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Gents, I need some advice...

Phlier

Active Member
Hey guys, long time, no see. So long, in fact, that I had to re-register here. :)

Quick background... I've been shaving and honing straights for around two and a half years now. I've run the gamut of various hones, including a complete set of Shapton GS (through and including the 30k Shapton). I ended up selling all my other stones except for two coticules.

One is a Vintage "Pike" coticule. It's rather narrow (just a bit under two inches), with only about 1/8" of the coticule side left at it's thinnest point. It's a combo BBW/Coti. I *love* this stone for it's speed, but no longer use it, as it's getting too worn down, and it's a great piece of history.

The other Coticule is a BBW/Coti natural, 3"X8". The Coti layer is very thick; almost twice as thick as the BBW layer. The coti side is a beautiful green color. While this stone is a phenomenal polisher, it is extremely slow. Especially for me, as I have some what shaky hands, and must hone using both hands to hone, using very slow, deliberate strokes. I really think I got lucky with this coticule, as it is *extremely* hard, a beautiful color, with only one small inclusion at the very end of it. Truly an exceptional stone.

During the past year, I've had great success at keeping my daily shavers nice and comfy with my green coti. However, I'm now back to honing a bunch of razors I've been restoring. And now that I have some time again (finally!), I'm also quite anxious to get back in to honing as a hobby. As much as I enjoy shaving with a straight, to me, honing is even more fun.

So what's the point of all this back story?

Going from blunt instrument to smooth shaver on my beloved green coti takes me forever. So I'm trying to make a decision on how to go about (dramatically) increasing the speed.

I'm considering getting a full set of 1k - 12k Naniwa Super Stones (for me that would be 1k, 2k, 3k, 5k, 8k, and 12k). Yeah, I know you can leave out some of those, as conventional wisdom is to double the grit from stone to stone, but I'm looking to reduce the total number of strokes, and if you think through it a bit, it makes sense to make slower grit jumps to decrease the total strokes required to remove the previous grit scratches, i.e. a 2k stone will remove the 1k marks faster than a 3k, and the 5k will remove 3k marks faster than it would 2k scratches, etc.

When I had my full set of Shaptons, I could go from blunt instrument to smooth shaver faster than I can on my green coti. Since I don't have the ability to pay for a full set of Shaptons right now, I'm considering the Super Stones.

Now the dilemma... I'm not sure if I would be better off getting the Super Stones, or just trying to find a really fast coticule? The problem with the coti approach is that they are getting *very* expensive, especially in my preferred 3"X8" size. Plus, coti speed is a pretty subjective thing.. what might be a "fast" coti to one guy, might be "slow" to another.

So for you guys that have tried a lot of cotis, ranging from slow to fast, and also have experience on the Super Stones, which would you do for my situation, get the SS's, or try to find a faster coti?

At one time I was thinking about selling the green coti to finance the SS's or another coti, but I just don't think I can give it up as it is an incredible polisher.

Right now, I'm pretty much stuck with using a modified Unicot (I use two layers of tape)method, which is ok, but my edges (strangely) don't last as long with the Unicot method when compared to the Dilucot method. But the Unicot method is much faster for me than Dilucot on my hard green coti.
 
G

Guest

Sir Wellcome. What you need only is a 1k , your coticules and experience nothing more.
Dont spend money.
Happy new yer
Emmanuel
 

life2short1971

Well-Known Member
I agree. I have a set of Naniwa SS and I only use the 1k. It may be low grit but the scratches are very uniform and disappear quickly with a coticule. Start with the 1k and decide for yourself.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Sound advice, and welcome back :thumbup:

I wouldnt spend more than I had too, the 1K and a coticule are all I use, apart from a 400 if the razor is very very beat up.

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Get a 600 grit DMT. Even your slow La verte (no doubt a green Coticule comes from that layer), can easily handle a bevel off a 600 grit DMT. It's all I ever use nowadays: a Coticule and for serous repairs, or whenever a Coticule takes me longer than 15 minutes to straighten out a heavily convexed bevel: the DMT-600.

And if you can spare the funds, a small 150X30 very fast Coticule. You'll love it. I'm going to the quarry, most likely the 14th of January. Because you're a dear old friend, drop me an
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, if you like me to pick one for you.

Concerning the longevity of your Unicot edges: do you keep the strop very taut? If so, I advice you to experiment with some more slack in the strop, it could be that the increased bevel angle from those 2 layers of tape, calls for it.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 
G

Guest

I would totally listen to the advice you got to your
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, and get as much for your so called cots (yes, intellectual gross motor skills at work there) and get the so called Nani's. Or wait some more and get some Shapi's.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
My attention was drawn to this thread:
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. It was a revealing read. (Thanks Robin)

Floorpizza,
If you would like to sell your Coticules, you're welcome to put them in our Marketplace section. I'm sure they'll fetch a fair price.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Phlier

Active Member
I was initially considering selling my two cotis, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I just can't part with them. I mentioned I had a complete set of Shapton GS stones... It was a *very* complete set: I had both the 16k and 30k Shaps. And I can honestly say that I prefer the edge off of my coti than off the 30k Shapton!

I did also keep my DMT's, it's just a matter of finding them. We recently moved, so they are still in an unexplored moving box.

Bart, your offer for a hand picked coticule is too good to pass up! I'll be getting back home late tonight, and I'll run it past the wife tomorrow. Thanks for remembering the ole Pizza Man. :)

I have a few days off work starting tomorrow, and I'm thinking about trying to teach my old shaky hands the single handed honing stroke one last time over the next week. As luck would have it, I have a few nasty old blades that I don't mind sacrificing to poor stroking technique. :)

Thanks for the help, Gents it's much appreciated. If I can just convince my shaky hands that they really can do a good one handed stroke, I'd be perfectly set with the coti I have. Although I still can't pass up that offer of a hand picked stone... Wife willing. :)
 

life2short1971

Well-Known Member
I would take that offer too with Bart doing the picking. Your guaranteed a winner. I have a set of Naniwas and I would rather use my coti's too. The Naniwas are fast but the superstones need to be lapped after or before almost every blade. Cleaned at a minimum.
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
Hi FloorPizza--I would bet my paycheck you have a la verte as Bart indicated. I think he is just in a modest place right now not to mention an excellent article he posted a while ago on another forum. I will try to put the link here, but don't hold me to it. I may need some administrative help.

www.straightrazorplace.com/.../A_simple_honing_method_with_DMT-E,_Belgian_Blue_Whetstone_and_Coticule

I really don't know how to make it a hyperlink, but it will cut and paste, I believe.

In the article, Bart speaks of using a dmt1200 which I personally prefer over the 600, which I also have. I actually use the 1200 BECAUSE of this article, Bart, and now see that you have progressed down the road I am traveling of less and less honing and more and more polishing.

Both the DMTs are extremely fast and I have honed millions and millions of razors today with my la verte and it will quickly dilucot a properly prepared bevel off the DMT1200. I hone on the dmt with half strokes, then x strokes and then strop it on my jeans about six times. It is then capable of passing some hht, along the whole length of the blade. From there, a normal dilucot on the la verte or other coticule of your choice will produce stunningly fast results.

As they say, hope it helps. Fairly sincerely, Denny
 

Phlier

Active Member
Bart said:
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Heyas, Bart...

I put that post up on straightrazorplace.com when I was still actually considering selling my stones. After much deliberation, I've come to the conclusion mentioned in the first post of this thread: I just can't part with my beloved green coticule, and I would hate to sell the "Pike" to someone that would then use it 'til it's worn out. It's a piece of history that needs to be kept in it's current condition. So the purpose of the first post in this thread was to explore other options, while keeping my cotis. I'm going to be searching out my DMT's (I have a complete set), and go back to trying out the DMT for initial bevels. I've done that previously, but the micro chipping it can put in brittle stainless blades can be pretty nasty, hence my interest in using other alternatives to the DMT and Coticule for initial bevel setting and refinement.

Years ago, you and I talked at length about blade sharpness. Back then, I was in search of the ultimate sharp. A straight razor as sharp as the replaceable blades used in various replaceable blade "straight" razors. As my experiments continued, I found that the shave from a replaceable blade straight was *much* more comfortable after about three shaves. In other words, after the blade had "mellowed" (also known as "dulled") a bit.

I did eventually hit the "holy cow, that's sharp!" level, almost equivalent to a brand new replaceable blade, on my Shaptons, but soon discovered that was simply too much; I greatly preferred the smoother, albeit slightly less sharp, edge off of the Coticule. (I believe you had told me a similar experience, but I just had to touch that hot stove for myself :) ) An HHT-4 or even HHT-3 on a coticule edge (after stropping) was much more comfortable than an HHT-5 edge off of the Shaptons, even ATG. I have not, however, been able to hit an HHT-5 edge off of my coticules, which is something I have been wanting to try, just to compare how an HHT-5 edge off of a coticule compared to an HHT-5 edge off of the Shaptons. I have gotten my coti edges to HHT-5, but I cheated, using various diamond pastes and chromium oxide to get there. I came to the conclusion that I just don't like how chrome ox or diamond pastes alter the smoothness of the coti's edge.

So while the search continues for a true HHT-5 edge off of a coti (you know, just to try it.... ;) ), the other main goal is to try and get the time investment required down to a more manageable level, this goal being the most important.

So, I think I've decided that, rather than adding a few synthetics to the initial sharpening stages, I'm just going to try one more time to see if I can get my hands to learn a true one-handed stroke. I'll also revisit using the DMT's for initial bevel setting.

The pictures below are of my green coti. The camera did not even come close to catching it's true color. It is *very* green looking. It's a natural BBW/Coticule combo stone. If you look closely in the side shot, you can barely make out the transition from BBW to Coticule. The top picture shows the only inclusion in the stone. The rest of the stone is absolutely perfect.

IMG_1475.jpg

IMG_1474.jpg
 

Phlier

Active Member
DJKELLY said:
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Hey Denny, thanks for the reply. :)

I must admit that I haven't gone from the DMT's to the coti at all. After seeing the micro chipping that the DMT is capable of putting in to stainless blades, I demoted my DMT's to lapping use only.

I'll give it a shot on some of my less brittle blades to start, and see how it goes. :)

When I'd used the DMT's to set bevels before, I was always left with microchips in the *very* tip of the edge. The rest of the bevel was adequately smoothed by the subsequent hones (always synthetics at the time), but never the very tip. Hopefully, a coticule will clean up the mess a bit better. I'm kinda thinking that the coticule slurry impacting the very tip of the blade might be just the ticket for cleaning up those little chips. Your (and Bart's) results would certainly show that it does.

Fairly Sincerely, (I love that, BTW...)

--'Pizza
 

Phlier

Active Member
Bart said:
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Bart, my Good Man, I'll be chatting up SWMBO today. I would *love* a chosen coticule! Unfortunately, my wife *takes* VISA, she just doesn't give it *back*. :/

As to the strop suggestion... I'm having one of those facepalm, "why didn't I think of that???" moments. I bet you are absolutely right about that. I'll give the strop a bit of slack and see how that works.
 

Phlier

Active Member
life2short1971 said:
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Thanks! Me too, and she's mine!!! ;)

This stone is so beautiful in person. I really wish I could get my cheapy camera to really show it's true colors.

It no longer gives off that coticule aroma, though, which I really miss. I'd like to buy a new coti for nothing else than that fresh coticule smell.
 

life2short1971

Well-Known Member
Sometimes if you include a sheet of white paper it is possible to correct the shades of a picture. I have a set of color chips that are white, gray, and black that include in photos sometimes. It makes it easier for light correction on the computer. Just a tip.
 

Phlier

Active Member
life2short1971 said:
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Great idea! Think I'll give that a shot... maybe take a few pics of my Coticules and a few different blades. My camera has a hard time with color balance. Maybe a sheet of white paper will make it easier to correct the color balance a bit.
 
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