Black Arkansas "primitive" Happy B-day to me!!!

Discussion in 'Hones/Honing' started by Dilbone, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    Have you used that particular 3-in-1 with the PTFE Lubricant? It's unlike regular 3-in-1 oil.

    I bought it at Lowe's and it's also sold on Amazon. I like it a lot more than the combination of mineral oil and WD-40.

    Happy shaves,

  2. No I haven't. It's worth looking into though thanks.
  3. Five parts water to one part Ballistol.

    I don't have an ark yet, so can't talk from experience. But that's what Jarrod uses and he hones for a living on arks.

    I do use Ballistol a lot for other things though. It's mineral oil with a couple surfactants added so that it will mix with water. And that's why it's nice for honing, you can wash the mixture off easily. If you are only using mineral oil, it's hard to wash it clean as the oil and water won't mix.

    And I put Ballistol on my razors anyway, to avoid rust, so I'm ok with it getting rubbed over the razor.

    And reading this thread has convinced me that if I am ever going to buy an ark, I'm going to buy it from Jarrod and have him attend to lapping and burnishing and even convexing and all that stuff.

    After all, a black ark is so hard that I'll never need to lap it again. I'll just have Jarrod do it once and then I'll use it until I drop off the twig.

  4. Well I may have just finally lost it. After more than 2 years of off again on again use of this black arkie with still no real success I decided to order a primitive trans ark from Dan's...I don't know what I was thinking lol.

    I was out of town the day I called them...Mary sent me a pic of the 3 they had available and I picked one out. When I got home later that day I decided the black ark needed one more go before this trans comes in and I lose my mind trying to get it to work. I had been using baby oil on my coti with great success lately but hadn't used baby oil on the ark at all yet. I'd tried straight mineral oil, Smith's, water, water with dish soap, WD40, mineral oil cut with WD40, and mineral oil cut with mineral spirits as well as kerosene. None if which seemed to work for me.

    I started with plain water then added a drop of dish liquid to cut the surface tension. I did a few hundred laps on a wester bros. that came straight off the coti with water only no baby oil on the coti(because I had wanted to compare water only to baby oil off coti last week). After those laps on water I felt like I wasn't getting any additional keenness at all so I finally wondered why I hasnt used baby oil on the ark yet. 5 drops of baby oil and 2-300 laps and I was tree topping some arm/leg hair. IMPROVEMENT!!
    Then I grabbed my Pearl King(that came off the coti with baby oil last week)which gave a pretty comfortable shave last week and hit it for 2-300 laps on the ark.

    I shaved with both, each on half of my face yesterday after 50 on linen and 70 on leather. I was amazed at how these blades felt. By FAR the keenest edges ever off the ark. The pearl king was definitely a little better which made sense because it was the better edge heading into the ark, but even the wester bros. was still comfortable enough to not be disappointed and a clear improvement over the coti with water only.

    I think between the baby oil, a better surface on the ark, and a more consistent stroke on my part I may have finally hit paydirt here. I've learned enough with this black ark that there are a laundry list of mistakes I won't make with the trans when it comes in.[​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
  5. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    I've read bad things happen using this (reading a chemical engineers view of this stuff). I wouldn't use it again on a stone. I now mostly use Ballistol and water (mixed at about 1:4 or 1:5).

    Happy shaves,

  6. I've said it before, will say it again. If you finish the surface of your Ark to a high level, use oil, not water. If you are dead set on using water, don't bring the Ark's surface to such a high level of finish.

    For your own proof of why this should be so, on a very finely finished Ark, try this back to back test: do all your normal laps with oil, then wipe the stone with a clean white tissue. Observe the swarf on the tissue. Now do it over again using water and wipe again with a clean white tissue. Observe the difference.
  7. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    What's your opinion of a mixture of Ballistol and water?
  8. Better than water. Whether it would be as good as oil would likely depend on the mix ratio. Do the test, see what happens. As I said, water can work just fine, but needs a bit more "tooth" on the surface to work well, IMO. I don't know the exact mechanism at play, (theories abound) but have done plenty of my own testing over many years that has proved that to my satisfaction. From what I've seen, using water tends to wear the surface of the stone while oil keeps it sharp. Likely due to the lubricity of oil vs. water.
  9. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    So, are you saying you think using a Ballistol/water mix keeps the stone sharp like oil or wears it like water?

    I'm not trying to be contentious or argumentative or anything of that sort. I'm asking a serious question of someone far likely to know and understand these matters than I am.

    I like honing with the Ballistol/water mix but don't want to damage the stone or anything of that sort.

    Happy shaves,

  10. I'm saying:

    1. I don't know, try it! I don't have any Ballistol, but I have used many "soluble oil" coolants both natural and synthetic while I was a machinist. The mixes are varied there as well depending on the task at hand. Some operations with higher percentage of oil and some with less. Certain machining operations are normally done with water-based coolant, but some are rarely done that way. One example is honing a bore - this is mostly strictly done with sulfurized cutting oil, though there are exceptions for certain abrasives or materials being honed.

    2. It will likely depend on the mix ratio. More oil is better than more water for a highly smoothed stone surface. A higher percentage of water will result in abrasive grains dulling faster relative to a higher percentage of oil which will result in their remaining sharper longer.

    3. You won't damage the stone in any way that can't easily be rectified by resurfacing. After the stone surface is geometrically where you want it, resurfacing is pretty straightforward really.

    Edit: in addition, the dulling of abrasive grains will nearly plateau at some point. On a stone (specifically speaking about Arks, now, remember) that has plateaued the abrasive grains will not likely considerably further dull with light pressure use like razor honing. If it works well with water at that point, keep using it that way. These stones can certainly be used either way as long as the surface is prepped correctly for the lubricating medium - and there will be some leeway there, it doesn't have to be just "so" or it won't work.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
  11. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    Thank you for such an informed and comprehensive answer.
  12. My pleasure. Hope it will be of some help, though it mainly says something like try this and try that, see what happens. :001_302:

  13. Yes it does but for me your advice has encouraged me to experiment, I must have changed the surface on my Dan's primitive hard blk half a dozen times--- learning each time.
    This is teaching me just how versatile this stone is.
  14. That is good to hear. I condone exactly that. Nothing has taught me more.
  15. Experimentation and testing theories is fundamental to learning. Remember not to long ago people said you could not get a good shave with a Ark and that once you used oil on it you could not use water because of the oil seeping into the stone. That was when I realised that I needed to test out a theory before taking it as a fact even when a well known respectecd member stated it as so. I can also say nothing has taught me more than to experiment.

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