Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
Like Tree1Likes

Thread: Surgical Black Arkansas v Translucent Arkansas

  1. #1
    Senior Member hendersr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    101
    Thanks
    38
    Thanked 13 Times in 10 Posts

    Default Surgical Black Arkansas v Translucent Arkansas

    Hi,

    I am looking at buying an arkansas stone to fine hone my knives and maybe my razors. Does anyone have any experience with the Arkansas stones and have any recommendations. Or maybe even some recommendations for hones that i can use for both knives and razors.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    21
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts

    Default

    I'm glad to see this post. I'm fascinated by Arks as well. Old references speak of them highly for razors, I know of one that mentions them as equals to belgian hones and Swaty's, yet they seem to get a bum rap around here. I'm still a newbie so hopefully some of the other Ark afficianados with more experience than me will comment... (I think mparker762 might have a lot to add).

    That being said, I can share my ONE experience with you. I honed an ebay special from butterknife dull to shave-ready on a progression of soft to hard to translucent stones. I found the bevel setting fairly straightforward on the soft and could get arm hair sharp but not pass the HHT off the hard ark (I don't recall how many passes to get there but it wasn't terribly slow on an 8" stone, IMO). My translucent is 6x2 and feels like glass, very little feedback, but after many passes (?100 or so) it passed the HHT handily and provided a brilliant shave on my face - nicer than my Swaty! Of course that's my razor on my face with my stone so YMMV...

    I don't have any experience with the black ark yet (I just cleaned one up and hopefully can try it out soon).

    I have to say the so-called grit ratings don't seem to apply to AR's (or any naturals) as I see it. My soft and hard both produce a highly polished edge that is similar to the translucent, altho feedback and cutting speed increase as the density (hardness) drops. All seem to respond well to progressively lightening pressure to increase keeness. I read a post over at Badger & Blade by a gentleman who brought his razor from dull to shave-ready on a single Washita (lowest density Ark) using lighter and lighter strokes.

    As for other hones to use on knives AND razors, the coticule comes to mind...

    Thanks for the post, I eagerly await other's input!

    -D
    WadePatton likes this.

  3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to dericandteri For This Useful Post:

    G23Dan (06-08-2011),hendersr (03-02-2010)

  4. #3
    It's Nice To Be Nice JimmyHAD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    24,911
    Thanks
    2,532
    Thanked 8,411 Times in 5,267 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dericandteri View Post
    I'm glad to see this post. I'm fascinated by Arks as well. Old references speak of them highly for razors, I know of one that mentions them as equals to belgian hones and Swaty's, yet they seem to get a bum rap around here.
    I recently became fascinated with Arks also and acquired a vintage Washita, Soft Ark and a translucent. I haven't used them on razors yet, only pocketknives. Back in the '70s I had a set of Smith's Arks in the same grits + a black hard. I recall that the black was terribly slow on knives.

    Forum member Russel Baldridge has posted on honing razors with Arks here and said that it works but that it is slow and that there are better alternatives because of that. As far as knives, I like the oilstones for knives or tools because of the hardness of the stones.

    I would be reluctant to use my waterstones, coticules, Thuringans or synthetics on knives because of the wear that the increased pressure would cause. Maybe it wouldn't be significant but I still wouldn't want to mess with it.

    Your post has prompted me to give razors a try on my Arks and I will do that with one razor just to see how that will work for me. Up until now I haven't but you've piqued my curiosity in spite of what I've read others say about it.
    “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle,” attributed to Ian Maclaren, circa1897

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to JimmyHAD For This Useful Post:

    hendersr (03-02-2010),shooter74743 (03-02-2010)

  6. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    San Diego/LA, Calif.
    Posts
    269
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked 27 Times in 22 Posts

    Default

    I have a hard Arkansas and it is so slowwww. The finish ended up being 3k-4k but it is slower than my 12k waterstone.

  7. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    787
    Thanks
    475
    Thanked 132 Times in 123 Posts

    Default

    In using Arkansas, as they are quite slow, generating a slurry with a 600 grit diamond card, can increase their speed considerably...especially in the difficult stage of bevel setting, imo.
    From the surgical black on up, i just use the stones with oil. Hope that helps.

    Mac

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to McWolf1969 For This Useful Post:

    JimmyHAD (03-03-2010)

  9. #6
    Electric Razor Aficionado
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,384
    Thanks
    35
    Thanked 342 Times in 222 Posts

    Default

    Either the black or translucent will put a fine edge on a razor, but they are both so slow that they are better used as a barber hone than as a primary hone, i.e. fine for keeping a razor sharp but suboptimal for getting it there in the first place.

    Both types are pretty much equivalent for razors, some guys claim the black is superior to the translucent or vice versa, but really they're the same. Arkansas stones are graded by density, not color, and blacks and translucents have the same allowable density range. They get their color from contaminants in the binder not from anything inherent in the abrasive. Because there is an allowable density range for the two types of fine arkansas, there are good translucents and blacks, and mediocre translucents and blacks.

    I use mine with either Kroil (very thin liquid penetrating oil similar to WD-40) or soap and water.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to mparker762 For This Useful Post:

    JimmyHAD (03-03-2010)

  11. #7
    str8s for life
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    51
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

    Default

    mparker's pretty spot-on there. Used black and translucent, can't tell difference. They seem same to me. Buy based on real estate/$.

    Definitely couldn't care less what the grit rating is. It shaves well whatever it is called so of no concern to the pragmatic.

    Verrrry slow. Likely slowest stone I've ever used. Gonna guess multiple hundred laps coming from a 1k and then a 4k waterstone. Slow's a relative term; finishing a honing with it is time well spent for me, and I really like the edges it makes.

    It is a keeper in the sickness of stone collection. Well, to be fair hardly any of them leave the door. But it is both a keeper and a user, which I can't say for all.

    Absolute bloody war to flatten if not delivered flat, but stay that way once you get 'em there.

  12. #8
    Senior Member hendersr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    101
    Thanks
    38
    Thanked 13 Times in 10 Posts

    Default

    Whats a good way to test if they are flat?

  13. #9
    Old guy/ Gun Guy/ Corvette Driver mrsell63's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Arrrgh Matey! I'm lost again.............!
    Posts
    1,704
    Thanks
    284
    Thanked 399 Times in 318 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Hard ark

    I bought a hard black Arkansas Surgical about three years ago but haven't been able to use it yet. I started to lap this stone with a DMT 325 and have only been able to achieve an oval shaped area in the center of the stone. I would say that the stone is 50% flattened just on that oval area.

    This is one hard stone and if I ever get it totally lapped, I think it will be one heck of a polisher. Please note the oval outline on the stone in the photo. That's the only flat part of the stone so far.

    I think my DMT 325 is about shot because of this stone. I hope the people in Arkansas aren't as hard as their stones...!!
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    JERRY
    Never play poker with a guy named LUCKY.....

  14. #10
    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    10,445
    Thanks
    2,006
    Thanked 2,364 Times in 2,082 Posts

    Default

    I only had Arks when I started str8 shaving. Slow but nice results. If I had to shave off a low grit stone it would be a Washita rather than a synthetic.

    They will lap pretty easily on glass & a progression of SiC powders. I know diamonds are harder but you get the benefit of a slurry which you can't allow on diamond plates.
    Last edited by onimaru55; 03-04-2010 at 08:15 AM.
    Well honed razors cannot compensate for poorly honed skills.



  15. The Following User Says Thank You to onimaru55 For This Useful Post:

    mrsell63 (03-04-2010)

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •