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Received my new Coticule # 7 Today

justin

Well-Known Member
Here it is!

coti006-1.jpg

Close Up:
coti007-1.jpg

coti008-1-1.jpg

She's a beaut. I couldn't have asked for anything better for my first stone.

I played with it for a good hour. Man is this beast fast! Within no time the slurry is black.

By the by, this was my first attempt at honing. I tried honing a 5/8 1/2 hollow Hoffritz. It's currently my only razor, and it was out of shaving order as it was, so no worry on screwing it up.

In short I wasn't very successful, but I'm going to blame it on the razor this one time. It wasn't sitting on the stone flat, so I tried adding a slight roll into my stroke. All the while I was watching how the edge cut through the water to tell if the razor was touching the stone.

At first I was thinking it was because the blade was warped, but then I noticed that the hone wear on the spine was very uneven. This is something I noticed when I first got this razor. Nearer the toe the wear was significantly less than towards the middle, on both sides. I also noticed that the bevel was much thinner towards the toe. Regardless it shaved like a champ when I first got it, and the edge was perfectly straight. Anyone come across a razor like this? I think it was a bit much of a challenge for a newbie.


Anyways, I got a lot of good practice in. Does anyone hold their coticule in the palm of their hand when they hone? I was thinking about trying this out. Also, what are some cheap razors of good quality that I could get on ebay for practicing?

Thanks,
Justin
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
My!, that’s a nice “leopard spotted” stone… I need one... beautiful stone.
Yup, there are a few honsters (and housemasters) who hold the stone in the hand, in fact this is how a barber hone is used, a Coutiule of the same size is no different. I get better edges when I hold the stone in hand especially when doing the rolling "X" stroke.
This is why some vintage bench hones are in a high standing box... the box elevates the stone clear above the clutter of the work bench, bringing the working surface closer to you and it's more comfortable to work. Holding a smaller stone in the hand does the same.

When you hold the stone be sure you open your palm enough to get the fingers out the way. If you sit or stand when honing, you may want to have a soft mat on the floor, in case the stone falls out your hand. Depending on how you hone you may want to place the stone near the edge of your palm, so during the stroke, if the blade slips off the surface of the hone you won't get cut... so you should do the "X" stroke when holding the stone in hand.

The razor you have does indeed sound like is has a slight warp… but not to worry so many vintage and modern razors are warped that I would consider it normal.
The only issue... it may be difficult for someone new to honing to get it sharp, so normally I do not recommend someone practice honing with a warped blade.
However once you are proficient in honing, only the most severe condition will be a challenge.

Do any or all of these three things to determine if a blade is warped.
1) Look at the shape (or even-ness) of the hone wear on the spine and edge. Often, if the wear on the spine near the toe is more on one side and much less on the other side, then chances are the blade is warped (keep this in mind when looking at photos on auction sites).
2) Look down the spine from the tail end (sighting down the barrel), towards the toe and see if the spine is straight. Then flip the blade up side down and look along the edge, from heel to toe (of course you will flip the scales to get them out the way). With good eyesight you should be able to see a warp if it exists. Often if the spine or the edge is not straight but curves to one side then the edge will most likely be warped.
Remember we are not referring to smiling or arched back blade as those are manufactured to be that way.
3) Lay the blade on a flat surface such as the hone as if you are about to hone it (only the blade edge and spine.. make sure the tang is not resting on the surface), If the middle of the edge is touching the hone, but the heel and toe does not, then flip the blade over to the other side. This time if the opposite occurs… that is: if the middle is NOT touching the hone but the heel and toe IS touching… then the blade is warped.
However if the same thing occurs when you flip the blade, that is: only the middle touches on both sides, then you may just have a normal smiling blade… most likely an older near wedge grind blade. On the other hand, if only the heel and toe touch the hone but NOT the middle on BOTH sides, then most likely you have a hollow or a full hollow ground blade with a frown… not normal.

But a blade may have variations or “mixed combinations” of symptoms such as… on one side, all the edge touch the hone, and the other side only the middle, or heel, or toe touch the hone. Or only the middle and toe, or only the middle and heel… and a few other combinations that are too many to list here.
Now if you have a warped blade then a rocking (or rolling) stroke may not sharpen it properly. In fact, if you rock a warped blade it will only sharpen one side of the bevel, the other side may not contact the stone… As explained above if you if you rest the blade on the top of the hone and you see only the middle of the edge touch the hone, but not the heel and the toe you may easily rock the blade, no problem there. However if you flip the blade and this time the heel and the toe touch the hone but not the middle… then no matter how much rocking you do, the middle of the blade will not touch the hone when the blade is on this side. And if you try to hone such a blade with a straight stroke (and sometimes the “X” stroke), the edge may eventually develop a frown (opposite of a smile… this is bad) and uneven hone wear (not so bad but visually unappealing)
So to compensate you have to work near the edge of the hone (the long end) and concentrate contact near the edge of the surface of the hone… this allows the edge of the hone to “reach in” and contact the middle of the blade that would be off the hone on that side during the stroke.
Now if you need a blade to practice honing there are plenty on eBay… check the hone wear on both sides on the blade… contact the seller and ask for close-up photos of both sides of the opened razor (you cant tell much from a closed blade)… Remember there is nothing wrong with hone wear… it is the even-ness of the hone wear on both sides that concerns us… if you still have trouble finding one please let us know.
 

justin

Well-Known Member
I just gave it another go. I feel much more confident about the whole process this second time around. The edge feels good using the TPT, but doesn't really pass the HHT. I don't have the best of strops, so that might have something to do with it. I'll shave test it tomorrow.

Thanks a bunch for the info Smythe! This blade doesn't have an even warp; it is only very slightly warped on the toe. Sucks cause from that last attempt I can see an ever so slightly (opposite of grin - a grinfrown)on the toe end. It's minor, and an easy fix.

I think I just picked up a steal of a razor. The box says Puma, but the picture of the tang is very blury, so I can't tell. The print on the blade says "Hamburg <something>".
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

(Is it alright if I post this link?)

P.S. Man is this stone sexy!
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
I second that i a;ways hold my hone in the palm of my hand it feels more natural. I have brand new TI'S that have uneven bevels i.e fatter in the middle very thin at toe oposite side can be differant i don't quite understand why this is as i'm not that tecnicul/. I don't mind so long as my razor shaves. I no for sure if you use realy uneven pressure you end with fattend bevels(uneaven)
Your coticule looks just like mine realy nice markings.
I should'nt worry about hht at the moment.If its your first time honing you need to practice your x strokes at least 15 min a day when ever you can and practice youre stropping religously thats what i did.
also get a black marker run it along your bevel hone flat x pattern for ten to 20 laps take a look at your edge.See where marker is left then you can alter your stroke to rolling x if so making sure the spine stays in contact throught out the stroke practice this to.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
A lot of sound advice in this thread. :thumbup:

I hone hand-held, which seems to give me more control over the process, but at the end of the day, it's probably all a matter of personal preference. In any case, your Coticule has perfect size for hand-held honing. Smythe is right: do keep your fingers below the "mowing field":scared:

Gary is equally right: daily practice is what you need. 5 minutes a day is better than 35 minutes a week. Aim for perfect motions, speed will come naturally over time. Let the ripple of slurry or water in front of the edge guide you for getting the honing stroke right.

For people new to honing, I really recommend tackling the Unicot method first. It is easy to get good results, and it gives you a marker for what to aim for with other methods.

That razor you have, has probably not a decent bevel, meaning that both flats that form the cutting edge are not flat and fully developed at the correct angle.
The first steps of the Unicot method (before the tape is applied) aim at dealing with just that. Whatever you do, the razor must meet that condition, before you can even try to imply real beard shaving sharpness on a cutting bevel.

It might help to use our free honing service, that will give you a razor that shows what you can get off your Coticule, and that razor will be easy to hone next time, because all problems of edge geometry will be dealt with. I don't introduce future work on the hones by making the edge convex on a pasted strop. That makes razors I hone, easy to rehone.

I'm jealous at you for having that beautiful Coticule.:blush:

:)
Bart.
 

justin

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
For people new to honing, I really recommend tackling the Unicot method first. It is easy to get good results, and it gives you a marker for what to aim for with other methods.

Yeah, I'm going to start out with Unicot. At least that way I can get some feed back on the slurry/bevel setting stage. If I'm successful using the Unicot method then that means that the bevel was established correctly.

Bart said:
It might help to use our free honing service, that will give you a razor that shows what you can get off your Coticule, and that razor will be easy to hone next time, because all problems of edge geometry will be dealt with. I don't introduce future work on the hones by making the edge convex on a pasted strop. That makes razors I hone, easy to rehone.

I was thinking the same thing. That would give me a goal to reach.

Bart said:
I'm jealous at you for having that beautiful Coticule.:blush:
I hardly feel I deserve it. :)
 

justin

Well-Known Member
I just gave the Unicot method a go, and I think I got it this time. During the slurry phase I made sure that the whole length of the razor was shaving my arm hair equally well. Then I did a bunch of x-strokes on a fresh, lighter slurry. I wasn't counting but I did a lot more than just 30. Then I went to 50 on just water, with the tape. The whole time I was paying careful attention to how the razor pushed through the water, to make sure that the whole edge made contact with the stone.

I just gave it 60 laps on the strop, and this baby is passing the hanging hair test. B) The HHT may not be the best indicator of shave-readiness, but I wasn't passing before, and I am now, so I take that as a good sign.

This time I honed with the Coticule in my hand, and it worked out great. I find it to be much more ergonomic, and found it to be easier overall. It's the prime position for speed too.

I'll have to shave test it tonight. Grow beard, grow.
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
That is a good sign and i bet you will get a good shave. What i did at one time was i'd hone on dilucot method right untill the end if i was'nt passing hht then i would add one layer of tape and do 30 misty slurry followed by 50 on water this way i was practicing the dilucot method if it failed i could get the keeness with unicot method let us no how the shave goes.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Well all sounds splendid, Go Justin Go!

Now then heres one, what if one (not me no really honest! well...maybe) used the unicot method, and didnt quite get the arm hair down on the total blade length, but carried it through with the tape and water passes etc, when they (ahem!) realised the entire edge wasnt up to scratch, would you think they have to go start again? because once that 2nd bevel is formed it kinda defeats the object of phase one (with no tape) to just tape the blade, knock up a slurry and hone away, finishing on just water surely? otherwise we would just do the whole process with tape on yeah?
Hope this makes sense? I gotta go lay down :confused:
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
tat2Ralfy said:
Well all sounds splendid, Go Justin Go!
Here Here! Sounds like you'll be fine.
tat2Ralfy said:
Now then heres one, what if one (not me no really honest! well...maybe) used the unicot method, and didnt quite get the arm hair down on the total blade length, but carried it through with the tape and water passes etc, when they (ahem!) realised the entire edge wasnt up to scratch, would you think they have to go start again? because once that 2nd bevel is formed it kinda defeats the object of phase one (with no tape) to just tape the blade, knock up a slurry and hone away, finishing on just water surely? otherwise we would just do the whole process with tape on yeah?
Hope this makes sense? I gotta go lay down :confused:
Well... :huh: If that purely hypothetical person would have taped too soon, he has not much choice but to start all over again. Luckily, it's only one layer of tape, and if that hypothetical person would have access to - let 's say - hone n°10 of the Vault, it wouldn't be taking him more than 10-20 half strokes on either side of the blade to undo the secondary bevel left by the tape. Any additional work that needs to be done after that, was neglected during the first attempt.

All purely for the sake of example, of course.:lol:
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Mmm thats what I will tell my err friend (cough)
Thanks Bart, I am just posting elsewhere on this forum
then I will report back after my err I mean his bath and shave;)
 

justin

Well-Known Member
The bevel setting stage is probably the most important part. It's where most of the work gets done. If your bevel isn't shaped correctly, anything you do beyond that is pointless. Once you've got the bevel set it's just a matter of fine tuning.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Foh Sho! I ran out of arm hair :lol: so had to go around my knee and the hair there is very fine, I will see how it shapes up. Err my friend will I mean my friend! haha
 

justin

Well-Known Member
:lol: My arm is starting to look a little funny too, and I figured I'd better start using my leg. I have enough hair on these legs to test a 1000 razors! :lol: Good thing winter is coming up.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Bwhahaha:lol:
ok so the shave was better than I thought it would be, but old #10 needs to grace that blade once again, never ever a chore :thumbup:
in the words of Justin: Grow Beard Grow!!!
 

justin

Well-Known Member
I shaved tested it this morning, and it was much better than before, but I'm not quite there yet.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Reapply the tape, and hone 60 additional laps on plain water.

Carefully dry the razor and probe with the hanging hair test, using a clean hair held at the root side. The razor should pop the hair, at about 10 mm distance from the holding point.
If not, add 60 laps extra. You should be able to get that HHT, before the strop.

Only then, go to the strop. Strop 60 laps (60 is our magic number today:D ) on linen, and 60 on leather. Try the HHT with the same hair, but now the edge should easily sever the hairs at more than 10mm distance. The improvement must be very obvious, otherwise you must start looking to your stropping technique.

Keep going, I'm sure you're almost there.

If you need reassurance about the hone, ask Gary how his "John Clark & Sons" shaved. That one was honed on your n°7.:)

Way to go Justin,
:thumbup:
Bart.
 

justin

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I was going to try doing more laps on water. Sort of like a "touch up".

One thing though, I don't have a linen strop.:( I told my mother that I want a Kanayama for the Holidays, but that's soooo far away.


Bart said:
If you need reassurance about the hone, ask Gary how his "John Clark & Sons" shaved. That one was honed on your n°7.:)

I have faith in the stone. (where's the bowing emoticon?)
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
Yes i must say the john clarkes razor shaved unbalievable of the no 7 i remember you saying you used no 7 hht passed very easily you got a great coticule there.I find i have to more laps than i would normaly to get the edge i want but its worth it.

Just one thing i noticed with mine is that the edge on some razors especialy my TI can be a tad crispy and i no you described that in your write up and its not aproblem as still shaves smooth/crispy withch is differant. But if i wanted to eliminate that crispiness would it be a good ides to say finish on athew laps on my other coticule.Bart what would you do? What i will do is compare soon.

As i say its mainly on my TI Some how i think its the steel. I used on my puma with just water and that edge is so smooth it unreal so i wonder if it just how TI is meant to feel
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
garyhaywood said:
Just one thing i noticed with mine is that the edge on some razors especialy my TI can be a tad crispy and i no you described that in your write up and its not aproblem as still shaves smooth/crispy withch is differant. But if i wanted to eliminate that crispiness would it be a good ides to say finish on athew laps on my other coticule.Bart what would you do? What i will do is compare soon.
That is exactly what I have read in one of the old documents about Coticule honing. Professional sharpeners used to travel around and visit barbershops to hone the razors, scissors and other tools. Other people could bring in their dull razor and it would get sharpened at the next visit of the traveling sharpener. Such services still exist today, but they no longer posses razor sharpening knowledge. According to the source I read, they used to rely on fast Coticules for rapid action, and finish on the finer ones.
Personally I never found any reason to do that in my own practice. Maybe my face isn't all that sensitive. If I assessed Coticule n°3 (not n°7) as a "tad more crispy", I was really only talking about a faint impression. But you can surely replace that impression with finishing the edge on another one.

As a matter of fact, I am currently struggling with n°15 of the Vault. It's my first encounter with "La Grosse Blanche". A layer that was very highly regarded in the heydays of Coticules. It feels completely different than all other Coticules I honed on. Finer at any rate, both in feel and when viewed with magnification. Unicot delivers the smoothest edge ever. But I haven't managed yet to get keen enough Dilucot results. Maybe this one is a finisher only?
I'm only halfway with a proper assessment, only mentioning it because it relates to the current topic.


garyhaywood said:
As i say its mainly on my TI Some how i think its the steel. I used on my puma with just water and that edge is so smooth it unreal so i wonder if it just how TI is meant to feel

When honing TI's I often found it beneficial to add a layer of tape, notably on the Silverwings, that showed micro-chipping at the original honing angle.I believe Thiers Issard designs their razors for sharpening on a pasted strop. By its very nature, a pasted strop convexes the bevel a little, which steepens the angle just the same. I'm not one to attribute much differences to honing with or without tape, but in this case, I have noticed clear improvement in the occurrence of micro-chips, and a smoother edge as result.

Best regards,
Bart.
 
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