The Jarrod Plate

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by Edison Carter, Jan 23, 2021.

  1. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    Back before the $200 DMT lapping plates and ultra fine grit ceramic hone progressions, a skilled hand would sharpen a razor on a rock that he kept from dishing out by running a dressing stone around the perimeter of his hone.

    I don’t know if razors were more geometrically correct then, but I doubt it. The skilled hand would use all the tools available and apply the things he learned to create the best shaving edge he could.

    The best do exactly the same today and take pride in their ability to create the smoothest sharpest edges we all love.

    The creator of this concave elliptical lapping plate was one of these type of folks. Although in a trip to the old country, he was astounded that an 80 year old master grinder told him he was doing it wrong.

    After many laborious renditions of trying to create a consistent, reliable and repeatable method for creating this convex elliptical hone surface, I think he hit it with what I call “The Jarrod Plate”.

    I purchased convexed hones from Jarrod and found that I was able to get imperfect razors into good shaving condition where I failed to have the experience and knowhow that others had acquired.

    I also found a couple of cases where I just was not impressed by edges done in modern methodology I knew should be better.

    I applaud Jarrod for pursuing what I believe an incredible advance, an aluminum elliptically concave lapping plate for use with commonly available sheet abrasives.

    Now I expect many fine and accomplished honemeisters to completely reject this method because they are so good at what they do. I encourage them to ignore this methodology because it is unlikely that their long standing skills and practices will work on these surfaces.


    Using 80, 120, and 240 grit silicon carbide wet/dry sandpaper I resurfaced my covexed arks and Belgian coticule into the new convex ellipse shape. I also did my Naniwa 12k.

    The result is very pleasing to me visually. I’ll report back in as I work with them.
  2. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Let me see if I understand exactly what you are saying...

    It's a dished out plate for lapping film, which, when used with razors will always give you a 'smiling edge?'

    I would be concerned that the bevel would be very inconsistent until the razor was completely reshaped by the hone. Might be better for hand plane blades or gouging chisels. I can see a use for such a thing, but I really don't understand how it would work properly for a razor.

    Not trying to be critical, I just don't get it. Maybe a machinist can explain it to me better... @twhite

    Edit: I see, it's used to make your hones convex. I still don't see why that's a good thing.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
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  3. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    I get it now.

    This should have been included in the original post.
    @gssixgun gets a mention in the video too.
  4. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Where do you buy a thing like this?

    Kinda spendy. Understandable though. I wonder if a "poor man's" lapping plate could be made from one of those large stone concave square candle plates. It wouldn't be exactly the same, but might fall under the "eh, close enough for government work" clause.

    It took me entirely too long to figure out why it said for "hollow ground razors only." It ought to work with any hollow ground blade, including hollow ground plane blades and chisels, but it isn't designed to work with wedge blades.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
  5. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    I did not include the video deliberately and see no reason to have included it.

    I like Glen and have much respect for him.

    I also like Jarrod and have respect for him.

    I don’t think the two are friends.

    People sometimes have strong opinions about methods they use and let their disagreements go too far.

    I have been successful using this method and would not be surprised to see myself ridiculed for my choice of using this gear to create for myself straight razor edges that I like. It is why I recommend that folks successful and established in their styles and skills to not consider trying this. Unless you have money to burn, I’m also unlikely to recommend anyone take a pristine example of an elite $$$$ natural stone and grind the surface to be a convex ellipse.

    I have been unfortunate enough to get more than one new razor lacking the perfect geometric shape we all want. I found the convex tool to help successfully isolate specific areas to work without requiring the me to have the ability, skill and experience to know exactly how to apply just the right amount of selective pressure and torque to sharpen otherwise.

    I bought one such razor, brand new, from a well known source that honed up a wonderfully feeling shaving edge per their reputation. The razor did have an uneven bevel and significant hone wear on the spine. But, it shaved well for a little while. I’m pretty sure that if I had bitched, the response would sound something like ‘what do you expect for a hundred bucks’, or the ‘manufacturer makes them this way and I had to fix it’.

    Just like others, I have produced good shaving edges on cheap Chinese razors. No one should be surprised to find wonky razors at a couple of bucks a pop.

    Now, if I go out and buy a $1000+ modern custom razor you will find me whining and screaming if it is not dead flat. A convexed hone is unlikely to produce any discernible differences in shaving.

    Like all other honing methods, one does have to learn to use. Since a small section is isolated for contact, one should expect to have to control and adjust so this narrow section is moving across the length of the blade. Anyone thinking that you just rub the razor up and down the stone will generate a frown on their face and the razor.
  6. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    Article Team
    This is really fascinating and I have to admit complete ignorance when it comes to the convex stone. I hope you will make a honing video Bill, one that perhaps highlights the technique differences (if any) between a flat and convex stone.
    Edison Carter likes this.
  7. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    I have not mastered honing on a flat stone, but I will see if I can make one illustrating what I do and why.
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  8. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    Article Team
    That makes two of us.
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  9. ischiapp

    ischiapp Well-Known Member

  10. ischiapp

    ischiapp Well-Known Member

  11. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    Lol, yes it is a ‘flameable’ topic. I’ve been honing straights for ten years or so and knives since forever. I’ve had convexed hones, and in fact if you lap one with loose grit it will be a bit convexed, according to Iwasaki and my experience agrees with his. I have a glass plate that can make a convexed surface. TBH, I could never tell the difference in the way that they honed versus a flat hone.Razor honers may not agree on a lot, but I think most all ‘höneists’ will agree on is that you have to find your own way, what works for you, and if you get the edge that you desire, there’s nothing wrong with the methods that got you there.

    One thing that I’ve never been able to resolve though, is that most folks (including me) feel that the Solingen factory edges leave something to be desired a good bit of the time. You can find this sentiment across many forums and many posts. So if the Solingen honers are trained, apprenticed, accredited, and use convex hones, why are so many of their factory edges considered less than the best?
  12. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    I just had to try my new honing stuff so I took a day off from a 30 Day Crew Rule I’ve been practicing.

    Many straight shavers rave about the edges coming off the Naniwa 12k Superstone. I decided to use my new lapping plate to give mine a nice elliptical convex surface.

    I chose to use the Chinese ZK 430 originally honed to ‘shave ready’ by their very own Honemeister, Master Shifo. This piece was so wonky that I think the good Master QC’d it by hitting it with his white walking stick on that way out the door one day.

    Anyhow it went to the Headroom School of Higher Harry Home Honers that I was attending. I worked long at being totally unsuccessful until I started working on a convexed Arkansas stone I’d gotten. I continued to work until it shaved ok, no fireworks, just ok.

    Even though I muted the edge to work on the 12k, it did have a bevel set on convex stones. 12k Naniwa, (.5, .25, and .1 micron) cBN pasted balsa strops then a roo strop seemed to have it ready in my book.

    Great shave on my normal pattern, totally smooth and well above average results. If anybody has Master Shifo’s phone number, have him contact me. I do believe he could get a little more than the $15 bucks he now gets for making these $5 razors ‘shave ready’ if he used one of these lapping plates to convex his hones.

    From the Max Headroom List of MostGlorious Stanks I used Blood on Steel2019, also known as Tsuka which is adupe of Hanae Mori. Did the full monte on my shave today including the Simpson Super Emperor 2 and cameaway very pleased.

  13. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    Oh nooooo, not Jarrods "Convex Stones" again.
    Well, I remember the past threads, and what Jarrod said. Not worth starting it all up again.
    If convex stones work for you, then use them. Me, I have successfully honed hundreds of Straights, on flat stones, as they have been done for hundreds of years.
  14. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    There is no question in my mind that Solingen straights are less than perfect. We should include the French and Chinese too.

    And, well known American honers for hire can grind the bejeebers out of many of beautiful bent razors to make them shave better just the same if one is not careful.

    It is a logistical impossibility that my experience as a relative newbie will ever come close to that which you and others currently possess. There may be others who have the same situation.

    You and I can certainly find a common ground in that any individual can find his own way to sharpen his own stuff. I have long admired your beautiful gear and the commitments to maintaining such as well as the advice freely offered.

    It is unfortunate that the interpersonal issues exist in the shaving community because of how how crummy most straight razors are actually made.
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  15. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    Great advice.
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  16. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    Well, those old posts, dont need to be dredged up. There are many types of stones, and techniques, to use them. The best advice I can give is, get some well known, and documented stones, that work. Then master them, before trying something else. Each style of stone hones differently. Throwing too many stones in the mix, that you haven't mastered, will throw off your learning skills.
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  17. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    @Edison Carter , you state that most Straight Razors are made "Crummy". I find that is just the opposite. If you find older razors, that are not worn out, in some way, they are made very well. Granted, they might not be perfectly straight, but, with a little honing knowledge, and learned skills, a slightly Wonky razor can be honed just as sharp as a "Perfectly Made Razor".
    Your skills improve with the less than perfect razors. They are like a little puzzle, needing to be figured out.
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  18. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    Well, I think that many modern razors are more inconsistent than many vintage razors, some periods and makers in Sheffield not included. Both honing, and I suspect, razor grinding is just muscle/brain memory mastered by sheer repetition. It’s literally practice makes perfect. People don’t tend to stay in jobs a long time like they used to do, and that’s probably one reason for the inconsistencies between new factory razors, even from the same maker and the same model.

    I can imagine someone’s grandmother in the Filarmonica factory, smoking unfiltered cigarettes and knocking out perfect 14s all day long like she’d done for the past 30 years or so, lol!
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  19. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Have you ever tried a Merkur DE blade? If that's what they use as a reference, it's no wonder their factory edges are less than great.
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  20. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    Lol, and Jarrod hones (or did hone) every straight coming out of TSS, so why bother honing the Solingens if they’re that good? We all know the answer, Jarrod hones very well, much better than factory edges.
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