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Thread: Dan's Whetstone True Hard

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    Senior Member Longhaultanker's Avatar
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    Default Dan's Whetstone True Hard

    Some of what I will refer to harkens back to this thread: On the road at Dan's Whetstones

    A few days ago I received this newly ordered Dan's Whetstone True Hard variety. Those familiar Dan's and Arkansas novaculite will recall the True Hard, Hard Black, and Translucent all carry a gravity rating of 2.5+. I am of the opinion there is no appreciable difference in the three categories / varieties specified above for straight razor honing. While I was ordering the new stone Mary reminded me the True Hard was slightly more aggressive than the other two categories. (See previous thread for some description on this point). I told Mary the reason I was purchasing this True Hard was to demonstrate there is no distinctive difference between the three categories. BUT I THINK I'VE STUMBLED ON TO SOMETHING. When these stones come off Dan's Whetstone lapping machines and are finished, the True Hards may very well be slightly more aggressive. This may be fine for folks who use the True Hard for blades other than straight razors, but we who use these stones for straight razors will often go to extraordinary lengths to burnish and polish these stones.

    With the purchase of this True Hard I am attempting to demonstrate two points: 1) there is no appreciable difference between True Hard, Hard Black, and Translucent Arkansas novaculite; and 2) the burnishing, polishing of the True Hard need not be overly burdensome to achieve a finishing stone that will deliver a fine, polished edge. I know others here highly burnish, polish their novaculite stones. I've only lightly burnished my novaculite stones leaving a satin like finish.

    So with all that, here's the pictures.

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    Opposite side.

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    Side view.

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    Opposite side view.

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    Getting down to work.

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    I rubbed my hand over the stone to feel the texture. I then took my chisel and with only moderate pressure laid down only enough strokes to smooth out the surface, leaving a satin, almost chalk like finish. But I'm not done.

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    Taking a hint from Mastro Livi, I took my Dan's Hard Black (surgical black, if you like), and laid on numerous moderate to light pressure laps. This is a step I'll no doubt repeat many times.

    I now have a Dan's Whetstone True Hard genuine novaculite ready to finish and maintain my straight razors. Only trouble is, gee whiz, (get the reference?), all my razors are now in fine shaving condition.

    My thanks to Mary, Steve, and all the folks at Dan's Whetstone. What a beautiful stone they sent me!
    Last edited by Longhaultanker; 05-20-2017 at 01:29 AM.
    A little advice: Don't impede an 80,000 lbs. 18 wheeler tanker carrying hazardous chemicals.

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    Addison (05-19-2017), Benz (05-20-2017), CamMorris (08-09-2017), Hirlau (05-19-2017), MichaelS (05-19-2017), ScoutHikerDad (08-09-2017), xiaotuzi (08-16-2017)

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    Looking forward to your sharpening test resuts!

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    Senior Member Longhaultanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaverdiere View Post
    Looking forward to your sharpening test resuts!
    My anticipation is that it will hone / shave equally as good as both my Hard Black and Translucent.
    Marshal likes this.
    A little advice: Don't impede an 80,000 lbs. 18 wheeler tanker carrying hazardous chemicals.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Hirlau's Avatar
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    Nice looking stone.

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    Senior Member Steel's Avatar
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    I agree on all points. This has been my experience too. A beautiful stone as are all Arkansas stones.
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    What a curse be a dull razor; what a prideful comfort a sharp one

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    I recently pulled a couple of razors needing a refresh. I started out on the burnished True Hard and then finished up on the Translucent. All I can say is that they mow down my barbwire beard slicker than snot.
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    Senior Member CamMorris's Avatar
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    That's a beautiful piece of stone! I had wondered where the "true Hard" fell in the progression! I always thought the "translucent" was the finest of the Arks , Dan's list the black as the finest, but the Trans must be more rare hence the price! I know the Translucent I have is very fine almost like glass! Now I'm wanting a surgical black and maybe also a "true Hard" these two are the same price at Dan's.........decisions decisions!

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    It all depends on the density of the stone really. Translucents, True Hard, and Black stones all fall into the same density range. I imagine one simply finds more Black stones at the densest end of the spectrum, but my True Hard performs every bit as well as any of my Translucent stones and they all have potential to have the same high density as a Black stone.

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    Senior Member CamMorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshal View Post
    It all depends on the density of the stone really. Translucents, True Hard, and Black stones all fall into the same density range. I imagine one simply finds more Black stones at the densest end of the spectrum, but my True Hard performs every bit as well as any of my Translucent stones and they all have potential to have the same high density as a Black stone.
    Good info! so basically the only difference between the "surgical black" and the "Translucent" (other than the price) is the color of the stone?

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Have you been able to check density? I vaguely recall measuring dan's black stone at about 2.65 SG. The trans was about the same.

    The true hards may vary a little bit more from stone to stone.

    I purchased a "hard" from dans for my IM-313 (for kitchen knives, my wife has gotten into telling all of her friends that we can sharpen their knives for free), and it is dead nuts 2.5 SG and has a bit of bite that has mostly subsided, but it's got little tiny pores on it like you'd expect from not being insanely dense like a good trans or black stone will be. Those pores mean that it will never completely shut down like you can manipulate a good trans or black stone to do, but in my application, that's more than fine (most people have junk knives that can have a bevel reground by hand on a crystolon, cleaned up on a fine india and finished with the dan's hard - i doubt they can even hold an edge good enough for the hard once you strop off the wire).

    At any rate, if the true hard is 2.55 SG or something like that, it would easily explain the difference in aggression. As long as the pores are minimal, it can still be made to do just about anything, including totally shutting it down so that it will mostly burnish steel that's in the rc60 range (like razors).

    At some point, I will splurge on a true hard from dans, but I just picked a 10x3x1 trans off their specials page and don't want to put another 2 bills down on a true hard at this point. I'd like to get them on the phone at some point and see if I can get something really special out of them, but I can tell that when I start talking to them on the phone, they're not quite ready for it!
    Steel and Marshal like this.

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