1.16.2013

Dilucot Honing Method

Overview
The Dilucot Honing Method requires more time and skill compared to the Unicot Honing Method. Once mastered, it can provide fantastic results. In essence, the Dilucot Honing Method begins with the creation of a slurry on the coticule, followed by honing until keenness is achieved, and then continue honing while drops of water are added at intervals with the intention of slowly washing the slurry down to plain water. The Dilucot Honing Method can be broken down into three stages: bevel correction, dilution and finishing.

Dilucot Honing Method | Image Credit: Coticule




What You'll Need
  1. Straight Razor
  2. Coticule Stone
  3. Slurry Stone
  4. Water
  5. Electrical Tape
  6. Drinking Glass
  7. Tissue Paper or Towel

What You'll Do

In bevel correction, the coticule is used in the fastest mode: with a slurry of milky consistency and with half-strokes.
  1. Make sure the razor does not shave arm hair. If it does, run the razor without any significant pressure (edge down) over the bottom of the glass jar. Repeat as necessary until it no longer cuts arm hair.
  2. Create a slurry on the coticule by sprinkling some water on the yellow surface and rubbing with the slurry stone until the fluid attains a milky consistency.
  3. Place the razor on the coticule and perform half X-strokes with the index finger pressing down at the middle of the razor, near the spine. Perform diagonal back and forth motions without flipping the blade. Count 30 laps then flip the blade and copy 30 laps on the other side. The slurry should turn gray which indicates steel particles are entering the mixture. Once the razor shaves arm hair, you are done with the bevel correction stage.
In dilution, there is no need to refresh the slurry, provided that some of it is still present on the hone at the end of the bevel correction stage.
  1. The honing stroke remains the same, only reduce the stroke count per set to 15 back and forth motions. Pressure remains the same as during bevel correction.
  2. Keep a cup of clear water nearby. Dip the digit of one finger into the cup and immediately transfer the water that drips off onto the middle of the coticule. With each dilution, the abrasive feedback will diminish until it reaches about the same level as what you get using only plain water. If you dilute too fast, your edge will stay behind. If you allow the slurry to become too dry, your edge will revert to a previous keenness limit. The number of dilution steps varies by coticule, but there is no downside to moving slowly. 10-15 dilution steps is a good starting point. 
  3. At the end of the dilution stage, add a good splash of water without actually cleaning the hone and perform another dual set of half-strokes.
  4. Clean the hone and razor under running tap water and perform your last dual set of half-strokes.
The finishing stage caps off the Dilucot Honing Method and prepares your razor of use.
  1. Rinse the coticule and razor well.
  2. Perform 30-50 X-strokes without any significant pressure.
  3. Perform the Hanging Hair Test (HHT) to ensure your edge is ready. The razor should easily sever a clean, thick hair from the holding point.
  4. Strop the razor on a good hanging strop. Keep the strop reasonably taught and apply light pressure on the razor. Strop 60 laps on clean linen and 60 laps on clean leather. 


Videos

Dilucot Honing Method | Video Credit: Coticule

Tips

  1. Lap counts presented apply to a typical 6" x 2" coticule stone. Adjust the lap count according the size of your stone.
  2. An edge cannot develop keenness on a hone before both sides of the cutting bevel are completely flat up to the edge, and this edge must be free from damage.
  3. Dulling the razor in the beginning takes the guesswork out of assessing the keenness of the entire edge.
  4. If you are new to straight razor honing, it may be wise to start out on a full hollow blade given they carry a smaller bevel face which can be easier and quicker to hone.
  5. Aim to learn a steady and even honing stroke.
  6. If the Dilucot Honing Method does not deliver the keenness you would like, you still have a razor with a great bevel and is ready for the final taped stage of the Unicot Honing Method.

Sources
Dilucot Honing by Coticule

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