Soft Arkansas: too fine? (density)

Joined
Jan 23, 2017
Messages
622
If you use an Aluminum Oxide stone that isn't prefilled and you don't soak, you will find it soaks oil up like a sponge. You may as well be using a dry stone.
But if you prefer water, you can either buy a stone like Pride that isn't prefilled or soak your stone in soap water. I forgot if you need heat.
 

David Martin

Moderator
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
Messages
19,520
I have found the Norton India pre-soaked from a hardware store. That one I boiled it out. Then oil it at each use. I like it better that way. DM
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
12,091
The IB8 India I bought didn't seem obviously 'oiled' when brand new, in terms of seeing it or feeling it on the surface. That said, it still behaved in use liked it had been pre-filled with something. As compared to aluminum oxide and SiC stones I've bought from ACE, which are completely dry and drink up oil like a sponge, the India didn't soak up nearly as much oil in use.

I've always assumed it's a given, that the top-line India & Crystolon stones from Norton were filled, and some vendors of those stones state as much in their product descriptions. But I wonder if it's actually 'oil' per se, or if it's filled or sealed with something heavier, like grease of some kind. The 'Economy' SiC stone from Norton isn't filled, and is ravenously thirsty when new. Oil runs right through it.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 19, 2014
Messages
2,172
Ok, thanks again.
Soap water is a good idea. Hot water would work without damaging the stone?
Well, I will have to take a closer look what is available around 80 to 120 grit.
Something like that: https://www.acehardware.com/departments/tools/hand-tools/sharpening-tools/21163
But the next ACE Hardware Store is a little bit too far away.
My local Ace Hardware shows those stones in stock, but the ones at my store I believe are aluminum oxide, not silicon carbide. I have one sitting in front of me that is grey and glazed over on both sides with very little use. The abrasive does not seem to be friable, nor does it shed. I'll have to dress the surface to get it back to cutting. It's nothing like my norton silicon carbide stones.
 

David Martin

Moderator
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
Messages
19,520
The Ace stone that is silicon carbide are black. I have 2 of them. A 6" & a 8".
There was a misprint on the box about the grit of those stones. I think it should have been 80 and 180. As Norton's medium grit is 180 and their std. coarse is 120. But the Ace stone is more coarse than that. I'd say 80- 90 grit. It really drinks oil when using it. I went a coat of Vasoline first then oil. A Great fast cutting stone. DM
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
71
A fast cutting stone sounds good. ACE and Norton are not that easy to find where I live. Plus shipping is too pricey.

Maybe I should buy one of those:
https://www.hahn-kolb.de/All-catego...-HAHN_KOLB-1521&SelectedFilterAttribut=%5B%5D

https://www.hahn-kolb.de/All-catego...-HAHN_KOLB-1521&SelectedFilterAttribut=%5B%5D

or (maybe better, because they are silicon carbides):

https://www.hahn-kolb.de/All-catego...paignName=CS002&[email protected]

https://www.hahn-kolb.de/All-catego...=CS008&[email protected]

Not the shop with the best price, but I could change the settings to english.

Coarse 100 grit or maybe a combination stone coarse / medium could work, I think.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2014
Messages
2,172
The Ace stone that is silicon carbide are black. I have 2 of them. A 6" & a 8".
There was a misprint on the box about the grit of those stones. I think it should have been 80 and 180. As Norton's medium grit is 180 and their std. coarse is 120. But the Ace stone is more coarse than that. I'd say 80- 90 grit. It really drinks oil when using it. I went a coat of Vasoline first then oil. A Great fast cutting stone. DM
There's also a misprint in that ace hardware link above saying those are silicon carbide.

Norton has a good assortment of real silicon carbide stones.
 
Last edited:

David Martin

Moderator
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
Messages
19,520
You have to find the black one. The grey are not SiC. I have used the black stone a lot and it sheds material as a SiC should and and cuts knife steel quickly. A very economical purchase.. Where as the India does not shed grit. DM
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2014
Messages
2,172
You have to find the black one. The grey are not SiC. I have used the black stone a lot and it sheds material as a SiC should and and cuts knife steel quickly. A very economical purchase.. Where as the India does not shed grit. DM
Yes I have 2 of the black ones bought 30 years ago which are definately SiC. Ace doesn't have those anymore.


Of those, I'd get the combo (composite by their description) coarse/fine SiC stone.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
71
Norton has a good assortment of real silicon carbide stones.

Found this one: https://www.amazon.de/Crystolon-Kombinations-Ölstein-Schleifstein-Wetzstein-Körnung/dp/B0847Q8BPG/ref=pd_sbs_60_6/259-8698238-4005650?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B0847Q8BPG&pd_rd_r=4a2cab1d-723e-43bf-88ce-bfd15e55c31e&pd_rd_w=3942I&pd_rd_wg=tJks9&pf_rd_p=a03ac387-6e4d-4f6b-96b6-1853da0bb37b&pf_rd_r=TAVPFRRKWV15Q0HEXPH4&psc=1&refRID=TAVPFRRKWV15Q0HEXPH4
They are also available as 8'' stones. Sorry for the german description. To give it in a nutshell: It is a slicon carbide stone. Rated as coarse and fine. Pre-oiled, but can be used with water.
Last point is interesting.
7,50 € shipping is expensive...but would be a good stone, I think.

You have to find the black one. The grey are not SiC. I have used the black stone a lot and it sheds material as a SiC should and and cuts knife steel quickly. A very economical purchase.. Where as the India does not shed grit. DM
Ok. As I have a stone that should be an India (unfortunately a soaker), I will take a SiC.

Of those, I'd get the combo (composite by their description) coarse/fine SiC stone.
Ok. Good grit progression used before the Soft Arkansas.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 19, 2014
Messages
2,172
Of those, I'd get the combo (composite by their description) coarse/fine SiC stone.
Ok. Good grit progression used before the Soft Arkansas.
Sounds good, let us know how it works.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
71
I apologize myself for the late response. I had some sort of health problems and wasn't able to look after a new stone.
Finally it is a Lansky Combo Stone https://lansky.com/products/combostone-2-x-6/
I am aware that this is not one of the stones that we were talking about. But this stone was easily available.
Quality is ok. Not perfectly flat. But it works. Haven't used the coarse side much, but the finer side helps. A few strokes bring back the sharpness. Then the Arkansas stones for honing.
By the way: Grit is given as 100 / 240 respectively 120 / 600. JIS? FEPA? ANSI?
 
Last edited:

scdub

Basic Member
Joined
May 29, 2004
Messages
615
Ill just throw this out there for those that freehand sharpen (or are willing to learn): These days most of my coarse grinding takes place on natural found sandstones that I flatten out for the purpose. I have quite a variety of grits and sizes and they’re practically free. They work on everything since they’re coarse. I like using high grit natural stones on simple steel blades for finishing, but they don’t remove material as well as ceramics/diamonds.
6D0D8446-0A65-4CD7-B47F-529CD029C212.jpeg
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
12,091
I apologize myself for the late response. I had some sort of health problems and wasn't able to look after a new stone.
Finally it is a Lansky Combo Stone https://lansky.com/products/combostone-2-x-6/
I am aware that this is not one of the stones that we were talking about. But this stone was easily available.
Quality is ok. Not perfectly flat. But it works. Haven't used the coarse side much, but the finer side helps. A few strokes bring back the sharpness. Then the Arkansas stones for honing.
By the way: Grit is given as 100 / 240 respectively 120 / 600. JIS? FEPA? ANSI?

Based on the dark color apparent in the vendor pic anyway, that looks like it might be a SiC stone - which isn't bad for most general uses and a good deal for the money. It looks identical to the 6" x 2" SiC stones I have from Norton ('Economy Stone'), ACE and even Sears. I mention the color, because the SiC stones of this variety are usually darker than an aluminum oxide stone of the same dual-grit format and price point. Grit rating for a stone like this would likely be according to ANSI standard. But there's so much variability from one mfr. to another, it's hard to pin it down.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
71
These days most of my coarse grinding takes place on natural found sandstones that I flatten out for the purpose.
View attachment 1549728

That is a nice collection. Great, if they do the job.

Based on the dark color apparent in the vendor pic anyway, that looks like it might be a SiC stone - which isn't bad for most general uses and a good deal for the money. It looks identical to the 6" x 2" SiC stones I have from Norton ('Economy Stone'), ACE and even Sears. I mention the color, because the SiC stones of this variety are usually darker than an aluminum oxide stone of the same dual-grit format and price point. Grit rating for a stone like this would likely be according to ANSI standard. But there's so much variability from one mfr. to another, it's hard to pin it down.

Ok, thanks. The stone feels quite coarse and seems to remove metal fast. Those two grits (description of the stone and the other one was on the packing, I think) are a little bit confusing. But anyway, as I was looking for a fast working stone to be used before the Arks...found one.
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
3,745
Ill just throw this out there for those that freehand sharpen (or are willing to learn): These days most of my coarse grinding takes place on natural found sandstones that I flatten out for the purpose. I have quite a variety of grits and sizes and they’re practically free. They work on everything since they’re coarse. I like using high grit natural stones on simple steel blades for finishing, but they don’t remove material as well as ceramics/diamonds.
View attachment 1549728
I have seen nothing produces a finer edge than the agates, jaspers or petrified woods. Perhaps the diamond pastes but I don't mess with the stuff.
 

scdub

Basic Member
Joined
May 29, 2004
Messages
615
That is a nice collection. Great, if they do the job.

They definitely produce very fine edges - again just a bit slower than diamonds and ceramics since they’re a tad softer.

I have seen nothing produces a finer edge than the agates, jaspers or petrified woods. Perhaps the diamond pastes but I don't mess with the stuff.

Yes for sure! All the micro-crystaline structured stones work excellently - it’s just hard to find nice examples without large voids. I really like Monterey formation chert which occurs in my area beaches. Like Arkansas stone it’s made up of the skeletal remains of diatoms, and it cuts steel very well. Hard to photograph but here’s a very fine piece that I’m still working on - you can see the scratch marks from my diamond plate in the last 2 photos if you look closely. Once it’s smooth it’ll produce hair whittling edges.
D7576A00-FF38-45B0-B3AC-46A3BC7FE57C.jpeg
C4ADD86A-596C-4317-81C7-7972A0FF6E94.jpeg
A60EE85C-6A6E-4F0F-AF2C-61058C87C013.jpeg
 
Top