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Thread: Any Arkansas users out there?

  1. #11
    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Well remember when everyone was making a big fuss over the charnley forrests ? Turned out that the Arks are the same abrasive, novaculite (sp?). They say they are slow, and IME they are, but so what. Knowing that beforehand I'm prepared for it and fast or slow is relative. My black and my trans are not fast but they are not that slow either. Anyhow, if I was honing multiple razors for people, or for a vendor, I would opt for a synthetic setup to speed the process up. Since I only hone my own ..... when I feel like it ..... I'm not really as concerned with how fast I get the edge, as I am with how it feels/works when all is said and done.
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  2. #12
    Just a guy with free time.
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    Fast or slow is absolutely relative. I've spent more than two hours on several occassions trying to coax an edge out of a coticule. Turns out it wasn't the coticules fault ofc. But having said that, it's fairly obvious I'm more concerned with getting it right, than getting it done. It is nice for it to be right, and done though. :P So maybe slurry's not an option for these novaculites, but it's cool to hear that some of you long termers are using them some, and have good things to say. Jimmy, I'd be very interested to read how it all works out when you do the whole routine on Arkansas stones also.

  3. #13
    Senior Member eleblu05's Avatar
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    ark don't work well with slurry the stone doesnt break down well under the weight or pressure of a razor blade . ark fineness come's from the stone being worn smooth and how dense the stone is . let take the translucent or surgical black both stone have a specific gravity of 250+ now to confuse things more they are around 1200+ grit or 4-8 micron but the grit does not break down it wears smooth it polish's as it cut's which brings the edge close to or around 8k . its very important to smooth out your ark before honing on it to get the max out of the stone . also these stone's work very well with harder steels
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    Senior Member xMackx's Avatar
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    I actually read that the surgical black is the finest Arkansas, and the reason why the translucent is expensive is because it is the rarest to quarry but the black is slightly finer. Just something I read, opinions will differ.

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    Do you remember where you read it at? I read they're both the same. With Eleblu's numbers as above, except 3-5 microns instead of 4-8. Stil pretty darn close though. I'd like to read your source. Of course there's that whole "this is a natural, and they're all unique" thing to contend with. But overall, it seems the Arkansas stones are graded by specific gravity, as measured with whatever they use to measure specific gravity. Meaning you could get a translucent that was graded "soft Ark", if that translucent stone didn't measure up in the SG arena. I'm only getting my info from three sources right now, but I'd like to read more if you can get me a link or something. Thanks!

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    Senior Member xMackx's Avatar
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    I couldn't find where I read it, but I found this video from Sharpeningsupplies.com and they sell a lot of stones. I have heard the black is very slightly higher, very close to being equal. The price of the hard translucent being the rarest dictating its price at least is true. lol... like you said they are natural so it all depends on what you have in your hand at the moment.

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  9. #17
    Senior Member Gamma's Avatar
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    It's impossible to say all surgical black Arks are finer than all translucents or vice versa.
    Also - it's my understanding that not all black arks are in the class of 'surgical black' stones - some are just 'hard' and not 'true hard'.
    Arks are graded by specific gravity, not color. Color is an indiacator, but not the final word.


    They're natural stones and there will be variances. At the finishing stage - even a microscopic variance in 50% of the stones abrasive particles will seem to be a major difference. I don't know that a similar variance in lower grit stones s would yield a similarly significant difference.
    Judging all Arks based on the performance of one stone, or even several stones that look similar/have the same color/etc, is problematic.
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  10. #18
    Senior Member eleblu05's Avatar
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    This is one thing i know for sure, is that you cant judge and ark by it's color . and you'll never find a translucent graded as a soft ark. Both the translucent and the surgical black are the same specific gravity. i have two translucents and two surgical black's and one multicolored one. this is my opinion an not a fact , that you'll have a better chance of getting a finer surgical black then you will a translucent.( my finest is a translucent tho) for me the surgical black's seem more dense.It is true the translucents are a rarer stone to come by ,so thats why they cost more. Where i get most of my ark info is from Sharpeningsupplies.com and danswhetstones.com they have a novaculite 101 that explains these stone's more indepth.Here are some pic's of my trans , blue and black surgical black and my mutlicolored stone enjoy.
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    Last edited by eleblu05; 03-04-2012 at 04:37 PM.
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    Ok, Eleblu5, we're reading the same stuff. My third source was Tools for Working Wood.com I believe. My comment on translucents was just to illustrate that color has nought to do with Arkansas stone grading systems. But I guess translucent isn't so much a color, as a visual effect. Interesting information guys. Thanks for the pics too. I think you also may have told me what one of my mystery stones is. I've got a purplish stone that looks an awful lot like that blue Arkansas black you got there!
    Last edited by regularjoe; 03-04-2012 at 04:53 PM.

  12. #20
    Senior Member xMackx's Avatar
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    In all of our posts on this page we all have said that natural stones are unique and vary from stone to stone. Which is the best answer to what's finer, it all depends on your luck of the draw when playing the whetstone lottery.

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