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No1 from the vault arrived! And raised some questions for a newbie..

Jens

Well-Known Member
No1 from the vault ( http://www.coticule.be/coticule001.html)
arrived last friday and I had a nice weekend with good time to try it out.

I'm kind of new to sharpening razors, I've done a good deal of knife-sharpening, but this is surely something else.
I've used a barber hone for a good while for touch-ups & a lended Norton Combo from a friend, so I'd say I have a good enough honing stroke, but that is about it..

After a lot of fiddling on a junker, I started out with a Heljestrand MK6, a ½ hollow, that was in need of a serious touch-up.
Did the whole beer-bottle (hey it was after all saturday night!) dulling & went at it with the unicot.
It went really well, a nice bevel set, popped arm-hairs like a light-sabre & followed the taped-stage procedures, it was very smooth but somehow I just couldn't get it sharp enough, I test-shaved & it was a decent shave, very, very smooth
but not sharp enough.
Not even 15 laps on CrOx could help the situation.

I did another one, a Wostenholm pipe razor, that was very dull but eventually came back to shave arm-hair very easily of the slurry /halfstrokes.
Taped & did just as described, but also that one wasn't sharp enough. Shaveable, very smooth, but a bit of drag on the hairs.
I tried to do a lot of very light laps on only water, about 100 to see if that would help, but it didn't.

So I'm thinking along the lines of
1) I need to do more strokes after taping, both light slurry & water or only water
2) Did I do to many laps & wore down the "second bevel"

Alot of questions & only one test-shave per day

Obviously something is not right yet, but I'll take my time & do it again & again &... :w00t:

Even if the edge really isn't there yet, I still enjoy it tremendously!
The feel & look of the stone, even the smell when the slurry is created, what is there not to like!:love:
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
You have a long, but "not so" long road ahead of you...Yes, razor sharpening is a bit different from sharpening any other edged tool. You would think it would be easy because the razor has the spine as a guide so you don't have to worry about holding at a constant angle when sharpening, but there is a whole lot more to it because that edge is going against your face... so now you know "first hand" the results of your efforts.

But don't worry you will get the hang of it soon my friend.

You didn't mention, and forgive me if I didn't see it but, Did you hone with water after the slurry (before you put on the tape)? You may need to do quite a few laps with water only and test for sharpness before you put on the tape.

Remember, if the edge has a smile, your stroke may need to be "rolled".
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The DiluCot method can easily be turned into successful UniCot with the addition of tape on the spine.
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A 1/2 hollow, and wedge type blades require more effort than a full hollow blade depending on the size of the bevels.
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Finally you may want to examine your edge for consistency...
This article is not yet complete but you can give it a read through so you have a good idea of the condition of your edge.
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Hope this helps my friend... please let us know our progress.
Ho... I almost forgot... welcome to Coticule.be
 

Jens

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the very informative welcome!

I did in fact follow Barts unicot instructions "to the T" as they say.
But I fully understand that mastering it will take some time.
And I will put in the time necessary, no doubt!
This fine site surely makes it a lot easier :thumbup:

As I have understood things, simply put, you must have a sharp enough edge when you go to the final "water only" stage
because that wont sharpen the blade, only polish/smooth it out, right?
I do have a full hollow that I'm willing to put thru the, maybe gruesome for a razor, learning stage, maybe a bit easier to start with.
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
Indeed it's much less frustrating to start with a full hollow blade, but if the one you have is one in good or new condition, I would suggest you not use it for practice. Get another one cheap razor from ebay and "hone" your skills with it.
Believe me, you will put quite a few miles on a razor as you perfect your skills... well, unless you can afford it, you wouldn't teach someone how to drive with a brand new car would you?

Yes, you need a sharp enough edge before you go to the water only stage, so slowly dilute the slurry until it's almost water (do not allow it to dry out or get too thick), then complete the polishing with fresh water only.

Don't try to count storks or laps, there is just too many other things to keep track of.
Go slow, there is no rush.
At this stage concentrate on keeping the blade flat one the stone and making even strokes with even pressure on both sides.

Oh... and I almost forgot... you must read this thread:
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And then this one:
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Jens

Well-Known Member
I've read them :w00t: But I will re-read them
I did a lot of reading here & elsewhere, so the theory is pretty much there.
No comes the fun part, to put theory into action & results!

I won't use any of my daily shavers, don't worry.
Only the ones that clearly have seen their best days are to meet the No1 before I've become a bit more confident.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Hi Jens,

You have the right attitude, and therefor I think you'll reach success soon enough.
I also think you didn't do all that bad. Quite the contrary.
You have received good advice, so I'm not going to cause overload by adding too much.

Jens said:
Not even 15 laps on CrOx could help the situation.
Could you describe your CrO loaded strop for me? Is it a balsa strop, a hanging strop, a loom strop? Is it green like a pool table, or is there only a translucent green haze on the surface?
Jens said:
I did another one, a Wostenholm pipe razor, that was very dull but eventually came back to shave arm-hair very easily of the slurry /halfstrokes.
Taped & did just as described, but also that one wasn't sharp enough. Shaveable, very smooth, but a bit of drag on the hairs.
I tried to do a lot of very light laps on only water, about 100 to see if that would help, but it didn't.

On the one you didn't strop on CrO, try this; add a second layer of tape and perform 60 light laps on water only.

There's also a possibility that you did well, but failed on the first stropping. Coticule edges really need to be stropped very well, when they leave the hone. At least 60 laps on a good linen and equal amount on leather. I'm just mentioning this, because there have been guys in the past that send me razors for assessment, that I couldn't improve anything, after I had stropped it well. The razor went back unhoned, and one guy fell from his chair how smooth it was. I had a hard time convincing him that I didn't use a pasted strop.:)

Jens said:
So I'm thinking along the lines of
1) I need to do more strokes after taping, both light slurry & water or only water
As already mentioned, keep the strokes on light slurry very limited. 30 maximum. Make them very precise, and make sure the slurry is thin. The thiner the better. If you focus on it, you will still clearly feel the different abrasion between such light slurry and clear water.

Jens said:
2) Did I do to many laps & wore down the "second bevel"
I don't think you can do too many strokes on water, but 60 really should be plenty.
Make the strokes very light. Make the razor float over the hone, don't be afraid to use a bit of speed during the finishing phase. It's okay to turn slow and precise, but do make that razor sail across the surface.

Jens said:
A lot of questions & only one test-shave per day
Yes. We know. No need to rub it in.:(
;)

Jens said:
Obviously something is not right yet, but I'll take my time & do it again & again &... :w00t:
You'll get there. No doubt.:thumbup:
Jens said:
Even if the edge really isn't there yet, I still enjoy it tremendously!
The most important factor of all!
Jens said:
The feel & look of the stone, even the smell when the slurry is created, what is there not to like!:love:
Welcome to the wonderful world of Coticules.:)

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Jens

Well-Known Member
The knowledge around here is amazing!

In short:
Hanging strop, CrOxed by Ken Rupalski, light green, I really think he knows how to do it.
I know how to strop, no worries.

So even shorter, the problem is Me, not the equipment :lol:

I'll try some different things tonight.
The extra layer of tape is one thing & another is that I pull out a full hollow & really focus on getting the bevel sharp & even. And then proceed, cautiously but swiftly-stroking :thumbup:

Oh, & another thing I forgot to mention earlier;
The customer-service @ Ardennes is really something!
But you all knew that, I guess.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Jens said:
The knowledge around here is amazing!

In short:
Hanging strop, CrOxed by Ken Rupalski, light green, I really think he knows how to do it.
I know how to strop, no worries.

So even shorter, the problem is Me, not the equipment :lol:
I didn't ask to second guess your equipment or abilities.:)
Only to state that, on that type of pasted strop, you can try to repeat those 15 laps a couple of times. With the edge in a condition as you described it, you absolutely should be able to get very good results on the CrO strop. 15 may be a lot to do on a CrO balsa strop, it was probably too little on your leather CrO strop. It also depends on the kind to CrO compound used.

Jens said:
I'll try some different things tonight.
The extra layer of tape is one thing & another is that I pull out a full hollow & really focus on getting the bevel sharp & even. And then proceed, cautiously but swiftly-stroking :thumbup:

Good luck and keep us posted.

Jens said:
Oh, & another thing I forgot to mention earlier;
The customer-service @ Ardennes is really something!
But you all knew that, I guess.

Maurice and his son Rob are great guys indeed. The other employees I don't know that well, but there's always fun going on at the quarry. The kind of fun that you only find in a mining operation. Men that know they can depend on each other.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Jens

Well-Known Member
Hear Ye!

I shaved last night, a pleasant shave, with an edge that I made myself, purely on the No1!

The kinds were sound asleep, the wife in front of the TV, her favorite show on.
There was good music in the background.

I unicoted. I dilucoted. I freebased.

The MK6, The Wosty Pipe. And a E.A Berg 5/8 full hollow.
The hours flew by..

Eventually I got around to the Berg, dulled two times on a glass & went at it, dilucot style.
Fast forward, and the edge weren't quite right.
Decided to tape the spine, did 20 very light laps on a very watery slurry.
Rinsed well & did about fifty under running water (slight auto-slurry on this one.)

Stropped well & brought out a hair.
ZZZING! It went clean off, with a loud ring, but still, it cut in half!

Shaved ( close to 1 am...) & the shave was great!
Not perfect. If analyzed I have to honestly say that by the end of pass two, I felt it like when you shave with a good razor & think:
"next time I bring it out, I must remember to give it a couple of laps on the CrOx"
No pulling, but just not 100%.

Happy, but tired today...

The journey continues
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Sounds like the journey is going well :thumbup:
Keep up the good work my comrade, and well done

BTW I dont like the sound of the freebasing :huh:

Best wishes
Ralfson (Dr)
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
BlueDun said:
tat2Ralfy said:
BTW I dont like the sound of the freebasing :huh:

Ralf, you're risking another denunciation in a newsflash ... :sneaky:

Cheers
BlueDun

Denunciation! jeez how come you english as a second language guys use words I have to google? even with my Phd. hahaha

Seriously though maybe "Freebasing" has a different meaning over there???

Yours truly a little confused
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
tat2Ralfy said:
Seriously though maybe "Freebasing" has a different meaning over there???
I don't recommend smoking Coticule dust through a pipe.

Though freewheeling with words is highly appreciated on this website.
As are all kinds of crazy honing experiments.

Coticule inclined persons are generally not likely to follow instructions very strictly. I have noticed most members like to do their own thinkering. I've come to love our small Cafeteria for that atmosphere.

Happy freewheeling,

Bart.
 

Jens

Well-Known Member
Tack så mycket gode Doktorn ;)

Seriously, the language skills amongst these "foreigners" are just as stunning as their knowledge of Cotis.
Is there somehow a correlation?

Freebasing on a Coti is when you're (I...) try all sorts of weird things.
Somehow it must be done.
It's not that I don't trust there verified methods, far from it, but I just have to find out myself...
Good thing the Coti is kind of thick :w00t:
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Nöjet är min dig är välkommet ;)

Ah now i am seeing, we have a different concept of "freebase"
We call what you did Freestyle, Fristil
Must be a cultural thing no?? hahaha

Best regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Jens

Well-Known Member
Or maybe an Freudian slip :w00t:

Did some touch-ups just now, one Heljestrand Frameback & one Sheffield wedge.
About 50 laps with only water. Feels very sharp and utterly smooth.
Tomorrows shave will hold the answer.
 

Jens

Well-Known Member
Some time has passed & I've been busy doing those laps on the No1.
The midnight lamp has surely been burning a lot :D

Anyway, I've gotten to a point were I can get a good, shave-worthy edge almost every time with the unicot & even on rare occasions with the dilucot. Not by any means a perfect "Bart" edge, but still a smooth, nice non-pulling edge.

And just to brag a bit I shaved yesterday with a Joseph Elliot wedge that I found on a yardsale, rusty & jagged edge with several small chips in it.
The shave was awesome :w00t:
Removed chip on synthetic 600 then proceeded to coti.
A good while later dilucot almost brought the edge to its max (well, my current max that is...) but an extra layer of tape & some unicoting took it right in the zone.
A very nice feeling when you get a great shave from a blade that used to look like a chainsaw!
And you have done all work by yourself!
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Thank you Jens, for keeping us posted. We have a lot of threads by guys struggling with the learning curve of sharpening razors.
It's good that they can read about the light that shines at the end of the tunnel. :thumbup:

Your Dilucot success rate is perfectly normal. I used to get 1/10, later 2/10 and let's say after 200 razors or so, 9/10.
I am convinced though that the "updated" Dilucot procedure will shorten that learning curve considerably. I had to figure out everything on my own. Don't know why, but there was no Coticule.be to help me out, back then.:lol: :lol:

Kind regards,
Bart.
 
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