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Arkansas Love...Let's see those Arks!

For what it's worth, I have started keeping logs for what I have lapped and honed - like this:

2020-10-10. Vermont Green Slate. P220 > P600 > P800 > P1200. P1200 did not do much.

Pretty handy and, hopefully, it will save me time and effort figuring out where to start next time.
 
The smaller stones can be had dirt cheap and Smiths produced some very high quality stones. As a user and not a collector I don't have anything against the 1/2" stuff either.

I have less trouble with skipping and sticking on smaller hand held stones. The sticking is much more subtle on arks but I can feel the blade going harder into the stone.

This little black ark just came in the mail today and I would call it a translucent. It doesn't pass much light but some. It's a 2 x6x1/2 with what I suspect is one good side. Perhaps a second quality from Natural Whetstone Co?


both sides are good!!
I pretty sure your stone is transitional hard,black, translucent
maybe even some blue/surgical
aka ”hybrid”
if the stone colored part is softer/ coarser. Use that to prefinish it will speed up your time on ark
i’ll bet there is some denser blue/surgical mixed in !
 

SliceOfLife

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For what it's worth, I have started keeping logs for what I have lapped and honed - like this:

2020-10-10. Vermont Green Slate. P220 > P600 > P800 > P1200. P1200 did not do much.

Pretty handy and, hopefully, it will save me time and effort figuring out where to start next time.

You should make an excel sheet or database to track what you've honed and the results. Even with dozens of experienced users; almost all advice on how to polish/finish stones is based on hearsay and a few peoples impressions, often with very small sample sizes. It'd be neat to get a bigger database up that people could contribute to and we could see if a consensus formed.
 
both sides are good!!
I pretty sure your stone is transitional hard,black, translucent
maybe even some blue/surgical
aka ”hybrid”
if the stone colored part is softer/ coarser. Use that to prefinish it will speed up your time on ark
i’ll bet there is some denser blue/surgical mixed in !
The off color stuff has cracks that catch an edge.
 
have you tried lapping it? usually that stuff is true hard or better. and is a regular part of my ark progression. Stone in picture 2x6” top left is true hard, other side and corner is trans black. It took some elbow grease / lapping !! This is a Dan’s second.

View attachment 1168488
Yes, it was lapped. Not to the extent as the other face though after I discovered it could catch edges.

I took a single razor and honed it on that stone, a Dan's black and a vintage translucent with oil and again with soap and water to compare results.
 
There is a difference in feed back between the three stones that I tried but only on soap and water. If there is a difference between any of the Ark finishers it would be very hard to prove. I suspect that the translucents are faster but I can't prove it and I wouldn't argue one way or the other either.
 
IMHO
the true hard is fast but not a finisher
trans is faster than blue black.
trans with diamond slurry is even faster.
blue black is best ark finisher
true hard and trans with diamond slurry for a faster finish after 1K or vintage washita
 
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With new stones like that at the very least you will want to go over them with a hard steel, loose grit will be rolling around on the surface if you don't. Both stones will have a break in period and be coarser than they naturally are which may be OK, but if you are thinking of doing an ark progression I would lap them both.
I lapped both the soft and the hard with P220, P400, P600 and P1200 - came out very nice and smooth. Not sure the P1200 did a whole lot. I did not have any P100, but next time I will.
 
Gents, I have a black Ark on order from Dan’s. Do these stones come flat enough from the factory to lap with WD and Atoma plates or should I stock up on some SIC powder before it arrives? I did let them know that I was looking for a flat stone for razor finishing.
 
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Congrats on your order! I recently bought a Dan's hard black from Sharpening Supplies and it was flat and I mean flatter than flat, so I just used it as is. I also asked for a flat hard black and (unlike the soft and hard stones I bought next) the hard black was not sealed in plastic. These hard blacks are nice stones, BTW.
 
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