I know several of the members here have recently acquired the Arkansas Surgical Black Stones as well as the Translucent Stones. I would like to start an area for discussing these stones, because they are not Waterstones, but, Oilstones, when it comes to honing. I opted for the Surgical Black stone, since other members and other sites can tell little to no difference between the two, and the Surgical Black is less expensive. I will not refer to the seller, yet, because I wish to resolve some issues. I did buy the 6 x 2 inch Surgical Black for $39.95, with the wood case. When I received it, it had tooling marks, on both sides, that could be seen and felt, even in the photo. I thought, "No Problem" I planned on lapping it anyway. I tried 320 grit wet/dry, and it didn't do anything. I went down to 180 grit, and 1 hour later, a little headway was made. These things are like trying to buff out a scratch in a diamond. I've never done it, but this is what I would imagine it to be like. Both arms are tired, and I'm taking a break now. It reminds me of putting a new bevel on a 70's era Commie razor I have. Anyway, I can clearly see the areas that are smoothing out, but I will add, the stone is nowhere near flat, and this is taking a while. Here is the stone, freshly unwrapped.