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Thread: My Trans Arkie Trials

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    Gatling-Gun Jerry Gasman's Avatar
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    Default My Trans Arkie Trials

    Last night I sat down to do some honing. I had 3 that needed a little work on the edge. Not going from a restored razor, just in need of some microchips removed and cleaning up of the edge/bevel. I took all 3 razors up to the 12K. Then finished one on the 20K as I normally do. Then broke out the Arkie. Guessing about numbers of strokes, I did about a total of 400 laps. Started with clean water, then water with WD-40, straight WD-40, water with Balistol then straight Balistol. I tried to go with straight neatsfoot oil but it was just too thick and didn't want to let the razor slide on the stone.

    I took the 3rd blade to my Jnat. I know I said I was going to work with one natural stone until I got it learned but... On the Jnat I made a slurry with a Tomo twice. Changing the slurry around 200 laps. Adding a bit of water along the way. Finished on clear water.

    The bevel of the Jnat edge was so much of a matt finish there really wasn't much to look at. On the Arkie bevel, I could see some stria under the matt finish but the edge on both looks very straight and refined. So I figured this was about the best I can do at the moment.

    Today's test shaves with all 3 razors...
    The 20K edge felt and acted like it normally does. Keen and sharp. Not extremely comfortable but not harsh. A standard 20K edge IMO.
    The Jnat was keen. It did feel a touch different than the 20K edge but not much. I guess I was expecting a bigger difference in the feel of the Jnat edge with that matt finish on the bevel. A little more comfort but not that much difference.
    The Trans Arkie felt keen and comfortable. Almost felt as if it wasn't that keen but it slid thru the whiskers without any problem. So the comfort level was much higher than I'm used too. With the stria showing thru the matt finish I was expecting a little more harshness. Nope.

    Now, I know this is just the beginning of my learning the Arkie. I've only had a few razors honed on it so far and its getting better. So I'm hoping that someday in the near future I will get this Arkansas stone worked out and get fantastic edges from it. Still on the lookout for the great Thuri stone some day but I might want to upgrade my Arkie to a bigger one first. That is if I get along with it as much as I think I will.

    So, there you have it. I said I would post up my experience this weekend. I will give another 3 razors a chance on the stones tonight. Might even try my hand at 2 on the Arkie. We will see.
    It's just Sharpening, right?
    Jerry...

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    Senior Member kelbro's Avatar
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    If you quit worrying about stria, you might find (like I did) that stria is not a smoothness killer.

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    boz
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    Way to go Jerry. Keep it up and you may become an Arkie lover/
    Gasman and caltoncutlery like this.
    A healthy skepticism of both old and new ideas is essential to learning.

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    Gatling-Gun Jerry Gasman's Avatar
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    I was a bit surprised at the feel of the Arkie edge. Some natural stone give a feel to the edge that I can only explain as a rubbery feel. I know, this dont make sense but its what I get from them. The Arkie didn't have this at all. Sitting down right now to do a bit of honing. Its my Satuday and everyone went to bed. Now its my time of the day or night or whatever it is. 5pm on the clock in my head being a night guy.
    It's just Sharpening, right?
    Jerry...

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    Well done, Jerry.

    What was the condition of your blade before you did the 400 laps on the Trans Ark? Was it already in "near shave-ready" condition just needing a refresh? If so, I am not sure I would have the patience to do that many laps for just a touch-up. I have to refresh a razor about once a week as my beard is hard on edges, so doing 400 laps a week would take quite a bit of time. Of course, with frequent touch-ups, maybe 400 would not be required.
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    Obviously I need more razors so I can play more with my Arks. Saturday I got to touch up my traveler (I call her my 'Outback Beater' since Mike had gifted her to me a couple of years ago and this was her first touch up) which was tugging on my last trip. The edge looked really good under the loop so I only used the translucent finisher. I started dry and advanced to water, soapy water, oil, then finished with CrOx slurry (thin this time). Probably spent about 20-25 minutes on her. Sunday she gave a smooth, comfortable shave.
    Jerry, I would be curious to what you would experience going to the ark finisher after like an 8k hone. Report back soon!!

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    Gatling-Gun Jerry Gasman's Avatar
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    Ray, im not so sure i really needed to do 400 laps. That was just a guess but i think it was close. I had taken the razor to shave ready off a 12k so it was not in need of anything really. This was just an experiment so i could see if i could make the Arkie work for me. And it did.

    Now my understanding is that these stones are made for finishers. Not prefinsher. Meaning the edge needs to be right before you go to it. I could be wrong. Also we are talking about the hardest type of Arkie stone. The softer ones mostlikely will cut more so they would help in correcting a lessor edge needing a touch up. Then to the hard one for finishing.

    Its very possible that i could have gotten the same edge after 200 laps but that wouldnt have been as fun. I like honing. And I wanted to be sure i went to the max with the stone. Hell, this could have been a fluke and it may take months before I get it again. Ha. Thats honing with a new stone.I bet now that im working my way thru all my razors making 100% sure they are perfect, i know i do many more laps than 400 every time i sit down to the stones. I think its fun.

    Paul, that was my next experiment is to go from the 8k to the hard Ark. I read that it is possible. I did not sit down to the stones last night so i will wait for me next weekend to play some more. I will shave with this edge a few times this week to get to know it and to understand a little more of what im feeling.

    Not knocking it, but using a crox on an arkie stone seems to me that you are getting a crox edge. Not an arkie edge. Im sure it would do a fine job putting a very keen edge on a razor. But i want to try just the Arkie stone for now. With clean stropping. And thats another thing. I strop the hell out of my razors. Off the stone i bet i do 50 to 70 on linen and 150 to 200 on leather. After a shave i do 30/60. Before a shave 30/100. It dont take long to do and i enjoy it. But this is another story.
    It's just Sharpening, right?
    Jerry...

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    Senior Member blabbermouth petercp4e's Avatar
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    Jerry,

    Is your Arkie the surgical black or the translucent?
    What size is it?
    I've always been curious about them.

    Pete <:-}
    "Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss Slowly,
    Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret ANYTHING
    That makes you smile." - Mark Twain

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasman View Post
    Ray, im not so sure i really needed to do 400 laps. That was just a guess but i think it was close. I had taken the razor to shave ready off a 12k so it was not in need of anything really. This was just an experiment so i could see if i could make the Arkie work for me. And it did.

    Now my understanding is that these stones are made for finishers. Not prefinsher. Meaning the edge needs to be right before you go to it. I could be wrong. Also we are talking about the hardest type of Arkie stone. The softer ones mostlikely will cut more so they would help in correcting a lessor edge needing a touch up. Then to the hard one for finishing.

    Its very possible that i could have gotten the same edge after 200 laps but that wouldnt have been as fun. I like honing. And I wanted to be sure i went to the max with the stone. Hell, this could have been a fluke and it may take months before I get it again. Ha. Thats honing with a new stone.I bet now that im working my way thru all my razors making 100% sure they are perfect, i know i do many more laps than 400 every time i sit down to the stones. I think its fun.

    Paul, that was my next experiment is to go from the 8k to the hard Ark. I read that it is possible. I did not sit down to the stones last night so i will wait for me next weekend to play some more. I will shave with this edge a few times this week to get to know it and to understand a little more of what im feeling.

    Not knocking it, but using a crox on an arkie stone seems to me that you are getting a crox edge. Not an arkie edge. Im sure it would do a fine job putting a very keen edge on a razor. But i want to try just the Arkie stone for now. With clean stropping. And thats another thing. I strop the hell out of my razors. Off the stone i bet i do 50 to 70 on linen and 150 to 200 on leather. After a shave i do 30/60. Before a shave 30/100. It dont take long to do and i enjoy it. But this is another story.
    I agree with you on the CrOx edge. It bothered me initially (and looks ghastly against such a pretty stone) but the edges I've been getting give me such a great shave. And this damn CrOx crayon needs to be used!
    I'm going to touch up my new Wade and Butcher here soon (doesn't really need it but honing is fun) and I'll not use the CrOx for comparisons.

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    Senior Member kelbro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayClem View Post
    Well done, Jerry.

    What was the condition of your blade before you did the 400 laps on the Trans Ark? Was it already in "near shave-ready" condition just needing a refresh? If so, I am not sure I would have the patience to do that many laps for just a touch-up. I have to refresh a razor about once a week as my beard is hard on edges, so doing 400 laps a week would take quite a bit of time. Of course, with frequent touch-ups, maybe 400 would not be required.
    I found that when I moved to Translucent Arkie finishers, I didn't need to do touch-ups as often. I don't know why but the blades went several weeks between visits to the stone where coticule edges needed to go back weekly.

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