1.15.2013

How to Hone Using a Belgian Coticule Stone

Overview
The coticule is a natural sharpening stone quarried in the Ardennes region of Belgium. There are two grades: the blue whetstone and the yellow sharpening stone. The latter is the focus of this post. Like stropping, honing is a skill that is learnt with practice, though likely requiring more time and patience than stropping.

Honing is the process of sharpening the straight edge of your razor on a hone, with the goal of achieving the perfect cutting edge. Note that the direction of honing is opposite the direction of stropping. The following post explores what methodology for honing a straight razor on a natural coticule stone.

Belgian Coticule Stones | Image Credit: Timber Tools




What You’ll Need
  1. Belgian Coticule
  2. Slurry Stone
  3. Water
  4. Straight Razor
  5. Towel


What You’ll Do
  1. Place the coticule securely on a flat surface with the yellow side facing up.
  2. Spray or rub water over the entire top surface of the coticule.
  3. Rub the slurry stone over the coticule until you create a heavy milky slurry.
  4. Perform 40 heavy pressure circles in both directions and then 10-15 X-strokes on a heavy slurry.
  5. Dry the straight razor with a towel.
  6. Spray or rub water over the entire top surface of the coticule.
  7. Rub the slurry stone over the coticule until you create a medium milky slurry.
  8. Perform 40 heavy pressure circles and 40 light pressure circles in both directions, and then 5 X-strokes on a medium slurry.
  9. Dry the straight razor with a towel.
  10. Wipe off most (but not all) of the milky slurry.
  11. Spray or rub water over the entire top surface of the coticule.
  12. Perform 7-8 X-strokes on a light slurry.
  13. Dry the straight razor with a towel.
  14. Wipe off all of the remaining milky slurry.
  15. Spray or rub water over the entire top surface of the coticule.
  16. Perform 10 X-strokes on water only.
  17. Dry the straight razor with a towel.
  18. Test the sharpness of the razor edge on forearm hair.


Tips
  1. Keep the razor perfectly flat on the coticule during the circles and X-strokes.
  2. Keep the heel of the razor leading during the circles so you don’t wear into the shoulder.
  3. Move the razor with smooth, even strokes of equal number and pressure on both sides of the blade.
  4. Ensure the coticule is secure on a flat surface so that the stone does not shift while honing. However, smaller hones may be held in the off-hand during honing rather than placed on a flat surface. It is suggested this method be left to those with more experience as you may cut your fingers if not executed properly. 
  5. If you have a decorative blade, you may consider folding a piece of electrical tape from tip to shoulder along the blade.


Photos

Image Credit: Fendrihan


Image Credit: Classic Shaving


Image Credit: Coticule


Videos

Video Credit: Lynn Abrams


Sources

No comments:

Post a Comment