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BBW Belgium Blue Whetstone (200mm x 50mm)BBW Belgium Blue Whetstone (200mm x 50mm)
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BBW Belgium Blue Whetstone (200mm x 50mm) BBW Belgium Blue Whetstone (200mm x 50mm)

BBW Belgium Blue Whetstone (200mm x 50mm)

 
 

£31.99  including VAT

SKU SHBBW200X50 Brand: Ardennes Coticule Delivery: Get FREE UK delivery on all orders over £39.99

A uniquely formed, 4000 grit equivalent honing stone!
Out of stock

A uniquely formed, 4000 grit equivalent honing stone!

The Belgian Blue Whetstone, or BBW for short, is extracted together with and at the same location as the Coticule. The BBW was formed in the same way and at the same time as the Coticule. The presence of iron oxide in the stone explains the bluish purple colour. Just like the Coticule, the extraction of the BBW is a time-consuming task that must be carried out very meticulously, without the use of machinery. This extraction is very time-consuming, labour-intensive and expensive work that can only occur a few months per year, due to the influence of all kinds of weather conditions. The production is 100% traditional and makes every stone a unique item.

Exceptional Sharpening Characteristics

The Belgian Blue Whetstone is approximately identical to the Coticule and has almost identical sharpening characteristics. The BBW contains a maximum of 25% of garnets with a diameter of 10 to 20 microns. The geometrical shape of these garnets is a dodecahedron. There are twelve surfaces with obtuse angles. The BBW contains fewer garnets than the Coticule and those garnets are bigger. This means that the BBW sharpens slightly slower than the Coticule, but still very quick and extremely fine, resulting in a razor with a sharp blade. The BBW has greater hardness than the Coticule.

The BBW is often compared to a 4000 grit whetstone, using the Japanese grit system, but it must be borne in mind that it is a natural product, and therefore no one stone is 100% identical to another. The grit rating is given purely for information, and tells you little about the specific characteristics of the stone. The advantage compared to other whetstones is that the Coticule sharpens very finely and very quickly, no other whetstone possesses this combination.

The hardness of the garnets ensures that they are able to hone any kind of steel, including stainless steel , Damascus Steel and HSS High Speed Steel.

The geometric shape of the garnets gives the whetstone another unique characteristic. The smooth shape of the garnets means that they sharpen the metal without leaving behind tiny burrs. Because of this, a razor sharpened with a Coticule does not damage the skin during shaving.

BBW Construction

The Belgian Blue Whetstone consists of one layer with a thickness of between 13 and 16 mm. The BBW, unlike the Coticule, comes without a substrate to give it extra strength. The BBW is not divided into categories like the Coticule, and there are almost never any blemishes in the surface. The Belgian Blue Whetstone is only produced in rectangular shape and due to the deposition of thick strata of sedimentary rock, large sizes are the rule rather than the exception. Production is carried out using traditional methods, and a small tolerance as regards dimensions is perfectly normal.

Sharpening with a BBW

All that is required is to wet the BBW surface; there is no need to immerse the stone. During sharpening, garnets are released from the BBW surface. The more garnets are released, the more abrasive the grinding compound becomes.

A frequently-used method for increasing abrasiveness is to use a rubbing stone to produce a grinding compound with a high garnet content on the BBW surface. This is done by rubbing the surface of the rubbing stone over the surface of the whetstone. The bluish purple grinding compound does not take long to appear.

For the fine honing, the grinding compound is diluted in a number of stages with a small amount of water until finally there is only water on the surface. This method, combined with the versatility of the BBW, means that only one whetstone is needed for the entire sharpening process. Please see http://www.coticule.be/straight-razor-honing.html for more information on honing with a Coticule/Belgian Blue and in particular the sections on the Unicot (using only one honing stone) and Dilucot (using progressivley diluted slurry on the one stone) methods.

Flattening the BBW

Place a piece of +/- 80 to 100 micron sandpaper on a flat surface. Put some water on it and rub the stone flat.

Working life of stone

The working life depends on the use. The more intensive the use, the faster the stone will be worn away. Generally speaking, our whetstones last 20 years in normal use.

Please Note: Use only water when sharpening, not oil. Oil is only used with porous stones to prevent iron particles remaining stuck in the pores.

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