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Sticking with the unknown coticule

yohannrjm

Well-Known Member
I've had the coticule below for a long time. It was obtained from Bart a while ago, and he also provided the slurry stone pictured. I've used this coticule a few times, and had some nice results, but the results were inconsistent --- depending on how long it had been since I last used the hone. I did post about this hone before.

[c]------

NOTE: All the experienced guys here will tell you to stick with one hone until you've mastered it. This is good advice. :)

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So, I recently put away all my hones, except this hone and the slurry stone. The plan is to finally 'figure out' this coticule.

Here it is dry:

IMG_3875.png

....and wet:

IMG_3876.png

There's some white swirls on the stone on the upper left corner shown in the wet pic. The last time I used this (very hard) slurry stone, an edge of the slurry stone smashed up some of that white stuff (quartz??) - so I had to lap it. You can see the scratches from the 600 grit DMT plate in the dry pic.

A few things about it:

1) It is very hard (like marble) and very smooth (also like marble). The slurry stone is also very, very hard. They both release slurry very slowly.

2) It is pretty large.

3) Bart had indicated that almost all the work on this hone should be done on slurry, as very little refinement will happen on pure water.

4) I had found that it benefited from some pressure while honing.

I started working on the Heljestrand #134 pictured below. This is a really good razor. With pretty hard metal, and I'd honed it already. It shaved very well. So, I dulled it and started off. I received this NOS, so I hone it with one layer of tape (the razor is pretty rare).

IMG_3874.png

Raising a slurry was pretty hard, but it did build. There was distinct sound of abrasion when honing. I used Gary's technique from the videos (visually, at least). The slurry darkened pretty quickly, but I'm not sure if that was due to the tape abrading or the metal, but the metal did get worn pretty obviously. I did a few dilution steps, and finished off on a very light slurry (X-strokes at the end). It lopped off the tips of arm hair very easily at this point. I didn't use the HHT (kids were in need of some attention).

The shave was pretty bad. It cut hair, but not well, so I finished off with my Sta-Sharp.

IMG_3877.png

This is a Koeller blade, that's taken the best edge ever. It is the edge I compare everything to. It feels blunt on the face (and smooooth), but it just knocks off all the hair. Two passes are all I generally need for a perfectly presentable shave from this razor. I can get extremely sharp edges with other blades, but this one is the most comfortable. It was honed on a coticule, but I can't remember which one I used. :(

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So, back to the Heljestrand.

Built up a slurry again (light), and did some more back and forth strokes, and then progressed to pure water, with some light pressure. Then did 50 slow, deliberate X-strokes on pure water. HHT was an easy 4, sometimes edging into the 5.

Shave this morning was very like the Sta-Sharp - two passes and I got a pretty good shave (I have to do an ATG pass if I want the closest results, but I try to avoid it). This was as good as a shave without ATG gets for me. Smooth for hours. The edge was very comfortable, but still was a little more brisk than the Sta-Sharp.

I want to get that 'blunt' feeling, so I'll see if this blade can be pushed further on this hone. If not, no big deal.

The plan is to hone some more blades on this hone, so I really learn it this time. :) As I said, I've put away all the other hones, to remove temptation.

More updates as things progress.
 

Pithor

Well-Known Member
Wow, that really is a beauty of a stone. It has those awesome looking streaks like the Latneuse hybrids, a true Michaelangelo of nature (it kinda has this marble look to it, so maybe it just is marble ;)).

And that Heljestrand, you really know how to make me jealous. NOS and all, it's to die for. Those Heljestrands (I have two more used MK31's) are top notch as far as I'm concerned, take amazing edges. It's that Swedish steel and craftsmanship, really impressive. I have some Heljestrands, Törnbloms, a Soderén and a Dahlgren. For me, my Heljestrand No 23 and the Törnblom (rattler) set the bar for razors.

More on topic: indeed a good plan, sticking with one hone, you inspired me to focus on my La Verte exclusively. Good luck with the beauty (stone) and the beast (Heljestrand).
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
i like the dull feel of a coti edge , some coti's can give that more butternife feel. its like the razor is dull but shaves. the lesslat on mine gives very ken edges, that maybe don't give so much dull feel, i'll have to try it again.

gary
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
Gary If you find the les latnauses edge very keen drag the edge on your thumbnail one or twice.
That's my father tip. As he was saying is just be tamed the edge.
Best regards
Emmanuel
 

yohannrjm

Well-Known Member
Pithor said:
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Yep, it's a beauty --- and very like the 'hybrid' Les Latneuses side. However, it is a lot more yellow. It also cuts faster than the hybrid Les Latneuses side.....and a lot faster than marble (I imagine). :D

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Yep, I also like Swedish steel. The Heljestrands (I've had most of the models) are all great, but the 133 and 134 are my favourites.

It's hard to stick to just one coticule, but I'm going to give it a good go.

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Further laps on just water on the Mk 134 led to no further discernible refinement in the edge. I think this stone puts a slightly brisk edge (at least on that razor). I'll try a Kron-Punkt next.
 

danjared

Well-Known Member
That stone is such a beautiful one. I wish I had been more experience when I tried it out a long while ago. Maybe I'll have to go to the Ardennes someday and find another like it. :w00t:
 

pinklather

Well-Known Member
Is it a general rule that if refinement just doesn't happen on water - or requires 2-300 strokes, that a light slurry should be kept in play?
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
pinklather said:
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It can often be the case that the bevel simply wasnt refined enough for the stone to finish it with just water, take a dulled edge for example, if we were to simply go to the stone with just water, 2-300 strokes would achieve almost nothing, I have yet to find a Coticule that will produce its best finished edges off a slurry, no matter how light

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

justalex

Well-Known Member
I was wondering something similiar myself.

Do you need mirror finish off a coti? I've been aiming for near mirror or mirror finishes off my coti. I hone until I get a nice shiny bevel all the way to the edge and I - most of the time - get a good HHT and good shave. If its reflecting light at anywhere on teh bevel I go back to a light slurry and take it from there.

I've heard honers shaving off of cloudy or aesthetically scratchy edges before and have had good shaves, is it a big factor in getting a sharp edge? its became one of my most important as I seem to be more consistent this way

regards Alex
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
I never check for a mirror finish myself, and often the bevel still shows signs of light scratches, I rely on the HHT and use a small handheld microscope to check the edge for microchips at 60X mag

Although the bevel will end up polished to a degree as a result of honing, I have never found it to be vital, if we were to take a bevel that wasnt set, and polish the bevel up to perfection, there would be no guarantee the edge would ever shave, we shave off the edge after all and not the bevel

I do know some of the Jnat users often refer to a cloudy bevel, but its not something I use as a marker
Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
I don't think you will get a full mirored bevel of coti. naniwas you will get literaly a mirror edge that you could see your face in. does'nt mean you get a better shave. the cutting line or very edge is what matters. you need a nice thin cutting edge with out any chip , just a nice thin cutting lie all the way from heal to toe, the coti with water will replace the sandblasted efect of garnets, and with naked eye should look shinier, use a 30k loop under a good light.

i've shaved of j nat with slurry and escher. . both cloudy bevels and they shave d perfect. the slurry is a whole differant story with those two stones mentioned, most people say you get a finer edge on water still. some say you should only finish on light slurry, with coti there is no dout you should finish on water
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
They call it sharpening, not polishing. :) Of course they are related to each other, but that does not mean the most polished bevel has the smoothest or even the sharpest edge.
It's easy to understand that a dull bevel, polished to a mirror, still remains a dull bevel. But there is more to understand than just that.
A surface with very narrow but relatively deep grooves will shine like a mirror, because the reflecting light can only escape from the grooves in one perpendicular direction.
Yet, a surface with a wider but shallow, undulating groove pattern can't shine like a mirror because the undulations reflect the light in all directions.

Consider this drawing:
groove-hypothesis.jpg


The left bevel, carrying 6 micron scratches (about 4K), cut by sharp and hard, fast cutting particles, will shine like a mirror. But look at the teeth at the edge.
The left bevel, cut by rounded, more shallow and slow cutting particles of about 15 micron (the Coticule situation), will not shine so much, because of the undulating surface. But it does carry the the smoother edge.

Do note that these drawings are oversimplifications of the real situation. There is more going on during the sharpening process than just abrasion. Burnishing principles (plastic deformation) are just as important near the edge of an object that's been rubbed with fine abrasives. This causes a "smearing" effect along the theoretical teeth of the above drawing, rendering the edge smoother than expected.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

justalex

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the info, It always feels like I'm too scared to leave a scratchy bevel.

If I have a rough shave off the coti I always look at the bevel and most of the time its had scratches near the edge, then I've went back onto light slurry mirrored the edge up a bit and its shaved alot smoother.

I think its just my lack of experience. If I'm finishing, I just frantically halfstroke until I've got rid of nearly all the scratches and then I'm onto 50 light xstrokes and the HHT is at least a 2-3 9/10 times, unless I've not honed enough earlier on.

I guess its down to different strokes for different folks again :rolleyes:

regards Alex
 

pinklather

Well-Known Member
Ralphy & Bart - thank you.

When there's heartburn in the finishing stages, bevel is always a prime suspect. What I keep running into is a wall of keenness approximating an 8k level. Hearing that clear water is always the last step sounds like the norm, but Yohan's early post mentioned input from Bart that it required some slurry to work - that's why the question was posed.

As always, I'm grateful for your kind help.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Sometimes it is helpful to go back a couple of stages, instead of starting right back at the bevel setting stage, then using a very light slurry and diluting through to water again can do the job :)

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Pithor

Well-Known Member
tat2Ralfy said:
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Very true. It can sae a lot of time and trouble half-backtracking, if you will. It's kinda like with polising a blade (restoring), you don't always start with 120 grit sandpaper. 600 grit and up sometimes gets the job done too.
 

yohannrjm

Well-Known Member
pinklather said:
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What Bart had told me was that I should be 'almost there' with the edge before I start using pure water. His point being that this stone would refine the edge very slowly on pure water. :) So, most of the honing should be done on slurry, diluting as you go, of course.

I've tried 'finishing' on very light slurry on this stone, as I find those edges more forgiving sometimes, but that did not work with this hone. It seems to require final finishing on water.
 

yohannrjm

Well-Known Member
I tried it with another razor (a Bulldog - Japanese blade, hollow ground).

This was another razor that had been honed by me, but I had given it to a newbie to try out. Received it back yesterday, and the edge was blunt, and there was a bunch of oxidation on the blade. :(

So, I spent some time polishing up the blade a bit. Then got to work on the edge. I made the assumption that the edge was still pretty close to done, even though it wouldn't cut hair. I used a very light slurry, and back-and-forth strokes until the edge started to respond (pretty quickly, as it happens). Then progressed through to pure water. HHT was pretty mediocre.

I thought about going back to a light slurry (which is what I'd normally do), but decided to try pure water again, instead (as the edge was so close to being done). 50-ish deliberate X-strokes later, the HHT was better, but uneven over the edge (2-4), so I stopped. I'll test it before trying to refine it further.

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This brings up a few things I've been wondering about this hone:

1) For 'hard' work, it may be better to use another (softer) slurry stone, so there's a thicker slurry for coarse work. This one doesn't contribute much slurry, and the hone itself is so hard that slurry building is very slow (very like the hybrid Les Latneuses in that respect).

2) However, for finishing, the hard slurry stone may be best. I think it refreshes the surface of the hone, allowing it more cutting power.

I know there's been some discussion about whether the surface of a coticule needs to be refreshed, and I'd say that with most coticules, the slurry itself abrades the surface of the hone, causing more garnets in the matrix to be exposed, improving the cutting power. In this coticule, with a soft slurry stone, almost all the slurry contribution is from the slurry stone, and the surface of the hone doesn't get refreshed as much, making it very slow on pure water.

I had tested this qualitatively, by drawing lines on the surface with a marker and seeing if they wore out with slurry building. Over a period of several months, and many uses (even kitchen knives), the marks did not noticeably wear down.

I took this to mean that the surface smooths out, and then slows down to a crawl.

Using the hard slurry stone in this thread, I physically abrade the surface of the hone, speeding it up a bit on pure water.

I've certainly not seen as much cutting power from this hone on pure water, before I started using this slurry stone for slurry buildup.

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This is pure speculation, of course. I may be way off base here. I hope some of you more experienced guys can chime in. :)
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
Hi Yohan.I said many times that you can reach an excellent edge by every coticule but the coticules are different even thought coming of the same strata. The post pictures show a coticule and a slurry stone given by a friend as gift. The coticule identified by Bart as Les Latneuses on slate.
The slurry stone i haven't idea from which layer has extracted . On this pair is almost impossible to produse slurry. Both are extremely hard. Looking the hone surface seems under a specific angle
a reflection indicating the hardness and the dullness of the hone garnets. I am the first speaking for the hone refreshing due to these situations. Using a hone with a reflecting surface on clear water the cutting capacity is not more than 15%.
Best regards
Emmanuel




 
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