Tackling an eBay Special

Paul

Well-Known Member
Ok, just for grins, I've gotten an eBay special with a bit of a weird edge. From the toe to the middle, the edge has a slight smile (ideal IMO), but from the middle to the heel, it has a touch of a frown. :blink:

So, I'm try to decide if I want to try to tackle the whole honing job with number 23 from the vault (I've determined that I want to learn the limitations and capabilities of this stone to the fullest). However, I've not seen much discussion of this type of honing on coticules. Would it be an exercise in futility, or a valuable experience where I can become intimately familiar with my little stone?

I could take pictures, but just take my word for it:p

Seriously, it's not overly pronounced. In fact, I'm not confident that a camera would pic up on it very well.

Thanks gang
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
I remember doing an article on another forum where I tackled an edge similar to what you have now. A "wavy" edge.
Depending on how bad it is you may want to “cough”… bread-knife the edge on another stone first, then use the Coticule to set the bevel before refining the edge.

You know we’re all beggars here... “Sir can you spare a… picture?
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
I'll try to post a pic that shows it tomorrow. I'm not too keen on the idea of breadknifing the razor, but I don't know if I can fix it any other way to be honest... advice is welcome :)

Also, could I breadknife it on some other type of medium? If I tackle the reset of this bevel on the coticule, I want the satisfaction of saying it was the "only stone" in the process...
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
Well... let's see that edge first.
If you flip the blade upside down can look down the edge and get an idea of how "wavy the edge is as in the pic below.
Note: forget trying to photo the edge like that... to much trouble with the focusing.
SightingDownTheEdge.jpg
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Coticules are perfect for correction of convex or slightly damaged bevels, but as soon as you have obvious issues that need to be solved, such as chips occupying over half of the bevel width, or notieable frowing, etc, it's really out of reach of a Coticule. I recommend to use a hone in the 600 grit range to do that kind of work. (prefer the DMTs myself) After that, your Coticule is full capable to take it from there.

You must not be afraid of "breadknifing". Imagine that you would scribe a line with the new edge curve on your razor. All steel at the "wrong" side of that imaginary line needs to go. There's no escape. You can either hone till the steel is gone, but it's very likely that you removed some steel at the other side of the line as well (at the "bottom" of the frown). Steel that didn't need to be sacrificed. Breadknifing the new shape, you have a much preciser control over the process, and you won't remove more steel than necessary. Basically the entire process is split in 2 part. First you recreate the correct curve. Than cut the bevel. (That's what every sensible craftman would do.)
Never breadknife on a Coticule. You don't want a groove in your precious hone. Use a Diamond whetstone or sandpaper. Once the new shape is present (a bit of a rocking motion add to the beadknifing stroke, will give you a nicely smiling curve). You need to rebuild part of the bevel that was lost. I use a DMT 325 and a 600 for that task. (and a layer of tape to protect the spine from all that violence). When I'm shaving arm hair off the 600, I do one downstroke on the 600 (to remove microchips and to dull the edge). Than I remove the tape and complete the bevel on a Coticule with slurry. The rest of the story is known teritory.

Best regards,
Bart.
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
I use a DMT 325 and a 600 for that task. (and a layer of tape to protect the spine from all that violence). When I'm shaving arm hair off the 600, I do one downstroke on the 600 (to remove microchips and to dull the edge). Than I remove the tape and complete the bevel on a Coticule with slurry. The rest of the story is known teritory.

Best regards,
Bart.
Strangely enough, I use almost the exact same method. I use the DMT 325 and then go to a DMT 1200. One thing I do when using the DMT is put one drop of dishwashing soap on it and work it into the water. I think this breaks the surface tension and gives me much better feedback when using.

This method has saved me a whole lot of time when working out a chip or frown or re-contouring of an edge.

Enjoy!

Ray
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
raymanOne thing I do when using the DMT is put one drop of dishwashing soap on it and work it into the water. I think this breaks the surface tension and gives me much better feedback when using.[/quote said:
+1 Ray. I do the same.

Bart.
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Ok, I'm convince that I need to break out my Shaptons to get this done. Smythe, my razor is a touch worse than that one, so I'm just going to breadknife it and go to town:p

Since this is my thread, I don't think I'll mind a couple of unrelated questions "derailing" the thread :D

1) I'm unimpressed with the cutting speed of both my Shapton 220 & 500. Do any of you guys have any experience with those stones to compare the DMT performance with?

2) Ray, are you honing most of your customers' stones on your coticule? How are you finding the time spent on the stones to compare with your other systems?

Thanks guys.

Oh, and Bart, breadknifing on the coticule never even crossed my mind ;)
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
richmondesi said:
Ok, I'm convince that I need to break out my Shaptons to get this done. Smythe, my razor is a touch worse than that one, so I'm just going to breadknife it and go to town:p

Since this is my thread, I don't think I'll mind a couple of unrelated questions "derailing" the thread :D

1) I'm unimpressed with the cutting speed of both my Shapton 220 & 500. Do any of you guys have any experience with those stones to compare the DMT performance with?

2) Ray, are you honing most of your customers' stones on your coticule? How are you finding the time spent on the stones to compare with your other systems?

Thanks guys.

Oh, and Bart, breadknifing on the coticule never even crossed my mind ;)

Paul,

Let's start with 2 first. Yes I am honing most of my customers razors on the coticule now. If there is any kind of extreme bevel work or chip removal or what have you, I go directly to the DMT's without hesitation. As Bart said, the coticule does have its limitations at times, and that is one of them.

The speed at which the coticule hones as compared to other systems is actually pretty close. I think the speed at which I personally hone is regulated totally by experience. I have honed nearly 300 different makes of razors this past year and each one had its own challenges. I am able to pull, out of that experience, most any method I need to get the job done. Sometimes I have to pull something out of my ass and just hope it works too. So if you were to hone the same razor, or same group of razors, over and over and over, then you would get really good at honing those razors. You would also build some great muscle memory to handle that type as well. But the fun comes when someone sends you say a frameback with its reverse cantered blade and a warp in it as well. Or a Woostenholm with the curved spine and a frowning blade with half the spine worn away. And god forbid receiving an e-bay special. So I guess you can't really be concerned with the time it takes to do these, at least the first or second encounter, but after that, it should be just routine.

So, how long does it take me to hone a blade... anywhere from 20 to 40 min. depending on the condition of the blade, when I get it.

Question 1:

I have both the DMT's and the Shapton 500. You really can't compare them. Expect the DMT to be more agressive than the shapton's. Shapton is more agressive than the Naniwa and the Norton.

There is one other suggestion I would like to make too. If you have more than 1 coticule, pick one out and pack the others in a box with a $20 bill and send it to a friend, at least 500 miles away. Ask them to open it is 6 or 8 months and send one of them back to you.

Having more than one coti on hand will make your learning process much harder. At times you will convince yourself that the other stone might be better and switch. If you do this, you will never get to know any one stone well enough to get it to work the way you want. I have honed nearly 40 different razors on my No.2 and every time I use it I am learning something new about it. It is a wonderful stone and produces some incredible edges for me.

Enjoy!

Ray
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Thanks, Ray.

I was thinking the same things about time. Obviously, I don't hone as many as you, but on a "normal" razor (i.e., no chips, frowns, etc.) I've noticed that the amount of time on my coticule isn't appreciable longer than on my Shaptons, but it's appreciably more fun:p ... Also, I am getting an edge that's every bit as good as when I finish on my Shapton 30K and my Japanese natural stone. It is equivalent to the Japanese natural and better than the Shapton in terms of comfort but all three types of edges are as sharp as each other (no appreciable difference in sharpness)...

I wish I had another Coticule just because the one I have is a touch small. But, I understand your point about getting to know the one I have intimately. That's why I was wondering if it was possible to tackle this project without using other stones. I suspected that it wouldn't work out well, but I was "reaching" so to speak.

I'm enjoying my Coticule very much.

One more question, are you finishing your edges off on pastes for the customers? I don't care for the feeling of an edge on pastes, and this has been terrificly smooth when I'm done... Just curious what kind of feedback you're getting from your customers.

Thanks for the knowledge, guys!
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
Paul,
I do use my hard balsa strop between the final finish on the coticule and the leather strop. I add 1 piece of tape, no matter how many are already on the spine, and do 4 to 6 very light laps. Since the crox I have on my balsa strop is so pure, it is rated at 60,000k. With only doing 4 to 6 laps it isn't enough to make another bevel on the edge. It does seem to help though. I need to try doing the same thing with my coticule and see what the results are.

Bart tried to explain about 2 issues that you will never have control of. one is the shavers face and beard and the other is the steel. What seems perfect for you might be lousy for me and visa versa. There was one member I did several blades for and he liked the edges, except for one. These were finished on the Shaptons. He then sent that on razor to Bart, and when he got it back, he didn't really care for that edge either. So you do the best you can and hope they like it.

Here is some recent feedback from the coticule honings I have done:

“Ray:

Awesome job on the Pumas. I had one of the best shaves of my life this morning. I have never had a razor that sharp. Bravo. I’ll be sending along four or five more after the holidays.

Bob

“ Ray
Got the Frameback back and very nice really like the evenness of your bevels very sharp and smooth shaved with it yesterday.

Matt ”

“ Ray,

Shaved with it this morning and, you're right, the weight & feel of the razor is amazing. I really appreciate you taking the time to do the work. I know where my razors will be going in the future. Thank you again & have a great holiday!!!

Jeff


Enjoy!

Ray
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
Gerrr! wanted to save this for an article I am working on... but you guys make me tip my hand.

OK If you bread-knife in the conventional way as seen below, you will make grooves in almost any stone (except maybe a diamond hone)
DontDoThis.jpg

However if you hold the blade as if sharpening a knife, raise the spine to about to about a 45 degree angle off the hone, and with a little pressure, gently move the edge across the length of the hone (edge leading) you will remove the "high spots" of the edge to get it straight as seen in the photos below.
BreadKnife_II.jpg
BreadKnife_I.jpg

This will accomplish two things. 1) With a 45 degree "bevel angle" you will remove much of the unwanted steel that would have to be removed at the bevel setting stage if you had a "flat" edge. 2) you won't put grooves in your stone (though I also DO NOT recommend you BK with a Coticule).

Also, you will notice there is another 45 Degree angle in the photos, that is: the blade is with a "heel leading" stroke so the entire edge will fit on the surface of the hone (think in 3D).

A;so, you don't have to do it exactly as seen in the photos. As you would imagine it is difficult to do this with the stone on the table like that, It's only for illustration.
you could hold the stone in your hand or place the stone in a holder... just so long as it comfortable.
You could also do the "X" stroke instead on up and down the length of the stone... anything so long as it gets the job done.

Hope this helps.
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
:thumbup:

Nice. I thought about doing that, but I went ahead and BKed it like the first pictures... & I'm going to work on getting that blasted bevel started again... Not looking forward to it...
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
Well you may still give the bevel a "head start" by sharpening it like a knife at a 45 degree angle to remove some of the steel that you would have to remove while setting the bevel... at the very least it will save you some spine.
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
I just have to remember that the last razor I breaknifed turned out to be a great shaver. It was an INOX Puma (6/8) that had a big chip in it... It's now one of my favorite razors, so I know the reward can be worth the effort. I'm hoping for similar results :)
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Smythe, my friend,

I'm going to insist on that article, mate. Now more than ever, after you granted us that little sneak preview.

:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
Excellent information. And some tricks I will certainly try.

Thanks,
Bart.
 
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