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  1. #31
    is in ur bas3 killin ur d00ds. SonOf1337's Avatar
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    I grew up using 3-in-1 Household Oil on my Arkansas stones, and it has given me the best results. I tried a virgin Ark with a mild dishsoap solution, and it worked okay, but the oil is the best. One thing to keep in mind is that steel and quartz (novaculite is a close relative) are not far removed from each other in terms of hardness, and oil helps the protect the stone while also helping it cut the edge. Don't ask me how it works, because I haven't brushed up on my witchdoctory lately, but it's true.

    Either way, it irritates me when people try to assign a grit number to these stones (or any natural, really). They may vary in cutting speed and scratch pattern, but novaculite stones do not behave in the same manner that your synthetic Norton or Naniwa stones do. Novaculite is a crystalline structure, whereas the synthetics are actually a hardened colloidal solution (bits of cutting material suspended in a binding material). Apples and gun powder, really. Not at all similar.

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  3. #32
    Senior Member eleblu05's Avatar
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    Novaculite is a sedimentary rock composed of microcrystalline quartz, it is also recognized as a re-crystallized variety of chert which is also in cf stones. It is a high-purity silica, composed of more than 99 percent pure silica. The name is applied mainly to formations in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas and is derived from the Latin word novacula, meaning razor stone. i have seen grit rating for translucent stone at 1200 , 4000 , 8000 but the reality is surgical black and translucent ark or any ark aren't classified by grit they are classified by density

  4. #33
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    the way i see it the only way to compare stones properly whether they're natural or synthetic is by cutting speed and edge finish,in a lot of instances grit rating isn't relative because of different materials and manufacturers but that's only my opinion,as for oil i've never used it even my silicone carbide stones are non oil because i worked with food it made it easier to clean after sharpening with no chance of oil gunk contamination and it seems to work great for me,how much difference do you guys think oil makes and what are the benefits as i've seen a lot of stones gunked up badly by oil,also what sort of difference is there between the surgical black and translucent as aside from reading it's one of the finest sharpening stones there is i've never heard of a comparison that states the difference in edge finishes,is it like the difference between the hard and black?? how much extra polish does it give the edge?? and will it create an even finer edge without feathering??

  5. #34
    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alucard73 View Post
    the way i see it the only way to compare stones properly whether they're natural or synthetic is by cutting speed and edge finish,in a lot of instances grit rating isn't relative because of different materials and manufacturers but that's only my opinion,as for oil i've never used it even my silicone carbide stones are non oil because i worked with food it made it easier to clean after sharpening with no chance of oil gunk contamination and it seems to work great for me,how much difference do you guys think oil makes and what are the benefits as i've seen a lot of stones gunked up badly by oil,also what sort of difference is there between the surgical black and translucent as aside from reading it's one of the finest sharpening stones there is i've never heard of a comparison that states the difference in edge finishes,is it like the difference between the hard and black?? how much extra polish does it give the edge?? and will it create an even finer edge without feathering??
    Regarding the oil, I've seen some gunked up too. IMO that is a result of the user not cleaning the stone after use. I have only used actual honing oil, such as Smith's, on any Ark that I have honed pocket knives on. IMO the oil helps suspend the steel particles better than other vehicles to keep the stone from clogging. Wiping the oil and swarf thoroughly when the honing session is over is important to avoid the stone clogging with oil/swarf. OTOH, nothing wrong with using soap and water if you're happy with it. If it is working don't fix it.

    Good question on the difference between the translucent and the black. I've seen members post that some black hard arks are equal to some translucents and visa versa but have no hands on experience with a black ark myself. I have an old Lily White Washita that is "lily white" in name only, a Pike Soft Ark, and a vintage Norton translucent. All very good for pocket knives. I use the soft ark more than the others. Will be doing a razor or two on them to see what I think in the near future. Working a lot of hours lately and time is short.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

  6. #35
    Senior Member eleblu05's Avatar
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    Although there may be only a slight difference in grain size from one grade to another, the effective abrasiveness of each grade is related to the density, or compactness, of the individual, bladed quartz crystals that compose Novaculite. The U.S. government measures the specific gravity of Novaculite and assigns density ranges for the Soft and Hard classifications. black & translucent are of the same density range 250+ it all depends on the stone that you have ark's being a natural stone density will range

  7. #36
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    The density specification for black and trans is a minimum. The black I just got for my birthday is 2.8 gm/cm3 and a black barber hone I got off of ebay is over 3 so all arkansas in the true hard catagory are not equal. I have been working to break in the larger black but I don't think it is there yet. Even so it gives me an extremely sharp edge and shaves very nicely.

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