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Interesting, take a look

Bart

Well-Known Member
Yes, that booklet has been referenced a couple of times before.

Napoleon_Leblanc said:
Make a creamy lather and use thick to begin honing, When nearly done, add thin lather to finish, to set a fine edge. Thick lather mates the hone work quick and sets a coarse edge, while thin lather works slowly and sets a finer edge.
If he didn't specifically stated that his was talking about shaving lather, I would say he was talking about what we call slurry. Having tried thick and thin lather, I never could figure out what he's talking about.

But if we read the next passage:

Napoleon_Leblanc said:
When using water hones, wet the face and rub with rubstone (rubber) or with the face of another hone until a thick lather of the rubbing is formed. Then proceed with the honing in the same manner as when using lather or oil hone. When nearly done add a few drops of water to thin out the rubbing and finish honing.
Now he talks about the "lather of the rubbing", which is indeed what we call "slurry". And in that paragraph it makes total sense with what we observe using our Coticules. But quite interestingly, he is not speaking about Belgian oil hones (his name for Coticules), but about German and Japanee water hones (Thuringer hones).

He also states earlier on:

Napoleon_Leblanc said:
Many barbers have better success with water hones.
With the instruction set he gives, I can believe that. Coticules with shaving soap on top will provide a good touch up, but not much more.

But my personal favorite is this:
Napoleon_Leblanc said:
Every barber cannot use every hone successfully, and what is considered a poor hone by some will sometimes just suit others - and the same with razors. All depends on the way of honing.
and of course the part where he advices to
Napoleon_Leblanc said:
soak the strop in urine a couple of days
:D

Kind regards,
Bart
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
I love that little pamphlet.

Regarding the use of the word "lather" I've been getting an idea that the earlier books use it in reference to slurry, but over time it morphed, to the point where in the early 20th century, it was often used interchangably, and by the 1950's it had come to mean shaving lather exclusively.
Of course, I could be trying to read too much into it...

Cincinnatikid, if you liked that one, you might like this one:
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Bart

Well-Known Member
wdwrx said:
I love that little pamphlet.

Regarding the use of the word "lather" I've been getting an idea that the earlier books use it in reference to slurry, but over time it morphed, to the point where in the early 20th century, it was often used interchangably, and by the 1950's it had come to mean shaving lather exclusively.
I think you are correct with that. It also appears that several of these writers, just copied their predecessors without double checking the facts. That could explain Leblanc's -let's admit it- nonsensical advice about the speed difference between thick and thin shaving lather on top of the hone.

wdwrx said:
Cincinnatikid, if you liked that one, you might like this one:
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That's a great resource about razor grinds and models. But also this text contains mistakes:
Charles_Holzapffel said:
The Yellow German hone, particularly the slabs from the lower strata known as old rock, is greatly preferred to all the above for the principal office in setting razor, as it cuts more slowly, smoothly, and softly than any of the
I presume that mr. Holzapffel might have had German or Austrian ancestors, but still his statement that Coticules (the reference to Old Rock!) are German hones. But his mistake is understandable. Belgian existed as a country only about 30 years when this book was published and Vielsalm was practically at the border with Germany. It is only after the first World-War that a part of Germany was add to Belgian territory and Vielsalm found itself considerably farther away from the newly drawn border.

Later Holzapffel's mistake was copied by a few others source, that I believe eventually led to the rumor of German Coticules, that lives on on the Internet.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
I'd noticed that to. There are at least a couple of resources that claim the coticule's origin is from Ratisborn. It actually sparked a bit of a history lesson for me as I had to do a bit of google-fu on the history of Belgium to rule out the possibility of shifting borders or changing place names.
I'm not much up on European history.
 

TM280

Well-Known Member
I am not aware of your earlier discussions of urine...thankfully...:D

But, for the more adventurous (paging Chris...), soaking your strop in urine could deliver the wonder magic strop of all time!! (note double "!")

It could, of course, deliver a mushy degraded length of leather that the odor won't quite come out of as well.

Two days sounds like far too little, especially for a finished, oiled leather, but urine is a traditional step in tanning used precisely for what we prize in a strop: suppleness.

Now, should I roll my strop up to fit in the pot or should I try to find a shallow 60 cm container...:rolleyes:

regards,
Torolf

(PS. I swear I wouldn't pee on anyone's strop but my own...)
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
In old recipes to prepare loam for plastering outer wals, they used horse urine to make it waterproof. As such, horse urine was a commercially available product. I would suspect that they would prefer that over human urine.

Torolf, that PS you added, makes me highly suspicious of you... :D
I would not bid on the strop that this man has in the fundraiser, folks.:sneaky:

Kind regards
Bart.
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
I did a quick search for uric acid online today... found a couple suppliers of Laboratory supplies places that cary it.... I'm not adventurous enough to order any though...

I wonder if vinegar would replicate the effect without the "eeeewwww" factor?
My wife's been pretty tolerant of my hobby so far, but I have this sneaking suspicion she'd draw the line at the soaking a strop in urine thing. Well, not that she'd really care what I did with it, just that I did it somewhere else!
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
wdwrx said:
I did a quick search for uric acid online today... found a couple suppliers of Laboratory supplies places that cary it.... I'm not adventurous enough to order any though...

I wonder if vinegar would replicate the effect without the "eeeewwww" factor?
My wife's been pretty tolerant of my hobby so far, but I have this sneaking suspicion she'd draw the line at the soaking a strop in urine thing. Well, not that she'd really care what I did with it, just that I did it somewhere else!
You've got cows, right? Get off your lazy Canuckian butt and go put a pan on top of the flat rock they alway pee on. Denny
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
hhhmmmm. Change of subject is in order, methinks!:lol:

I popped in quick for lunch and thought I'd scan that "Turnings and Manipulations" article again.... I was struck by a few things: The method of removing the wire edge - "striking off". I can't help but think that the down-stroke on glass acomplishes much the same, if such a wire edge was present, say from too much stropping.. In the past, i've run a razor straight edge on to clean up a chippy looking edge and I've seen Livi Maestro do something similar in one of his videos before moving on to the polish. Very interesting.

The thumb nail test: Smythe, for one, has dropped a hint or two that he might use this technique, and I know of at least one other proponent. I've tried it, but always with a great deal of trepidation. Can't say I noticed that it affected the edge any.
I can't say I fully understand when the author mentions "in line with the finger, obliquely across the nail" with the implication it may be less harmful to the edge.

Also of note, was the mention of applying a "thicker angle" (is the term used I believe) for coarse beards, and a vague mention of the practice of honing with the spine raised to accomplish that.

Cheers
-Chris
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
DJKELLY said:
You've got cows, right? Get off your lazy Canuckian butt and go put a pan on top of the flat rock they alway pee on. Denny

Bwhahahahaha Bwhahahahahaha that made my day :thumbup:

The thumbnail test is very underated IMHO, and because I rarely use anything but a Coticule to finish a razor I have to say "Wire edge" WTF? heard of it a lot, have never ever seen one though, not on a razor anyway, my kitchen knives get one as I halfstroke them like a mad man on my 1k man made

Regards
Ralfson
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
well, I'm still drawing the line at soaking my strops in urine...:D but I've just set one to soak in some vinegar.... OK, not a whole strop, but a small piece of Latigo. I cut a small section from a larger chunck of Latigo that is'nt suitable for strop material, and then halved it so i'd have a piece of identical material remaining untreated. I'll see at the end of the day if there's any change. I'm thinking that soaking in Ammonia may be worth a try too.
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
I'll tell ya, there's no shortage of cow piss..... But will you volounteer to try said urine soaked strop?:w00t: Would the mail-man even deliver such a smelly package? And what would the beautiful Alicia say about hanging it in the bathroom?... Probably the same thing my wife would say, I'm guessing :)mad: would be an understatment!)
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
wdwrx said:
hhhmmmm. Change of subject is in order, methinks!:lol:

I popped in quick for lunch and thought I'd scan that "Turnings and Manipulations" article again.... I was struck by a few things: The method of removing the wire edge - "striking off". I can't help but think that the down-stroke on glass acomplishes much the same, if such a wire edge was present, say from too much stropping.. In the past, i've run a razor straight edge on to clean up a chippy looking edge and I've seen Livi Maestro do something similar in one of his videos before moving on to the polish. Very interesting.

The thumb nail test: Smythe, for one, has dropped a hint or two that he might use this technique, and I know of at least one other proponent. I've tried it, but always with a great deal of trepidation. Can't say I noticed that it affected the edge any.
I can't say I fully understand when the author mentions "in line with the finger, obliquely across the nail" with the implication it may be less harmful to the edge.

Also of note, was the mention of applying a "thicker angle" (is the term used I believe) for coarse beards, and a vague mention of the practice of honing with the spine raised to accomplish that.

Cheers
-Chris
The Strike-Off is not necessarily to remove a “wire-edge”… it’s to remove a small amount of steel from the edge because it is too thin and week to form a bevel (filmy-edge).

To understand the “filmy-edge” you may have to think of how a razor is manufactured, and the condition the razor at the time they are honing it (yes, they sharpen all razors at the factory before it goes to market).

The razor has just been ground and polished on wheels. It is the wheels that create the concave on each side of the blade. The concaves meet at the very edge, and the result is thin “filmy” steel at the edge (like aluminum foil)… there is NO bevel. A proper cutting edge needs a bevel, however they couldn’t form a bevel on such a thin edge because it is too week and would flex away from the hone. So they strike-off the very thin part of the edge on a course stone, so the edge gets just a little thicker (and stronger), then they commence to form the bevel on the razor hone (sharpen the razor).

The wire-edge is similar to the filmy-edge, but the cause is different. The wire-edge is formed when the bevels meet, but you continue honing (over-honing) and thus forming another film at the edge. In this case, it is indeed a wire because, though the steel is still attached to the bevel, is not part of the bevel (the filmy-edge mentioned previously, was part of the concave).
But as mentioned in the chapter “setting razors”, the wire is more likely to occur if the steel is too soft, the edge is thin, but week, and will flex away from the hone. On the other hand, if steel that is too hard, it will instead fracture and brake off at the very edge and become notched (because it is brittle), so, hard razors will never form a wire by over-honing.

The best steel is not too hard… not too soft… “Today” it is indeed difficult for the average shaver to find a razor the middle.


The TPT is controversial… Folks will gladly accept the TPT when setting the bevel on a course stone… but they often go into “meltdown” if you mention the TPT during the polishing stages or when the blade is “shave ready”.

But my philosophy is this… if at the polishing stage, an edge cannot survive a trip through the thumbnail, then the resulting shave will be lacking, even if the TNT was never used. I have proven this to myself so many times that I am beginning to think it's time to bust this "myth".
 

TM280

Well-Known Member
Thanks for that post, Smythe. I have had issues with a stone I am testing and I think the TNT may help me figure out what is happening.

Chris,
Both vinegar and ammonia will damage leather, though not to the same degree. I have not found that either imparts beneficial qualities for our purposes, but you may find something else out:)
If you want to keep the piece after the vinegar bath, it is a good idea to neutralize the acid. Give it a rinse in clear water, then in a bath of baking soda and water. No suggestions for ammonia (I stay away from the stuff...).

regards,
Torolf

PS. eskimos recommended the urine from a young child. Older person's urine would not work as well and cause the leather to last a shorter amount of time...(try explaining that to your wife:lol: )
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
hahahha you guys are bound and determined to have me soak one in actual urine... aren't ya?:D

Smythe, thanks for that great post. I have to say, I've never run into an over-honed edge, though I have seen the wire edge phenomena on other steels I've used a grinder on on a scale large enough to be visible to the naked eye, so I can understand the principle. Thank heaven's that a coti doesn't seem prone to that.

What technique do you use to do the TNT, Smythe? that "oblique" pass mentioned?



Torolf, it sounds as if you've been down this road before....
I've let that piece soak now for 24 hours (almost), it's certainly wet and floppy, looks like a bit of grain has been raised on the face, I've got it soaking in a baking soda solution now and then I'll let it dry slowly for a few days. Not sure what I'm actually trying to accomplish... I have some nice strops already.... just curiosity, I guess.


Kind regards,
-Chris
 
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