Stone identification / Arkansas (Hard, Surgical Black)

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Papilio, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. garry3

    garry3

    Sep 11, 2012
    I think the name "Surgical Black" originated with a single manufacturer to distinguish it between their "Black Arkansas" stone that was originally known as the "Dunstan Black" which is not a novaculite.
     
  2. garry3

    garry3

    Sep 11, 2012
    Best sells a Black and a Surgical Black. So which one is it that they are listing as coarser than the translucent and is their Black the old Dunstan?
    I think that is exactly it but I'm not buying their cheap black to find out.
     
  3. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I've never heard of this 'Dunstan Black'. DM
     
  4. Ourorboros

    Ourorboros

    568
    Jan 23, 2017
    That and how level the stones come. Hall had issues with their stones not being level, IIRC. They got better for the couple years before they closed shop.
    But yeah, especially when explaining to people new to novaculite, it's not mentioned much how that affects the final product.

    For current new stones, I'd rather have Case's soft Arkansas over Dan's or consider refinishing the Dan's stone myself. Not really the way I want to spend my afternoon the way my wrists have been feeling.
    I think Dan has the best finish for fine stones and they've always been flat.
     
  5. Papilio

    Papilio

    55
    Sep 6, 2019
    Well, as far as I know, not every company uses the term "Surgical Black". Dan's rather speak of Hard and True Hard.
    As you grade them as "Soft, Hard, Hard Black, Surgical Black and Translucent", a Translucent should be the finest Arkansas. That means - theoretically - a Black and a Surgical Black both should be coarser.
    But we have learned so far, that with Arkansas stones nothing is for sure.
     
  6. garry3

    garry3

    Sep 11, 2012
    Eli Chaps likes this.
  7. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    I guess by the time I started doing business with them, they'd entered the final years. I'd never heard of the "Dunstan Black" until now. :(
     
    garry3 likes this.
  8. garry3

    garry3

    Sep 11, 2012
    Good stones are good stones. I'm not that big on who manufactured them but it just helps to be informed about what you are actually getting.
     
    Eli Chaps likes this.
  9. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Woodcraft used the term 'surgical black Arkansas' on some of their Arkansas stones. And the color and refinement looks a lot like the one in garry3's photo, I got
    from them when I ordered. I had to resurface it and it was a hard stone. Once I did that the stone was better. Still, the color was more grey. DM
     
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  10. Tjstampa

    Tjstampa Gold Member Gold Member

    345
    Mar 25, 2019
    20200224_224903.jpg I have a best surgical black. It is black with slight blue tent and always has a light grey dust on it. I only use it on a couple whittling knives more like a strop with edge trailing passes with water as my lubricant. Just a few passes any the.edge turns slightly shiney.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
    garry3 likes this.
  11. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Tjs, your Arkansas looks to be a better stone (by color) than these we are finding that are solid grey. DM
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  12. Tjstampa

    Tjstampa Gold Member Gold Member

    345
    Mar 25, 2019
    It is very dense, hard and smooth
     
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  13. garry3

    garry3

    Sep 11, 2012
    Sounds right. The surface should be smooth and not porous, oil pools not soaking in. They could almost pass for obsidian if you are familiar with that stone, volcanic glass.
     
  14. Tjstampa

    Tjstampa Gold Member Gold Member

    345
    Mar 25, 2019
    Water does not even soak in.
     
    garry3 likes this.
  15. Papilio

    Papilio

    55
    Sep 6, 2019
    That's what I am talking about. When I ordered a Surgical Black that is how I thought they have to look.
     

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