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Ken, what ever happened to your sharpness meter? Can you detect any difference among your favorite stones? If the scratch patterns are similar in appearance, how do you tell if you are getting the whole bevel?
Steve,Still have it but after doing a lot of testing I've found if the edge looks sharp and feels sharp there is little difference between methods or for that matter stones on the meter.Where the differences comes in is how the edge looks under magnification, the scratches or lack of, is it matte looking, does anything along the edge look back at you, and so on. The other difference is just in the feel of the stone, hard to explain but some stones really talk to you where others are dead. They both may produce a fine edge but you know which one will be the most enjoyable to use. With western chisel the scratch pattern under 10X will tell you, Japanese chisels looking at the soft iron can help you tell if the bevel is flat.ken
It looks like the stone has a couple of corners broken off. Is that common among natural stones? Did it come like that?
Matt,Yes it is common, it came that way and is to be expected. While some stones will come with perfect sides and bottom they are usually either lower grade or at the other end collector stones. An example is my big Tsushima Nagura, it looks like a thick synthetic stone but is a JNAT I use as a honing stone to be followed by one of the polishing stones. If you look back the post with a line up of JNATs the Tsushima Nagura is on the left end and is the only stone without irregularities.Having stones that are more organic is just one of the charms of using JNATs.ken
Matt,I just want to add another thought:One of the charms, part of the fascination of using JNATs is the stones are organic, each different in size, shape, feel, and action and to get the most out of a stone you need to learn to use it. Where is it soft, where does it cut best, where does it polish, does it make swarf easily or does it need time with a nagura, are there areas to avoid, and so on. The stones are not cookie cutter like synthetic stones or even Arkansas stones.Do you need 'em, are they better than other stones? Not really to both but they do hook your soul. Be careful if you decide to walk down the path.ken
A beautiful stone! Thanks for sharing. I climbed out of the natural stone rabbit hole (twas deep and dark and chock-a-block with Jubjub birds and even the frumious Bandersnatch!) some years back, but I still use 2 or 3 I could not do without. They make the job more pleasant and make my blades oh so pretty. Please tell us your technique. Stan
Thanks Stan,I'll get a handle on it someday :-). Like you I've kinda settled into a couple or three primary stones but it sure is fun to date the new girl.Technique I use on the JNATs isn't a lot different than that used on Arkansas stones. Short strokes, pressure on the bevel edge to keep from rounding the face of the bevel and checking often to see if indeed I'm working where I need to be working and learning how your stone works by paying attention. That is I guess the biggest difference between using JNATs and Arkansas stones.ken
Ken you were missing sharpening while away north weren't you? :)
Lionel,You noticed:-). Big thing is it is about all I can do in the shop until the ankle heals. But yes it connects me to the shop and my tools.ken