Let's Talk Arkansas Stones

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

  1. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member

    Soft Ark is lapped 120/400, feels like night and day. Now it joins its siblings; Dan's Hard Ark dual sided and the ProCut Surgical Black
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  2. JohnDB

    JohnDB Well-Known Member

    That is one great looking stone. My pocket sized soft looks similar but my bench sized isn't as pretty.

    BTW...this stone can be lapped using 400 grit w/d sandpaper and soapy water. You can use the SiC powder but it's not necessary.
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  3. JohnDB

    JohnDB Well-Known Member

    One other tid bit of info.

    After you get a usable edge and feel the need to rehone or touch it up...(4 shaves)
    I find that I can go to my white hard arkie and follow it up with the black and not reset the bevel with the soft.

    And the edge is awesome.

    Arkies require a LOT of strokes...this will just save you some time and effort and steel on your razor.
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  4. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member

    Currently loving my GD 66 edge. Took two tries and I got it where I like it. Now I'm eyeing two problematic straights with a slight smile. Practice time is coming.
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  5. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member

    Felt a little daring yesterday. I killed the edge on my GD 66 and tried to hone it back to it's former glory using my ark progressions. I feel it's back to where it was before but my darn chin and neck hairs are still as stubborn as usual. Oh well, step in the right direction.
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  6. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member

    Any suggestions on getting more keenness on the blade?
  7. Shojo510

    Shojo510 Well-Known Member

    Inexperienced guy here...

    FWIW- From everything I’ve been reading you can never really over hone your edge on the ark finisher...more laps?!

    I don’t recall your ark finish process

    :) John
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  8. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    In My Experience You Can Indeed Over Hone a Razor on an Ark Finisher..Hollow Ground Sheffield Blades for Example Wont Take a Comfortable Shaving Edge Over Say..16 K or there About..;)

    This is My Personal Judgement..I Personally Dont Find that that a Finishing Ark Fits All Kinda Steel..I Love My Arkansas Surgical Black..Its a Superb Finisher..I Do Use it for My Own Sheffield Razors & Others I Own..I Know the Stone Well..:)

    I Personally Pre Finish on 16 K Lapping Film before Going On to My Ark..Its Only Takes Me a Few Minutes to Finish a Razor Out to Where I Want it..Up to around 20 K if I Desire for a Particular Steel..:p

    Arks are Not for the Inexperienced User in My Books & One Needs to Know their Steel as Well..Some Solingen Steel Just Does Not Suit an Ark Finisher..I Would Reckon around 50 % of German Steel..Thats Me Talkin Mind..I Dont Use Any Other Finisher on Vintage Stainless Blades..Again..Thats Me Talkin..Others will have their Own Take on Em..:happy088:

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  9. Shojo510

    Shojo510 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Billy!
  10. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member

    Billy, I've had better luck with the arks than a coticule or barbers hone. It's a Gold Dollar 66, just trying to figure out little tricks that may work.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
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  11. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member

    @Shojo510 once I get the bevel set on the soft ark, 220/400 two grit sides, I move onto the hard ark which is 600 grit on its finest side and the surgical is 600/1000. Both sides of the black get about 40 strokes before it starts wanting to stick. Strop about 20 on linen then about 50 on leather.
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  12. Shojo510

    Shojo510 Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a solid process

    Do you check your edge with a loupe for smaller scratches/serrations as you go?
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  13. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member

    Yes. I dont see many scratches if at all on the bevel and the edge looks good. Just a frosted look to it. The edge will easily cut the hair on my cheeks but the chin/neck give it trouble.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
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  14. Shojo510

    Shojo510 Well-Known Member

    I’m curious what advice the more experienced guys will have...

    Thoughts - further laps on the SB and /or add CROx treated strop...touch up your edge mid shave with a hand stone to give the keenest edge before those areas...

    I have noticed that first shave stroke is keener than the last when I shave...I figure this is due to technique in my case, :D

    Do you use just water on your stones or a lite soapy water?
  15. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member

    I use mineral oil on my stones.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
  16. Shojo510

    Shojo510 Well-Known Member

    There might be something to the thickness/viscosity (?) of the mineral oil that effects your edge...

    I have heard mention of thicker or thinner(plain water) to finish?

    Again hopefully you will get some more experienced people to chime in about your question...

    The only other thought would be the type of steel maybe it can’t support a keen enough edge for your use?

    I say this because I have heard of some SR’s not wanting to take an edge past a certain point...for example Billy just a few posts back.

    Thanks again for your post Billy.
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  17. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member

    I've got some good news! The blade was sharp before right? Took the whiskers from the cheeks but the chin and neck were a problem. Well, I just got this blade to whack chin and neck whiskers 10x better with barely a tug. What did I do? Added two layers of tape, took 10 laps on the finer side of my hard ark and about 20 laps on the surgical. 20 laps on leather. Added a second bevel and problem solved! I'm tickled into a happy fit!

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
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  18. Shojo510

    Shojo510 Well-Known Member

    Way to go! Congrats on solving your mystery!
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  19. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    Could your first layer of tape be worn, before you hit the Final Arkie?? I change my tape, before hitting the Arkansas Surgical Black, and sometimes before the Welsh Slate Stones.
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  20. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member

    Originally the initial
    The original honing was done by a professional without tape. So when I killed the edge and reset it initially, I didn't use tape. Then I gave the two layers of tape idea a try and it worked.

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