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tape the spine and a coticule


New Member
Given the nature of a Coticule and the way garnets are embedded in the claystone
does it make sense to tape the spine.

My intuition is that the spine keeps the larger garnets from surfacing in
ways that dull the edge by cracking and even crushing them. Tape might
moderate this effect.

Has anyone explored this or have an opinion.

My opinion is that tape on the spine of an artificial stone
is a good thing and less of a good thing on a natural.

Spessartine Garnets don't crush, cleave or crack.
By their very nature, tested in science labs, they don't show that kind of physical behavior.

Apart from a slightly different feel, because tape introduces more draw on the hone than a naked spine, I have never found any other effect of tape than the minimally raised bevel angle, which doesn't seem to have any predictable influence on the final edge. On very brittle steel, it can, in some instances, result in a less "chip-prone" edge to have a slightly obtuser bevel angle (created by 2 layers of tape). And the unicot method, relies on the narrow secondary bevel introduced by tape, to be effective. On some wedges, I feel tape is a necessity to bring the bevel angle within a range that holds a stable edge.
But other than that, I highly doubt that any differences could be demonstrated in real life shaving test with taped vs untaped edges. Certainly not on a Coticule, but I don't think on other hones either.

Best regards,
Personally, I like both types of edges (with tape and without) equally well, and I've been able to get great results and long lasting edges both ways. Sometimes, I think we over analyze some of these things:p
There are some specific reasons that I use tape.

If I get a razor that has no wear on the spine, I will always tape it. I always tape the spine when I am working on the DMT 325 or 1200. If I have a spine that is worn down badly, it will sometimes need a piece of tape to get a steaper angle on the edge or to straighten out deformed edges. There are other times when I will be trying to get the edge to the first stage of sharpness and it just doesn't seem to happen. I will add a piece of tape and that will usually be enough to take care of the problem.

With all those things I have just listed though, my personal preference is to use no tape at all, and most of the time I don't. Oh, and if I tape the spine while using the DMT's I will remove the tape when I move to the Coticule.


Question about taping, if you hone with a taped spine, do you need to add a layer of time everytime you strop to shave?
towliff said:
Question about taping, if you hone with a taped spine, do you need to add a layer of time everytime you strop to shave?

Not at all. The natural give in a hanging strop will work nicely with a razor that's been honed with tape. No worries, my friend:)
If I do use tape on the spine, it is only when setting the bevel with a low grit stone.

As soon as the bevel is set, I continue on that stone until it just about cuts through the tape to expose the spine, at that point, I am certain the bevel is flat in line with the spine, then remove the remnants of the tape and continue with the Coticule to finish polishing.
That way I don’t have to worry about the possibility of a double bevel at the polishing stage, and when it’s shave ready, the hone were on the spine is often less than half mm.

Of course, this would be with the Dilucot method.