Success in a modify unicot

chti_lolo

Well-Known Member
As I received my slurry stone on Friday:) , I couldn't help trying the coticule side of my new hone.
The coticule side was quite plane and I rounded a little bit the edge with the slurry stone.
Then, between friday and saturday, I have an intensive session of honing exercices (maybe 4 or 5 hours, I didn't see the time passing). I came to a point where I did my first unicot but at the end, I have got only a HHT1. After a good stropping the violin was louder but I couldn't improve the HHT anymore.
After some search in the Coticule Tavern, I found this tip from Bart for newbie like me.
Bart said:
Take the same razor without tape. Raise milk-like slurry on the Coticule and take it through the same dilution phase as day #5. No pre-dulling this time, just add a few drops of water per 10 strokes, till the slurry is almost completely washed down. After that, apply two layers of tape to the spine. 20 laps on what was left of the slurry. Clean the hone and the razor. 50 laps on clear water. Try if you can sever a thick clean hair at about 15mm of the holding point. If you can (you should!), only then strop the razor 50 on linen and 50 on leather. If you can't sever the hair coming right off the hone, do 50 more laps on water, before trying again.
I tried that and got something between HHT-2 and HHT-3 out of the coticule. After stropping, it was a solid HHT 3 on the whole edge. I shave this morning and get one of my best shave with a straight razor (it was a bit harsh in the area near the point of the blade).

So thanks to everyone who gave me wise advices for the hone and the razor (the 6/8 blade was very easy to use on the stone even if the scale of this old razor was not tight and much more easy to use on the strop than my 5/8 Dovo).

Now, how can I do a real unicot. I think I missed something in the secondary bevel formation. Maybe when I begin the stage with the tape, the slurry was not enough or too much diluted? maybe my X stokes on water were not light enough?
Should I use lather on the hone at the last stage?


Regards

Laurent


PS: On Saturday evening, my daughter noticed that I have a blister on my index finger:D
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Well done laurent :thumbup:

maybe you should have done more laps on water? and dont be afraid to use the weight of the blade on the stone, I never ever get good results if I try light strokes on water, I even do half strokes before I go on to regular strokes on water.

If I understand correctly what you have done by following Barts instruction is a Dilucot, then turned that into Unicot but with 2 layers of tape instead of 1, this will have formed a very small secondary bevel, and a bevel that small is a lot easier to refine.

So I would start again with a Unicot, right from dulling on glass, and when you add 1 layer of tape, do 30 light strokes on thin slurry, then rinse everything off, do 2 lots of 30 half strokes on water only, then say 60 X strokes again just on water, HHT, if you only have a violin, then go back to the stone with water and do another 60 X strokes, HHT again, you should see an improvement.

I wouldnt bother with lather etc, until you can get a HHT 3 or 4 off the stone.

Hope this helps buddy, and keep up the good work

Best wishes
Ralfson (Dr)
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Laurent, it sounds like your doing really well!
The pro's will jump in with some good direction for you, I'm sure.
Just keep working at it, it gets better and better.
FWIW, I think it's tough to make your slurry too light, or to use too light strokes at the final stage. When I'm going back to try again, I've used a single swipe of the stone to generate slurry. I don't think it takes very much at that stage.

It's a very rewarding process, if only because it's rather difficult to do, when you do achieve a nice edge the satisfaction if terrific.

Cheers,
-Chris
 

chti_lolo

Well-Known Member
Thanks Ralfy and Chris,

tat2Ralfy said:
So I would start again with a Unicot, right from dulling on glass, and when you add 1 layer of tape, do 30 light strokes on thin slurry, then rinse everything off, do 2 lots of 30 half strokes on water only, then say 60 X strokes again just on water, HHT, if you only have a violin, then go back to the stone with water and do another 60 X strokes, HHT again, you should see an improvement.

I wouldnt bother with lather etc, until you can get a HHT 3 or 4 off the stone.
wdwrx said:
When I'm going back to try again, I've used a single swipe of the stone to generate slurry. I don't think it takes very much at that stage.
So from the taped stage, I have to make a thin slurry with a single wipe of the slurry stone then 30 X strokes. Then on water only, 2 lots of 30 half strokes and then 60 X strokes.

What surprized me was I could not improve a lot HHT with stropping, is it because the secondary bevel is very thin?
Is it possible to reach HHT-4 with more X-strokes on water only? I have never experienced a HHT-4 edge. My other razor which I bought professionay honed is HHT-3 but it shaves well.

I think I will enjoy this new edge for a couple of days to know if it lasts then will try a new unicot.

Laurent
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
chti_lolo said:
So from the taped stage, I have to make a thin slurry with a single wipe of the slurry stone then 30 X strokes. Then on water only, 2 lots of 30 half strokes and then 60 X strokes.
When you add the Tape, make a very thin slurry with 1 or 2 rubs of the slurry stone, do your 30 half strokes, then rinse off and go on to water.

chti_lolo said:
What surprized me was I could not improve a lot HHT with stropping, is it because the secondary bevel is very thin?
No, its because the edge wasn't within reach of the stropping, you will only really improve an already good edge with a clean strop.

chti_lolo said:
Is it possible to reach HHT-4 with more X-strokes on water only? I have never experienced a HHT-4 edge. My other razor which I bought professionally honed is HHT-3 but it shaves well.
yes it is, its not a "must have" situation though, as long as the edge will catch and pop hair along its entire length, then a proper stropping should result in a nice shave, a 4 off the stone is as good as it gets IMHO, HHT 3 is what I aim for every time off the hone, and I do not move onto the strop until I reach it, from there I know that after stropping I will have a nice HHT4.

If you take advantage of the free honing service, you will experience a HHT 4 edge, and believe me Laurent, a coticule edge gets smoother as it gets sharper :thumbup:

Hope this helps and makes sense?
Please let me know how you get on?

Best regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

chti_lolo

Well-Known Member
Very interesting:thumbup: . I didn't dare make half strokes on thin slurry or water only thinking that at this stage a very light touch was required.

As soon as I will receive a new razor I bought on purpose, I will try this recipe.

For the moment, I think I will do some more X stroke on water with two layers of tape, to see if I can increase HHT out of the hone. Maybe I could reach the HHT 4 ;)

Regards

Laurent
 

chti_lolo

Well-Known Member
What I did yesterday was making more X strokes with 2 layers of tape, but it seemed like the edge was going away from HHT 3 to HHT 2-1. So I did 30 half strokes on a thin slurry (2 rubs) then about 90 X strokes on water only.
There were parts of the edge near the point where it looked like the edge was HHT-5 on others HHT-3 or HHT-2.
As I wanted to shave with this razor I did 7 laps on a balsa bench hone covered with a thin layer of CrO (grated CrO crayon diluted in alcohol). The result was a more solid HHT-3 and my shave this morning was also very good.
What should I have done, if I wanted to use only my coticule?


By the way, what is a real HHT-5:confused: : something like a sharp DE blade ?
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
If you're going to rely on tape and the advantages of Unicot, you should not use halfstrokes in the taped stage (and no pressure either). Otherwise, you're just resetting your initial bevel to a new bevel at "taped" angle, and you'll end up doing some kind of taped Dilucot. In which case you could have just as easily honed with no tape at all.

I am not against experimentation, quite the contrary, but I think you should reserve it for when you can confidently get good shaves with the basic methods as laid out. They have been heavily researched, and there is no doubt whatsoever that they will work for you without the need of anything else. If you can make the edge pop hairs off the stone, it only needs efficient stropping on linen and leather to be perfect. There is difference between various hair sources, and the idea is to correlate your hair source to your results. After some time, you'll know how your hairs should pass, to know that you're done.

If you're doing Unicot, there's always the possibility to add a second layer of tape and try once more, should the first attempt with tape has somehow failed. If that doesn't work too, I recommend starting all over.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

chti_lolo

Well-Known Member
Bart,

The shave out this unicot with 2 layers of tape was good but as I wanted to improve the edge, after reading Ralfy answer I was thinking that my X-strokes on thin slurry was too light so I try the half stroke tip.
Next time I will try a standard unicot from scratch. How much rubs with the slurry stones is required with a La Veinette at the taped stage? and if I can't get good HHT afer X-strokes on water only, do I have to make more X-stroke or have I to start again from the beginning?

Thanks

Laurent
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
chti_lolo said:
Bart,

The shave out this unicot with 2 layers of tape was good but as I wanted to improve the edge, after reading Ralfy answer I was thinking that my X-strokes on thin slurry was too light so I try the half stroke tip.
Next time I will try a standard unicot from scratch. How much rubs with the slurry stones is required with a La Veinette at the taped stage? and if I can't get good HHT afer X-strokes on water only, do I have to make more X-stroke or have I to start again from the beginning?

Thanks

Laurent
How many rubs? Tough question, because it depends on the size of your slurry stone and how you're using it. A couple of strokes will do: aim for a "misty" slurry, as Gary calls it. It should look like water with a small cloud of milk. It's not that critical.

Unicot creates a very narrow secondary bevel and calls for the lightest of laps.
Dilucot, on the other hand, works on the full width bevel and calls for some pressure.

If you follow Unicot closely, you should get a good edge no problem. If it fails at the first attempt, add a second layer of tape and try again. If it still fails, start over from the beginning.
The most important points to watch are these:
1. turn the razor over the spine, never over the edge.
2. keep the spine in contact with the hone at all times.
3. don't add tape before you're absolutely sure that the bevel is ready.
4. don't add tape before first making 30 X-strokes on a thinned slurry.
Stick with these guidelines and Unicot should work just fine.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

chti_lolo

Well-Known Member
I have not succeeded in my first unicot (only HHT-1 out of the hone) but the 2 layers tip worked well.
But yesterday, I tried to improve (for me best is often good enemy) my results with some kind of improvisation and some cheat (Chromox).
Next time sure I will did it (or the time after:blush: )
If it was so easy, it would not be interesting!

Thanks again

Laurent:sleep:
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
chti_lolo said:
The shave out this unicot with 2 layers of tape was good but as I wanted to improve the edge, after reading Ralfy answer I was thinking that my X-strokes on thin slurry was too light so I try the half stroke tip.
As said from me on this one, I am sorry if I gave that idea, the secondary bevel should kept as small as can be for the method to work well.

If you start over (please do) and follow the instruction exactly, a good edge should easily happen.

Good luck and keep up the good work

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 
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