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Now I have a pair of natural stones... Ha!!

Is that a grid line in the corner? Yeah that's the pic I meant... thought it was just a linear artifact in the stone... either way... that does not look like a lapped ark. Like I said, that's what a stone looks like coming off of coarse abrasive powder... not ready for use yet. I'd have charnleys come off 60grit sic looking like that and they'd cut like coarse crystolon until the surface broke in.

New pic looks much better

And yeah trans ark is way under 3.0 sg... its 99.9% or so pure quartz.. which is like 2.7 sg if memory serves...
I’m going to try my best to address the original questions in the thread. So question number one was,

“Is this a true surgical black Arkansas stone?”
I would say that it is highly unlikely that this is anything other than what was advertised considering the vendor. They are frequently out of stock on these stones and I’ve found that you just have to wait until they get more back in stock and that waiting period can be lengthy at times.

Now question number two had to do with the coloration of Coticule stones. Answering that question takes a level of familiarity with those stones well beyond what I possess. That being said here’s a good link to a fairly comprehensive rundown of these stones.

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Interesting--so how do the 2 different finished sides fit in your progression? What is your overall progression?

Shapton HR 1k, 4k, 8k, Naniwa 12k, hard Ark.

I will go from 8k to Coticule with only water. I need to try going straight from 8k to hard Ark - bypassing the 12k.

Not much difference between a 240 and 400 finish. I would just try different finishes on the two sides of your stone until you find what you like.
Regarding the color and appearance of Coticules, there are multiple layers of Coticules about which much has been written. I would make/grab the beverage of your choice and start with:

Regarding the color and appearance of Coticules, there are multiple layers of Coticules about which much has been written. I would make/grab the beverage of your choice and start with:

One of the reasons I was wondering is mine has a layer of yellow/green on top, but there is a layer that is reddish/pink under above the slate backing. I was wondering it that red color ever appears on top and if it has different characteristics when it comes to honing.

Thanks for the article. Getting coffee now and will read.

So, I have 3 Dovo Barbarossas that I just finished over the last couple of days. All full hollow. (these are great size stones for those razors because of their blade length).

  • A Square point. Edge killed on a glass and then honed with my normal progression of Nortons and finished on an ILR
  • A Dutch point. Edged killed on a glass and then used the coticule with the Dulicot progression and finished with the Ark
  • A Spanish point. Edge killed on a glass and then just the coticule with the Dulicot progression and finished under running water on the coticule.
I didn't realize that coticules get sticky under running water...

I'll do a test shave using all of them for part of the shave tomorrow and see what suits best.

So, I did the test shave. Totally unscientific and so many different variables that the results should be taken with a giant grain of salt.

There was a clear winner in terms of comfort--the Spanish point honed only on the coticule, stropped on plain, clean canvas, and a horse hide strop. No pastes or sprays. My slurry stone arrived today, so I re-honed this one using slurry from that, using the Dilucot progression, but this time I finished on plain water at the bench, then soapy water, and then mineral oil. I wanted to see how refined this stone could be, and I do think it was improved. I will say the edge was not as keen as the other two, but it did the job well, and I can do a 3 pass shave plus touch-ups without irritation with this. I could shave every day, doing 3 passes with this blade honed this way. I usually shave every 2 or 3 days to let my skin rest

The Square point was scary sharp, and very efficient. Not uncomfortable mostly, but I could not do 3 passes with it, and no touch-ups without irritation. And there were a few moments that I felt it was saying to me: "are you sure you really want to do that? Go ahead and see what happens...". It was stropped the same way--no pastes or sprays. Finished on an ILR with plain water, then soapy water, then lather.

The Dutch point rivaled the Square point in keenness, but was a little bit more comfortable. It was finished on the Ark with soapy water, but I'm going to try it with oil after I get the ark properly finished. It did bite me once.

I'm still experimenting, and will use each of these a week straight to see what is working best, but right now I want to go pure coticule for this next week and the other two in the following weeks
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