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long-term maintenance after Crom Oxide

schatz

Active Member
I'm a relatively new coticule user having purchased a bout recently from a fellow on SRP (he thinks it is a La Petite Blanche - the bout is marked The Perfect Edge). Thus far I have been lurking on this board for awhile and have adopted the Dilucot approach for my concave grinds. Today I received some eBay purchases with German steel. Coming off the last step with the coticule, I decided I wanted to refine the smoothness a bit with my Cromium Oxide leather bench strop with
the result being a really nice shave. The question I have relates to long-term maintenance after the paste adds sufficient convexity to the point of requiring a revisit to the coticule. From examining Bart's articles within the Coticule Sharpening Academy, I would imagine the suggested maintence routine would be similar to that of the Unicot method where 30 or so (light?) strokes on slurry would suffice for the transition to water only.

As an aside, I am absolutely delighted with the coticule such that my Norton 1k and 4k/8k stones have not been used in awhile. Although it is tempting to now look for a larger coticule, the results thus far with my existing bout have tempered that desire.
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
I somtimes use issards or cro.ox after dilucot method only 10 to 20 laps. I always shave of the coticule first if i feel the need or just want to see if there is any improvmants i will use paste . You will find the better you master dilucot method you will find hardly any or no differance with paste. If you were to touch up on paste alone for a thew months or weeks you well have to go back to hone to form i nice flat bevel which with slurry depending how fast your coti cuts should be no problem. Once your shaving arm hair agiain after coti this would mean you have a good bevel thats how i would do it then dilute again shave of coti just to see how nice the edge is and then add cr.ox next shave. I've honed on milky slurry and then stropped 20 on issards and then 10 laps on cro.ox and that also works a treat. If i was to touch up my razor i would go back to coti with water and do 30 laps and test if that brings back the edge i would then add cro.ox if you like the edge of cro.ox.This may keep the bevel in good shape.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
schatz said:
I'm a relatively new coticule user having purchased a bout recently from a fellow on SRP (he thinks it is a La Petite Blanche - the bout is marked The Perfect Edge).
Welcome to Coticule.be

"La Petite Blanche" is one of the easiest to determine. It's always bonded by nature to a Belgian Blue Whetstone, and if you look at the side of the hone, you'll see small streaks of faint blue lines layered into the Coticule part. (Look at my avatar :) )
schatz said:
Thus far I have been lurking on this board for awhile and have adopted the Dilucot approach for my concave grinds. Today I received some eBay purchases with German steel. Coming off the last step with the coticule, I decided I wanted to refine the smoothness a bit with my Cromium Oxide leather bench strop with
the result being a really nice shave.
That's a good approach.

schatz said:
The question I have relates to long-term maintenance after the paste adds sufficient convexity to the point of requiring a revisit to the coticule. From examining Bart's articles within the Coticule Sharpening Academy, I would imagine the suggested maintence routine would be similar to that of the Unicot method where 30 or so (light?) strokes on slurry would suffice for the transition to water only.
Garry pretty much nailed it.
You can do a number of touch-ups on the CrO, till that starts to loose it almost magical ability to restore the edge to good shave-ability. At that point, a re-honing job has become inevitable. The very edge will be to rounded for a good shave. It will be very difficult, if not impossible, to solve that without correcting the bevel to perfect flatness first.
After that many shaves, the edge will also carry the accumulated micro-damage from hitting your whiskers time and time again. You will save yourself a lot of second-guessing, if you start with reestablishing a good bevel.

Garry also made a good point with his suggestion to do about 50 (he said 30, but I'd do 50, or even 100) laps on water before a touch-up on the CrO. That should buy you extra time, depending on your Coticule's speed with water. If it is a "La Petite Blanche", it will work well for doing that.
schatz said:
As an aside, I am absolutely delighted with the coticule such that my Norton 1k and 4k/8k stones have not been used in awhile. Although it is tempting to now look for a larger coticule, the results thus far with my existing bout have tempered that desire.

While a bigger (longer) Coticule might be a bit faster and more comfortable to use, your edge will not be very different.
I know that statement doesn't make it less tempting... :rolleyes:

Best regards,
Bart.
 

schatz

Active Member
I wish to thank Bart and Gary for their experienced words of wisdom. All else equal, adopting a technique which requires a bevel reset for long-term maintenance may not be the most intelligent path to take if one is concerned about the life of the razor. Hence, I'll be happy to take the suggestion of first trying 50 laps on the coticule with water when the edge needs freshening up. I also have a C12k which I can try if I feel I need something extra. However, it appears that the collective wisdom around here is that with sufficient skill, there is no reason not to shave right off the coticule. Without a doubt, it is a much nicer edge than shaving right off a Norton 8k. Under my Radio Shack scope, the edge simply looks gorgeous.

I guess my bout is not a La Petite Blanche in that it is not combined with a BBW. Whatever it is, I really enjoy using this stone for everything down to setting the bevel. Bart's suggestion of using the 1/2 stroke with a bit of pressure sure works well for cutting metal quickly. Interestingly, I don't recall ever seeing this stroke discussed on either the SRP Board nor on Lynn's video.

Happy shaving.:)
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
schatz said:
I wish to thank Bart and Gary for their experienced words of wisdom. All else equal, adopting a technique which requires a bevel reset for long-term maintenance may not be the most intelligent path to take if one is concerned about the life of the razor.

Just remember you are only removing enough metal to flatten out the secondary bevel, and make the now dull razor sharp again, after that its a polish job, which takes so little metal away that a lifetime should not do any real damage, and if it still troubles you why not go with the Dilocut method? that way touch ups are just that, 50-100 laps on coti-water.

schatz said:
I also have a C12k which I can try if I feel I need something extra. However, it appears that the collective wisdom around here is that with sufficient skill, there is no reason not to shave right off the coticule. Without a doubt, it is a much nicer edge than shaving right off a Norton 8k. Under my Radio Shack scope, the edge simply looks gorgeous.

My Humble opinion is that the edge off a 12k is not in the same league as a well finished edge with coti/water, if you are touching up a unicot edge 50 or so laps on coti/water should do the the job very nicely, if it doesn't the edge has gone beyond a simple touch up, in which case you would have to rehone redardless of whatever method you used in the first place, or your secondary bevel has outgrown the optimal size for such work, in which case you can either use a light slurry and dilute it down to just water to finish, making it a new dilocut bevel. or run the edge over glass and reset the bevel, then continue with unicot whichever your prefer.

schatz said:
I really enjoy using this stone for everything down to setting the bevel. Bart's suggestion of using the 1/2 stroke with a bit of pressure sure works well for cutting metal quickly. Interestingly, I don't recall ever seeing this stroke discussed on either the SRP Board nor on Lynn's video.

Thats because some people see this unicot/dilocut business as the devils work!....lol

Just the way I see it.
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
schatz said:
Interestingly, I don't recall ever seeing this stroke discussed on either the SRP Board nor on Lynn's video.

Happy shaving.:)

Actually, there was a discussion on SRP about something very similar, around the beginning of this year. The instruction was to do 30 back and forth strokes on one side and then 30 on the other and continue this until the blade started to pop arm hair. Then resume normal honing. It did work very well and I still use that tactic now on difficult blades. There is also someone else in the honing video's who uses this method, although it is not nearly as agressive as Bart and I have not seen anyone talk about this since.
What I have noticed, from being around for a while, is that everything seems to go full circle - eventually. That said, there have been many discussions about using the double bevel. It seems to put a really fine edge on the blade, but using the coticule to produce it, does anyone know if the longevity of the blade is less than, equal to or longer than the dilucot method?
I use, and sell on my website, a Chromium Oxide that is 99.9% pure and guaranteed to be between 0.3um and 0.5um with a grit rating of 60,000. I am now in my 4th week of a test with a C-Mon Blackie that I strop every day 25 on synthetic and 50 on leather, and once a week 6 very light laps on my Hard Balsa strop with Crox. The razor still passes the HHT like the first day I honed it. The balsa strop I use hasn't been re-pasted since January and has had more than 160 razors used on it. I have found that more than 6 laps seems to start dulling the edge. Is there something I am missing here?

Ray
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
I don't really keep much track of what other people do, apart from always being open for suggestions.
So I don't really know how well circles work. I found it difficult using them and keeping the razor in even contact with the hone, but that's just me.
What I do like about "half strokes", is that you can exactly copy the motions of the X-stroke variations, such as the rolling and the swaying X-stroke. I find that a big advantage for working at the bevels of smiling and/or warped blades (which seems to be almost half of all razors I hone).

The steeper bevel angle from applying one (extra) layer of tape to the spine, will make the edge stronger. That is a mathematical certainty. That increased durability will most likely not be big enough to have any significance in real life.

Best regards,
Bart.
 

schatz

Active Member
Rayman:
I use, and sell on my website, a Chromium Oxide that is 99.9% pure and guaranteed to be between 0.3um and 0.5um with a grit rating of 60,000. I am now in my 4th week of a test with a C-Mon Blackie that I strop every day 25 on synthetic and 50 on leather, and once a week 6 very light laps on my Hard Balsa strop with Crox. The razor still passes the HHT like the first day I honed it. The balsa strop I use hasn't been re-pasted since January and has had more than 160 razors used on it. I have found that more than 6 laps seems to start dulling the edge.

Any updates on the C-Mon Blackie experiment. I currently use the rough-side of a 2-sided leather bench strop for my application of Crox. I'm curious about using Crox on balsa (rather than leather) and am thus considering ordering one of your balsa treated strops for experimentation. Does this seem like a worthwhile experiment.
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
Schatz,

The main characteristic of using balsa, is that balsa has a very soft and smooth surface while also having deep grain that can hold the crox. The weight of the razor on the surface is just enough to push the soft balsa down and expose the crox to the edge. It actually acts something like a dispenser. If you push to hard, you expose too much crox and over hone the very tip of the edge.

By overhoning I mean it removes more of the sharp points then you need to, rather than smoothing them out, and causes the edge to actually become dull or produce a rough shave. That's why I recommend fewer than 6 very light laps.

If you are experimenting, I would use the strop you already have crox on for your experiment. But, there is one significant change I would do and that is to first wipe your strop clean and reload with a very light application of crox. Just make 3 x's on the strop and rub that into the strop. Then wipe with a clean rag until you don't get any green stain.

Hone the razor and when you are ready to strop it on your clean leather, put 1 layer of tape on the spine and do 6 very light laps on the crox strop. This time, however, have the strop laying flat on a hard surface. This is important so you have less of a chance of rolling the edge then on a hanging strop. Then do 50 laps on the regular strop.

Start shaving with the razor. When regular stropping doesn't bring it back to a keen edge, put a piece of tape on the spine, do 6 laps on the crox again laying flat and then 50 on the regular strop and start all over.

See how long you can keep the edge going. When using the crox doesn't work, you will need to go to at least a finishing hone and back through the same routine.

One of the undetermined factors here is the beard. Some beard are way tougher than others. Your particular beard will have a real impact on this experiment. That, coupled with the type of steel your blade has is the another. Another thing I take into consideration is the interval between shaves. If I shave every day, I will use my test razor. If I decide to let my beard go 2 or 3 days, then I use a different razor because the test will be flawed if I don't.

So, before you buy something else, try using what you have and let me know how it is going. will be glad to help you with your experiment.

Happy Holidays,

Ray
 

schatz

Active Member
Ray,

Thanks so much for your quick and most detailed reply.

I'm not too sure how I came about the knowledge, but my initial pasting of the bench strop was just as you suggest. That is, 3 x-shaped patterns followed by a good wiping with a cloth. Possibly it was one of your postings on SRP?

Your suggestion about taping the spine before using the Crox sounds promising and brings to mind the underlying motivation behind Bart's unicot technique. Thus far I have been using the Crox untaped when I haven't achieved a satisfactory edge with the delucot method and have varied the pressure starting out at a moderate level and ending with a very light touch. The results have generally been quite good. Next time I need a touchup, I'll be happy to give your taping method a try.

I intend to keep practicing and climbing the dilucot learning curve. Perhaps it is the challenge that is so attractive. However, it's nice to know that when I just can't get that little bit extra on a particular blade, that the Crox is there to correct any prior deficiency.

Thank you for volunteering your time as a Moderator so that folks like myself may learn more about this most enjoyable activity.

Have a happy holiday season,
Schatz
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
I've a loom strop with CrO applied very sparingly to the leather. It sees little use nowadays, since I can push the edge on a Coticule to the point where CrO will make no real difference. Ray was so kind to send me one of his Balsa strops a few weeks ago, and for the fun of it, I've been playing around with it. I hope to post a thorough review about it any time soon. I can tell that the CrO pasted balsa surface behaves very differently than the sparingly pasted leather surface of my loom strop. CrO on balsa cuts way faster than my loom. I roughly estimate 5 laps on Balsa equals 25 laps on the loom strop.

I personally do not believe the "extra smoothness" theory. I believe it's easy to make the edge keener on CrO, if it wasn't completely there after the Coticule. A keener edge will appear smoother, because it cuts better. That explains the observation that CrO will offer nothing extra on those edges that came just perfect off the Coticule.

Ray's method to create a small secondary bevel on CrO works very well. It indeed relies on similar principles as the Unicot, that creates a small secondary bevel on a Coticule with water. Ray's balsa strop is the perfect medium for his suggested method. It works extremely well, and the edges are just great. I've been shaving for awhile with such an edge. Longevity is always something to consider when doing final sharpening with the edge trailing (= in stropping direction), but the edge seems just fine in that department.

I think such a CrO secondary bevel can be easily maintained by repeating the taped stropping.

Best regards,
Bart.
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
I have a loom with crox and one of rays balsa hones what makes the balsa hone cut quiker. Is it due to being firmer surface ?
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
I have to say i have used crox on leather fabric and now rayman balsa i do prefer the softer smooth feel on the balsa hone fabric would be second leather third for me
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
One thing I don't think I have made to clear about using the Crox on Balsa. If you are doing the Unicot method and already have tape on the spine, add another piece before using the balsa. Doesn't matter if you have 1, 2, 3 or more, add another before the crox.

Merry Christmas to all!!

Ray
 

schatz

Active Member
Success with Sheffield steel.:) I tried 6 light laps with tape on the Crox this morning with a W&B that already shaved reasonably well. The imparted double bevel raised the sharpness to an even higher level and gave me the best shave yet with this particular blade. This was a great example of less abrasive polishing yields more. Many thanks to Ray for the tip.

In the past I tended to shy away from taping (except for my wedges) thinking it would be a hassle to tape each time I wanted to touch-up a blade. Hence, I also stayed away from the unicot method. The experience this morning, however, was very easy and took almost no time. As a result, I am tempted to also experiment withs setting the double bevel on the coticule (i.e., the unicot method) and compare the results.

Happy holidays to all,
Schatz
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
schatz said:
Success with Sheffield steel.:) I tried 6 light laps with tape on the Crox this morning with a W&B that already shaved reasonably well. The imparted double bevel raised the sharpness to an even higher level and gave me the best shave yet with this particular blade. This was a great example of less abrasive polishing yields more. Many thanks to Ray for the tip.

In the past I tended to shy away from taping (except for my wedges) thinking it would be a hassle to tape each time I wanted to touch-up a blade. Hence, I also stayed away from the unicot method. The experience this morning, however, was very easy and took almost no time. As a result, I am tempted to also experiment withs setting the double bevel on the coticule (i.e., the unicot method) and compare the results.

Happy holidays to all,
Schatz

Try the unicot method, you wont be disappointed
Happy Christmas
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
garyhaywood said:
I have a loom with crox and one of rays balsa hones what makes the balsa hone cut quiker. Is it due to being firmer surface ?
I don't know. I just noticed it's a rather big speed difference. My loom strop is pasted only sparingly with a very translucent coat of CrO. Anything more and the CrO sits on top as a fuzzy layer, that dulls rather than to sharpen.
Ray's balsa seems to be capable of embedding much more CrO. It's a densely spread layer, but without any fuzziness.

rayman said:
One thing I don't think I have made to clear about using the Crox on Balsa. If you are doing the Unicot method and already have tape on the spine, add another piece before using the balsa. Doesn't matter if you have 1, 2, 3 or more, add another before the crox.
garyhaywood said:
any reason why?

With each new layer of tape, you're creating a new secondary (or tertiary, etc...) bevel, with a whole new shot a refining the edge a tad further. If you want to experiment with this, you can just do Unicot and replace the final steps by whatever finisher you wish to try. It doesn't have to be a Coticule with water (although I find the edge hard to beat - but I'm biassed-). You can also try Ray's balsa strop, a Shapton 30K, or any other finishing hone out there.

Doing it on a pasted leather strop, or any other surface that has some "give" defeats the purpose, because that "give" already accomplishes the same as the layer of tape, albeit in a less precise manner.

Bart.
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
its strange actualy i have used the balsa hone and not got any black lines yet but with my livi loom coated in livi crox which is crayon form that seems to get black lines instant.both work well not sure which one is better
 
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