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"Natural Whetstone Company" Arkansas Stone Review

I purchased a "Black Arkansas" "1200 grit" stone from "Natural Whetstone Company" and when I first received the stone I noticed that it wasn't smooth or black like I had anticipated.
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I added some honing oil and the stone quickly became dark black and I decided to burnish the stone by simply using it. After this process was completed, I realised that the stone was leaving a MUCH coarser scratch pattern than my other Arkansas stones and a stone I had purchased as part of a Trihone kit. The stone had also become dished, which made me realize how low quality this stone actually was.

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I decided to flatten the stone with a 220 grit piece of silicon carbide sandpaper and quickly realized this process was completed in a fraction of the time my other two Arkansas stones required. The other Arkansas stones I had took an incredible amount of time to even start to remove the grid marks and this stone was finished in mere minutes while producing swarf instantly.

The moral of the story is: purchase your stone from a reputable seller like Dan's Arkansas Stones and don't try to save money like I did, only to receive an inferior product.

 

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I kind of wondered about their blacks, super cheap and in the photo's didn't quite look right. How does their translucent stones stack up?
 
I kind of wondered about their blacks, super cheap and in the photo's didn't quite look right. How does their translucent stones stack up?
I have no clue! I just know that I wouldn't want to spend their asking price for a translucent and be sent a stone that wasn't as advertised! You can always try and shine a light through it but that isn't something you can do with a hard black!
 
Not familiar with them. Dan's is the only Ark company I've ever dealt with.

Have you contacted them? I would at least give them a chance to help.
 
Not familiar with them. Dan's is the only Ark company I've ever dealt with.

Have you contacted them? I would at least give them a chance to help.
I called them when I first received the stone and I noticed that the stone wasn't jet black. I was told that I could return it for a refund but I figured since I had never owned a black Arkansas, that the stone needed oil and it needed to be broken in.

I don't see the point in returning the stone at this point because I will have to pay to package the stone and pay return shipping as well. I am just going to chalk it up as a learning experience and I hope other people who were on the fence on whether or not to save a little money decide for themselves on what to do with this information.
 
Color and hardness/density aren't all that closely related in novaculite stones, I'm afraid. Sounds like what you have would fall into the category of soft arky, and a rather soft example of that.

All of those stones have similar particle size, it's the density of the stone and the shape of the particles that determine "fine-ness" -- highly compressed, low pore size stones cut finer that less compressed stones with large pore size.
 
Haven't flattened the black or trans black I got from them but they look completely different from each other. The specific gravity was over 2.6 for the black and over 2.5 on the trans. From what others said the trans blacks others convex are sourced from them. Heard good and bad . The only place that charges as much as Dan's is Dan's, even resellers of their stuff are cheaper or don't have the thick stuff.
 
Color and hardness/density aren't all that closely related in novaculite stones, I'm afraid. Sounds like what you have would fall into the category of soft arky, and a rather soft example of that.

All of those stones have similar particle size, it's the density of the stone and the shape of the particles that determine "fine-ness" -- highly compressed, low pore size stones cut finer that less compressed stones with large pore size.

Yes! I realized it was a miserable excuse for what was sold as a "hard black Arkansas." I knew it was junk because it only took a few seconds to start to remove the grid lines I had made.

I just wanted to post the video in order warn other people from making the same mistake I did!

My small translucent Arkansas stone laughs at 220 grit silicon carbide. Flattening takes so long in fact, that I gave up and left the grid marks on the stone. I worked on it over the course of a few days after the lines kept bothering me.
 
Well after reading this I decided to start flattening my black ark from them. It's grey when dry as well. On 3m pro grade 220 grit with 120 sic powder I wore out 4 or 5 sheets each with powder added and leaning pretty hard on it. Over the 10" length they were off a few sheets of paper maybe. After 20 minutes maybe 30 I could tell it felt rougher than the untouched side and maybe half way done or so. Lines gone but just a hair off one end. Got a softer stone that is dished I picked up that the sg is 2.35 ish . I will.compare that to this tomorrow. Don't have a diamond plate besides a harbor freight one to try out.
 
I think you picked "the wrong" stone.
I bought the "Arkansas Novaculite Black Translucent Knife Sharpener (1400 grit US / 12,000 grit Asian)"
On page 3 at the bottom.
It needed to be lapped and took alot of work without sic, but the stone works perfectly.
Sellers seem to call them differently...so a hard may be a soft ect ect.
 
I have heard several people say that. Must be a difference in how the diamonds are bonded to the plates.
To be fair my 400 atoma cut it no problem until I got a flat area then it just stopped cutting it, had to do the rest on low grit sandpaper. Then when I tried the atoma 1200 it smoothed it out alright until I took a look at the plate and saw that I had very uneven wear on the plate.
I wouldn't do it again, these diamond plates are not cheap hehe.
 

SliceOfLife

Contributor
Lapped more arks than I can count on my dmt. Even my cheaper knockoff plate seems to be holding up well. I suspect it has to do with keeping the interface as clean as possible.
 
I think you picked "the wrong" stone.
I bought the "Arkansas Novaculite Black Translucent Knife Sharpener (1400 grit US / 12,000 grit Asian)"
On page 3 at the bottom.
It needed to be lapped and took alot of work without sic, but the stone works perfectly.
Sellers seem to call them differently...so a hard may be a soft ect ect.
I purchased the 1,200 grit "black Arkansas" item number NW82HBL which I assume stands for Normal Width 8" (length) 2" (width) HARD BLack.

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It is listed as equivalent to 1,200 grit.

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Every single site says that a 1,200 grit black Arkansas stone should have a VERY high specific gravity (density) and that wasn't the case here.


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By all accounts and measures I should have received a VERY hard black Arkansas and that isn't what was sent. The scratch pattern I am getting is closer to 600 grit.
 
Well after reading this I decided to start flattening my black ark from them. It's grey when dry as well. On 3m pro grade 220 grit with 120 sic powder I wore out 4 or 5 sheets each with powder added and leaning pretty hard on it. Over the 10" length they were off a few sheets of paper maybe. After 20 minutes maybe 30 I could tell it felt rougher than the untouched side and maybe half way done or so. Lines gone but just a hair off one end. Got a softer stone that is dished I picked up that the sg is 2.35 ish . I will.compare that to this tomorrow. Don't have a diamond plate besides a harbor freight one to try out.

That sounds like you received the stone that was advertised. My other Arkansas stones are extremely difficult to lap on sandpaper and silicon carbide.

I want to purchase a diamond plate to lap and set bevels I just need to bite the bullet and order it $$$
 
Finally flattened my black ark. It killed my 200 grit diamond plate from harbor freight and another couple sheets of paper. Went straight sic 120 on the granite and that did it. My ? Mystery turkey washita is almost done straight on the granite. Could smell oil doing it even after cleaning it. Will report back after I flatten the trans and lap them all to 600 sic.
 

SliceOfLife

Contributor
Try taking it to a finer grit. If you lap arkansas on coarse SIC powder, they get a cratered surface that makes them seem much coarser than they are. I wouldn't be surprised if coarse sandpaper did the same.
 
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