Intentionally Convex Vintage Norton SB8 Soft Arkansas Whetstone ~2x8x0.75″ Sharpening Stone Razor Hone | Made in USA


Convex Sharpening Hone | Made in USA | Shaped to a 6.5’Ø x 25’Ø Ellipse

In stock

SKU: vtgnortonsb8.05252024 Categories: ,


3+ brutal hours of hand labor but we have a winner, ~1980s vintage Norton SB8 Soft Arkansas stone, shaped to an ellipse of 6.5′ primary diameter and 25′ across the 2″ width.

It took -5.4mm of novaculite off the 4 corners to create this finished ‘arc-chord’.  Spectacular.  The only better bevel setting convex stone to me is a Norton/Pike Washita stone.

Frankly, I don’t see a huge difference between these orange and blue box era [later 1970s thru early 1990s] soft Arks and the best from Dan’s today, but it does have the old stamp and very beat up paper carton.  Now I *do* also have a ~1950s era 2×6″ soft Ark from Bear/Norton, and I’ll say this; that’s without question the smoothest structured soft Ark I’ve ever touched.

But these post-Bear, orange box themed SB* marked Norton labeled soft Arks, which are almost always bright white like this if unusued, they’re excellent, but so is a Dan’s for a fraction of the cost.  Furthermore, it would be unheard of to me for Dan’s to ship at top price any soft Ark which had this natural line present as does this ~30-40yrs old Norton, Dan’s charges a lot but you get 100% perfect edges and strata and flatness every damn time…not that that’s a critical feature, but if you’re reading this sentence you are likely, as my wife likes to say, “a grown man with odd priorities”.  Collectors are nuts.  It is a sickness.

The strata wasn’t perfect, before lapping began as-received the dark line where the potholes emerged was present.  The stone was dirty, but geometrically appeared as new.  By far the hardest duty a stone like this faces is the shaping I’ve just subjected it to vs diamond abrasives.

But if you want to use water based fluids, or swap around from one fluid to another, or use diluted Ballistol, routinely cleaning the stone with warm water and soap/degreasers, I’d fill up the fissures shown with ‘super glue’ until they took no more and then polish off the excess with fine sandpaper and/or just using the stone with a rough knife will remove any excesses you’ve created beyond the precision ellipse.

If OTOH you only intend to use Ballistol straight or something similar, personally I would *not* fill it myself (these oils all percolate thru the stone after all, whether or not Norton mined and marked a <100% perfect rectangle).  The holes will NOT harm a razor’s edge *as long as the heel or toe terminations do not pass directly over missing areas*, the razor will not even know they’re there, because the shaping and polishing work just finished was so good.

Additional information

Weight 17 oz
Dimensions 6 × 2 × 2 in