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ARKANSAS BENCHSTONES

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GEPPETTO

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Hi all,
I want to renew my benchstones set. I have seen the Arkansas stones, but I don't know which one type to purchase.
I think it would be the case to purchase one HARD and one BLACK. Translucent is too much expensive.

Can someone to lead me to a good purchase?
 

Alf

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Geppetto,

I always get hopelessly confused about which are really needed and which are not as well. The Norse Woodsmith has got rather a good run down here which might help.

Cheers, Alf
 

Chris Knight

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Gepetto,

I use Arkansas stones for my carving tools but good ones are very expensive (similar in cost - or more for the larger ones - to the expensive diamond stones) and you should be sure you really need them.

I have tried just about every method of sharpening known and I have to say my best advice is to pick one system and stick to it. I would personally choose stones over sandpaper because the latter is too fiddly in my experience as well as quite expensive. However, that said, there are still a dozen systems that will work. Use one, practice, practice and you will get good edges whichever system you choose.

At present, given your uncertainty about the sort of stone you have, it would appear the field is wide open.
 

GEPPETTO

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waterhead37":32ch588e said:
Gepetto,

I use Arkansas stones for my carving tools but good ones are .very expensive (similar in cost - or more for the larger ones - to the expensive diamond stones) and you should be sure you really need them.
Hi Waterhead37,
I have seen on ebay some stones. One Hard (white colored) for 8.5$ and one Black (black colored) for 34$.
Well, do you think that those stones aren't much good and I mustn't purchase they?

Thanks
 

mudman

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Gepetto,

I also would not go for Arkansas stones as a starter sharpening system.
I learnt to sharpen by using abrasive paper and a piece of glass fixed to a piece of mdf and a cheapy sharpening guide like the Eclipse.
Do a search for Scary Sharp, this is an excellent method for obtaining a really good edge and is quick and simple.
I did progress from there to waterstones which I love. You can obtain waterstones for a very reasonable price from Axminster. For the price of a good Arkansas stone, you should be able to set yourself up for sharpening with several waterstones.
 

GEPPETTO

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OK.
You have convinced me. I haven't much money for woodworking, perhaps in the future but not now. And there's the fact that I don't know which will be the level of my woodworking. Therefore I hold my two benchstones (120/240;180/400 man-made), yesterday evening I flattened them with silicon carbide power, and I will purchase another with more fine grit.

My benchstone, I have tried the web-site ( I think you will smile) :roll: :

http://lux-produkte.emil-lux.de/werkzeu ... ValueCol2=

http://lux-produkte.emil-lux.de/werkzeu ... ValueCol2=


Thans a lot for the advices
 

GEPPETTO

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Hi all,
I am in a little confusion about sparpening stones. I am not able to try other oilstones with more fine grit apart arkansas.
Can you give me an advice?

Thanks in advance
 

aldel

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Geppetto,

I have currundum, ceramic, diamond and waterstones and can honestly say that that although sometimes better than silicon carbide paper it is very questionable if they are really worth all that extra money.
If you are on a budget then I believe that you cannot beat emery paper on sheet of glass. Wet the glass first with water and lay the paper on it and smooth out any air bubbles.
I lubricate the paper with a 50% mixture of water and car windscreen washer fluid. (I also use that on my diamond and ceramic stones, it works extremely well).
Start with coarse grade and work down through succesively finer grade paper. I rarely go finer than 1200 grit.
Pull the blade that you are sharpening towards you rather than pushing it away so that you do not cut into the paper.
This will give you a very keen edge.
Is not expensive
You will have a wide area to work on.
It will always be flat.
Easy to use

Regards Aldel :D
 

mudman

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Geppetto,

I was about to say exactly the same thing as Aldel.
Silicon Carbide paper will give you an excellent edge to your tools and it does avoid a large initial outlay although in the long run it will be more expensive.

Here in the UK, the easiest place to obtain the paper is in car spares shops as they are used for bodywork.

As Aldel said, get a range of grits up to 1200 and this should do you fine.

I used to stick a range onto a piece of glass with spray adhesive and then the glass onto a thick piece of mdf to stop it flexing. I then used the paper dry.
I think Aldel's method would be better for two reasons. One that the paper will last longer as the swarf is being washed away not kept clogging the paper and two, that you don't need to buy the adhesive which is quite expensive. Both means you will be able to stretch the budget further.

Don't get rid of your oilstones though. You can use these for the initial flattening and bevel forming. This means that the range of grits that you need for silicon carbide paper will be less.
 

AndyG

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It seems (from various reading) that Arkansas stones just don't have the quality they used to. The newer stones can have imperfections in the grit that can leave all sorts of nasties on an edge. As Chris said, the older, and very consistant Arkansas stones are stupidly expensive. I think I read somewhere you can spend quite a few hundred pounds on one.

Just a note of warning on the scary sharp system. I've given it a try and it is really important that the paper is held flat. If you allow it to buckle when you sharpen, you'll end up with a rounded edge. So make sure it's stuck down.

Andy (Starting to feel very bookish even after my few posts)
 
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