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  1. #1
    Coticule researcher
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    Default The Perpetual Experiment

    Gentlemen.
    I would like to propose an experiment.

    The procedure goes as follows:
    Those who participate will be put on a list.
    The first on the list (that would be me) hones 3 identical razors and sends them to the next on the list.
    Two of those razors will receive exactly the same honing treatment. The third one will be honed in an alternative way, that is meaningful as experiment. The one that receives the razors will test shave with all three and tries to determine which razor was given the alternative honing treatment. He will share his findings in a thread. Next he will be free to devise a new experiment in the above "2+1 format". He will dull the razors on glass to reset the edges and perform the required honing tasks. Then he will send his work to the next person on the list.

    For the sake of example here's what I am planning on the razors myself: I will hone all three on the same Coticule with the same method to my usual standard. (I will confirm that they all shave equally well during a test shave). Then I will randomly pick one and do another 30 laps on the dry Coticule. The other 2 will receive 30 additional laps on the Coticule moistened with plain water. Let it be clear that he who receives the razors will not know up front which razor received which treatment.

    Some additional remarks:
    - No need to be a honing expert, but if you are a complete honing newbie then this initiative is not for you.
    - Be prepared that the one that receives the razors after you honed them, also may comment on the overall quality of the honing.
    - Be prepared to comment about the razors you receive for testing. If criticizing is in order, you're expected to do so in a objective yet respectful manner.
    - The razors will be 3 rescaled Double Arrows. They are adapted to carry straight (non smiling) edges. Don't worry about damaging them or them getting lost in the mail. I accept that risk.
    - Uninsured, simple postage to the next guy. Costs to be payed by the one sending the package.
    - The box will be selected to be light-weight and reusable.
    - Sanitize the razors with rubbing alcohol or some other disinfectant before sending them out and after receiving them.

    That's it. I would like to have permission of one of the moderators before we go ahead with this.
    If you're interested to be on the list, please post in this thread and let me know. Once the list is complete, I will randomize the order. (I will NOT divide it into a European part and a US part, only for the sake of saving a very few shipping bucks).
    Of course I am open for additional suggestions.

    Best regards,
    Bart.

  2. #2
    what Dad calls me nun2sharp's Avatar
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    Default

    OK, Im in once the mods approve.
    It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled. Twain

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    Bart (08-26-2009)

  4. #3
    Senior Member blabbermouth Kees's Avatar
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    Interesting experiment. I am always interested to take part.
    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr.

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    Bart (08-27-2009)

  6. #4
    Administrator Lynn's Avatar
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    I am somewhat confused about the purpose this experiment?? What is the experiment??

    Thanks,

    Lynn

  7. #5
    Forum mogwai thebigspendur's Avatar
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    Well, we've been down this road before. Razors are not identical and honing them until they are equally sharp is very relative. I did this years ago with the stropping experiment.
    Every day without fail one should consider himself as dead-Tsunetomo

  8. #6
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    My reasons for proposing this.

    I often read how people try a certain (new) honing idea.
    For instance honing dry on a finishing hone. I like those kind of experiments myself, but I find it very difficult to objectively interpret the results. Mainly because I *know* how the razor was honed, during my test shaves with the experimental edge. It makes sense to have the test shaving done by someone that doesn't know which the experimental razor is in a larger test group (in my proposal the test group is 3 razors). If the test person can discern between the experimental edge and the rest of the group, that fact alone adds at least some significance to the observations made. The test person can also give an unbiased opinion on how the edges compared to each other.

    That 's the main idea.

    Secondly, I think it would be fun to send a group of razors around the world.

    Thirdly, it allows those who participate to experience someone else's edges and to get feedback of another person about how his own edges perform on that other's beard. That is always interesting information.

    And finally, it opens a great platform to try different honing options and discuss them.

    If it's not allowed on SRP, no problem.

    best regards,
    Bart.

  9. #7
    Coticule researcher
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigspendur View Post
    Well, we've been down this road before. Razors are not identical and honing them until they are equally sharp is very relative. I did this years ago with the stropping experiment.
    If you're right, the results will be indiscernible and the tests will reveal that the natural variations between edges are far greater than the differences caused by the experiment.
    That is what they call "insignificance" in science. That in itself would be very interesting to find out.

  10. #8
    Senior Member blabbermouth hi_bud_gl's Avatar
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    I know I am not welcomed to reply this thread but I will go head and let say what I think.
    As most of you know experiment isn’t easy to do. The reasons are bias etc. The best experiment should be done by double blind studies and come on Someone should know what is going on right?
    Now in this Experiment if person wants to rich result without bias’s then all 3 razor’s sharpened with first person shouldn’t be honed again. Except stropping. In this case experiment (which is 3 hones) and subjects -people who uses the straight’s can tell their opinion about the razor’s. which one shaves better or worse ,smooth, sharpest etc.

    Experiment should done this way.
    Someone hones and sends the razor 2 person put’s number ‘s on the blade. 1,2,3 .
    1 sharpened by Norton
    2 sharpened by coticule
    3 shapened by nakayama these are examples.
    Now 2 nd person gets all above information. 2 nd person doesn’t shave with any of them (to avoid bias) and sends razor’s to next person who is in the line (THIS PERSON SHAVES). And so on.
    Tricks are in here every shaver lets know their opinions to the 2 person. After all this second person gives all information to the first Person.
    When 1 st person( in early process) sends information about the blades to 2 nd person he lies. Not says truth. This is important and will make study double blind. In this case second person has no idea which hone used on which blade. again to avoid bias
    At the end 1 st person gets results and says what happens how many people used and which blade they liked.
    This will help how to figure it out competition among hones.
    The only reason I put this information to help. If you don’t like just let me know or any MOD’s could delete it entirely.GL
    Last edited by hi_bud_gl; 08-27-2009 at 01:53 AM.

  11. #9
    I shave with a spoon on a stick. Slartibartfast's Avatar
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    What about reviving this awesome contest?

    http://www.straightrazorplace.com/fo...g-contest.html

  12. #10
    Coticule researcher
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    Quote Originally Posted by hi_bud_gl View Post
    I know I am not welcomed to reply this thread but I will go head and let say what I think.
    You are more than welcome to post in my threads, Sham.
    Your opinion is even valued, more than you might think.

    Quote Originally Posted by hi_bud_gl View Post
    As most of you know experiment isn’t easy to do. The reasons are bias etc. The best experiment should be done by double blind studies and come on Someone should know what is going on right?
    Now in this Experiment if person wants to reach result without bias’s then all 3 razor’s sharpened with first person shouldn’t be honed again. Except stropping. In this case experiment (which is 3 hones) and subjects -people who uses the straight’s can tell their opinion about the razor’s. which one shaves better or worse ,smooth, sharpest etc.
    That is true, if you wanted more than one person trying the same experimental setup. But that's not my intention. I would never ask a person to try 3 razors I honed and then send them to the next one on his own expenses. (And I'm not going to pay for all the shipments either). Hence my basic idea: everyone gets to hone, everyone gets one persons opinion about his honing, everyone gets to choose one experiment.
    It may not yield big scientific results, but it offers at least some pointers to practices that might be worth further investigation and testing.

    Quote Originally Posted by hi_bud_gl View Post
    Experiment should done this way.
    Someone hones and sends the razor 2 person put’s number ‘s on the blade. 1,2,3 .
    1 sharpened by Norton
    2 sharpened by coticule
    3 shapened by nakayama these are examples.

    Now 2 nd person gets all above information. 2 nd person doesn’t shave with any of them (to avoid bias) and sends razor’s to next person who is in the line. And so on.
    Tricks are in here every shaver lets know their opinions to the 2 person. After all this second person gives all information to the first Person.
    When 1 st person sends information about the blades to 2 nd person he lies. Not says truth. This is important and will make study double blind. In this case second person has no idea which hone used on which blade. again to avoid bias
    At the end 1 st person gets results and says what happens how many people used and which blade they liked.
    This will help how to figure it out competition among hones.
    The only reason I put this information to help. If you don’t like just let me know or any MOD’s could delete it entirely.GL
    It's correct that when multiple participants are testing the same razors, that no one should get any results before the last participant has finished his testing. But as explained above, this is not what I was thinking about. On a side note, if only one person performed the honing, the results would still be questionable. Results can be very dependable on who performed the honing, even if both honers know very well what they are doing. (personal approach can be very different, as we all know very well)

    My only goal was to suggest a fun way to shave with each other's edges and see if we could actually discern between some practices that are often discussed on the forums (such as using a finishing hone dry or with water, different bevel angles with the same honing method, pasting on a hanging strop vs pasting on a solid (balsa) surface, finishing with 10 passes on a 16K or doing 30 passes, stropping a razor on clean leather before pasting it vs going straight to pastes, etc... I often wonder if there really is a consistent difference between all those options.

    Best regards,
    Bart.

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