A visual echo of the hexagonal bamboo rod, carved from stone, wrapped in nickel silver – it’s a new angle on the classic stone stripping guide. These strippers were a year in the works, from early sketches, scratching out ideas for a new line of components, to formal CAD drawings, to hand cut sample stones. Now we have a limited stock of production stones. The production run of Hexagates™ required custom tooling, indexed to ensure that the facets of every stone “ring” had a hexagon’s unmistakable angles. Crafting the hexagonal bezels is a jeweler’s task, which far exceeds the challenge of making circular wire bezels. Hexed bezels are made slowly, individually, and with a surprising amount of force, whereas circular bezels are made quickly, in considerable batches, and with a minimum of physical effort. Soldering the hexed bezels closed requires multiple clamps to snug the wire against the pairs of flats, whereas a circular bezel requires a single clamp to cinch the bezel to the stone for soldering. Hexagates™ are considerably more expensive than any of the standard, cylindrical guides because you’re purchasing more of a craftsman’s time. Thank goodness, there are some things – making rods, making components – that a craftsman with relatively simple tools can accomplish with more talent than a machine. Perhaps I should add: because there isn’t sufficient demand to bother designing and programing a replicary of robots to emulate a craftsman’s skilled hands.
We are launching this new guide in a single size, 10. The stones measure 10mm flat-to-flat, and have a 5mm ID, making them ideal for 4-6 weight lines. If they prove popular, we’ll add 9mm Hexagates™ before too long. The initial run of Hexagates includes nine major color options, with a few sub-categories. We hope you’ll find space for one of these guides on one of your new rods. Determine for yourself if Arcane has jumped the proverbial shark, or inaugurated a new traditional component that sorts well with hexagonal blanks and hexagonal winding checks.
Matt, the graphics guru, recently created some Hexagate box labels. Drake, the young man behind the Hexagate’s formal design, took it upon himself to hand-color the “stone” on each of the labels, so your box will reflect the content more accurately. Drake also inked the boxes and he played kind of fast and loose with some of the names; for example what we sell as “ROY Agate (Leans Orange)” he marked as “Orange Agate”…close enough considering the limited space on the box.
These are fluted stones, so if you are envisioning a roped bezel crafted from Sterling Silver or 18K Yellow Gold, we’re right there with you. Inquire. You might be the first. We’ll take pictures.