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 Post subject: Belgium Blue Whetstone...anyone use this?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:50 am
Posts: 826
I have had an itch to use a natural stone. I abandoned the arkansas stones which are junk.
Kind of another story...after poor results, I measured the density...simply grams/cubic cms and found that
they did not meet specs. The seller graciously refunded me, shipping included. So, I have replaced
them with a BBW which has a Belgium coti slurry stone. While an arkansas black can wear out
a rookie like me, the BBW has not. I went from a Chosera 400, then Chosera 800, and then the BBW.
Great feel but then again I have only had one other finishing stone for comparison and that's
a Shapton Glass 4k. The SG produces--cuts and polishes. Feel, though, is an acquired taste.
The BBW, possbily might feel like a high girt Chosera. There was a transition from glide to float with
very little pressure on the blade. Using pre and post paper tests, this stone definitely improved performance.
My practice knives were Chicago Cutlery and standard Opinel model. I do not yet have the confidence to use
any of our j. knives. They already have a very satisfying edge and I know that more sharpening is likely to
set them back. The BBW is reported to have an equivalent estimated grit of 4k and the slurry stone--7k.
I don't know if I will do any better than the SG4k but it's a hobby and wanted to try this stone.
Not much is written on it. Razor guys are more likely to have them. As for kitchen blade use, seems that others may put
the stone in their tool box but may end up relying on other stones which are immediately user friendly. At this point,
I can say that the most appealing aspect is their feel. Performance, as with any stone, will be more about the user.
I would post a picture of the final results, but it's my sense that pictures do not provide a valid estimate of performance.
Well, maybe if if there is a choil view.

 Post subject: Re: Belgium Blue Whetstone...anyone use this?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:20 pm
Posts: 1356
I love the Beligian stones. Frankly, I have no need for anything else, other than what I would use for a low grit solution. There are no grits for these stones, only approximations, as certain variables such as slurry thicknesses, garnet sizes, etc...will affect the grit, but they all have one thing in common in that the garnet shape leaves a shallower scratch pattern which results in them being more comfortable for shaving(at skin level, skin don't lie).

Having said that, despite the grit approximations, some guys prefer to use BBW after the Coticule as it is harder(even though the grit is supposedly less) and for some, has proven to be better as a finishing stone. Otherwise, I like to develop a nice, thick slurry on the BBW which makes it more effective. BBW is nice; it is cheaper and with a thick slurry, is a great stone. Like Coticule, can be used with varying thicknesses of slurry.

But really, my favorite is the Coticule. Awesome stone for anything. Incredible really, but pricey. I already have an 8" x 3" BBW and a smallish Coticule that gets a lot of use. My next stone will simply be a larger Coticule(8x2 or 8x3), either standard or select. Coticule(as you may know) has a higher percentage of smaller garnets per weight and is yellow in color which is better for seeing actual metal removal.

Coticule is the best sharpening stone period, as far as I'm concerned, and has a long history(the roman armies supposedly used them to sharpen their swords). It'll cut anything. I believe the garnets are in around 74 HRC, and again, because of their round shape, leave a smooth, sharp edge off the stone....which is then even better after a strop.

 Post subject: Re: Belgium Blue Whetstone...anyone use this?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:50 am
Posts: 826
The Coti is softer but cuts faster than the BBW is what I'm reading, and as indicated in your post.
For progression my understanding is all one needs is a low grit stone to set bevels, then the coti,
and then the BBW. But, for me, hard to put aside my investment in my generously sized chosera stones.

I've tried the slurry both ways, thick and watery. One knock on thick is that the slurry will rub against
the side of the cutting edge, thereby dulling the edge. Then again, one stone can generate a lot of opinions.
And, yes, about the BBW slurry. I don't see any, I get it. It might be there but the purple from
the BBW masks it. I was hoping that the coti slurry stone would generate more of the yellow color. I was told
by the seller that it should be "whole milk" in c olor. Not for me...purple, purple, purple. What's really cool is to
see the bevel polish up..quickly. When it comes to cleaning the stone, zero loading of metal and that's nice after
dealing with rapid and stubborn loading on the GS.

Curious, if you have used the Chosera stones, how would you compare them to the BBW?

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