It is my belief that the stone was never used before I touched it here in 2022, if you can believe that, which is rather astounding to me – I thought I’d been had and that someone had put a much coarser hone inside an old box for a much finer hone, but upon beginning the forming process, it is clear it is indeed as stated, and a tough little bugger to source though Carborundum as a whole sold very, very well in its time.
If your put your razor’s spine 90° to this surface’s length and rub upon it with your spine and edge on that curved plane, you’ll be affecting your razor’s bevel at its furthest point from the spine, which will over time be a surprisingly effective little tool for *thinning* your razor.
For shaping this terrific bevel-setting hone, I turned some lemons into lemonade. Let me explain to you, of well endowed attention span and mind of science. We have commissioned five total successful purchase orders of this part from this company (along with a few unsuccessful and costly prototypes!), the first three such orders from US manufacture and the last two from China for 100pcs each time. Now how the exact same US bird dogs buying from the exact same Chinese business partners using the exact same file and material and process and finish can have two different outcomes on two identical 100-piece POs, that’s beyond me. But that’s what happened, the first 100-pcs order all 100 were like Penn Tennis Balls, and in order number two there were thirty of the one hundred that were warped to varying degrees along the 11″ axis or sometimes even across the 9″ axis, and not necessarily toward the ellipse cutout. Some were curved in two different directions! Did their tools overheat or something?!? Surely a machinist knows. Anyways, while one must accept some variance for a 0.5″ thick metal taking up 99 square inches if it is not to cost a fortune, these variances were beyond that agreement, full stop. So, the US company’s getting them made again at no charge (and I assume doing a better QC job, like with the first PO), and we’ll (eventually) get (and sell for profit) those thirty good ones for ~280 out there somewhere.
Of the 30 we couldn’t sell for their notable curvature on the side that’s supposed to be flat, fifteen are quite usable, just not what was designed/agreed. Their 11″ axes are nearly but not quite flat, ever so slightly concave, while their 9″ axes are MORE concave than the 70pcs from the same shipment that looked very good [and 100 pcs prior which were all amazingly accurate]. What this is quite useful for is to be a dedicated shaping tool to a bevel-thinning specialist toward the 9″ axis, where it will make a wheel of about 4.5-5″ diameter by >30′ diameter across the stone’s width…were I not a noble vendor I could imagine the >200 prior buyers of the accurately made ellipse form would want that just to have an even thinner bevel that’s still well beyond risking a chipped razor. So I’ve decided the best thing to do is pair those fifteen with various old razor hones like this old barber hone, and sell you a hone that comes with a specialized lapping plate. Just don’t try to shape on these plates going the long way, because they’ll have such a long diameter I think it would be worthless in that regard. But it’ll be a hell of a bevel thinning hone shaping tool.
Being an extremely anal sort, I keep track of which old hone goes with which plate, and the plate you’ll get will be the one that shaped the stone. Enjoy in good health!
What I am suggesting to you is that by buying this and only fiddling with the ‘rear’ of your well known razor’s bevel over several shaves/honing sessions, it will become thinner/more flexible, and you will note this in shaving, and even dare to take the slings and arrows from the real experts on the shaving forums. Just thin your razor’s bevel with this thing until you see its marks taking over most of your edge (it will begin its work from the spine side of your bevel, assuming your razor was honed on flat or concave surfaces prior), switch to your locally-preferred flat/hard/fine finisher to top off when these marks get nearly but not quite to your apex, and shave again…you’ll thank me! Will you be the one guy who dares to proudly state this on any shaving forum, YouTube comment section, etc., because of a sense of fairness? Well if you do, be prepared to be attacked!
I’m not telling you this cutting edge is “better”, because I leave such language to the customers to state; I am telling you this kind of edge is mathematically thinner and more flexible, those are facts, and I do believe 1) most (but not all) users prefer a thinly ground razor [that’s why ‘EXTRA HOLLOW GROUND’ took over the on-the-razor marketing from so many producers in the late Victorian Era], 2) most (but not all) users prefer a more flexible razor to a less flexible razor, 3) most (but not all) users prefer a more acutely-angled cutting edge to a more obtusely-angled cutting edge if no other factors of that edge were varied, and 4) this tool produces a thinner, more flexible, and more acutely angled cutting edge than honing with a flat field abrasive.
You likely did not know this [b/c the exact opposite is confidently & heavy-handedly espoused on every str8rzr-centric internet forum], but str8rzrs’ bevels are supposed to be concave for best performance and longevity. Don’t believe it? [email protected]@k at the pictures here taken from the 1934 book from the world’s largest abrasives manufacturer who supplied the best vintage razor factories their sharpening wheels… Could it be possible the world’s largest abrasives manufacturer and supplier of the tools used by the vintage Victorian Era razor factories might know something the self-appointed and self-taught shaving forum experts do not? Read the gobs of screenshots of customers’ praise all from here in 2021 when I began seriously shaping the shop’s stones to be smaller wheels upon the honing SKU and decide for yourself if it makes any sense that so many people would go out of their way to contact us (all unsolicited, we never contact you unless you contact us first!) versus the assuredly-small volume we move of product.