Unicot...

Andreas63

Well-Known Member
I tried a complete Unicot again(my second one) this evening and I almost hit the target...almost:blush: much better than the first try anyway...

The blade is shave ready for only 40-50%, which means that is not shave ready :thumbdown:

My question: where do I start again in the Unicot method? Do I have to restart from zero or is there some kind of "shortcut"?

Best regards,

Andreas
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Provided that the razor was "predulled" on glass and does shave arm hair now along the entire edge, you can apply a second layer of tape, and have a whole new shot at a good edge. In short: apply 2 layers of tape, 20 light strokes on very thin slurry (the thinner the better), next 50 strokes on water only. If your honing stroke is any good and if the bevel was ready, the razor should easily pop a clean hair at 10-15 mm from the holding point. If that checks out, you can proceed with the first stropping session: 60 linen and 60 leather.
If it doesn't check out, it's best to start over from the beginning.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Andreas63

Well-Known Member
Thank you Bart :)

I tried both methods, the Heljestrand became sharper but not shave ready...I tried with the Naniwa too:w00t: just in case...even worser!

Then I saw that the razor's spine was almost gone: it surely had been grinded down by the previous owners...I did not know how I could miss that! I've been sharpening a lot of razors before...too eager to start with coticules:D

So now I've to found a new "candidate" to a new Unicot try.
The positive thing here is that I've learned to "understand" the slurry of this coti a little bit better.
 

Andreas63

Well-Known Member
…making progress! :lol:

Yesterday I only touched a slightly dull razor, a full hollow 6/8 blade, with 50 laps with only water. Lightly and nicely…the razor had been honed with Naniwa Superstones previously.
After the 50 laps I stropped it on canvas and then on leather. HHT-3 :lol:

I shaved with it this morning and the shaving was perfect :thumbup: . No cuts, burns…only perfect. Then I realized that I had forgotten the CrOx stropping :scared: ! Another thing: this is the first time that I can shave without waiting for more than 72-96 hours! I waited less than 48 hours…

This is the second time (the first was when I got Bart’s razor), that I can shave without Cr0x stropping…and it’s not placebo: I realized that I had forgotten the CrOx stropping only now…
3,5 hours after shaving!

My question: is CrOx stropping really needed after the coticule with water?
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Congratulations:thumbup: It sounds like you're doing very well.
Andreas63 said:
My question: is CrOx stropping really needed after the coticule with water?
I'm going to paste a reply I typed last week at Badger&Blade (another shaving forum). It's a response to a fellow who uses CrO to get his razor keen and wonders if he can do the same with just the Coticule. You've answered that question already.:) But here's the elaborate version:

my_post_on_Badger_and_Blade said:
Firstly: nothing wrong with pasted strops. There are many options, CrO being one that works the best for the widest variety of beards. There's nothing detrimental about it. It just slowly turns the bevel in an arc shaped one. When the arc becomes too round, the pasted strop is no longer able to "revive" the edge with a simple touch-up. That is why you have the Coticule. (or other hones) It might be 6 months of shaving before it happens, but eventually you'll find yourself working on the hone to make the bevel flat again. After that, you can get by with doing regular touch-ups on the pasted strop again. Nothing wrong with it, and in experienced hands, such a setup delivers edges that are hard to beat.

But yes, you can learn to acquire the same without CrO, and you will likely find that you'll need a less frequent touch-up regime, as the edges of a hone have better longevity. (at least, on my beard they do).

I often refer to something I call the "Coticule keenness gap" between the keenness that can be attained from use with slurry and the keenness required to really unleash the magic of these hones when used with only water.
From what I read in your post, your results off the Coticule end up near the border of that gap, at the point were you must search and find that leap of extra keenness.
Right now, you make that leap with the pasted strop. If it's a flat balsa strop, you can still finish on the Coticule with water, and find out which of both finishes you prefer.
You can also make the leap by applying a layer of tape and take advantage of the keenness boost that a rapidly forming secondary bevel offers. The optimized Coticule procedure for that is called Unicot. You can also use a high grit synthetic hone to make the progress, and again, compare that one's finish with what your Coticule provides with just water on top. Thirdly you can practice to master the Dilution strategy, which tries to sneak over a proverbial small rope that bridges the gap, by slowly and precisely diluting the slurry to plain water, one or two drops per 10 or 20 strokes, and some extra drops when needed to keep the slurry from going backwards. If the Zen-like challenge of that approach annoys you, you might be better off with one of the other strategies.
There are a number of other excellent hones mentioned. I've only once tried an Escher. I have a Nakayma that delivers good edges. I have a Chosera 10K that delivers good edges. I have used CrO in the fashion you describe for over a year on most of the razors I honed (and found those the best edges I could get at that time). I have systematically tested over 50 Coticules, honing and test shaving a minimum of 3 razors on each one, and much more on several of them. There has been not one Coticule that was not capable of matching the keenness I can get off each of the aforementioned hones. Edges that you could have stropped with CrO without finding any further improvement.
I have never advocated that the edges of Coticules are supposed to be better than those of other finishing hones. (It's all preference) Nor do I claim that it is the easiest hone out there, though I don't think that your excellent CotiCrox edges are that hard to reach.

There are no real tips, other than that there's no substitute for practice and experience.
Best regards,
Bart.
 

Andreas63

Well-Known Member
Thank you again Bart :)

Very interesting post you wrote on Badger and Blade: so no more CrOx after coticule with water:thumbup:
 
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