Intentionally Convex ~25x76x12mm ~53g Soft Arkansas Stone | One ~25x76mm Facet Shaped to 6.5’Øx25’Ø Ellipse | Made in USA


Never to Be Seen Upon “The River of Fakes”

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SKU: cnvxsoftark040224 Category:


This stone’s got some wild coloration, and if I didn’t know better I would swear I’m looking at heavily oxidized metal that’s percolated through the Swiss cheese surface which is a Soft Arkansas stone, except that I bought this many years ago from The Natural Whetstone Company and have never honed with it, though I did once try using it as a rubbing stone for a bench stone Soft Ark, together with Ballistol.  I’m going to take it home and run it in my ultrasonic jewelry cleaner with Simple Green to see if there’s any reaction, but I’m reasonably sure that’s just how this thing’s colored.  If metal coming off a razor and floating around in diluted Ballistol’s so rife that it could suck up in to a rubbing stone via capillary action and give this crazy color, I’m glad we’re on such a planet.

In any event, we have here a ~1x3x0.5″ stone which has been formed diligently to have an ellipse on one ~1×3″ surface, an ellipse that’s shaped 6.5’Ø down the 3″ length and 25’Ø across the 1″ width.  This can be used stone-in-hand for a wicked good bevel-concaving hone.

Arkansas stone convexing, and I’ve done more than anyone on this planet I would have to imagine, takes on its own parallelism between the ellipse you’re carving and the bench stone; you can face your stone perfectly without yaw to your shaping reference, but densities being varied in a natural stone, nature takes its course the way a river meanders, and what we have here is a great surface but it isn’t quite parallel to the other 1×3″ facet; thus, this little stone’s thicker on one side than the other side 0.8mm, which is enough to sense with your naked eye.  Also, I bonked a corner when I was carving in this shape, I did smooth it off reasonably but you’ll be stuck with that eyesore for your show-and-tell of this extreme unobtanium.

Mostly what you’re paying for is my labor to carve in this shape, and you’re paying very little vs the time, believe me when I tell you that’s a miserable task!

I don’t know enough to know why this is, but there’s this crazy guy on some other really obscure sharpening forums that has stated many times that when you ellipse-shape a soft Arkansas stone, due to the nature of its surface texture and the composition of the strata, you NEVER need to reshape/reprofile it.

Well, I’m here to tell you, that guy’s correct.  I’d used ~2017-2019 a 2.5×10″ soft Arkansas stone which I shaped elliptically via a concaved piece of floor tile, to an ellipse of about ~27’x35’Øs form, and I used that thing for THOUSANDS of razor sessions.  Never did be able to detect even the slightest variance in its shape via a straight edge once I created it, they wear on the highest spots as they naturally chase the ellipse and that’s how it keeps the shape.  Ultimately I have learned that I would want a smaller “wheel” so that I can make more concavity out of a razor bevel than that great Soft Ark and its principal form can produce, but it was nonetheless quite impressive to see just how many razors that thing could set, and so quickly, while never needing to be reset geometrically.