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My first Coticule/BBW stone

MisterA

New Member
Hi all..

I recently got my first coticule/bbw stone (15cm x 3cm - picture attached)and with the help of Bart's fantastic videos I tried it out yesterday on 2 different razors. The first was a very tired looking razor I bought for practising purposes. I went straight to the dilucot video and to the best of my ablility, I more or less copied what was being done in the video. To my amazement I ended up with a razor that before I started, was so dull that using saw motions on my forearm wouldn't even make a mark, could now actually shave beard! It did however need some work, but still.. My first try and I actually brought it from butter knife to a razor that could actually shave beard. I put it down and grabbed another razor. This time a razor I had shaved with for a year or so but that the edge had gotten so thin that a small piece of it had broken off.. (barely visible to the naked eye) I started with 3 swipes over the drinking end of a beer bottle, and it no longer shaved arm hair, but still I could make out the tiny "chip" if I could call it that. and I decided to work a little extra on the thick slurry with circular strokes to try to remove the "chip" and then go back to the glass, and start again from scratch. This took some time but worked in the end. This time after doing the same routine, following the instructions in the dilucot video, (though in my excitement I forgot the tape! :scared: ) I ended up with a razor that I felt was sharp enough to shave with. I stropped it.. 30 linen (forgot about not needing to strop on linen after honing!! :cry: ) and 60 leather. I lathered up and shaved. 3 passes. I was amazed! It was not the best shave I have had, and it has left my skin a little bit sore in some places which is unusual (I should mention I have sensitive skin as well..) but it was more than acceptable. And the skin felt nice and smooth afterwards. With practice I am sure this will get better as I have no idea what I am doing now and wouldn't even be doing it if it wasn't for Bart's extremely helpful videos.

I couldn't believe it. My second honing! All I have used for 2 years now to keep my 20-25 razors sharp enough to shave is a 3-line swaty, a cro ox pasted balsa strop and a cheap IRS 206 with leather and un-pasted linen.

Anyway, thanks to Bart and all the others for this website and forum. It's made all the difference to someone who for a long time didn't bother about honing because it just seemed too difficult and expensive (with all the hones I thought I needed I mean..)

I have attached a picture of the stone and would be very grateful if anyone could take a look at it and perhaps make a guess at what kind of coticule it is. I really want to get to know this stone now.. And I have about 60 razors that I want to get to know the coticule better :D

BTW, could I use the coticule to remove chips on razors as well? I think I read somewhere that you could breadknife a razor on the side of a coticule (so as to not harm the honing side) to remove small chips before starting the honing..

I would also greatly appreciate tips on different honing methods with the coticule/bbw.

MisterA

 
G

Guest

Hello, and welcome.

Thank you also for sharing. Although I personally would have started with the
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, it is great to hear that the dilucot works for you already. Well done, if I may say so.

While you can use a Coticule for edge repair, I personally would not do it. At least not regularly. A coarse synthetic hone (such as a Norton 220/1000 grit hone - ~40 USD) will let you get the task done far more efficiently without leaving ugly marks on your Coticule. Oh, and that is an interesting slurry stone you have there...

Best regards, and enjoy your stay,
Robin
 

geruchtemoaker

Well-Known Member
welcome!

Congratulations on your success.
You say the edge is almost there after dilucot what you can do to give it just that extra bit of keenness you can tape up the spine and run the razor through the last stage of unicot because you know the bevel is decently established.
As for the stropping on linen, after honing on a coticule you always have to strop on linen.
for honing out chips I would indeed as Robin says go for a synthetic or a course natural.

keep up the good work!
kind regards
Stijn
 

MisterA

New Member
Oops.. Sorry guys. I mean I did the "unicot method".. Not the dilucot. Sorry about that. Both terms are new to me so I got them mixed up. This method
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is the one I used. And another thing, I certainly don't mean to say I mastered this thing in my first 2 tries. Just that I managed to get an edge, albeit a very bad one, on the first try (that I would never try a full shave with, but that - actually - was able to cut my beard) and on the second try, a mediocre edge at best, that I did manage to do 3 passes with and get a decent shave, but that left my face red and slightly sore at places and that needs more work to get to what I would call shave ready. I know I have a LOOOOOOONG way to go before I really know what I am doing and can get a perfect edge. But my oh my.. It's a good start. :w00t:

BeBerlin : I bought the coticule/BBW and the slurry stone together in the classifieds on one of the shaving forums so I don't know where either really comes from.. :-/

geruchtemoake: Thanks for the tips. I guess I have been reading too much the last week to try to get to know as much as possible before starting honing with the coticule so I must have got things mixed up.. Too much information, not enough storage space :D

So now I will strop on linen and leather after every honing attempt on the coticule.

Thanks guys.
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
Sounds to me like you are a natural. I personally use a DMT 600 or 1200 for bevel correction and even coarser for serious chip removal. In addition, I have some great hones that are smaller than your slurry stone. Welcome, Denny
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
MisterA said:
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Welcome on Cotiule.be! You've made your homework well, and it paid. :)

To answer the additional questions. I would advice never to use a Coticule for what is often referred to as the "breadknifing" technique. Breaknifing is essentially nothing more than grinding the edge down with a sawing motion on a coarse hone. It shares the same motion with my "downstroke" on glass technique, but that's all it has in common. If you would breadknife on a Coticule, you would cause a deep groove in your hone before you knew it. Actually, that's exactly how they sawed slices of Coticule in the old days. The only hone I use for grinding chips out of edges, are diamond hones (by the brand DMT). They have no problem with that practice. Yu have to realize than upon removing the damaged part of a bevel you will also need to complete the bevel again. That definitely falls beyond the capacity of a Coticule unless the damage is so small that it's only barely visible. Those can be honed out in the regular fashion, with aid of a milk-like slurry. Larger damage requires coarser hones, such as the aforementioned DMTs at 325 and 600 grit. A Coricule has no problems dealing with an edge after a 600 grit sharpening stone.

About the BBW side of your hone, you can use it in the same fashion as your Coficule, but it's considerablly slower. If the bevel of a razor isn't too far off, you can get as good results off the blue side as you can get off the yellow side. Depending on the BBW, it can be better to finish on the thinnest possible slurry (one rub with a slurry stone), than on water only. Some experimentation is in order.

Kind regards,
Bart
 

MisterA

New Member
Thanks for the replies guys. I will put away my ebay razors for now and wait until I buy a 325 grit and a 1000 grit hone. Been busy at work this week so haven't been able to play more with the coticule, but I will spend some time with it on Sunday and practice more on the razors in my rotation that could need a touch-up.

I will be back with more questions I am sure.. Thanks for being so helpful, all of you.

MisterA
 

MisterA

New Member
Sooo... Last night I took out the coticule again and tried to repeat the success. I honed 2 razors, both in very good shape but barely able to cut arm hair. No damage to the razors edges though.

I started out just like last time by doing exactly the same as Bart does in the Unicot video. I had some problems keeping the slurry from drying out, and I am not so confident in strokes on a hone as small as this. At first I couldn't get the bevel set/repaired.. but after keeping at it for some time, repeating step 3, I finally got the razors to cut arm hair. It was the same with both razsors. After step 4 the arm hair cutting improved. After that it was a walk in the park. It seems I have no problem with steps 5 and 6. (I usually do 80-100 laps on water)

I love this method. I would never have thought it could be this "easy".. Well it's not exactly easy as I constantly have to concentrate on my strokes and keeping the razor flat on the hone, not let the slurry dry out, not flip the razor so the edge hits the coticule and damages the edge, etc. But that a complete beginner can pick up a coticule, follow a video and hone a razor from start to finish in 20-30 minutes, then go do a 3-pass shave and get the excellent result I got yesterday is mind blowing. I got no skin irritation, only a very close, smooth shave. No discomfort or tugging when shaving. It was like shaving with any of the other razors I have that were honed by others. This unicot thing is MAGIC. Thanks Bart!!

-I have a few questions though. If I want to avoid hone wear, can I tape the razor from the start? And add another layer of tape when I get to step 5?

-When I touch up the razors I honed, I need to put the tape back on right?

-Is there any point doing a few laps on a SWATY after the coticule? (I know it's certainly not necessary, as I get a great shave off the coticule, just curious to try out the different edges off a SWATY or a Cro ox pasted balsa strop after it's been through the unicot method. To see what fits my face the best..)

That's all I can think of for now. Thanks for any input, it's much appreciated.

MisterA
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Great work my friend :thumbup:

ok yes you can start with 1 layer of tape and then add another, tbh you should find that once you get better, the work involved setting the bevel offers such little threat to spine wear its no problem

You will need to add the same amount of tape used when touching up

And if you add the tape as said above, you can try some finishing work on your swaty, although I would be surprised if it leaves the edge as smooth as your Coticule.

1 last point often overlooked, the freshly finished Coticule edge benefits measurably from 60 laps on a clean cloth strop, to bring the best out of the edge, it is vital that you do 60/60 on cloth and leather, after that its cool to just strop as usual.

Keep up the good work

Best Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 
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