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Impromptu visit to Ardennes workshop and a new Les Lateneuses

squeezyjohn

Well-Known Member
Hello,

Welcome back everyone - I hope all your August breaks were relaxing.

I thought I'd share a trip I made to the Ardennes Coticule workshops while visiting family in Belgium nearby. I had no contact details with me at the time so arrived at 4pm unannounced with my family in tow, but the workshop was open and the people working there at the time were very accommodating and welcoming.

We arrived tentatively as we weren't sure whether the workshop was open to the public at all but were treated to a really nice mini-tour of the process and description of the mining by the two men working there. They didn't have to be so generous for an unannounced visit, but they also were very accommodating of our 2 small children (3 & 5 years old) and they found the visit very stimulating. After that I asked if we could buy stones there and was taken through to the "shop"

I looked through the stones in the various size ranges and despite looking really thoroughly through the stones could only find rather "normal" layers like La Nouvelle Veine, La Veinette and La Dressante - I was hoping to find something a bit different to what I already had so asked the man (I'm sorry I don't remember his name) - I was particularly interested in a Les Lateneuses hybrid but couldn't remember the name of the layer so had to describe it in pidgin french and he gave me a look: "ah! you've been talking on the internet, you need to see the 'other' room! Do you know Bart?" :rolleyes:

I was surprised to be presented with really quite a small selection of very interesting stones indeed. I think what most people ordering from Ardennes don't realise is quite how rare most of the more sought-after stones actually are. There were maybe 2 or 3 useable Les Lateneuses, no gross jaunes and only several La vertes. I knew I wanted a Les Lat or La Verte and decided to go with a Lateneuses stone which was a different sort of shape to the ones I am used to using. Pictures are included as attachments.

Here's the real reason for the post, I know the pictures are of poor quality, but this stone really does not stack up with what I imagined the performance of a Les Lateneuses hybrid would be. The creamy side is pretty hard and protests a bit when I try to raise slurry on it, when I hone on it - it is not fast, slurry greys slowly compared to my La Petite Blanche. The hybrid side is incredibly hard indeed. It feels a bit like marble. I can't get slurry off it at all with the hybrid side of the slurry stone I was given (very generously) - I can also detect a very real bump on it with a razor blade at one of the marbling lines that sounds and feels like it damages the edge every time I cross it. The feedback apart from this does not feel like it is doing anything at all.

So my questions about my new stone - is it unusual to get a slow Les Lateneuses on slurry? Is the hybrid side damaging my blade? Did I expect too much?

Any help will be very gratefully received!

Cheers

Squeezy
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Bart

Well-Known Member
Thanks for posting that lovely story.
I've made your pictures show up in the post.
Next time you come to Belgium, let me know.:)

It's past 3am now, I will answer your question about the Les Latneuses tomorrow. Should I forget about it, please remind me.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Thanks from me too, what a lovely story :thumbup:

I look forward to hearing Barts answers to your questions as I have not come across a Les Lat' with those properties, although IIRC Ardennes has produced them from either 2 separate layers or at 2 separate times, and the properties do vary somewhat?

I do know that the earlier ones they produced where described as "Burton Series" and I own #2, I believe our own Gary Haywood has #1, and both our stones are fast on both water and slurry on the creamy side, and slow on both slurry and water on the "Hybrid" side

Best regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

squeezyjohn

Well-Known Member
I didn't mean to sound disappointed, I'm not - but I can see how it might have come across that way. Rather I am a bit surprised by the results.

I had another play with it last night and while the creamy side is slowish on both slurry and water, it finishes really really fine and smooth and I have had a wonderful shave today. I get the impression that this hone is more akin to the layers I have seen described as being good finishers.

I still have not really worked out what the other hybrid side does apart from push water around. The clicking sound does not seem to dull the edge noticeably!

Thanks for your input Bart - I look forward to hearing what you think.

Cheers
Squeezy
 

squeezyjohn

Well-Known Member
One last thing...

It doesn't show up well in the pictures, but there is a very thin blue line about 2mm in to the creamy coticule side from the transition. It looks very much like the line I have in my La Nouvelle Veine stone. This stone's performance is slower that the La Nouvelle Veine, and finishes more smoothly, but there are similarities in the honing properties.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Les Latneuses. The word is plural, and that is not a coincidence. The entire layer consists of one hybrid band, sandwiched in between 2 Coticule bands. All three bands are approximately 15mm wide. In the ideal situation, they slice a raw chunk of Les Latneuses in 2 pieces: one piece with the hybrid side + one Coticule side. The remaining Coticule side is glued to slate.

After testing quite a few samples, I have mapped the properties of the 3 bands.

The "hybrid" part is always very hard, moderate in speed, and easily leaves a keen and mellow edge. It has only mild slurry dulling.
There are almost always inclusions present in the hybrid side and differences in hardness that affect the honing feedback, but this causes almost never a problem.

Then we have the fast Coticule band of Les Latneuses. Very fast on slurry, with a prominent feel of (fine) abrasion. Yields a lovely engaging finish on water.

The other Coticule band is slower. I wouldn't call it slow as such, but there is a clear difference with the fast band. The slower band can be recognized by a number of faint blue lines that show up at the side of the hone. Also the fast band can have an occasional faint blue line, but much less than the slower band.

Some "fast band" Les Latneuses have a very slight pinkish hue, where most of them are pale yellow. This slight pinkish hue seems to indicate a striking speed on water.

I have little doubt that you purchased a Les Latneuses that combines the slower band with the hybrid side.
The slower band leaves, in my opinion together with La Grosse Blanche and many La Nouvelle Veines, the most skin friendly edged of the entire Coticule spectrum.

Best regards,
Bart.
 

squeezyjohn

Well-Known Member
Bart, thank you so much. That is really useful, clear, concise information which absolutely makes sense for my stone. I have found the creamy (slower) side of Les Latneuses very easy to come to terms with as I find slower stones much easier. I will just have to figure out what I can do with the other side! That will be fun.

All the best,

Squeezy
 

Aquanin

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the info Bart. I need to post a picture of my Les Lat. It has the hybrid side but the creamy side has those blue lines you talk about. And the surface has some of the speckles like I have seen from LGB stones.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
You're welcome Russel. I don't quite recall, but wasn't that the hone I picked for you?

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

decraew

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
Please, Log in or Register to view quote content!

Bart, do you have any idea why they cut them like you say ? Why not cut in the middle of the hybrid side ?
That way they would get two coticules with hybrid part (and no need for slate) rather than just one.
 

squeezyjohn

Well-Known Member
Hi Decraew,

I would imagine it's because the hybrid layer is extremely thin. My les latneuses with the slower side and hybrid is by far the thinnest of all my hones (which is great because it's very light) - looking at the stones in "the vault" - all the les Latneuses seem to be thin in the same way with the hybrid side being about 1cm thick at most and the normal coticule side also under 1cm.

If you cut that in half without glueing it to a backing I imagine it could be a pretty fragile thing.

Cheers

Squeezy
 

IsaacRN

Well-Known Member
i have those same blue lines on the cross section of my hone. I do have to say that with some slurry though, it is relatively fast. If people would like some pictures, Ill throw them up here.
 

Aquanin

Well-Known Member
I forgot to mention. I touched up my Le Grelot on the creamy side last night and it dropped the HHT a bit but the shave was super smooth.
 

IsaacRN

Well-Known Member
Since we are talking Les Lats I have to tell you about the Razor I just honed and shaved with. I decided to do a modified Dilucot on the hybrid side alone. A little bit of slurry on the hybrid side makes the stone a super fast worker. I did the complete honing on the hybrid and let me tell you that it was one of the most mellow edges I have used. It really felt like I was wiping the hairs off my face. I had had absolutely no issues with the shave. I would try that out, instead of just using the hybrid for a few finishing strokes.
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
if we get round to making a video. I will do a full on dilucot on my hybrid coticule. thye hybrid side gives me that much feed back, it sounds mad , but i no when the razor is done. towards the end as the razor becomes sharper and slurry gets thinner, boy the edge grabs the stone.

i love the hybrid. i have just started using it again, it realy is the hone i will use to hone for some one else. try it and you will see, i'm sure they can al vary, so just try. i defanatley increae laps towards last stages of dilucot.
 

IsaacRN

Well-Known Member
I for one would like to view that video Gary. I know some have been wondering how you make slurry on the hybrid side. I dont have an issue at all with just rubbing the slurry stone on it, and it creates slurry. The hardness of the stone doesnt affect the slurry production. I know that after 30 half strokes, the slurry is black. I have to agree with you Gary, the feedback on the stone is something else. It is definitely very nice in letting you know when to move on.
 

squeezyjohn

Well-Known Member
Do you use another hybrid slurry stone to raise the slurry, or any old coticule slurry stone? I got given a les latneuses slurry stone and have tried to get it to make hybrid/hybrid slurry and can't get it to raise anything at all. :confused:

I've noticed that the hybrid with water seems to improve the edge, but kind of gave up on any kind of slurry because I was trying to make it with hybrid-hybrid rubbing.

Cheers

Squeezy
 
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