Let's Talk Arkansas Stones

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by DaltonGang, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    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.
    Best Sharpening Stone Arkie Surg Black.JPG
     
  2. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    Hard Call that One..Dan's Surgical Black Arkies are Lapped Flat..That's the Beauty of them..They Just Need a Quick Final Lap to Smooth them Out for SRs..That was Why I Got Mine from Dan after Researching the Matter..:D

    I Would have Sent that Back..Give Me My Dough Back..These Stones Can be Used with Water..Many Do..I Personally Use Oil on Mine..They are Notoriously Hard to Lap if they are Not Flat or have Tooling Marks..:)

    Billy..:chores016:
     
  3. Spyder

    Spyder Well-Known Member

    I ordered mine from my local industrial supplier, who distributes Nortons. They cost more, but I know that the quality will be good. I lapped two stones and they definitely are harder than a Scotsman's head :D. I'd hate to have to flatten or correct surface problems:angry032:
    I really feel for you, Scott. Once flat and smoothed out, they feel like glass, especially on 1500 grit. The good news; I would expect that lapping an arkie will be a "one and done" event.
     
  4. Jim99

    Jim99 Gold Water Shaver

    Alright, with all this talk going on, I am curious as to the difference between the Arkies and a cnat. Is the Arkie a harder stone?
     
  5. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    The Arkie is a Very Hard Glass like Stone..I Am Not a Natural Stone Expert..But..The Arkie Doesn't Cut with a Grit or Need Slurrey..They have Small Micro Burrows & Imperfection's in the Quartz that Sharpens the Razor..The Small Micro Burrows on the Stone Work by Refining Imperfections of the Blade whilst Honing..That's Why they have Such a High Grit Finishing Capacity..:)

    Billy..:chores016:
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
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  6. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord Staff Member

    Moderator
    Sorry to hear of your travails with the new stone. I've read the adventures of other Arkie owners who's stones required some extensive lapping and as you discovered, they are challenging due to the hardness.
    When properly prepped, however, as Billy stated, they do have a reputation for having a notable finishing capacity.
     
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  7. Spyder

    Spyder Well-Known Member

    Arkies are so hard, I use it to lap diamond film :happy097:
     
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  8. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    Geez, you probably could.

    I'm half Czech, so I guess I'm more stubborn than a Scottsman. I'm going to lap one side, issue a stern rebuke of their product description.
    I believe these stones are made from Noviculite, which is very very hard and dense material.
     
  9. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    [​IMG]
    :rofl:

    Billy..:chores016:
     
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  10. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    Funny You Say that Scott..When I Used to Go to Holland Skydiving & Traveling in Europe they Always Mistook Me for a Czech or Eastern European..I Guess it Was Cause I Looked Hard Headed Stubborn & Scary..:happy097:

    Billy..:chores016:
     
  11. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord Staff Member

    Moderator
    The good news is: once you get it lapped to the proper condition, its unlikely you'll find it necessary to repeat the process again.
     
  12. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    I hope you are right. I'm getting pretty tired.

    I am hard headed, and scarier looking, the older I get. I been throughout the Czech Republic, and it reminded me of a big family reunion.
    Very fair looking people. I guess I get the scary looks from the Irish side.
     
  13. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord Staff Member

    Moderator
    Silica Carbide powder (SIC) is used quite effectively for lapping these hard stones.
     
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  14. SRNewb

    SRNewb Well-Known Member

    I love my black ark. Put a great edge on a razor with other stones, and go to the Arkansas to really put a great polish on. Fantastic.
     
  15. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    Noooowwwwww you tell me. :angry032:
    I'm finished. Finally. 180 2 sheets, 220, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1200 grit progression.
     
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  16. Jim99

    Jim99 Gold Water Shaver

    Billy, so the black arkie sounds like an excellent finishing stone. Can it be compared to a 12k or 16k? Is it in that class? I know natural stones vary.
     
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  17. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    Jim..Its a Very High Grit Finisher. It Can Take a 20 K Synthetic Prefinished Edge & Refine it..I Heard Someone Recently Who Said it Blew Away the Capacity of His Shapton 30 K Which he Sold..His Words..Not Mine..It was Getting Sorta Heated Cause a Lot of Folks were Arguing that Arkie Stones were Not Fit for Finishing Razors..A Shapton 30 K is the Eqivilant Grit to a 20K Suehiro Gokumyo by My Understanding..:)

    In Sum..It Has a 20 K Finishing Capacity at Least when it Can Pick Up & Refine a Synthetic 20 K Edge & Refine it..No Problem..:happy088:

    Blame Tom.. @twhite ..A Few Weeks Ago I Would have Laughed at this Stone..Yeah..Matey..Pull the Other One..:rofl:

    Billy..:chores016:
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
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  18. Jim99

    Jim99 Gold Water Shaver

    I'm shopping now!
     
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  19. Jim99

    Jim99 Gold Water Shaver

    @Billyfergie , here's another question for you. Will this stone work with a blade that just came off of a Naniwa 12k?
     
  20. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    After watching the video, I ordered some 600 grit, and 1000 grit Silica Carbide powder. I plan on finishing the other side, and compare the difference, between the powder and the wet/dry lapping. The powder is inexpensive, and plentiful on ebay.
     

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