Why I use Convex Hones

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

  1. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    Thank Bill, I’ll work on it. The title is ‘Hollowing a Rassoir Sabre straight razor - I’m assuming that ‘chou’ comes after ‘coupe’. Not surprising since you can see that’s exactly what he’s doing.
    Edison Carter likes this.
  2. 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.
    Steve56 likes this.
  3. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    Crowned Surface Honed
    SOTD 3/6/21

    Stirling Sheep soap & badger brush
    Dovo 300
    Gold Dollar W59
    Trumpers West Indian Extract of Limes Skin Food & EDT

    Split shave, alternating half sides.

    Last shave with my first razor Dovo 300 5/8 half hollow indicated it was needy. I decided to ditch the tape this time and hone on the 3’ radius of the elliptical surface. While it might be debatable that no one can tell the difference in a razor honed to a hollow bevel or honed with the razor spine in contact with the stone vs other methods, the shave feel is now perfect to me. Maybe because I found a crowned surface easier to hone on.

    I bought this Gold Dollar because it looked cool. It was obviously honed with the spine off the stone or with tape (much mo tape too). I was taking forever to develop an edge apex on the stones I currently have lapped elliptically convex, so I got the Jarrod lapping plate out and did all my Naniwa Super Stones cause I really don’t use them flat anymore. It still took forever on the 1k grit but it did ‘get her done’ better. I have some more work to round the point a little better, but I wanted to see if I liked how it shaves. I’ve never shaved with a primary grind this heavy (1/4 hollow?), but it shaved very nicely. My preference is full hollow.

    Supposed to be some more lapping plates available later this month. Lower price too.

    Last stone for both razors was a convexed Naniwa 12k. Then to a pasted balsa strop progression ending with .1u CBN and roo.

    I like looks and the feel of the Gold Dollar in the hand, but I think the Dovo shaves a little better.


    FWIW, these W59 look cool but are a hassle to get shaving. The hone guide is straight while the edge comes with a smile. The width of the spine is hourglass shaped. The original bevel grind angle was more like what you see on knives and at compounded angles. A large amount of metal needed to be taken off. I’ve seen these priced at aroun $130 online. I paid around $20, might be worth $10 IMO
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
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  4. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    I have several of these Gold Dollar W59 razors. I have not found them difficult to hone, with a "Flat Stone", and no excess material needed to be removed. The tip on those W59 razors are.to be respected though. Once honed, properly, they do shave well. But, to be fair, I have run into a couple of newer production Gold Dollars, the retro W&B looking ones, that have crap steel, and are nothing better than letter openers. So, I can only conclude, they arent what they use to be.
    BTW, mine were acquired for around $14. They are now being sold on EBay for $26, free shipping.
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  5. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    Gold Dollars are like snowflakes, no two are the same.... :eek:

    You can get 6, two will hone normally, three will take work and one goes into the ‘later’ drawer.
  6. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    Aye,.I Dont Find Some of the Later Production Gold Dollars Particularly that Challenging to Hone..The 208 & Classic Models are Good Shavers..But as Mentioned above..They Can be a Bit of a Snow Flake in Terms of How they are Factory Finished..I Do Generally Do Slight Grinding Mods to the Heel a Maybe the Toe Area to Offer a Slight Smiling Blade..I Prefer the Edge Compared to a Carbon Steel Dovo..Some of Em are Bit of a Lucky Bag an All.:D

    Some Carbon Dovo Razors Can Rust Like Hell if Not Properly Looked After..I Sometimes Wonder Why they are Made that Way..They are For Wet Shaving After All.Maybe Aye..Maybe Hook Aye..Seen a Few Corroded from the Factory..Some Models I Would Just Flush Down the Toilet to Give My Crud a Bit of Bad Company..Thats Just Me Talkin Mind.Commie Steel "Who Dares Wins" for Me..Done Deal/.:happy097:

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
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  7. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    The biggest issue was the amount of metal to remove to get a bevel based on the untapped spine using a 1k stone (I don’t have coarser). They must have used a ton of tape or just ground freehanded.

    The roughly calculated bevel angle is about 18 degrees in center, increasing to the ends as honed directly on the spine.

    It was a fun exercise.
    PLANofMAN, Steve56 and Billyfergie like this.
  8. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    I got a handful of the cheaper ones inbound. Not sure what model though. I had a 208 some time back. I got it shaving well and gave it away to somebody wanting to try straights. If these turn out okay, I’ll probably do the same with them.
    Billyfergie and Steve56 like this.
  9. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

  10. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Freehand, I'm sure. I have a set of Harbor Freight chisels that look as though they were ground by a drunk six year old.* Not bad chisels for basic carpentry work. A bit soft for chisels, so they dull faster, but they also sharpen faster too.

    The biggest problem I have with them is that they decided to copy the look of fine woodworking chisels. I'd have fewer complaints if they had a steel core with a bit of plastic wrapped around the outside.

    For $10 for a set of 6, I can't complain too much. If someone were to give them the "Gold Dollar shave ready treatment" and sell them for $40, it would still be a good deal.

    *No squares or straightedges were harmed (or used) in the making of these chisels.
  11. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    Why you should NOT use elliptically crowned surface hones!

    Unless you are a barber, the only guy you need to make happy with your shaves and stuff is the one in the mirror.
    Hembree likes this.

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