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mellow edges

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
We all no coticules are renowed for nice smooth yet mellow edges?

Certain coticules are well known for leaving a very mellow edge as apose to engaging etc..

What i'd like to no , is knowing how a certain layer of coticule, for example L a noveille vain or La grosse blanch layer , can leave such mellow edges? so any one no why and how this is? has it got somthing to do with the amount or size of the garnets? i realy don't have a clue.

gary
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Me neither mate
I believe, but may be wrong, that Garnets are relatively uniform in size?
Maybe it has more to do with how easily they release them?

Then you have all that "fast stones must give crisp edges" nonsense, take LV's for example, they cut quick on slurry and as you know the edges can be like butter

Beats me Gary, it could even be down to what makes up the rest of the stone, and not the Garnets?

Hopefully someone who knows better will chip in

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
I never had a crisp edge of a Coticule, but then again, what's in the word "crisp"? We've had that discussion before.
I do use "brisk" for a refreshing, rejuvenating kind of shave. "Mellow" for the kind of shave that leaves the skin feeling the exactly the same as before the shave. And "engaging" for when I can't make up my mind about either of the above. :rolleyes:

Anyway, I find the differences extremely small, to the extent that I have regretted more that I ever introduced those three terms in the Vault descriptions, than I have found them useful. With the kind of tricks that every seasoned razor honer should have up his sleeve, I believe any Coticule can be coaxed in doing what its master wants it to do. Lately the concept of surface refreshment before finishing has received good attention. You definitely can do that, but you definitely can also deliberately not do that, and finish on a more "worn" surface. Or you can do the "one rub"-trick, and finish on a hint of slurry. You can do that edge-leading, or spine leading. You can use oil. You can clog the surface with tea candle wax. All these different treatments do make a difference. And then there's the (by my experience highly underrated influence of different bevel angles). Some strategies will turn a "brisk" stone "mellow", and others will turn a "mellow" stone "brisk".
How comes? I don't think anyone knows. Likely garnet sizes differ, perhaps some layers tend to have more uniform garnets. And then there the influence of finely grained quartzite, that possibly has a bigger influence during the finishing stages on water, than we imagine. I think we can only ever reveal some of this, by doing extensive research with Scanning Electron Microscopy, of the kind John Verhoeven did in his knife sharpening experiments. Coticule.be owns a set of razors with detachable scales and the sample Coticules to put the edges on. But no access to a SEM.

But as said, in the end, all that matters is that the user knows how to use his Coticule to the best of his liking. I've had Coticules that I liked better than others, for reasons that I find impossible to put into words. Mostly based on how the stone behaves while honing, the song it sings, the hand it fits, etc. But never have I met a Coticule that I could give to another Coticule user, with the words "here, use this one, it will be betterthan the one you already have. If you ask me about my "best" Coticule, I honestly could not give any meaningful answer.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

tzee

Active Member
Aside from scientific explanations and proofs, is it safe to say that IT IS possible that certain layers are gentler than others on the skin? Take La Grise (the mellowest?), La Nouvelle Veine, and La Grosse Blanche for example. These layers are synonymous with "smooth," and "mellow." On the other hand, La Dressante and Les Latneuses (hybrid aside) are known for their brisk edges. La Veinettes are fast, keen, and smooth.

Shouldn't finishers generally be slow on water, as to provide consistent and smooth edges?
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
I agree with Bart. I've never had a shave off a coticule that was too "crisp", and I refuse to let my head explode over the meaning of the words again :D

I've discovered, and learned to differentiate, the delightful edges classified as "crisp/brisk", "engaging", and "mellow", and they're all excellent in their own ways. I find myself debating with myself which I prefer over others, but I never fully conclude definitively which is better in my estimation.

At the end of the day, I think there's a tendancy by some to classify all the edges that are truly excellent as "mellow" where I may classify them crisp or engaging. And, anything that falls short of the keenness limit that we need to be "crisp" because it leaves the face feeling slightly burned rather than the rejuvenated excellence of a "crisp" or "brisk" edge...

Of course, that's purly conjecture. :)
 

rtedwards

Active Member
I read these threads with great interest. I confess I can't tell the difference, but maybe I've not bracketed the full range of possibilities. I only have a Verte, Veinette and Dressante. I've gotten blades sharpened by generous other folks and I can't tell a difference with them either. I can only detect varying degrees of keeness, but all edges leave my skin feeling shaved and stinging a bit with alcohol based aftershaves. All seem brisk. Mellow sounds so appealing, but I wouldn't know it if it bit me on the ass, or would I?

All I know is that anything I do to modify a coticule edge definitely makes that edge harsher, with the possible exception of a Thuringian, which seems pretty smooth but a little less keen.
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
great answers. I have had many differant coticules. I think as some of you say, its down to the way the razor turns out. mellow to me is where the edge feels so so dull as i'm shaving. After shave you would not think a razor has been across your face. This is a common typical coticule edge, to me.

If you reach full keeness chances are your edge will fel like this , so it most likely is down to the honing . either way these are my favourite edges , and the reason i like the coticule edge, as i found no other hone as ever deliverd that kind of feel during the shave . I have noticed slight differances , and i would say thats due to the razor not being quite where i want it, i have not ised some edges to be slightly harsher during the shave , these have been razor s with amazing HHT, when i say harsh i mean just not as buttery, not harsh in a over done edge or over pasted. Just not as buttery.

i was thinking its more likely down to the result of honing?

thanxs gary
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
Mates and you Gary ,i am feeling really unable to give all of that i have i my mind in english ,as is not my native language . But i ll try to find some words to do it believing that this issue is difficult even for the maternally english-speaking mates.
As you know my whole experience concerns only coticules but more than twenty years i used just my heritage coticules working exclusively on these.
Later i bought more from Ardennes due to my Patricia nationality and due to coticule.be.
So I'm in the final conclusion that the cotcule garnets are relatively uniform in size as said.
What is dramatically different is the binder and the consistency. Is like on a combo natural coticule no doubt the coticule side or blue side have uniform garnets but the edge result is completely different and according my opinion what is different is the consistency.
Some coticules give the impression that are webbed ,for me this kind gives mellow edges and less faster than others releasing with some difficulty slurry.
Other coticules give the impression that the garnets excess more of the surface releasing more slurry and are faster even on clear water.This kind give according Bart nomenclature engaging edges.
I never took a crispy edge from a coticule .
Finally i am sure for one thing , i am able to get a very smooth shave from all coticules i tried so far honed either by elliptical motions or half strokes .
Best regards
Emmanuel
 

vgeorge

Well-Known Member
Thanks for these insights, all.

Emmanuel, ο φίλος μου, would you permit me a friendly request on behalf of all the forum, if I may, for your honing video? It will be a great addition to other great videos here.

With your great aviation engineering, architectural, civil engineering, farming, sharpening, vintage-music-instrument restoring talents :scared:, we cannot believe you cannot get a little video camera to look over your coticule. :blush: :p

If you like, I can volunteer to sub-title it. What do you say? :thumbup:

George
[small]
(Half in joke, please don't take it too seriously if your house construction is keeping you too busy. :))
(Translation by Google - :blush: sorry if not precise.)
[/small]
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
Of coarse George φίλε μου. I will do it. Is truth that i haven't a video camera. I have an expensive picture camera but is not suitable for this job .
But we have two solutions. Or ill find some body to film me during honing or Bart will tape me in Belgium the next visit there.
Tanks for your king words.
Best regards
Emmanuel
 

justalex

Well-Known Member
I'm getting those slightly harsh edges just now that your talking about Gary. I've found once I'm definitely into the final finishing stages, I go into x strokes and hone until the blade becomes magnetic and also bites into the hone as well. The ones that had too much of a 'bite' gave a slightly harsher shave, If I stop as soon as I get a nice magnetic feeling plus a little bite, its a better balance.

refreshing the surface I think works because any swarf on the surface covers garnets that were just sticking out and so will not refine the edge as much as opposed to a fully open table of slightly protruding garnets. Thats my thinking anyways. I thought at the start my coti was super slow on water, now its alot faster, sometimes 50 laps after slurry after refreshing it, I recently got a la verte mini coti and it has less tendancy to swarf up on the surface. its a bit easier to get a HHT.

I'm just a coti newbie, but is it the case that the only difference between coticules is how you get to a good HHT, some being easier than others to get an edge?

regards Alex
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Emmanuel said:
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I am not so sure that some layers are for advanced honers only, I think the layer one spends most time with, becomes easiest for you, and that's far more important than trying to select an "easy" layer

And I think the whole mellow edge thing, has been quite rightly put down to getting the most out of the Coticule, regardless of layer.

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
Ralf ,Paul. I consider that i have to clarify saying < for the advanced honers >
No doubt that everything coticule is suitable to generate a perfect smooth edge.
My LPB is a kind of fast on slurry and fast on water as well. Additionally is a producer of autoslarry ,that means needs a last finishing under the faucet rinsing continuously.
If i don't rinse continuously i reach an HHT 2-3. By rinsing i get an HHT 4.
So ,i don't thing so that my hone is the best idea for a beginner because will be disappointed.
Saying my hone ,i mean the specific hone. Maybe other LPBs are easiers and not produsers of autoslurry.
We must therefore conclude that is not a question of Stratas but is an issue of specific stone.
Looking forward to your opinion.
Best regards
Emmanuel
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure, Emmanuel. I can say that when I started with a coticule, I wasn't exactly advanced. I just used my LPB, had great results with unicot, and immediately started pursuing a dilucot edge that was similar... I honestly believe that getting one and learning to use it works for every stone from every strata (assuming you have a stone with the requisite abrassive qualities for razor honing).
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
I have two lpb's, very nice stones, while i have had very nice edges , i have to admit, i found my lpb, very difficult, i had to realy go at it, to get the hht up there. for that reason i would'nt rcomend one to new guy. I had in total 3 la vainettes. the first one was lovely, but could i get a good hht, could i hell, i thought these are suposter be easy. My second one was still same results.

I sold them on, should of kept them as there worth double now. Oh well. It still bugged me , because i heard there so good and easy. So cut along story short, i just got another 150x40 std la vainette, fro jarrads at superior shave.

I have honed 5 razors on this hone, I can onestly say the hht has been banging. The shaves have been among the butteryist i can get. the shave is efortless, I whipped through a 3 day stubble this morning, i'm just over the moon with this stone. this is how it goes with coticules. My bigest problem as been not working with one stone and having two many choices. i also go by hht, if i don't get a good hht, i more often than not, don't even test the razor, i should do realy. So if any one gets a stone that does'nt suit them stick with it. i'm guessing that all named layer could also vary?

gary
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
I thought the same way, "I struggled with X. Therefore, I would not recommend X to new honers." Not to argue with Gary, but my LPB was easier to learn than any stone I've gotten since. My brother also learned on it, and he found other stratas to be challenging as well while the lpb was "easier".

I think the key is buy one, learn it, and don't worry about it...
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
thats it, just get a nice coti, and hone on it , enjoy it, and it will work , and then you will cherish that stone, for ever:thumbup:
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
garyhaywood said:
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Every coticule from the same layer has same characteristics bat always there are minor differences.
A friend gave me as gift a Les latneuses not hybrid ,is a coticule stuck on a slate. It is a very smooth hone like a glass , moderate in slurry and very slow on water. I tried only this of Les Latneuses i am not sure that the whole strata has same characteristics. How is going the yours Mates?
Best regards
Emmanuel
 
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