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

Bit of a stickler for 'Health and Safety' are you, eh?
Can't win em all! Scarily id be far more comfortable with doctors from that time caring for me. When I was like 8 my doctor was 85 and he was very low tech and by far best doctor I've ever known. Those little stone are cool. I almost bought a 2x3 norton translucent the other day.
 
I have a couple of old Norton Hard translucents, but generlly don't have as much knowledge and experience with Arks as I might do some other stones. Can someone tell me about the colours in hard Arks... Do they affect them at all? What do we think of this wee slip stone? Should I buy it because it's a looker? Or avoid for the same reason? Is it likely to be as hard and fine as a white translucent, or a different kettle of fish entirely?

It's not the cheapest thing in the world at around $40 US, but it is very pretty...

(Apologies for the quality of the website picture).

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Kind of reminds me of a translucent I have. Mines not as pure as a regular translucent and doesn't pass as much light. A little different feedback too. At the end of the day it makes little difference, black, black translucent, translucent, semi translucent, they are all better than I am. I don't think anyone could tell the difference between any of them in a blind shave test.
 
Kind of reminds me of a translucent I have. Mines not as pure as a regular translucent and doesn't pass as much light. A little different feedback too. At the end of the day it makes little difference, black, black translucent, translucent, semi translucent, they are all better than I am. I don't think anyone could tell the difference between any of them in a blind shave test.
Yep no matter how new you are, if you scrape steel consistently across a hard ark at the exact same angle, for long enough it'll get sharp. without question
 
What kind of thing are the circular/triangular/rectangular stick-type ones for...?
I still refer to them as slip stones, but I am not sure I am 100% on what I call them.

But I use them a lot on my lathe gouges and chisels as well as forester bit sharpening. They go where no other stones can go! Between some diamond slips and the arks I can keep a keen edge in the shop in about the same time as those who go to the grinder a lot. But I don't use for razors - 99% lathe tools and the rest carving tools.
 
I will add something to this for you Ark lovers.

There is lots of discussion and also a lot of value $$$ placed on older Pike or Norton "washitas" that are no longer produced. All of those qualities you find in those old washitas, I find in the newer Norton translucent stones as well but still fully available without the hunt and gamble. They are fast as h***, polish finely, and they are not as friable as some of the old washitas. For what most people pay for old washitas, it shocks me none ever tries the newer Norton trans stones and the performance. They are more course cutting than Dan's but just as fine at the same time (I do love some Dan's stones too).
 
I still refer to them as slip stones, but I am not sure I am 100% on what I call them.

But I use them a lot on my lathe gouges and chisels as well as forester bit sharpening. They go where no other stones can go! Between some diamond slips and the arks I can keep a keen edge in the shop in about the same time as those who go to the grinder a lot. But I don't use for razors - 99% lathe tools and the rest carving tools.
@cotedupy they are usually referred to as arkansas stone files(dans has them) and are commonly used by machinists. I think slip stones are a very cost effective way for newbies to get a finishing stone to try without breaking the bank. I old Norton slip stone is still very much in use and I have a 5.5" x 4.5" primitive translucent and a 2x4 smith's translucent but that slip stone is fine than both and I always use it right before my black for razors, which is a little finer. I'm with you on going to the stones instead of a grinder or file, they get tools way sharper. These are the arks I take everywhere I go to keep tools and knives sharp at work.

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Kind of reminds me of a translucent I have. Mines not as pure as a regular translucent and doesn't pass as much light. A little different feedback too. At the end of the day it makes little difference, black, black translucent, translucent, semi translucent, they are all better than I am. I don't think anyone could tell the difference between any of them in a blind shave test.
Does yours look like this? It passes light but not like one of the clearer ones. It's kinda like a hard ark and translucent had a baby. It's really fine though. i don't finish with it though I could finish as sharp as I like with the right technique.
 
@Coti always was told and aimed that color had no bearing and it never seemed to change hardness. This stone is is just under 2.6 sg and is really fine(hard black fine). The black spots on it won't absorb oil but the rest will. This stone is the first one I've had that I believe is a fine hard ark with SB veins in I it. I've used this stone as a finishing stone for razors a lot and it will get my blades WAY sharper than my thuringian will. Arks can be very different stone to stone even with the exact same sg and cut from the same block. It's why I have so many, the more I buy I find better and better stones even though "they're the same thing". It can become an addiction once you perfect your technique and can actually see what they can do! You'll just want to keep pushing it, especially with that beautiful pike trans you have, it's the perfect size too. I want to get Dan to cut me a true hard that is 1.5" x 1.5" x 6".

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I will add something to this for you Ark lovers.

There is lots of discussion and also a lot of value $$$ placed on older Pike or Norton "washitas" that are no longer produced. All of those qualities you find in those old washitas, I find in the newer Norton translucent stones as well but still fully available without the hunt and gamble. They are fast as h***, polish finely, and they are not as friable as some of the old washitas. For what most people pay for old washitas, it shocks me none ever tries the newer Norton trans stones and the performance. They are more course cutting than Dan's but just as fine at the same time (I do love some Dan's stones too).
I have an old smith's semi translucent that behaves like that. It kicks up swarf so fast but it's crazy fine. Are the new Nortons more clear or do they look white like the hard white arkansas you see sometimes?


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They look like the small ones above - the slips/files in white. Here’s another.

Below are the modern Norton (8x3), old Norton (6x2) , and a Dans (8x2).

The new Norton’s are very translucent yet seem slightly more porous and powdery than the Dan’s which feels more solid and ceramic to me.

EAB6A26D-89F6-4412-9D13-7379B512B93B.jpeg D7B9D8FC-A0FC-4B44-89F0-7D23E00E4606.jpeg
 
They look like the small ones above - the slips/files in white. Here’s another.

Below are the modern Norton (8x3), old Norton (6x2) , and a Dans (8x2).

The new Norton’s are very translucent yet seem slightly more porous and powdery than the Dan’s which feels more solid and ceramic to me.

View attachment 1328806 View attachment 1328807
I've got that same old slip stone and it's the hard translucent norton I was talking about. Love that stone, I wish it was 5 x 1.5 x 1. That's my favorite size razor hone.
 
I still refer to them as slip stones, but I am not sure I am 100% on what I call them.

But I use them a lot on my lathe gouges and chisels as well as forester bit sharpening. They go where no other stones can go! Between some diamond slips and the arks I can keep a keen edge in the shop in about the same time as those who go to the grinder a lot. But I don't use for razors - 99% lathe tools and the rest carving tools.
Ah of course!

The reason I asked is I have a load of similar type things I got as part of a job lot and didn't really know what to do with them. I'm pretty sure they're all SiC/AlOx, but I'll double check.

Good to hear that too because I have a friend nearby that does a fair bit of woodturning, and basically doesn't really sharpen his tools. (I think he just buys relatively cheap ones and then replaces them!). So I'll give him my box of interestingly-shaped stones.
 
What kind of thing are the circular/triangular/rectangular stick-type ones for...?
Gunsmiths, watchmakers, and others working with small hard steel parts would like those. I'm no gunsmith, but I've dabbled in it while working the kinks out of the ARs that I've built. I've gotten some good use out of the set below, and I received some Dan's files in a recent auction lot.

 
Gunsmiths, watchmakers, and others working with small hard steel parts would like those. I'm no gunsmith, but I've dabbled in it while working the kinks out of the ARs that I've built. I've gotten some good use out of the set below, and I received some Dan's files in a recent auction lot.

I've never even thought about using arkansas files while building rifles, that's insanely better than the d2 files I use. Thanks, now I got to buy some arkansas files because I'm constantly tinkering, adjusting and customizing my builds. Again, thanks for that!
 
Oh yeah! I had a mild timing problem on one rifle and the small stone files were GREAT for cleaning up the lugs on the barrel extension. Was able to buff the M4 feed ramps and got rid of the harsh edges of a presently-unexplained gouge on the underside of the bolt carrier.
 
Yep, have some of those too :) They are a little slower but easy to use and work dry well too.

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My step-dad finishes every kind of blade he sharpens on a ceramic rod, and I considered getting a square or triangle one for finishing razors because I like sharpening razors on small stones sometimes but I got a norton slip stone. I've got a little 3", very old, pike wedge and I bet it'd be great for gunsmithjng. I use my translucent norton slip stone dry all the time. My black from dans and the smith's "washitas", most times I just water on washitas though for some reason..
 
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