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Info on #24?


I just found time to share the results of n°24. (Tests were finished a few days ago. The hone is now back at Ardennes and available for purchase.

N°24 is a "La Nouvelle Veine". For those who understand French: no that is not a new vein that they discovered yesterday. Each time I have the honor of talking to Maurice Celis, owner of Ardennes Coticule, about the various layers, things become more complicated. B) Several layers consist of 2 or more parts. The main, thickest part of "La Nouvelle Veine" delivers a finely figured Coticule that cuts slow and fine. I believe n°24 is a good sample of it. A thiner part of La Nouvelle Veine has other properties. The rock falls apart most of the time, but in the rare case they can cut a hone it's very fast on slurry yet very fine on water. N°8 is such a rare example of that.

Back to n°24. In my humble opinion, it's a champion for smoothness. When I say smoothness, I'm talking about the type of edge that leaves your skin totally unaffected from the shave. If you like that typical tingling sensation of rejuvenated skin, that lasts a few hours after the shave, then don't use n°24. But if your skin already objects against standing in a November chill for half an hour, than this hone might be an epiphany.

All methods in the Sharpening Academy can be used, but it'll take a bit longer than on the average Coticule. I believe it's at its best as a second "finishing" Coticule, or in a progressive setup of hones.

Best regards,

Are the other coticules capable of obtaining an edge like this, or is it atypical?
A good question.

For absolute clarity: Coticules create a very typical edge, that seems to discern quite well between skin and whiskers, as I like to put it. I dare to claim this as an almost scientific statement. Regardless the edge left by other hones, I think few people will disagree about the quality of a Coticule edge. (Some claim that they lack keenness, but I claim that's a matter of skill).

Within that range of superbly smooth edges, I try to discern between them. I have only my skin to go by, and that is obviously a highly subjective factor. But I do hone at least 3 razors on each Coticule in the Vault, and I don't change a thing to my shaving procedure for the assessments. There's always at least one razor among those, that I know very well. The others are usually "free honing requests". But even then, my skin is not the same each day.

I do take notes on how the razor feels during the shave, how my skin looks right after the shave, how the alum block feels, how my skin behaves in the hours after the shave.

When I qualify an edge as "crispier", in the realm of Coticule edges, there was some sting on the alum block, and the shave left my face rejuvenated for a few hours. (some would call that the baby butt feeling) It is a feeling I like.

At the other end of the Coticule spectrum, there is literally no sting on the alum block (it just feels like running an ice cube over my face). And my skin looks and feels as if the shave left it completely unaffected (although the shave is equally smooth). It's the kind of shave I want when for some reason my skin could use a break.

At the end of those three shaves, if I had a consistent impression, I will mention it in my description of the hone.

About a year ago, I did "blinded" tests comparing 4 identical razors on 4 different Coticules (or 3 Coticules and a Nakayama). Much like what we're about to set up with Operation True Blue. These tests revealed marginal differences between Coticules.

To answer your question directly: no it's not an atypical edge for a Coticule. N°24 is not a miraculous whetstone. We're talking about discreet (not discrete) differences.

Damn Sir Bart! I am never less than impressed by the hard work and devotion you put into this.
Thank You.

Way way off topic here but, would you mind running through your shaving technique (the one you use to assess the hones)?
Also on a side note, with OTB (operation true blue) did you think about setting out some sort of shaving technique? or do you think those involved would be better to stick to their own tried and tested way of going about it?
Thank you, Bart. I'm much more interested in those shaves that leave me with no alum sting. :thumbup:
Bart when you do your shave testing. What kind of growth do you test on one day or two days i find the real test is at leas two days plus skin is better condition especialy if your testing daily plus a straight will go through one day growth easier then two day growth..
tat2Ralfy said:
Way way off topic here but, would you mind running through your shaving technique (the one you use to assess the hones)?
Nothing special. I test shave on 2 or 3 days stubble only. (no testing on a daily shave, I hardly ever shave 2 days in a row.) I was my face with tea tree soap (not that it matters, but it's just the soap I use). I latter on my face with a Semogue silvertip badger brush. Soap is a 50/50 mixture of Palmolive and Tabac. (my working day soap :))
While the lather softens my beard, I strop the razor(s). I usually compare 2 razors, each for another half of the face.
When finished with stropping, I push one finger into the brush and fill that pocket with the hottest water out of the tap. Rework the lather on my face.
First pass north to south.
Relather with thin lather.
Second pass south to north.
Relather with thin lather
Partial third pass annihilating some remaining stubble at the hollow of my neck and on the jawline.
Rinse with cold water. Rub wetter alum block over face.
Dry razor(s) and take care of other equipment.
Rinse the alum of my face.
I don't bother with aftershave on a weekday.
I enjoy luxury, such as a nice scent or a shaving cream, more when I reserve it for special occasions (mostly during the weekend)
tat2Ralfy said:
Also on a side note, with OTB (operation true blue) did you think about setting out some sort of shaving technique? or do you think those involved would be better to stick to their own tried and tested way of going about it?
I don't think that a special protocol will be necessary. After all we want to find out how an edge performs in a real life situation. The data sheet will be standardized though, and the alum block is a fixed paragraph on that one. (Those interested can download the data sheet at the "Heritage" section).

Best regards,
Thank you
I do love my Alum Block ;) mind you I often catch my expression in the mirror (try it) if I ever rub it on "Zware huidirritatie met rode vlekken" hahahaha

Also if you get the chance, look at yourself if you catch a nick as you shave, my eyes are open WIDE!!! hahaha