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Thread: Esher Finishing vs Jnat

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    Senior Member Kingfish's Avatar
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    Default Esher Finishing vs Jnat

    Here is something that works for me and wonder how many that finish on naturals think this way too.

    Escher Finishes.(any fine German water stone really) For me entering a progression to leave that wonderful edge afforded by the German Water Hone family of stone is later is better than sooner as far as where to stop on synthetics. At least an 8k starting point is best because of the slow nature of these cutters.
    I cringe at the thought of someone using these endangerd species with foreign slurries and trying to stay on them any longer than needed. Yes, I too love experimentation, but these stones are precious and their supply is so limited.


    Jnats. Having only 4 of these hardley makes me an expert is true, but having three of the four coming from the likes of distributors that personally selected them that are in the top of their fields gives me confidence that they represent very good quality.

    All my finishers range from hard to very hard.

    Method 1. Use like escher types as written above. This was my MOP for quite some time that gives great shaves and always seems to work. Very light slurries from tomonaguras or German Water Stones help on hard stones to impart a Jnat feeling edge.

    Method 2. Going from Shapton 2k level which might be about a 4k level Norton and some other stones.

    Use an aggresive slurry made from Jnat Tomonagura. Edge work continues until slurry breaks down evidenced by color change made by swarf. Then dilute until almost no slurry. Any of my finishers seem to be able to do this with no problem at all, maybe just a little mor time overall from above method. Edge produced imparts more of the charecter of Jnat. Aggresive but smooth also.

    This stuff is really hard to quantify and to put into words, how does one describe escher edge? I believe most of us that have been around for a while know it when we feel it on our faces.

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfish View Post
    This stuff is really hard to quantify and to put into words, how does one describe escher edge? I believe most of us that have been around for a while know it when we feel it on our faces.
    It is really hard to quantify. I use my Eschers with a light slurry. I began to do that because the label suggests it and I found it works well for me. I know that some renowned honemeisters prefer water only on the Escher because they have told me so. I only have one J-nat, a Nakayama Asagi. I haven't used slurry with it mainly because it seems to be a hard stone, I don't have the naguras, and it works wonderfully with water only. As for describing an Escher edge ..... smooth would be the adjective the comes immediately to my mind. It is my favorite of all of the finishers I've used to date.
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    Senior Member deighaingeal's Avatar
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    While I don't have as much experience with my thuringian as my japanese stones, I don't do either of those things with my stones.
    On my thuringians I go to 12k then a light slurry allowing some to be whisked off by the blade. I don't think I ever go completely to water though. I guess this would be similar to Jimmy.
    On my japanese I will go one of many ways:
    -I will go from synthetic 12k to medium tomonagura slurry allowing it to get sticky and feeling for absolutely no imperfections in the blade. I then wipe the stone and use water to get as far as I can.
    -I will occasionally use BBW, coticule progression to similar as above.
    -I will even more rarely use a chosera 1k, then as far as I want at that moment (or not) to a nagura progression. Finally finishing as above.
    -I also will use a series of japanese naturals as a polishing progression after I finish on a pre-polisher.

    I guess my japanese progressions use similar aspects, but I like to change them up depending on the blade and my mood.

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    Senior Member Kingfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyHAD View Post
    I haven't used slurry with it mainly because it seems to be a hard stone, I don't have the naguras, and it works wonderfully with water only. As for describing an Escher edge ..... smooth would be the adjective the comes immediately to my mind. It is my favorite of all of the finishers I've used to date.

    Have you ever tried an Escher slurry on your asagi?

    Smoooooth is definitely a good adjective.

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfish View Post
    Have you ever tried an Escher slurry on your asagi?
    I haven't tried an Escher slurry on the J-nat. I did once or twice use a credit card sized DMT 325 to generate a slurry on it but , as noted in my previous post, it seems to be a very hard stone so I went to water only with it. I am very pleased with the results I get from this particular stone.
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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Escher = Consistency

    To me and IME Eschers are the only Natural stones that are consistent, there is never a doubt that an Escher will give a great edge...
    Every other Natural stone out there has a ??? on it until it has been proved on a razor.. I honestly don't care what stone it is, or how much it costs there is still a ??? on it until you push an edge across it yourself.. If it is a legitimate Escher then you can feel pretty darn confidant that the stone will perform. so to me it is Consistency...

    I use an Escher after I attain what I would consider a "Shave Ready" edge then do about 20 Pigtail laps with light slurry to train the edge to the Escher and dilute out to clear water and finish with some super light stokes...

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    I used Nakayamas for my house mainaman's Avatar
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    I use light slurry to water on Escher.
    Jnats - nagura, tomonagura to water progtression. Or Coticule, tomonagura slurry to water.
    For both types of stones the edges are great.
    Stefan

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    Completely agree with Glen about the consistency of Eschers, the edge from them is ALWAYS going to be good.

    I use slurry down to water on my Escher. On my Asagi I just use water and that works great, the Maruichi works best with a slight slurry down to water.

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    Senior Member Joe Edson's Avatar
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    On my escher and vintage thuringians I find that the edges going to them from the coticule are always improved. They are very consistent. I've finished on them with light slurry only or slurry to water and in both cases the edges are excellent. Finishing on light slurry leaves a bit more smoothness than water only IME, but both excellent edges.

    On my Oozuku coming off the coticule I find it best to go either to straight water or very light tomanagura slurry diluted to water. If I start with too heavy of a tomanagura slurry I can degrade the coticule edge and it is harder to bring that up from diluting to water only. Very, very smooth edges off this one when finished correctly, but also a lot more inconsistent than the escher in terms of finishing.

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    Senior Member Kingfish's Avatar
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    One point emerging from this thread is the consistant quality and results from German Water Stones especially the carefully selected historical Eschers. Every historical barbering book I have ever read ALWAYS encouraged their use.

    Another point from devotees of the above is that they are truely devoted finishers of edges that are highly developed.



    Jnats methods of use and stones already are wildly different. Some just water as devoted finisher others with various slurries.

    One thing that courts my affection for the Jnats is that of their versatility. I do not own any quality naguras, but any slurries formed from tomonaguras of other jnats open up (literaly) the cutting power of any of my finishers and allow entry from lower grit efficiently.

    That versatility increases the utility. A Jnat finsher has way more potential, if desired, to be more than a finisher. Again, I do not claim to have any authority in understanding of them outside the few I own and the trust of the selection made for me when I purchased them, but I continue to be amazed at the cutting power of a rock that has been baptized as a finisher and the final edge it produces.


    The big ?????? that Glenn pointed out earlier also means that each stone has to be evaluted and also learned because they vary so much. This might not a job for someone not willing to take the time to really learn each stone and what it can do.(that is why I put this thread in Advanced Honing, none of this is important as far as getting an excellent shave)
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