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Thread: Please help me ID these Arkansas stones

  1. #1
    Senior Member kelbro's Avatar
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    Default Please help me ID these Arkansas stones

    I picked these up and they were out of the boxes. Is there a way to tell from just looking at them which is the hard and which is the soft?

    Thanks
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    they are both soft type stones, though some retailers label softs as hard if they are not as coarse and sandy as a very coarse soft.

    The best way to tell which is the soft and which is the hard is to calculate density. You'll get a sense of which one is more dense (and thus more fine ultimately).

    You'll probably also find that if you slurry them both, there will be almost no difference in their cutting speed.

    You can do a practical test of lapping the surfaces of both of them and then getting a scratch pattern on something like a chisel or hardened knife, that will also tell you which cuts more coarsely, but like I said, the difference between the various stones with pores in them can be fairly small, even if some are labeled soft and some labeled hard.
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    Senior Member kelbro's Avatar
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    Neither were easy to lap smooth but the one on the right was definitely much harder.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelbro View Post
    Neither were easy to lap smooth but the one on the right was definitely much harder.
    I would guess just looking at them and having fiddled with maybe 75 arkansas stones of various looks that the one on the right is probably finer than the one on the left.

    No guarantees without a closer picture, but that's my call on it. If they are far enough apart in use to be used in a progression, count yourself lucky, because that will mean you need to follow them only with a trans or black ark or another similar finisher. If you scuff the coarser of the two, you'll probably find you can set a bevel with circles or half strokes, and that the edge won't have taken much damage in bevel setting.

    (soft arks are my favorite bevel setters of all stones because of that, but I might be a bit biased about the ark stones in general. I would have wallpaper with pictures of ark stones on one wall and wallpaper with pictures of japanese stones on another if that was an acceptable thing to my wife. If I had a urinal, it would get urinal cakes made to look like coticules so I could pee on them).
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    Senior Member Steel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveW View Post
    If you scuff the coarser of the two, you'll probably find you can set a bevel with circles or half strokes, and that the edge won't have taken much damage in bevel setting.
    This is exactly what I am finding.
    What a curse be a dull razor; what a prideful comfort a sharp one

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