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First success !!!!!


Received my coticule today.:w00t: :w00t:
I couldn't wait to get started, but thought it might be better to wait untill the kids were off to bed.:p

So when all was quiet I set out to get started on my first unicot.
Raised my first slurry :lol: and also was pleasantly surpised by the smell (as was mentioned in an earlier post).:thumbup:
So, first the bevel setting.... oh no.... even worse, the scary part, the dulling:scared:
I had to scratch a beer bottle twice before the razor wouldn't shave hair anymore.
Then the fist stages: 30x half strokes each way. I think I had to repeat that about over 20 times (I lost count somewhere along the road :cry: ) before it would shave a few arm-hairs. Is this normal for a first bevel-setting ( I remembered Bart's Dovo-bevel-illumination-story-thingy, that might have something to do with the amount of passes needed)?
I noticed that the slurry quickly dries. Is this normal? I added water quite a few times and even used the slurry stone a few times to renew the slurry. Was this the way to go, or should I have left it dry.
Another problem is that I lost count on the 30x passes a few times.:blush: Well, I'm just not the mathematical kind of person :p
I did about 50 x-strokes ( a bit more then I was told but I thought just to make sure).

I tried a hanging hair test but i didn't get past a violin I have to admit (and an out of tune one at that:lol: )
But, undiscouraged by this I went on to the taping-stage. I again did about 60 x-strokes on just water to finish.
I tried to shave a bit of my arm-hair and noticed that one side of the razor was noticeably better at shaving hair:confused: , so I concluded it was a lot sharper.:huh: (God, I'm smart ain't I to figure that one out B) ) Should I give the duller side just more passes to fix it? I didn't do that now, religiously sticking to the printed-Unicot-manual in front of me.:blink:

After that I cleaned the razor and went to stropping.
About 70/70, then lathered up and about 30 more passes on the leather.
I tried some sort of TPT, but didn't really notice anything special, not daring to really push in the flesh(This frightened me a bit, because I thought the razor might actually be less sharp then when I started out:-/ )
But not to worry, if I got it all wrong I have something to do in the weekend :thumbup:

Finally I got to shaving my face. Because I didn't have a heavy beard, as I had a real good shave this morning, there wasn't much challenge for the razor, but I'm too impatient to wait until the morning:blush:
The shave was actually quite good. As a lot of you mentioned before, the edge feels soft and smooth (or... was that just because it was so dull it just slid over my face without doing anyting :cry: ) Neh, I could hear the hair being cut, so I knew I shaved.:lol:
The shave was really smooth, so I was rather pleased with myself.

So, You can add me to the list of coticule-enthousiasts. It's all downhill from here (I hope).

It just leaves me with one question. Since there is no such thing as a too keen razor :lol: I might like to go on and refine the edge.
Should I:
1. go through the entire unicot-proces again
2. just tape the spine and do a lot of x-strokes
3. don't tape and just do a lot of x-strokes.

What would be the best way to increase the keenness of the blade.
Bare in mind that it was just a first attempt (although a good one:thumbup: ), so the edge might not be perfect yet.

Well, thanks for all the advice (Sir Bart, I bow to your knowledge and pleasure in sharing it), and hope to get some more. Maybe later on I can share my experience and knowledge as well.:)

And... sorry for making this such a long and boring thread.:blush:
Oops, after the initial jumping around in excitement that I've done the job quite well it's time for a bit of humble pie.:cry:

The shave this morning was allright, but that was about it. WTG and XTG were allright and I even managed ATG (even in the upper lip:thumbup: )
The razor did the job, but that's all. It wasn't any sharper then when I started. :(
Also a bit af a burning sensation, which I normally don't have.

So... I think I have my work cut out for me this weekend.:p
20x for bevel setting does sound a lot,if it was gently dulled on glass. Depending how quik your coticule cuts. Did your slurry darken fairly quik? If so there should be no problem. My guess is your slurry was far to thick, to be able to shave arm hair.The other thing if your razor is not entily sharp along the full lenght of razor. This could be either you need a slight rolling x stroke, or your stroke is not flat enough. I would put black marker along your bevel. Perform at least 50 laps on medium slurry. Then check the edge,see where marker remains. This will tell you if the whole edge is making contact with your hone. If marker remains at the heal and the toe you will need to ajust your stroke, using rolling x.

Once the marker is all removed, carry on honing on milky slurry, untill the whole edge can shave am hair fairly well at every portion of the edge. Don't move on untill you can, otherwise your wasting your time. Your slurry can thicken , all you have to do is add a drop of water to when needed. Keeping milky consistancy at all times. The edge is shaving arm hair from heal to toe. Add one layer of tape. Do 30x misty watery slurry. Clean hone properly. Do 50x water very light strokes. Strop and shave. Now you should get a very good shave.

One tip . when setting bevel on very heavy slurry. Just test with tpt if your thumb holds along the edge. You a bevel it may not shave arm hair, Because your slurry restricting sharpness. Then add a little water and carry on with normal x strokes, may be 30. Then try shaving arm hair. You will see the differance. Due to adding a little water, the edge is able to become keen enough to shave arm hair. Then if you carry on with the diluting method your razor just get s keener. Or you can use unicot as short cut to reach that very same keaness. You have to no your slurry, with more practice you will.
Very good advice from Mr Gary and nothing to add from me really, the one thing that is VITAL is DO NOT move on until the edge cuts arm along its ENTIRE length, and remember THICK SLURRY DULLS EDGES.
Good luck for every success this weekend
garyhaywood said:
20x for bevel setting does sound a lot,if it was gently dulled on glass. Depending how quik your coticule cuts.

For once, I'm going to respectfully disagree, Gary. I'm not surprised at all that it took Toon 20 sets of 30 half strokes to get the razor to shave arm hair again.

Undoing the dulling strokes takes only 1 set, but undoing a severely convexed bevel takes a lot longer than that.
I regularly have straight razor shavers over at my place, for a live honing session. It often happens that they bring a razors that was kept going on red Dovo paste for 6 months, sometimes 1 year. It's a much used method in Belgium, taught at straight razor shaving and honing courses that are quite successful over here. (the methods is easy and it works reasonable well).
What I usually do when I have a visitor with such a razor is the following: I put my stereo microscope on the table. Than I start honing and talking. After some time, I tell the visitor to take a look at his razor under magnification. What he sees is a strip of freshly abraded steel, with the typical Coticule "sandblasted" pattern. In the beginning it's a small strip. Each time we stop and inspect, the strip has grown wider, till it eventually will run all the way to the very edge. At that point the razor starts shaving arm hair. On a razor that starts out with a bevel that's so convex that no amount of pasted stropping will make it shave comfortably, restoring it to a flat state does take a long time. 20 sets of laps are not exceptional. With some practice it takes less than 40 seconds to do one set. 20 sets, together with testing will take 20 minutes. Of course for a newbie, it'll be much longer.
So much about the issue of resetting the bevel on that razor. I'm sure more of the work is done now.

Toon, my advice is to start all over. You'll be surprised how soon the razor will start to shave arm hair during the first stage, this time. After taping make the laps very light and precise. Make your finishing laps as light as possible. (Unlike other methods, very light finishing is key with the Unicot method that works on such a very narrow secondary bevel).

I'm going to make a separate thread with some pointers for people just starting out with razor sharpening.

Best regards,
I just persumed he was dulling a shave ready razor, thats what i do on my da's. If he has been keeping the edge sharp with, paste then yes it would take much longer.So the thing to do would use a 30 k loop and if only half the bevel, looks sand blasted, and the very convexed tip still looks nice and shiny then this would explain that the bevel is not quite set. When the hole bevel is looking like swiss cheese , you no your getting there. Thats a very good way of judging the bevel. I will have to use that. Good tip.
garyhaywood said:
I just persumed he was dulling a shave ready razor,

Me too, if your starting with a butterknife or a convex bevel it will take A LOT more than 20, shit sometimes I do that many sets before I expect the edge to even start catching arm hair.
tat2Ralfy said:
garyhaywood said:
I just persumed he was dulling a shave ready razor,

Me too, if your starting with a butterknife or a convex bevel it will take A LOT more than 20, shit sometimes I do that many sets before I expect the edge to even start catching arm hair.

That, my dear Ralfson, is because you both neglected to look at all the facts, which is elementary, my friends...:lol:

Here's a quote from our comrade Toon, in another thread:
toon said:
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.
Knowing that the man shaves with this razor (almost?) exclusively, I suspected "pasted stropping", and inquired for that. Here's an excerpt of the answer:
toon said:
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.

Kindest regards,
Sherlock Torfs.
:lol: :lol:
I think Scotland Yard is missing one of its detectives... probably now living comfortably in Belgium under an assumed name.
:thumbup: I went through my second honing session yesterday. (Kind of a dulicot, thinking it will just make the unicot-try better).
After reading al your words of wisdom I felt it would be best to do the unicot all over again. So I did.
The stone produces slurry quite fast, but I may have made teh slurry too thick at first. At one point it was almost paste-like. (I thought that was a good thing: more particles to cut the blade :blush: ).
I carefully watched the way the water flowed in front of the edge, which made me believe I touched the stone the entire stroke. So I think I;m not tilting the blade, but I migt be mistaken.
I must be doing something wrong though, because I still can barely reach the armhair-shaving-stage. The strange thing is, that it still get a good shave. (Which makes em wonder how wonderfull the shave must be, when i reach thiss zen-like stage of 'absolute kenness':w00t: .)

The slurry quickly turn grey, so I must be doing something to the steel :confused: .
At one point I strted blaming verything else, but me (Damn that modern carbon-steel:mad: ).

I tried the HHT of course, mostly without any real success.
The TNT feels allright, I can feel the blade cutting into the nail.
The TPT doesn't do it for me. It feels like its doing nothing to the flesh and I can just as well use a butterknife. :p

Anyway, there's no substuitute for experience, so I'll keep at it.:lol:
I'll try the unicot again (and again and again and ...) untill I reach the desired stage.

And if all else fails, I bow down my head in shame and turn my pleas toward that knighted-Sherlock Sir Bart, to set that initial bevel. :O

But, I'm not at that stage by far. I'll keep at it for days and days to come. I'm sure I will get there someday.

When the edge hits the spine, I know I've tried too much :lol:
Ok, so you didnt get it shaving arm Hair? and you tried TNT?
Mmm if you used TNT you need at least 20 laps of whatever you did before the test to put right the damage you just did, I never use TNT after 400 grit it will cause you more problems than it helps, also if you started with a shave ready razor and dulled it on glass there is no need to use it, it only tells us that a bevel we are creating NOT correcting is getting right.
As for the shaving arm test, if you where getting grey slurry then we know you are cutting steel, however if you are not getting to shave arm hair stage then it is most likely that your slurry is too thick, remember thick slurry dulls edges, I would dull the edge LIGHTLY on glass, and start a UNICOT again, make your slurry and then before you start 1/2 strokes dilute the slurry until you think its too thin, then start 1/2 strokes until you can easily shave arm hair, DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT move on until you can shave arm easily, if the slurry thickens up add a drop or 2 of water, do 2 normal x strokes to mix it in, and carry on with 1/2 strokes until you can shave arm hair THIS IS VITAL! I REPEAT DO NOT MOVE ON UNTIL YOU CAN SHAVE ARM HAIR, you will just be wasting your time.
I hope this is of help, although the unicot is simple method it calls for certain "landmarks" to be met exactly right before moving forward.

My comment would be too practise BUT not on a decent blade

If you do not have an old junk blade, pm me and i will send a blade for you to practise on a variety of slurry thickness.

This is how I started, if you can take a blade that people would throw away and make it shaveable you will not look back.
I'll keep on going, guys.
And, Ralph, I will not proceed until armhair is falling like birds on a hot tin roof. :p

Thank for the offer Tim.:thumbup:
I'd love to have a comparative try.
I'll pm you.

There are some really nice guys out here :thumbup:

we will sort the razor (s) when I get your address.

As I do not know your experience - forgive me if being patronising

I would suggest that you raise a thick slurry on the coti (try to remember/visulise what it looks like in terms of consistency) and take the old blade and attempt to set the bevel, only doing the amount of strokes that are recommended

If that does not work, wash raxor and dull it, then add water to slurry to thin it. Try again and check results

Again try to remeber/visulise the consistency

If this does not work then preat with a slightly thinner slurry

I would imagine btween the thick and thin lies the strength of slurry required

I did the above for a while til It because more obvious as to the strength of slurry needed to start with. YOU CANNOT MOVE ON TIL ARM HAIR IS SHAVED

Once you get arm arm sahving then leave coti, dull razor and use the slurry agin to repeat - bearing in mind you may need to strengthen it. Keep practising as it is logical not scientific

No doubt others will disagree
I'm a fella that convexes double bevel flat ground knives deliberately, and what you're describing sounds like a convexed edge you're trying to restore to flat bevels.

It is my ignorant and uninformed opinion that taping the spine and setting a shorter bevel would speed up the process, but I've no idea that you want that result.
Thats cock on! Unicot works so well because that secondary bevel is tiny, and that gives us a nice small surface to refine. with Dilocut the bevel is larger and thats one reason the process takes longer and a lot lot more laps, and dont forget the angle of the bevel is fairly crucial too, just to throw another mental spanner into the works :thumbup: