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Coticule and oil

This is probably an admission thread more than a question or anything. Although I’m not 100% sure what I am admitting. It is either coticule abuse or my own foolishness for not trying this before.

Coticules and oil.

And I still am not sure if I feel like I am doing something wrong or right. Why? Because I am one of those staunch oil-stones need oil and water-stones need water people. I use lather on water stones at times and just to experiment I have tried glycerin/mixes on water stones and an ark or two but in the end just use oil on oilstones and water on water stones. I like to read what others do and ask about it but rarely deviate myself. Despite everything I have read about folks using oil, I have always used water (maybe some lather) on coticules.

But then I went and did it. Dripped some of that oil-stone oil on a coticule bout and polished a chisel edge and was impressed. Took a test razor to the same bout now sullied with oil and wow. Took a couple of razors more in the use-rotation to a bona fide razor coticule and wow.

My former coticule edges off water have not been lacking. I can hit that sweet spot of sharp-smooth cotis are so well loved for. Never was a problem. But wow, oil seems to make a different feel and a notch higher on keen. Swarf fast and nice sharp.

Not sure if I feel wicked for oiling up some coticules or not being open enough to try it before! Admission of guilt over.

P.S. - the oil really does wipe right off and after very limited experience seems to not penetrate.
 

SliceOfLife

Contributor
Used Coticules for a decade and they barely touched oil. An oil finished coti edge in a blind edge test recently got me to play around with it a bit. On my finest coticules, I think I still just barely prefer water to oil edges; but on good to avg and below avg coticules, the oil is a big improvement.
 
I agree with what others have written above. Coticules and oil work well together. It is safe to switch between water and oil with coticules. Dish soap works well for cleaning in between. I have also found that it can be easier to complete finishing stages using oil with some coticules.

Here is an old coticule ad referencing oil:
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Oil is great for honing and works well with coticules. I didn’t have much luck with my coticule edges on water and was about to relegate the stone for kitchen knife use. Then I tried oil and WOW. Great edges!

The type of oil makes a difference too. Singer Sewing machine oil works pretty well. I’ve done some experimenting and recently created a home brew oil of 50% food grade mineral oil and 50% paraffin oil. I actually like this a bit better than the Singer product. It’s a lot slicker and maybe a touch less viscous. The Singer oil is low oder but to my nose the home brew is zero oder and judging from the ingredient labels it’s non-toxic too.

Both are inert mineral oils and wash off easily with dish soap. I still use water before the final finishing stage where I switch to oil. I haven’t had any issues with water beading up on me when going back to water.

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Feedback appreciated. It wasn’t a new concept to me or anything and aware it was common practice and labeled. Just wasn’t something I ever felt like I needed or was going to try. And when you do it one way for so long a new way feels pretty weird. But this was an interesting change for sure.
 
I usually finish under running water with my coticule but when I want to get a really nice edge I will use Norton honing oil (jusy the oil i decided to get I'm sure anything can work).
Always makes me sort of sad looking at those advertisements for coticule back in the day. Wish there were more options and grades other than select and select plus. Can't complain too much though it is a great world we live in!
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David

The Fur Burglar!
Moderator Emeritus
Wow. The Old Rocks are over twice the price of anything else on that page. I've got one that I've never used. Might be time to dust it off and see what it can do.
 
Putting an edge on another razor I plan on shaving with. I have this thin soft coticule I thought I would try using with some oil and post a video of it here. It sounded horrible but the edge seems to be alright. The stone is wicked fast and not the best candidate but will say getting oil off the stone was easy. Just ran a slurry stone over it and she is good to go. Normally I would just use oil on my hard coticule but wanted to see how oil would react on a somewhat average coticule

 
Wow. The Old Rocks are over twice the price of anything else on that page. I've got one that I've never used. Might be time to dust it off and see what it can do.
That's exactly what caught my eye. Much more expensive than a YG Escher.
 
Had a shave with the razor today and it was actually very pleasant! Would say it was sharper than an 8k with that coticule smooth feel. Probably going to have another 2 or so shaves with it before going to one of my other finishers. Didn't think oil would make that much of a difference on this stone but that was a pretty sweet edge
 
Used Coticules for a decade and they barely touched oil. An oil finished coti edge in a blind edge test recently got me to play around with it a bit. On my finest coticules, I think I still just barely prefer water to oil edges; but on good to avg and below avg coticules, the oil is a big improvement.

I think I'm with Slice on this one.
If its a REALLY good coticule it makes little difference but will surely help with the majority of them.
 
So it’s already been pointed out on this thread that Coticules were marketed as oil stones on occasion in the past. I wonder at what point using them with oil became recommended less often and why.
 
Old french texts mention pro razor sharpeners using Belgium stones and olive oil. So I tried and it works a treat: really easy to get a top notch edge. But is not practical, and I anyhow don't finish on coticules.

It may have been the same for others. Water is easier to use, and overall it still works great, so could it be that people just naturally shifted away from oil.

Many stones do great on oil. Often being faster. I tend to think this is because the stone releases more particles and the reduced surface tension helps those particles to cut better. My polished arks (and even hard cotis) loose some of their shine on oil, and I find they dish faster. But while the razors edge straigth off the stone can feel sharper, I don't find it smoother, and I can easily breach the sharpness gap stropping with some leather passes.

Do use oil on novaculite to sharpen needles and some wood working tools.
 
The natural combo coti/bbws I inherited seemed to be heavily used with oil, certainly a common practice of old. Very smooth and refined edges. "Glazed" with metal and oil => ultra smooth stone and edge for me.
Coincidentally not only the Coti side was like this, but also the BBW side seemed heavily used.
and in my personal experience, the BBW sides leaves a smoother and keener edge; I prefer shaving off the BBW. Wonderful stones!
 
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