Hand Tools Archive

Re: Thanks, Jim..
Response To:
Re: Thanks, Jim.. ()

David Weaver
100% agree, they all work.

I recall talking to george (george is half laid up and likes to tell stories now, but he still does some work) and he mentioned that as a kid, he made his first guitars with a block plane, a cheap combination stone and newspaper.

I have yet to find a type of stone or method that doesn't really work, but I have learned some things. Things like hard arkansas stones' fineness is 100% dependent on density, and not color (and that the density varies by company based on what their mine produces - dans' black and trans stones are identical in density. Everyone else has higher density in their trans stones, and the cheap black stones that float around from time to time are really junk. ). density at 2.65 specific gravity is about as high as you'll find (it's almost zero air in an ark stone). 2.6 is all it takes to get translucent stones that you can see pores on and they will raise a wire edge whereas a good quality trans won't. Can they still be used? Of course. Would you pay the same for both? I hope not. If you're sharpening a razor on one, the latter is marginal and should be avoided.

There's no shortage of blanket statements from people who haven't tried things, though. Old stones are better than new? What old, what new? Japanese? In general, yes, the older stones are far better per dollar - especially on the fine end. Black or trans ark stones? I've never seen anything better than what dan's is putting out right now, but the inexpensive black stones that show up for $60, they're no good. There was plenty of low cost junk in the old days, though, too.

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