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Arkansas Progression

This is my progression on the arks and gets a fantastic result, I use dish soap and water mix but I do set the bevel with a vintage washita.
This is the order I use.

6 Washita 203x51x18 8" x 2"
1 Soft Arkansas 6" 400 to 800 grit
2 Hard Arkansas 6" 800-1000 grit
3 Hard Black Arkansas 10" 2000-3000 grit
4 Surgical Black Arkansas 10" 4000-6000 grit
5 Arkansas Translucent Extra fine 6" 8000-10.000 grit





upload pic 1.jpg
 
Arks for finishing, I have compared the shave between my True Hard Ark, Translucent and Black and can't tell the difference. I have a Blue Black and sometimes I think it produces a better edge? This could be all in my head.
 
Funny thing about the soft Arkansas stone is that if I stay on it long enough it will start to impart a hazy mirror finish. But I don’t necessarily find a correlation between the amount of shine and the keenness on the soft. I find the edge a bit lacking at that stage despite the level of polish that begins to develop.
 
Gents, I am on the opposite end of that spectrum and feel Arkansas stones are not the type stone one should ever slurry. The actual particle size of that type of stone is quite large and the fineness of arks comes from the density in which the same particles are packed. Soft arks, hard arks, trans arks all are made of the same “particles”. They work differently due to density. I appreciate the discussion and hope I don’t offend by being of the opinion these are terrible stones to slurry in that way. I will concede that if it works for you…great and just because it is not for me doesn’t make it wrong. But it surprises me this works for you.
I agree. Ive been eyeing using my coticule slurry stone on my ark but i think a bbw slurry would do better on it since the particles are less aggressive like the arks.
 
This is my progression on the arks and gets a fantastic result, I use dish soap and water mix but I do set the bevel with a vintage washita.
This is the order I use.

6 Washita 203x51x18 8" x 2"
1 Soft Arkansas 6" 400 to 800 grit
2 Hard Arkansas 6" 800-1000 grit
3 Hard Black Arkansas 10" 2000-3000 grit
4 Surgical Black Arkansas 10" 4000-6000 grit
5 Arkansas Translucent Extra fine 6" 8000-10.000 grit





View attachment 1281234
Did the stones receive SiC surface lapping prior to the development of your progression? Also, did you measure the stones' densities?

I'm not arguing with the progression. I'm trying to make sense of Arkansas stones. I've been reading many threads on Arks and it seems that some finish a razor with the surgical black, and some finish with the translucent.

I'm wondering if an Ark progression would be best developed based upon the density of a stone combined with the degree to which the stone has been lapped.
 
ErieSurfer

Did the stones receive SiC surface lapping prior to the development of your progression? Also, did you measure the stones' densities?

I'm not arguing with the progression. I'm trying to make sense of Arkansas stones. I've been reading many threads on Arks and it seems that some finish a razor with the surgical black, and some finish with the translucent.

I'm wondering if an Ark progression would be best developed based upon the density of a stone combined with the degree to which the stone has been lapped.

I used 400 600 1200 sic you can see this post

Arkansas Bench Stone | Badger & Blade (badgerandblade.com)
 
Did the stones receive SiC surface lapping prior to the development of your progression? Also, did you measure the stones' densities?

I'm not arguing with the progression. I'm trying to make sense of Arkansas stones. I've been reading many threads on Arks and it seems that some finish a razor with the surgical black, and some finish with the translucent.

I'm wondering if an Ark progression would be best developed based upon the density of a stone combined with the degree to which the stone has been lapped.
That's kinda how i do mine. I check sg and the finer the stone i do finer surface finish. I start hard/fine washita(2.22), a newer "hard" 2.41, an older hard(it's semi translucent hard white)(2.46), depending on the steel i'll either go to a translucent hs-4 "true hard"(smiths vintage hard ark, don't know sg it's mounted), then a really old norton hs-4 and i got a 5.5x4 primitive cut i'll get on with lots of oil sometimes but the slip stone is usually plenty after stropping.
 
In just two months I have changed my mind on an Arkansas progression. It is doable without spending hours on the hones. I’m learning that arks are all about surface prep of the hone. A soft ark scuffed with 600 w/d cuts fairly quick. A true hard touched briefly with 1K w/d smooths that out fairly well, and the stone is burnished fairly smooth within 300-400 laps or so with some light pressure while honing. Im noticing I can dress the face of a hone lightly and it will start off courser, but a few hundred laps in and it gets finer and finer. Each stone has a few points of progression within itself.

I finish on a surgical black. It gets not dressing to date. It still works quite well.
 
In just two months I have changed my mind on an Arkansas progression. It is doable without spending hours on the hones. I’m learning that arks are all about surface prep of the hone. A soft ark scuffed with 600 w/d cuts fairly quick. A true hard touched briefly with 1K w/d smooths that out fairly well, and the stone is burnished fairly smooth within 300-400 laps or so with some light pressure while honing. Im noticing I can dress the face of a hone lightly and it will start off courser, but a few hundred laps in and it gets finer and finer. Each stone has a few points of progression within itself.

I finish on a surgical black. It gets not dressing to date. It still works quite well.
I can go through a whole progression in 25-30 mins depending on the steel and if the razor is straight sometimes it takes longer. What throws folks on arks is the hesitancy for ANY pressure. I use a pretty decent amount on them, more than any other stones by far. If your stones are dressed and flat, oiled and you keep pressure even and constant you can use far more than most are comfortable with. That said that's mostly only on the mid range stones. Ends of the progression get light pressure slowly easing up over time until you're at feather weight. Our ancestors were able to use them in the woods, many during wars, shaving in streams. It's hilarious to me that so many people act like it's just not possible. I always get a good chuckle!
 
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I am hung up on the language of Arks. I think it is very difficult to talk about a progression if our words can mean different things to different people. Hat tip to Ice-Man for providing a photo to go with his description!

Please take a look at the photos below.

Do you call all of them soft arkansas, and some of them are Washitas? Do you call all of them Washitas, and some of them are soft arkansas?

Is Norton's use of 'extra fine' used rightly? Does it seem right to describe a soft arkansas or a Washita as 'extra fine'? Would Norton (or Pike) have called that particular stone a 'Lily White' or 'Rosy Red' 100 years ago? It is NOS with an SG of 2.01.

Would the second or third stone have been called a 'Lily White' or 'Rosy Red' 100 years ago? (They haven't gone into the simple green yet.)

Why did Case decide to call that stone a 'soft Washita'? Did they also offer a 'hard Washita' or a 'soft arkansas'?

20210811_141434785_iOS.jpg

20210811_141443908_iOS.jpg

I looked at Ice-Man's soft arkansas above and in his link (thank you, BTW). I would REALY like to know the method by which Preyda assigned the description to the stone. Are they using SG and absorption or just one of those characteristics? For that matter, does anyone know how Dan's or NW or anyone else assigns an identity to a stone? Let's not forget that those identities turn into price tags.

Here are some close-ups of the other stones:

20210811_141456272_iOS.jpg

20210811_141502012_iOS.jpg

20210811_141506969_iOS.jpg
 
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Can it be done? Yesish.

If you go down this road, remember my words. You will probably be unimpressed by a lot of work and find many other ways to get over 8k range and where you can focus on finishing with a good ark. They can be great finishers. They can be used to set bevels and work up to a finer edge but most everyone who has done this agrees that the edge is really sort of mediocre and not the best. Use and quick synth progression and finish on a good ark and you will find the sweet spot they have in the razor world. My two cents.
The key to a decent ark progression, for me, is a hard/fine washita. It was a game changer. I can get to about 5k+ on that then it's not much jump for a hard (2.35-2.5) ark for a while with pressure then on to the translucents. It would take well over an hour before the washita.
 
When you
In just two months I have changed my mind on an Arkansas progression. It is doable without spending hours on the hones. I’m learning that arks are all about surface prep of the hone. A soft ark scuffed with 600 w/d cuts fairly quick. A true hard touched briefly with 1K w/d smooths that out fairly well, and the stone is burnished fairly smooth within 300-400 laps or so with some light pressure while honing. Im noticing I can dress the face of a hone lightly and it will start off courser, but a few hundred laps in and it gets finer and finer. Each stone has a few points of progression within itself.

I finish on a surgical black. It gets not dressing to date. It still works quite well.
When you get comfortable playing with pressure through the mid range will speed it up a ton. Just don't use much pressure at all on the ends of the progression. That soft will eat the blade and your edge will roll on your finisher is you do. Apparently it used to be common to use spine leading strokes on the softer stones, namely washitas. I wouldn't have guessed that, just would have guessed they lapped the crap out of it instead. Reading about that stuff is really interesting.
 
I am hung up on the language of Arks. I think it is very difficult to talk about a progression if our words can mean different things to different people. Hat tip to Ice-Man for providing a photo to go with his description!

Please take a look at the photos below.

Do you call all of them soft arkansas, and some of them are Washitas? Do you call all of them Washitas, and some of them are soft arkansas?

Is Norton's use of 'extra fine' used rightly? Does it seem right to describe a soft arkansas or a Washita as 'extra fine'? Would Norton (or Pike) have called that particular stone a 'Lily White' or 'Rosy Red' 100 years ago? It is NOS with an SG of 2.01.

Would the second or third stone have been called a 'Lily White' or 'Rosy Red' 100 years ago? (They haven't gone into the simple green yet.)

Why did Case decide to call that stone a 'soft Washita'? Did they also offer a 'hard Washita' or a 'soft arkansas'?

View attachment 1310152

View attachment 1310156

I looked at Ice-Man's soft arkansas above and in his link (thank you, BTW). I would REALY like to know the method by which Preyda assigned the description to the stone. Are they using SG and absorption or just one of those characteristics? For that matter, does anyone know how Dan's or NW or anyone else assigns an identity to a stone? Let's not forget that those identities turn into price tags.

Here are some close-ups of the other stones:

View attachment 1310161

View attachment 1310164

View attachment 1310165
Dan's(i assume everyone) uses sg, but 2 stone's that are the same sg and same surface prep will still behave differently. Washitas are usually a white/cream to dark tan/ brown color with "pepper" on the stone. Color isn't the only thing though, friability has something to do with it too. Dragging a pocket knife across one is usually a dead giveaway. They sound and feel different than other arks and they got teeth. They eat steel, even harder steels. I usually see swarf first or second stroke with a pocket knife using medium pressure.
 
I can go through a whole progression in 25-30 mins depending on the steel and if the razor is straight sometimes it takes longer. What throws folks on arks is the hesitancy for ANY pressure. I use a pretty decent amount on them, more than any other stones by far. If your stones are dressed and flat, oiled and you keep pressure even and constant you can use far more than most are comfortable with. That said that's mostly only on the mid range stones. Ends of the progression get light pressure slowly easing up over time until you're at feather weight. Our ancestors were able to use them in the woods, many during wars, shaving in streams. It's hilarious to me that so many people act like it's just not possible. I always get a good chuckle!

I went from 1.2k DMT to a SB ark in a video many years ago. The edge wasn't 100%, but it was close enough I don't doubt a few more tries could get it there. Definitely doable, but enough additional work vs the alternatives that I'd only do it if I enjoyed the process itself.
 
I
I went from 1.2k DMT to a SB ark in a video many years ago. The edge wasn't 100%, but it was close enough I don't doubt a few more tries could get it there. Definitely doable, but enough additional work vs the alternatives that I'd only do it if I enjoyed the process itself.
l enjoy pacing around the house honing on hand so i can sit and do strokes on a translucent for an hour without paying attentionand by the time i look up its done. I just got to be careful at night, i started nodding off while i was honing a razor last night. I feel like this might be dangerous..
 
I am hung up on the language of Arks. I think it is very difficult to talk about a progression if our words can mean different things to different people. Hat tip to Ice-Man for providing a photo to go with his description!

Please take a look at the photos below.

Do you call all of them soft arkansas, and some of them are Washitas? Do you call all of them Washitas, and some of them are soft arkansas?

Is Norton's use of 'extra fine' used rightly? Does it seem right to describe a soft arkansas or a Washita as 'extra fine'? Would Norton (or Pike) have called that particular stone a 'Lily White' or 'Rosy Red' 100 years ago? It is NOS with an SG of 2.01.

Would the second or third stone have been called a 'Lily White' or 'Rosy Red' 100 years ago? (They haven't gone into the simple green yet.)

Why did Case decide to call that stone a 'soft Washita'? Did they also offer a 'hard Washita' or a 'soft arkansas'?

View attachment 1310152

View attachment 1310156

I looked at Ice-Man's soft arkansas above and in his link (thank you, BTW). I would REALY like to know the method by which Preyda assigned the description to the stone. Are they using SG and absorption or just one of those characteristics? For that matter, does anyone know how Dan's or NW or anyone else assigns an identity to a stone? Let's not forget that those identities turn into price tags.

Here are some close-ups of the other stones:

View attachment 1310161

View attachment 1310164

View attachment 1310165
This is a very good point about nomenclature, and the somewhat obfuscating nature of how they seem to label things.

I assume when people here say 'Washita' they'd tend to be referring to old Washitas, rather than what sometimes gets sold now as Washitas (?) In your pic - the second stone (large brown one) looks like it could be a Washita, the others don't.
 
This is a very good point about nomenclature, and the somewhat obfuscating nature of how they seem to label things.

I assume when people here say 'Washita' they'd tend to be referring to old Washitas, rather than what sometimes gets sold now as Washitas (?) In your pic - the second stone (large brown one) looks like it could be a Washita, the others don't.
I bet second and third from the left are, they may even be twins and one just needs a bath. The little black specks on the surface are commonly called "pepper" and can be a good indicator of a washita.
 
I’m surprised that nobody is stacking more arks before the finishers. I could easily do it and feel completely justified. Like two softs, a hard and then a finisher. That is the biggest space and we’re the most variance in the stone are.
I consider the semi translucents as capable finishers on their own, at least the ones I own are.
 
From 1K I use a Coe Bethesda Black to a Coe Dota Creek. From there to either a Dans Black or a NWS translucent.

The Coe stones are quit nice
 
I’m surprised that nobody is stacking more arks before the finishers. I could easily do it and feel completely justified. Like two softs, a hard and then a finisher. That is the biggest space and we’re the most variance in the stone are.
I consider the semi translucents as capable finishers on their own, at least the ones I own are.
Yeah i agree you can finish on them with a light hand, absolutely, and they will produce an insanely sharp edge if you take your time and put in the strokes. I use several different "hard" arks of various densities for upper middle work, everything below that i can knock out with a fine washita.
 
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