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Middle of Coticule is drying faster than other areas


Hey guys,

I've been noticing when I'm practicing my half strokes, either the top or bottom (depending on the direction of the half stroke) is nice and wet with the right consistency of slurry but the center of the coticule is almost dry. Am I using too much pressure on the razor and squeegie-ing all the water and slurry off the center?

In Bart's dilucot or unicot videos, the center still seems fairly wet. I've tried adding drops of water but that seems to be diluting the slurry too quickly.

On the other hand, when doing full X-strokes, I get the exact opposite result. The top and bottom is bone dry with dry slurry and the center is wet, though the beads of slurry does slowly diminish with each stroke. I'm also in California so the dryness is not helping.

- Drew
Hey Drew,
My guess is that your suffering from a few possible things here, all compounded by the heat, first make sure that your slurry is not too thick to start with, think Milk not cream, and never yoghurt.
Next remember that adding a drop of water when needed will not dilute the slurry, as long as you only add it when the slurry starts to become dry, and dont add too much, there is a big difference between "keeping hydrated" and "watering down"
And as you say watch the pressure, just a finger resting on the blade is enough, you shouldnt find the need to press down.

Hope you find this helps?

My warmest regards
Ralfson (Dr)
Being in Belgium, I don't have experience with honing in a dry climate. :-/ (think Ireland, if you want to have an idea of the Belgian climate).
But I think Ralfson's spot on. Don't be afraid of adding a drop of water. On the other hand, you must not worry too much about it, because keeping the slurry where it should be, is a typical problem that everyone struggles with initially, but somehow resolves itself with a bit more experience. It's comparable to the "Is my guitar hanging too low/high" question that beginning rock guitarist ask themselves.

Having less slurry in the middle during halfstrokes is normal. I have that too, it depends a bit on the hone. If you worry about it, just lower the count per set. Instead of 20 before flipping the razor, do 15 or 10, or 12 is that's your lucky number. :) It doesn't matter much.
For doing X-strokes, pay carefull attention at the videos and you'll notice how I shift the razor behind the bead of slurry while I turn it oven and move it sideways into position for restarting the stroke. It all happens during that sideways motion. You have to "steal" the slurry by sliding behind the puddle. I hope that somehow makes sense to you.

And finally, I know that Coticules are hardly porous, but I would at least try once to soak the stone in water for 10 minutes before you get to work on it. See if that makes any difference for you. I really don't know, being in Belgium...

Let us know, ok?

Kind regards,
Does this happen with coffee, too, or only water??? :p
Hey - at least I was reading!...
Ive got a coticule (les latneuese 2x8) that is a little porus. I just soak it for 20-30 seconds prior to using it. It soaks water, but not a lot.

I think what is happening to you is what Bart stated, you need to make sure you are controlling your slurry. When I started doing dilocot one of my biggest problems was not letting the slurry dry out, but not controlling where it was. I would start my half strokes and all the slurry would be at the top and bottom of the hone. When this happens there is a small amount of slurry in the center. This slurry dries out faster, because there is less water there to keep it hydrated. Its sort of like a "pseudo reverse dilution". If that makes any sense? Even though you still have plenty water it will go in reverse, but when you are finished with dilocot you have a nice mirror polish, but also a sparse deep scratches.

You can control your slurry by lifting the edge (not the spine) on every 5th half stroke or so, this is more advanced and I wouldn't try it unless you have a good stable honing stroke. You can also just sit the razor on the slurry pool behind it and start again.

When doing X strokes this happens a lot less to me, but if it does I will do a circle stroke and then finish the X so it looks like 0->\ then the same on the return.

Im no expert at any of this, but I have been working at it for a while. It took me a while to figure out that this problem was affecting my edges. Fixing it made improvements for me.

Good luck,
I was worried that it would create a "pseudo reverse dilution". While honing today, I mainly focused on properly controlling my slurry. Making sure that it is where it is supposed to be. I have to agree with Bart in that with more experience, this concept will all fall into place.

With all your advice, I was able to get a much better at keeping the slurry in the right place as well as the middle 'decently' wet.

Next honing session, I think I will rotate the hone every 5 - 10 halfstrokes so that the slurry and water continues to keep the hone properly wet.

- Drew

P.S - Coffee and slurry doesn't seem to mix like coffee and milk. I just have a lot of black water with blobs of white stuff floating around.
Once you keep at it you won't even have to worry about it anymore. It will just be second nature. How do you get to carnegie hall? Practice!

When you let the middle of coticule to dry faster, this might mess up your dilution process quickly. Only few strokes on dry out or thicker slurry causing a deeper scratches on bevel and can make the edge duller. At first I don't understand how important this really is. But it's very important.
My solution is following:
1. Use cold water for honing and cool down your coticule and your hands.
2. Try to slightly reduce a contact surface between your hand and coticule.
3. Try to rise a slurry amount on hone - at first create a thicker slurry than needed and then dilute it to needed consistency.
4. Choose a bit cooler and less windy place for honing.