Let's Talk Arkansas Stones

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

  1. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member

    I thank this thread for that knowledge before I jumped into Arkies. Gonna give the stone a test run on refreshing an edge and see how it compares to my first 4 x 2. Hoping it does about the same job. If it does, then I have a spare 4 x 2 surgical to figure out what to do with.
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  2. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers


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  3. Leclec13

    Leclec13 Well-Known Member

    Nice stone!
    Some manufacturers are better than others, but have you checked it against a straight edge?
    Sometimes the pencil grid will not produce a flat stone.
    In that case plan on sweating!
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
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  4. Timwcic

    Timwcic Well-Known Member

    My Novaculite Family Portrait​

    But no matter what I finish on, when my blades start to loose there keenness and tug, they visit one of my hard arks. Arks deliver a finished edge that are unique only to themselves. A family portrait, some highlights of my collection of hard Arkansas stones. All are vintage stones and were found in wild over years of hunting. Each one made my day when I found and rescued. I have a few more floating around, but this bakers dozen are my highlights. Out of these 13, I have my sexy six. The ones I play with most. The first is my 9” porcelain white Novaculite. Then a big 9” surgical black from the late 1800’s. The next is a 8” transitioning translucent. Followed by my beauties, three butterscotch translucents. The last is more canary yellow, but I call it butterscotch. The one in the box with the initials is dated Sept, 1897

    C465BF2C-4CE6-4D97-8CAA-46A06D8948A7.jpeg B6C58624-2324-43D0-A517-813D628F428B.jpeg 3890021D-C4AC-41B2-8F3F-65629150F8B8.jpeg 3CD6656D-BF32-4AB9-97F6-8B55646D27A4.jpeg 9B6AE8B7-C5AF-4AC0-8673-9A5EEF7E57D3.jpeg
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  5. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    Article Team
    Great collection!
    I have this same exact stone. What is your opinion about it?

    Attached Files:

  6. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member

    It's flat. Surprising for no name on the box of the manufacturer. It's camfered lightly, all I could with time and materials on hand. I just took this razor, FW Engels,

    For a refresh on the new stone. Despite the nee stone not being as pitch black as the 4 x 2 I have, it refined the edge I would say past the 4 x 2 to a sharper, smoother edge. 1 pass test shave had less resistance which resulted in a smoother shave. I have high Hope's for future shaves.

    Now I have the urge to get a family photo and put it up. Lol later today or tomorrow.
  7. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member


    Family pic.
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  8. brit

    brit in a box

    very cool..
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  9. Timwcic

    Timwcic Well-Known Member

    That one will always be one of my favorites. It was one of the first boxed and labeled stone I got years ago. It is a comfortable in the hand 6 inch stone. I did use and like it for a while until the 6” translucent just above came along. It was 1 1/4 thick and no label. When the 8” stones appeared, they all got demoted to the stone cabinet but come out for a occasion visit. One thing, IMO, is there is no difference in functionality between any of the hard, trans stone. Other than appearances, the all do the same job. You can change how they hone by different surface conditioning and lapping with different grits. My favorite six are all lapped high grit and burnished to a reflective surface

    Thank you very much
  10. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor

    "The first is my 9” porcelain white Novaculite"

    More info more pics PLEASE

    Many years ago when I bought my first SR's the barber that was helping me had me order a "Snow White Ouachita" (that is what I think I remember) very hard, very dense, very fine, this was NOT a low grit Soft Washita, in 1981 it ran $102 for me to get the stone
    I used that stone alone until 2006 when I started Honing and Restoring and bought way too many stupidly expensive hones and stones :)

    Would love to know if you have any more info
  11. Timwcic

    Timwcic Well-Known Member

    Thanks for asking:

    The name “porcelain white Novaculite” is a name I gave it. When I started researching this hone, I could not find any info on nothing like it. It is a name used by flintknappers on a similar stone that they use. It came from the flea market. It was sold as a finishing hone. Seller is a third generation tool man was selling off the highlights of his collection. When I first picked up up, I new it was something special. It had the size to weight ratio that does not come around every day. Being it is a odd size, 9x2x3/4, I was on the fence. Is it a ceramic or a natural? It is as you describe your Ouachita, very hard, very dense, very fine. It is opaque white in color. It did have slight dish to it that took 8 hours using SIC to lap flat. Hardest lap I have ever completed. I tested the specific gravity using triple beam scale and came to 2.65. The stone is translucent, light transmits thru from the bottom. When I lapped, I took it up to 1000 grit and burnished with tool steel. I got a highly reflective surface. Tapping the stone with steel gives a high pitch report, like porcelain. Taking it for some test drives, it delivers an edge equal to any of my trans Arks using oil.

    Now that I am done rambling, I do not have much more info on it other than I am lucky to be it’s caretaker. Now for some pictures. Some older shots when lapping and how it look today

    9B32F7F5-517C-4A22-A349-52BBEC55EBB7.jpeg 2D7E9414-66A5-4111-9492-C4744FF13620.jpeg 511D79CD-AE65-4BBF-924D-D7E4DE783D78.jpeg 0F6B8D0E-01E9-4903-9649-16DEFD7AA75C.jpeg 9D530FEF-1234-4D16-8F31-AFF3211D5F99.jpeg 05E0479B-8EAE-4FC3-A58D-02BB1F70C4A9.jpeg A40D354C-9535-487F-9F23-36116BE4E0ED.jpeg 796500D5-FFED-4663-A65A-5D7345F6D524.jpeg
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  12. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    Mine is 2x8x1 and weighs 33.1 oz or 938 gr

    If I shine a bright enough light into a corner I get some translucence, but nothing trying to shine a light through it

    I have heard of a Snow White Ouachita that was a finisher, and I distinctly remember that name Ouachita from when I bought it, and the guys making a distinction about it NOT being the softer more often found Washita stone for Knives.

    Pretty cool stones that seem to not be very well known, honestly I rarely talk about it on the forums because I get tired of hearing that I NEED !!!! to buy a Translucent or Surgical Black, and having to explain, I have tried them and this is as good if not better..

    Nice to see another that might be related



    Hone On !!!

    ps: Someplace in the mess I call a shop I have the old Cedar box it came in hehehe
  13. Leclec13

    Leclec13 Well-Known Member

    Anyone burnishing finishing arks?
    I recently lapped a trans ark to 1200 grit AlOx.
    Has anyone compared edges burnished vs. not burnished?
    I’m already getting Uber sharp edges not burnished, almost too sharp.
    Does burnishing change quality of edge?
  14. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor

    Yes most of us use Steel to burnish in the stones

    I use an old Cold Chisel to Burnish Oil Stones when I am done lapping... like these


    I was taught that if you want the stone to become a "Burnisher" you had to use steel to accomplish that, nothing I have seen over all these years has lead to believe that isn't true.
    Until an Arkie is "Burnished" it is still more of a cutter is my understanding, and you want the surface to only burnish the edge not cut it
  15. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    I use my Surgical Black as a cutter, so I dont "Burnish" it. I have lapped one side with 600 grit Silicon Carbide, and the other with 1000 grit. It is sooo smooth, and finely polished, I dont know if I want it any smoother.
    Perhaps @gssixgun has some insight, between the edges obtained, by a finely lapped vs burnished SB or Trans Arkie.??
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
  16. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor

    I honestly don't, I was taught to burnish with them after attaining a sharp edge, I have never really done it any other way, getting to a "Shaving Sharp" edge and then dialing in for comfort using a well-burnished Oil Stone is pretty much what I use..

    I guess looking at it the other way around it would be comparable to using a Waterstone Finisher where it still cuts, ??? That is kinda how I am seeing it anyway..

    I would say try it both ways and see what your face tells you :eatdrink047:
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  17. Leclec13

    Leclec13 Well-Known Member

    I lapped trans ark to 1200 AlOx loose grit.

    I started burnishing my trans ark with a box wrench body which is made of carbon steel.

    Confused ....”I was taught to burnish with them....” clarification please?

    So basically, you are getting edge sharp ( progression of hones) then increasing comfort level (smoothness) on ark?

    Is the finishing ark you are using burnished ? And to what grit was it lapped?

    Does dialing in for comfort, decrease sharpness?
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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  18. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    I Personally Lap My Finishing Arkie to 1000 K with Wet n Dry...I Do that with My Escher Thuringians & My Coticule & My Yellow Lake Branded Oil Stone...I Only Use Em as Finishers after Putting Down a 16 K Synthetic Edge as a Pre Finisher...Works for Me...As Glen Said...Try Both Methods..Thats My Way of Choice...:happy088:

  19. Leclec13

    Leclec13 Well-Known Member

    Is there a wet dry sandpaper grit to loose grit comparison chart?

    1200 AlOx. And the standard SiC grits. Vs. WD sandpaper?
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  20. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor

    I hope that helps to explain it rather than making it more confusing, sometimes we tend to overthink it..

    This rings true

    "90% of honing is in the Bevel set
    About 9% is in the Sharpening and Polishing stages
    That leaves about 1% in the finishing stage, yet we spend most our money, and much of our time on that 1%"

    ~gssixgun ca 2009
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