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No 2 Has Arrived!

rayman

Well-Known Member
I arrived home yesterday a little late, had to do some honing at the local barber shop, and on the counter was a box from Ardennes. It's true, no 2 is now mine, all mine. What a great looking coticule. Nice size and beautiful blue marbeling. I just had to try it out.

I sat down with it and a C-Mon Blackie that needed honed. I breadknifed the blade, worked up a slurry, wow what a nice rich creamy slurry this stone produced, and started to set the bevel. Thank god for muscle memory, it made the task very easy. Once the bevel was set, I started diluting the mixture 3 drops on the length of the stone doing 30 laps in between dilutions. In about 10 min. I was popping arm hair. Very nice feedback from the stone while I was progressing throught the dilution.

Once I reached this stage, I cleaned the stone and created a very misty slurry and lapped the blade while diluting that mixture until it was clear water. I kept going until I could feel the resistance of the stone against the blade and stopped. I did 25 on the synthetic strop 50 on the leather and tried the HHT. It didn't pass. It was late and I decided to shave with it anyway. My first pass with the razor was so smooth I didn't think it cut any hair. The whole shave was pretty much like that and I think this may have been the closest shave I have had in recent memory. But remember, I am old and my recent memory doesn't stretch back all that far anyway.......:D

I will let you know how my next session goes this evening. Yeahhhhhhh!!!!!

Ray
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
Way to go rayman, I love that blue stone, now I need to get me one of those, thanks for encouraging my HAD.
But I cant wait to get my mittens that casket #19.
 

justin

Well-Known Member
Ah yes, a very beautiful stone you have there Rayman. From Bart's evaluation it seems to be a slow one so remember to do a lot of laps towards the end. I just do a ton, I figure that eventually I will figure out the right amount of strokes I need to move on.
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
I manage to pass hht on dilution once bevel is set i only add one drop of water and just hone untill i need another a drop and so on this keeps the slurry nice i don't count laps so much i just keep going untill i'm right down to grey water then i do 100 laps on water.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Ray You Rock! (sic) hahahaha
god bless you mate and all that sail with you, I just know you have started a new love affair, and wish you every happiness through the ups and downs that are bound to come along

garyhaywood said:
I manage to pass hht on dilution once bevel is set i only add one drop of water and just hone untill i need another a drop and so on this keeps the slurry nice i don't count laps so much i just keep going untill i'm right down to grey water then i do 100 laps on water.

ok i dont wanna sound thick, and i know this has been covered but htf do you know when to add that drop of water Gary?
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
I add one drop at atime i add another drop just before slurry starts to dry. Basicly i add a drop when my slurry looses it milkiness it could be 10 laps it could be 20 the further along i get the more laps i do because by then i have added more water to my hone. once i'm right down to just grey colured water i do hht with a thicker hair if it passes it may only just pass then i go straight the sink and give aquik rinse i do 50 laps then i give a good rub and rinse with plenty of water and do another 50 i then strop linen leather and then hht test passes real good on finer hair then the shave is all ways very good. It normaly averges out at about 20 laps and towards the end 30 but because i'm diluting so gradual i'm actualy doing more than enought laps but more gradual. When i first tryed this method i was diluting every 10 laps with a good splash of water and my razor was never quite as sharp as i'd like. More laps defanatly works. Barts recomendation of sets of 30 works fine and 50 towards the end but i just end up loosing count so i find this way i can just hone with out having to count and hone in my head. Its more realaxing rather than thinking another 200 to go.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Way to go, Ray!

Don't get caught up to much with that HHT, my friend. I'm reluctant to say this, because a lot of folks are already confused enough about the HHT, but... the smoother the edge, the more difficult to pop a hair straight of the hone(they still do, but it might require a bit more fumbling). A slightly "crispier" Coticule will do this better. One of the sweetest Coticules currently in the Vault in that "La Grosse Blanche" one. I have to give it some lenience on the HHT, but the edges are just addictive. You bet I will be hunting for a few more of those, when I get to Ardennes next time.
I think the smoother the edge, the more difficulties it has grabbing between hair cells (and skin cells :)).
I have equal reluctance advice these kind of very smooth Coticuls to inexperienced honers, because the second you stay below a certain keenness threshold on these Coticules, that ultra-smooth edge will fail big time. I had little doubt that you would get it right soon enough.:thumbup:

Bart.
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
Yes, I want one of those hones... the smooth edge hone, even if it takes more time to get there.
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
I honed 3 razors this evening with No2. All 3 got the dilucote method. This stone is really fast, wow. I breadknifed each razor before I started so I had a similar starting point. I think the process on each blade was actually faster than a normal honing with the complete set of Shaptons and finisher.
I absolutly never use the TNT or the TPT. I think these are counter productive and rely more on the feedback from the stone. And the feedback from this stone is remarkable. It is relatively easy to know exactly where I am in the process.
You are right about the HHT Bart. It is confusing for new honers to understand that test. I never have relied on it for much. I think I would like to do a write-up on the tests that I use and how I determine when it is time to shave. Maybe we can compare notes.
All in all, this stone was a breeze to get use to, and I can't tell you how much I am pleased with it.

Ray
 

StraightRazorDave

Well-Known Member
Congratulations Ray, you sound like the proud father of a new baby. :D

I must say I'm suprised that you got fast results with this stone. I would've thought it would take much longer seeing as it seems like a slower stone (it's a "La Grise" right?), but you've really seemed to get the hang of it. :thumbup:
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
StraightRazorDave said:
Congratulations Ray, you sound like the proud father of a new baby. :D

I must say I'm suprised that you got fast results with this stone. I would've thought it would take much longer seeing as it seems like a slower stone (it's a "La Grise" right?), but you've really seemed to get the hang of it. :thumbup:

Dave,
This stone was listed as moderately fast using slurry. The sharpness level coming off the slurry was listed as +++. This means that most of the work is completed before you get to the finishing stage. That, coupled with the fact that Bart new exactly what I was looking for and I am at an advanced beginner level, made this a logical choice.

I did shave with the 3 razors about 30 min. ago. One was a client's razor and it was extremely smooth on one side of my face. The second was a dollar razor. It has always been one of those crisp shavers - full hollow. This time it made no noise and was also smooth. But the real winner here was a Wostonholm Original Pipe Razor. I got this one this past summer from my 92 year old uncle. The razor was my grandfathers and hadn't seen daylight since at least 1949 when he died. I have previously honed this razor with Nortons, Naniwas(the complete set) and a complete set of Shaptons. I have finished it on 16k shapton, Escher, Nakayama and Spyderco UF. None of these combination were able to give me an edge that could make it through one complete pass of the face. I used this razor to do my neck. It not only did the neck, but I used it to do the next two complete passes to finish the shave. This razor is going to move into my normal rotation now.

Perhaps the reason this stone is working so well for me Dave, is the fact that I just have a little more experience hearing and feeling the feedback, than some others do. You'll be able to do this soon, if you stick to one stone only. Learn what it is telling you when you are using it and make adjustments to make it smile back at you. It will happen.

Good luck,

Ray

I should have also said that even though these are smoother than I have been use to, there is still room for improvement. I still need to learn more about this stone. It can only get better.
 

StraightRazorDave

Well-Known Member
Thank you Ray, that was a very thorough response. :) I hadn't realized that it was rated at a +++ off the slurry, so indeed it pretty much is just finishing the edge off after that stage. I tend to focus on the properties of the hone with just water, since I am not too experienced with using and diluting slurry. :rolleyes:

The stone I have now (in my avatar) is a natural combo, so the razors that I've honed with it I've used the BBW w/slurry before I finish with the coti with just water. Just tonight I dulled a razor on glass (for fun, just to re-hone it with the coti/bbw) and set the bevel with the coticule and slurry. It worked quite well, although the edge wasn't as quite as sharp as I would like....I'm still learning! My goal is to be able to use ONLY the coticule side and the dilucot method, it seems to be the most eligant method to me.

It wasn't until fairly recently that I decided to keep it simple and just use a coti/bbw to do all of my honing. But, I still have a LOT to learn about the coticule. But that's why I'm here. ;) (and lately I've been reading a lot on here, and I've read ever post in every thread so far....can never get enough)

Dave
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
I was able to do some more honing today with No.2. A Novelty, a Torrey, a C-Mon Blackie that someone tried to sharpen with an orbital sander, an F.W. Engles Full Hollow and a TI full hollow.
These razors came to me in rather dismall shape, and required a full restore on the bevel. I started by breadknifing each, to be sure I had a similar base to work from. Most of the blades were relatively flat except for the Torrey, which had a horrendous warp in it. That one required a rolling-x stroke from start to finish.

One of the nice things about using this stone is its incredibly fast cutting surface. That is provided with the use of a very thick and soapy like slurry. Using 1/2 strokes, in 30 lap repetions, over and over until an even and partially sharp bevel was reached was a snap. Once I got the edge to that point, I took gary's advice and added just 1 drop of water and began the normal back and forth strokes.

Since I normally use 1 hand for honing I used the other for counting. Being ADD I could only use 5 fingers, so I counted each one as 10 and did 50 laps and then added another drop of water. I kept this up until the slurry was a very light gray and the feedback was consistantly smooth along the blade.

I don't use the TNT or the TPT test, since I think they are counter productive. So what I did do was check the edge with my 60x microscope. It was smooth and no signs of microchips. Then I wiped the stone and rinsed it with water and started to lap with just plain water. 150 laps later, I did 10 very light laps on one of my Hard Balsa Boards and then 25 laps on my synthetic strop and 50 on my regular strop.

Then comes the real test, before shaving. I take the edge of the blade and very lightly bounce it on the middle of a leg hair. The hair should just sever and not move. I do this at different points along the blade. If it doesn't pass in any place I go back to the water only and do another 50 and on to the other lapping and test again. If it passes this test it seems to always pass the shave test.

The Torrey razor with the warped edge was, I thought, going to be the most challenging. It was actually very easy to hone and finish this blade in about the same time it took to do the others. All in all, the average time for each was about 25 min. from start to finish. At this point, I am feeling some of the smoothest edges I think I have produced to date. Since I will be sending these off to their owners, either tomorrow or Monday, I will ask for some feedback and see what they think.

If you are new to honing, be assured that once you acquire the needed muscle memory, feel and observation will be very easy to take advantage of. No.2 seems to have its own way of talking back and I am just beginning to understand its language. I have found that this stone is very sensitive to pressures and gives back different results at different times. What a sweetheart she is. I just smile every time I look at her.

Enjoy!

Ray
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
i'm feeling what you desribe i listen to how the razors sounds on the hone which is a good sign of a good stroke and also i find when sharpness is there theres a nice kind of draw through the blade and a little resistants or drag and also a nice even swooshing sound at this point i will try and pop a thicker hair ie i use grey hair not from me but from my barber shop cuttings if it pops i go to fresh water then strop then i can pass on finer hair cuttings about a 8/10 ratings if i was to add a little cr.ox or issards or unicot last stages it would be 10/10 even though the shave can be rougly about the same it varys only marginal. After bart honed my razor straight of coti the hht test was unbalievable now i'm trying to match it now i no what to aim for. I'd love to spend a day with bart some day.

ray what was the hht like? of your board compared to straight of coti?
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
garyhaywood said:
i'm feeling what you desribe i listen to how the razors sounds on the hone which is a good sign of a good stroke and also i find when sharpness is there theres a nice kind of draw through the blade and a little resistants or drag and also a nice even swooshing sound at this point i will try and pop a thicker hair ie i use grey hair not from me but from my barber shop cuttings if it pops i go to fresh water then strop then i can pass on finer hair cuttings about a 8/10 ratings if i was to add a little cr.ox or issards or unicot last stages it would be 10/10 even though the shave can be rougly about the same it varys only marginal. After bart honed my razor straight of coti the hht test was unbalievable now i'm trying to match it now i no what to aim for. I'd love to spend a day with bart some day.

ray what was the hht like? of your board compared to straight of coti?

Me too... that would be a learning experience
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
Gary,
I have this very fine Gray hair that I use for HHT when I do it. I generally can never get the hair to cut until the blade has been stropped. When I do the HHT then I can test the hair held in either root forward or tip forward and get fantastic results. I use the Hard Balsa Strop with Crox to smooth the edge just a little before stropping. I haven't quite figured out why it helps but sooner or later I will or someone will tell me why.
The balsa strop is normally intended for use to bring the edge back after 6 to 8 shaves. By using this and your strop, you can pretty much keep the keen edge going on your razor for 3 to 6 months before you need to re-hone.

Ray
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
once i've stropped thats when i can normaly pass hht of finer hair ie stomach or leg if its passing on a scale 8 out of 10 or less on finer hair i go to my cr.ox on livi paddle. Then there is a big improvemant or my issards pate i think the paste only works on the very tip and this developes that very fine fin i think thats what bart told me i'm sure he would explain better. in away its like adding a double bevel but differant principle like i say bart would be able to explain i'm not 100 percent on that but i do no paste can make that little differance. I test all my razors of coticule and don't use paste i then add paste on my third test shave just t compare differances.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
I can rarely pass hht before stropping, best I get is a violin or maybe a fumble and pop here and there on the edge, I firmly believe stropping is totally essential.
I also use Crox on a hanging paste if I find thet the edge wont pass hht cleanly after 60 linen and the same on leather, just 10 or 20 on the Crox and then 40 on leather makes all the difference, then its pop pop pop all the way.
I believe what throws a spanner in the works when it come to HHT is that a smooth but very sharp edge wont always catch that hair, I am not saying that paste makes the edge rough, but I think to someone who has not yet truly mastered the coti it can give that extra almost in-measurable little bit of keenness that makes a difference.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
tat2Ralfy said:
I believe what throws a spanner in the works when it come to HHT is that a smooth but very sharp edge wont always catch that hair, I am not saying that paste makes the edge rough, but I think to someone who has not yet truly mastered the coti it can give that extra almost in-measurable little bit of keenness that makes a difference.
Amen to that, Ralfy.
CrO is great stuff. But when I can really squeeze the last bit of keenness out a Coticule, you won't notice any difference before and after stropping on CrO. That speaks as much in favor of CrO than of avid Coticule honing.

I'm momentarily testing our own Ray's Balsa strop. I'm impressed. A full review is coming up.
I am personally convinced that a smooth edge needs more keenness to perform well, than a rougher edge. At its extreme, a Coticule can get the job done. But CrO can certainly make that last bit of work a lot easier. Yet it's a difference that lies is the realm between "well" and "very well". Those who try to use if for going from "not good" to "well" are up for some unpleasant surprises. Been there, done that and all.:O

Bart.
 

schatz

Active Member
Several weeks ago I purchased a Bengall (Sheffield steel) which arrived shave ready with a fabulous edge. After using it for about 7 to 10 shaves, I went to freshen it up on a coticule with water and it lost a small amount of its sharpness although it was markedly smoother. Following the recent theme of this thread, I gave it a few laps on a bench strop with CrOx and the sharpness was quickly restored. On the other hand, I have some Solingen and American (Torrey and Geneva) blades which seem fabulous coming off the coticule so that I don't even bother with the CrOx.
 
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