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First Arkansas and Couticule

Glad you found what you want. I meant to offense or ill intent. I also respect the hell out of Keith, I am an a big fan and his videos have taught me a lot. Especially the stuff about staying off message boards for advice. I could have swore your OP was phrased as a question, that’s why I gave my honest opinion. That’s all i it was, my opinion based off my hands on experience. “With all due respect”.

At the end of the day, the only good advice is exactly as Keith would say. Buy the darn stone and evaluate it yourself, with your hand, and judge the stone by its own merits. Don’t forget his most important advice, he says it just about every video. Quit asking people for advice on message boards or Facebook. Especially if you’re going to bark back when they are answering a question you asked.
Agreed. I do appreciate anyone sharing his personal experience, it gives me another opportunity to try something or pay attention to something I didn't before. For example how much work it will take to prep my stone and how it may feel using it. That's a piece of information that I value up front, but it just happens not to be something that is not going to affect my next step.

My question was how to find a reliable source, for myself and not by something that's fake. What to keep in mind in order to try and avoid learning the hard way. No one but me can do it for me. So my own question was formed wrong in the first place.

I'm here to get a nudge in the right direction while trying to learn how to use a straight razor and how to make it shave how I want it, using a natural stone. I did.

I'm not here to argue, or to be a general pain in the backside. I am not trying to be dissrespectful to other people or their opinions. But my experience so far is, that I can't follow everyone's advice. And not everyone will give detailed enough advice, because they will think differently than I do and some things for them might be straightforward, while very hazy for me. I know everyone means well and I do too. It's just how I am, afraid of the unknown and a very slow learner.
 
Thank you for detailed instructions. I'm sure I'll find them helpful, the same as I did with strop oiling and rolling.

But all this will come after buying my first ark. I'm hesitant to buy, test and see because that way I would have to spend like a thousand bucks, which I don't want to... Buying vintage to me seems just the same, because the seller might not have any idea what is he selling, or could be flat out lying. I mean the best thing would be to buy something that has gone through the hands of someone that can tell me "yep, this one is legit" and try an edge that was honed on it... For someone who is intersted to get into this, it seems extremely chaotic and confusing...
What the bst threads. Quite a few guys here put stones up there a lot and as long as it's a trusted member or someone who posts a lot they'll usually tell you truth about what they have up.
 
I got my Belgian coticule from Gary Haywood and a 2x6 ultra fine ark from Dans (wasnt overly expensive at that size) and finished it as per Dr Matts videos, using lapped glass plate with carbide cutting grits up to 800 grit and burnished with a large chisel. I gotta say the shaves are unbelievable and I finally am happy to have found "my edge/technique" after a few years of experimenting. Be good if you can post your progress with the stones! Have finished my black ark so its like a mirror!
 

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I got my Belgian coticule from Gary Haywood and a 2x6 ultra fine ark from Dans (wasnt overly expensive at that size) and finished it as per Dr Matts videos, using lapped glass plate with carbide cutting grits up to 800 grit and burnished with a large chisel. I gotta say the shaves are unbelievable and I finally am happy to have found "my edge/technique" after a few years of experimenting. Be good if you can post your progress with the stones! Have finished my black ark so its like a mirror!
Are you using the coticule and black ark together?
 
Are you using the coticule and black ark together?
Yea, i do it as Dr Matt does it, max out the coticule edge first, aggressive linen and leather strop and then i spend a few minutes on the black ark to enhance it and finish with a good strop on leather. Its sharp for sure, cuts with no effort but still extremely smooth for my sensitive skin. In the past i would have done loads of laps on the ark trying to max it out, wait till the blade is stuck to the stone before finishing etc. but that made the edge too keen for my skin, not forgiving and lost some smoothness with my stone anyways, slight irritation after. I use a light honing oil also with the black ark to stop the blade getting sucked in as much, that def helped keep the edge smooth also. Somebody advised that heavier oil/sticking blade was making the edge harsh/stone working it harder etc.
 
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