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Variation on Dilucot, mostly circles

pinklather

Well-Known Member
'Had a discussion w/ an experienced coti user who suggested an alternate routine. It was the first decent finish I've gotten off my LPB. 'Tried 6 razors with this method and it gives decent results - at least as reliable as my existing attempts at dilucot.

Bevel Setting 1K.

40 circles each direction with pressure using heavy slurry followed by 10-15 X strokes with pressure.

40 circles each direction with pressure using medium slurry.

40 circles each direction with no pressure using medium slurry followed by 5-10 X strokes no pressure.

10 X strokes no pressure with light slurry.

10 X strokes no pressure with water only.

Strop and test or use a paste, strop and test.

You can fine tune from the last set of X strokes as you need to.

You can also try this on any of the naturals. When the edge hits, it hits and this is usually most of the time.
 

chti_lolo

Well-Known Member
Thanks for sharing, my LPB is not tamed till now

How much pressure do you use ? (250 g or less)?

Heavy slurry means coffee cream , medium means milky, light misty?

Do you perform exactly 40 circles or do you wait untill the behaviour changes and it is like honing on glass?

Best regards

Laurent
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Laurent,

I'd recommend starting with skim milk slurry, and dilute when you feel the stone telling you it's time. Whether it be 10 or 40 strokes, you'll know. Very nuanced, right :rolleyes: :lol:

Seriously, it will start to feel like there's nothing more to do, then dilute again, and repeat. Now, if you do the Unicot, the numbers work out much more like the article. Dilucot still isn't easy for me by numbers, but I have a very high success rate going by feel.

Cheers,

Paul
 

pinklather

Well-Known Member
Hi Laurent,

Heavy means coffee cream here, and pressure on a full hollow means just the beginnings of blade flex. I'm sorry to not have a more objective unit of measure like lbs/Kgs.

I hope to develop the 'feel' Paul speaks of. So far it remains in my future.

I've been very pleased w/ getting an HHT 2-3 from the coti, then about 10 strokes on the Nani12k, then 40 circles, 25 x-strokes on the Asagi.

On the circle count, I do 20 clockwise, 20 counter clockwise each side. If I feel any roughness on any part of the edges, I will add circles that focus on that particular spot.

So far, this method has given the best result from my LPB, but I would not describe myself as particularly skilled w/ the Coti yet. Paul seems to have the (at least his) LPB well dialed in. I would consider his input as more credible.
 

chti_lolo

Well-Known Member
I think I know when it's time to add water: it's just the moment when you feel like honing on glass.
But what to aim at the end of slurry stage HHT-1?

On plain water it's more difficult to get some feedback, if only 10 X-strokes or so is sufficient, it's a good information (my LPB is quite quick on water, half X strokes darken the water).


Thanks

Laurent
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
I personally don't rely on any mysterious markers to add water. I just aim to gradually wash down the slurry while honing, mostly done in about 7-10 dilution steps, that each take one set of halfstrokes on each side of the blade. The idea is that the slurry gradually becomes thinner, never thicker (through evaporation and extra slurry generation from the strokes itself). There is no magical point to add the next drop. I think it's actually counterproductive to approach Dilucot that way. Just relaxed honing, adding the water without too much thought, seems to work best for me.
If the edge reaches the violiin state near the end of the dilution stage, the rest is done during the finishing part on water.

That's how I do it.

Bart.
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure if you were disagreeing with me or not, Bart, but I agree with what you said. I just hone without a lot of thought. Whatever the numbers work out to is what they work out to, but I just go by feel
 

chti_lolo

Well-Known Member
No disagreement here too. I have just noticed doing series of half strokes while diluting that, when the edge begins to undercut the slurry, the feeling of the La Petite Blanche is different.
But on water only, there is no more such feedback and as it is faster, it may requires in the finishing stage a different strategy : rinsing the hone frequently, or doing less but more precise X-strokes...

Best regards

Laurent
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
I'm not necessarily disagreeing with anyone. Many ways leading to Rome, as they say. If someone wants to bury a black cat in between honing strokes, you might get in trouble with the
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, but not with me. :rolleyes:

But I do admit that often with somehoning recipes, the logic escapes me. Not that I have anything against honing recipes. I believe that they can be very helpful, certainly for the first learning steps in a new skill.

The method suggested here, starts with a perfect bevel off a 1K hone. I realize that many think something like this: "1K is 8times less than 8K, hence it must be 8 times duller. If 8K is barely sufficient to shave, than 1K must be horrendous". Right?...
Wrong.
Obviously it depends on the particular 1000 grit stone that was used, but if the bevel setting was ended with light pressured X-stroke, such an edge can be stropped on leather and shave. It won't be the smoothest shave ever, but the result is less worse than generally anticipated. All that fancy finishing on higher grit hones or special types of rock, it makes not the big leap in performance, albeit anyone will clearly appreciate the extra comfort from a better finished edge.
If you put such a 1K edge on a Coticule, whatever work you do, will serve you some of the extra comfort within reach of the Coticule, as long as you don't use thick slurry. Thick slurry makes a 1K synthetic edge less keen than it already was. Anyone can who owns both a 1K and a Coticule can do the test at home.

If I wanted to improve a 1K edge by using a Coticule, I would only use water, and in some cases a very thin, watery slurry, created by 2 or 3 swipes of the slurry stone.

But I don't use a 1K hone for bevel correction.
There was this odd situation a couple of years ago. On European based shaving forums, most razor sharpening talk was about the use of pastes. The traditional way was to get the razor keen and smooth with a pasted strop. The edge was maintained every couple of shaves on the same pasted strop. Once a year or so, if the arc in the bevel became too pronounced for the pasted touch-ups, the bevel had to be straightened out. That was the traditional task for a Coticule. I know several man who've been shaving for decades with a straight razor. All they ever use Dovo red paste, and very rarely when that no longer works, a Coticule.

On the other hand, on the US-based forums, Coticules were solely used as a "finishing" hone. Water only, to improve the comfort from the edge as left by the indigenous Norton 8K.

So we had one continent using Coticules for finishing and the other using it for bevel work. All I ever did, was to combine these 2 uses. I found it easier said than done. The problem is that the Coticule only works fast enough for bevel work, if used with slurry, which puts a limit on the maximum keenness that can be reached. This leaves the edge not yet keen enough for finishing. The Unicot and Dilucot recipes only serve to bridge that gap. One uses tape to "cheat" its way out, the other relies on dilution of the slurry. Both are no big deal, no special voodoo, no secret code. It's just like riding a bike, specially Dilucot. It takes some time to become second nature.

But if you're going to finish an already keen enough bevel, there is not much gap to bridge. Do all the efforts described in the first post on pure water (rinse when the water becomes cloudy), and I bet you will get an even better result.

One other thing. I think that during the Dilucot procedure, if you wait until the slurry "feels different" before adding the next drop of water, you are likely waiting too long. The only thing I notice during dilution is that the Coticule gradually evolves from being at its fastest to its slowest. Often you can also here the "abrasive" sound becoming dimmer. I aim for this process to be as gradual as possible, in it's totality.

I definitely don't want to dismiss everything that's been said here. Circles are great. So is localized attention to spots that stayed behind. Extra work on other hones to up the keenness, if that makes it easier. Additional pastes. All viable ways to get a good edge. :thumbup:
I think what sets apart those who stick solely with a Coticule and those who don't, is that a seasoned Coticulier has the confidence that he'll get there eventually. It often takes me 5 minutes to correct the bevel on slurry and take the edge through the dilution stage. Next another 15 minutes of finishing attempts, before I finally arrive at the sweet spot. Considering that the seasoned Coticulier withing me can do a lot of laps in little time, I fear that a novice Coticule user probably gives up in despair long before his edge arrives. I would like to encourage anyone with "Coticule problems" to spend more time finishing instead of more time diluting.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Interesting. However, on my LPBs, I found that approach to leave me having to do many hundreds of laps/half-strokes/whatever on water. Now, I hit it 90% of the time without hoping to see some HHT improvement. As you know, I don't use HHT much any more at all.

I've found that the slurry begins to feel different, and it doesn't take long... at all on LPBs. I'm usually done with the entire process within 10 minutes. But, not always of course :)

Edit to add: I also don't use much pressure (finger on spine) because it leads to inconsistency in my results
 

dreka

Member
Quick question for Paul and Bart.

When honing by feel, you mentioned that you would proceed with your strokes until you can feel that a dilution is necessary. What do you do if on one side of the blade, it only takes...10 half strokes yet the other side takes 15 half strokes. Do you go back to the other side and do another 5 to even the number up?

I've been able to feel certain markers yet I've noticed that on a couple of occasions, the amount of strokes necessary for one side of the blade is different from the other.

Is this a sign that perhaps razor has uneven hone wear?
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
When i got my first and best edges with dilucot, i started persuming it was the particular sounds and feed back i got from my coticule. the sound you get when the bevel is set is a common one that every one will notice. You will just hear your edge under cutting and cutting into the stone kind of sound. with water you may not get any feed back or you may get a tremmer or slight resistants. This depends on your coticule. All of these markers to me don't give me a the sense that the razor is shave ready , but will be close if not quite there. Thats where a quik hht comes in for me . I've got great results with pressure and with out pressure. So i carn't make my mind up on that one, to use presure or not (in the dilution stages) So in general i use what pressure is needed to keep my blade on the hone for a nice stroke. I general rest my index finger on the blade while performing back and forth strokes as bart demonstrates in his video. I thihink its the tang wher some guys just hold there and do the same, as paul does i think? I've also wonderd which way would better. To hold at the tang or rest finger on the spine of razor or there abouts. I have tryed both and just found by resting my index finger gently on razor it just feels better for me. Its probably what i'm use to and how i started out from the begining , so i stick to it. I'm always up for trying differant ways just incase they work out better.

When i do dilucot and just do it. main thing is set the bevel on a nice slurry. i will check with thumb pad and little shave test on arm hair once i pass tpt, this saves on arm hair . then i just hone and dilute and finish. I do find working the razor out on water gets me there eventualy or straight away . rather than going back to slurry this iswhat i will do.

Just latley i have not done much rehoning. With the exception of a bout 3 razors. I have set bevel on 1k c and dilucoted with my vintage coticule . I strated with normal milky to skimmed milk slurry and it worked very well. I also went straight to water and it was fine. I just find i prefer to use slurry to start things of. After all the best part of a coticule is honing on slurry.

gary
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Dreka,

I typically just hone until I feel the changes... If I observe problems with the bevel, I will take corrective action, but I don't get too worked up about stroke counts. Honing by numbers is just unnatural to me. But like Bart said, it's helpful for people who are just learning a new skill.

Now, if pressed for an official, recommendation, I'd probably recommend you even up the honing strokes as you suggested.

Gary,

That's correct. I hone by holding the tang unless I need to do some focused work on the bevel. Typically, with my honing, it's not necessary because I I don't have to do a lot of restorative work. I mentioned that I didn't do it earlier to possible offer a better frame of reference for anyone who reads my posts.

Cheers,

Paul
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
I agree totally with Garry and Paul.Don't need to count the strokes.if I say that I hear the sides reaching ,you will call me crazy?But this is the truth.An experienced coticulier must be heard when noise change during the edge sides reached.
Best regards
Emmanuel
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
dreka said:
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I can only repeat that I don't rely much on "feel" when it comes to dilution of slurry. After you've done plenty of bevel work on slurry wi th a Coticule, 2 things become second nature: keeping the slurry from running off the hone and keeping the slurry constant in thickness, meaning that you know when to add a drop of water, just to counteract dehydration.
One I was able to do that, the rest became easy. I pre-dull on glass, keep the slurry until the edge can shave an arm hair, and then I start diluting, as said in 7-10 steps. I observe primarily 2 things: the consistency of the slurry, and the way the slurry runs up the bevel. If - and this I find important - I notice that a part of the edge stays behind, I will temporarily keep the slurry at the same consistency (whatever that is at that point) and focus on the part of the edge that needs it. Often it is only one side of the edge part that demands my attention: the slurry is running up well on one side but not on the other. I will do some localized work until it checks out and then recommence dilution where I left it.
The observation of slurry running up the edge is not that difficult, but you do need to know what to look for. A perfect edge will "undercut" fluid immediately, without any prior beading up in front. The fluid will behave as if some secret force drags it up, not unlike a smaller version of what you can see at the carwash when the dryer part uses strong airflow to disperse the water, forcing it in thin streams up the windshield.

Sometimes I'll seek confirmation of my visual observation by performing a TPT, but the longer I do this, the less I find myself doing the TPT. Not because it's not an excellent test, but because the observing the slurry tells me all I need to know.
Note however that 8 out of 10 times, I don't have to pause dilution at all, and the process is completely straight forward: a few drops very full set of 20 halfsfrokes. The number of halfstrokes per set varies, depending on the size of the Coticule and also it's cutting speed, to some extent. That probably is the only thing I really judge by feel (or experience, whatever you want to call it).
I do notice that the sound and the abrasive feel alters as the slurry becomes thinner, but it is not an observation I rely on for guidance through the process. It's just something that adds to the nice experience of honing on Coticules, without qualifying (for me) as actual "markers".
This is just a lengthy explanation to state that I really don't make a big deal out of the dilution part of Dilucot.

What this thread illustrates is that almost every one will develop a personal style and habits for sharpening razors. The challenges to overcome may be universal, the solutions are not. In the end -and this has been said many times before-, we can can analyse the individual peculiarities of this skill, thread after thread; however that will never be a substitute for hands-on practice.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Bart,

Another thing to consider is that after honing so much on LPBs, I sometimes struggle mightily to get a good edge on stones from another strata. It very well be because "feel" doesn't work as well for me on those, but I'd wager it's because I haven't the experience to know what I'm feeling. It's also part of the reason why I try to buy LPBs, virtually no learning curve on each one.

I've also found that the instantaneous undercutting you described coincides with the "feel" that I'm talking about on my LPBs.

Yes, all the challenges are the same, but the paths are often different. Enjoy the journey, I like to say :)

Cheers,

Paul
 

pinklather

Well-Known Member
"Considering that the seasoned Coticulier withing me can do a lot of laps in little time, I fear that a novice Coticule user probably gives up in despair long before his edge arrives. I would like to encourage anyone with "Coticule problems" to spend more time finishing instead of more time diluting."

Bart, this is quite helpful - which is to say I have probably had it bass-ackwards. The 'hundreds of strokes hasn't paid off constistently yet for me, but at least I know where to DO the hundreds - water. Many Thx.

I'm near 50 blades done on a Coti, but don't finish on it often. HHT 2-3 and I tend to go for the speed of the Nani 12, then some slow, high stroke counts on asagi. I'm truly envious of all who can reliably get asagi-like edges from the coti. I've gotten it a few times, so I know it can be done. Anyway, Many thanks, Bart & others who endure the flailings of the noob (me).
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
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That sums it up perfectly for me :thumbup: and I believe it is one reason why it is very hard to teach someone else the finer points of Coticule honing, those tiny little things that all add up to the ability to create a wonderful shaving edge.

Best regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Deckard

Well-Known Member
I find this thread really helpful.
I've had the experience a few times when the strokes have undercut the water beautifully and I've still been on dilutions. I've often wondered if I should just stop and htt test because as I've continued by the numbers have lost it again and had mediocre results.
The other experience of mine is to get an excellent dilucot result and upon a refresh some shaves later with very careful and light strokes, I actually lose htt altogether just on water.
What gives:confused: I have questioned my strokes but having read this now consider if I should touch up with some half strokes also?
Advice welcome.

Joe
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
I've found the same . I have tested hht of slurry during dilutions and had a very nice hht. i have continued and finished on water , to find i lost that hht , i had , on slurry:confused:

thats why if i have a good or violin during diution stages i will hit water straight away. with water i always pick up hht 2/3. i never used hht during diutions, i just honed and finished , then i probed. I now and then use it to see how the edge is going, i remeber bart saying you need to at least come of slurry dilutions with at least a violin. So thats why i test during diutions at least once if not twice, you never no you may be there before you realized. If so stop and hit finishing stages , you wil see a big jump in hht which indicates the razor is ready to shave with.
 
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