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New here and looking to get serious about honing.

Skrymr

New Member
Hello all. As an intro, I am about two and a half months into straight shaving. It is going fairly well, but I feel the urge to get a honing set up. Currently I have a two sided carborundum and a swaty barber hone. The swaty works well for maintaining an edge, but I need some advice about the earlier stages of honing. Primarily bevel setting. I think I can use the carborundum, but it is a sharpening hone, not a razor hone. I am considering a coricule, because it seems to be able to do so much in one stone. As someone new to razor honing, is this a good idea? Or should I start with something else? Money is an issue, so I figured if I can get one good all around coticule it will be cheaper than a whole set of other stones. Am I better off skipping the carborundum all together, and learning from the bevel set to finish on more appropriate stones? Also, is it a good idea to get a standard shaped rectangle, or can someone learn on a differently shaped bout? Time is not an issue for me. I'm willing to put in whatever time is necessary to learn whatever path I take. I even have a razor to learn with. It has never seen a hone, is vintage, and only cost me 4 dollars.

Happy new year, and thanks i advance.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Welcome to Coticule.be

I started with 1 stone, the Coticule, that does it all for me, from setting the bevel through to finishing, it worked superbly for me, the desired skills and experience do take longer than you would expect to learn, but for me that is a part of the fun.
I only use 1 other stone, a 400/1000 man made if I have serious work to do, e.g. removing chips/frowns etc, total set up cost was around £100.

You can of course use a myriad of different stones that will also do the job well, I just prefer the simplicity of a one hone set up, and my face prefers the Coticules edge.

Good luck on your quest, happy new year, and however it goes for you, you should find as much information and advice as you need here.

Best regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
Welcome!

If money is an issue, you can also use wet sandpapers for some real hardcore bevel setting, like after breadknifing the edge, or other cases when the razor has hardly any bevel, or needs repairing. I use 500, 1000, 1500 and 2000 sometimes. You can either stick it to a piece of glass, or wrap around your hone as long as it's flat. Of course, remember about taping the spine to protect it while doing the coarse work.

Coticules are really sweet for their versatility :love: (and smell, among other features :lol: ); bout vs. rectangular makes no real difference, if it's long enough to perform a comfortable stroke. Also, if a bout has one end narrower, it may come handy for dealing with some warped edges, too.

regards,
Matt
 

Skrymr

New Member
Thanks for the replies. From all of my reading, I thought the coticule was the best choice. I just wanted a little confirmation. I guess my next step is to send one of my razors out to see if a coticule edge will agree with my skin. :lol:
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Makes sense to me Sir
You are aware of our free honing service I take it?

Best wishes
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Welcome Skrymr,

I don't easily give advice to people who are pondering over a honing setup. There are many options that work.

I like a Coticule, because (unless the razor is damaged) I can take one out of a drawer and start honing. No soaking, No de-glazing, no dealing with multiple hones. I like that. I also like that, as my experience with these hones grew, I have yet to meet any other solutions that can beat my edges from shaving comfort. Not that I think it can't be matched with other means, but there just hasn't come along anything that makes me not return to the Coticule.

All that said, sharpening on a Coticule differs enough from sharpening with the nowadays very popular synthetic hones, to make the learning curve a bit more challenging. I often compare it straight razors versus cartridge razors. There is probably not a more convenient and easy way to shave than with a cartridge razor, and the results provided by modern cartridge razors are excellent to all standards. With a straight razor, you have a much wider spectrum of possible outcomes, hence also the possibility of lousy shaves and skin irritation. But once mastered well, a perfect shave becomes within reach and the straight razor turns out to be once of the most skin friendly ways of shaving. But it does not come without its learning curve. At the same time, that is also where it becomes a rewarding and joyful activity instead of a daily chore.
I find the same things to be true for sharpening razors on a Coticule. There's the learning curve and the promise of perfect shaves, combined with a great sense of achievement once you arrive at that point.

But I fully acknowledge that it is not for everyone. I believe Coticules call a bit for the heart of an artisan.

I realize that it may sound a bit esoteric for advice, but I do feel it is more important that the raw capabilities of various honing setups.

The carborundum could be too coarse for working at the delicate edge of a razor. Try to compare it with the coarseness of 600 grit sandpaper. If it appears much coarser than that, I wouldn't put a razor on it. Otherwise, make sure it's well flattened and round over the edges, so that the razor can't accidentally catch them. It'll be fine to fix damage and for restoring a bevel on abused vintage razors.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Skrymr

New Member
Ralfson, I am aware of the free honing service. I might take you all up on that. I just have to pick a razor. Thank you.

Bart, I really appreciate you chiming in. I think I was pretty set on a coticule before I even posted. For the same reasons you mentioned. I have some 660 grit paper here that I compared the carborundum to and it is finer on the rough side, and quite a bit finer on the smooth side. I have used it to hone a chip out of an antique store straight I bought in the fall, followed by my Swaty and got a usable edge on my Frederick Reynolds. I think it could be better, so that is what led me here.

Thanks again for all the advice. It is very much appreciated.

Dan
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
That carborundum sounds like a sweet one. No doubt a Coticule will easily take over the edge where your carborundum leaves it.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 
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