N°54 and n°52 - Les Latneuses

Bart

Well-Known Member
This is L#4, one of the fabulous Les Latneuses that I wanted to keep for myself. But this one is a 200mmX60mm, and in the mean time an excellent Les Latneuses of 40mmX175mm turned up, which is my preferred dimensions for a razor hone, so L#4, aka n°54 is available for purchase after all.

This one will be n°001 of the "Burton Series". For over a year, I've tried to convince the fine people of Ardennes that they should sell part of the production, not based on the purely cosmetic "standard" and "select" grades, but according to capabilities. We agreed to make a selection of hones that stand out for certain properties and they'll be sold in a box with special label, that states a serial number, name of the layer, and some specifics. This could be hones with remarkable speed, or remarkable fineness, or special figuring, or for whatever reason they stand out the pack. Further details are not knows at this point, except that this one will carry seriall n°OOO1. The price tag will be accordingly.;)

Les Latneuses is a dual layer natural combination Coticule. Instead of a BBW, it's supported by what I call a hybrid layer, that looks like a dirty version of the "La Verte" layer, sometimes mixed with a few streaks of Coticulish Blue.
The top layer is very fast and also has remarkable speed on water only. It delivers very good edges, on the "crispy" side of the Coticule spectrum. That is not a bad thing. I like these crispy edges, which offer such agreeable skin rejuvenation.
The backside is a bit slower, but not too much. It's harder than the top. It delivers very good keenness right off slurry, hence it's easy to get great Dilucot results on this side.

Actually, both sides are perfect Coticules.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Victorious said:
Is number 52 available now too? If so, I want to reserve that one, please.
Indeed, I've add n°52 as well. It's even faster on water than n°54, but not much. It has the same speed on water as this one:
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All other properties are indistinguishably the same as n°54. Another exceptional hone. This will also be a "Burton series".
Reserved for Victorious.
 

kinematic

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
this one will carry seriall n°OOO1. The price tag will be accordingly.;)
So it's a special edition, AKA rather expensive :rolleyes:

Bart said:
It has the same speed on water as this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xjr5Kd6mTWI
My little 10x4 cm coticule of an unknown layer is as fast as that one on just water and delivers a smooth edge wich imo doesn't make Les Latneuses anything special. Or am I missing something?
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
kinematic said:
My little 10x4 cm coticule of an unknown layer is as fast as that one on just water and delivers a smooth edge wich imo doesn't make Les Latneuses anything special. Or am I missing something?
Bart said:
Les Latneuses is a dual layer natural combination Coticule. Instead of a BBW, it's supported by what I call a hybrid layer, that looks like a dirty version of the "La Verte" layer, sometimes mixed with a few streaks of Coticulish Blue.
The top layer is very fast and also has remarkable speed on water only. It delivers very good edges, on the "crispy" side of the Coticule spectrum. That is not a bad thing. I like these crispy edges, which offer such agreeable skin rejuvenation.
The backside is a bit slower, but not too much. It's harder than the top. It delivers very good keenness right off slurry, hence it's easy to get great Dilucot results on this side.

Actually, both sides are perfect Coticules.

Kind regards,
Bart.
Now that's Special.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
kinematic said:
Bart said:
this one will carry seriall n°OOO1. The price tag will be accordingly.;)
So it's a special edition, AKA rather expensive :rolleyes:

Bart said:
It has the same speed on water as this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xjr5Kd6mTWI
My little 10x4 cm coticule of an unknown layer is as fast as that one on just water and delivers a smooth edge wich imo doesn't make Les Latneuses anything special. Or am I missing something?
No you are not missing something. If you order a Coticule for Ardennes, or from any other reseller, you'll receive just that: a Coticule. It will be an excellent hone, because to my knowledge they don't take Quality Control lightheartedly at Ardennes Coticule. But regardless you get "select" or "standard" quality, you have no control over what you're going to get. Could be a slow, "autoslurrying" La Dressante such as n°39 form the Vault. Could be a lightning fast La Dressante, because that layer delivers it all. Could be a La Veinette, pretty fast and easy to deliver excellent results. Could be a La Grosse Blanche, maybe fast, maybe moderate, probably very fine and not so lenient to deliver its superb finishing qualities.
That won't change. These hones are designated standard or select based on how they look, thickness of the Coticule layer, presence of figuring, and small cracks at the side, cleanness of the glue line, etc...
The "Burton Series" will be selected for special features. They will be tested for having these features, maybe not so extensive as the hones in the Vault. Those that are remarkable enough to have a collector's value, or a special value to someone who already owns a few Coticules and seeks something specific, will be kept separate. Some will be super fast. Some will be superfine. Some will be tiger striped. etc.
I would think, it's up to the one who makes the purchase to determine whether that knowledge and a certificate means something to him. It is clear to me that: A. doing these selections, shooting pictures, boxed delivery, etc... causes extra expenses. And B. Ardennes Coticule has every right to differentiate between product classes and put them in the market as they see fit.
You have the right to buy at a given price point, or not.

While you seem to suggest it's all just marketing ploy, because you think your hone behaves similarly, you may take my word for it, that of all Coticules I've used so far (well over 100), only 4 displayed this fast action on just water: n°22 of the Vault, n°52 of the Vault, the one in the video, and a Coticule of unknown whereabouts. They all delivered an excellent Coticule-finish, but I wouldn't qualify any of those 4 as belonging to the ultra-smooth class of Coticules.

Best regards,
Bart.
 

kinematic

Well-Known Member
There are lots of coticules that are very fast on water only so the only thing that makes it special is the hybrid layer? I don't see how that justifies a higher "special edition" price. If the hybrid layer works just as well as a coticule they should just charge it as a very thick coticule and up the price 50% for example. Saying they are both perfect coticules is also misleading because that's a very subjective statement. But this is all just my opinion.
 

kinematic

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
If you order a Coticule for Ardennes, or from any other reseller, you'll receive just that: a Coticule.
Not too long ago I bought a coticule from Ardennes and I told Rob Celis exactly what kind of stone I was looking for and the kind of finish it should give on my chisels and guess what? I got exactly the stone I wanted. If you buy a stone from them you can ask for a slow, fast, soft, hard or whatever kind of stone you want.

But you're right, if someone thinks a box and a description is worth the extra money it's their right to pay extra for it. To me it does sound like a marketing ploy.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
kinematic said:
There are lots of coticules that are very fast on water only
Incorrect.
With the kind of pressures and the hardness of steel that applies to razors, with a score of 4 on more than 100, that is a rare quality. But that is hardly the point
kinematic said:
so the only thing that makes it special is the hybrid layer? I don't see how that justifies a higher "special edition" price.
The higher price tag has no other reason than the Coticule it certified for certain properties and for originating of a particular layer. Your Coticule is just a Coticule, and if you were to sell it on Ebay, the potential buyer will have to take your word for it that it acts like you say it does. Rest assured that an "Old Rock" Coticule - which is a famous vintage brand (with label!) that only sold Coticules of layers known to consistently deliver fast and fine Coticules) will fetch a higher price. Even if your hone performs just the same as that "Old Rock". Which is perfectly possible by the way.

Right know, the members who bought a hone form the Vault, all benefited because I'm crazy enough to do all those testing in my own free time. But in the mean time, as all those ancient layers are being rediscovered, Ardennes get more demands for Coticules of specific layers, with specific qualities. People won't to know, although the fact remains that you can get a very good shaving edge of all Coticules. Yet, those who are deep into this straight razor shaving hobby, or into a collection, want to experience the differences present at the entire Coticule spectrum. They ask, but you must not expect Ardennes to be as crazy as I am and doing all the extra work for nothing. And yes, I will probably be involved in the selection. Perhaps by helping out with protocols to determine the properties of the Coticules, perhaps by doing it for them. This is all pretty embryonic.

kinematic said:
If the hybrid layer works just as well as a coticule they should just charge it as a very thick coticule and up the price 50% for example. Saying they are both perfect coticules is also misleading because that's a very subjective statement. But this is all just my opinion.
Dude. I am testing these hones. Of course it's all subjective. I put a picture up of ONE hone with 2 sides. Now, if I say that "both sides are perfect coticules", I don't see how that could be misleading. It highly suspect it's clear to most readers that I am talking about 2 sides of one hone. But I'll rephrase:
In my opinion, both halves of this Coticules could be split and glued to separate slate bases, and then you would have to hones that both have the functionality of a perfectly serviceable Coticule. Of course, all within my limited experience with these hones. Now, better?
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
kinematic said:
Bart said:
If you order a Coticule for Ardennes, or from any other reseller, you'll receive just that: a Coticule.
Not too long ago I bought a coticule from Ardennes and I told Rob Celis exactly what kind of stone I was looking for and the kind of finish it should give on my chisels and guess what? I got exactly the stone I wanted. If you buy a stone from them you can ask for a slow, fast, soft, hard or whatever kind of stone you want.

But you're right, if someone thinks a box and a description is worth the extra money it's their right to pay extra for it. To me it does sound like a marketing ploy.
Remember, we all are different; some folks collect because the hone is fast, some because the hone is a fine finisher, and still others collect because the hone has figuring that makes it a recognizably unique one of a kind. Many folks actively collect these beautiful stones that may indeed get the job done as well as, or better than any other stone.
It is only natural that these special stones (whatever the characteristic) once discovered be set aside for collectors or any one wishing to hone on such a stone… nothing wrong with that.
The Les Latneuses as far as I know, the hybrid side is completely different from the BBW found in Coticule combo stones, it is hard, probably as hard as a barber hone, highly figured and with slurry produces an edge comparable to one from a CrO2 pasted strop (IMHO), but without the rounded bevel that will occur with many laps.
But I tell you what… this kind of thing is done wherever man takes stuff out the ground … a diamond mine for example they will separate those diamonds which have that “special” qualities… don’t believe me… ask DeBeers... and that "special" diamond for your special someone will come with a certificate and a fancy box... and it will cost you more than a just another diamond.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
kinematic said:
To me it does sound like a marketing ploy.
Sir, I take that as an insult.

In the old days, there were over a dozen of different Coticule classifications according to abrasive behavior. With only one mine operational, that is not feasible and probably not even desirable today. But Coticules are certainly worthy of some classification. I have volunteered hundreds of hours to translate those old classifications to today's methods and use of Coticules. I've personally suggested to the people running Ardennes that at least part of the stock deserves to be properly qualified and offered, according to demand, to a public that will be interested in such a classification. I have no idea what the extra cost will be. Knowing the guys of Ardennes a bit, it won't be that much more.
And yet you come here, shouting "marketing ploy", insulting my friends of Ardennes and myself with that accusation, while at the same time Ardennes will continue to sell the same standard and select grades they always sold. Only small part of the production will receive classification, following the interest of the public.

So that's how you treat the seller that was so kind to go through his stock for you an search a hone that would fit your demands?

Is that with the same motivation as you made this post in the thread of a member the was seeking advice?
kinematic said:
I've never placed any importance on honing howto's. I just do it freehand. i hold the stone in one hand, the razor in the other and make circular motions adding a few drops of water every so often. I've never done any of that X stroke stuff and I always get my razor shave ready.
Am I the only on that starts to think you just come here to stir the pot?
 

kinematic

Well-Known Member
I never said a marketing ploy is bad but if you're gonna do it at least be honest about it. If Ardennes can make some extra money this way I'm happy for them. To me a certain quality still doesn't justify a higher price tag so I won't be buying them.

tat2Ralfy said:
Interesting, do you use the same Coticule to sharpen straight razors?
No, I don't.
 

Moe

Member
kinematic said:
To me a certain quality still doesn't justify a higher price tag so I won't be buying them.
The beauty of the unreviewed one I have my eye on justifies a premium on that characteristic alone, and I WILL pay it, if I am fortunate enough to be able to reserve that one. I am grateful you will not be competing with me for it. :)
 
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