I think ive hit a wall :(

mrmaroon

Well-Known Member
Hey guys, Ive only been straight razoring for about 3-4 months and have learned a great deal in a very short amount of time. However, I've hit a wall that I can't seem to get though. My honing abilities have for the past two months climbed rapidly, but now Im stuck. I do get acceptable shaves, but I haven't had a razor honed by anyone else to compare to (to broke for 20$)

My usual honing patter goes like this

750 grit diamond plate until pass TNT
2-4k barber hones until the scratches clear and it feels better on the TPT
Coti with slurry X stroke
BBW with slurry X stroke
Coti with water x stroke
Chinese 12k X stroke
CRO 15 laps

I don't think its my progression, I think I must be doing something wrong with my honing. I can get my razor to opo hairs very rarely with the unicot. Bart, how do you finish your razor on the coti+water stage, do you backhone or use soap?
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
mrmaroon said:
Hey guys, Ive only been straight razoring for about 3-4 months and have learned a great deal in a very short amount of time. However, I've hit a wall that I can't seem to get though. My honing abilities have for the past two months climbed rapidly, but now Im stuck. I do get acceptable shaves, but I haven't had a razor honed by anyone else to compare to (to broke for 20$)
Check out the Free Honing Service in the menu above. Ray and I hone a razor at the cost of postage. Since Ray and you are both in the US, it's only going to cost you a few bucks.

mrmaroon said:
My usual honing patter goes like this

750 grit diamond plate until pass TNT
2-4k barber hones until the scratches clear and it feels better on the TPT
Coti with slurry X stroke
BBW with slurry X stroke
Coti with water x stroke
Chinese 12k X stroke
CRO 15 laps

I don't think its my progression, I think I must be doing something wrong with my honing. I can get my razor to opo hairs very rarely with the unicot.
I think that's way too many hones. You don't have to use them for the sake of owning them.:rolleyes:
750 grit diamond hone only makes sense if you have visible damage to remove. Otherwise, I'd skip it. A Coticule with slurry is all you need to get a good bevel. Use the glass trick to make sure you stay on the Coticule till the bevel is fully developed. If you can't manage that, you need to practice on a consistent and wobble free honing stroke. (however, I don't expect this to be your problem, just mentioning this because new honers read these threads as well). When the bevel is good, keep honing, while you slowly dilute the slurry to plain water over 100 laps.
You won't ever get a better bevel on the razor than using this method.

Now you can go either way. I have yet to perform a Unicot after this, without passing
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afterwards. (All hones in the Vault have at least passed that test once).

You can also seek additional keenness on another hone. I'm not familiar with the Chinese "12K" (of which a lot of people seem to doubt the "12K" predicate.), but you can surely try to refine the edge with it. From what I've read, I believe you should do a lot of laps. I wouldn't use slurry. This is Coticule.be, so I'm going to insist on finishing on the Coticule with water. Why would you settle for anything else if it's hands down the best finisher on your list?


mrmaroon said:
Bart, how do you finish your razor on the coti+water stage, do you backhone or use soap?
For finishing, light regular X-strokes are the way to go. However, when doing the Dilucot method, the challenge is to get enough keenness form a one Coticule and nothing else (no tape either). Smoothness is never an issue, that comes for free with a Coticule. But keenness can be evasive with the Dilucot. There's a whole arsenal of variations to be tried to squeeze that final bit of keenness out the stone. In most cases, I just dilute. But when that fails, I will try everything I can think off, constantly probing with a hanging hair, till it pops. In a progressive approach with other hones to find the desired keenness, this is not required.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

mrmaroon

Well-Known Member
I guess I should have clarified, I only use the 750 diamond and barber hones on badly damaged ones. I just wanted ou to be able to see what I would choose from the ground up.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
What Sir Bart said +1 from me,are you using 1/2 strokes to start with on the coti/slurry?

and do you finish with a good 60 strops on linen and the same on clean leather

Both of these points should make a huge difference to the finished edge
also remember that which ever route you take, the edge you feel when you shave will be the edge you finish honing on, so if you finish on Crox thats what you will feel and not the buttery smooth and forgiving coti finish that we all love

Hope this helps
Ralfson (Dr)
 

mrmaroon

Well-Known Member
I can easily pop hairs and shave after a stropping, and absolutley after CRO, but I want to pop hairs straight off the coti.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Mmm you should easily pop hairs if you use the unicot method as detailed in the Coticule Sharpening Academy, and after stropping a unicot edge should deliver a very very nice shave indeed, have you tried doing a straight unicot? starting with a shave ready razor and gently dulling the edge on a glass?
 

mrmaroon

Well-Known Member
I can get about half of my henckels to pop hairs with unicot. I can't get my Keen Kutter to though...

Its hard for me to do dilocut on my barber coti because its only 4X2 A drop of water really things that shit out, almost to much I think.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
mrmaroon said:
I can get about half of my henckels to pop hairs with unicot. I can't get my Keen Kutter to though...
That does suggest an issue with your stroke after all, or with a bevel that's not quite developed along the entire edge.
You can save a somewhat failed Unicot, with the application of a second layer of tape and repeating steps 5 till 7.

When doing Dilucot, you could try this, after the dilution phase:
Rinse the hone well. Give it 2 rubs with a slurry stone. Hone 2 sets of 30 halfstrokes, index finger resting on the razor, no further extra pressure than just that. After that (on your size of hone) 100 very light X-strokes on a rinsed hone.

Best regards,
Bart.
 

mrmaroon

Well-Known Member
Ive got good news, I can officially do this now! It wasn't my honing stroke, I figured out that the tip of my henckels was slightly bent. Anyhow, I tried 4 more dilocuts and was getting very close. In the end I unicoted them and the henckels/Keen Kutter popped hairs with ease. Will do a coti only test shave tonight!

What do I think I was doing wrong? Well, given the smallish size of my stone I in some cases doubled the amount of laps. I think this was helping on dilocut, but having a negative effect on unicut. Just as I was about to blame my coticule! There's a saying in the machining world that goes like this "If you think your measuring tools are out of calibration, they probably aren't". People like to blame their tools when multiple tries yields little result.

I would Like to thank Bart and Dr.Ralfson for helping me! heheh:lol:
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Well Done Sir! :thumbup:
Yes too many laps after taping the spine has a negative effect with the unicot method, the trouble is that if you make the secondary bevel too large, you lose the ability to finish it using such a low number of strokes, the area of steel just doesnt yield the same results as the tiny tiny 2nd bevel you will create using say 30 laps on light slurry, and the reverse is of course true for Dilocut, that method relies on doing lots and lots of laps due to the relatively large area of the bevel, on wedge grinds the bevel can often be so wide that the only reasonable method can be the unicot, for all the reasons above.

So Well done again Caleb, its mad how one thing just seems to fall into place then its... breakthrough city! :thumbup:
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Excellent!

I'm glad you figured it out. I've once or twice compared honing to building a car engine. If one throws all parts in a box and shake with it, there's not much chance that they fall into place by mere coincidence. At a much simpler level, the same thing is true for honing. One singularity out of place is enough to make the engine sputter.

Keep us posted about the shave?

Kind regards,
Bart.
 
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