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Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Eli Chaps, Oct 26, 2019.
Old School Heavyhanded video review!
I really like the manticore/arctic Fox fieldstone combo.
The manticore to reprofile or fix deep chips. The dual sided Arctic Fox to apex and then finish. This combo works really quickly. I usually do a few final passes on a strop or ceramic rod for a little smoother slicing cut.
If the knife is not heavily damaged, I can start with the coarse side of the Arctic Fox or the American mutt.
Thank you for this great review. "The Coarse Stone" is Secret #6 and is extremely important in my opinion.
With that in mind I just ordered one of these and look forward to trying it out.
HeavyHanded and CasePeanut, I like your idea of a Manticore/Arctic Fox combo. I am already a fan of the Manticore and have read great reviews of the Arctic Fox, plus I like that it comes in Pocket Stone size. Will order a couple of configurations of this stone soon.
Looking forward to HeavyHanded's review, and bgentry's, if he does one.
Don’t forget about the American Mutt. Awesome and totally unique stone. It’s not as coarse as the manticore for aggressive reprofiling and manual grinding, but it can cover a huge swath of needs from your average coarse stone all the way up into a medium/fine.
The average user of a kitchen or EDC knife would rarely need more than the American Mutt.
Look forward to your thoughts on it.
So I've had a few minutes to play w/ the manticore and arctic fox stones, initial impressions are good.
Conditioned the manticore w/ loose 30 grit sic and arctic fox w/ 220 grit. The fox probably didn't need it but it'll just tone back to its true grit rating soon enough with use, and this way I'm sure the mfg glaze is not an issue.
Manticore rapidly resurfaced a 3/4 inch chisel, fox was able to overgrind the scratches very quickly. Resulting edge stropped on paper was quite sharp. Finish off the fox was comparable to a 1200 grit waterstone with good feedback and fast action. Bond strength is just barely soft enough that trailing passes to finish don't raise a burr on a clean edge. Stone didn't load at all.
Manticore cut fast, shed just a small amount in use and no grit large enough to cause trouble folliwing up with the fox. A solid bargain at that price. Do NOT just use it out of the box, like all coarse stones from the factory, the surface needs to be refreshed before it will work and this can take a bit of elbow grease to accomplish thru normal use.
Will do more with these in the near future, don't have much time of my own lately.
Thanks for the follow-up.
As I said in my original post, I also found that "roughing" up the surface made some difference.
I'm thinking I should get myself some SiC powder...
Basically the size of the grit is so large that during pressing the surface layer of grit aligns itself with the faces of the plunger dies, making a level, smooth surface. The initial roughing just gets some of those grains to pop off or fracture so you actually have a surface that will bite well. After that, the relatively small contact surface of a damaged edge (especially one with rolls/dings on it) will finish the job, and then it wears naturally at its true extra-coarse grit from then on out. The formulation of an 80:20 ratio of black to green SiC helps with this, ensuring good grit protrusion in extended use and helping to dial in the rate at which grit is shed for its bond strength.
I got my Manticore last week. I've never conditioned a stone like this or flattened one. I grabbed an old screw and did straight and crosshatch patterns across the face of one side. 4 passes total over most of the surface. I suspect this was not enough.
I wiped off the grit and started in with a super dull Tramontina carving (or maybe general purpose) blade that had been gifted to me by a friend after it went incredibly dull on him. The manticore cut the steel, but felt slick. I continued for quite some time (maybe 10 minutes?) and wasn't very impressed with myself.
After the first round (30 seconds?) I noticed a chip missing from the middle of one edge of the manticore. It's small. Maybe 1/4 the size of my little fingernail. About as deep as it is wide. Every time I hit that with the blade a LOT more grit was shed, so I started avoiding it. I had to wipe away grit every few minutes, even though I avoided the chipped area.
Eventually I added mineral oil to the stone, which didn't change a lot. It got smoother, but still shed the same amount of grit and still felt "slick". I produced a burr on most of one side, flipped, and did the same. I never got a full burr on both sides and had become frustrated, so I moved on to the next stone, just to see what would happen.
After using a Fine India for a few minutes, the blade was slicing ad paper fairly well. Not impressive, but not totally dull either. I'm mainly mentioning the India because of the difference in feel: The India felt engaged with the blade. I could feel it's texture across the entire blade and stone surface. With the Manticore, I really don't have a feel for the stone. It's mostly slick but with some intermittent bite. It's difficult to describe. I'm not sure my description makes sense to anyone but me.
I'm fairly sure that this stone needs a good bit more surface conditioning. It feels a LOT like my Norton Medium Crytolon, which is VERY glazed from me using it dry for several years.
After this first experience, I don't think this stone cuts very quickly, but again, I'm pretty sure this is my fault and I would like to fix it. Opinions?
That's a bummer Brian.
I'd say it needs a lot more conditioning. Many if not all vitreous coarse stones come glazed from the molding process and will have a "riding over the surface" feel until well broken in or well conditioned.
Most will wind up that way over time if they don't get reconditioned periodically. My Foss stone came with a great surface but needs to be reconditioned after a bunch of heavy usage.
Even some play or blasting sand as lapping grit can be used to help out some of these, or a good bit more scratching with a pointed tool tip, nail, etc. I by far prefer lapping w/ grit.
It just needs more roughing up so it can settle into its natural wear process. As previously mentioned in the thread, the pressing process causes the surface layer of grains to orient themselves in a flattened plane, creating a somewhat slick surface. Use something with a single point of concentrated pressure like a nail or screw to scratch up the surface a little to shed some of the surface grit and it'll be cutting almost as fast as a fine file does. As far as the chip in the edge of the stone goes, you can use another stone or a diamond plate to smooth the chip out so it won't catch.
This is part of the reason why the Manticore abrasive file has the grooved surface it does--it's not actually cutting like a file does, but the ridges reduce the surface area contact to increase point-pressure, and that allows the stone to settle into its wear process quickly without additional conditioning. But it's not feasible for us to do that on the bench stone at this time.
Ok, so more scratching with a screw. Or maybe lapping with sand on the garage floor or something...
I did a good bit more scratching. The point of the screw is totally gone. I also chamfered the long edges a bit, especially where the chip is. I used a tile smoothing stone to do this. It produced a lot of grit from the manticore as I worked.
The surface seems to bite more now. I'm realizing that I lack experience with vitreous stones that shed grit. So I'm not used to how they feel. I ended up leaving a bunch of the grit on the surface as I worked and that actually seemed better. I thought I should be wiping it away as it shed, but now I'm thinking I should leave it on the surface as I grind.
Working with this same Tramontina blade, I was able to get a full length burr (well almost) on both sides and got it cutting pretty well. Though I had a horrible time trying to get a shaving sharp edge off of the fine India. I think this steel (high carbon) is rather soft and the burr seems to easily flip back and forth. Some strokes on the sharpmaker fixed it up pretty well, though I think it could be better.
Maybe I'll try some other blades on it soon.
This has been my go-to course stone for the past couple of years.
I found that it was almost slick, initially but with more pressure and use that went away quickly.
I’ve used it on simple carbon and on up through S90V. The thing that always impresses me is just how fast this stone will raise a burr on the hardest/highest carbide steels. Much quicker than extra course dmt plates which, for me, is a significant time. advantage.
If I could only contribute one thing it would be to add pressure if you think it’s not performing well. This brings out the fresh/sharp carbides and what a difference they make.
One last note:
Since I took the photos I have flattened the stone on a glass plate using 60/90SiC loose grit.
I doubt if I'll have a need to flatten the Manticore, since it's such a coarse stone, but if so, what would be the best/fastest way WITHOUT using lapping grit? I have enough stones and other sharpening supplies without buying more and I don't anticipate doing this often, if at all.
I'm thinking emery cloth or sandpaper in a 50 or lower grit but maybe there is a better way?
I'd want a coarse diamond lapidary disk if I couldn't use lose grit on a flattening plate of some sort.
A sidewalk with lots of water might work too.
With loose grit you're not relying on abrasion to flatten the stone, but pressure. The grit acts like little ball bearings that put high pressure on the grains of the stone and break their bonds with the binder material. If trying to abrade it flat, you'll need to use a coarse diamond plate due to the hardness of silicon carbide. There are very few things harder than silicon carbide, and using more silicon carbide to attempt abrading the stone flat will just blunt the abrasive grains of the stone and the sandpaper. Coarse silicon carbide grit can be easily obtained in small quantities as rock polishing abrasive used in rotary rock tumblers. Coarse rock tumbling grit goes for only around $6 a pound.
Loose grit works many times faster than abrasive flattening, so it's my personal recommendation. But if you want to get your hands on a "cheap" coarse diamond plate large enough to do abrasive lapping of bench stones comfortably, look up no-center-hole diamond lapidary discs on eBay and you can find up to 12" diameter ones for around $50. Made in and shipped from China, of course, but I've gotten a lot of life out of the one I picked up a few years ago despite heavy use.