Why I use Convex Hones

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by Edison Carter, Jan 31, 2021.

  1. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    Why I like and use Elliptically Convexed Hones.

    wristwatchb, Keithmax, rs_776 and 7 others like this.
  2. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    Article Team
    Well done, Bill. I committed to the entire video and was very glad I did. You described the entire process clearly; the demonstrations were very informative and easy to see. Now, leaving the refrigerator open will cost you money, that could better be spent on more honing gear. Just saying. :happy097:
    All kidding aside, this was a herculean effort and one that should interest every straight razor shaver. Thanks.
    Keithmax, Trigger and Edison Carter like this.
  3. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    Thank you very much Joseph.

    Sorry it was sooooooo long. My editing skills need work.

    The open refrigerator door thing falls into the same category as ‘the knives they use’.

    Being the sole testosterone unit in a house full of estrogen units requires some measure of compliance.
  4. battle.munky

    battle.munky Has the menthol.munky on his back!

    Super interesting. I'm super new to honing having only successfully honed 3 of my 5 straights. I also only have a Norton 4k/8k combo and a 12 Naniwa SS. Every word you said makes sense.

    I have a razor with a slight warp and I have been loathing the idea of taping the edge and flattening the spine to get it flat. My other 4 razors are pretty flat though so I think when it comes time to hone the warped razor I may opt to try this method and if I take to it I may try the other ones on it. Honing isn't easy for me so if this can get me to where I can easily and assuredly get a shave ready edge I'd be happy.

    That fridge though...I'm a "shut off the light when you leave the room" kinda guy so it mocked me since minute around 51. I'll walk by the room with the light on to go to the living room, look my kid in the eye and ask them if they are in their room, and then send them to go turn it off.
  5. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    After ALL that I’m glad it was just the fridge and not a ‘nose hanger’,....ewe

    good luck with the path you take.
    Trigger, jgreenepa and battle.munky like this.
  6. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    Convexed Arks
    Convexed Naniwa 12k
    The packing peanut test
    Test shaves.
    Glad I found this.

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  7. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

  8. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    What happened to all the girls?
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  9. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja


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  10. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    She is cute.

    And how do you really know IF she IS a Nun?
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  11. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    Ariana Grande She is a Singer..:love055:

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  12. lottenhem

    lottenhem Well-Known Member

    Mr Carter,

    I am confident that the procedure works. However most people use a flat stone by flattening it on a glass with wet sand paper or a dedicated flattening stone. Myself have just found out the way to get most of the razors a sharp edge.

    All though what I have found out is that stropping +100 rounds has the best impact to get the sharpest edge. This is just my findings... anyone agreeing?

    My point is that it could be a little bit tricky what you suggest?

    With best regards!

    Skickat från min iPhone med Tapatalk
    Edison Carter likes this.
  13. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    Thank you Hans.

    One of the most common complaints I hear from individuals who abandon straights is “all the stropping” and “all the honing”. While many find a special zen in the experience, others see a chore with a long steep learning curve.

    In my experience, honing on a crowned surface was easier. My intent is to present this option to those who might have failed in the accepted and ancient art of honing.

    And really, when the rules demand that a honing surface be flat, performance begins degrading with the first stroke on any stone that is less hard than the razor.

    What I suggest in my videos is not tricky at all. I found it more tricky to learn what take years of experience and hundreds of sessions to master.
  14. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    Convex honed SOTD.

    Stirling Lather products
    Wacker 6/8

    I bought this piece new and took delivery as was honed by its maker. A small family operation in its 4th generation reported to at times, have been contracted to build razors for Royalty.

    Not a bad shaver right out of the box, but I had experienced better. I was reluctant to attempt honing this myself, for a while.

    I decided to give it a try on my own and went out and bought the Naniwa SS progression and lapping plate like I was supposed to. Taped up the spine just like you need to and immediately found a lack of flatness. Sorry no grinding for me today.

    I decided I sent it to professional honers with good reputations that used slightly varied methods in their craft. That way I could evaluate what was possible. All were good, but none better than the maker. And none as good as I thought this piece should be.

    I could have just start grinding away in the popular methods till everything was true and flat.

    I could keep trying professional honers till I found one to deliver what I thought I should get.

    I could do the recommended things and try all the various gear options, expert instructions, do all practice the time and spend the money just like every one else did. In another 10 years or so I might really enjoy my shaves with this piece on an edge I created myself.

    Knowing I could easily get wonderful edges on knives with a rod guided system that ensured a consistent grind angle based on a small point of contact, I searched. I even considered the use of such a mechanically guided system not relying on an imperfect razor spine or my imperfect skill level.

    It was this concept leading me to a system of using a more limited area guiding my honing angle, a crowned surface.

    I went out and bought some bent up razors to test my theory. I tried honing both on a crowned surface as well as by approved methods. With test shaves, I found success in the crowned surface and much practice time needed to catch up the other ways.

    The biggest stumbling block for me was that I liked synthetic hones and really did not want to attempt to freehand a convexed honing surface anymore than I wanted to continue to try to freehand knives. The development of an affordable easy lapping plate was the game changer. Almost immediately my success level skyrocketed and I was happier than ever with edges I could now do myself.

    I have no clue why this is so objectionable to some. Even one of the most strict practitioners of flat surface honing that teaches honing with abrasive films on glass seems to at least understand it. I doubt he would change his practices, because who could argue the success and value he has achieved with his methods and the use of pasted strops. I’ll never try to change him, and he has my highest respect for acceptance of the chosen path others take.

    This piece shaves so much better do me than it ever did. Still warped though, happens at times on handmade stuff.

    wristwatchb, Steve56 and Hembree like this.
  15. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    Article Team
    That's a gorgeous razor, Bill. IMO, the most important thing to take from this is that you are happy with your edges and the manner with which you created them. That's all that really matters.
    Karl G, Steve56, battle.munky and 5 others like this.
  16. Hembree

    Hembree Not as pretty smelling

    :signs011: Mos Def!
  17. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    Crowned Hone SOTD

    Rasoir Sabre, 6/8 Gustave Lalune, Mon Fier Destrier
    Stirling Softwares

    My most prized straight razor for many reasons.


    This piece is said to be made from blanks forged in Thiers France several decades ago when the processes demanded numerous die strikes in a drop forge. While the more modern methods of a single strike drop forge yield much greater uniformity, they limit the flexible strengthen the end.

    Anyone getting their hands on one of these pieces should expect the likelihood of warps and waves. It is the only production razor I know of made from 52100 high carbon steel, the same that is favored by the renowned custom knife artisan, Bob Kramer. While Kramer knives are way above my pay grade, the 52100 steel knife I own holds a much better edge than anything else in the drawer.

    After seeing the last of the first batch of these unique pieces disappearing from availability with a giant vacuum sound, I was not so hesitant the second time they became available. Not long ago, it looked like they had been the end of the line.

    I did find a recent posting indicating there may be more in the works.


    The maker of these can be seen in action here.

    Sometimes you won’t see modern ISO quality controls in these one man operations.

    This razor is marketed to be sold AS IS and NOT further honed for delivery.

    On my first shave I could see why. It is the closest true straight I’ve ever experienced, with performance that gets close to the Feather AC Professional Super.

    Such an edge is sure to be more delicate than the rough and tumble variety that we all love. I may have a dozen shaves on it, but it is still my top performer.

    Anticipating the side effect imperfections of the uniqueness of this piece, I was not disappointed to see a geometry to send most honing gurus whining and running for their pills and electrical tape.

    I had a deep concern of what to do when the times for touching up arrived. Outside of the individual that made this piece in France on equipment probably older than himself, I’d only trust one ‘hone for hire’ that I have experiences with to touch it. Especially, after I posted a video using a product developed to help me do it myself.

    While I have not actually have had to rehone this yet, after my successes on other razors I own and how they perform now, I am now without reservation. I doubt I’ll need tape, bevel resets, or another ten years practice and 1000 razors experience to make me happy. Just a smooth Naniwa 12k surface with uniformly crowned ellipse and a couple of pasted balsa strops.

    FWIW...I saw some hones but not a single DMT lapping plate (with flatness guaranteed to .0005”) in any of Ertan Suer’s vids or pics. I only wish I understood French to hear what he saying in his vids.
  18. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    Convex Honed SOTD 2/16/21

    Razor - Dovo 91 The Sunday Shaver, scaled in Cocobolo

    Software -Stirling, Island Man featured

    Guest appearance - Dovo 91 The Sunday Shaver, scaled in Yew. The Max Headroom standard for the straight razor edge.

    I have a greatly renewed love for all my straights after finally learning how to get my own edge.

    The Dovo 91 Sunday Shavers are a special limited run by custom order. The desire was to have pieces made using the beloved Bergischer Löwe shoulderless 5/8 blank at the same extra hollow grind, but without the high end decorations. A working mans Bergischer Löwe in a way. Both these pieces are perfect, with perfect geometries. At one time, they were on sale for $99. I should have bought a handful. I’ve noticed the new Bergischer Löwe is now using the Bismarck type 6/8 forging. Don’t know if that means bye bye to the shoulderless 5/8, but I’m glad I have these.

    The Yew scaled piece was my edge reference as I was shave boot camp learning open shaving, and it still is. It only comes out for partial shaves as a comparison. It was likely honed on a coticule. I have not rehoned it. I might now though.

    One year, my wife wanted to by me a razor for Christmas, so I chose the 91 scaled in cocobolo cause I wanted one to use more often. It never shaved bad, but it just never as good as its predecessor.

    I decided to work on it with my newly acquired Naniwa stones. I was not able to get any improvement at my skill level. I thought maybe I needed to buy a Shapton glass progression knowing that is what is used by the knife guys to get hair splitting edges with rod guided sharpeners. I looked at the cost of them babies and still feeling the wallet sting from the Naniwas I couldn’t use, I sought out professional honer that used them.

    The piece came back with a 30k Shapton edge that was sharp but never smoothed out. I was starting to get tired of this sharpening stuff and found myself going for the shavettes more and more.

    After having enough continually improving and easy successes honing other gear on crowned surface stones I had gotten, I had to try this one when I got my convexed coticule. Finally I got it shaving as well as the first 91. Yippee!

    Then once I could elliptically crown the surface of my Naniwa 12k, I was able to take this one to a level higher than my standard bearer.

    I am just loving my straights again so much, and just because I can now sharpen them myself. I have been trying to hone again on flats, I’m just no good at it. Right now, I may give up unless i find that I want to pursue jnats.

    Great shave.

  19. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    Ertan Suer has a couple of YouTube videos he made working in his shop. I found him interesting to watch, as I was wishing I could understand what he was saying. I don’t think he was talking when he was working what appeared to be one of the old forged blanks.

    Here is another

  20. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    Convex Hones SOTD 2/21/21

    • Stirling Blu software and tuxedo brush
    • Sharpening Supplies paddle strop, suede charged with 0.10 micron cBN
    • ZY 430
    • TI 889


    I tried unsuccessfully for hours numerous times to hone the very imperfect ZY razor from China using approved procedures. I’ve seen videos where guys get these HHT popping and shave ready right out of the box on delivery. Not me.

    It wasn’t until I hit the right combo on crowned surfaces that I got something to shave with. Using a crowned Naniwa 12k took it up big time.

    I wanted to compare to my new TI honed by the only hone for hire that I know of where you can get an edge off a convex.

    I liked my edge on the ZY better, but probably only because I gave it a pasted balsa progression. It would be difficult to distinguish between the two in the end result.

    This was the first time I stropped the TI on a paddle where it became immediately obvious that there was some bend or warping in the tool. Having received ISO quality training, where I learned that quality professionals define ‘quality’ as ‘delivering the customer his expectations’, I determined this piece received sufficient quality control.

    In the case of both the $3 Chinese minimalist razor and the beautiful elite French piece valued at 100x that, I have relatively the same quality (by definition) and function.

    You just will not find me whining that the TI fails to be geometrically perfect, I never expected it to be. I mean, who would send that piece back? Matter of fact ‘the plain Jane’ version was on sale was on sale for about 30% of what people usually pay on Amazon, so I ordered one. I’ll take that one with a factory edge ‘just to see’, and if I don’t like it and the tool is bent, no biggie. I’ll just hone it up on the crowned surface stones, a success that eluded me using flat rocks.
    Hembree, wristwatchb and Steve56 like this.

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