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Picky?

Jeltz

Active Member
I use a variety of stones, and I get some very good edges. I'm happy with them but equally I have improved a lot over the time I've been honing and with practice I keep making little improvements. I am always seeking a better edge, trying to find the right balance between sharp and smooth.

Do you ever get to the point where you say, right that's the edge I want and can consistently achieve it or is it a never ending journey?
 

Disburden

Well-Known Member
I think it depends on what you like to do. If you're simplistic or a minimalist and want to keep everything single for the rest of your life, then no you don't need anything else.

Then there are some out there, I have been guilty of this, that always want to try something else or gets bored with what they have. This may be a result of my ADHD problems :lol:
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
For me its all about consistency, I am happy with my honing if I can get the edge I am after time after time, at times my first attempt doesnt do it, so then I rely on various techniques to get that edge where I want it, I have never found that an over confident approach has worked for me, so there is always a degree of challenge, and that keeps me more than occupied without feeling the need to stray to far from my usual techniques and stones.

I do believe it is a never ending journey, because there is no true end to the experience, and I like that.

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
Sometimes the journey is worth more than the final result my friend Ralfy.
Best regards
Emmanuel
 

Deckard

Well-Known Member
I'm a big advocate of a concept in engineering known as requisite variety of behavural flexibility.
In a nut shell if something isn't working, try something else (even anything else stands more chance of effecting change)
There are many reasons why the same set of parameters may not yield the same results every time. there may be some variables not considered especicially where natural materials are involved.

Stuff I've tried just for the hell of hit has amazed me on more than a few occassions.

Joe
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
For the first three years of my straight razor "carreer", I was very preoccupied with the shaving performance of my razors. For the edge finish I started with Dovo red paste, then Chromium oxide, then a Nakayma, next the Chosera 10K, and finally Coticules.
I owned a Coticule and BBW almost right from the start, but it took almost those three full years before I could consistently shave of that Coticule without any additional finishing with one of the aforementioned stones or pastes. The reason I kept obsessively revisiting my Coticule for finishing, were a couple of accidental "hits" that were so good that I wanted all my razors to shave that smooth.
Once I started to be able to reproduce those results, my eagerness for a "better" edge disappeared. I occasionally try other hones now, but in a much more relaxed state. The quest to seek improvement isn't there anymore. I've played with lapping film, I have a small Escher, I often fool around with a small collection of BBWs, I shaved off a natural hone called Portanigra last week. I have a barber hone for over 2 years, that I have not yet used, but one day, when I have the time and inclination, I'll try it. I've shaved off the Cretan hone. I've tried to sharpen a razor with 3M bristle discs on a jewelers lathe (not a success).

For me, it is even more fun to play around with different sharpening solutions, now that I am no longer doing it in a hunt for improvement. I am much more enjoying the total experience of a good shave: the sonorous and tactile sensations of stropping the edge, the olfactory and sensory treats of hot lather on my face, how the blade graciously scoops up whiskers and lather. In earlier times I was too focused on the performance of the edge, to truly notice and enjoy those things. It was an exciting journey, though I'm not sad it's over.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

urmas

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
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Bart, Thanks! It was a nice and encouraging post from you.

Perhaps it is a lot to ask but I would like to read other top coticule users stories too. I'm curious how they came to a breakthrough on their journey.

Best regards,
Urmas
 

håkan

Active Member
Bart said:
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Pics or it didnt happen! ;)

Im with Emmanuel. It's the journey. I do not know the origin of this quote but if there's "truth" in anything this is it:

"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it"
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
håkan said:
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I don't have picture of my setup, but there are plenty on the Internet.
Bristle discs come in a wide variety of diameters and grits. I used the ones with a diameter of 2", stacked together per six.
The exists from 40 git all the way up to 0.5 micron.
m30118.jpg

And here a picture of a foredom jewelers lathe:

foredom-lathe1.jpg

The lathe can be equipped with bristle discs, with buffing wheels, mesh wheels, grinding stones, etc.
It's a great setup for restoring razors, and even for minor regrinding work, but sharpening razors was no big success. The edges did shave, but not very well.

Bart.
 

Rhys

Active Member
Bart, how are those Foredom lathes, do they work well? have seen them on fleabay for around £80 and the pads (white and yellow 4" jobbies with the compound) for not very much.

Come xmas time I might be treating myself to a polishing machine and they look the biz - don't want any single speed large thing that'll bounce around my shed lol.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
I am very pleased with mine. It's indeed variable speed. It's heavy enough to stay put while polishing stuff, but not so heavy that you can't easily move it off the workbench when not needed. I got threaded conical spindles with mine. They're great for quick tool exchange. I wouldn't want to miss them.
Wim (membername Decraew) has one too. He bought his on the cheap from a seller directly from China or Taiwan, or so. He expected a cheaper clone from a real Foredom, but upon arrival there was no difference with the one I got. It even carries the Foredom logo I think.
Maybe Wim will chime in to share his own experiences.
Also Leo Debrouwer, writer of a book about straight razor shaving (in Dutch) uses one of this lathes and told me he like his a lot. He makes his own buffing "wheels" from steel wool that he loads with polishing paste. These little lathes are really versatile.

Bart.
 

Pithor

Well-Known Member
I would like to get the edge I got off my La Veinette for the second last razor I did. Being the 4th razor I ever honed, I can only hope the one (so the 5th) I just did is at least as good.

My biggest wish now is that I will keep saying "The edge I got with my latest honing is the best I've done so far" for a long, long time.

Oh, and hello from the new guy.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Welcome Pieter.

Sounds like you're doing fine with your La Veinette.:thumbup:

Bart.
 

squeezyjohn

Well-Known Member
urmas said:
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I'm certainly not a "top" coticule user. But my use of the coticule stems almost entirely from the existence of this forum and due to it's unprecedented support and information led nature I have managed to get good and occasionally great edges from some of my razors. You can't overestimate the importance of the support network when trying to learn a new and alien skill on your own!

It's been a long journey over the last year or so, I believe it is quite similar to other new straight razor users. One time I went to buy Gilette Mach 3 cartridges and the price had risen ... again, and I got angry. I realised the amount of plastic I was throwing away in order to use a tiny strip of metal (or 3) and looked for another way that was more environmentally friendly and possibly cheaper over all. I bought a straight (a Dovo basic model and a strop) and scraped away with it having looked up on the internet how to shave like that.

It didn't work :-( I scraped half of my face off - tried again - same result and gave up. It took me literally 6 months to realise that the razors simply don't come shave-ready from the shops. They almost never do as far as I can see. Once I realised this I looked at loads of honing sites and watched youtube videos and bought a Norton 4k/8k stone. I had never sharpened anything in my life and when it arrived I tried to do what I had seen online. The results were a little better than I had before, but not much!

Not until I took the plunge and bought a Revisor razor, a coticule (well 2 actually!), a new strop (I had minced 2 cheap ones with nicks during the previous attempts) and lurked here for 3 months that I actually experienced a real straight shave with a nicely sharp razor! Ralfy of this parish kindly sharpened the revisor for me through the amazing coticule sharpening service offered here and it revolutionised my shaving (everyone here thinking about it should really take advantage of it).

I've gone through the same thing with soaps, after shaves etc. and it's taken ages to get to a stage where a year down the line - I can give myself as good a shave with a straight that I could with a disposable blade. But when I use the Revisor sharpened on a coticule and stropped on a Neil Miller strop with p160 duro soap, proraso balm & ogallalla after shave then I feel brilliant. But that's just me, I doubt it would work for anyone else. Add in to that the fact that my favourite soap has been discontinued, Ogallalla is no longer available to the UK and I still can't coax an edge from my original Dovo blade and it looks like a never-ending quest for the best shave.

Given that is a normal-ish journey from wanting to shave with a straight to actually doing it, it is one of the worst hobbies/activities for the starter to get in to, I'm sure most are put off before succeeding.

I would like to commend coticule.be for being such an amazing resource of sensible and understandable information for people who come across it. What's needed now is a package on a big web shop selling a shave-ready basic razor with a coticule, some electrical tape, a strop and some good soaps and balms together with a well written instruction manual based on the best information on this site and I believe people might stand a better chance of actually getting in to shaving this way when they look for it.

Unlikely - I suppose so, but a good idea nonetheless.

Cheers

Squeezy
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Tracer said:
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I have not yet gathered much experience with it. I only performed the very last stage of Unicot on the Portanigra, using only water. I noticed that the stone was dead slow on water only, so I did about 60 X-strokes. The shave was good, definitely a "mellow" edge, as I would qualify it. It lacked a small hint of keenness. The HHT had already indicated that when I came off the stone. It passed but not as easy as the typical Unicot off a Coticule.

Considering how slow it really was on water, it might have been better do 100 laps instead of the 60 I did. I have yet to try that.
I also have not tried any sort of slurry use with the Portanigra, while I can imagine that this is typically a hone that needs to be used with slurry. Perhaps even oil-based slurry. Eventually I will try it all, though it will probably be more a matter of months than weeks to complete tests on this hone.

By the way, you accidentally left one of your Coticules at my place. I'll keep it safe, ok? .:)

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

urmas

Well-Known Member
Squeezy, thank you for your answer. Your story was very interesting to read.

I wondered why no one wants to answer me...
OH... I understand now... using "top coticule user" was a disincentive. Under "top coticule user" I meant such coticule user who can get consistent results and nothing more.

It seems that coticule users are very modest people ideed. :)

My journey is far from over. I've achieved mediocre results by now but nothing more significant. My main obstacle is that over the past year, I have for some reasons so little time for actual honing - my learning process is therefore long and difficult.

Best regards,
Urmas
 
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