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Thread: Should I lap or not?

  1. #21
    Mental Support Squad Pithor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankenstein View Post
    Pithor, you of course are an expert in cotis. All those posts on coti.be are testament to that. So, most of yours are new, right? I could never understand why people have a variety of new coticules. If you're saying they're all the same, why have so many?

    Here's an interesting post by Neil Miller:
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Miller View Post
    I have had somewhere between 30 and 50 cotis, but have only kept one, an extremely hard one. This is the only type that delivers an outstanding edge, as far as I am concerned.

    Your opinion may well differ, but most of the mystique concerning cotis is just mumbo-jumbo. They are just a stone, no magic qualities. Smooth is just another word for not fully sharp, in my mind.

    Regards,
    Neil
    I don't have that much experience with collecting Eschers. But they grade their stones. Surely it stands that as the rock structure varies so too does the finish it leaves.
    I would not consider myself an expert on coticules by any stretch of the word. The late Henk Bos, Bart Torfs and Maurice Celis are the ones that come to mind upon whom I would bestow the title of expert; I am sure there are more, but these are off the top of my head, and I do not consider myself to be in the same league, not even close. I consider myself a relatively experienced user (4+ years of almost exclusive use), of which there are many. Even though I might be vocal about my preferences and experiences, I do not consider myself an authority on the subject of coticules or their use in honing.

    Half of the coticules I have had were recently mined. The reasons for this, however, were not performance related. They were available directly from the manufacturer, who is very helpful. The good folks over at Ardennes-coticule have given me advice and I have had the possibilities to discuss choices and preferences. The prices were very reasonable. For instance, I bought my first coticule from them, a La Veinnette combination hone, pretty much sized like the Old Rock hones (2x4x1"), for €46 back in 2011. An Old Rock (or whatever other boxed older coticule with a brand name) would have, in all likelihood, cost me more, without manufacturer's warranty, and performance would probably not have been any "better". I have had and tried a handful of older coticules and performance wise they have all performed in a relatively similar manner to Coticule-Ardennes stones.

    As for my current coticule "collection" - due to its size, I hesitate to call it a collection - I have three coticules, two what I would consider 'full-sized' hones and one 2x10 cm (what most would consider a slurry stone). One of the full sized ones and the small one are recently mined, the other full-sized one is older, and quite fetching in its appearance. Which is why I have kept it. Its performance (i.e. end result) is pretty much indistinguishable from the other ones. I have kept the small one because it has a distinct character, a La Petite Blanche with very minor auto-slurrying (and a lovely blue side) which, combined with its small size, makes it a great stone for honing my honing skills.

    In my opinion, there are a few good reasons to have an array of coticules, but performance is not really one of them; unless you count a user's preference for a particular stone because of its characteristics. My three hones all work fine and one of them would be all I would ever need. But I like their characteristics, both in use (there is a slight but distinct variance in behaviour) as well as in appearance. The appearance is the main reason I hang onto both full sized hones, though. It is the same reason why I have the number of razors I have: there are slight differences in behaviour but these are nuances; a well-made razor is a well-made razor is a well-made razor. Practically, you only need one. Why have more?

    As for the quote from the late Neil Miller, I both disagree and disagree. When he said that
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Miller
    ...most of the mystique concerning cotis is just mumbo-jumbo. They are just a stone, no magic qualities
    I cannot but agree wholeheartedly. I dare to wager that the majority of the regular coticule users would agree as well; in the end, they are tools, nothing more.

    I do think however, that some people (Neil Miller among them) confuse romanticism with mystical worship or something silly like that. For me there is most definitely some romanticism involved: I shave with vintage razors, for equal romantic reasons - as well as practical result, but if I would only be interested in the result I would most likely end up with one vintage SE and a bunch of PTFE coated blades, or at least a whole lot less open razors. I simply love the idea of using a rock, ripped out of the earth's crust, turned into a functional tool by a skilful, passionate manufacturer to sharpen an old functional tool by a skilful, passionate manufacturer. This was, as I understand it, the reason coticule.be came into existence. The treatment on coticule.be of the tool that is the coticule hone, however, has been very pragmatic and not clouded by assumptions, mystification or pseudo-science.

    With this part of the quote I disagree strongly, though:
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Miller
    I have had somewhere between 30 and 50 cotis, but have only kept one, an extremely hard one. This is the only type that delivers an outstanding edge, as far as I am concerned.
    [...]
    Smooth is just another word for not fully sharp, in my mind.
    I have not tried 30-50 coticules, but I have tried my fair share and have not found that hardness has anything to do with finishing properties as far as end result goes; speed can be a variable, but again I have not found this to correlate with hardness in any meaningful way. There is nothing magical about really hard stones, either. Neil did add that this was in his experience, as what I wrote is what it is in my experience. Neither should be taken as fact or the be-all and end-all.

    As for the last bit of the quote, I have no idea where he pulled that one from. A razor can be both smooth and sharp, I think most of us here will agree on that. That said, Neil may very well have referred to the use of 'smooth' concerning coticules in particular and understood it as a euphemism; sadly, there is no way to be sure of what he meant.

    As I see it, a coticule edge is not the sharpest you can get an edge that will shave and hold said edge. However, for me such an edge hits the perfect balance between cutting ability and skin friendliness. Also, one coticule will do, unless you like to have a bunch of pretty stones.
    Last edited by Pithor; 10-04-2015 at 10:01 AM.
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  3. #22
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    OK so what's the best way to lap a coticule should I just use my 400 Dimond plate or would that leave to many deep scratches

  4. #23
    Senior Member Frankenstein's Avatar
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    I've always used a diamond plate followed by another Coti or bbw.
    What kind of stone do you have?
    Interestingly, EdHewitt just mentioned that if honing wedges on a narrow home a dished effect may be advantageous.

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  6. #24
    Mental Support Squad Pithor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob92553 View Post
    OK so what's the best way to lap a coticule should I just use my 400 Dimond plate or would that leave to many deep scratches
    If you got your coticule new from a reputable seller there is no real need for lapping. The surface may be a bit on the rough side, which initially will make it work slightly faster, but slurry will smooth it out quite fast.

    Personally I draw a pencil grid on the hone's surface and use wet and dry sandpaper on a glass surface, 360, 400 or 600 grit, depending on of which one I have a large sheet. I would suggest doing it wet, as the slurry generated by doing so will smooth out the surface as you lap.

    For illustration: I never bothered to lap the last coticule (either side) I bought from Ardennes-Coticule in early 2013. It works just fine, always has.
    Last edited by Pithor; 10-05-2015 at 07:00 AM.

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  8. #25
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    Thanks, Dimond plate worked great.

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