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Thread: Jnat finishing ideas

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    Default Jnat finishing ideas

    Been honing since 2012 using synthetic stones. Finally five months ago bought my first jnat, an Ozuku Asagi, followed up soon by a Wakasa then a Shobu Asagi Tamamoku. I don't have any nagura, but my method is to use synthetic stones to 8k level then Atoma 1200 slurry and use one of the Japanese natural stones to finish with. (all three stones are hard, and fine particle size). Now, I've enjoyed reasonably good results with the Ozuku and a medium slurry diluted to a misty one with barely any pressure. My question is, that having done this technique with all three stones, the results are significantly better with the Shobu. I mean a markedly sharper smoother result. I have done basically the same things with the Ozuku and Wakasa, but I'm a little off the pace compared to the Shobu. So, is there a tweak I can try that might improve my results on the ozuku and Wakasa. If nagura is worth investing in, well, I'd try it, but at present I am enjoying the Shobu with DN. (there are photos of the hones in the Hones section). I would like to hear some opinions/options?
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    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    Maybe more/less time on the other stones &/or progress to water only
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    I would try taking the good edge you can get off the shoubu then using the other naturals to see how change that edge.
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    Senior Member Jnatcat's Avatar
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    Your method is a carbon copy of mine but I pretty much get the same edge from all the stones I have so i have started playing around with a few different tomo naguras and thickness/thiness of slurries, I have gotten edges that are very keen but also very harsh from being to sharp or toothy
    "A Honer's adage "Hone-Shave-Repeat"

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    Yes, try clear water finishing, 20 x-strokes or so.

    Cheers, Steve

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    I've been away for a few days, but I'll back to the stones tomorrow. Now I am thankful for your input gentlemen, and there are a couple of things I'd like to throw out there for consideration. I watched a few of Keith Johnson's videos, and he uses his tomo nagura, to dress his base stone, in that, the tomo is worked to all areas of the hone, and in his video, after what could be called slurry creation, he washes the slurry off and re-does the exercise. This leads me to ask, that the fineness of the tomo, it's affect on the surface of the stone. This is as opposed to me creating a slurry with the Atoma 1200. Am I creating a rough, or disrupted surface to actually make the honing surface a little less than smooth, reflective even. So would that perhaps make a difference? I was thinking of using the Atoma 1200 on the Ozuku to create a slurry to reserve. Then use one of my other two jnats as a tomo and rub the Ozuku with say the Wakasa, then if the slurry from that exercise isn't sufficient, then use the slurry I reserved from the first use of the Atoma. adding it to the 'burnished' smooth surface of the Ozuku? Would honing on a significantly polished surface as described make some difference? I intend to try that. What I am also considering, is the fact that the edges I have achieved and shaved with off the Ozuku and Wakasa were not sub standard, they just weren't as good as the Shobu, those other two hones gave a perfectly serviceable shave, so maybe I am edge chasing a bit. Could it perhaps be that in fact the Shobu is a better stone than first imagined. It was described when bought as being 1104 grams Shobu Asagi Karasu Tamamoku. This mouthful of Japanese descriptors isn't something I am seeking to disprove or over-rate, I'm accepting it as it is. I might have been very fortunate to land a stone that is exceptional. The shaves were really, damn good, coming from someone who generally shaves off a Gok 20.
    Maybe I'm seeing shadows here and the fact may simply be that I have a lot to learn about how to assess and use each individual stone. I guess to describe the shobu, I'd say it's an easy task to put an edge on a razor with it. Dumb luck to land a really good stone? I think there is some truth to it. I have a couple of similar razors, a couple of Dovo 6/8's with Shobu edges and I'll try the various options.

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    I think you are just seeing a difference in the hone quality for razors. Truly good razor jnats, ones that can give you that 'wow!' edge, smoothness along with keeness and that the shaves last a long time, aren't maybe as common as people believe. You can almost always get a good jnat to shave pretty well, even ones I'd call knife hones, but there's no doubt in my mind that a top-tier razor hone stands out (on razors of course).

    I've always believed that hones need to be surfaced sort of according to their fineness. If you don't think the surface finish has an effect, just ask the Arkansas folks. I believe that 'Arkansas effect' exists on all hones, but most of them, like synthetics are soft enough that a coarse finish doesn't last too long. I could never understand surfacing an 8k+ synth or a fine jnat finisher with a 400 grit plate/brown biscuit or even a 1200 Atoma, though I still use both for coarser stones 1k and under.

    To clean my fine synths (2k up) I use a King 8k 'nagura'. Can My fingers tell the difference in the hone surface finish versus the Naniwa brown biscuit? Absolutely. Can the razor tell the difference? Everyone has an opinion but mine is that yes it can, at least until the surface finish settles down.

    When I lap a fine jnat or synth finisher, I use w/d paper on plate glass through 2k grit. Then I raise a slurry with a tomo and use a 'donor' razor to further burnish the surface though if the 2k paper was worn it likely makes little difference. I can very much tell the difference in this surface finish versus even a well worn Atoma 1200. I polished and burnished my G20k carefully, mindful that this stone is so hard that surface roughness would likely persist for some number of razor finishings.

    Try it and see what you think. It isn't hard or time consuming to do, and let us know what you think. How fine to finish lap a hone isn't a topic that's discussed that often other than the Arkansas stones..

    Cheers, Steve
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve56 View Post
    I've always believed that hones need to be surfaced sort of according to their fineness. If you don't think the surface finish has an effect, just ask the Arkansas folks. I believe that 'Arkansas effect' exists on all hones, but most of them, like synthetics are soft enough that a coarse finish doesn't last too long.
    The thing with Arks is that they're not particularly fine in the first place & need that burnishing whereas Jnats can be very fine.
    Also Arks are not used with slurry, as a rule. Possibly slurry fills any micro gaps from lapping with a worn diamond plate.
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    Steve

    When you polish/burnish your Jnats do you just use water to finish razors or still use a nagura progression or do you have different Jnats to do lower end work?

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    OK, I took a razor that had been finished on the Shobu on a diminishing slurry ending it in a misty slight slurry, which I had noted was a nice comfortable shave. I took that razor, tested it with a sharpie just to be certain of things, and all was right, geometry wise, and I couldn't find any thing wrong with it. A Dovo Le Forme 6/8. I decided I would just take the haze off the edge by giving it 20 or so light strokes on a Naniwa 10k, I took the Ozuku Asagi and I used the Wakasa a particle size 9 stone and I used it as a Tomo. All that did was perhaps make the surface of the Ozuku slightly smoother, no slurry whatsoever was raised. These are hard stones. I then raised a slurry on the back side of the Ozuku (It's double sided) I used that slurry on the smoothed main surface. I then ran it as I have done, diluting the slurry with light pressure, however when I got to a misty slurry using hardly any pressure, I rinsed the stone and razor under water and honed on the water only for three or four minutes. I stropped and shaved after this. The result was again a good edge, but not outstanding. So was it, or is it the stone, the user? One thing I was more conscious of was to use even lighter pressure if it is possible. So if the Shobu edge was a number out of 10, and a 10 is , say a Gok 20 edge and 6 laps on a crox strop (Simply for comparisons sake) then the Shobu was a 9/10. Now if I rated todays Ozuku edge on that scale it was an 8/10. Now 8/10 is good, and we are talking sharpness and comfort, not absolute straight from the 20k hone to the bathroom stuff. There isn't anything really bad or wrong about the Ozuku edge, it has improved, but it confirms, at least in my mind, that I have a nice stone in the Shobu, that I found a sweet spot in it straight up. So, there are a few more methods, and tweaks to have a go at still. I would say though, that there are abrasive particles coming from the Ozuku, as it does bring up the edge, it's not just burnishing steel. But there is no doubting that this jnat things is fun. But my interim conclusion is that I sought out hard, fine stones when I bought all three jnats, and if I refer back to the sellers hardness rating the Sbobu is an 8.8, and a miniscule amount less hard than the other two. So I have some technique issues to work out with very hard stones. I've read, where some avoid really hard stones, whilst others desire them, and from what I've seen on the various videos, it takes a little time and effort to master these type of stones. The fact I am even getting shaving edges off of a 9 rated hardness stone on my initial learnings of this Ozuku is good in itself. It may turn out to be amazing. I just need to find that sweet spot. I've got to stop looking at Shobu stones on the various sites, I feel that urge, after having fun with my first one, that a second could happen, but I will resist....aarrgh
    PS I will try a second razor same technique on the Wakasa, another 9 rated stone particle size.

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