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Arkansas options

Pah! I have one of those old green label blacks that everybody goes giddy for, and by far the best thing about it is the spiffy Norton cardboard triangle box it comes in. It’d be out the door pdq if it wasn’t for that.

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The big problem for me is that they burnish very quickly, and really struggle in terms of actual abrasion on modern steels above about 61-62 hrc...

And I will die on this hill! ;)

Keep the box and send me the stone :) I have an HM8 Norton and a HB6 and both are great finishers.
 
I can only echo the recommendations for Dan's if buying "as new." From my experience, they come flat enough out of the box that lapping isn't absolutely needed. But they will need to be smoothed over from wear before coming into their own (if used as finishers). A few playing around sessions with a beater razor should do the trick. Hand-held (on an completely outstretched palm, not gripping the sides of the stone), I've been able to get by pretty easily with the 6" x 2" x 1/2" thick piece which drives the price down further. It's not like the thickness is going to diminish anytime soon with normal use...

Dan's black hard, true hard, or translucent options all work well as finishers.
 
Black Arkansas stones can produce good results when following a Naniwa 12K with a good Thuringian in between IMHO. You might use a little tomo slurry on a Black as a sub for a Thuri as well…
Thanks I have a 12k shapton and an Escher I can use with the new stone
 
I have the Trans Ark in 2X8X1/2 and it's a fine stone. I burnished mine a lot to get a smoother finish and it works well after the 12k stone. As Marty said, you really need a finished edge before going to the Arkie. It changes the feel.

But my comment is that you mentioned the Zulu Gray. I have that stone too. And I prefer the edge off the Z.G. compared to Ark. It's all in the way you finish meaning the liquid. I like to use Balistol. Start with it then add water so that in the end I'm on mostly water but it still has the slickness of the oil and that's keeping the edge from making too much contact.

I am very happy with my Z.G. stone and I hear in the last couple of years you can't get them any longer. That's too bad. Here are both of mine, BTW...

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Thanks for input - I like to use pure glycerine on my Zulu grey, lots of laps but it works for me.
 
@cotedupy got me stewing over here….

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Pah! I have one of those old green label blacks that everybody goes giddy for, and by far the best thing about it is the spiffy Norton cardboard triangle box it comes in. It’d be out the door pdq if it wasn’t for that.

View attachment 1542566


The big problem for me is that they burnish very quickly, and really struggle in terms of actual abrasion on modern steels above about 61-62 hrc...

And I will die on this hill! ;)
Keep it up and it might come true, someone here might actually green light you.....:biggrin:
 
All my Arks are vintage.

Big thumbs up on that H Brad!

About a month ago I found my 2 Trans Norton jewelers hones from around the 40's that I had salted away in storage. All was well until I saw some deals (IMHO at least) on the bay and picked up a 10 x 2 x 7/8 no name Trans to use on knives. Not perfect or flat but useful to me. I doubt it will ever see a razor but you know I'll have to try it once. HAD satisfied....I was at peace...Until a couple days later.....

A 5 x 2 Norton boxed Trans showed up. 12 watchers, I hope some folks here were watching. BIN. My greedy little fingers were tearing up the keyboard to get it before someone else scored it. Used, filthy, loose from the box. Soaking in simple green right now.

On closer inspection, the surface is not gouged or visibly damaged, factory bevels with no chips or even flea bites. Cheap!

Back to the OP. I don't believe anyone inquired if you finish bench or hand held. This could be a big factor in deciding on a size.
 
A 5 x 2 Norton boxed Trans showed up. 12 watchers, I hope some folks here were watching. BIN. My greedy little fingers were tearing up the keyboard to get it before someone else scored it. Used, filthy, loose from the box. Soaking in simple green right now.

Lucky dog! Do you know if Norton only sold 5 x 2 hard Arks as HB25 jeweler stones?
 
Pah! I have one of those old green label blacks that everybody goes giddy for, and by far the best thing about it is the spiffy Norton cardboard triangle box it comes in. It’d be out the door pdq if it wasn’t for that.

View attachment 1542566


The big problem for me is that they burnish very quickly, and really struggle in terms of actual abrasion on modern steels above about 61-62 hrc...

And I will die on this hill! ;)
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But I saw on the tee shirts, "Come to the Dark Side, We have Cookies"...........Geez..all they have to do is offer me brownies and kittens and I'm gone man.

Cotedupy, I'm stunned that beautiful Ark you have isn't working for you. Breaks my heart. I can't imagine it would poop out with carbon steel. I learned a hard lesson this year about AUS 8 steel knives and Arks. All that work you hear being done is your stone getting smaller. The Black/Trans family can finish the edge if it's refined on other stones.

Ark mastery came slow to me, and still learning. I figured it would be best to master one type of finisher and hang there for a long time. That makes more sense to me than having a variety of natural finishers and mastering none.

Your comment about the stone becoming burnished fast really is what really got my wheels turning. This should not be this way. Period. Okay, maybe with the high rock steel but I'm still skeptical.

I won't offer unsolicited advice right now but, if there's anything I can do to help, please let me know. Maybe a different approach? Ark edges are worth the effort IMHO. Don't give up on them yet!
 
I know that this has been discussed many times. I did some experiments with finishing hard Arks a while back and I got my best results simply lapping the stone on 220-grit wet/dry and then honing.
 
But I saw on the tee shirts, "Come to the Dark Side, We have Cookies"...........Geez..all they have to do is offer me brownies and kittens and I'm gone man.

Cotedupy, I'm stunned that beautiful Ark you have isn't working for you. Breaks my heart. I can't imagine it would poop out with carbon steel. I learned a hard lesson this year about AUS 8 steel knives and Arks. All that work you hear being done is your stone getting smaller. The Black/Trans family can finish the edge if it's refined on other stones.

Ark mastery came slow to me, and still learning. I figured it would be best to master one type of finisher and hang there for a long time. That makes more sense to me than having a variety of natural finishers and mastering none.

Your comment about the stone becoming burnished fast really is what really got my wheels turning. This should not be this way. Period. Okay, maybe with the high rock steel but I'm still skeptical.

I won't offer unsolicited advice right now but, if there's anything I can do to help, please let me know. Maybe a different approach? Ark edges are worth the effort IMHO. Don't give up on them yet!


Ah, as you say - I'm sure I'll come round to it with a bit more practice and understanding! My main problems are the speed and that I find the feedback extremely difficult to read, especially using oil. And because I have dozens of other types of finishing stones that I find easier - I've never really put a massive amount of time in with the arks for razor honing.

The majority of sharpening I do is freehanding knives from blue paper steels, and the black is really not very good for that, whereas white translucents I think can be. I was just being slightly flippant in my first post ;). I don't doubt at all that they're very good indeed for finishing razors, once one has the knack.
 
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