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

Found a couple of NOS Smith’s for a great price, so I couldn’t resist adding them to the pile.
I've got a lot of those old smith's stones and every single one of them is excellent. I've got 1 two piece set of new smith's stones. The tiny fine one sits next to my sink because it's a hard, semi translucent purple/black/grey BUT what got my attention was it had the little bubbles in it that llyn Idwals do sometimes. Very fast, very fine, but it's in the same pouch with my AG Russell dark translucent hard arkansas. Very good kit, I use it when I can't get something to work out quickly with a strop. The coarse stone is garbage, it sends man made. Like concrete with quarts chunks in it. Really common with modern "soft arkansas". It sucks.
 
I have one off the early pike soft arks and it's pretty much a no.1 with black specks. It's hard. I have a smith's hard ark from the 80s and they're probably close to equal sg.
The smiths I just got are not labeled soft or hard, rather medium and fine. I guess they are closer to soft, with sg's of 2.21 on the medium, 2.31 on the fine. So the fine would be on Dan's borderline between soft and hard.
 
I got this in the mail today,
8”x2”x1” butterscotch translucent
It’s not a perfect stone, a few sandholes that the seller filled with glue and a few fissures that were advertised as “non-toxic”, plus a few chips on the edges. I ran a razor across the worst fissure a few times (one that needs a complete honing) and it didn’t catch. It is was advertised as having an SG. 2.5, nearly the same as my Hard Ark from Dans and slightly higher than my highest density Washita. Will be interesting to try it out against some of my other Arks. It also came with a snug-fitting wooden base that is pretty thin and thus doesn’t raise the stone very far.

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Cdp,

I looked through five older catalogues going back as far as 1934. They only mention the Ezy Edge. One did include Norton brand strops, which was new info to me.


Ah interesting, ta!

(I wonder if my search for an example of a Norton era Fastcut might be somewhat futile then...)
 
Pike Translucent just arrived, complete with what looks as though it must be the original box. Nerve wracking -- the tracking said it was delivered yesterday, but it was not in my group mailbox locker.

Today I took a look, and someone had put it on top of the box, out in public. Guess it was delivered to the wrong little locker. Glad it was still there!
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So...do I leave it dirty? Soak in Simple Green and forget hanging onto the label? Protect the label somehow? Decisions, decisions.

What's easy to decide is that I will shave off this stone soon.
 
Pike Translucent just arrived, complete with what looks as though it must be the original box. Nerve wracking -- the tracking said it was delivered yesterday, but it was not in my group mailbox locker.

Today I took a look, and someone had put it on top of the box, out in public. Guess it was delivered to the wrong little locker. Glad it was still there!
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So...do I leave it dirty? Soak in Simple Green and forget hanging onto the label? Protect the label somehow? Decisions, decisions.

What's easy to decide is that I will shave off this stone soon.

Oh lovely!

Just steam the label off to start. It’s in very good condition so will be incredibly easy. A min or two of steam then run a fine knife or razor blade underneath, dry it between the pages of a book, and preserve however you want. The blade should meet almost no resistance when seperating the label from the stone, if it does then steam it a bit more.

Then you can clean the stone a bit from there. There’s probably zero point in a degreasing soak, but you can scrub it clean with some soap, lap, and good to go :).
 
Oh lovely!

Just steam the label off to start. It’s in very good condition so will be incredibly easy. A min or two of steam then run a fine knife or razor blade underneath, dry it between the pages of a book, and preserve however you want. The blade should meet almost no resistance when seperating the label from the stone, if it does then steam it a bit more.

Then you can clean the stone a bit from there. There’s probably zero point in a degreasing soak, but you can scrub it clean with some soap, lap, and good to go :).
The steaming tip was great! Got the label off, no problem.

Then I put a straight edge on the stone, and it's warped. I'm partway through the flattening, on 80 grit sandpaper sprinkled with 60 grit SiC. It's some work, but the reward beckons.
 
The steaming tip was great! Got the label off, no problem.

Then I put a straight edge on the stone, and it's warped. I'm partway through the flattening, on 80 grit sandpaper sprinkled with 60 grit SiC. It's some work, but the reward beckons.


Ah good to hear! Yeah - I do it on pretty much every labelled stone, and usually keep them in little baggies so I can use stuff with worrying. You can do it with even quite delicate labels, but yours there was in such good condition that I was pretty confident it'd steam off with no trouble at all.

Looks like it'll be an absolute gem once fully flat :).
 
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