First coticule and now...?

toon

Member
Just ordered my first coticule today.:w00t: :w00t:
A nice 20x4 cm piece of belgian beauty.:lol:
I haven't yet send my razor to Bart to hone, but I think I will give it a try on my own first.:cry:
There's so much information to be found here, and so much knowlede that if I screw up, there's got to be someone who can sort me out.:thumbup:

I keep you posted about my steps in the world of 'coticulism'.

Toon
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
coticulism... i like that one lolol.
Don't worry... like some other "...isms" out there, we will have you a safety net waiting.
 

toon

Member
Thanks for the support.
I can't wait for the package to arrive and start of honing away.:thumbup:
What will be the best way to go from here?
My razor is a nice Dovo, which shaves fine, but has never been honed (of course in the Dovo-factory, but never anywhere else). I don't know if it ever has been taken to its sharpest state, bur I feel that after a year or so, it starting to loose a bit of its sharpnes and starts 'biting' a bit, especially ATG.

What would, in your opinion, be the best way to discover my coticule?
The unicot-method sound good but I have a natural fear for dullign the blade on purpose :scared: , without any experience in honing. (What if i wreck the blade and can't get it back in shape?):cry:
I feel much for the dilucot-method; just going slowly without dulling or using tape, etc.:-/

I thought I might just start of by doing a short dilucot-honing. Something like 30 X-strokes in 7 or so steps from slurry to water. Then shave and maybe do it all again. This way I can feel the difference it makes. I can do this over a couple of days, so I can grow to the desired sharpness.
Does this make any sence at all, or should I go all the way and dive (unwillingly:blush: ) in the deep of the unicot-method.
And last, if I manage to get it really sharp, how often do you guys use the coticule for touch ups? Is this once a year, once a month or...? I have just one straight (yet) so it an everyday thing.
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
toon said:
Thanks for the support.
I can't wait for the package to arrive and start of honing away.:thumbup:
I know exactly what you feel. Only that my package arrived today, ha, ha! :w00t:

toon said:
And last, if I manage to get it really sharp, how often do you guys use the coticule for touch ups? Is this once a year, once a month or...? I have just one straight (yet) so it an everyday thing.
This is quite a good point. How often, or rather, after (roughly, of course) how many shaves?
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
toon said:
Thanks for the support.
I can't wait for the package to arrive and start of honing away.:thumbup:
What will be the best way to go from here?
My razor is a nice Dovo, which shaves fine, but has never been honed (of course in the Dovo-factory, but never anywhere else). I don't know if it ever has been taken to its sharpest state, bur I feel that after a year or so, it starting to loose a bit of its sharpnes and starts 'biting' a bit, especially ATG.

What would, in your opinion, be the best way to discover my coticule?
The unicot-method sound good but I have a natural fear for dullign the blade on purpose :scared: , without any experience in honing. (What if i wreck the blade and can't get it back in shape?):cry:
I feel much for the dilucot-method; just going slowly without dulling or using tape, etc.:-/

I thought I might just start of by doing a short dilucot-honing. Something like 30 X-strokes in 7 or so steps from slurry to water. Then shave and maybe do it all again. This way I can feel the difference it makes. I can do this over a couple of days, so I can grow to the desired sharpness.
Does this make any sence at all, or should I go all the way and dive (unwillingly:blush: ) in the deep of the unicot-method.
And last, if I manage to get it really sharp, how often do you guys use the coticule for touch ups? Is this once a year, once a month or...? I have just one straight (yet) so it an everyday thing.
Hmmmm... from the sound of things, it would appear to me that all you need is a touch-up
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
toon said:
Thanks for the support.
I can't wait for the package to arrive and start of honing away.:thumbup:
What will be the best way to go from here?
My razor is a nice Dovo, which shaves fine, but has never been honed (of course in the Dovo-factory, but never anywhere else). I don't know if it ever has been taken to its sharpest state, bur I feel that after a year or so, it starting to loose a bit of its sharpnes and starts 'biting' a bit, especially ATG.
During that year, did you ever use a strop that was treated with some kind of paste? (This is an important question)

toon said:
What would, in your opinion, be the best way to discover my coticule?
The unicot-method sound good but I have a natural fear for dullign the blade on purpose :scared: , without any experience in honing. (What if i wreck the blade and can't get it back in shape?):cry:
I feel much for the dilucot-method; just going slowly without dulling or using tape, etc.:-/
The problem is that many razors come sharpened form Dovo with a different bevel angle than what you would get when you hone with the razor laying flat on the hone. Allegedly, they hold the spine slightly above a rotating honing disc while cutting a bevel on the razor. They do this to prevent hone wear on a new razor. After that, they strop on a loom strop with red Dovo paste. How well the razor shaves after that tends to vary.
If you place your razor on the coticule for the first time, you have to keep the spine and edge in contact at all times. It's impossible to keep the spine at steady distance above the hone's surface when honing with an X-stroke. (It's doable on a rotating disc, because they don't move the razor). Because that factory bevel angle is obtuser than what you are doing on your hone, the very edge won't touch the hone, before you have completely reset the bevel angle. That is the very reason why honing a factory razor isn't always the piece of cake people expect.
Once the razor has a bevel at the "flat on the hone" angle, the next honing jobs will be less work.

If you maintain the edge on a pasted strop, during the previous year, the bevel will have a convex shape. Since we're using flat hones, the belly of the arc needs to be honed out as well. Depending on the level of convexity, this might be as much work as resetting the bevel on a Dovo factory edge. Most razors I see that have been used over half a year, show considered convexity, because the owners tend to touch up on the pasted strop till the edge stops responding to it. That's why I asked about a pasted strop.

No matter what, we have a razor that still shaves but not very well, and it won't respond to the hone until you have reinstated a proper bevel. The problem is: how are you going to know that the bevel is good for it. The razor still shaves a bit, I bet it'll pass the Thumb Nail Test (TNT) just fine. I also bet that you have not developed the fingerspitzengefühl to use the Thumb Pad Test (TPT) to make any call about the very edge starting to respond.
That leaves you with a problem. When is the bevel ready. Inspection of the bevel at magnification, combined with the Magic Marker Test (read the article in the "Honing Academy") is one way to solve your problem.
But the easiest way is to pre-dull the edge by rubbing it once without any significant pressure over the round part of a beer bottle. (aonther bottle works too :) ). You should not be afraid of that, because:
A. it will not set your bevel back, but only its sharpness, which is something you need to deal with anyway. If you can't get the razor past that pre-dulled state, you wouldn't get it to good shaving sharpness anyway.
B. I'll back you up. :)

toon said:
I thought I might just start of by doing a short dilucot-honing. Something like 30 X-strokes in 7 or so steps from slurry to water. Then shave and maybe do it all again. This way I can feel the difference it makes. I can do this over a couple of days, so I can grow to the desired sharpness.
Does this make any sence at all, or should I go all the way and dive (unwillingly:blush: ) in the deep of the unicot-method.
Well, you know my answer.;) But that does not mean that you must make your own discussion. It does not hurt to try some dilucot, but I still advice you to pre-dull the razor. The first part of the Dilucot procedure is exactly the same as the first steps of the Unicot method. If you get the razor to "shaving arm hair" stage, but the final sharpness is not good enough after the Dilucot attempt, the razor is in perfect condition for the taped steps of the Unicot method.

toon said:
And last, if I manage to get it really sharp, how often do you guys use the coticule for touch ups? Is this once a year, once a month or...? I have just one straight (yet) so it an everyday thing.
At the very first signs of edge fall back. 30-50 laps with water on top of the Coticule.

Best regards,
Bart.
 

toon

Member
Well, Bart, That;s quite an eleborate explanation.
You're right in many things. (As is Smythe in stating that it's just touch ups, but... even for touch ups the Dovo-bevel-story still holds up, doesn't it?).
1. I strop before every shave (about 30/50), but only rarely use a pasted paddlestrop.
I hardly ever touch the green side, but sometimes the red-paste-side.
2. I don't indeed have a fingerspitzengefühl. To be hones I never even tried the TPT :blush: I just stropped and shaved (mostly with decent enough results, but I start to believe it can be better)
3. I didn't know about this particular Dovo-bevel. Is this something that can be done by a newby, or should I be a lazy sod and send it to you Bart for initial bevel-setting B) . After that it's just a matter of touching up. (My initial idea was that I'm going to use the coticule for touch up anyway. I'm not (yet) into restoring or anything. Just for getting the best shave possible). It looks I might go farther then I initially thought, but I can't go back now (and don't want to, because it's never a shame to learn something new.
If I do try to go ahead myself, and I think I owe it to myself to at least give it a try. I take it the unicot method is the way to go. So, when my stone arrives (I hope today:w00t: ), I'll try the glass-dulling (I won't drink the beer first as to keep steady hands :p ).
And just take it very slowely. if I don't succeed today, I can always try again tomorrow. And if that doesn't work I'll cry for help from all you experienced quys :thumbup:
I believe it will just take a lot of laps to set this first bevel, before there's any real sharpening going on.

Thanks for making me feel secure enough, and when I fail I can rely on you.:thumbup:
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
toon said:
Well, Bart, That;s quite an eleborate explanation.
You're right in many things. (As is Smythe in stating that it's just touch ups, but... even for touch ups the Dovo-bevel-story still holds up, doesn't it?).
1. I strop before every shave (about 30/50), but only rarely use a pasted paddlestrop.
I hardly ever touch the green side, but sometimes the red-paste-side.
After one year your bevel will be convex. Am I correct in assuming that the red Dovo paste seems to no longer revive the edge as it used to? If so, that's a clear sign that the edge became seriously convexed over time. Dovo pastes their loom strops rather thick (too thick in my opinion, but don't worry about that for now).
toon said:
3. I didn't know about this particular Dovo-bevel. Is this something that can be done by a newby, or should I be a lazy sod and send it to you Bart for initial bevel-setting
You can try it yourself first. Just follow the recipe of the Unicot Article. By the way, it's available in Dutch as well, in PDF format:
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Correcting a convexed bevel hold about the same challenge as a "factory" bevel. Prepare yourself that it might take some time before the edge will reach the shaving arm hair stage. Patience is a virtue.;)

If you post your progress as you go along, we're all here to cheer at the sideline.

Bart.
 

toon

Member
the stone didn't come today :( :(
I hope tomorrow will be the day.
I keep you posted with the results.
I'll take pictures if there's something to see and I don't forget it in the heat of the moment.

I can't wait to be cheered at:lol: :lol: :lol:
 
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