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How to know when it's enough?

bbr6704

Well-Known Member
Hello everybody,

I often come here to read but don't post often...

I've recived a coticule (a 150/30-38mm la dressante) that seems to work fine.

So I honed 2 razors, following the dilucot method, that seems to cut fine (hairs for exemple).

But I don't feel they shave as well as a shave ready razor I bought to a well-know restaurer on a forum. (the shave isn't as close and confortable)

So my question is (I hope it hasn't already been posted, I've searched but didn't find answers) :

How to know if a razor is honed enough? (I don't wan't to refer to the HHT only, but to refer to the shave).

If the razor shaves, let's say "correct but not awesome", what to do to reach this "awesome" level? :

1- some (very) light strokes on water (and how much approx? 10/30/50/100? just to get an idea...)

2- some "intense" stropping (with paste, then leather, something like 200/400 srokes...)

3- or some stropping only, between each shave (i tried but that doesn't seem to be enough)

4- something else?

Any help is welcome.

Thank you.
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
it depends how the razor is shaving. If its pulling? shaving with resistance or slight. shaving and your having to push the blade some what?. as i have not shaved with your razor , do another 100 laps on water, strop linen leather. see if that inproves things. if not do another 50 laps on misty slurry then 50 on water. strop linen and leather. Other wise do the last stages of unicot , You will have a great shave . it takes more than twice with dilucot. it can takes weeks if not months of practice. unicot will guide you there quiker and easier. It will let you feel how the edge should be of your coticule. So add one layer of .15mm electrical tape. do 30 misty slurry 60 on water , take tape of and strop. or you could strop on sharpening paste after dilucot. TI rasoir paste works very well.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
I must just add to Gary's advice (bang on as always)
If you did use the HHT, with a good stable source of hair, you will soon find the guess work is taken out of the equation, I know if I get a good 3 off the stone the shave will be great, and if I can squeeze a 4 it will be very great.

Best regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
I'm going to second Gary's advice. Knowing what your razor needs exactly done is impossible, as there are many levels at which you could be stuck. But in the assumption that your problem is just one of "nearly there but not quite yet", Gary's suggestions will work.

For me personally the indicator to know that the razor will shave well, without actually trying a test shave, remains the HHT. If the edge passes HHT-3 right off the stone (before stropping it), I know the shave will be good. With a Coticule honed razor, that indicator has never failed me.

By the way, welcome on Coticule.be!

Bart.
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
Firs I would like to wish you well come in coticule.be
I agree completely with the three previous mates.
For me an edge that pass easily a really HH3 before stropping surly the shave will be at least good,if not be sure that the HHt is not objectively correct.
Does not exist exact stroke number on slurry or on water that gives a perfect edge, always depend of the initial edge,the razor metal and the experience and less of the coticule kind.
Best regards
Emmanuel
 

dnullify

Well-Known Member
Hey, and welcome.
I'm not nearly as senior here as the above posters, but I thought I'd add my input.

I've been able to get "good enough" shaves right off the stone, so pastes are definitely not necessary. It does take some time to coax good edges off the stone. You get smooth edges no matter what, but you have to work for keenness.

The hht can be pretty useful in that regard, especially if you've had a shave-ready edge to compare to. Something I realized somewhere along the way, is that the hht only works once the edge is clean of slurry, and is dried. I strop on my forearm to clean the edge when i go to check it.

Also, watch pressure towards the end on water, that can yield good results. If you're not seeing any progress try honing with a little lather, or some mineral oil. Ive managed to squeeze a hht4 off the stone using lather. And if all else fails try varying your stropping, Ive noticed one of my hones yields an edge that benefits more from stropping than the other stone.


Good luck! It's quite rewarding.
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
Actually, everything important has already been said. :) Let me just quote Sir Gary again:

garyhaywood said:
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This is the most concise and spot on advice on why you should not hesitate to do Unicot. :)

Hope we all hear from you about your great shave soon. :thumbup:

good luck,
Matt
 

bbr6704

Well-Known Member
Ok, thank you for your answers!

Well, I'll tell you what happens in the forthcoming days and shaves.

First, I'd say the razor is shaving with resistance : sometimes need a little kind of pressure, and the shave is not as close as it should be... and hard on skin, making razor burn...

I stropped this razor last night, with paste and linen, and leather... But doesn't seem to have imrpoved the shave... but i didn't made a whole shave with it, i'll may try tomorow.

I also honed a "faux-frameback" with the dilucot, and tried it this morning : i shaves well, better and smoother.

So I'll strop more the other razor (it's a full hollow), maybie try unicot on one of them (but i'm not fond with the idea of putting tape on spine...) to compare, and if i think it's required, i'll go back to stone with my first home-honed razors...
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
What paste are you stropping on. resistance . that is a common problem . sounds like water won't get you there . i'd make a skimmed milk slurry and start again. take your time with every stroke and dilute nicley and finish on water with 100 laps . i'll bet it will be much better.

when you say not ken on tape . I was exactly the same minded. every one wants to be able to do dilucot. do one unicot and one dilucot . the unicot edge will give you a bench mark. better still have one honed by one of the free honers.

gary
 

bbr6704

Well-Known Member
Thanx Gary for your advices!

So, the paste I'm using is the green puma paste, n°3 (don't know if there are other nums?).

The resistance of the razor is not that important, but it doesn't shave as well as the one i've bought to a well-known restaurer on Coupe-chou club. (this one shaves close and is quite smooth).

I'm beginner in straight shaving, I used DE before, and I know my shaving technique is probably not perfect now, but I'm allready able to feel the difference between my own-honed razor and the professionnaly honed razor I've got...

And, last but not least, I've just read few posts about dilucot... I must admit it seems more than worth to get a try. So I'm going to buy some tape, and i'll do it on one of my razors, to get the bench mark you're talking about.

And happily, this method is available in french, even if I think I've understand most of it...

Just to be sure : Can I take my razor as it is, put the tape on, and only perform 30 strokes on slury, then 50/60 on water, without dulling the edge first?
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
yes you can very misty slurrt 30 laps and 60 laps on fresh water. you should use tape .15mm thicknes.
the puma paste is a sharpening paste don't use it after coticule honing. reason being you won't get the true edge of coticule. the sharpening paste you have i'm sure it is similar to ti rasoir pate. the other thing is if that paste did'nt help so much you must be well of keeness. Thats why the shave was basicly not nice. may be you did way to many strops on the paste. that could of ben why the edge was rough. How many times did you strop on puma paste. If it was 60 then that can explain why your edge was over done may be. leave the paste after dilucot and unicot. all you need is the coticule clean linen/leather and a roll of tape . try dilucot on both if shave is not quite keenenought do unicot as 30 misty slurry then 60 water . this all takes a little practice.
good luck gary
 

bbr6704

Well-Known Member
Thank you Gary.

So I'll go to the store tonight to see if they've got .15mm tape.

The former process for the razors I've honed was the same as on the Dilucot .pdf : i did dilucot, ended with very light strokes on water, thenstropped on a piece of jeans, then leather on my paddle : on one, i didn't used paste, on the other I did (don't remind how, i'd say something like 30 strokes).

Both were shaving, but the one that hadn't been pasted was harder on skin, but it's also smaller (full hollow, 4/8' I presume), and way much lighter : I think thats also influing on the shave : heavier razor seems more efficient and smooth on my beard.

As the results wern't fine on this coticule only razor, I stropped more with jeans and then leather. No significant results.

So i pasted it (approx 100 strokes) then jeans (50 strokes), then leather (150 strokes). Haven't fully shaved with it yet : just a little truy with it, as I also wanted to try another razor I honed this morning. So I can't really tell if there have been any improvement.

Well, I think i'll try Unicot on this razor, as it's the one taht causes me much difficulties : So i'll see if there is a real improvment. And maybie after, on a heavier one, which is allready a good shaver, to see if I can get any best from it...


Another question I've got : On cuope-chou club, they prefer to avoid the stone as long as it's possible : they give the following advice : only leather (or linen/leather) between each shave. When the edge is less good, approx 10 strokes on paste (from once to twice a month, not much), and sometimes, honing on stone, but not more than once a year...

But, as you don't recommand to use paste, what about the "schedule" to keep the edge ok without paste?
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
The method you quoted from Coupe-chou club, is widely used in France and Belgium, (and I believe in Germany too). It works very well.

You are correct that both Dilucot and Unicot methods are different, because both finish the edge on the Coticule itself. You can always go to pastes, no problem. But once the razor has been touched-up with pastes, you can't touch-up on a hone any longer, because the pasted strop creates a convex bevel.

Touching-up with the Coticule is easy. You can read about it here:
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Bien à vous,
Bart.
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
plus one on what bart says. the reason i mentioned to use paste. Was if you don't want to use tape.Keeping a single bevel. you would do dilucot and then find your lacking keeness. you go back to coticule and are struggling to make up the sharpness for some reason. You need a razor to shave with. your option wouldbe sharpening paste. If the sharpening paste does not work after 30 laps . then that is because your edge was way behind or you ned more laps on paste .

if like most of us on here you want to experiance the magical smoothness of a coticule and you don't mind adding a layer To perform unicot which will reach the keeness you need.your struggling with dilucot then unicot is the one for you. so basicly you have options the choice is yours.
i've used both and both work extremly well. i use ti white sharpening paste on a canvas strop.never had a problem. i used unicot latley and love it . i like it better because i get to use the hone that cost me quite a thew quid and don't see the point of it sitting in my draw looking at me. So you could say i like using hones . does'nt mean i have abanded my ti paste . i see no reason why in a thew days or months that you will be posting success with dilucot.

gary
 

chti_lolo

Well-Known Member
Hi bbr6704,

Glad to see you decide to join coticule.be.

As you know I'm also quite a beginner here, and I raised myself the same question and there is a beautiful answer
by Gary here
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.
My story is a little different from yours. I bought a shave ready razor from a well known honer in the US and then discovered coticule.be before joining coupechouclub. So I began with UNICOT because I had no negative a priori against this method and got quickly a result which seemed to me on par with the professionaly honed razor. Dilucot was much more difficult for me but I can manage to get an edge which gives a confortable shave. Sometimes ago a very experienced member offered me to hone a razor for me to HHT-4, and I can assure there is no need to me to go further, the shave was very smooth with a very forgiving edge. I don't know if it is due to my shaving technique or to my skin or hair but it seems it is my limit.

Now just my 2 cents for Unicot
- I have bought electrical tape at Auchan but the width of the tape was only 0.1 mm so I need 2 layers of tape to get success with unicot (one layer was not enough). So I recommend that you measure your tape thickness with a caliper (pied à coulisse) before.
- you have to follow strictly the number of X-strokes after adding tapes or else your secondary microbevel will be too large.
- the canvas help a lot for the stropping stage

Bart said:
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Coupechouclub recommend to use paddle strop so I think it's not as big an issue as with a hanging strop.


Regards

Laurent

PS : a question that is always unsolved for me is what it a thick hair:lol: ?
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
I use a medium to thick hair of the hone. if i pass i go to a medium hair and see how it reacts. its hard to say what is a thick hair. to get a 3hht of a medium hair i would say you car'nt go wrong. HHT is trial and error. i have a batch of hair. If i pass hht 3 i'm easily going to get a shave a good shave. if inget a 3/4 there is no dout. all thougfht somtimes higher hht can be less comfy for me. I can tell how and the way te hair pops off the edge if i'm there. you have to learn this your self. i constantly check my razors with hht testing. I have a new razors come to me from vendors. i can tell the way they pas hht that they have been finished on paste. that is just experiance . it takes time to judge a hht but you will see in time. i can tell with my microscope when a edge has been pasted.You will see the scratch pattern then a nice thin line at the cutting edge that looks differnat. Thats where the paste has abraded the tip of the bevel.same with unicot edge the hht is more rwsponsive die to the change in te angle and you will see it through a 30k loop. these things take time to see and learn. i'm still learning every day , thats what keeps me going.

gary
 

bbr6704

Well-Known Member
Hello you all!

Laurent, happy to see you here!

Well, I bought 0.15mm tape and done unicot last night, on the razor I was talking about yesterday (the light one, with the non-close shaving).

I followed the unicot instructions,and stropped carefuly.

This morning was time to test...

Tadada! Well the shave wasn't perfect, I mean not as close as I would have liked it to be, but the blade was way, way more "easy driving", cutting easilly, without resistance... It was a bit harder in the end, but easier than before!

So it's a good try! And I guess after stropping carefully, shaving, stropping carefuly again, shaving... It can improve.

And I also think that the razor is playing a role in the hole thing : I feel more confident and the results are better with a heavy one.

So I've got another razor in stock, heavier, I think I'll try unicot on it, to see what it can do... Cause if the imrpovement I feel on a light one is the same on a heavy one, "Baby, that's gonna shave!"

So, to conclude, tahnks to all of you for your advices, i'll tell you about my next results! :thumbup:
 

bbr6704

Well-Known Member
Oh, a new question comes to me : Bart former told a pasted razor could not be touched up with a coticule. Ok.

But what about paste then dilucot? Here's my question :

When a (bad or not good enough) dilucot honed razor has been crox pasted after the stone, is there something special to do before step 5 of dilucot?

I mean :

1/ Can I jump to step 5 (tape & light slurry) directly, as the few paste strokes on my paddle weren't enough to make the bevel convex? (not more than 100, without any pressure, on thick leather with puma, glued on wood)

2/ Or should I do some X strokes (or half strokes with finger pressure), something like 30, on slurry, before putting the tape, in order to set the bevel straight before unicot? (as the paste has already made it convex)

3/ Or is it mandatory to do unicot from the beginnig?

So, between that 3 propositions, what should be the best solution? Or the "minimum required"?


Regards.

Bertrand.
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
Not sure exactly what the question is. If i'm right in thinking you have dilucoted then paste on paddle, and now want to try unicot after paste failed. I think it will be fine to go a head and unicot as you will go over the tip with a new bevel any way . so your using a firm paddle for your puma paste?
gary

a strop with paste has alittle more spring and will allow te edge to convex ever so slightly with more use this will become more convexed. having said that i had a razor from a member that had stropped 20x .5 diamond paste and 20 x .25 dp. As you can imagine the edge was harsh. I tryed 100 laps on a coticule and the razor was smooth and very very sharp, so the edge in that case was making contact with the hone, or may be the hone cut just enough to make contact.
the best thing is just try and unicot. You can if it fails just go back and reset a single bevel with 30 back and forth strokes esch way add some water do 50 x strokes and tape and unicot . Its dead quik to redo.
gary
 

bbr6704

Well-Known Member
Right that was my question and you answered it.

I wasn't sure it could be possible to take my razor and just go to unicot 5th step, without doing any back and forth strokes before.

The question was about the paste effect on approx 100 strokes on the balde : had it made the bevel convex to a point that required to remake it straight before taping the razor.

So I'll try this way, a little bit like a "power touch up".

Thanx again!
 
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