Honing on a narrow Stone

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Ok, this has been touched upon in other threads, so after it was suggested to me that others may find it interesting, I would like to share my results.

I was lucky to be given the gift of a long slim combination slurry stone, the stone is about 12mm (1/2") wide and 100mm (4") long, it caught my eye as soon as I saw it and had me thinking how useful it would be as a honing rather than slurry stone, so I have tried it so far on about 4 razors, 3 were hollow ground and 1 was a wedge.

Photo1264.jpg


The theory is that "Unicot works so well because it diverts all abrasive power to a very narrow bevel. Now, imagine that someone with good dexteriy would turn it around and take a very narrow hone to a normal bevel. The surface area would be more or less the same" and I have to say the results are amazing!

I have used Dilocut so far, starting out by making milky slurry on a regular stone, and using this stone instead of the bigger one, if I need more slurry I give the big stone a quick rub and carry on, remember the little stone only holds a small amount so I top up once or twice whilst setting the bevel.

Photo1267.jpg

Once thats done I move on to the dilution stage, I add 1 drop of water at a time, and again due to the small surface I do 20 half strokes each side then add another drop, sometimes I go twice before adding water, it depends how the feedback is, as the sluury gets thinner after say 6 or 7 dilutions I increase the laps to about 25 each side, and once I no longer feel that I am getting any draw off the slurry I rinse the stone, and do a couple sets of 30 half strokes on water only, then I rinse the stone and razor and do a couple of sets of 30 regular x strokes, HHT is always great.

I have used the little fellow to touch up, and to finish after using a larger stone as well, and the results are always great. It is vital that good strokes are used, and also a comfortable safe grip on the stone, if you wobble you will either catch the edge of the stone and set yourself back, or worse shave a little off your thumb! At first it feels a little clumsy, but once I settle in I can happily dilocut from a dulled on glass edge, through to stropping in about ten minutes.

Photo1266.jpg


So if you have a stone like this why not try it and post your results here, any questions chaps?

Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings
regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Thank you Ralfson,

I knew you would figure out more ways to use it than just a slurry stone, when I included that narrow La Petite Blanche to the L#2 box.

I have a longer, but equally narrow Coticule (unknown layer), that I use on heavily smiling and/or warped razors. Mine isn't as thick, so I can't hold it like you do, without shaving a slice off my fingers. I've glued it to a piece of wood, so I can hold it without any danger.

Here's a nice post that was made by my friend David Polan, a few years back on SRP (on 08-06-2007 to be precise).
It makes reference to the use of a narrow Coticule.

Heavydutysg135_on_www.StraightRazorPlace.com said:
This weekend Sergio Bruna and I visited Ross Cutlery in Los Angeles to ask the owner some questions about their methods of honing razors as Sergio was very impressed with the edges that they had put on the razors that he purchased. Richard and his brother Allen have over 40 years experience in sharpening knives and straight razors and apparently they used to sharpen Lynn’s razors for him before he went his own way. I figured that I would share what I learned from talking to the owner and felt this was a good place to put the information because I bet you all can guess what his main workhorse hone is…..that’s right, the yellow Belgian coticule. Please note that I am not sharing my personal views or methods on honing, I am just sharing what I learned from Allen.

Allen had a very thin (about ½) but long (about 8 inches) yellow coticule that he said was all that he used for most razors. When I asked him what other stones he used on razors he said that he mostly just used the yellow coticule until the razor was sharp; however, if the razor needed lots of work he would regrind it or use some of his “diamond stones”. I asked him what type of diamond stones he used and he said he did not recall, but he thought he had a very course one for periodically flattening his Belgian and a some finer ones for razors that needed a lot of work. When honing Allen used light and quick passes and held the razor at a 45 degree angle as opposed to perpendicular to the stone (he said that he used the angle regardless of the grind because it is easier for him). He told me that the teeth and scratch pattern did not really matter because the yellow coticule was so fine; so he was not worried about getting an exact honing angle. For a new razor he told me that as a rule he would do 100 passes which he would count in his head and then assess the blade sharpness from there. If he felt that the blade was not quite sharp enough he would do another 20-30 passes then assess the blade again. He did not use any slurry with the stone and when I asked him about this he told me that the razor would generate enough slurry on its own; creating a slurry with another piece of coticule would work well but just cause unnecessary wear of the stone.

Allen used the TPT as his main test of edge sharpness. He performed the test like I do, in that he lightly ran his thumb along the edge (not across) and was looking the feel of a drag or bite in his skin. He also had a variation of this test where he ran the edge along the palm of his hand (under his thumb) and sliced into the very top layer of his skin. After sharpening Sergio’s razors he also showed us that his razors passed the HHT and told us that many people consider this test the ultimate test of sharpness. Sergio asked Allen whether it was possible to overhone a razor on a yellow coticule and Allen said that it was not. He said that the only negative about doing too many strokes on the yellow would be that you could remove more metal than what is necessary; however, the edge would still be good.

Allen sharpened two razors for Sergio in a little over 10 min with just a yellow Belgian and they were very sharp according to all of the standard tests. After the honing “lesson” I could not help but think that we might be making things more complicated than what is necessary with respect to honing. Allen simply sharpened the razors on the yellow Belgian until they were sharp, he did not have any fancy honing progressions with multiple stones, grits, pressure, angles etc. If anyone has any specific questions about Allen’s honing method I will try to answer it as best that I can; however, LX's video on using the yellow coticule is pretty similar to what Allen did. It really seems that a yellow Belgian coticule is much more than a great finishing stone. It is a great stone period.
Kind regards,
Bart.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Wonderful Bart, I am glad you decided to share that, it sums it up for me at least as you already know :thumbup:
And I didnt make the conection between heavyduty and your friend David, He was a help to me when I first started.

And yes you are as cunning as a fox Sir, knowing me well enough to expect my reaction ...lol
Thank you.

The only problem I have now is that everytime I go to my Honing drawer, my beloved #10 looks out at me with a keen "Use Me" look.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
tat2Ralfy said:
The only problem I have now is that everytime I go to my Honing drawer, my beloved #10 looks out at me with a keen "Use Me" look.
:D
Use it on it's long side. Don't worry about it being BBW/Coticule (Just think of it as a hybrid side.;) )
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
tat2Ralfy said:
The only problem I have now is that everytime I go to my Honing drawer, my beloved #10 looks out at me with a keen "Use Me" look.
:D
Use it on it's long side. Don't worry about it being BBW/Coticule (Just think of it as a hybrid side.;) )
:w00t: I have as you know, and it worked well but its a little ungainly :huh:
A big part of the beauty of this is that a stone that easily fits into my pocket does such a great job, I am so pleased with it

So at one end of the honing spectrum we have a collection of manmades and naturals that would confuse a professional glockenspiel player, and this one stone, that you could fit into a cigarette packet and still have room for a few smokes.

Its a wonderful gift :love:
 

Rosco

Well-Known Member
I have a small stone of very similar dimensions to yours and since I got it I have been considering using it for honing. Unfortunately I haven't made any time for honing in the past year or so. Just been too busy rennovating the house.
It's always nice to know that something can be done before you try it youself, so I will get out my small stone and give it a go some time. Just have to make the time to learn how to hone on my No.6 first.
To me, also, the possibilities of a stone so small that can be used for meaningful honing are vey appealing indeed.
 

mrmaroon

Well-Known Member
Ahh Ralphy, I thought I was the only one that used hones like this. I use a variety of hones 6" by about 3/8-7/16 wide. They are between 100 and 1200 grit and used by injection molders/tool and die makers to polish their molds/dies. I bust them out on razors with a warped edge. It works best for me to make the surface have a radius to it.

These take a while to get used to, but if you have a stable stroke, they can be used as effortlessly as their bigger brethren.
 

urmas

Well-Known Member
Thanks Ralfson, it was very inspiring. I have two such small stones, I will definitely try.

I believe that narrow hones are more suitable for sharpening razors than wide ones. Narrow hones allow you:
1. more even hone action along the bevel,
2. more pressure on bevel without relatively unstable "artificial" pressure by hand.

4612502034_9695e9239d_o.jpg
4612501852_590453abf1_o.jpg

Regards,
Urmas
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
Urmas,

Your pictures clearly show what I've had in my mind for some time, i.e. that X-stroke focuses on the central part of the edge, while everything else that goes off-center is left a little behind. But, well, it's just theory, somehow everybody manages to get good results with it. :)

Sometimes I try to make up for it a little by making extra strokes just at the ends of the blade. Usually, if some part is less keen than the rest of the edge, it is the heel, so this is the place where I do extra passes most often.

kind regards,
Matt
 

urmas

Well-Known Member
Thank you friends.

With those pictures I wanted to show how important might be a optimal hone width.
As you can see, on 50 mm wide hone the small region in middle of blade gets 100% hone action, it's stays always on hone. But the heel and point are getting about only 30% hone action. This can produce a questionable results and a negative smily, I think.

But on 30 mm wide hone the hone actions or honing power is distributed more evenly. About 80% of blade gets same constant amount of hone action. Only small regions of heel and point are let behind. Amazingly that such a small decrease of hone width is generating such big differences in honing power distribution. I assume that on a 20 mm wide hone, there is even better results than on 30 mm wide hone. Where is the optimum, I don't know. It clearly depends of additional aspects like honer skills and hone speed too.

Btw. along with decreasing hone width you get increased pressure on edge and that is very interesting subject too. I don't know exactly, but I believe that every hone has a cutting sweet spot in sense of pressure. If pressure is to low or to high, the results are not good. I talk about cutting but not polishing now. I guess that hone width maybe needs to be in a correlation with hone speed too.

I hope you understand me. I admit that my English is poor and I'm barely able to express myself. I spent a 45 minutes to write this post...

Best regards,
Urmas
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
Hey mate, if everyone whose English is 'poor' was writing like you do, internet would be such a nicer place! ;)

Matt
 

mrmaroon

Well-Known Member
Im with you pretty much all the way on this Urmas, but ive read before that people get frowning blades from thinner hones. I think it has to do with the honing stroke though. When you finish the stroke and get to the toe of the razor there is less hone to balance on. This in turn results in finishing the stroke before the whole to gets honed in order to keep the razors steady. At least this is what I think/do when I hone on a thinner one. I must pay extra attention to the toe of the razor.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Frowns and S-curves, and other deviations in edge curvature, there are many factors that can promote these anomalies, but none of them happens in 10 minutes, unless you were sharpening on 100 grit sandpaper or something similar.
Warp can translate into a frowning part, if you don't handle it well. Repeated uneven pressure has that power too. But the main cause is not keeping your eyes open. The one sharpening the razor controls the shape of the edge. If it develops in a less desirable shape, there is plenty of time to counteract. A very slight roll could be add to the stroke, to steer the edge in smiling direction, away from a frown. You can do some additional laps on the tip of the blade and near the shoulder to do the same. You can strategically place a finger on part of the blade, during halfstrokes, to favor a certain part of the edge.
The one thing that won't prevent a frown, is being afraid from narrow hones.:)

That was a very well written post, Urmas.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
Frowns and S-curves, and other deviations in edge curvature, there are many factors that can promote these anomalies, but none of them happens in 10 minutes, unless you were sharpening on 100 grit sandpaper or something similar.
Warp can translate into a frowning part, if you don't handle it well. Repeated uneven pressure has that power too. But the main cause is not keeping your eyes open. The one sharpening the razor controls the shape of the edge. If it develops in a less desirable shape, there is plenty of time to counteract. A very slight roll could be add to the stroke, to steer the edge in smiling direction, away from a frown. You can do some additional laps on the tip of the blade and near the shoulder to do the same. You can strategically place a finger on part of the blade, during halfstrokes, to favor a certain part of the edge.
The one thing that won't prevent a frown, is being afraid from narrow hones.:)

That was a very well written post, Urmas.

Kind regards,
Bart.
All of that +1 from me, lovely posts, this thread is turning out very nicely indeed, thanks guys :thumbup:

Best wishes
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
urmas said:
Thanks Ralfson, it was very inspiring. I have two such small stones, I will definitely try.

I believe that narrow hones are more suitable for sharpening razors than wide ones. Narrow hones allow you:
1. more even hone action along the bevel,
2. more pressure on bevel without relatively unstable "artificial" pressure by hand.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1031/4612502034_9695e9239d_o.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1142/4612501852_590453abf1_o.jpg

Regards,
Urmas
Excellent point... in fact, the diagram got me thinking... in some cases it may be worse than that... what if some folks start the stroke at the heel (avoiding the stabilizing piece contacting the edge of the hone)?, the heel spends even less time on the surface.
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
:blink: :blink: :confused: :confused:

Hmm, Smythe! You got me enlightened! So I'm supposed to start with the heel a bit further towards the center of the hone? That would explain why it's usually the toe that I need to touch up... :lol:

kind regards,
Matt
 

jkh

Well-Known Member
Hello :)

Is it possible to start all razors with the heel closer towards the center of the hone?
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
Hi Jeremy, welcome to coticule.be.

Well, seems that it actually is possible. :) Probably it's the reason why most of the razors have a small angled bevel right where the tang starts. It's called 'hone relief', as our dictionary states. However some blades don't have it, but still you can probably start with the edge not perpendicular to the hone and then the heel goes a little towards the centre.

Below is what I'm talking about.

kind regards,
Matt

genco_tang.jpg
 
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