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One Newb's Observations

DG7

Well-Known Member
I thought I'd pass along these observations, based on my very limited experience honing and using Coticules. They aren't in any particular order, or anything like that, but I hope they might help someone like me in a small way:


  • [li]Take it slow. Especially at first, as you develop your skills, I've found it pays to slow down and keep focused on what you're doing. There are plenty of videos out there where people are honing at light speed, but don't worry about that. If you're like me, you're probably just doing this for yourself, so give yourself plenty of time, relax, and enjoy the process.[/li]

    [li]Read all of the Unicot and Dilucot info, and have it in front of you when you hone. As you gain a little more experience and figure out how your particular hone behaves, you'll be able to make any adjustments as necessary. But if you're just starting out, it pays to keep it simple and follow the steps.[/li]

    [li]Dilucot seems to get more of the press around here (in my opinion, at least), but don't be afraid to try Unicot! You'll be surprised that it's quite easy to do, especially for a beginner. At first, I would always try Dilucot and often get so-so results. Going from there to the taped stages of Unicot really got me the results I was looking for, though. Now, I've been trying out Unicot from step 1 rather than jumping in at the end, and I find that it's a really good way to go. Don't be afraid about the whole second bevel thing. If you've got a couple of razors, just keep track of which ones were sharpened with Unicot.[/li]

    [li]Be careful when generating a slurry! I don't know if there's a set of pictures around that show you exactly how thick or thin your slurry should be, but be sure to read all the good info on the Dilucot page about not letting it get too dry, etc. One of my biggest problems is that I usually generate too thick of a slurry. It really should be milky, and not thick like yogurt! I learned this the hard day one night when I had a razor that was really popping arm hairs straight off a DMT E (1200), but almost instantly became dull after a few halfstrokes in too thick slurry. It wouldn't do anything to my arm hairs anymore. Now, I start off thinner than I think I should, and it usually works out pretty good. The comment in the Dilucot instructions about a thick slurry being like pushing your razor through mud is right on.[/li]

    [li]Don't be afraid to hand hold your Coticule when honing. Like I mentioned, I have a big heavy DMT and also a Norton stone, and these are too uncomfortable for me to hold for a long time, so I wound up putting these on a small stand on the table. After a while, I convinced myself that I should try to hold the Coticule in my hand, and see if it made any difference. At least in my case, I like the feeling more, and it seems to me like I've got a better idea of what's going on. Again, start off slow here and give it a try. I can't guarantee anything, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.[/li]

    [li]Don't be afraid to ask for help, or spend a good amount of time searching the forum posts for similar questions you might have.[/li]

Happy shaving, all!
 

DG7

Well-Known Member
As a follow up, if there are a set of pictures that show what a typical slurry should and shouldn't look like, I think it would be really helpful to post them somewhere in the Coticule Sharpening Academy. Some of us are more visual and need the pics!
 

BlueDun

Well-Known Member
Dunno about pictures. But have you watched these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkxyaJLI58k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWa8hL4nroc
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
A very thoughtful post. Thank you.
Your experiences match mine very closely.

Cheers,
-Chris
 

DG7

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I've watched the videos a ton. But I'm thinking it might help with some actual pictures or something to show both proper and too thick slurries, to help people get a better starting point.
 

BlueDun

Well-Known Member
I guess a picture will not be of much help in showing the viscosity of slurry. In a still picture yogurt and milk look pretty much the same. Speaking of which, that's exactly what you don't want or do want, respectively. The slurry you want to start with should have a milk like consistency (1.5% I might add ;) ). Don't go any thicker than that. A little bit more or less will not screw things up,just don''t do the yogurt thing. The AHT will eventually tell you when you are ready to dilute. If your slurry was on thin side (which I personally prefer over a too thick slurry) to start with it will just take a little longer to get you there.

Cheers
BlueDun
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Super thread with some interesting points:thumbup:

Regarding slurry, the photo thing doesnt work, I just tried it thinking I would put some up, they all just looked like well...slurry!

What I say is this (And I will quote myself)

"Think Milk, NOT Cream, and NEVER Yoghurt" remember thick slurry dulls edges :thumbup:

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
DG7 said:
As a follow up, if there are a set of pictures that show what a typical slurry should and shouldn't look like (...) Some of us are more visual and need the pics!
tat2Ralfy said:
Regarding slurry, the photo thing doesn't work, I just tried it thinking I would put some up, they all just looked like well...slurry!
Let me disagree on that, if I may? :)

Once I've had similar questions and I actually successfully shot pictures of various slurry densities and I got a valuable and meaningful feedback from our fellow members. Please see them
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
.

If I was to venture an advice, I'd say that you should keep the viscosity (commonly miscalled as density) similar to water. If it becomes noticeably thicker, then most probably it is too thick. It's another way of saying what good Dr Ralfson has already said before me. :thumbup:

Good luck,
Matt
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Matt said:
tat2Ralfy said:
Regarding slurry, the photo thing doesn't work, I just tried it thinking I would put some up, they all just looked like well...slurry!
Let me disagree on that, if I may? :)

Of course Matt, I just couldnt make it work for me at the time, you are far more skilled at taking photographs than me my friend, I stand happily corrected

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

DG7

Well-Known Member
tat2Ralfy said:
Of course Matt, I just couldnt make it work for me at the time, you are far more skilled at taking photographs than me my friend, I stand happily corrected

Well, with his profile picture, you should expect that! I just recently acquired another TLR myself, after having sold one years ago. :thumbup:

Anyway, the last couple of nights I've been trying only Dilucot on several razors that have been sitting in a box for a while, and they all seem to work out better when I was taking extra care on keeping a thin milky slurry. Haven't shaved with any of them yet (taking a break this weekend), but they seem promising.

On my 175x50mm La Nouvelle Veine, it seems like I can keep more slurry on top. With my 150x40mm Les Lats, however, it seems like a lot of the slurry falls off the side, so even though I keep it thin and milky, it doesn't seem like there's a lot of it on top after a while. I don't know if that's a problem or not, but by concentrating more on keeping a thin slurry, I think I'm having more success.
 
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