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Got a new (old) combo stone


Well-Known Member
Things changed again. I got the stone. :lol: :lol:

Well, this was a false trail. Read about it below.

I joined this group to ask questions about the 'nakayama' Asagi I recently bought, but I've been reading all the deserved praise of the coticules and decided I needed to try one.

The problem was that I really don't have the cash to spend on one (they tend to not be cheap). Luckily, there was a guy over on B&B who was willing to work out a trade for his combo stone and a slurry stone.

Here's the link to the thread I got it from:

Here are the pics extracted from that sale thread:



The dimensions on the stone are 7" x 1.5" x 0.75" The coticule layer seems to be a little thin in places, but I doubt I'll wear through it in my lifetime.

I may have shelled out too much to trade for it, but I wasn't using the stuff I traded much, and I really wanted this stone.

I'm looking forward to trying this stone out. I hope it works out for me.
That looks like a lovely stone.
The owner originally asked about twice of what that size of Coticule costs new. I hope you negotiated a bit.;)
The dimensions are, in my opinion, ideal for sharpening razors.

Keep us posted on the results?

Best regards,
Yeah, I thought the original price was a bit high. I don't know if the $180 he quoted finally was reasonable - it was certainly better than the $250 he started out at. Still, as I said, I traded stuff I didn't use for it. I'd say he got the best of the deal, but I got something I wanted for stuff I didn't want - so we both won in the end, I guess. :)

I'll report on how it works when I've had the chance to use it. :thumbup:
Well, this turned out to be much ado about nothing.

I asked the seller to estimate the width of the thinnest portion of the coticule layer, and he sent me pics of it instead. It's on the other side from the one in the pics. It's very thin (1/16" or less), so I backed out of the deal.

It probably wouldn't have been a problem in my lifetime, but such a thin layer would prey on my mind so I decided it was best not to go ahead with the trade.

It's a pity, as I'm still without a combo stone. :(
I wondered what the other side looked like, and I assumed it was thin based on the pics made available. Unfortunately, he was trying to get what he paid (this is what is unfortunate) for it originally IIRC... :(
So what would be a fair price for this stone. I did a quick analysis of the pic he sent me. Given that the stone is 3/4" thick, this thin portion would be less than 1/16 (maybe 1/32") thick.

I really see this being an issue - especially if I'm going to be using a slurry while honing. However, I don't know how coticule wears.
Several resellers list prices on their website. Ardennes Coticule does too. Unless maybe for a collector who buys a vintage Coticule in original box, I see no single reason why anyone would pay more for a "vintage" Coticule than for a "new" one. After all, there all some 480 million years old.

At Ardennes, who are certainly not cheaper than their resellers, a 40mm X 175mm (about 1"1/2 X 7") costs about $85.

I don't think that part of the Blue coming true would immediately compromise the properties of a Coticule.

Best regards,
I would go the easiest safest and most cost effective route, buy a new one direct from Ardennes, they wont sell you a bad one, wont over charge you, and you will be helping to sustain a very ethical business :thumbup:

As for "Vintage" I agree totally with our good Sir Bart, 480,000,000 yrs give or take a few decades means only that the poor thing has had a chance at being miss used and abused "Vintage" coti, what a croc hahaha
Thanks for the advice, guys.

I can't afford to buy one from Ardennes yet, but I decided to pass on this one anyway.

Maybe I'll find someone else who wants to trade a coticule to me.
I think it's disgusting... a photo showing the "thin" side should have been included in the add.

Now I have nothing against folks making honest money (I sell stuff too), but it is sad when it becomes "normal" business practice to omit details that would affect the decision of the buyer (probably in hopes that the buyer after receiving the goods and discovering the "flaw" would consider it not worth the effort to "ship" the item back for refund).

Well... at least this seller was honest and got good money for this stone.
He was a bit off on this bit though bless him: "The stone is non-porous and is used with water only. Only 3 to 4 natural combo stones are quarried in any given year."
:mad: That's basically a BBW he sold.
And then, this bold statement in his description: "Only 3 to 4 natural combo stones are quarried in any given year.". This is complete nonsense. Each time I visit Ardennes, I see lots of new natural combos. Certainly more then a quantifiable amount. As far as I know, Ardennes doesn't sell combo's as a special article, or at a special price. Some resellers do, which I consider understandable. $107 for a 2 1/8" by 3 1/4" piece of BBW. I have a slab in my backyard of 15" by 20", at least 3" thick. I 'M RICH!!!!!:D


PS. I moved this thread to "The Coticule Tavern".
I went back and forth with the seller of this coticule. I conveyed my reservations to him, and he was willing to modify the trade.

Basically, he offered me a very good deal. I still wouldn't have gone through with it (because of the issues with the thickness of the coticule layer), if I had the money to buy a new one. I almost pulled the trigger on one of the stones in the vault, but I really can't afford to spend any cash.

With the trade he was offering me, I was offered an inexpensive way to try out a coticule, so I went ahead with the trade. If I like the stone as much as I expect to, I'll buy a new one for regular use.
The stone arrived today. It really is lovely, and feels great.:love:

As expected, the coticule layer was thin in places. I also got a combo slurry stone that was also worn out on the coticule side.

Anyway, I did some quick tests to see if it was lapped, and it seemed to be quite flat. So I was ready to see how it worked.

I have a nice Sheffield wedge (full wedge) that I've been holding onto as a test razor for this stone. The bevel was set using a DMT, but not much more than that.

I raised a nice slurry on the coti side, and started honing. Wow! This stone cuts surprisingly quickly! After a few minutes of work the bevel was smoothed out, so I started the dilutions. This took some time, but the edge kept getting (visually) better. After several (8+) dilutions I was down to water, and did 100 quick laps as such. The blade was sharp, but not as sharp as I'd like (I'd added a second layer of tape to the spine for this stage), so I did a few more laps on the stone with just water. This was better, but still not super sharp.

Given my inexperience with the stone, I'm not really surprised by this. Still, this was a good first experience with the coticule. I can see why you guys like it so much. Honing on this just feels great! :thumbup:

Well, I have some learning to look forward to.
Progressing rapidly with my skills using this hone.

I've now honed three razors from scratch (after bevel setting on a DMT), and touched-up (tamed) several more razors using this stone.

After switching to a few laps on the BBW with light slurry before polishing on the coticule layer with plain water, I started getting really nice sharp edges. If I felt that the edge wasn't sharp enough, a few laps on the Asagi with plain water were enough to get it to where I like it.

More importantly, the edges were more comfortable than I'd ever been able to get off the synthetics. I absolutely love shaving with the razors honed on this stone. On the WTG and XTG passes the razor glides over the face like it has a rounded edge, but the whiskers get mowed down. It's even quite comfortable on the ATG pass, though not as comfy as the other passes.

I'm really happy I picked this hone up.
You will find with more practice you won't need your asagi. I have used paste to get where i want , Now i never realy use paste as the edges of my coticule are so nice i would'nt want to rundo the edge by adding somthing else. I use dilucot method.This gives like you describe a blunt feeling but the wiskers just melt away.