Convex combo 8x3 Ark from Jarrod, arrived.

Discussion in 'Hones/Honing' started by kohalajohn, Apr 12, 2019 at 5:13 PM.

  1. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    It's so great to read what experience teaches!

    Several great posts since I was here yesterday. Much appreciated, gentlemen.

    John, would you do me a favor and describe, in terms of the strokes I linked earlier, all of which can be copied and pasted if you want to, as images, the stroke you think best on the 8x3 convex?

    The little images I posted are clearly of smaller stones. I tend to think, and this may be totally wrong, and just purely both stupid and idiosyncratic, of X Strokes as being somewhat heel leading unless the stone is smaller than the stones I usually use.

    On the smallest of my rectangular stones, my 7x2 coticule, I use an X stroke, or what I call an X stroke, but it is at maybe 45 degrees because it sort of has to be to stay on the stone. I tend to use that same 45 degree (or thereabouts, not being precise with the degrees here) on most stones for no particularly good reason.


    Just thinking about the convex Ark (which I have only in transit and in my imagination) it seems to me that a heel leading stroke would be best, but that's not what I see being used in the videos I posted earlier. Jarrod may be using a slightly heel leading stroke but not anywhere close to 45 degrees. The woman at Devo, not heel leading I think.

    Anyway, what are you saying?

    Do you mean straight hones as in the blade is without any heel leading? Are you thinking, as I do, of X Strokes as heel leading.

    Mostly I'm trying to establish two things.
    • Nomenclature (which is always an issue, and I don't care about being pedantic; I do care to understand others and be understood).
    • What's the best way to use these convex stones?
    I know it's early days for you but you're way ahead of me with the convex Arks. I'm not even at the start yet much less muddling through.

    Thanks and happy shaves,

  2. I think of X strokes as starting with the heel near the edge of the stone and ending with the toe near the edge of the stone regardless of the heel lead/lag angle. The heel lead/lag angle would be an adjective describing the stroke such as 'heel leading X strokes'.
  3. You can use elliptical strokes with success. This is a half stroke that is back and forth while slowly pulling the razor from heel to point, then flip to do the other side. Finish with one or two light full stroke laps. .... YMMV as always
  4. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor


    My stone arrived a day early!


    Happy shaves,

  5. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    Thank you, sir.
  6. Lord, just read through Jarrod's running commentary and found my uninformed self quoted twice.

    I think I understand what Jarrod is saying about the spherical/elliptical shapes, but I think in the interest of pure honing, without regard to maintainability, a convex shape only along the width would be best. Just try to hone an X stroke on the center ridge and call it a day.

    The more complicated shapes seem to lend themselves to not needing maintenance as quickly, rather than a hone where you are only honing on the top middle. At least that's my thoughts without trying one. If there's ever a passaround, count me in. I'd love to try one out, but I'm not interested in purchasing a new hone right now.
  7. Good morning Jim.

    You asked about the x stroke. I think rather than words I'll try to upload a quick video later on today.

    Dundas talked about how he makes peripheral circles with a bout to induce convexity. I also think that's a good idea and that's actually what started me on this.

    When I bought a loupe I realized that my soft naniwas were often dished. Not good.

    I started lapping more but thought how the moment I lapped, it started toward concave again. I thought convexity would be good, as a hill in the middle would be like having money in the bank. The good thing about convexity is that it's not concave, right?

    So I got a small bout made of the same material as my nani12. Made several peripheral circles before honing.

    But it didn't really work. The bout was so soft it was hardly doing anything. And a coarse bout would be bad, as it would leave coarse particles on the nani12.

    At that time I was planning on getting into jnats, not Arks. I was talking to doc226. Very helpful guy. I learned that he no longer uses his naguras. Just a worn atoma 1200 to create slurry. And then he just goes from there, lightening pressure as he moves toward finishing. Using hand skill developed from honing thousands of razors. Very cool.

    When I asked about lapping he said no need. The atoma keeps his jnat perfectly flat every time he creates slurry. Also very cool.

    What an elegant solution, I thought. I was just about to buy a hard Ozuku and an atoma 1200 for it. From Alex at Another great guy. Very helpful, willing to educate.

    Then I saw that Jarrod was convexing Arks. Stones so dense that they would just keep their convexity for the decades I have left on this mortal plane.

    So I changed directions and went Ark first.

    Perhaps 2020 I'll finally go jnat. And then get way too excited about that too.

    By the way, Doc226 also has no interest in convexity. But he doesn't need it. He already has a perfect system.

    Same thing with pasted balsa strops. I use them a lot. No need for convexity as the soft balsa rises up to caress the edge.

    My patient wife stood on a chair this morning filming me honing x strokes for Jim. Will upload later on. Don't expect anything fancy. It's just x strokes.

  8. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    Oh, my, you got your wife involved. You are way, way, way, way ahead of me.

    I enjoyed this post (the history especially) and look forward to you video.

    Thanks so much,

  9. Hmmm.

    Can someone tell me what video format is allowed here? The .mov format is not accepted.
  10. You would probably be best served by uploading to youtube, then posting a link.
  11. Here ya go Jim.

    I'm not saying this is the way to lap on convex. Just the way I do it.

  12. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    Thanks so much. Great video. I particularly like that both the show and the tell are so clear, and that you're not rushing through anything.


    Regular X Stroke (above)
    45 Degree X Stroke (below)


    Your angle looks a bit like a cross between these two (about 20 degrees as you said). Very clear what you're doing.

    A couple of questions.
    • Do you think a 45 Degree X Stroke keeping the entire blade on the stone throughout (or almost all of the blade) would work? That's me sorta assuming that the stroke actually would keep the blade on the stone throughout which I don't actually know.
    • How are you determining when to quit? Undercutting of the lubricant? Sticktion? I've found this fairly hard to determine honing with my Arks.
    I like the look of the El Cheapo razor, particularly the scales. You got a nice one there.

    Thanks to you and your wife for making such a good video, sir. I'm going to watch it a few more times over the next day or so.

    Happy shaves,

  13. Because of the Spherical surface the same amount of contact results regardless of heel lead angle. The only thing that will change is the angle of the stria lines.
  14. I don't think it matters much, 45 degrees or 20 degrees.

    As long as you draw a diagonal over the hill, top left to bottom right, every bit of the edge has to get attention.

    Like drawing a chef's knife along a cylindrical steel, every point has to touch the steel. It can't be otherwise. Geometry of the edge doesn't matter. So that's good.

    What's bad is this. You asked about stiction. One disadvantage of convex hones is there is no stiction. This is unfortunate, because stiction is one of the most helpful tells. And it can't exist, because only a bit of the edge is in contact with the rock at a time.

    Flat hones create stiction. As long as both hone and razor are flat. If you are not getting stiction on a flat hone, you know one of those things are not flat and you have to fix it.

    I guess a pro convex fella would say so what. A pro convex fella would say the point of convex Arks is that they just work, so you don't need tells any more. (gasp! blasphemy!)

    A convex Ark doesn't tell me when to quit. The shave was the tell.

    God, look at me talking like an expert now. I'm not. I'm just a guy who has done three shaves on an Ark.

    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 8:17 PM
  15. I Genuinely think as an engineer this makes sense and if nothing else would produce more consistent and repeatable polished edges on straight razors.

    I probably won’t ever buy one because the economics don’t make sense currently and I want stones that can sharpen anything and that means flat. Free hand honing most tools, kitchen cutlery, lawn mower blades (wait what?!) happens best with a consistent flat bevel and pressure concentrated at the edge. This stone makes that nearly impossible to achieve reliably, let alone honing a straight and perpendicular edge across a whole blade width. My lawn and dead tree carcasses deserve better than I could achieve with this stone.

    For a straight razor with a built in honing guide... it’s easy money. Consistent contact and pressure across the entire bevel everytime.
  16. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    Thanks to all of you gentlemen.

    This is one heavy stone! Oh, my, is it heavy!

    Ah, the engineer's point of view. Jarrod says engineers get it.

    Good points. These obviously are not cheap + they won't sharpen our lawn mowers' blades (but I have other stones should I want to do that with one of them).

    That was my thinking, too, but you expressed it much more clearly and precisely which tells me my thinking was not developed. Now it is.

    Perhaps there are some tells with this stone but we have to find them? Maybe with so few strokes the blade is so sharp tells are unnecessary?

    Three shaves off this stone puts you ahead of me, far enough ahead where I'm listening hard, and that experience of yours trumps anybody without experience at all (like me).

    Do you live in Hawaii? If so, very nice. I have a friend who recently moved there. She seems happy. She married a Navy man who's stationed there. So, right out of college she moved to the islands. Great person she is. I like her very much.

    Happy shaves,

  17. Works well for lawnmower blades. Much faster than stones.

  18. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    I don't have a lawnmower. I like to cut the grass but it kills my breathing so I pay someone and try to be gone when he cuts the grass.

    I'll bet you're right though. Most things needing to be sharp don't need to be smooth and comfortable on our skin!

    Happy shaves,

  19. Craftsmen in Yasuki at the annual street fair. Yasuki also pronounced Yasugi is the home of Hitachi Steel boutique steel division. The whole town is about steel and people from all over the area bring their knives for sharpening to this fair.
    Togi or sword sharpeners in Japan also use convex stones as they polish/sharpen 5mm of steel at a time. These guy below are sharpening portions of the blade as they go from heel to toe on synthetic stones. For convex blades the principle if fine but the skill of the worker is the key to keeping the edges gentle heel to toe profile. With aggressive stone in the 1,000 grit range lots of steel can be removed fast.


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  20. This statement surprises me. I get stiction on smiling razors. Same small contact area.

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