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Inconsistency

Drybonz

Well-Known Member
Guys, I have been turning out wildly inconsistent results, between several razors, and even with the same razor. A razor I honed and got fantastic results, I dulled and honed again last night, trying to maintain the same procedure, and it was not sharp and produced an umcomfortable shave.

What are some possible causes that might lead to this kind of inconsistency? I'm trying to get an idea of things that I can practice to lead to more stable results.

I should mention that I currently own, and use, a single stone.
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Well, the stone and razor are basically the exact same (except for very minor changes in width due to use), so the reason for the inconsistency is you :)

That's not being sarcastic, but there's a learning curve. Learning slurry management, when to dilute, where to pay more or less attention, all of these things are part of the process. I think about playing baseball. When I was young, sometimes I could hit anything thrown at me... hard... Then, I couldn't hit anything. It wasn't until I reached my twenties that I started being able to feel what I was doing in my swing and make adjustments (and I had been playing ball since 5).

The same is true with honing (but it doesn't take that long to figure out) :)

Just keep working at it, and in time, you'll learn to interpret what's happening, make adjustments, etc.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Drybonz said:
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Your honing strokes. If you see someone experienced hone swiftly on a Coticule, it may appear as if he hardly spends any attention. But that seeming nonchalanche is supported by a good deal of practice. Every one can make an accurate X-stroke (or any of the deviations) when it's performed slow. Promise yourself that you won't ever speed up by sacrificing some of that accuracy.
You can reach a full understanding of the finer points of Coticule honing by reading on this website, but without a correct honing stroke, none of that will lead to success.

The very best way to check you honing stroke, is Unicot. Followed to the letter, it is impossible to fail, unless your honing stroke is out of whack. It's also a good remedy against frustration. Should a Dilucot leaves something to be desired, there's always the taped stage of Unicot to fix that for you.

For more tips, I need to know where you fail. Have you trouble reaching AHT level during the bevel stage? Or does the dilution stage refuses to take you to HHT-1? Or does finishing not up yield the desired results?

Kind regards,
Bart
 

Drybonz

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the reply... I find myself speeding up my strokes without thinking about it... then when I catch myself doing it I make myself slow down out of fear that I am trading off accuracy by speeding up.

I have not yet been able to get a razor to cut a hair for the HHT... this includes a razor I honed a few days ago that gave me what was probably the best straight shave I have had. This same razor (Le Grelot) was the one I reset last night and re-honed with bad results... meaning, to me, that it yielded an uncomfortable shave.

I have been using the dilucot method, but I think I may start using unicot.

Another question... I picked up a 600 DMT. For unicot, should I go from taped on the DMT, to no tape on the coticule, then back to tape?

Thanks again.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
If there is no visual damage at the edge, there is no need to use the DMT. If you need to do heavy repair work, I recommend doing it with taped spine on the DMT-F. When done, the razor shoud shave armchair. At that point, remove tape, dull on glass and take it to the Unicot or Dulicot procedure as described in the articles.

If you only want to use the DMT for speeding up the bevel correction stage on a razor with demand a lot of work, I would do the same, but without bothering with tape, during the DMT work.

Kind regards,
Bart
 

Drybonz

Well-Known Member
Thank you, Bart. I will practice the unicot method (hopefully tonight) with the same Le Grelot razor.
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
Your not on your own , i have redulled edges and not repeated the same keeness. just try again. take your time nice dilutions and you should not be far away .I have a couple of LG razors. I find some pressure and extra laps plus sets work on my le grelots.

gary
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
SliceOfLife said:
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:D :D :D
Those are the blessings of an IPad's autocorrection routines...

If I type armhair in one word, without ticking off the suggestion, it changes it in armchair.
It's all the fault of you bloody English speaking that don't connect words.

Dutch, English:
armhaar, arm hair
bierflesje, beer bottle
scheerzeep, shaving soap
scheermessenfabriek, straight razor factory

but then, only to pester us:
blinddoek, blindfold

I hate you all!
:lol:
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Drybonz,

I am sorry I wasn't more specific on advice, but it's something that comes with work.

You've had success, but like me in my baseball example, you may not have known exactly why. Following the same steps, rough count, dilutions, etc. doesn't guarantee good results, you have to learn to feel what's going on at the edge. What does the edge feel like when it's ready at each dilution phase? How do I feel where it's ready in one area and not another? How do I adjust my stroke, attention, pressure, etc. based on what I'm feeling when I'm doing well? How do I adjust my technique when I'm just not getting there?

The point is learning to feel what you're doing right is where you stop being inconsistent. :)

So, practice, take mental notes, and repeat... and repeat... and repeat :)

Best of luck with your journey

Paul
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
not changing the subject. how much pressure are you guys using when dilucoting?. I have good results with and with out pressure. in general i tend to use just enough pressure needed to keep the razor in place. I have used extra pressure at times. I no how much pressure bart uses as i have watched him hone. I can say from watching bart he uses some pressure, more than i was using. the only thing with pressure that worrys me is it is easy to get carried away and end up with uneven bevel width. As i say i have great edges with light pressure. so it makes me wonder . i tend to use as i have said just enought to keep the razor on the hone .

gary
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
I recently returned honing without my finger on the blade, but I use a touch of pressure (whatever feels comfortable holding the razor by the tang only so it's not much). On occasion, I to add pressure the way Bart does.
 

danjared

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
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The irony is that the thread title is "Inconsistency". What else should one expect from a motley language such as English? The funny thing is that one of the closest living languages to English is Dutch (disregarding the heavy influence of French thanks to the Norman invasion). :D :D

But back on topic, Paul is spot on. There are no shortcuts to the learning process of honing. All the tips will help with reducing frustration, thus increasing the likelihood of eventual success. But at the end of the day, the only way out is through.
 

Drybonz

Well-Known Member
Well, I thought I should post again regarding my ongoing learning process.

I honed the Le Grelot again and brought it back to the original state I had it in... being that it now provides a fantastic shave (I used it this morning). Instead of using the unicot method, as I had planned, I decided to be patient and resolute with the dilucot method, and this time it paid off.

The unfortunate this is that I cannot really provide any insight as to what things I did differently, or better. I think everyone's advice to just keep practicing is about the best advice a person could give. Although I didn't use my Le Dressante for that razor, I have been practicing with it as well, and I think the hand honing, with that stone, has been helpful, even when going back to my larger bench stone (LPB ) because I am starting to get a good feel for the blade on the stone, thanks to having the stone in my hand.

Anyway, just wanted to resolve this thread a bit... thanks to everyone for the advice. I am really enjoying this learning process... even when I hit some barriers. I wish I had discovered all of this years ago. :)
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
Drybonz said:
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Firstofall, I have a friend who is full blooded Turk and he let me know that there are no spelling bees in the Turkish language because all words are spelled exactly as they sound. What a concept.

Secondofallandtherealpoint, you really could benefit from sharpness markers in the honing process. Honing with the stone in the hand provides much better tactile feedback as Paul was suggesting. Thumb pad tests are good for those who use them a lot, but the Mac Daddy is the hht, and you should really find a way to make it work with a consistent sample of medium to coarse, clean hair. We have talked about it so much that it is easy to forget that someone maybe hasn't researched here to get the finer points, but some are:

---hold the tip end of the hair so you slice into the shingles of the hair. Turn it around if you don't have success and maybe keep a known very sharp edge handy to test the test hair

---moisten the hair slightly

---clean the edge with tissue before testing

---use a little speed in the cut if you don't get results by laying the hair on the edge. I hold the hair vertically and slice away from me in a slightly upward angle, adding speed if necessary to see if I am getting close

---if right off the hone, you will need to do some light strokes, maybe a bunch, or five or six laps on linen or similar to further clean an edge that is close.

---try close to the point of hold first

In the dilucot method, I can get a good HHT at the final dilution, before straight water. Of course it gets better further along.

I am sure there are more hints, but that is all I can come up with at the moment. The key is a consistent hair sample that you are familiar with, and even then you will run into small variations. The first time you get a successful HHT it feels like a real breakthrough.

After saying all that, the true Mac Daddy to me is just as Paul has said and knowing when to stop by the feel of the honing process. This really does take time to master and the HHT might slow the acquisition of that skill. It is all experience and you will get better and better. You have no choice if you stick with it. Of course, Chris is excluded.

D
 

Drybonz

Well-Known Member
I feel kind of silly saying this but I can't get the HHT to work on any razor... this includes razors I have honed, and that have been honed by a pro. Is it my hair?
 
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