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NEWBIE TO COTICULE.BE AT LEAST

G

Guest

Dennis here from Greenville, South Carolina and have been reading your forum for a couple months and just signed up. I've been shaving with a straight for 15 years but got out of the habit after 9/11 when I couldn't take my razor on airline flights--which is work for me. Everything I learned I learned on my own. After reading C.be, I now understand there is another level of comfort that I had never achieved. I have several coticules, all different, and all seem to work but I have gravitated to one in particular that has a very nice draw for me. I am very mechanically inclined, build 1911 pistols for fun and have a complete wood and metal workshop. I really like the dilucot method and get great results compared to what I did before, but wonder if my stones will all give the HHT in the upper end with the right technique. I have very fine blonde hair and can only get HHT1 or HHT2 right off the stone. (Dilucot) At the final stage with less than weight of the razor pressure, should I use more water or less. It feels like more will keep the edge away from the surface of the stone. I tried a little dishwashing liquid and it seemed to diminish the edge. Right now, after a hundred laps with minimal pressure, I still have to use CrOx or .25 diamond past or newspaper, or stropping on my Dovo to reach what I think is HHT5.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Hi Dennis,

Welcome to Coticule.be. Great story!

DJKELLY@MSN.COM said:
I really like the dilucot method and get great results compared to what I did before, but wonder if my stones will all give the HHT in the upper end with the right technique. I have very fine blonde hair and can only get HHT1 or HHT2 right off the stone. (Dilucot)
Using the HHT is all about relaying the relation between your particular source of hairs and how the edge performs. So you either have to do with whatever readings your fine hairs give, or you have to find a small strand of thicker hairs and keep them in a small box for HHT-use. (that is what I do :) )
DJKELLY@MSN.COM said:
At the final stage with less than weight of the razor pressure, should I use more water or less. It feels like more will keep the edge away from the surface of the stone.
For a long time, I have believed that pressure needed to be as low as humanly possible to obtain the best edges. Till I discovered that it is not true for Coticules. There is a sweet spot in the use of pressure that depends on how much of the edge touches the hone (a function of width of the bevel X width of the hone). You will need to experiment a bit, but you'll find that the right kind of pressure might offer just the breakthrough your honing needs.
During the finishing process, keep the surface well moistened. There is not such thing as using too much water.

Please let us know how it goes.
Kind regards,
Bart.
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
Thanks,Bart. I learned a little more. I have a new Boker, never used or stropped, and thought I would hone it on my favorite coticule (dilucot) and with the final 30 of 100 laps used lots of water, normal pressure as suggested, but rather than using the whole 200mm of stone, I just used the length that occurred with a 45 degree x-stroke, maybe only half the stone. There was quite a difference and I was able to get the best results ever from right off the stone, HHT3 or so. I also have a brand new Kanayama 50k and after stropping ala Ray got the best edge and shave of my career. I am still curious about the quality of various coticules and wonder if I could send some to you for evaluation. I'd be happy to pay for your time and of course shipping both ways just for the information. Another question--on the above stone, after half strokes with slurry and using just water, the stone has tremendous draw or drag. It even squeals on the backstroke if I let it, which I don't because I know that would make a rough edge. I have to lift the spine off the stone and use only forward half strokes. I can't complain about the edge, but wonder if this is common, etc. Your thoughts would be welcome. Thanks, again. Dennis
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
I've been following along with big ears...

DJKELLY said:
Thanks,Bart. I learned a little more. I have a new Boker, never used or stropped, and thought I would hone it on my favorite coticule (dilucot) and with the final 30 of 100 laps used lots of water, normal pressure as suggested, but rather than using the whole 200mm of stone, I just used the length that occurred with a 45 degree x-stroke, maybe only half the stone. There was quite a difference and I was able to get the best results ever from right off the stone, HHT3 or so.
I had a very similar experience the other night. The first time I'd used that stroke consistently. I'd attributed my improvement to a different variable but this has given me a bit of food for thought; maybe it was a difference in the stroke.
I've often given some thought to how different strokes and the bias in the abrasive direction would affect the process, and I wonder if that doesn't play a roll. Maybe the pros will be able to enlighten us.

DJKELLY said:
It even squeals on the backstroke if I let it, which I don't because I know that would make a rough edge.

This one made the light go on for me. I've heard the squeal too, but never give it much thought.... I just avoided it because the sound it made was annoying. It makes perfect sense that the very vibration making the noise is actually ruining the edge.
Some things seem so obvious in hindsight. Good point.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
DJKELLY said:
Thanks,Bart. I learned a little more. I have a new Boker, never used or stropped, and thought I would hone it on my favorite coticule (dilucot) and with the final 30 of 100 laps used lots of water, normal pressure as suggested, but rather than using the whole 200mm of stone, I just used the length that occurred with a 45 degree x-stroke, maybe only half the stone. There was quite a difference and I was able to get the best results ever from right off the stone, HHT3 or so.
That sounds as good as it gets. About that different stroke: there is this theory that promotes a more lateral (sideways) stroke, as opposed to pushing the edge straight forward. According to the theory, it puts less stress on the edge, and lessens possible ill effects of the very tip of the bevel colliding with the microscopical protrusions of the whetstone's abrasive surface.
In absence of thorough comparative research, I can't confirm that theory, but it is one of my honing strategies, to switch to more lateral strokes when an edge refuses to take that final bit of desired keenness. You can do this by using a more pronounced "X" motion, or by putting the razor more diagonally on the hone (what you did). It is not something I need to do every time, and I don't know if, when it works, it are just the extra laps, or the actual soundness of the theory working out for me. I have several of these little variations, and my biggest "secret" of all is that I just keep at it till the edge passes my mark - which is HHT-3 straight off the Coticule -.
I might try these lateral strokes, I might add a few sets of slightly pressured halfstrokes, I might give the Coticule one swipe with the slurry stone, I might switch to lather instead of water, etc. But I know that if the edge "plays violin" after the dilution phase, that I eventually will get it to pass that HHT-3. Sometimes it just takes 50 laps on water, sometimes I have to get the whole arsenal of variations out of the closet.
DJKELLY said:
I also have a brand new Kanayama 50k and after stropping ala Ray got the best edge and shave of my career.
Well done! Stropping remains one of the most underestimated steps when sharpening a razor.
DJKELLY said:
I am still curious about the quality of various coticules and wonder if I could send some to you for evaluation. I'd be happy to pay for your time and of course shipping both ways just for the information.
I don't mind doing that for you, but given the weight of Coticules, is will be very expensive to ship stones from Zimbabwe to Belgium and back. Just something to consider. Maybe you could start with posting a few good pictures of your hones (taken from the surface and the sides. With some luck, you might be surprised what we can tell form a distance.:)
DJKELLY said:
Another question--on the above stone, after half strokes with slurry and using just water, the stone has tremendous draw or drag. It even squeals on the backstroke if I let it, which I don't because I know that would make a rough edge. I have to lift the spine off the stone and use only forward half strokes.
I hope you are lifting the entire razor, because lifting only the spine would not be good.:scared: Squealing depends on the hone and on the razor. I don't like the sound either, but I usually just ignore it when it happens. Generally when the slurry thins out, the squealing disappears. If you have a Coticule that really squeals loud on all razors, you might want to try making one or two lengthwise grooves in it. But before you do that, let us talk about it first. I need more information about the exact nature of the squealing. If it's just a minor nuisance, it's better to just ignore it.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
Dennis,
Does the noise and the pull happen with all your razors or just one?

Is the noise produced while using water only any different if you use a layer of tape or not?

It is not uncommon to hear about the suction or pull you are experiencing. It would appear that you not only have a very flat stone but also a very flat edge. Bart is alluding to the fact that perhaps you shouldn't do anything to the stone, and I have to agree with him at this point. My hair is so fine, that I very seldom get any HHT to pass right off the stone. On the other hand, if I strop the blade on my Katayama, then I pass the HHT.

One thing that I have to be very conscience of when using the HHT is testing as much of the blade as possible. I have found that I frequently have an issue at just about 10mm from either end. I think this is caused by transitioning the blade in the rolling-x pattern and I am somehow only getting one side honed and not the other at that point. So pay attention to this also.

If you are getting a HHT-3 right now, you seem to be on the right track and just need a touch more refinement in your method...nothing to be concerned about. Time should and will take care of it.

Regards,

Ray
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
Thanks all for the information. Firstly, I just screwed up my profile. I am from South Carolina in the States, not Zimbabwe. I tried to mend this mistake but the site wasn't responding. Will get to that later. The squeal happens with water only and not with all razors. Seems to me it is with those that have very little spine wear. At the moment, I like my stone so much I would never put a groove in it and would just lift the whole razor off the surface and repeat the forward half stroke. Bart,it definitely seems to me that I will get good results if I get the extreme drag/draw after late slurry stage and never get the squeal when it doesn't happen. Right again, Ray. As a woodworker, I am in the habit of pencil marking my stone every other session and flattening it on a 1200 DMT. I know it wears it out a little (or lot) faster, but I am always convinced that I won't be working against myself. I don't think it is nearly as important on a narrow stone like you finish with, but very important on a wide one. I think I ordered a narrow stone from the mine folks, but am still getting used to buying in Europe on the net. Still very impressed with the Katayama. I'm almost afraid to use it--don't want to get my new umbrella wet. Bart, tell me how to get the stones to you and I would love your evaluation. Thanks again--Denny. PS--what do they speak in Zimbabwe?
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Afrikaans, A little Dutch, and Zulu, so my South African friend assures me.

Hello, welcome, and all the best with the honing curve, try a little more water, and a little less pressure ;)
I hate that "nails on a chalkboard" squeal! hahaha

Also I would try to break out of the flatting the stone myself, I must have done it on my workhorse coticule maybe 4 times in 12 months, and that stone got some serious abuse.

Regards and Chin Chin
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Dennis,

It won't hurt your razor to lap that often, but I assure you that for razor honing it is not necessary to do it that often. Furthermore, you will wear out your DMT sooner than your Coticule, as it has only one coat of diamonds. But obviously, the decision is entirely yours.

For assessment of the stones, please beware that it costs me 16 EUR for a parcel up to 1kg to the US and 32 EUR for a parcel between 1 and 2 kg. Those are non-insured standard shipments. Furthermore, if it's a parcel, it will pass Customs. In Belgium, they add 10 EUR handling fee, regardless if they charge taxes. With the right description, I don't think they'll charge taxes, yet I cannot guarrantee that. In the end, it might cost the same to ship 2 Coticules back and forth as it might cost to buy one new. But I am willing and able to assess your Coticules, if you don't mind about the cost. Just drop me an e-mail:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


Kind regards,
Bart
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
Dennis,
If you would like to get a second opinion, I would be willing to help you out here. I just shipped 2 packages to Greensboro 2 weeks ago and it only took 3 days to arrive and was considerably cheaper than across the pond.

If you still just want Bart to evaluate the stone, I understand that also. Either way, the offer is there.

Ray
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
Ray said:
If you still just want Bart to evaluate the stone, I understand that also. Either way, the offer is there.

Ray

Thanks, Ray. You would do very nicely, indeed. I have several I would like you to use and evaluate. No hurry. The stone I have gravitated to needs nothing else in my opinion since it is very easy to read. I will send some comments along with my own observations. Being new, I still don't know where to get your e-mail address from the C.be site. Mine is DJKELLY@MSN.COM.

About flattening the stone. It definitely seems worth it to me in some ways. One is to tell if the razor is warped. I guess it wouldn't matter if the stone or razor (or both) were warped in that you could just use the rolling X anyway, but it is comforting to me to know one is flat.

Concerning the final laps, I am not sure if it is the 45 degree X or the fact that the stroke itself is much shorter that produced the HHT3. Obviously, if you had a 20 foot stone, you wouldn't want to use the whole length on one side. I'll isolate tyhe techniques on my next razor. I went a little crazy on e-bay, so I have a bunch. (By the way, Ray, I have a C-MON and it is great steel, but I would not have known if I hadn't seen your thread. What others of your seven compare?) Denny
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
Bart--back from a trip and used my 10x2 coticule that develops the large draw toward the end of the dilucot method half strokes and tried what you suggested using as much water as possible. I let my faucet trickle onto the stone for the x-strokes. When the water is deep on this stone, the draw increases to the point that it will not make a completely smooth stroke, but rather grabs a little here and there across the length of the stone. I can get somewhere around HHT1 with this method. I tried using the same stone and razor with the HHT1, wet and squeegeed the surface with my finger so there was only minimal water on the stone. The stroke was silky smooth and after only twenty laps acquired HHT3 or better; what I would get from Crox on a loom strop. With this stone, at least, it makes a huge difference in feel.

Thanks for you offer to look at my stones. Looks like Ray will help me with this and I will try to get proficient enough with the site to send pictures in the future. Later, Denny.
 

mrmaroon

Well-Known Member
I have noticed that on most glassy stones that I own that same (draw effect) happens. It happens on my yellow lake, eschers, water of ayr, dragons tounge, Tam o shanter, and hybrid coticule. I think what is happening is that when you rub the stone with a slurry stone it refreshes the abrasive on the surface. After honing for a while (especially with half strokes) for some reason the metal on the surface creates a draw effect.

Next time you get done honing, don't lap your coticule and dont rub it with a slurry stone. Take a different razor that isn't honed all the way and try it with water only. See if you get the same draw effect. I am curious if this will happen to someone else, this is my concern!

On the plus side, on all of those other hones when the draw starts to happen I know its time to dilute, when you get to water and it draws a lot usually it will let up just a tad and thats when I know im done.
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
You are spot on with your observations about when heavy draw occurs on my stone, Caleb. It will lose its draw after I clean it and start single strokes, but will reappear during the final stages of the job if I use lots of water. I think it definitely has to do with the flatness of the stone and the finish and flatness of the razor. It is similar to two finely ground metal surfaces getting more friction, not less, if the surfaces match perfectly. When the draw occurs is a very good indicator of edge/bevel condition and is when the squeal starts on half strokes.

I only have a few stones, but it makes perfect sense to me when you said "glassy". I haven't tried the others nearly as much yet, since I am getting such nice results from this stone. I am very curious to know if I can get the same edge with the same techniques on other stones or will have to learn something else.

I tried to upload a couple pictures that Bart wanted but it says that my pics xceed the maximum size for this server. Can someone help me with this? Thanks, Denny
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
DJKELLY said:
I tried to upload a couple pictures that Bart wanted but it says that my pics xceed the maximum size for this server. Can someone help me with this? Thanks, Denny
Maybe this can help:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


Kind regards,
Bart.
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
Right again, Bart. Smalljpg.com worked great. Here are the pics of my "high draw" stone. I have used it on a few more razors but cannot get the same HHT3 results off the stone. I have to hone on a balsa strop for HHT3 and then to linen/leather for HHT5. I am beginning to understand the frustrations of honing. I don't know if I was lucky the first time or if it might be the razor's fault. The good results were on a new, straight, inexpensive Boker which was very easy to work. It would be easier if I would stick to fewer variables, but I guess that is what this whole subject is about. Thanks for all. Denny

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Bart

Well-Known Member
I need to find a way to mark a thread for future reply.:blush: I read your post a few days ago, but didn't have time right then to post a reply. Since the thread didn't came back up, I forgot about it later. Sorry about that.

Gary could be right. In that case it is a La Dressante au Bleu. That is not the same as a La Dressante full stop. La Dressante is a actually a group of adjacent layers, some thick enough to slice several hones. They can can vary througout the whole spectrum of possible Coticule properties.
Except for the La Dressantes that sit on top of the Blue stone, hence the name: "La Dressante au Blue". These are moderate in speed and very fine finishers that usually leave a "mellow" edge, bordering on "engaging", but never "brisk".

But from lookin at your pictures it could also be a La Grise. They are about the same speed as a La Dressant au Blue, while the edge finish is usually engaging. La Grises often reach a high keenness on slurry. If you spend enough working on them with a very thin (Gary calls it "misty") slurry, than it's almost impossible not to reach a great edge, as long as you made sure that the bevel was ready for refinement up front.

I hope this gives you a few markers for using your stone.
Kind regards and please accept my apologies for the delay,
Bart.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
This is way off Topic, but I wanted to share it, and this seemed like the perfect place

I received an email the other day, one that touched me deeply, I have not found the words to reply directly, so I have chosen to post this instead, it was an offer of help from someone I hardly know, and although I do not need the help offered, indeed it wouldn't change a thing, I have to "Publicly" thank Denny for his kind and noble gesture.

Heck if I would have known that my actions could have that effect on people I would have exploited it years ago (JK) Bwhahaha

Thank you so very much Denny

Best regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 
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