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Good muddy stones for sharpening a yanagi?

Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:49 pm

I got this question earlier today and thought it was a good one to post.

You guys want to take a swing at this?

Re: Good muddy stones for sharpening a yanagi?

Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:20 am

Tiresome answer, but still true--Suehiro Rika 5k. Probably my favorite stone ever.

If he means JNats, that's quite a rabbit hole.

Re: Good muddy stones for sharpening a yanagi?

Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:53 pm

For a synthetic midgrit nakado stone, the 1200 grit Nubatama. For a Natural stone, hard to beat a Monzen Aoto. For a fine natural Awasedo, the Hakka Tomae. Then there's the Han-Han stone as a hybrid synthetic/natural. Also consider uchigumori. Although not a soft stone, for a synthetic nothing even comes close to the finish you get on a yanagi to a 15k Nubatama Bamboo.

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Ken

Re: Good muddy stones for sharpening a yanagi?

Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:36 pm

I like the 1k & 6k Arashiyama stones for quick and simple but it really depends on the knife and how complex of a finish you want. Some steels are more wear resistant and combined with the typical high hardness of the cutting edge it will require very close spacing in stone progression to achieve a proper finish. It would help greatly to know the knife, the budget, and the expectations.

Though I really like the 1200 bamboo I can't say I like it so much for large bevels. It's a difficult stone to use in that respect due to the mud drying out quickly and causing streaks. I typically use my 1k Arashiyama, 2k bamboo, or Naniwa 2k green brick in its place.

Re: Good muddy stones for sharpening a yanagi?

Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:30 pm

Jason, those are all very good points. Single bevels in general require a good bit more abrasion since you are working on more metal. For abrasion resistant steels and large areas, I completely agree with the approach of more closely spaced stones rather than big grit jumps. Depending on the steel and flatness of the knife's single bevel, you might need to precede the 1200 bamboo with an 800 Bamboo for instance. The 1200 is quite muddy - easily the muddiest Nubatama stone, so keeping it flat and wet takes some care. Depending on the knife surface, etc it may in fact be 'too muddy'. You've really further refined the discussion to not simply getting the muddiest stone (initial question) to the finer question of getting the right stone for a specific yanagi. Nicely done!

The 1.2k bamboo is also a great mud to harvest and place the mud on paper or balsa (nanocloth - haven't tried this yet) and the mud will now act as if it were on a harder stone.

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Ken
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