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Some undocumented options

Bart

Well-Known Member
I think everyone with some experience in Coticule-only honing, would agree with me that the main challenge is how to reach sufficient keenness on the edge. Smoothness, as far as that correlates to being friendly for the skin, is never really an issue with Coticules. But making the edge sharp enough can be frustrating certainly when you haven't fully mastered an effortless and swift honing stroke.

I was contacted a while ago, by one of our members, sir Dell Staton. We exchanged a couple of e-mails talking about Dell's tactic to get the last bit of performance out of his Coticule. (Dell, please, if I explain it wrong, chime on in and feel free to correct me). Dell uses a few very short strokes at the end of his finishing procedure. Very light, and very short strokes, the total distance stroked is about 1/8" (O.5cm). This should cover the length of the edge, so a lateral (very diagonal) motion is applied to the edge.

I have tried it on a fair number of razors, and could not find a direct advantage for my honing results. But I do many extremely light laps (lighter than the actual weight of the blade) while finishing, and perhaps that matches already what Dell achieves with his short strokes. I've tried doing them earlier in my honing sequence, and see where it got the edge, but still have not been able to copy Dell's great results. That, however does not mean that his approach is meaningless. Maybe it works for some of you, hence I'm starting this thread for all of you to try it some time and contribute your experiences.

While we're at it, I have yet another thing that you could try during the finishing stages of honing on a Coticule.
I've only recently discovered this (in all honesty, albeit completely different, it is something that Dell said, that got me thinking about it) When honing, we push the razor over the hone with the edge leading. That is the best way to do it, because edge trailing, a number of complicated principles such as plastic deformation and debris deposit, are at work towards the very edge. As a results the very edge beefs up with "burr-like" material, which is not good for the structural integrity of that edge. That's why we hone "into" the edge, with these forces in a direction away from the edge. But, and here starts my hypothesis, near the end of honing, the very edge becomes so thin and fragile, that honing with the edge leading puts too much stress onto that extremely thin and bendable strip of steel at our very edge. Dell's short lateral strokes try to minimize that effect, and that's why his idea makes sense to me.

My new idea, derived from this theory has been to hone till the edge is as keen as possible, and strop the blade well. So far everything you would normally do. Now, if the blade still lacks that minimal bit of keenness (I'm talking about the difference between "great" and "fantastic") just go back to the Coticule and strop on it. That's right: strop. I don't mean backhoning, although it's the same motion: your mind needs to think "stropping". So far I've tried it a couple of times, and it seems to make a difference in some instances. I'm doing no more than 20 round trips. That might be too much. I'm using water on the Coticule, but you would try it dry also, and against better judgment, even light slurry.

I should do much more experiment before making hard claims. But the problem is that I don't have much need for these options. I really don't want to sound boastful, but it's not as easy as you guys might think to hone a blade less well to find out what the benefits would be of an alternative option. Furthermore, as already made clear there are many possible recipes (dry, water, 10 laps, 20 laps, etc...). And so little time...:(

If any of you feels like trying, here's the thread to post your follow-up.

Thanks,
Bart.

PS. does that answer your question, Ralfy?
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Of course it does thanks Bart ;)

and the rest makes sense too, the edge is thinner than a Rizla and thats very very thin for hardened steel, I will have to give both the stropping and short strokes a go
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
tat2Ralfy said:
the edge is thinner than a Rizla and thats very very thin for hardened steel, I will have to give both the stropping and short strokes a go
You have a way of explaining with half a sentence what takes me three pages. :D
 

justin

Well-Known Member
Now that you bring it up, I've done this before. If I just can't get the edge to where it needs to be (i.e. frustrated, and give up :lol: ) , I'll try doing really quick laps, and for fear of being too hard on the edge, I will start with the edge high, and gradually lower it until it hits the hone. This all happens really quickly, and it is kind of hard to explain, but it's kind of like skipping the edge off the stone. The edge is in contact more than just 1/8 inch, though. Maybe more like an inch.

Justin
 

justin

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
tat2Ralfy said:
the edge is thinner than a Rizla and thats very very thin for hardened steel, I will have to give both the stropping and short strokes a go
You have a way of explaining with half a sentence what takes me three pages. :D

:lol: He has a way of illustrating these things doesn't he! :lol:
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
justin said:
Bart said:
tat2Ralfy said:
the edge is thinner than a Rizla and thats very very thin for hardened steel, I will have to give both the stropping and short strokes a go
You have a way of explaining with half a sentence what takes me three pages. :D

:lol: He has a way of illustrating these things doesn't he! :lol:

Why thank you kind Sirs you should hear me when I am being crude or offensive...lol I would give you an example but the "Bartender" may not be impressed!...hahaha
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
Bart,
What Dell does to the edge in that 1/8" or 0.5mm frame, sounds similar to what some knife sharpeners do as the last stroke or two before handing the knife over. I think he may be inadvertently creating a very minute double bevel and not know it. This would give the edge a perceptive feel of more keenness, but not necessarily more durability.
When knife sharpeners do this, they are able to cut arm hair like crazy. After they use the knife once on something else, the keen edge is not there any more. It is still sharp, but not like before. JMHO!

I tried the stropping gig on my Wostenholm Pipe. The edge on this razor didn't improve at all. I used straight water to try it. I'll give it a try on some others and see what happens, but I too am satisfied with my original edge.

Ray
 

justin

Well-Known Member
justin said:
Now that you bring it up, I've done this before. If I just can't get the edge to where it needs to be (i.e. frustrated, and give up :lol: ) , I'll try doing really quick laps, and for fear of being too hard on the edge, I will start with the edge high, and gradually lower it until it hits the hone. This all happens really quickly, and it is kind of hard to explain, but it's kind of like skipping the edge off the stone. The edge is in contact more than just 1/8 inch, though. Maybe more like an inch.

Justin

I should have posted my findings. I have found that this method... doesn't work at all! :lol: I like nice long, light strokes.

Maybe Dell can elaborate on his technique a bit more?

rayman said:
When knife sharpeners do this, they are able to cut arm hair like crazy. After they use the knife once on something else, the keen edge is not there any more. It is still sharp, but not like before.
That is very shady my friend.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
[/quote]
rayman said:
Bart,
What Dell does to the edge in that 1/8" or 0.5mm frame, sounds similar to what some knife sharpeners do as the last stroke or two before handing the knife over. I think he may be inadvertently creating a very minute double bevel and not know it.
Hmm. He didn't mentioned anything about lifting the spine, so I 'm not sure. I think, if anything, this has more to do with doing lateral strokes (along the edge) than with double bevels.

rayman said:
This would give the edge a perceptive feel of more keenness, but not necessarily more durability.
When knife sharpeners do this, they are able to cut arm hair like crazy. After they use the knife once on something else, the keen edge is not there any more. It is still sharp, but not like before. JMHO!
Actually a double bevel is sturdier than a single bevel. The effect is most likely insignificant, but an obtuser edge angle is always more durable, certainly not less! By the way, the Unicot method applies the secondary bevel principles. Every edge, and I repeat, every edge will loose shaving abilities the minute you start cutting paper or wood or most other materials. There's that Carter guy on Youtube who shaves with a machete after chopping some branches. I bet you a case of Chimay Bleue that he had to resharpen that machete before putting it on his face.

rayman said:
I tried the stropping gig on my Wostenholm Pipe. The edge on this razor didn't improve at all. I used straight water to try it. I'll give it a try on some others and see what happens, but I too am satisfied with my original edge.

Ray
I've had an interesting experience yesterday, stropping on a long BBW. Still need to shave with the razor, but it is popping hanging hairs like no tomorrow. Very puzzling.
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Thank you, Bart! I've yet to understand how some do not believe that a double bevel would be stronger and more resilient than a single bevel. It's only logical, but they may have some cogent arguments that I've not considered.
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
I've done dilucot on a DA so i thought i'd give this ago. Tonight i did standard dilucot method hanging hair test after stropping i was not satisfied with i no some people don't think its nesacerry but i do as it works for me i can tell the differance in the shave by far if i pass real nice hht. The result was same as the last time this time i did extra extra light pases still same sharpness as last atempt. Last time i added paste and the hht test was 10/10.

As i am determined to reach the same level of my hone as i no it can be achieved.

I was going to try stropping on coti but first i thought i would try some extra laps on coticule with just water first. I never done this before so i did 60 more on water and then i stropped 50/50 linen/leather to my amazmant the hht was improved so i did the same process again i actualy did another 180 laps on water in total i reckon 100 would of been enought and the hht was exallant and the shave was exallant my coticule produces a smooth but crispy sounding shave . I have to say this DA gave me one of the closest shaves i could ever wish for what a razor for the money. And this razor does'nt need pasting as water alone sqeezed that little extra. I keep trying this method each week and i learn somthing new each time. It can get worse before it get's better
 

dstaton

New Member
The process as Bart describes is correct. I do not make a second bevel, the razor is flat when finished on the coticle. I have found that when approaching maximum keenness, the apex of the bevel, or the edge, is very fine, pressures from even very light honing are quite high given the fineness of the edge. In order to minimize the negative effects of this on the edge, I apply a few, light short strokes. Edge forward. Moving the razor not directly towards the edge, but lightly drawing somewhat with the bevel, and moving the razor forward at the same time. 1/8th to 1/4 inch travel on the hone. The coticle is used with water only at this time.

Thanks guys, I appreciate all efforts to learn the coticle, and its' flexibility. Great edges, and great shaves.
 

justin

Well-Known Member
After rereading this thread I now realize that I completely misunderstood the concept. See what sleep deprivation does to you? :lol: Lateral would be the keyword.

Thanks for posting Dell.


Justin
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
Ok, I gave it another go with the stropping on the coticule with the pipe. After the leather, it didn't give the best hht I have seen so I did another 75 stropping strokes on the coti and then the leather. This time the test was better. I took the razor to the bathroom and shaved with it. It was close and it was smooth. Nothing I didn't really find unusual from the coti though.
My wife came over and felt my face, and rubbed hers against mine and then made the comment that this was the smoothest and softest she has ever felt my face....ever. I guess that answered my question didn't it?
I am going to give a try at the unicot method and finally find out for myself how it works for me. I have always had this notion that the edge shouldn't be as durable. I have to trust you guys and believe that I am wrong. I will report back a few days or a week from now.
Thanks for this thread, it has really been helpful.

Ray
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
I tryed stropping 20 times on the coti and the hht test was about the same the shave was no better but no worse. I slapped some colone on my face and theres never any sting coticule edge is much kinder to the face for defanat.
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
I tried something last night that seemed to work very well. Would someone else try this and let me know what results they get.
I polished my Pipe, 100 strokes on the coti with water only. Then I put on a piece of tape and did 10 strokes on a Hard Balsa with CROX, 50 on leather and shaved with it. The shave was exceptionally smooth.

Ray
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
What you shaved with a PIPE!!:O hahahaha
seriously I would love to try this, I however only have hanging strops
 

pedalpowersailing

Well-Known Member
Ralfy

Have you not got a small piece of wood that you can glue some balsa on?. I have some Crox you can have

If not do you want me to make you one
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Thank you so very much for your offer.
I work in metal and the only wood I have at present is about a dozen hardwood pen blanks that I make tattoo machine coils washers out of, they are too small at around 19mm square, I could of course glue 4 side by side then mill (told you I do metal.lol) the "Block" flat? I do however have absolutely no hard Balsa or the slightest clue where to get some, Egay maybe? I have some Crox in both powder and "wax Crayon" forms
What do you reckon? I could of course go to Focus and by a sutable piece of hard wood I think?
 

pedalpowersailing

Well-Known Member
you are in meltom right. i am in nottingham

say the word and i will knock you one up, like the ones Rayman sells (gratis)

Perhaps I could presuade \gary to help me deliver it to a pub somewhere?

tim
 
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