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Thread: Preyda Arkansas Stones

  1. #1
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    Preyda Arkansas Stones

    I don't remember seeing much about Preyda arkansas stones. I start by listing the specifications from the web site for RH Preyda, Dan's, and Best Arkansas stones.

    First, the easy summary in tabular form:

    Brand Type Density Grit Grit Comment
    Preyda soft Medium 400 600
    Preyda hard Fine 600 800
    Preyda hard black Extra Fine 2000 3000
    Preyda translucent Ultra Fine 4000 6000
    Preyda surgical black Extra Ultra Fine 8000 1000
    Dan’s soft Medium 400 600
    Dan’s hard Fine 600 800
    Dan’s true hard Extra Fine 1200 + Same as Translucent
    Dan’s translucent Extra Fine 1200 + Same as true hard
    Dan’s black Ultra Fine 1200 +
    Best soft 1200 12 micron
    Best hard 1500 10 – 11 micron
    Best Black Surgical 2300 2500 7 – 7.5 micron
    Best translucent 3500 4000 5.5-6 micron


    More verbose with a few links:

    https://rhpreyda.com/


    They offer the following Arkansas stones:


    1. Soft (400-600 grit) Medium density
    2. Hard (600-800 grit) Fine density
    3. Hard Black (2,000-3,000 grit) extra fine density
    4. Translucent (4,000-6,000 grit) ultra fine density
    5. Surgical Black (8,000-10,000 grit) x-ultra fine density



    https://www.danswhetstone.com/produc...-bench-stones/
    https://www.danswhetstone.com/inform...our-whetstone/



    1. Soft - (400-600 grit) Medium
    2. Hard - (600-800 grit) Fine
    3. True Hard - (1,200+ grit) Extra Fine (same as Translucent)
    4. Translucent - (1,200+ grit) Extra Fine (Same as True Hard)
    5. Black - (1,200+ grit) Ultra Fine



    I have ONE stone from Dan's at this point, and it is the Black, listed as Ultra-Fine, so what they call their smoothing / finest / polishing stone.

    If you look at Best Sharpening Stones (https://www.bestsharpeningstones.com...rpening-stones),

    I pulled numbers from here:

    https://www.bestsharpeningstones.com/arkansas-sharpening-stones

    and
    https://www.bestsharpeningstones.com...ng-stone-grits

    they list the following:



    1. Soft - about 1200 grit or 12 micron
    2. Hard - about 1500 grit or 10 - 11 micron
    3. Black Surgical 2300 - 2500 Grit or 7-7.5 micron
    4. Translucent 3500 - 4000 or 5.5 - 6 micron



    Just looking at the numbers, I have already formed some opinions, but, I wanted to talk about a set that I have from RH Preyda.

    For starters, this is the kit that I bought from Woodcraft: https://www.woodcraft.com/products/6...ft-3-stone-kit

    Seems like an OK kit for $46 to keep at work in case I wanted to touch up a knife or something, but, I would like their finest stone for polishing. I will say that my immediate first impression is that the box was poorly done. Specifically, the lid drops on top and is completely smooth. In other words, the lid will not stay in place.

    01_preyda_stones.jpg

    My first thought was that I would modify the box so that the top would slip onto the top, but, the clearance for the top is roughly 3/16" so I did not want to try to route a lip. I considered routing a groove around the outside and then gluing some wood in place so that I could slip the top on. The walls are just under 3/8" thick. I decided on a hing wiht a 20mm filigree clasp to hold it shut.

    02_preyda_stones.jpg 03_preyda_stones.jpg

    This setup works well.

    I threw some Norton's oil onto the Hard Black (mineral oil) since I have a bunch of it and I gave it a quick touch-up with a 1/2" chisel that needed it. Don't know what to say other than it brought the chisel up to snuff very quickly and easily. Would have liked to have touched it to something a bit finer after that, but after a strop, it was already pretty sharp so I was happy with it.


    The Honing oil in my set is packaged differently than that shown on the Woodcraft site. Mind does not have the RH Preyda brand listed and it states that it meets or exceeds certain standards for food safety. I did not open the package, but, my assumption is that this is mineral oil.


    04_preyda_stones.jpg
    Last edited by Andrew Pitonyak; 09-01-2019 at 12:21 PM. Reason: Added photo of the stones.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for taking the time and trouble to put this together Andrew. In my own experience, I felt that the oil stone world was not as easily categorized? quantified? as the synthetic water stone world was. I wonder if there are many others like me whose first exposure to oil stones (in the 1950's) was a seriously nasty, crudded up, undetermined grit of a dished out rectangular stone that was either spit on or had one of various oils dumped on it before a casual swiping of a pocket knife blade over it back and forth for a minute or so (then declared "sharp") that was displaced immediately upon using one of the original (messier) King water stones in the early 1980's due to working so much quicker and in a systematic fashion over two or three graded grits. Lately, I find much more information coming out on oil stones and best practices for their use.
    David

  3. #3
    There are some good vendors for what you are buying,but the coarser Washita stones are not mined any more so you
    have to find a used one. They were often the only stone used by tradesmen.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Fulks View Post
    There are some good vendors for what you are buying,but the coarser Washita stones are not mined any more so you have to find a used one. They were often the only stone used by tradesmen.
    I absolutely understand what you're saying Mel. But as I first read this, it struck my funny bone. I thought to myself "Dang, it sounds funny to be telling someone to buy used rocks."
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  5. #5
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    These are not marketed as being a Washita stone:

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Smith-s-6-i...-Stone/3063983

    They do abrade metal very much like my Washita labeled stones.

    This is often used before my Dan's Whetstones soft or hard Arkansas stones. Mostly when there is a small nick to work. It produces a burr much quicker than the Dan's soft Arkansas.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
    There always has to be a curmudgeon on any thread, I guess I'm it today. With oil stones you most of the time get what you pay for and almost never get what you don't pay for. Also an oil stone will last your life time and more than likely your kids and their kids life time. Buy from the best sellers if the stone doesn't meet what you expect, buy another the less than perfect finishing stone can make a good setup stone or sell it to someone else after explaining why you are selling. Pay the price for good stones from good dealers, there is usually a reason they can get top dollar for their stones and have for years. Bargain stones seldom are.

    So says the stone horder,

    ken

  7. #7
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    I'm pretty sure all of the grit ratings and micron ratings are just pulled out of air. At best it is saying "similar finish to a synthetic stone of the same grit rating" which is obviously very subjective. Density is the most important characteristic for determining fineness. It would be pretty cool to see how the fine stones (translucent, black ark) from these different brands compare in density. After density, surface finish is next important. Dan's has a reputation for the finest surface finish- mine is like glass (translucent). I wonder how the RH Preyda compares. At the very least it should be very flat. You can smooth out a little bit of roughness with use.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hazelwood View Post
    I'm pretty sure all of the grit ratings and micron ratings are just pulled out of air. At best it is saying "similar finish to a synthetic stone of the same grit rating" which is obviously very subjective. Density is the most important characteristic for determining fineness. It would be pretty cool to see how the fine stones (translucent, black ark) from these different brands compare in density. After density, surface finish is next important. Dan's has a reputation for the finest surface finish- mine is like glass (translucent). I wonder how the RH Preyda compares. At the very least it should be very flat. You can smooth out a little bit of roughness with use.
    Robert,

    Best I can tell RH Preyda is the old Hall's operation, I expect their stones are the same.

    ken

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hazelwood View Post
    I'm pretty sure all of the grit ratings and micron ratings are just pulled out of air. At best it is saying "similar finish to a synthetic stone of the same grit rating" which is obviously very subjective. Density is the most important characteristic for determining fineness. It would be pretty cool to see how the fine stones (translucent, black ark) from these different brands compare in density. After density, surface finish is next important. Dan's has a reputation for the finest surface finish- mine is like glass (translucent). I wonder how the RH Preyda compares. At the very least it should be very flat. You can smooth out a little bit of roughness with use.
    I totally agree (with my limited experience and understanding). This is on Dan's web site, and I have to say their site feels very honest:

    Arkansas Novaculite stones grades are classified by specific gravity and not the size of the grain. The grain of the silica crystals that form Novaculite are essentially the same size, 3-5 microns, whether the stone is classified as Soft Arkansas or True Hard Arkansas. Using Specific Gravity Testing, Danís Whetstone Company measures the density of their stones that is the compactness of the grains bonded together. Therefore the harder stones would then have more grains than the softer stones. Since the grit size of Arkansas Novaculite does not widely vary, it is difficult to compare it with the grit sizes of man-made stones. Grit measurement standards for traditional man-made stones vary internationally. By U.S. grit standards, genuine Novaculite most closely relates to the 600-1200 grit size.
    The other sites quoting very high grits is, assuming the best, trying to indicate what the finish is similar to. But I do not really know.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hazelwood View Post
    I'm pretty sure all of the grit ratings and micron ratings are just pulled out of air. At best it is saying "similar finish to a synthetic stone of the same grit rating" which is obviously very subjective. Density is the most important characteristic for determining fineness. It would be pretty cool to see how the fine stones (translucent, black ark) from these different brands compare in density. After density, surface finish is next important. Dan's has a reputation for the finest surface finish- mine is like glass (translucent). I wonder how the RH Preyda compares. At the very least it should be very flat. You can smooth out a little bit of roughness with use.
    I wish I had this bit of advise a year ago.... But I am trying to figure it out. I had not even considered the entire surface finish thing until very recently.

    I had wondered why stones mounted to wood were cheaper, and then I realized that it was because they did not need to finish the surface on one side.... My expectation is that a stone that has one good side and one not so good side is glued to a board. That is how they do computer chips anyway; or something similar... or at least they used to, especially when you could get different number of cores on a the "same" chip.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    Robert,

    Best I can tell RH Preyda is the old Hall's operation, I expect their stones are the same.

    ken
    I wondered if they had their own operation or if they were simply selling someone elses stones. Any thoughts on Smith? Jim linked one of their rough stones at Lowes above.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Pitonyak View Post
    I wondered if they had their own operation or if they were simply selling someone elses stones. Any thoughts on Smith? Jim linked one of their rough stones at Lowes above.
    Andrew, the Smith's stones are glued to a piece of plastic. Likely to save the cost of finishing one side of the stone while making it undesirably thinner. My first one was purchased at a Wilco Hardware/Farm Supply store. My reasoning was it might be worth the $20. So far it is holding its own.

    Even without putting it under a straight edge or other practical method of measurement it looks to be not as flat as my stones from Dan's. For working out a nick one doesn't need a perfectly flat stone.

    The second Smith's stone was purchased at Lowes for my grandson. It appeared to be flatter than the first. It is narrow at about 1-3/4" wide.

    As mentioned, to me it seems aggressive in a manner more like my Washita stones as opposed to my Dan's Whetstones.

    Surely there are as many different sources of "Arkansas" stones with many differences in density and cutting action just like there are with manufactured water stones.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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