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Thread: Disapointing JNat results (sharp but neither smooth nor clean)

  1. #31
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian1 View Post
    These threads sure can get interesting when the debate of best finisher for straight razor comes up

    I'm usually more interested in the hone type the topic was started about than any tangents that may arise. Sort of living vicariously through others since throwing down for one (or more) of every hone known to mankind isn't exactly a feasible prospect.
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  2. #32
    Junior Tinkerer Srdjan's Avatar
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    Exactly, Marshal.

    Glen said it best: After 12K, light milky tomo slurry should be sufficient. I guess I neglected the fact that the edge was already at 12K. Going to Botan again at that stage would bring it back way down, sort of repeating the whole mid-range process and throwing in a whole bunch of new variables.

    The trick will be to figure out when the stone is maxed out, as even Tomo will throw the edge down at first, and then bring it back up gradually.
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  4. #33
    Senior Member Jnatcat's Avatar
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    I will have to say that in the past few years of using several different JNATS and following that rainbow to get to that killer edge and has been very interesting, IMHO just because it's a JNAT does not make it a quality razor hone as i believe Glen stated the magic is in the mud, JNATS by them self do work but when you add slurry whether it be from a diamond plate, asano nagura progression or just use a tomo slurry it's all different. When I started my progression was 1K, 4K, 8K and JNAT with a DN 1200 slurry and edges were good but not super keen then I started working with different amounts of slurry still using the Atoma plate and never really gave using tomo's much thought as the ones I had used seemed to do the same thing as the Atoma plate, so then after the JNAT I started palying with paste and sprays and felt using these really ramped up my edges but felt I was losing somthing in the JNAT edge by using a pasted strop at the end so back to just using a JNAT but this time I have been testing a Nakayama Kiita with several tested tomo's from the owner and yesterday was my best edge ever, my starting progression was the same but no DN slurry I used a pre finish tomo as marked by the owner and followed with a Kiita tomo and the edge was so smooth and keen and today the shave off it was grand.

    So with all my rambling to me JNATS are different than say 1-12K synthetic honing as synthetics are a given and and the grit is known but with JNATS and what you choose to use with them like an asano progression, DN slurry, tomo slurry or just plaing water the end result is always goingto be different.
    Last edited by Jnatcat; 08-23-2017 at 02:08 PM.
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  6. #34
    alx is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagura View Post
    Hello everybody!

    Recently, I bought a JNat (Awasedo Shobu Asagi) and honed a couple of razors on it (lots of Solingen's, some Wade & Butcher's) by going thru the whole nagura progression (Botan=>Tenjho=>Merijho=>Koma=>Tomonagura). My Tomonagura is a Nakayama Tomae.
    I honed (only edge leading) until I reached a feeling that I interpreted as slurry break down.
    After this, I did 70-100 strops on my hanging strop.
    In accordance with Keith V. Johnsons thoughts, I only stroped on clean leather (Juchten), but not on Chrox or something similar abrasive stuff.

    The level of sharpness of all blades was good, but no mind-blowing results could be observed:
    Solid HHT 4, so, no big difference from a regular Naniwa hone with Chrox / Metal Polish here.
    But since I don't shave with hanging hair tests, these results were more than OK for my needs.

    Sadly, the last three shaves with all three JNat honed razors were quite disapointing, since they were neither smooth nor clean.
    In all three cases, the razors gave me quite harsh shaves while shaving with the grain.
    Honestly, the shaves were tough jobs followed by unsatisfactory results. When I applied the after shave, my face turned into a towering inferno.
    Surprisingly, in all three cases, the sharpness seemed to be almot unchanged after the shaves (still something like HHT 4).
    Honestly, I get much better results with Cotis, Thuringians or even Naniwa Super Stones.

    To cut a long story short: Any thought's how to fix it? ;-)
    In my opinion you are right on the cusp of finding the edges you want, but at this point there will always be a convergence of: your skill level and your stones and razors. Just these 3 factors can lead to an almost unlimited number of failure possibilities. First I would suggest that you stick with just one razor and one stone and devote yourself to this one pairing for a while. There is an old saying in Japan "hard steel soft stone, soft steel hard stone" and I have found this to be a decent guide byline. Your Soligen blades might work with this stone but not the Sheffield. Most fellows here have lots of stones to match up with their various razors but maxing out one combination is important.

    Next I am dubious that the stone you bought is really a kamisori toishi razor stone. These monolithic plain gray stones are sold as good for almost anything, and they can be, but your face talks back to you if the shave is harsh and the tomato does not. Actual razor grade stones were and are the same stones that were used to hone surgery tools, scalpels and such that require an unquestioned keenness. A stone from a website that is advertised it along side an image of a sushi knife does not make it a razor stone. Only a small percentage of stones harvested from the mines near Kyoto were razor grade stones. The miners knew this, the barbers and laboratories did too.

    Also the size of the stone you bought should be an indicator of the use that the stone was graded, cut, finished and marketed to the public for. At 190mm this is a tool or knife stone. At 70mm wide it was set up by the miners as a tool or knife stone. At 20mm thick, the same. Razor grade stones are only found in a few locations of the mines strata structure, and they were singled out and set aside by the miners on the spot, and most of the razor stones were cut up into smaller hand held hone sizes in the 150x60x12mm range.

    The idea of using a Mikawa nagura progression is a system designed to overcome the lack of a razor grade stone that could or would be able to act solely on its own to hone a razor. This nagura system does work but you have to master and be devoted to it. Just like driving a car, it takes more than turning on the key and pushing the gas peddle. With Jnats you are not just buying an instant edge, you have to earn it. With synthetics you buy a known grit, with Jnats you have to adapt your skills more to meet the stone halfway.

    I have found that spine leading strokes promote a feather edge that can look and act toothy or ragged under magnification. Circular strokes can really clean up the face of your bevels and polish them. Edge leading strokes creates a scenario where the cutting edge meets the stone first and any slurry including a slurry made of Nagura grit is the most potent in final edge development when used with edge leading strokes. Edge leading strokes with a fresh slurry can wear down a feather or tooth looking edge easier and quicker than spine leading strokes.

    Also remember that the quality of the slurry is dependent upon the quality of the grit bound up on both the base and the nagura stone. If you have a medium grit base stone some of that particle will mix in with your super fine grit from the nagura, and vice versa. Ultra hard stones can mimic fine stones if because the grit remains bound up in the stone so only the very tips of the grit touch the steel. In a slurry with the grit rolling around any larger grit particles with have large effects on your steel. That is why you use a nagura progression with graded grits so you can plan on a step from one grit size to the next, but in a final tomonagura step we want only the finest grit with no large pieces so a faulty tomo or base stone can contribute grit and mess up your blades edge.

    Some of this will help you, some of this will be argued but I wish you luck,

    Alex Gilmore
    Last edited by alx; 08-23-2017 at 03:27 PM.

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  8. #35
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    I want to express my thanks to everyone in this thread again!
    Many thoughts gave me a new perspective on the entire topic. But It's hard to answer all of them.

    At this point I want to give an update to the topic:

    I had a really good talk to Mr. Horie, the japanese seller in Germany who sold me the Shobudani.
    He also explained a lot about JNats and their use.
    After this, I honed three razors again that gave me a harsh shave during the first trials. Starting from the Naniwa 3K, I removed the notches first. Then, I applied the entire Nagura progression again and stayed much longer on Koma and Tomo. The first results were really great and gave me super sharp edges (without notches!) and super smooth shaves!

    Actually, I don't know if this dramatic change was due to the different honing progression or rather due to another observation: After a couple of shaves, the surface of the Stone feels much more smoother now, rather like a fine Thuri. Even if I lapped the hone before use (DMT325 followed by fine wet sand paper), its surface seemed to be "broken in" again. Wheter or not it had to do with a break in or a different honing aproach (or both), I'm quite happy now.

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