05-20-2017, 05:45 PM
#1
  • shaveR41
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  • Millbrae - CA
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I've only been using Naniwa stones for the past couple of years with a 1k King for bevel setting. I use 1k, 3k, 5k, 12k progression. I have been getting great results. I have seen a guy on youtube who only uses 1k king then moves onto a jnat stone before stropping. I like the minimalism of two stones. Will I be able to get comparable edge to what I'm getting from my Naniwa setup?

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 05-20-2017, 06:44 PM
#2
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J-nats are deep waters that I have stayed out of. Here is an article by a guy who dove in ;

http://easternsmooth.com/blog/jim-rion/2...nners.html

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 05-20-2017, 07:18 PM
#3
  • shaveR41
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  • Millbrae - CA
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(05-20-2017, 06:44 PM)JimmyH Wrote: J-nats are deep waters that I have stayed out of. Here is an article by a guy who dove in ;

http://easternsmooth.com/blog/jim-rion/2...nners.html

Definitely a complicated thing, I'm diving in! Thanks for the article.

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 05-21-2017, 04:18 AM
#4
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JNATS are no more ovely complicated than any other stones, the only caveat is finding a stone that gives you want you are looking for and with that comes testing and I mean lots of testing, for me when I get a new stone the first thing I do is kill the edge on the side of a 1K until it will not pass a bevel test then I work up a muddy slurry on the stone I am testing and proceed to set a new bevel, this testing will determine how fast the stone cuts, to me faster is better as I don't want to spend the day honing one razor.

After I get the bevel set I rinse the stone clean and then work up a lighter slurry and proceed to do my mid-range work and finish by thinning the slurry as I work my thru to almost striaght water, comparing a JNAT to a 1K-12K progression is tough because using synthetics are relatively easy from the standpoint that you know each grit and all you do is progress thru the numbers, don't get me wrong there is a great skill in this and guys like Jamie M. I am sure can put a pristine killer sharp edge on a razor so it comes down to what type of edge you want.

Coticule edges to me are soft then comes a JNAT edge then a Synthetic high grit edge, i personally don't care for a high grit synthetic edge as I find it to surgical and harsh and i find a coticule edge to soft but i find a JNAT edge about right, when I first started honing i finished out to 16K and got great edges but like you i wanted to test the waters of a natural edge so I jumped on the coticule bandwagon and long story short it was a total failure and then I had Alfredo (Doc226) rescale a razor for me and he uses JNATS and after shaving with his edge I was hooked, well fast forward sevral years now and I hone pretty much on JNATS only and have several stones but as I said in the beginning you have to test, test and test.

So to answer your question at least partly you will have to first determine your budget ( Big Part) JNATS can run as little as $50-$75 for a small Koppa to as much as $2K for a bench stone but for the most part an end user can get a decent stone for a few hundred dollars, I would reach out to Alex at Japan Stone and tell him what you are looking for and how much you are willing to spend then let him select a stone for you, he has a $$ gurantee as in if you don't like the stone you can send it back and as long as it's not damaged you will only be out shipping cost but you can't use the stone for months on end and thats where testing comes in, usually when i test I will take 2-3 razors that I know take a great edge and hone those razors one day and shave with both the next day then repeat the same procedure every other day over a couple weeks with the same razors and make the decision on whether I like the stone ot not, some guys like hard finishers and some like softer and some in the middle, oh did i say test, test, and test.

In closing if you want A, B, C, 1, 2, 3 stay with synthetics and master those like Jamie and others have or chase Alice down that rabbit hole and visit JNAT or coticules, i would suggest you try the other to edges to determine if you even like them,I hone for some folks that don't like a JNAT or coticule edge and prefer a systhetic edge and thats ok it just depends on that person.

I am sure this is only answering a tip of questions you may have  but if you are really wanting to just jump in thats fine just find a reputable dealer in JNATS like Alex and work with him to get you an entry level stone and work with that stone and only that stone by using your synthetics to do the grunt work then just finish on a JNAT, my process is 1K for bevel set and correct chips or geometry issues otherwise i skip to the 4K for bevel set then 8K then JNAT and strop and done, the biggest thing new honers do is over hone a razor, you can get rid of a previous stones sratches in as little as 25 strokes but this depends on how much pressure you use honing.

As far as just using two stones, yes you can do that but personally i choose to hone up to 8K using synthetics then finish only on a JNAT, leaving your lower grit stones to do the grunt work saves the wear and tear on those expensive finishers but I honestly doubt one person could wear out a single stone in there liftime unless they honed lots and lots of razors, in the beginning i was honing 12-15 razors a week and dished a JNAT badly and did not even realize it but have learned alot since that first day.

Here is an excellent vid of Alfredo honing:





And here is a vid of me just finishing on one:





And here is the HHT I shoot for every time:




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 05-21-2017, 05:40 AM
#5
  • greyhawk
  • Senior Member
  • Southern California
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(05-21-2017, 04:18 AM)Panther308 Wrote: JNATS are no more ovely complicated than any other stones...

I find it amusing that this statement is then followed by one of the longer posts in memory, complete with three videos to illustrate how uncomplicated it is. Wink

Great post, BTW!

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 05-21-2017, 06:17 AM
#6
  • shaveR41
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  • Millbrae - CA
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(05-21-2017, 04:18 AM)Panther308 Wrote: JNATS are no more ovely complicated .....

Haha! @greyhawk was on point. Nonetheless the information your provided is superb, and I appreciate your thoroughness! 


After doing quite a bit of research yesterday, I have reazlized that I wouldn't be simplifying my honing process, if anything I'll just end up spending lots of money, I'm easily obsessed if I go down a new path Smile I currently get spectacular edges from Naniwa setup, but it did take 3 years to get to where I am.

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 05-21-2017, 06:41 AM
#7
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Gent's i do tend to ramble on but then I tend to over think every process as my brain is wired that way and due to the nature of my job ( Gas Pipeliner ) i have over think every process, when someone ask input on JNATS I tend to provide all the information that I would ask but in the simplest terms possible regardless of what system you use ( All synthetic, all natural or a mix of both ) you are just rubbing steel to a rock and you keep rubbing it until you get an acceptable edge and as my Mentor Alfredo tells me all the time is "Hone, Shave, Repeat" and "Sharpe is easy, but sharpe and smooth is hard" and in the end have fun !!!

And for those that want easy and uncomplicated for JNATS look at Alex G's "Ax Method" of honing, 21 stroke method and done and yes it does work but takes away alot of the Zen in Honing  Biggrin




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 05-21-2017, 12:34 PM
#8
  • shaveR41
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  • Millbrae - CA
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(05-21-2017, 06:41 AM)Panther308 Wrote: Gent's i do tend to ramble on but then I tend to over think every process as my brain is wired that way and due to the nature of my job ( Gas Pipeliner ) i have over think every process, when someone ask input on JNATS I tend to provide all the information that I would ask but in the simplest terms possible regardless of what system you use ( All synthetic, all natural or a mix of both ) you are just rubbing steel to a rock and you keep rubbing it until you get an acceptable edge and as my Mentor Alfredo tells me all the time is "Hone, Shave, Repeat" and "Sharpe is easy, but sharpe and smooth is hard" and in the end have fun !!!

And for those that want easy and uncomplicated for JNATS look at Alex G's "Ax Method" of honing, 21 stroke method and done and yes it does work but takes away alot of the Zen in Honing  Biggrin

I throughly enjoyed your rambling, thank you Smile Alex's videos are what got me interested in JNATs

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 05-21-2017, 02:08 PM
#9
  • greyhawk
  • Senior Member
  • Southern California
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(05-21-2017, 06:41 AM)Panther308 Wrote: Gent's i do tend to ramble on but then I tend to over think every process as my brain is wired that way and due to the nature of my job ( Gas Pipeliner ) i have over think every process, when someone ask input on JNATS I tend to provide all the information that I would ask but in the simplest terms possible regardless of what system you use ( All synthetic, all natural or a mix of both ) you are just rubbing steel to a rock and you keep rubbing it until you get an acceptable edge and as my Mentor Alfredo tells me all the time is "Hone, Shave, Repeat" and "Sharpe is easy, but sharpe and smooth is hard" and in the end have fun !!!

And for those that want easy and uncomplicated for JNATS look at Alex G's "Ax Method" of honing, 21 stroke method and done and yes it does work but takes away alot of the Zen in Honing  Biggrin

Yes, please don't get me wrong as I found it very interesting as well. Thanks.

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 05-21-2017, 02:20 PM
#10
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(05-21-2017, 12:34 PM)shaveR41 Wrote: I throughly enjoyed your rambling, thank you Smile Alex's videos are what got me interested in JNATs

I have used Alex's Ax Method several times and it works very well, i have even gone as far as killing the edge on the edge of a 1K then resetting the bevel my way on a Chosera with circles and X's ( usually 3-4 mins ) then did his Ax Method on one of my finishers and it shaved really well but as i said it takes away alot of the honing Zen but then I don't want to spend an hour honing an edge either unless it has geometry issues that need correcting, i have talked with Alex several times on the phone and we have exchanged countless emails on stones and methods on honing as well as spending lots of time chatting with Alfredo and Jamie M. , Jamie however does not do JNATS, all three of these gents are a great resource on honing and restorations.

Regarless of what method you use for honing it all comes down to learning that particualr stone(s), for me when I first started I had Naniwa SS, they were the older style that had the plastic bases and even though they worked they were soft and always seemed to clog and required lapping alot to keep clean, the Suehiro 8K was really nice and then I finished off with a 12K Shapton M something then a Shapton 16K GS ( Wish i had kept that one )

After lots and lots of months i got tired of dealing with the clogging and had already tested a JNAT edge and i like you wanted to simplify my method by reducing the amount of stones so I sold off every stone i had and purchased all new ( C1K, Shapton 4/8K GS and 1 JNAT ) and proceeded to spend the next year working with a 4k for bevel 8K midrange and JNAT finish and at one point was honing 8-10 razors a week and was doing it for free just to get the time on the stones.

Sorry for rambling again, I tend to do that alot but as it's been stamped into my brain by my mentor "Hone, Shave, Repeat" again and again, there is no voodoo in honing just gotta put the the time in.

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 05-25-2017, 09:24 AM
#11
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I think if I've learned anything over the last couple of years in doing this is to be wary of lines on a jnat. Namazu is the term I believe which means "catfish stomach" which means "sand" toxicity. This is just one thing to be wary of but usually one of the easiest to identify. But, not every line is toxic, you have to confirm from the person you are buying from and always get a money back guarantee.

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 05-25-2017, 12:00 PM
#12
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(05-25-2017, 09:24 AM)jhalb Wrote: I think if I've learned anything over the last couple of years in doing this is to be wary of lines on a jnat. Namazu is the term I believe which means "catfish stomach" which means "sand" toxicity. This is just one thing to be wary of but usually one of the easiest to identify. But, not every line is toxic, you have to confirm from the person you are buying from and always get a money back guarantee.

This is why I have solely dealt with Alex from Japan Stone, even after a year of using a stone it developed a void and I asked him about cutting it shorter so i would not have to deal with it and he said send it back and offered to replace at no cost or $$ back, i of course chose another stone.

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 05-25-2017, 05:34 PM
#13
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Yes, I've conversed with Alex last week. He is one of our few valuable and brightest lights in this rabbit hole. Plus, he's just a nice guy. Smile

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 05-26-2017, 04:04 PM
#14
  • Steve56
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  • Knoxville, TN
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Alex is a wonderful fellow to do business with. I am a jnat user and collector, and Alex knows more about these stones than anyone I know of.

In general, a razor hone must be:

Fine enough. If it isn't fine enough, it will never be a razor hone no matter what you do.

It must be pure enough, no inclusions or defects that would scratch a razor or release particles.

It must have a reasonably narrow distribution of grit, if there are coarse particles mixed in with the fine, it won't work. This is the downfall of folks looking for cheap synthetics from China to use with razors, they're soft, muddy, and have a wide distribution of grit. This is OK for rough knives, axes, machetes, etc but not for fine cutlery and razors.

Now some jnats though not super fine have the ability to polish well, with thin slurry or especially on clear water and with careful honing technique, will yield a fine razor edge. You'll have to depend on the seller to describe such stones for you.

Cheers, Steve

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