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Arkansas stones

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Forum topic by cox11 posted 08-22-2014 12:43 PM 1065 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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cox11

6 posts in 843 days


08-22-2014 12:43 PM

Hi guys

Im new to woodworking and to date have been using sandpaper to sharpen my plane and chisels. I ve decided that I would like to try a set of Arkansas stones. but I do have a couple of questions. here in Australia I’ve managed to find one retailer who is offering Arkansas stones and they are from dans. The stones on offer are all 8×2.5x.5

So my questions are

1. as I only use my tools every other weekend, am I likely to wear them out or should I look at the 1” thick stones online?
2. Other than the rareness, why would one consider a translucent over a black?
3. What setup should I go for? Soft/hard/black or soft/translucent/black?

Finally as I don’t have room for an electric grinder, what would be the best stone to grind an edge?

Thanks


10 replies so far

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HillbillyShooter

5811 posts in 1759 days


#1 posted 08-22-2014 01:01 PM

Arkansas stones are my sentimental favorite, having started out with them for sharpening back in the early 60s, or maybe it was the late 50s. So, here are my thoughts on your questions:

1. Don’t worry about wear as Arkansas stones are one of the hardest sharpening surface out there. Manufacturers switched to selling 1/2” thick stones for obvious economic reasons (twice as much product to sell for only slightly less than the previous full size).

2. Translucent is supposed to be finer than black; and, my experience has been that translucent is a finer stone.

3. My system is: Washita, soft, hard, black and translucent (going from softest to hardest, or coarsest to finest).

4. If you don’t have a grinder, start with a coarse Carborundum stone, which usually has a fine side you can use before going to your Arkansas stones.

Good luck and enjoy.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

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cox11

6 posts in 843 days


#2 posted 08-22-2014 01:25 PM

Thanks for the quick reply. I did notice that the local retailer lists a hard black and also a surgical black, both from dans. Are they the same stone?

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Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1196 days


#3 posted 08-22-2014 03:42 PM

Cox, are you talking about Dan’s Whetstones? If so, they are the finest stones I know of. They will outlive you unless you drop it and break it to where it is unusable..
The translucent whites are the finest grit, and the black is the coursest. The mix of white and black is the prettiest. There is also a spiderweb pattern that’s a mix of hard and harder.
Right now I’m using the white/grey mottled that is somewhere near 120 grit, if I remember correctly.
The stone is called Novaculite, and is mined by the Kirshman’s in Percey, Arkansas. Some of the waste stone is used as roadfill. It’s also great for making arrowheads after heat treating it properly….......... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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mahdee

3554 posts in 1234 days


#4 posted 08-22-2014 03:57 PM

Arkansas white is an excellent stone that produce a mirror finish on your bits. I have had mine for over 20 years and it is still the same thickness and flat. They will last a life time. At one time I used to make my own “stones” using silicon sand concrete.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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cox11

6 posts in 843 days


#5 posted 08-22-2014 09:54 PM

Yes I am talking about dans whetstones. In oz we seem to all be about waterstones but to be honest they look a little messy and I don’t have a dedicated area in my da mall car garage to setup a sharpening station. Using oil stones at my small bench seems ideal and potentially handing the stones down is also appalling

Thanks for your help

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cox11

6 posts in 843 days


#6 posted 08-23-2014 02:41 PM



Yes I am talking about dans whetstones. In oz we seem to all be about waterstones but to be honest they look a little messy and I don t have a dedicated area in my da mall car garage to setup a sharpening station. Using oil stones at my small bench seems ideal and potentially handing the stones down is also appalling

Thanks for your help

- cox11

Got to love the iPhone initiative text. It’s my small one car garage not da mall. And handing the stones down is appealing not appalling.

View diverlloyd's profile

diverlloyd

1449 posts in 1324 days


#7 posted 08-25-2014 08:46 PM

There are 2 types of blacks one is around the same as a translucent and the other is soft and when used makes a kind of muddy slurry. The hard black can be a lower grit to the same as a translucent. I have a lot of both they will make a edge sharp enough to were it doesn’t feel sharp( that’s when the bleeding starts). We have a get together in my area and one of quarry owners always has a booth and sells them cheap. Like a 4×8 for $15, but I love the blacks and the trans ones. Just make sure you buy the hard black if you get a black one they also go by black surgical stone. They were used at one time to sharpen scalpels.

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cox11

6 posts in 843 days


#8 posted 08-26-2014 05:27 AM

I just received an email from the gues at dans whetstones. They suggested that i start with a soft stone then go straight to the hard black as this will be my best chance of achieving a 0* radius. I have sent them another email asking them to clarify if I should add a hard stone between the soft and black.

They said I should skip the washita stone as it won’t be course enough to be my primary grinding media. So I bought myself a nortons silicon carbide course/fine. I think I may have used more oil than required as it did get quite messy.

View DKV's profile

DKV

3940 posts in 1970 days


#9 posted 08-26-2014 07:25 AM

Cox11, what is wrong with using sandpaper? Choosing a sharpening method is like choosing a flavor of ice cream…everyone swears by their favorite flavor. If the sandpaper is working save your money for another tool.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

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cox11

6 posts in 843 days


#10 posted 08-26-2014 08:43 AM



Cox11, what is wrong with using sandpaper? Choosing a sharpening method is like choosing a flavor of ice cream…everyone swears by their favorite flavor. If the sandpaper is working save your money for another tool.

- DKV

Fair point but I’ve never used anything else so I don’t know if it is my favourite flavour

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