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Thread: ANAT honing success

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    Senior Member kelbro's Avatar
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    Default ANAT honing success

    ANAT = Asian Natural.

    I picked up a nice set of nagura last week to experiment. I have a really good 8 x 3 PHIG that I used as a platform for trying out the nagura progression. To date, I have not purchased any JNats.

    This progression provided a nice sharp edge that is smoother than a typical translucent or SB arkie finish. Seems a little sharper than my Escher finishes but still quite smooth. No real scratches in the bevel finish, just kind of hazy.

    I believe that a good nagura set and a PHIG will get a person started out on the right foot without breaking the bank.

    I've tried many kinds of slurries on many kinds of bases and they all seem to work. Some combos work better than others but most are not really that distinguishable in the end.

    Part of the fun in honing is experimenting. Don't be afraid to try something new.
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    Steel (09-17-2017)

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    Senior Member Steel's Avatar
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    Thanks. If I ever move on from my Arkansas/Washita stone (doubtful) I think I would go in this direction with some naguras. Where did you source your nagura from?
    What a curse be a dull razor; what a prideful comfort a sharp one

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    Senior Member kelbro's Avatar
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    Bought them off a guy who bought them off a guy so I'm not certain. They are Asano stamped Mikawa, a Botan, a Tenjyou, and a Mejiro that were originally purchased as a set with a Shobu. I didn't think that I needed the Shobu so I got him to break up the set and just sell me the naguras.

    I am not real familiar with JNats except what I read here but it looks like they are a relatively high grade based on the markings.

    Lots of JNat folks here that can provide recommendations, I'm sure.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    If you have a good phig that does almost nothing on clear water other than burnish, your results won't be any different with a good jnat base stone.

    The quality of the base stone only becomes important if you're going ex-naguras and you need to use the base itself. You're using the naguras to do the work, so it would be a waste of money at this point unless you don't get good results.

    "just keener than an escher and still smooth" is right in the wheelhouse for what you expect from a jnat progression.

    A good phig, a mejiro and some kind of fine but inexpensive tomo (finer than the phig tomos) is super great and will maintain any razor forever. Even the tomo itself would do that, but the meijiro would be a bridge from a medium synthetic to the tomo and then clear or very diluted slurry. Sometimes finding a really good phig for this is a challenge, but once you already have, you're pretty much at the top of the natural stone mountain, and no $1,500 stamped hatanaka stone is going to get you a better edge.

    In fact, while the stamped stones are good and when the stamp is genuine, it's an assurance of certain characteristics, the two finest stones I've used don't have any maruka stamps on them or hatanaka stamps on them. One cost me 3200 yen plus shipping, the other one I sold to someone on here. both have enough cutting power to do a finishing job, but you could buy five stamped stones and maybe not exceed them. The first phig I got would make an equivalent edge, but unlike the two jnats I mentioned, it will need a finer tomo from somewhere else to do it, and discretion to not lap the phig and ruin its fineness.

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    Senior Member kelbro's Avatar
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    Indeed. Thanks Dave.

    I do have a PHIG slurry stone but it has never proven to be of a lot of benefit to me. I might try it following the mejiro some day but finishing on the PHIG itself was great.

    I was of the same thought that a solid, smooth, flat, hard base is going to provide a solid base, no matter where it's from.

    It's really not that complicated and can be a lot of fun.

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    Senior Member Steel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelbro View Post
    Bought them off a guy who bought them off a guy so I'm not certain. They are Asano stamped Mikawa, a Botan, a Tenjyou, and a Mejiro that were originally purchased as a set with a Shobu. I didn't think that I needed the Shobu so I got him to break up the set and just sell me the naguras.

    I am not real familiar with JNats except what I read here but it looks like they are a relatively high grade based on the markings.

    Lots of JNat folks here that can provide recommendations, I'm sure.
    Thanks I took a look online and found quite a few options but I just can't bring myself to pull the trigger no matter how fun it would be playing in some slurry on different stones. The draw back for me is that with my Washita/Arkansas stones I get edges I can't even comprehend how they could get any better and playing in some slurry (since it would be unfamiliar ground) would definitely be a step back in a final edge. Maybe once I tire of the current set up and feel like a challenge I will get some nagura stones and try to match the current results.
    Prior to this I really enjoyed using rub stones of all types on my Guangxi and translucent stones and can understand the draw and possibilities. It sounds like you got some excellent results. Congratulations.
    What a curse be a dull razor; what a prideful comfort a sharp one

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    Senior Member kelbro's Avatar
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    I agree with the idea that this probably would not be 'better'. I wouldn't say that the edges would make it worth starting an entirely new honing regimen but a person could get set up very well for ~$100 including the PHIG.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kelbro View Post
    I agree with the idea that this probably would not be 'better'. I wouldn't say that the edges would make it worth starting an entirely new honing regimen but a person could get set up very well for ~$100 including the PHIG.
    Very reasonable, fun process, that works.
    What a curse be a dull razor; what a prideful comfort a sharp one

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    Senior Member kelbro's Avatar
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    Interesting observation after a couple of days (OK, I know that 2 is not a statistical sample).

    The shave is very much like a good coticule edge.

    Clean close shave that feels very smooth but does not last as long as my more 'clinical' edges off arkies that are followed with diamond or crox pasted strops.

    Great shave and the longevity is very similar to a DE shave using a Feather blade.

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    Senior Member kelbro's Avatar
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    Update... Tried it on a couple more razors. I have added a koma to the progression and also tried following the koma with the PHIG slurry stone before finishing on water.

    It just keeps getting better. Edges are getting more clinical.

    Been using it on American 01 tool steel and C135 French stuff so hard steel and it is providing really nice edges. Longevity with this new progression has not been determined yet.
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