dmt1200 or 600 or one of the 1000 grit synthetics you have until it will easily cut arm hair. I only say that because it is easier to feel the dilution process after the bevel is set. (There are some reasons to set the bevel on the coticule in that the slurry is better when it is "used" a little than when it is fresh. You can shortcut that process by making a thin slurry, and using a piece of steel to "prime" the slurry with metal so it gets a bit darker.)

Bottom line, if you want to feel the dilucot, I would start from a set bevel. Do not let the slurry get very thick. Slurry will absolutely dull the edge if it is too thick or you let it dry out and get thick, and when that happens no number of strokes will improve the edge. This is very counter intuitive, but absolutely true. But, if your slurry is a bit thin, you can at least do more laps and gain progress even if it is not the most efficient method. The bottom line is I bet you want the success with dilucot even if it takes longer than it should.

Make the slurry thinner than you think it should be. Maybe, much thinner. Then do 25 or 30 half strokes on each side, dilute with two drops of water off your finger and continue until the slurry is as thin as water. Try to pace the dilutions so it gets to the water-like stage after ten or twelve sets of half strokes. The slurry will still be cutting until you rinse the hone, and will stop increasing abrasion when you rinse and RUB the surface of the hone. I would suggest at least a dozen dilutions and if you run out of slurry before that, give the stone just three or four rubs with the slurry stone to raise a faint slurry again. Thinner than the original.

Once you have done a dozen dilutions, rinse the stone under a tap but do not rub the surface to get rid of the slurry on the stone. Give it a couple more sets of 25 half strokes. Typically at this stage I can pop a thick hair if I strop the blade seven times on the thigh of my jeans.

Rinse and RUB the surface of the hone with your fingers to get rid of all signs of slurry and do one or two more sets of half strokes. From this point on do X strokes in sets of thirty and test the edge after each set. It might take 90 or more strokes depending or your stone to refine the edge, but if you follow the above procedure, I would be surprised if you are not surprised at the quality of the edge.

Again, the worst that can happen is to have a great pre-Unicot edge, but if you have a steady stroke I am sure you will be successful. Your La Dressante au Bleu is a normal dilucot finisher and should provide a very sharp edge.

Ride on, Lu, Denny
 

cyclelu

Well-Known Member
Thanks Denny,

I too grew up in the W. Palm area and we still have family up there and we visit them when the girls schedule allows us.

I will give the procedures you outlined a try in the next day or two and post back. As you mentioned the worst is the great pre Unicot edge. That I have already founds to be very beneficial.

Best Regards,

Lu
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Lu,

it sounds to me as if you struggle with the finishing part, and not with the dilution or the bevel correction stage. If your bevels weren't good, Unicot wouldn't work, hence we mustn't worry about that.

Whether your dilution stage goes equally well is less certain, but that question can be easily answerred by the HHT. After the dilution phase, you must be able to pass HHT-1. The violin. If you reach that level, the rest is a matter of finishing.

Finishing is often underestimated. It's much more than doing 30 laps and proceeding with a test shave.

If you can confirm that your Dilucot edges pass HHT-1, we'll take it from there.
Otherwise, we'll have to find the problem, but it doesn't make sense to solve a "problem" that isn't one.

Kind regards,
Bart
 

cyclelu

Well-Known Member
Bart,

Thank you for your input. I will follow your advise checking HHT after dilution and move forward from there, prior to worrying about the bevel correction stage. I have checked the bevel with the arm hair test and it has been adequate (for my very thin arm hair) on razors that have a fantastic Unicot edge as well as with those that I have tried Dilucot with.

Hopefully I will be able to asses the issue properly and be able to provide more details so that I can set a plan to work through to a great Dilucot edge.

I will try tonight and report back.

Once again, thank you.

Best Regards
Lu
 

kg4ghn

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
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Although not my thread, I want to say thank you for this. I either hadn't seen this before or looked over it. I had not been even trying an HHT until after done with water.

I was not doing enough work at the end of my dilutions before moving on with just water. I just tried this on a razor that I had did dilucot on but wasn't there. Made a pretty thin slurry, diluted a couple of times, then stayed on the slurry until I got a violin before moving to just water. After 40 laps on water I got a HHT2 on the hone and a good HHT4 after stropping which is the best results I've gotten so far.

Thanks Bart!
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Only one thing for me to add, and its something I don't feel many take to heart, one of the reasons that setting the bevel on the Coticule with slurry is a good idea, is that way you can be sure you slurry thickness is spot on, if you set the bevel on another stone, and then go at it with slurry that is too thick, you will dull the edge, if the slurry is too thin, you won't be able to work the bevel enough to ensure a great result. If the slurry is just right, you should be able to set the bevel on a freshly dulled razor in 2 or 3 sets of half strokes, from that starting point you know you have things just right.

Bit like goldie locks and the porridge.

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
Exactly right, Inky. My suggestions tried to cover not just dull, but damaged edges. I also was basing my thoughts at Lu's use of other stones in his get together. I am discovering that the written language is very difficult. Ideas that seem spot on to me can be reread with different conclusions.

I was just about to give you grief about not answering email, but this time I was smart enough this time to check. YRP, D
 

cyclelu

Well-Known Member
Gentlemen,

I worked on my Dilucot this evening checking at the various points in the process. One stroke on glass, razor did not shave arm hair. Three sets of half strokes, razor shaved arm hair. Continued on to 12 dilutions, tried HHT with violin and a split at the heel. Finished on water only and HHT was between HHT2 and HHT3. At this point I followed Gary's tips and did 5 more dilutions after rubbing the slurry stone once and moved on to finishing on water. Stropped 60 on linen and leather HHT passed.

Through out the entire process I concentrated deeply on my stroke and watched for the razor to undercut the slurry and water in both directions. Noticed that during both finishing stages I tilted the my hand in a way that the water would run off the stone. I immediately added water. The final HHT was the best that I have had from the Dilucot method.

I will test shave tomorrow morning and post the results as early as I can.

Thank you all for your advise.

Regards,

Lu
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
That sounds very good. It's about the same as what I get with Dilicot, and I would expect you to have a nice shave. Should you seek further improvement, it's not forbidden to return to the Coticule and do more work on water. Try to keep the strokes very light the edge hovering over the hone refresh the water as soon s there's any sign of it getting cloudy.
I hardly ever have a problem arriving at a great edge that way, but knowing what to expect of my HHT, I just keep going till I'm pleased. I think that kind of confidence to arrive at the sweet spot sooner or later is what often separates the experienced from the less experienced.
We just keep fumbling till we get it as perfect as possible.

Kind regards,
Bart
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
Bart, your last statement about the confidence in success is the absolute difference between experienced and inexperienced anything. I would never have become good at anything if I didn't see a true finished product and get to it with my own sweat a few times. Very perceptive. D
 

cyclelu

Well-Known Member
The morning shave was much, much better than previous. The edge felt very nice, it just felt that it could be a bit keener. Please keep in mind that I am comparing it to the keenness I have achieved using Unicot. My result was mostly BBS, but a couple of the tougher areas needed just a bit of attention after 3 full passes. Unfortunately I did not have time to touch up those areas, but even now some 13 hours later I am still presentable since those areas feel like I just used a multi-blade razor.

I think tonight I will go back to just water, very lightly as Bart pointed out and see how that goes.

At least now I believe I understand where I am having the problem and can concentrate on that to improve my results.

Thank you all for your help.

Best Regards,

Lu
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Way to go Lu :thumbup:

Keep up your good work my friend, it will continue to yield better and better results

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

pinklather

Well-Known Member
I would nominate Sir Ralfy as World Coti ambassador. Everywhere he posts, he gives these stones and those that love them a good name.
 

cyclelu

Well-Known Member
I finally had time last night to touch up the razor a bit. I did about fifty very light laps on water only making sure to add water every ten laps. HHT was excellent right off of the stone. After stropping 60/60 HHT was the beat that I have ever gotten. It was cutting cleanly about 1 - 1/2 inches from hold point!

The test shave was BBS in three smooth as silk passes!

I did it right this time, finally success with Dilucot!

Thank you all!!!!!!

Best Regards,
Lu
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
That is excellent news, kind sir.

What you describe about the HHT is how it always works for me. Once you know to stay at it an do whatever it takes to get that dammed edge up there, you can't go wrong with Dilucot.
:thumbup:

Bart
 

cyclelu

Well-Known Member
Thank you Bart!

I used the second razor this morning and again very keen. I gave that razor the same treatment just very light laps on water, although I did about 70 laps on this one. Fantastic!!

Now I have to start moving more razors to Dilucot.

Thanks again for all of your help.

Best Regards,

Lu
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Lu, hearing you say how much you enjoy the shaves is a true delight my friend

I can speak for us all when I say the pleasure is all ours

Regards and happy honing
Your friend Ralfson (Dr)
 

cyclelu

Well-Known Member
tat2Ralfy said:
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Thank you for the kind words Buddy.

I have really enjoyed the Coticule from the moment that I received it and now that I was finally able to have a successful Dilucot, I love it even more.

Thank you, to you, Bart, and all the guys here for sharing your expertise with honing and Coticules.

Best regards Buddy,

Lu
 
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