Convex combo 8x3 Ark from Jarrod, arrived.

Discussion in 'Hones/Honing' started by kohalajohn, Apr 12, 2019.

    aw shucks
  1. Shucked 18 on the halfshell tonight. Don't think that I need to hone my Dexter Oyster knife though :)
  2. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor Ambassador

    I'm very interested in finding out what Jarrod at Superior Shave actually does and what other experts actually do when they use this stone as I'm not finding this an easy stone to learn (so far, but I have hope).

    I've turned the speed on this YouTube video down to 25% to watch it.

    I'm quoting here from anther linked video where Jarrod answers a question. His answer caused me to look at his two new honing videos (2/2 & 1/2) in a different light.

    So, combining what he says with what I see...

    Happy shaves,


    P.S. I think maybe the light bulb has gone on, but the proof's in the pudding.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
  3. I really like his comment where he says that according to the very literal german engineering mind, once a razor has been put into the grinding wheels, it is no longer flat.

    Meaning no longer perfectly flat. The human hand holding the end is imperfect and the spinning wheels are imperfect.

    And the imperfection will be to a varying degree, from razor to razor.

    I had thought the advantage of the convex is that if you have a badly warped razor, or an extreme smile, the convexity is what makes contact along all of the edge.

    But they're not talking about bad warps. They are just talking about minor, ordinary variations.

    A flat stone will give you good contact along the edge. But a convex stone will give you perfect contact.

    I think for the professional honer, this small advantage might make it worth while to go to the trouble and bother and expense of convexing your hones. I can see for the home user, flat stones are good enough. And the home user would not want to pay more money for convexing. And also the home user could not regain the convexity that would be lost with soft coticules and synthetics. Eventually the stone would return to flat and be lapped as a flat stone, so why bother?

    Back then, they were convexing soft coticules, not hard arks. So the convexing had to be kept up. Not something that civilians could do.

    But I think arks changed that. convexing a hard ark means the convexing remains. so even though civilians can't maintain the convexity themselves, it doesn't matter as the ark is so hard it keeps its convexity.

    certainly, the dovo shops have now moved over from coticule to ark. That must be the reason.
  4. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor Ambassador

    Somewhere else Jarrod says the Devo shops now use synthetics. I think he said it has something to do with them having trouble getting Arks or something like that which really makes no sense to me. Well, maybe it does if they want stones larger than 8x3", but, even there, I'd think the mines and cutters can supply whatever sizes a customer might want as long as the price is right. To me, it would make sense, all things being otherwise equal, for the professional shops to use an Ark with its much longer lifespan as a convex stone.

    Or, maybe, the pros at Devo and elsewhere are so good and so fast at making and maintaining and refreshing and fixing the convexity that it doesn't matter, in which case synthetics might make sense.
    Me, I have no interest in convexing a stone (a word was just added to my computer's dictionary).

    Happy shaves,

  5. I agree. We civilians are never going to convex a stone.

    You'd need a huge granite plate that had been convexed, and a potting wheel to strap it to.

    Only the most extreme hobbyists would do that.

    And the advantages of convexity are nice, but not necessary.

    If I wasn't already in the market for a black Ark, I would not have paid $250 for the Ark I got from Jarrod.
  6. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor Ambassador

    I made a big jump but not as big as I'd hoped. You can read about it here, link, if you want the details. You'll see that I think I'm on the right track but can't be sure yet.

    Any progress particularly some of what I'm sure I learned today it worth celebrating.

    Happy shaves to you,

  7. Keep up the good work.
  8. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor Ambassador

    Here's the report on my latest effort with the DCA and my Geneva.


    Bottom line: Much better. Shave ready. Not gloriously sharp, but sharp enough for government work.

    Happy shaves,

  9. I recently purchased separate convex stones from Jarrod and I am convinced by personal experience that they provide superior results (iro speed and edge consistency) to flat stones. Visual evidence, HHT, and shaving results support my findings. All blades are warped to some degree. I have one blade that is slightly more warped than the others and I was really bummed by how the blade was becoming concaved during honing. I was quickly able to rectify the situation with these stones. That blade now has an even bevel on both sides without the undo wear one would expect from a flat stone. I am not going to enter the "speed" debate...think what you like. All I can tell you is that I spend less time honing a blade on these stones than I do with my multitude of whetstones (for which I now have little use).
    The convex stones are game changers....plain and simple.
  10. Is anyone shaving well off these convex stones?
  11. Mine shave well. I use a convex coticule I made myself. Have not played with the other convex stones as much. I just don't have to hone that often so I can't provide you with large anecdotal examples. I probably pull out my stones once or twice a year.
  12. The stones have improved shaving results from all of my razors. I have been SE shaving and honing for 35 years and I am consistently getting the best edges=shaves as a direct result of these stones. The stones are game changers IMO.
  13. Mine shave well.

    To be fair though, all stones shave well if your technique is ok.

    I think the main benefit is the warped blade thing. You don't have to remember which of your razors has a warp, and therefore requires special rolling wrist techniques. You just do your x strokes and the convexity handles it.

    Over time, and on a flat stone, a very slight warp can undo the bevel you carefully set. Convexity maintains the geometry of the bevel.

    imho. I'm only a couple months into this convexity thing.
  14. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor Ambassador

    I'm not.

    The razors I've used on the DCA shave me, but not very well.

    To be fair, I am not sure I've picked good razors. One of the blades I've honed on the DCA has been a problem to one degree or another on every stone I've put it to, for example. That's one issue for me. The second is I feel like it took me a while to understand how to use the DCA.

    I might need to pick a razor which I know can be honed to an acceptable shave ready state and try it on the Double Convex Arkansas 8x3 stone.

    So, I'll say this: I'm not, at least not yet, but I have high hopes.

    Happy shaves,

  15. Over time I've become convinced that the different hand techniques we all take to honing, are the reason why some guys do so well with method A and others only succeed with method B.

    When Slash did his pass around of his diamond pasted balsa system, it was to show that it was simple and worked for everyone. To his surprise, he found that with some guys, the razor went south. It was not working. Yet those guys could make stones work for them.

    And so on. We've all seen lots of examples.

    There's something about the micro muscles down in our wrists and fingers that works with some stones and not with others.

    I've concluded that there's no objective good system. There's only the subjective system that works with your mind and body. In this hobby we use the phrase YMMV all the time. More than I've seen it used anywhere else.

    So don't listen to what others say. If something works for you or doesn't then that's what fits with your mind and body and go with that.
  16. This is all very interestingi appreciate you guys documenting all the tweaks you’re making using these convex stones. They’re for sure a cool option for everyone who doesn’t need to hone perfectly flat tools.
  17. Jim, about your point on whether it is the razors themselves that are responsible for the not so great shaves.

    I think that's true. To make the experiment fair, I have put into my convex ark rotation, a gd and a better razor and one excellent, top of the line razor.

    All three done on the convex ark. And sure enough, the better razors came out better and shaved better.

    So the razor is a factor.

    Right now, of all the different razors and different systems, my two most amazing razors are the Fili second gen #14 on the convex ark and the dovo bismarck on the diamond pasted balsa.

    Well Jim, they damn well should be, shouldn't they?
  18. A lot of the variance among the 3 on the ark might be the included bevel angle. Are GDs still really fat approaching ~20*? That’s something I really notice on Coti edges, if the bevel angle is too wide. Also it seems it’s not the popular opinion here, but ~6yrs ago the gold dollars I handled had garbage metallurgy. They just wouldn’t or couldn’t take and hold an edge on par with my vintage razors.
  19. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor Ambassador

    Absolutely. The razor is a factor. We should be scientific as much as possible.

    BOSC.2.All experiments are encouraged.jpg

    But, not all experiments are design properly. Certainly not all of mine.

    I have in my current group of useable razors fourteen razors.

    At least a couple of my current razors have repetitively given me fits in the honing department and have taught me one of three things.
    • These razors are impossible to hone to sharpness using a method at my disposal.
    • I've not found the secret combination of methods which works for them yet.
    • I'm a decent honer some days and less than marginally competent other days meaning it's me and not the razors.
    I suspect it's not quite that simple. All of my razors are some level of an eBay beater. I have no idea what someone might have done to screw up the temper, or whether a previous user or flipper damaged them beyond my abilities to fix them, or whether they should be junked. They're also all old tools at best not all of which were Snap-on to begin with.

    I'm not tossing any of my razors, but I'm fine if I whittle the fourteen razors down to a smaller "useable" collection/rotation.

    I also have at least one or two blades I know I like shaving with and I know I can sharpen to my satisfaction which are currently without scales. Plus, I plan to buy more blades, and better quality blades, as I get better at all this. I don't have to keep the current fourteen.

    Some of it isn't the razors. I have fewer than 200 SR shaves under my belt which makes me at best an advanced beginner as a honer.

    Being really scientific about honing is very difficult partially because we can't shave as much as science might like of us.

    Happy shaves,


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