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Thread: 4" Norton Hone, Can Anyone Tell Me More About It?

  1. #1
    JP5
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    Default 4" Norton Hone, Can Anyone Tell Me More About It?

    I got this hone from the same place I got my Coticule. When I was cleaning it up, I found a small 'Norton' logo printed on the side. The edges are translucent when held up to a light. It has a couple black veins and some really small white ones that are grouped together.
    Not sure what the grit or type of stone is, but it feels really fine. It measures 4" x 2" x 1".
    If any of you gentlemen who are knowledgeable about hones could tell me more about it, I would appreciate it.
    Thanks













    Put a little water on it for this picture.

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    This would be my guess. I presume you got it used. May turn out to be a great finisher. Clean it,lap, it,try it.Name:  nortoark.jpg
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    "It is easier keeping a razor honed than honing a razor."

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Looks like a Grey translucent, in that layer between Translucent and Black Surgical. Norton did and still distributes Ark stones.

    Probably will make a very nice finisher, Hard to tell from photos but it looks a little rough. If it’s flat just burnish it with a wide chisel or large carbon steel kitchen knife.

    Get is as smooth as possible, should be like glass. Hone after a good 8K or 12K edge. Hard Arks leave a very nice edge and hazy no stria pattern. Use with a drop or two or Smith’s honing solution or mineral oil, clean with Dawn dish soap or Simple Green after, oil gets rancid and smells.

    Here is one I have, with more pronounced black streaks, it is a nice finisher.

    There are several good, long Ark threads in the Hones, forum.

    Where did you find it?

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    Thanks guys.
    What grit do you usually lap it to? Was I correct in thinking this was finer than my coticule?

    I got the Norton and my Belgium Coticule from the same antique shop for $5 each. When I was looking at the hones the owner mentioned they had come from a barber's estate.

    There was also a Carbonrundum stone in a red and blue box for $15, but I didn't think I needed it. There was also a two sided hone for clippers and a stone that looked like a pumice.

    The Norton had a sticky spot in the middle of one side, so it may have been attached to a box or base before.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    First, dude, you scored…

    Second do not lap the Ark unless it is not flat. Just put a straight edge on it and see if you see light. It does not have to be perfectly flat, just no big dips.

    Arks are harder than Chinese Trig, and will need to be lapped flat with loose silicon oxide, beginning with 60 grit, up 320 and then wet & Dry up to 2k. You can get loose Silicon Carbide from GotGrit.com, it’s not expensive and you don’t need a lot, maybe a teaspoon of each grit, so don’t buy a lot.

    If it is reasonably flat just hone a carbon steel kitchen knife or cleaver with a lot of pressure, wet with water and liquid dish soap. Do 2-300 laps or more until super smooth, the smother the better.

    If you lap, you start all over. Hopefully, someone has put some mileage on it, and smoothed it some, for you.

    “Was I correct in thinking this was finer than my coticule?”

    Some say, Arks and Coticules are on opposite ends of the spectrum. A good Coticule edge, is a smooth comfortable edge. A Hard Ark edge is a keen almost aggressive edge, yet not uncomfortable.

    Neither stone can be grit rated, though you can grit equivalent rate “your” coticule, by comparing “your” stone, to a known grit synthetic. Arks cannot because, they do not produce a scratch pattern, like other stones, so cannot be compared to a known grit.

    Any grit comparison of any natural stone is a WAG. Each stone has it following and have been used successfully with straight razors for hundreds of years. I have several of both and like both edges.

    Performances, of both stones, greatly are limited by the user’s ability.

    You may want to go back and take some good photos of the stones you left behind and post them. You may want to buy them…

    There are good Ark, Coticule and Carborundum stones threads, some Carborundum stone are highly sought, usually the boxes says, for razor use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclid440 View Post
    First, dude, you scored…
    Thanks, I thought I did pretty well!

    Quote Originally Posted by Euclid440 View Post
    Second do not lap the Ark unless it is not flat. Just put a straight edge on it and see if you see light. It does not have to be perfectly flat, just no big dips.
    I may have misspoke. I laid it flat on some sandpaper to take out some light scratches, but I haven't used a lapping stone/plate on it. One side looked good to go except for the tiny chips on the corners.

    Quote Originally Posted by Euclid440 View Post
    Arks are harder than Chinese Trig, and will need to be lapped flat with loose silicon oxide, beginning with 60 grit, up 320 and then wet & Dry up to 2k. You can get loose Silicon Carbide from GotGrit.com, it’s not expensive and you don’t need a lot, maybe a teaspoon of each grit, so don’t buy a lot.

    If it is reasonably flat just hone a carbon steel kitchen knife or cleaver with a lot of pressure, wet with water and liquid dish soap. Do 2-300 laps or more until super smooth, the smother the better.

    If you lap, you start all over. Hopefully, someone has put some mileage on it, and smoothed it some, for you.

    “Was I correct in thinking this was finer than my coticule?”

    Some say, Arks and Coticules are on opposite ends of the spectrum. A good Coticule edge, is a smooth comfortable edge. A Hard Ark edge is a keen almost aggressive edge, yet not uncomfortable.

    Neither stone can be grit rated, though you can grit equivalent rate “your” coticule, by comparing “your” stone, to a known grit synthetic. Arks cannot because, they do not produce a scratch pattern, like other stones, so cannot be compared to a known grit.

    Any grit comparison of any natural stone is a WAG. Each stone has it following and have been used successfully with straight razors for hundreds of years. I have several of both and like both edges.

    Performances, of both stones, greatly are limited by the user’s ability.

    You may want to go back and take some good photos of the stones you left behind and post them. You may want to buy them…

    There are good Ark, Coticule and Carborundum stones threads, some Carborundum stone are highly sought, usually the boxes says, for razor use.
    It is already pretty smooth now, but not as glassy since I used sandpaper. I will try honing a kitchen knife like you mentioned to get it really slick.
    You mentioned oil earlier. Is it any better than just using clear or soapy water?
    Also, would it work as well to just use a sanding block or file to burnish/bevel the edges to get rid of the small chips?

    Thanks for the info. You gave me a lot of useful information, in addition to answering my questions.

    I believe the stones I mentioned earlier were the only ones left. They are about 250 miles away from here anyway.
    I searched Carbonrundum on ebay, I believe the one I saw was the same as the 8x3x1 stones in the red/blue boxes.
    The two sided stone for clippers was coarse and broken in half.
    I'm not sure what the pumice looking stone would have been good for.

    I saw a small barber hone in a box at another store. It said 'KEEN CUTTER'on it. I didn't look at it or find out the price though. It may have been about 4"x 2" and I believe it was pretty thin. I doubt it was over 1/2" if I remember correctly.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Sounds like you cherry picked it.

    If you have scratches you will have to remove them. Try Wet & Dry paper, around 220-320, depending on how deep they are. If you cannot remove a scratch or get the stone flat in 15 min, you need lower grit. Any deep scratches will ruin your edge.

    If you need a lower grit, use Silicon Carbide powder, it is much quicker than Wet & Dry.

    Make a grid on the stone with a sharpie, pencil will wash off on the first couple of laps.

    These stones are hard, get a cheap cookie sheet from the dollar store and put it on flat cement, lay the paper in the cookie sheet, wet with water and a small squirt of dish soap, put your weight on it and lap it.

    Those lapping stones will not scratch the surface, they are a waste of time on an Ark.

    Once you remove all the marks spin the stone 180 degrees and mark and lap it again. Move up in grits up to 2K paper. Once you are flat it will go quickly, you are just removing the previous grits scratches.

    It is some work. Do not use a Diamond Plate, you will strip the diamonds from the plate and ruin the plate.

    After 2k, burnish with a knife or chisel.
    Last edited by Euclid440; 07-07-2015 at 03:40 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JP5 View Post
    You mentioned oil earlier. Is it any better than just using clear or soapy water?
    A little dish soap with water will mimic a thin oil without all the mess. I Have used both and find the soap/water combo to be just as good as oil. You can also try glycerin and plain water. You will find you get better feedback with some soap or glycerin but other than that I haven't noticed much difference from plain water. How you finish/burnish your stone is more important. You want it smooth and glassy.
    What a curse be a dull razor; what a prideful comfort a sharp one

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Smith’s Honing Solution, is a water based lubricant that works with water. Just wet the stone and add a couple drops of Smiths. I buy it at knife shop and Ace Hardware, about $6 a bottle, that will last years.

    It washes off with water. But a few drops of mineral oil seem to give just a bit smoother feel on the stone. A couple drops washes off with dish soap or a spritz of Simple Green or probably any degreaser and a sponge with a green scrubber attached.

    It’s not a big deal, try the 3 and see which you like best. 100 weight of the blade laps is normal.

    Strop on leather to see how you like the edge, I and many other like the edge off the stone or with leather, it is crisp and keen, but not harsh. If you don’t like it a few laps on Chrome Oxide will smooth it out.

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    The scratches were really light. I was able to get them out pretty quick with 320 grit sandpaper. It is flat and smooth, I just need to get it back to 'glassy'.
    Steel likes this.

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