Proud New Coti Owner!

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Whoo Hooo !
My "new" vintage coti arrived today! So now I'm I'm a bona fide member of Coticule.be. Instead of endlessly lurking, I might actually have something to contribute... even if it's just dumb questions! Stay tuned!
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schatz

Active Member
Great to have you join the group. I'm just a few steps ahead of you in the learning curve: lurking for a long while and finally purchasing a bout some time ago from the badger&blade classifieds. There just seems to be something romantic about the coticule the keeps drawing me to it rather than using my old synthetics. For me, anyway, half the fun is in the experimentation. When I stumped, I'm sure glad the group is here to answer my questions. I wish you all the best with your new purchase.
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Thanks. This is a pretty great site. I am amazed at the huge amount of knowledge here.

I had a chance to play around with it tonight. It's not like any of the other hones I've used. I got an inkling of that vaunted "feed-back" these hones are so famous for. At first it seemed awfully gritty but by the time I was done, it had smoothed right out. I followed the dilucot method, pretty much to a "T", substituting any finesse I lacked with extra laps. After stropping it showed a solid HHT 4. Maybe even a 5. And it got there surprisingly quickly too. I can see why these hones are so highly praised. I'll shave with it tomorrow. I'm kinda excited.

My first round with it seems to have been a resounding success. I was pretty well prepped and had a pretty good idea what to expect thanks to all the great posts I've been reading lately. I owe a debt of gratitude to the gents here that have helped to pave the way for all us budding honers. It's a very generous gift of your time and energies. Thank You!
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
Welcome, ermmm ...wdwrx. :D Is there a more readable name behind this nick? :)

This vintage Coti looks pretty similarily to my own vintage one, I mean the colours and texture, interesting. Even the proportions look familiar... What are the dimensions?

kind regards,
Matt
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
:) Sorry... where are my manners? Chris is my name. I used that "wdwrx" thing when I signed up for my first shaving forum.... I had no idea I'd be spending so much time on them. Now I'm kinda stuck with it. BTW it's short for the name of my company: The WoodWorks Co. so it's not just a collection of random consonants:)

The stone measures 7"x1.5" (180mm x 38mm). Looking at the box, my guess is it's from the 40's or 50's, but that's just a bald-ass guess. I really have no idea. It's labeled "Choice Razor Hone" and "Genuine Belgium Razor Hone".

I was amazed at how quickly it cuts. I don't own a stone that can turn slurry as grey as quickly.

Regards,
Chris
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Sounds like you're doing very well, Chris.

Keep us posted about how the edge performs during a shave, please?

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Thanks.

Matt, you stuck your head up over the parapet!
I'm going to pick your brain with the assumption that the stones might be cousins:)
What are the characteristics of your hone? What do you do to get the most out of it? How do you find the BBW side? Have you got any tips or tricks?

I think mine might be fairly aggressive, even under clear water. At least that was the sense I was getting with my KingKutter just now. It didn't really seem to want to smooth out the way the one I did last night did.

Tonight's the night! I'll have two coti honed razors to try!
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
ha ha... Who was i kidding? The edges were ok. That's it. I've got a ways to go yet.
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
Chris,

I will remember to let you know about everything I will notice :) It's just I haven't yet had enough time since I've bought it and restored. Actually after bringing it back to shape (see the "before and after" pictures
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) there are some minor issues with the crack, so I'll have to use the CA and lap it again. Then I will be able to tell anything, if my limited knowledge an experience will be sufficient at all. :)

cheers,
Matt
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Tried again! this time I did the "extendo-cot" method. Took my stubborn King Kutter back to it this afternoon. She was close to there, but not quite, so this time I started by killing the edge, and lots of half stokes with thick(ish) slurry. Then I started the "extendo" part of the progression. I used an eye-dropper to dispense exactly 3 drops every ten laps.... for like 5000 laps (kidding). I lost track of exactly how many laps, but it was easliy 150, with a small stop to refresh the slurry when some crap seemed to fall into it early on. The thinner the slurry got, the more, and lighter, laps I did between dilutions.

At the end, after I lightly rinsed the hone, I was surprised at how much slurry came up just from the blade alone. I did a bunch more laps with steady dilution (but adding 5 or 6 drops each time) this way before I headed off to the sink to do another 100 under running water.

Stropped to beat all hell, and she passes the HHT with flying colors, but she did last night too, so I'm trying to reserve judgment until I grow enough whisker to try again.

This time I lugged out the kitchen scale (non-digital) to double check my pressure. (Thanks for yet another great idea Bart!)
This was a fantastic idea! I should have done that right at the beginning.
I think I'm right in the groove, my idea of "pressure" was bang on at about 200 to 250 g.
My finishing stroke weight was in the range of 50g, though. I was unable to get it much lighter without loosing control of the way the edge rode the hone.

I did notice that my push stroke was consistantly heavier than my pull stroke, so I was able to correct my technique and work on keeping them more equally balanced. I also have a tenedancy to bear down a little more as I go, (short attention span or something) so having the scale there forced me to pay more attention and work on keeping it at the 40- 50g mark.
The scale is an excellent training aid!

So. Some questions.....
How the heck do you keep crap out of your slurry? I mean like dust, (I tend to shed saw-dust) stray cut up arm-hairs etc. I hate to loose that seasoned slurry, but I hate the sensation of lumps in it too.

Speed. (no not the kind you take:blink: ) I mean lap speed. What effect does the speed of the honing stroke have on the edge refinement? I'm thinking here that a fast light stroke would leave a cleaner "cut" than a slow light stroke. Picture a saw blade making a cut in wood; the faster the blade spins, and the slower the material is fed into it, the smoother the cut. Does that same logic hold up in relation to the edge of a razor moving across the stone?

How do you monitor the "keennes" as you're going? How does one know he's not out-running the edge? How do you know you've reached the limit at any given point?

Cheers guys!
-Chris
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
wdwrx said:
So. Some questions.....
1: How the heck do you keep crap out of your slurry? I mean like dust, (I tend to shed saw-dust) stray cut up arm-hairs etc. I hate to loose that seasoned slurry, but I hate the sensation of lumps in it too.

2: Speed. (no not the kind you take:blink: ) I mean lap speed. What effect does the speed of the honing stroke have on the edge refinement? I'm thinking here that a fast light stroke would leave a cleaner "cut" than a slow light stroke. Picture a saw blade making a cut in wood; the faster the blade spins, and the slower the material is fed into it, the smoother the cut. Does that same logic hold up in relation to the edge of a razor moving across the stone?

3:How do you monitor the "keennes" as you're going? How does one know he's not out-running the edge? How do you know you've reached the limit at any given point?

Cheers guys!
-Chris
Hi Chris, by the sounds of it you are working very hard at getting this together, heres my take on the questions above.
and please note that I do not know where your experience and skill level is at so if it comes across as being basic I meant no disrespect.

1, Hone clean, and hone in a clean environment, if you come in from the shop dusty, shower and change, I hone at the kitchen table and believe me when I say, my wife simply would go ballistic if I made a mess, so its clean hand towel on the table top, clean Ralfson in clean clothes.
Its easy to pick up stray arm hair if you dont wipe the blade before and after you test it, I wipe with a clean tissue each time I test the edge on arm hair, because like you I dont want any in my slurry.
Another important point, when dilucutting it really can be difficult if you have to refresh slurry during the process, too thick and you set the edge back, to thin and it will never catch up, so keep it clean and wet and its a lot easier to monitor as you progress through the honing.
2,speed (people take this?..lol) there is a huge difference between a saw blade cutting wood and coticule garnets cutting steel, a better comparison would be fine and coarse toothed blades working at the same speed and feed rate, coarse saw blades will rip the wood fast, but the finish is like a cheap fence post, a fine blade on the other hand will cut the wood a lot slower but leave a much cleaner finish. when we dilute slurry we gradually change the slurry from coarse to fine, this gives us the finish we desire after first "Roughing out" the bevel
Stroke speed is far less important that stroke accuracy, its vital to perform nice even strokes that cover the entire length of the bevel, your honing speed will increase with practice but need never be a blur, faster strokes than you are capable of executing accurately will never produce a good edge.
3, there are a few methods of checking the edge along the way, first up is the arm hair shave, as the edge improves you will feel it becoming keener, and just as importantly smoother, with experience you can check how you are doing by shaving arm hair every now and again, one of the most widely used methods is the thumb pad test (TPT) again with experience you can tell the differences in feel as the edge lightly bites the top layer of skin, although its not a test I use that often I swear that after a while you can almost feel the blade cutting the ridges of your thumb print.
TBH with experience you may find that such tests are not needed, I check on arm hair when I set the bevel and only start to dilute once I feel it has maxed out, then I run through the dilution stages and finish on water before I go to the hanging hair test (HHT) I couldnt hone without it, and I know that I am competent enough that should the hht fail, I can pull it back using 1 or more finishing strategies.

I hope this helps, and keep up the good work
My kindest regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
wdwrx said:
So. Some questions.....
How the heck do you keep crap out of your slurry? I mean like dust, (I tend to shed saw-dust) stray cut up arm-hairs etc. I hate to loose that seasoned slurry, but I hate the sensation of lumps in it too.
:) Ha. I tend to shed saw dust to. Don't hang over the hone! :D :D
When I feel that a foreign something has fallen into the slurry (usually a small hair fragment or so), I make a very slow stroke, take the razor off where I feel the intruder, and wipe it off with one finger. Sometimes I need to make a second attempt because I missed it. Then I just continue where I was.
wdwrx said:
Speed. (no not the kind you take:blink: ) I mean lap speed. What effect does the speed of the honing stroke have on the edge refinement? I'm thinking here that a fast light stroke would leave a cleaner "cut" than a slow light stroke. Picture a saw blade making a cut in wood; the faster the blade spins, and the slower the material is fed into it, the smoother the cut. Does that same logic hold up in relation to the edge of a razor moving across the stone?
Perhaps, but only during the very last "finishing" part. Swift and light strokes, like you would do if you needed to brush with your fingers over a hot plate, makes a difference in some cases. But these are finer points. You will be able to get more than decent shaves from your Coticule, without such strategies to get that last evasive grain of edge performance.
wdwrx said:
How do you monitor the "keennes" as you're going? How does one know he's not out-running the edge? How do you know you've reached the limit at any given point?
That is impossible to explain. How do you manage to ride very slow with a bike without falling over? How do you measure how you must shift your balance to keep upright? Questions that are impossible to answer. Just don't worry too much about it. Aim to err on the "too much" side (you figured that out alreadyB)). Later, you'll learn to reduce it to do no more than necessary. Go with the feel. If there is a moment in you dilution phase that the stone seems to invite you to stay at that level for a longer while, then just follow that intuition. Feeling is everything.

If the razor still lacks a bit at your next test shave, just take it trough the "taped" steps on Unicot. The best way to find out if you hit the limits of your Coticule, is to put on a Unicot edge and see whether that gives you any improvement. If not, than your Dilucot job was fine. Please note that this comparison won't work for guys that still need to learn a consistent honing stroke. But it seems clear to me, that you're doing very well on that part.

On a final note: you seem to have a very fast Coticule. Should also a Unicot edge appear just a bit crude, try the following: retape the spine and refinish on the Blue side, prepared by 2 rubs with a blue slurry stone (just a haze of blue in the water). Make it 6O laps.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
I see the good Dr Ralfson was already taking care of you.

He makes, as ever, some excellent points. :thumbup:

Bart.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
I see the good Dr Ralfson was already taking care of you.

He makes, as ever, some excellent points. :thumbup:

Bart.
Aha! I see Sir Bart was typing as I typed too...lol for once Sir I believe my addition is the long one whilst yours is more concise Bwhahahaha
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Thank you Sirs!
Some good food for thought! And most eloquently said.

This is just my second date with this new girl, I'll get to know what she likes!:love:

I could hone razors all day with this stone, but I just don't have enough whiskers. The feed back is incredible. I just need to learn her language

I think I'll do another razor up tonight with the unicot method so i'll have both to compare.

Thanks for the very sage advice!

Cheers,
-Chris
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
garyhaywood said:
coticule is the most adictive hone i ever used.
Amen Gary Amen, I can not escape the pleasure of hitting the sweet spot with Dilucot :thumbup: 1 stone, small slurry stone, small bowl of water, and a strop, peaceful artisan and IMHO skilful
Wonderful!

My kindest regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
garyhaywood said:
coticule is the most adictive hone i ever used.
Oohh, I'm hooked alright!

tat2Ralfy said:
Amen Gary Amen, I can not escape the pleasure of hitting the sweet spot with Dilucot :thumbup: 1 stone, small slurry stone, small bowl of water, and a strop, peaceful artisan and IMHO skilful
Wonderful!

My kindest regards
Ralfson (Dr)
I'm not there yet.:thumbdown:



Well, last night's shave was a little disappointing. An ungodly number of razors to try: 3 dulicot, 1 unicot, and my most superlative edge yet, an Edelweiss done up to Spyderco UF w/ lather, there for back-up.

There were hints of that skin-friendly coti edge, but just not enough keenness to get the job done. I did one half with a Dulicot blade, one half with the Unicot blade, a couple of half-assed swipes with the other Dulicot edges and a final pass with my Edelweiss (plus one other too many). I would compare these edges to the edge that I shaved with off my Thurry.

The Edelweiss is the single most sharp edge I've ever accomplished, it compares to the SE blades in my Kai SE straight, but is so crazy scary sharp, even the tremor induced by my pulse is enough to cause a nick. All day I've been rubbing my sore face, wondering what I can do to land somewhere in the middle. Is it a cop-out to use my coti in a progression?;)

I'm going to follow Bart's suggestion about a light slurry and finishing on the BBW side, and also take the best dulicot edge back to very light slurry and dulicot it back up, but focusing on using my very lightest strokes. I knew there was a reason I've been accumulating so many razors.... Now my most pressing need is to start a honing journal; I'm in danger of losing track of what the heck I'm doing.

About the BBW side and Bart's suggestion: Is the purpose of that to add some serration to the edge? From the larger garnets?

Cheers!
-Chris
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
most people find the bbw with slurry becomes more keen than yellow with slurry.

it all about slurry if it gets a little dense it will nock the edge right back.

just go back to yellow with a very milky slurry and start again. keep your slurry on the hone don't push it of the top and bottom. just add water when slurry starts to dehydrate well before , don't count laps just keep going untill your back to water. if the shave is not good still unicot the edge. is your whole edge making good contact? your stroke needs to be consistant. your slurry nust not become dry or dense you have to keep it milky down to water . slurry just dulls the edge if you don't do this . you could also finish with paste ed strop i use TI rasoir paste to perk the edge up and it realy does work in refining the edge and also leaves a smooth soft edge its cheap and it will work.
 
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