The idea of this SKU came about from a request from a potential customer, and it is indeed a good idea!
This block of bass wood’s been shaped via the reference forming device I created to allow you, the end user, to either re-establish (as it was when brand new) or prolong a concave shape to a straight razor bevel.
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 2nd picture here with text taken from a 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. The percentage who took the time to write boggles my mind.
The wood block itself, the abrasives consumed to shape it, and shipping it safely to you w/o damage costs ~$15, so what you’re paying for here is access to a shape(s) and labor required (even with relatively soft and easily worked bass wood). I’ve produced 3pcs, which consumed 2.0hrs of undivided attention and about $7 of abrasives.
You now have a pair of surfaces suitable for accepting pastes/sprays or for keeping as a reference behind leather or lapping films. As delivered, your wood block’s surfaces will be finely sanded to work best with sprays or liquid pastes; if you wish to use more solid abrasive pastes or powders, we recommend using some 150-grit sandpaper to lightly coarsen the surface a bit so it will accept the thicker items and hold them in place a bit better during sharpening.
One surface will be great for establishing a very thin (= concave) bevel, as it will present to the razor an imaginary wheel of 6.5′ diameter. Use with Dovo green paste or similar coarse grinding pastes.
One surface will be great for refining an already concave bevel form, presenting an imaginary 3″ thick wheel of 25′ diameter to the razor with a secondary axis across that 3″ of just 6.5′. Use with finer abrasives such as Dovo red/black, TI paste, chromium oxide, diamond spray,…whatever you fancy (and please use those links to the two not offered here, so we can earn a 3% commission from the world’s second-biggest wanker!). Put your razor’s spine 90° to this surface’s 8″ length as you strop upon it and you’ll be affecting the very edge of your bevel, and as you angle your spine away from 90° you are effectively changing the diameter of the imaginary wheel you’re presenting to the razor, which is useful for deliberately bending the razor’s edge by challenging it with an abrasive field specifically chosen in shape as to intersect with the razor behind the edge termination and in the very narrow field where the razor will, if properly ground and tempered, flex to the abrasive (in a good way). This surface is also excellent as a tight backing for a hanging leather strop.
As with a bench stone or any hone, wear and flattening is inevitable, soft wood or otherwise. So if you’re really anal, get yourself a small block of soft wood from Hobby Lobby or the like, one that’s thick enough to give two of its surfaces an anti-shape. Before applying any pastes or sprays to these 3×8″ surfaces you’re buying, take some sandpaper and tightly wrap around a surface, and then use that to shape the block of wood. Keep the block of wood oriented the same way through the shaping process, and do it a few times. It’ll end up being the reverse shape, and you can then glue a patch of sandpaper upon it and use that as a ‘refreshing stone’ in some sense. You’ll need to do that twice for each side, or you could get a ~3×3″ surface and simply change the orientation of the shaping mechanism to the bench block depending upon which side you’re providing maintenance. Alternatively, you can also use these shapes as a backing for lapping films, and if you go that route obviously you’ll never need to resurface your block.
Bass wood will easily move when exposed to variances of temperature/humidity, so for best performance give it as stable an environment as you have to offer.