Coticules

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cotedupy

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Along with the Turkish / Cretan Oilstone the Belgian Coticule probably has a strong claim to be the oldest whetstone in the world in terms of continued and ongoing use for blade sharpening. The Romans in fact were using both of those stones, and we all know they did rather well for themselves in terms of having more and better pointy, sharp things than the opposition.

Coticules seem to be getting some (completely justified) appreciation again here recently, but it doesn't look like we have a thread for them. So let's see and hear about your cotis...
 
I'll start with a couple of very nice old 7x2s I found in the UK recently:

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I already had quite a few cotis so I put the first stone up on BST, which got snapped up cleverly by @PeterL, and I immediately regretted selling - vintage cotis that size and thickness aren't particularly common at all.

But god was looking kindly on me, because not a week later I found the second stone in a tiny little old tool shop. And looking at them more closely together it was clear that while they are different types or veins, they've also been cut in exactly the same way, to the same specs. I presume sold originally by the same UK distributor/cutler/toolmaker. And I will not make the same mistake twice... this new one stays with me :).

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Another couple of recent UK ebay pickups...

This one came in a lot with a couple of Saxonians (!). People call stones like these ‘bouts rustique’, this one is very fine and quite hard:

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And an ancient hanging paddle stone, from some weird, old unknown vein. This is on the softer side and very quick:

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i have 2 cotis from newly mined stock. i'd say these are 6-8k somewhere.
i bought these for razors but they did not perform. too dull.

cotis are usually priced by width. the wider the more expensive. i guess the layers are warped so wider sizes are less common.

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makes a good kasumi. carbon-iron

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here we can see 3 different layers. the top triangle is much finer and i think this is what people are referring to when they talk razor stones. its both finer, smoother and faster. its just a better layer for everything.
i now use these 2 naguras as cleaners for all my mid to fine stones. especially the synth finishers. they are the best cleaners/uncloggers for fine grit stones.

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just want to show off my uchi too :)

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i have 2 cotis from newly mined stock. i'd say these are 6-8k somewhere.
i bought these for razors but they did not perform. too dull.
Just getting into cotis, but I think that's how it works, not sure why. I got a great shaving edge from an old, seriously dished coti I picked up at auction. I knew it was a good sign when the seller said it was his dad's, and included a bonus straight razor in the shipment. Although there are the modern La Lunes that are said to make a nice edge on a razor.

That is one seriously gorgeous uchi.
 
i love that uchi. creates a perfect 3-4k haze. no silver streaks. good for edges too i found.

these days i just use the shapton 12k and the gokumyo 20k for razors. they are fast and good. i just splash my face 2-3 times before lathering up so i need the sharpest blade for this to work. the 20k gok is about a lightyear ahead of my cotis here. no ****. but you also have to be very careful. the edges it produce takes no prisoners. not mild at all. not smooth either. but its sharp enough.
 
This one I traded off the man himself.

It is an old, unbacked bout. I suspect very old, since the hole indicates it predates the antique paddle box. Who knows what this stone has seen.

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It is rather nice that one isn't it, with the top of the paddle carved exactly for the stone. One of the first cotis I ever got I think, though better with you than me, as I'm still not brilliant at using narrow razor hones.
 
It is rather nice that one isn't it, with the top of the paddle carved exactly for the stone. One of the first cotis I ever got I think, though better with you than me, as I'm still not brilliant at using narrow razor hones.
More a razor hone than knife. But honestly, I just wanted it because it interested me as an artifact. I have several cotis that work as well, but I just thought the mystery hole, etc was cool. I imagined it hanging off some Romans belt, or whatever. Probably silly rubbish.
 
I just scored a nice (looking anyway) natural combi from ebay. It should arrive in about a week. Question, should I get a bout to raise a proper slurry or can my 1200 Atoma serve this purpose (will be using it for kitchen knives, not into razors)?

Regardless, looking forward to seeing what these Coti/bbw are all about.
 
I just scored a nice (looking anyway) natural combi from ebay. It should arrive in about a week. Question, should I get a bout to raise a proper slurry or can my 1200 Atoma serve this purpose (will be using it for kitchen knives, not into razors)?

Regardless, looking forward to seeing what these Coti/bbw are all about.


Nice one! Definitely post some pics when you can.

Imo - if you want a coti very fast, with really toothy edges on a knife then atoma slurry is the way to go. Though a slurry stone would probably save the life of the base stone a bit.

How big is it? You could always saw some off for a slurry stone. It's very easy to saw.
 
Nice one! Definitely post some pics when you can.

Imo - if you want a coti very fast, with really toothy edges on a knife then atoma slurry is the way to go. Though a slurry stone would probably save the life of the base stone a bit.

How big is it? You could always saw some off for a slurry stone. It's very easy to saw.
Here’s some pics from the eBay seller. It’s 8” long, somewhat irregular shaped, 1.5-2” wide. I did think about cutting off an end, but it seems there’s value in length, so would probably just buy a bote if I want to try it.
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Here’s some pics from the eBay seller. It’s 8” long, somewhat irregular shaped, 1.5-2” wide. I did think about cutting off an end, but it seems there’s value in length, so would probably just buy a bote if I want to try it. View attachment 197291View attachment 197292View attachment 197293View attachment 197294


Oh my word that's awesome! I love the irregular cut, general old-school vibe, and a good amount of life left in it. :)

It's impossible to say for certain with old coticules really, but it looks like it could be La Veinette. Which would be a very good thing indeed - one of the absolute best coticule veins for both knives and razors. And if it is then you may not even need to slurry it, LaV can be very soft, while still being fine and exceptionally quick.
 
Oh my word that's awesome! I love the irregular cut, general old-school vibe, and a good amount of life left in it. :)

It's impossible to say for certain with old coticules really, but it looks like it could be La Veinette. Which would be a very good thing indeed - one of the absolute best coticule veins for both knives and razors. And if it is then you may not even need to slurry it, LaV can be very soft, while still being fine and exceptionally quick.
Will see when I get it. I’m hopeful that the visible lines are manganese, which I’ve read is a very good thing. Of course no way to truly know if it’s a LaV, but happy to suggest it might be. 😊
 
A few more of mine...

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The nearest stone (not a coticule) is something called a 'Goldfisch Wetzstein' which is a from a layer of La Lorraine.

The one next to it I sold, the coticule was very fine, and probably extremely good for razors.

The third is a strange stone cut with a very thick layer of BBW, and both sides are fast and coarse:

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The huge stone at the end is almost certainly La Veinette, and it's one of the most extraordinary whetstones I've ever used. It self slurries with ease and is incredibly fast while finishing very fine. The edges on knives are perfection, and the BBW side polishes really beautifully (I think anyway):

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I guess it's good that this jumped above my willing to pay point relatively quickly...
I got into a bidding war pretty early on it with one other person. Then got sneaky and set up an auto bid snipe. Probably would have paid less if I had done that before bidding it up against them, but still got it for under $100, which seems like a good deal for an 8” natural combo. Sorry if it was you I was bidding against!
 
This was a big, fast coti, with a lot of blush. It had clearly been used as a knife stone, from the dishing.

Rather than flush a lot of yellow stone down the drain, I decided to cut the ends off into slurry stones, and just flatten the middle.

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Why it’s nothing more than than a block of dried coticule powder m’lud...

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A few beauties above, so to redress the balance here’s a (currently) ugly duckling I won last week.

I was the only the bidder on this - sometimes they just slip though - but there’s also a fair bit of risk here which probably put people off. While I’m 99% sure this is a coti, by the look of it a big un, I also have no idea how thick it is and how much will be left once I’ve lapped through the gauges. So we’ll see what pops out when I’m back home tomorrow...

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Finally got the new stone home today. It cleaned up really nice. Looking forward to figuring these things out.

7 7/8” x 1.5-1.75” x 7/8”

The coti side is flat as can be. The dark line is definitely a crack, but I can’t feel it. Something to keep an eye on.
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The BBW side was pretty flat as well. Also a crack, but in a different place than the coti side, so not something that goes all the way through.
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Where the BBW appears to rise up it seems like it’s something different is sandwiched between the layers. It’s a little darker and seems sparklier. Not sure what that’s about.
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Of course these are renowned razor honers, so I figured I should also get a straight razor and see what that’s all about too. Picked up this vintage Boker for a song.

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