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La Verte Questions

Danricgro

Member
I just purchased a 50X150 La Verte stone from The Superior Shave. Jarrod tells me that is a very fast stone. I am just looking for any tips you coticule pros can offer on using this stone. I also have a 50X175 combo he thinks may be a Dressante and a La Gross Blanch bout. I have only honed a couple of razors on these other stones, one from bevel set to finish and the other just a touch up. So I really don't k ow what I'm doing but I know I like it! These things really are addicting, I went from zero coti's to three in a couple weeks.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
I think I may have read about your La Verte on the Badger&Blade forum. Jarrod has an excellent reputation as a seller of Coticule (among other sharpening stones), who knows what he's talking about. It really surprised me that he stated a La Verte to be fast. That would be unlike any La Verte I've ever tested. They were all among well within the slowest half of the Coticule spectrum. I noticed a slight tendency for them to be a bit faster (but still not faster than what I call "moderate") near the blue rock, meaning that he La Verte natural combo's I have seen and tried were slightly faster than the glued ones.

It is perfectly possible that Jarrod received a stock of La Vertes that behave completely different than those I know. Coticules never cease to surprise me. However, in the thread on Badger&Blade there was talk about they being fast, because they are supposed to allow more pressure than other Coticule layers. That maybe true in a meaningful sense for someone who sharpens woodworking tools on a Coticule. If you lean on a (narrow) chisel, you will definitely be able to dig into many Coticules. Probably less so on a La Verte, which means that you could counteract it's lesser speed with additional pressure. Yet I would still find it a bit strange to call them fast for that reason, because I like to compare hone speeds at equal pressure. On razors however, I certainly do not advocate a kind of pressure that would yield the above effects. Maybe you can lean a bit more on a stiff wedge style razor, but on all others, pressure must be kept rather gentle, to avoid flexing the blade too much.

I also believe that it's difficult to really master Coticule honing, if you're constantly jumping from one Coticule to another. One of the most useful advices often given on this forum, is to put all but one away and work on that one until you can get perfect edges of it. Only then, try to match those results on another Coticule. The second one will be considerably easier to master. If it were me, knowing what I know now about these stones, I'd start on the La Dressante. And I'd keep the La Grosse Blanche for last.
The first thing you could do, is to get
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to work on your Coticule. If you're completely new to the concept of razor sharpening, there are 2 threads, aimed to assist aspiring razor sharpeneers with tackling the learning curve:
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Kind regards,
Bart.
 

kg4ghn

Well-Known Member
I can't comment on the specifics of each of your stones, but I would pick one and stick with it until you get consistently good results with it.


Edit: Looks like Bart is here to tell you all you need to know and I just wasn't fast enough with my little comment!
 

yohannrjm

Well-Known Member
I speak from experience here: if you really want to master the coticule, pick one and work with that until you can get superb edges.

With most coticules, you'll be able to get a decent edge pretty quickly. However, there's usually an excellent edge buried in there, and that takes more work and experience to get. Since each coticule is slightly different, it can be confusing to use too many at one time.

When all else fails.......listen to Bart!! :lol:
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
I've got a Le Verte, and it's the slowest of the 4 I have. It also lets me achieve the highest HHT coming off the stone compared to my others, though that could well be an operator issue, as I certainly didn't follow the excellent advice of the preceding gents.
Good luck with it, it's a great stone!
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
My first coticule was also a La Verte large bench sized natural combo. Though close to BBW it is indeed slower than my other stones. When I learned on this one, I was amazed at the speed of the La Dressante layer. They are great stones and if they work for Chris, you can be sure they are easy to use. He used to have a nice vintage...........(4QCV)
 

jfdupuis

Well-Known Member
+1 on using only one stone at the time, especially when starting out. I had two coticules and found myself going back and forther between the two and not necessarily spending enough time on learning the specific characteristics of each stone. I know got rid of one and I'm getting very good results on my only stone, a La Nouvelle Veine. It's not the quickest stone on water alone, but the edge it gives is truly smooth and good to my skin.

Cheers,

JF
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
One other thing about the La Verte issue. There could easily be some miscommunication with the experienced dealer in question. I can't believe anyone that knows about coticules would say LV's are fast. As Bart said, coticules are full of surprises, and I know very much less than he about them, but I cannot see anyone thinking they are fast without remarking about a "new batch of weird stones" or something.
 

Phlier

Active Member
I've owned three coticules, and of them all, the La Verte is the slowest one I've had. Yet it also is the best finisher. The "secret" to doing dilucot on the La Verte, IMO, is to do a very large number of strokes between dilutions, and only dilute just a little bit at a time. Diluting too much between sets of strokes will "leave the edge behind", and take a ton of work to catch up. It may be a bit more work to do a dilucot on a La Verte, but the results are excellent. IMO, there's a bit more of a learning curve with Dilucot and a La Verte than other, faster coticules, but the results are fantastic.

As Bart mentioned, try to do a Unicot edge with it. Unicot on a La Verte will give you a great, smooth shaving edge.
 

Danricgro

Member
Thanks to all of you for your tips. I see that there is a interesting journey ahead of me. Sure glad you fine people
are around to help out when I get stuck. Just hope I don't get on your nerves!
 

kg4ghn

Well-Known Member
DJKELLY said:
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Jarrod at thesuperiorhave says he is colorblind. Is it possible that he is mixing up these stones with another vein that looks similar except for the color/shade?

I have no idea but all other feedback from that vendor seems to be pretty good, maybe there is something else going on.

ETA: I'm not trying to make excuses for him, and I have no stake in how it goes either way. Just trying to maybe help get to the bottom of this.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Jarrod is indeed highly respected, both by myself and the people of Ardennes (Maurice spoke favorably about him during out meeting last Friday). The least thing I would want is to question the man's knowledge and expertise.

But of course, that doesn't change the fact that I'm puzzled.

I know Jarrod holds a membership here and perhaps he will chime in to give additional explanation.
The only layer I can think of that could be confused with La Verte is La Grise. They are indeed faster, but still not as fast as La Veinette or the Blanches.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Danricgro

Member
I got a chance to test the stone out today. I used it to set the bevel on a Gold Dollar razor (I always use these to test out anything new I am trying). I worked up a nice milk like slurry and started. The slurry turned grey in a hurry, much faster then the stone thought to be a La Dressante. To make a long story short the bevel was set (shaving arm, leg hair easily all along the edge) in a less than five minutes. That's a new record for me as Im not a fast honer. The stone is very much grey green. I would love to post a picture but I don't have the equipment. I just had to try it out. Now I will take your advice and stick to one stone, the larger Dressante until I get that figured out.
 
hi

I think this forum's really neat, and seemingly the most adherent to free press ideals, but as a vendor of these little rocks I try to just observe rather than comment. It is to me a conflict of interest; great reading, though, and I'm happy to chime in when asked if I actually see such request.

We've sold bunches of coticules these past 2 years, that's for sure, but not many were this color, whatever that color may be. I don't know how colorblind I am in comparison to other's because, as one might guess, my vision info is also my exclusive sample set of that particular info. They show me little dots at the exam and ask where the big circle is and sometimes I don't know what they're talking about, and my wife shows me some stones sometimes and asks what color they are and I'll say "green" or I'll say "grey" and half the time she 'assures' me that's not right, so I suppose there is some problem with the cones and rods and how they dance together. I can at least easily get the ones she's confused as to being green or grey partitioned from the rest :) So I just call 'em "green/grey" and then evaluate individually the same as any other when I've the time.

Anyway, as a man of science and a former statistics major before realizing how boring an actuary's life is, I think in saying these were really fast I'm just a victim of basing faith in information off of too small a sample set - much like that whole "new Coke" thing of 1985, which we statisticians were often taught as a great lesson of exercising caution. The fact does remain that the ones I played with were fast, turning the water dark in an instant, and I'm entirely confident of any such declarations on stones I'd actually played with and listed with info. Beyond openly declaring that I've a preference for the slightly hard red ones more than any others, my capacity for giving an honest assessment's the most important part of being a vendor; I'll try very hard to remain neutral, give each one a few minutes with a razor at the same old honing station I'm tired of looking at, jot down impressions in my waterproof notebook, and take that mangled text to the site good or bad.

It is always a calculated gamble to prejudge based on looks, as nothing replaces personal experience, and I've not actually played with any of those green/grey stones up now...it is interesting to note here, however, that this customer did see immediate darkening in the water, something I'd not think requires much experience to know. This may mean that the 3 or 4 pieces still on the site as I write were all from the same mining efforts/shipment, and perhaps just a little patch with a higher percentage of cutters packed into it; I know in the many hundreds of bouts I can only remember selling 1 that I'd tested and it was nearly a perfect 50x150 and also quick. So I guess I'll have to put it on the docket to get around to flattening them.

It is interesting to note that Bart specifies that speed should be evaluated with comparative response to equal pressure; that's surely the right way to look at it. But early on in this coticule journey I'd try to un-e*ay a $10 century-old user razor with softer coticules, and on a few occasions damaged the stones with chips or divots. I'm sure the razor would get a proper bevel thickness in due course without such shenanigans, but as Steven Wright once famously declared, "everything is walking distance if you have the time". For a razor that'll never be a looker, I just want to shave with it quickly. On the samples of this rock we're referring to in this thread that I've played with, I can recall leaning on rough razors and watching the bevels form and having my fingers tell me the rock was saying "go right ahead, friend, there'll be no damage to me here". So I considered 'accelerated pressure for a razor you've not much care for' an extra arrow in these stones' quiver, just another tool at the honing station, but one off limits for many razors (and many coticules).

I think we're in entire agreement that these seemed capable of elevated keenness, but in the manner that, like an extremely hard synthetic hone, requires only the razor's repeated gravity. To me lots of razors don't have equal weight distribution when deployed for honing, though, some would fall off to the handle side if left unchecked (I know one particular Dovo always does), and that's one thing I love about coticules - just like me choosing to shave with two hands, on some you can mildly violate the "rule" of 'use no pressure' and still receive an edge that leaves nothing to be desired, which is always the goal I seek.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Jarrod, thank you very much for honoring us with a post. I have not a single doubt about your speed assessments. I become more and more eager to see a good picture of this hone. You don't happen to have one of it, do you?
It would be interesting to confirm the defermination that this indeed is a Coticule from the La Verte layer. So far La Verte has shown to be a pretty consistent layer in its abrasive properties, at least for the La Vertes I have tested. But as you know, there are other layers that show far less consistency in speed, and if we have to add La Verte to that list, so be it.
In the end, these remain natural products, and there is no escape from getting properly acquainted with a specimen, in order to put it to good use.

I sallute your ethics as a vendor, and your passion for treating the natural hones with the deliberation they require.

Thanks,
Bart.
 
Thanks, Bart! Ethics are really important; I love the sleep of the dead, not just the dead tired.

One thing I'm pretty punctual for is getting singular pieces of inventory off the site ASAP, for I do loathe extended consumption of time regarding things which are already sold...it didn't look anything special to me, though, maybe a few more of the blotchy brown patches than normal but nothing extraordinarily unusual in appearance to me from what one sees in cyberspace.

Keep in mind, though, I wasn't asserting speed of this fellow's actual sample, just a big handful of others that, to me, looked much the same. They were all rectangles and all 50x150 or 50x175 'standard' grade pieces. Still, I think we can all tell when water is darkening right away; one of the bouts to be released tonight wouldn't darken the slurry after a solid minute of rapid half-strokes! Now that's my kind of dead-ender coticule...I love specialists.

The coticules are crazy fun, but I do wish I had time/proximity as you and some of the more fervent posters have...like you say, it is passionate group of devotees but still a small one. In the grander scheme of things, it can't be the focus of the whole shop or the family would go hungry. The Le Petite Blanche is an easy one, obviously (even my wife can tell which are those at this point and she's never put razor to hone), but I wish I had the resources of time and knowledge to know each varietal and sub-varietal that is unearthed today so that I could taxonomize each piece of inventory as the customers perpetually desire.

regards
jarrod/TheSuperiorShave
 

Danricgro

Member
Bart, if you could get me a email address I could take some pictures of the stone with my iPhone and send them to you. The stone feels
real different from my other two coticules.

Jarrod, thanks for posting. I didn't mean to drag you into anything. But it is all in good fun!
 
No problem at all, Dan; it was all just an honest 'mistake' based on poor sampling data. You've done nothing wrong and I'm inclined to believe we just got a special little patch of this rock, which may or may not include your sample. I think in the office now there's ~10 pieces total of these types, I'll have to try and make it a point to see what they do with slurry water in regards to the darkening speed of it without pressure.

By the way, Bart; between the greenish one and the grey one, are they both stereotyped the same way in their general properties? Exceptionally hard, significantly slow, and capable of + keenness?

thanks

jarrod/TheSuperiorShave
 
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