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Thread: Adventures with a new hone

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    Default Adventures with a new hone

    It's been quite a while since I last posted on SRP and I have to admit that I have missed this forum. My love for the straight razor has continued even in my absence and recently I have decided to try something new. I have taken a hiatus from the old reliable and incredibly effective Norton 1K-4/8K- Apache Strata routine that I have become comfortable with and picked up a beautiful #10 La Vienette Bout.

    My typical edge is very keen and moderately smooth with a touch of bite to it. The intention is to lean towards a smoother shave with just enough keen. From what I have heard this should be achievable with a Cotti.

    My first attempt was an absolute failure. The edge was killed on the side of my 1K and bevel completely re-set. Nothing new there. I then commenced to create a slurry and try to get a feel for the hone. About 20 min later my ol reliable Genco was cutting arm hair but not in the way I am used to. gave it about 50 more laps slowly diluting slurry and tried again with slightly better results. Diluted more and more until straight water. Taped the spine, recreated a light slurry and slowly diluted to straight water. 50 more laps on straight water and an HHT test. Not terrible (or so I thought). Shave test was a failure. Smooth with about 70% of the keenness I am used to. I knew this would be different but I must admit that it has frustrated me.

    Second attempt was slightly better but still in my opinion a failure. Did not kill the edge but re-set the bevel on 1K quickly. Heavier slurry and a little more pressure on my strokes. Watched for color changes in the slurry and diluted slowly. Arm hair shave was better. Taped spine, new slurry and slow dilution to straight water. Smooth with a noticeable lack of keenness but better. Still frustrated!

    Third attempt has left me wondering. Did not kill edge. heavy paste like slurry and moderate pressure with early strokes and lightening up pressure as diluted. same arm hair shave results as before. Taped the spine and re-created slurry. Reducing pressure as slurry is diluted to straight water. Spent about 30 min on this step. Another 100+ laps on straight water and a noticeable improvement in HHT. Popped a hair every bit as good as my typical edge. Now I am excited! The shave test yielded a very interesting result. Probably about 90% of the keenness I am used to but an incredibly smooth and irritation free shave. To be honest, I am not sure how to feel about the results. I have special shaving needs. Sensitive skin with greying barbed wire hair, which is the reason I have traveled down this path of seeking out shaving perfection. The shave is quite good but I am used to an effortless shave. This is 180degrees from my typical edge. The razor has much more feedback and requires a heavier hand. With more practice I believe I can still improve this edge but I have my doubts as to whether I will achieve the level of keen that I am used to. That might not be a bad thing.

    Are the results that I am experiencing typical of the "Coticule experience"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Straightandproud View Post
    Shave test was a failure. Smooth with about 70% of the keenness I am used to. I knew this would be different but I must admit that it has frustrated me.
    This is what I experienced right away. Need to take time to "learn" your coticule to achieve the best edge. Some have taken me weeks depending on how much time you're able to spend, my first one took me literally months. That said, expecting it to be as keen as a JNAT (especially one that you've spent a good deal of time with) is probably not a great expectation. I would think getting aroun d 85-90% of the keenness you've experienced might be a better benchmark. It's also important to note that coticules are natural stones, and while there's always a way to get "the best edge" from any given stone, some stones do perform better than others

    Quote Originally Posted by Straightandproud View Post
    Are the results that I am experiencing typical of the "Coticule experience"?
    Absolutely
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butzy View Post
    This is what I experienced right away. Need to take time to "learn" your coticule to achieve the best edge. Some have taken me weeks depending on how much time you're able to spend, my first one took me literally months. That said, expecting it to be as keen as a JNAT (especially one that you've spent a good deal of time with) is probably not a great expectation. I would think getting aroun d 85-90% of the keenness you've experienced might be a better benchmark. It's also important to note that coticules are natural stones, and while there's always a way to get "the best edge" from any given stone, some stones do perform better than others


    Absolutely
    Thank you for the reassurance.

    This has been an interesting distraction so far. I finished on the coti to get a feel for the stone but intend to add it to my honing routine as a pre-finisher. The jump from Norton 8K to Apache Strata has always been a long one. Usually 200+ laps on the apache to remove 8k pattern. By placing the Coti between the two I hope to bridge the gap.
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    I would get your razor shave ready then do some laps under running water on the coticule. Hopefully will give you a decent idea of what the finished edge from the coticule can be.

    Edit nvm I think you already did this
    Last edited by Christian1; 09-18-2017 at 04:29 PM.

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    If you've only done three attempts at coticule honing and are getting very decent shaves, I think you're definitely on the right path. Just keep at it.

    I am wondering, though, what you are trying to achieve by adding the tape. If you're going for a secondary bevel, it seems you're doing too much work after adding the tape. By diluting before the tape and after the tape, you're mixing the dilucot and unicot method. This is not necessarily a bad thing in the end, but one of the strengths of unicot is that you don't need to do a lot of work after adding a layer of tape; in fact, you shouldn't (if you're looking to establish a secondary bevel) because you'll just end up with a higher bevel angle instead of a secondary bevel due to the secondary bevel being undone by excessive (in terms of unicot) honing.

    If you really want to see what your coticule can do, I'd advise you to follow the unicot method to a T (i.e. pretty much no diluting while honing). It's quite fool proof and a fast, reliable method in general.

    Somehow a lot of people feel that diluting is "the proper way" a coticule should be used. It's not the proper, or the best way. It's the most zen way, but a unicot will give you as identical a result as you can get. I enjoy the zen of diluting as well, but use unicot on a regular basis when my focus or feeling is not there, but I still want to get the edge done. Or I'm honing a chunky near wedge.

    Deciding between diluting or creating a secondary bevel is one of those moments when pride can get in the way and it really shouldn't, especially when you're not 100% (well, 99.999%) sure of your dilucot. It's a great, seemingly very underappreciated tool.

    Regards,

    Pieter
    Last edited by Pithor; 09-18-2017 at 06:27 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pithor View Post
    If you've only done three attempts at coticule honing and are getting very decent shaves, I think you're definitely on the right path. Just keep at it.

    I am wondering, though, what you are trying to achieve by adding the tape. If you're going for a secondary bevel, it seems you're doing too much work after adding the tape. By diluting before the tape and after the tape, you're mixing the dilucot and unicot method. This is not necessarily a bad thing in the end, but one of the strengths of unicot is that you don't need to do a lot of work after adding a layer of tape; in fact, you shouldn't (if you're looking to establish a secondary bevel) because you'll just end up with a higher bevel angle instead of a secondary bevel due to the secondary bevel being undone by excessive (in terms of unicot) honing.

    If you really want to see what your coticule can do, I'd advise you to follow the unicot method to a T (i.e. pretty much no diluting while honing). It's quite fool proof and a fast, reliable method in general.

    Somehow a lot of people feel that diluting is "the proper way" a coticule should be used. It's not the proper, or the best way. It's the most zen way, but a unicot will give you as identical a result as you can get. I enjoy the zen of diluting as well, but use unicot on a regular basis when my focus or feeling is not there, but I still want to get the edge done. Or I'm honing a chunky near wedge.

    Deciding between diluting or creating a secondary bevel is one of those moments when pride can get in the way and it really shouldn't, especially when you're not 100% (well, 99.999%) sure of your dilucot. It's a great, seemingly very underappreciated tool.

    Regards,

    Pieter
    Great advice.

    I believe I understand what you are saying. Essentially, I have been roughing out the bevel with slurry and wasting my time diluting. Then taping to get a refined secondary bevel but taking a step backwards by roughing it out again. then, by diluting a secondary bevel that is rounded at the tip I have achieved nothing by taping. The end result is a shave on a rounded coti edge.

    I can see the light!!!
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    I have taped the bevel before to increase performance but I do it on final finishing. When I was testing my oozuku I found after I finished on light slurry or water. After I would add a clear piece of thin tape to the razor and do a few extra strokes.

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    Well I have been enlightened.

    After several days of scraping my poor old Genco across this pretty little yellow rock I have finally achieved a fantastic edge.

    Decided to ditch the Unicot /Dulicot technique and use my Coti as a finishing hone. Killed the edge and re-set the bevel on Norton 1K. Refined on 4K / 8K and popping hairs as usual. Then, laps on linen and leather and on to the Coti. No slurry stone was used and the stone was rinsed free of slurry every few minutes. Then, an interesting thing happened about 15 minutes into my coti session. I started to experience a hydraulic type suction between the razor and stone. The coti was then picked up and held under running water as I honed. The slight suction turned into a heavier suction and the pressure was decreased. After a few minutes the razor began to skip across the stone and it became difficult to keep the razor on the stone with light pressure. The clouds parted and a ray of sunshine came upon me as I realized that I had finally "maxed out" my coti.

    Linen to leather and copious amounts of Tabac lather yielded one of the best shaves I have experienced to date. Plenty keen with a smoothness that I have never experienced. I am a believer!

    This beautiful little La Veigniette has found an honorable place in my hone drawer. Name:  coti.jpg
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    Ooooo I was looking at that coticule, congrats on the good shave

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    Congrads. I hope i can get there soon but ive just started.
    Jerry...

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