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Can I put an edge back on with an Arkansas stone?

thelucia4

Member
I'm new to straight-razor shaving. I have two old straights: a small, nimble half-hollow & a wedge razor. They came perfectly honed, but I have since knocked off their edges by doing something wrong with my Arkansas stone.

I've tried on multiple occasions to get the edge back, but no matter how much time I spend, the razors are just downright unusable now.

My question: Can I keep trying to recover the edge on these razors with the Arkansas till I get it right, or do I need to do a rescue job with another hone and then return to the Arkansas to maintain that edge?
 
G

Guest

Welcome to Coticule .be Sir
I never tried an arkansas hone. May be the american mates Know better.
For my opignion you need a coticule and little experience to reset the edge shaveable.
Best regards
Emmanuel
 

danjared

Well-Known Member
Welcome to coticule.be!

Can you described what the edge is like? Does it pass the thumb nail test? Does it shave but not comfortably? (Do you have a loupe to inspect the edge with?) My best guess without any other information is that you accidentally raised the spine and dulled the edge.

Also, assuming this is a translucent Arkansas stone, do you use it with oil or water? And do you have any other hones to use? How smooth is the surface?

You can certainly maintain an edge with a translucent Arkansas stone (and a very nice edge at that, assuming the surface of the stone is smooth), but it takes a good, confident stroke, as you can easily cause damage to the edge with a single wrong stroke. The same goes for other stones, but Arkansas are very hard and unforgiving to mishap.

If you don't have any other hones and are looking for an inexpensive way to rehone your edges, you could probably buy a coticule slurry stone and use it to make slurry on your stone. Just treat it like a coticule with slurry, diluting to water, then finishing on clean water or switching to oil.

By the way, do you use this stone for anything else, like knife sharpening? I'm wondering if you have knife sharpening experience.
 

danjared

Well-Known Member
By the way, I mentioned using a coticule slurry stone on the Arkansas hone as an inexpensive option. If you do that, try to get one of the softer ones, following the procedure for dilucot or unicot. It will be similar to honing on a "hybrid" coticule, which is similar in hardness to a translucent Arkansas. If you have a soft Arkansas stone, you could also try a different route that involves that, but it will take some more time since these stones are a bit slow (but your patience would be rewarding). And be light easy with the pressure when using Arkansas stones on razors, lest you chip the edge.
 

thelucia4

Member
I haven't tried the thumbnail test. But the razors will not cut arm hair. I tried shaving with them nevertheless, and they just don't cut the whiskers, whereas before they were great. I have a Norton hard translucent Arkansas stone (it's the only stone I've got), which was lapped for me by The Superior Shave. I use it with oil.
 

jkh

Well-Known Member
Here is what The Superior Shave website says about Norton Hard Translucent Arkansas Stones:

TheSuperiorShaveWebsite said:
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Based on this description the answer to your question appears to be "no" - you will have to find another hone to reclaim a shaving edge.
 

thelucia4

Member
JKH, I have read The Superior Shave info. And Jarrod at the Superior Shave has been extremely helpful, as he always is. I was hoping that some master out there with years of experience honing blades in a cave in Tibet or some other holy remove might hear this wilderness call and reply that in fact it is possible to do recover an edge with an Arkansas, but only when there is hope and the spirit is pure. Or something like that. In all seriousness, I guess I was hoping that it would be possible, if exacting and laborious. I'd hate to think that I can't fix the mistake that I made with the stone I have.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
thelucia4 said:
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Thats me!

And welcome to our humble abode

The simple answer is no
the stone you have only works as a finisher, and before you can use it the razor will already need to be very very close to shave ready indeed

Sorry old chap

Best regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

thelucia4

Member
Ah, I knew you were out there somewhere. Thanks for talking me down from the mountaintop of hope. Darn, I was hoping that with some simple self-immolating method it would be possible to reconcile the botched work with the Arkansas stone. But I think I understand now that the Arkansas really acts more as a polisher than as a shaver and mover of metal. So I'll have the blades professionally honed and then try again. Once I get better at it, I'll report back with my experience of working solely with an Arkansas stone for anyone who might be interested. Thanks to everyone for their kind replies.
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
Don't forget there are a number of excellent honers here who will hone it for free for you. Welcome. Denny
 

pinklather

Well-Known Member
'Done a couple blades w/ transluscent Arkie. Fine edges, but on the crispy side.

I love the idea of a rubbing stone on one - great idea.

It would be wicked tough to improve a worn edge on an arkie without some media to provide a more course grit, faster cutting action. All of the humble approaches (barber's hone, single finishing stone) presume you have a good edge, and are used only for touch-ups of an already shaveable edge. In hind sight, a coti might be as close to a one stone approach as you can reasonably get.
 
G

Guest

pinklather said:
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I have no idea what "wicked" means in this context (although I firmly believe I do not want to know, either), but
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might work for you.

pinklather said:
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A Coticule is a one stone approach for most people on this forum. Why it works, and why other hones fail, is explained in the
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.
 

Scotchhound1969

Active Member
thelucia4 said:
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I've a moderate level of experience with Arkansas oilstones and hope i can offer some aid in answering this question...in answer, i would say yes and no.
The translucent, as some others have mentioned, by itself can only provide a polish to your edge...however, there are a couple things you can do to expand its capabilities, beyond that, if you have additional tools and patience.
I have, with most of my Arkansas, expanded their honing/speed capabilities by varying the surface abrasion, through lapping on different coarsed diamond plates; as well as using a diamond-hone, produced slurry.
Truthfully, i have only used the translucent as a polisher, since i have other Arkansas to progress with; the Washita/Soft, Hard, Surgical Blacks etc...though there is no reason for me to believe that adding a slurry, to your translucent, will not aid you in honing/speeding up a refreshing process.

Hope this helps,

Mac
 
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