Intentionally Convex Dan’s Whetstone ~2x6x0.9″ ~50x152x22mm ~389g Soft Arkansas Stone Razor Sharpening Hone | Made in USA


Convex Dan’s Soft Arkansas Stone Razor Sharpening Hone | Made in USA | Shaped to a 6.5’Ø x 25’Ø Ellipse

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Well, though it is still a task of pure misery however long you’re on the clock, this magical sheet of diamonds really helped cut down on the labor.  It is essentially a $$$ sheet of magic super-sandpaper, and there’s no telling how many fastballs that dude’s got in him before he’s lost a step.  I was able to beat up a dozen or so bench stones and a similar number of slurry stones, including some Arks, before the 12x18cm sheet seemed to notably slow (but still it cuts!)

Nonetheless, we have here a 2x6x0.9″ Dan’s Soft Arkansas Stone, and one of its 2×6″ surfaces has been shaped with this tool to become a 6.5’Ø primary axis ellipse, with a secondary axis longer than 25 feet; when I last got a batch from China, out of 100pcs there were 8 which were a little out-of-spec on the 11″ axis, meaning their effective diameter was a bit longer than the 25′ feet ideal for a two-ellipse stone…*however*, that means for a step #1 stone like this, it is *better*, so I kept one of them for myself.  Pity that the 6.5′ side isn’t meaningfully shorter than 6.5′, I’m sure it is the tiniest bit but I’d love a ~4×30′ shape step#1 form, for example.  You know, we can always find something to complain about; it is a gift.  If you’re interested, I have one more unused of those Chinese made plates with the too long 11″ facet.

Bear in mind that with a secondary diameter of around 30-35′ by my guestimate, there can be some nice razors with a gentle warp going across their cutting edge which is *shorter* than this stone; that would mean, in those rare cases, that you’d still need to do the so-called ‘Rolling-X’ honing stroke (which should never occur with the correctly-specified plate, as I very much doubt there are good razors with an effective warp diameter across their cutting edge that is shorter than 25′).  

Anyway, all the stone ‘railings’ are flawless this time around, so I got lucky when doing my brutal labor near to the sink basin, countertop, and faucet tap; my humble office (and at this point, I must say I am damn lucky to maintain an office for this tiny biz here in 2024, dunno how much longer that can continue and indeed its % vs sales has become untenable…happy for however longer it lasts, nice to come to a work-only domain) has a basin that ain’t exactly a farmer’s sink for washing boots – I’ve got 16x10x7″ and the faucet tap’s hovering just above the chunk of space.    You’ve always got to keep your hands to the outer perimeters of your stone, gripping the short sides, but even then it is tough, and novaculite’s crazy brittle, one bonk anywhere and stone comes off.  If I take this job home, both the cats and the wife and daughters alike will make their displeasure with the simply awful sound of grinding novaculite known, so that’s only done if I have the place to my lonesome, which is rare.

But this time out, you stone worshippers can wax poetic about all twelve lovely “railings of perfection”.

With other rocks, I’ll often make an ‘anti’ stone to the inverse shape of the bench stone, for your geographical upkeep needs instead of buying the costly plate.  But I can assure you, for reasons I do not understand but are detailed here by this crazy guy that I am certain does know more than I on the topic, when you shape a soft Ark to become ‘a sharpening ellipse’, the damned thing never seems to change shape.  I should know; I have a 2.5×10″ soft Ark in my office which I should rightly sell, because it was based on my original shaping ‘invention’ of a 1×1′ granite tile with a broad, large-diameter ellipse concavity (that only concaves the bevel gently, a razor can take much more concaving than such a shape can impart, you want a shape such as this thing, or an even shorter primary diameter!)

I’d used that thing thousands of times, literally multiple thousands, between ~2017-2020, and I have checked it countless times, never once did I ever get to observe a flattening at the ‘dead center spot’ of the stone’s pitch, like you’d presume would happen at least in surface texture on a hard/trans Ark.  It just doesn’t happen on the soft Ark; it keeps on wearing evenly, your razor seeks the high spots.

When I shape a soft Ark I polish it pretty extensively, because I think soft Arks you want really finely surfaced, harder Arks you want a bit of uniform diffusion on the pitch for the best feedback.  So this is shaped to 400 grit sandpaper, and it won’t get much finer as you use it.

Additional information

Weight 17 oz
Dimensions 6 × 2 × 2 in