A short addendum to the other day's post on sharpening. With oil stones I use the Black Arkansas polishing stone mostly as a burr chaser. When re-reading the post I gave the impression it was used to polish and then chase the burr. I think a better description would be; as the stone is used to chase the burr some polishing happens. Most of the polishing of the cutter happens when stropping.
In reality I could probably chase the burr on the Washita and go directly to the strop and end up with a edge that is just as good as the one produced on the Black Arkansas and strop.
I'm still learning to use JNats and I'm not sure where or how to get to the optimum edge. The biggest difference in use between Arkansas stones and JNats is in the burr produced. Once pass the course stone I still have trouble feeling a burr off a JNat stone. I can see it is sharp but I can't feel sharp when using JNats.
There is a lot of misunderstanding and mumbo jumbo about getting to a working edge. It really is pretty simple, just get the two planes to meet at a usable angle and they not be too ragged so it is not prone to failure. The amount of "shine" has little to do with it but what does somewhat matter is the shape, size, and pattern of scratches left on the cutting edge. How to get there is the reason there are endless discussions on sharpening and I'm as guilty as the next guy.