Thread: Honing with a Recent Vintage Coticule

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    Honing with a Recent Vintage Coticule
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    Senior Member Mr. Wilson's Avatar
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    As recently-mined coticules as sold by a noted seller here in America have been recently described as worthless, I thought I would put a coticule as recently received from this seller to the test for myself.

    And as my Chatellerault razor needed some cleaning up from an earlier goofing-around session, I reset the bevel using a Suehiro 1k/3k combo measuring 40 mm x 130 mm. This was followed by a no. 6 bout natural combo coticule that I paid $34 USD to the seller around eleven days ago. Roughly, it has about 35-40 mm x 110 mm of usable honing surface. Lapping of the Suehiro combo was done with a 50 mm x 150 mm coarse DMT.

    After the Suehiro combo, I used the yellow side of the coticule with water only, circles at the start, moving to pig-tails, then X-strokes at the finish. All went very well and smoothly as to the progression. But as a coticule edge by itself is never quite enough for me, I thought would introduce one trick before stropping. This involves generating a lather, applying this to the surface of the coticule, and honing with the lather on it. So I did this for a few dozen laps more, adding fresh lather whenever the cushion effect on the surface seemed to be diminishing. Then the blade was wiped off and stropped for a few dozen laps on my old hardware store Llama strop. At this stage, the HHT was passing very well by my standard.

    Today's subsequent shave was very nice and smooth, and surprisingly close, indeed closer than I would have obtained off the coticule had I not used lather. Was it the best shave of my life?--no, but it was a perfectly fine shave all the same.

    So what does this tell me? First, that I have not mastered the very light touch that so many coticule aficionados recommend as to the finish, as the lather is effectively serving this purpose. Beyond this, I obtain further confirmation that current coticules as sold by the seller in question are quite useful after the Suehiro combo, and at a smaller size like this, relatively inexpensive.

    Last edited by Mr. Wilson; April 6th, 2017 at 11:36 PM.
    Alan
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    Senior Member paulblo's Avatar
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    Alan, I have read about lather here before as it is said to help the edge along but have also read the contrary here, https://archive.org/stream/essayonba...ge/14/mode/2up page 15 top
    "lather makes these hones work quick and set a little coarser edge than oil"
    I know you like an edge with a little more bite so could it be a little toothier from the lather?
    Have you tried oil? I know you don't mind using it and the coticule shouldn't' allow penetration.
    Just wondering.


    Paul
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    Senior Member Mr. Wilson's Avatar
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    Paul, the edge did not have the bite that you mention. I get that more from certain slates. It still felt "buttery" to my sense of things. All I can say is that on the rare occasions when I have finished with lather on a coticule, the resulting shave has been closer. As for oil, I suppose it could provide a cushioning effect as well, depending on viscosity, but I am a little bit superstitious when it comes to putting oil on coticules. If the stone would be dedicated to oil, okay, but if it's not, I don't like to switch back and forth.

    Edit: I read the page you linked, and there it only considers lather and oil. As water was used prior to lather, perhaps the water would "set a little coarser edge" or be "toothier" than lather?
    Last edited by Mr. Wilson; April 6th, 2017 at 11:29 PM.
    Alan
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    #4
    Hi Alan; Curious as to what you used the DMT in your photo for?
    Also I'm using oil almost exclusively on Belgians these days. If you have one you're willing to commit to oil try going from the 3k to it with just oil. I usually go from soft Ark to Belgian.

    I don't have any experience with the newer mined rocks, all my cotis being flea market finds, or a couple of vintage ones I got from TSS; one was virtually un-used and the other had been used with oil. All the flea market finds had indications of being used with either lather or oil. I don't think Belgian hones were slurried so much in the past as we do now.
    John
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    Senior Member paulblo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Wilson View Post
    Edit: I read the page you linked, and there it only considers lather and oil. As water was used prior to lather, perhaps the water would "set a little coarser edge" or be "toothier" than lather?
    I don't know Alan. On the next page "the art of honing razors" says "make a creamy later and use thick to begin honing. When nearly done add thin lather to finish, to set a fine edge. Thick lather makes the hone work quick and sets a coarse edge, while thin lather works slowly and sets a finer edge"
    Thinner sounding better and being more water you'd think they would advocate water alone. But it is not recommended at all.
    Sweet, sperm or lard oil being recommended and lather as next best but thinned at the end.



    Paul
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    Senior Member Mr. Wilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Hughes View Post
    Hi Alan; Curious as to what you used the DMT in your photo for?
    Also I'm using oil almost exclusively on Belgians these days. If you have one you're willing to commit to oil try going from the 3k to it with just oil. I usually go from soft Ark to Belgian.

    I don't have any experience with the newer mined rocks, all my cotis being flea market finds, or a couple of vintage ones I got from TSS; one was virtually un-used and the other had been used with oil. All the flea market finds had indications of being used with either lather or oil. I don't think Belgian hones were slurried so much in the past as we do now.
    Hello John. Good to see you here again. As for the coarse DMT as pictured, I used it to lap the Suehiro as needed, as it charges up with swarf from time to time. I did not and normally don't use a slurry with coticules. Just water. Yes, if I were to use oil, I would dedicate it to oil use afterwards as I don't like to go back and forth between water and oil. As for the old vintage coticules, I have one that came in a box marked "Genuine Belgian Razor Hone." There it also reads, "Can be used with either Water, Oil, or Lather."

    Quote Originally Posted by paulblo View Post
    I don't know Alan. On the next page "the art of honing razors" says "make a creamy later and use thick to begin honing. When nearly done add thin lather to finish, to set a fine edge. Thick lather makes the hone work quick and sets a coarse edge, while thin lather works slowly and sets a finer edge"
    Thinner sounding better and being more water you'd think they would advocate water alone. But it is not recommended at all.
    Sweet, sperm or lard oil being recommended and lather as next best but thinned at the end.



    Paul
    Paul, I didn't read the next page, only the first paragraph on page 15. I follow the logic of what you are saying about the thinner lather having more water content than a thicker lather, and I know that you also like to finish with water in shaving. I can only speak from my own experience in moving from water to lather on the coticule, where I find that my shave is improved over using just water. This morning's shave was again quite nice. As for the lather, I am simply using the same consistency that I use in shaving, which is thick enough to stay on my face and thin enough to be washed off the blade. This was a Stirling tallow-based soap.
    Last edited by Mr. Wilson; April 9th, 2017 at 12:51 PM.
    Alan
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    #7
    Senior Member paulblo's Avatar
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    Alan have you tried the glycerin soap lather? I know the tallow dries out quicker.


    Paul
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    #8
    Senior Member Mr. Wilson's Avatar
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    Not on a coticule. But there seems to be no issue of this tallow-based lather drying out, either on the skin or on the stone. I still think its cushioning effect is making for a lighter pass on the stone.
    Alan
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