New to Coti's ... not to Honing

Aquanin

Well-Known Member
Hey everyone. I've been honing for a while now on synthetic hones. Finally got my first coti last week and I have been reading this site like crazy. Thank you to Bart for putting all of this together.

So, I honed up my first couple blades and this is definately a different beast. My 1st try was actually pretty good but when I look at the edge under a microscope it looks jagged compared to my edges off Norton/C12k/Crox. Shaved surprisingly very well, no irritation whatsoever. Could have been a little smoother though.

Last night I honed up a 'junker' Dovo Best like this: Set bevel on Norton 1k to make sure there were no edge problems. Then started the half strokes on the Coticle with slurry and continued to dilute every 15-30 strokes. Then finished with 100 or so light laps on water. Really, really good edge this time, not perfect in some spots under the microscope. I would say HHT-4, HHT-5 in some spots. It was cutting my wife's very fine hair which usually means I am going to get a good shave with this one tomorrow.

Any idea why I am getting some areas of jaggedness? (almost like small amounts of micro chipping) Too much pressure? Needs more time with heavy slurry?

Thanks again. I feel myself already getting addicted to the way the edges feel off the natural stone vs. the synthetics.
 

mrmaroon

Well-Known Member
I had the same problem as you in the beginning. What are the dimensions of your stone? The egdes looked jaggedy about .5 inch in from the heel and toe. I found that when doing the halfstrokes I was sometimes using to much pressure and my corners were chipping the blade. I rounded my edges (not chamfer) and it helped a great deal. Using less pressure helped too.
 

Aquanin

Well-Known Member
Yep, thats where I am having the problem. I will try to round the edges better. I must have done done it very well wehn I initially lapped the hone.
 

Aquanin

Well-Known Member
Will do, it is a 150mm X 50mm Select Coti (not combo) and its not very yellow kind of like #1 in the vault without the orangish veins. Seems kind of slow to me but this is my first experience with one.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Aquanin said:
Hey everyone. I've been honing for a while now on synthetic hones. Finally got my first coti last week and I have been reading this site like crazy. Thank you to Bart for putting all of this together.
You're most welcome. I can't imagine someone who does such beautiful restores not being a skilled honer as well. Experience learns that such gentlemen usually pick up Coticule honing without much trouble.
Aquanin said:
So, I honed up my first couple blades and this is definately a different beast. My 1st try was actually pretty good but when I look at the edge under a microscope it looks jagged compared to my edges off Norton/C12k/Crox. Shaved surprisingly very well, no irritation whatsoever. Could have been a little smoother though.
A jagged edge is certainly not normal. We need to find the reason for that.
Aquanin said:
Any idea why I am getting some areas of jaggedness? (almost like small amounts of micro chipping) Too much pressure? Needs more time with heavy slurry?
Mrmaroon already mentioned one likely culprit. It's easily ruled out, if you round the edges, so if that was the problem, you'll know it with the next attempr.

Too much pressure is unlikely, since you've already experienced with synthetic hones, and Coticules generally allow more pressure than a synthetic hone. But just to be safe, I'm making a reference to
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, where you find information about typical honing pressure on a Coticule.

We must also rule out -however unlikely- the possibility of inclusions in your Coticule. I've encountered this twice: once at the quarry, in a hone that was already put aside to be trimmed into slurry stones (and the part with the inclusions to be thrown out). And on n°27 in the Vault, an odd stone I brought home for testing. If there are such inclusions present in your hone, you will feel them while honing. I'm sure Ardennes would replace such a stone, even if you got it from a reseller. Again, it's very unlikely your problem.

Final cause I can think of, is residual jaggedness from the 1K level. In that case, your need to do more honing. I really recommend the dulling stroke on glass. I know many people find it awkward to do, but it does assure you of a perfect bevel. Simply put the razor, edge down on a beer bottle and make one stroke, no other pressure than the weight of the blade. The razor won't shave anything now. Just hone on the Coticule, with halfstrokes on milky slurry (err on the thin side and keep the slurry hydrated), till it shaves arm hair again along the entire edge. If the bevel was almost good to start with, it won't take long: 2, maybe 3 sets of halfstrokes maximum. If it takes longer, the bevel wasn't flat in the first place, or the slurry is to thick/dry. The slurry should start to turn gray within the first set of halfstrokes. (I reckon you saw the recently added Dilucot video?)

Once shaving arm hair, it's good to check with magnification: the bevel should look microscopically sandblasted, without any jaggedness or microchips. Time for the Dilution phase as you did it before. Should be good this time.

Please keep us posted,
Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Aquanin

Well-Known Member
You're most welcome. I can't imagine someone who does such beautiful restores not being a skilled honer as well. Experience learns that such gentlemen usually pick up Coticule honing without much trouble.
Thank you for the compliment on my restores!! I appreciate it.

I can get a seriously killer edge on the synthetic hones as I have been honing for a while, but I have always wanted to get into natural stones. I have always heard that the edge on the Coti is just more comfortable, and that is what I am after for me personally, as I have pretty sensitve skin. Like I said, I got a great shave from my first attempt, but I know it can get better and it will. Trying again tonight!! Thanks for all the help.
 

Aquanin

Well-Known Member
I need to get pics but upon closer inspection of my coti, when it is wet i can see pink spots in it, but they are just little dots. And if you look at it from the side it looks like there is another layer in it before its glued to the slate like in N°42 sort of, the layer is purplish. Any ideas on what layer it comes from?

Also, I think my problem before was in my slurry honing. I think I made it too thick initially probably causing more dulling that intended.

I did an experiment with a shumate blade I had already honed with Norton 1k then 4/8k then chinese 12k. I have shave with it a dozen times so I figured I would touch it up on the coti. Well, I did about 100 very light laps and it now pops the finest hairs I can find about an Inch out!!! WOW. Can't wait to try this again.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
N°42 is from a Layer named "La Veine aux clous". I 've been trying to figure out these for some time now. They're completely atypical. I doubt that yours would be one of these, because they're very rare and I don't think Ardennes sells them for razor honing, because they are very slow.

What you describe reminds me a bit of n°28. Could you link to a picture of yours? Preferably also one that shows a view of the side.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Definitely not "La Veine aux Clous".

It's most likely for the "La Grise" layer at the Ol'Preu quarry, just like n°1 form the Vault. They have that typical color shade and a pattern almost resembling wood grain. "La Grosse Jaune", has such pattern too, but they're more yellow when wet. La Grises are excellent Coticules with not a lot of "slurrydulling" effect. Because of that, there not to difficult to reach good keenness.

The crack at the side is just a naturally occurring imperfection. A reason for grading the hone "standard" quality. Your grandson will find out what it is, when he finally reaches that level in the Coticule.;)

Best regards,
Bart.
 

Aquanin

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the clarification. Well it was sold to me as 'select' grade by one of the vendors listed on the site. Is it not select grade?
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Aquanin said:
Thanks for the clarification. Well it was sold to me as 'select' grade by one of the vendors listed on the site. Is it not select grade?
Maurice Celis (proprietor of Ardennes Coticule) told me a couple months ago that the grading is a constant source of discussion.

Based on what appears to look like a crack on your picture, I'd estimate they graded that stone as "standard". But I'm not the one holding the stone. Pictures have their way of exaggerating these things, and Coticules have their way of showing patterns that look like cracks but are in fact solid parts of the rock.
Furthermore, they don't really have strict rules. They take a quick look at the thickness of the Coticule layer, the evenness of the glue line, the flawless condition of the surface, the integrity of the side, etc. Based on that, they make a call. It's possible that a vendor sees the hones, and makes a different call.

I would certainly not feel ripped off: that's a very nice Coticule you got there.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Aquanin

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the info. They are not cracks at all, just look like muticolored rock on the side.
 

Aquanin

Well-Known Member
I needed to post a follow up on my progress here. Due to the microchipping that I was getting with this stone, I borrowed a friends coticule, and in no time I had what I think was a nearly perfect edge. So, during the forum break, I sent this stone to Bart to analyze and he confirmed that the stone is indeed an odd one and causing the same microchipping. I think he will be posting a thread about this stone.

So, while he was examining the stone I bought a very nice 'La Petite Blanche' to play with and I have to tell you after honing almost every day on this stone for a month, I am getting the best edges I have ever gotten. Absolutely perfect to my standards and I have had my edges verified by a couple straight shaving friends. I am now completely hooked on the coticule for life. More to come...
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Well there you go, who would have thought it
good work there old chap, and I am very happy to hear that you have since moved into the realms of honer!

Best wishes
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Aquanin

Well-Known Member
tat2Ralfy said:
Well there you go, who would have thought it
good work there old chap, and I am very happy to hear that you have since moved into the realms of honer!

Best wishes
Ralfson (Dr)
Thank you. I would not say moved into the realms of honer, I moved into the realms of coticule junkie. I used to hone on synthetics for years.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Indeed. The Coticule that Aquanin sent me, is an odd specimen. With Russell's honing experience, there just had to be something wrong. It's the first one I ever used to cause such obvious micro-damage that can be readily seen under the scope. Ardennes will no doubt replace it for a better one, but I first will try to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem.
Here's a picture of what it does to the edge (160X magnification):
[img=800]1[/img]
(click the attachment for a non-resized full view)
Please note that this edge shaves well, albeit not stellar, but still nice an smooth. I shaved with it twice so far, and expect longevity to be sub-par. But regardless of the shave, this looks in no way like the edge one would normally expect to look straight of a Coticule, and I have been searching for the cause of this kind of structural damage.
Close (microscopic) inspection of the hone's surface revealed nothing. Close inspection of the slurry (both in a hydrated as a wet condition) revealed nothing either. Strangeness.
I will keep this thread updated when I have more news. Maybe the people of Ardennes have an idea what's going on with this specimen. It looks completely uniform, by the way, as Russel's pictures show. Having it seen in real life now, I have to qualify it as a La Verte, rather than as a La Grise. (It's a tricky one to determine).

The figuring near the glue-line looks a bit like a quartz inclusion, hence my hunch is that the problem is quartz related.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 
Top