vintage coticule glue

james

Member
Hi everyone,

First of all, congratulations Bart and everyone for the great work here.

I have a problem with a vintage coticule I have, and I thought there was no better place to ask for information, and in the meantime introduce to you my beloved hone :D:
6WLii.jpg 1TZmx9.jpg

The BBW backing is glued with what seems to be beeswax glue.
Now, it seems to me that the glue is slowly crubling away; as you can see "holes" have appeared in the cavity between the two sides.
Today I discovered that warm water from the tap (I don't like cold water for honing...) is sufficient to loosen up the glue.
Now I fear that the stone could come apart and the fragile coticule side could break.

What do you advise me to do?
-Keeping it as it is and taking care, or
-Replace the old glue...
In that second case, what should I use to remove the beeswax? And what should I replace it with? Epoxy?

Thank you
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Difficult to assess from a distance, but I think it's just a dent that was filled with some substance. Obviously that substance has fallen out. In the old days, they used a mixture of hide glue and beeswax, but that unless you were using really hot water, it wouldn't melt. Equally difficult to tell from a picture, but that "Blue" looks more like slate to me than like a real blue. Ardennes is the only company that ever glued to slate, and they don't use the hide glue/beeswax mixture. In that case, your hone is not a vintage one. That's of no further significance, because vintage hones are no better or no worse than the Coticules from Ardennes. After all, they're made from exactly the same rock that was formed some 480 million years ago.
Could you rub some slurry from that blue/slate back. If it has a neutral gray colour, it's definitely the type of slate Ardennes uses. That's what it looks like from here. Yet a picture can be misleading.

If my quick assumptions are correct, the hone is glued with a modern tiling cement, and will not separate.
You could attempt to refill the void. Maybe the previous owner had a small accident and filled it before selling it to you? Ardennes would have filled it with their cement, as can be seen near the corner of this little fellow:


Best regards,
Bart.
 

james

Member
Hello Bart,
sorry for the crappy photos, my old camera doesn't focus well anymore...
I don't know if my stone is "vintage" or not :), I inherited it from my Grandpa and I can't know when it was bought... It must be at least 30 years old. I'm sure the backing is a Blue, the slurry is definitely reddish-purple. Anyway, I've used both sides to hone my razors.

There is not only the dent visible in the photos... I'm pretty sure that when I found the stone the glue was intact, now it has fallen out along all the perimeter, or maybe the two sides are coming apart and the glue is shrinking.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
James,

In that case, all my assumptions were wrong.

What you describe, definitely sounds like a Belgian Blue Whestone for the backing. And the origin qualifies it as vintage, so that glue will most likely be beeswax based.

You have two options:
1. use it as is, till it separates one day.
2. put it into the oven of your kitchen (NOT a microwave!), an heat it at a mild oven temperature till it separates.

The yellow part is not so fragile that it would just fall apart on its own.

Once you have it in 2 halves, you could lay them on a supporting hard surface and scrape off the remaining glue.
Re-glue with a high performance tiling cement, the stuff you use for ceramic bathroom tiles. Epoxy will most likely work too, but I have no experience with it. You should be able to find that cement in white, it can be mixed with Coticule dust for a more matching color to fill that small void. If you need it, I can send you a small piece of raw Coticule rock, that you could sand into dust.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
James,
All epoxies, up until now, have NOT been waterproof. That has changed, however, and you can get a waterproof epoxy at most any hardware store or building supply store. It is cheap and will do a very good job for this type of application. You should also be able to mix the dust with it to give it some color.

Ray
 

james

Member
Bart said:
If you need it, I can send you a small piece of raw Coticule rock, that you could sand into dust.
Thank you, I'll let you know if I need it.

As for now, I think I'll keep the stone as it is, knowing that i can easily separate the two sides and remove the old glue, if it becomes necessary.
Thank you for your advices!
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
It’s your grandfather’s hone, leave it as-is (unless you have no other choice) and be careful when using it… indeed, you may pass it on to your own grandson… but do tell him about the glue so he will be careful too. Oh and one more thing, find a nice covered box to store it when not in use.

It's a fine stone, use it with pride.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
james said:
Bart said:
If you need it, I can send you a small piece of raw Coticule rock, that you could sand into dust.
Thank you, I'll let you know if I need it.

As for now, I think I'll keep the stone as it is, knowing that i can easily separate the two sides and remove the old glue, if it becomes necessary.
That's what I would do. After some further thought, I would probably try sealing the glue line with this stuff:
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In Belgium, most craftsmen use it as a "fix all" solution for sealing an gluing a wide variety of building materials.
If the hone ever separates, it can be peeled off, but in the mean time, it would prevent any water from getting to that old beeswax glue. The beige grade of TEC7 has a rather "Coticulish" color. It could certainly be used to glue a loose Coticule to its base as well.

Bart.
 
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