Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:48 pm
So my lineup is as follows:
1. Nubatama Bamboo 150
2. Chosera 400,
3. Amakusa (Jnat, approx 1K), I also have a King 1K.
4. Softer/muddy Jnat "finishing stone" approx 3K - 4K (according to Japanwoodworker.com, before I discovered CKTG),
5. Shobu San (approx 8K)
6. Ozuku (approx 10K - 15K)
7. Split hide strop w/green chromium oxide
8. Kangaroo strop w/CBN spray, 0.125 micron
So that's my arsenal. I've been able to attain decent results with my kitchen knives, folders and field knives, but the greatest challenge is my straight razor. Cheaper high carbon razor I obtained from "vintage straight razor", that had a less than desirable bevel. I therefore went down to my lower grit stones to re-establish the bevel, but after the above grit progression, I was still unable to thoroughly remove lower grit scratches and produce a truly comfortable shave. From the feedback on this forum and CKTG, the Ozuku seems to be favored for producing a smooth razor edge, so I'm guessing there's something flawed in my foundation. Would it be better to invest in an exclusive Nubatama progression through 5K before incorporating my Jnats? Any and all feedback would be appreciated from my fellow enthusiasts.
Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:33 pm
Maybe the natural stones are not properly cutting the steel? Or wrong stone for the steel.
Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:01 pm
How is it shaving? Is it pulling and catching, or are you getting razor burn or what?
Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:28 pm
Yes indeed, despite the above steps the edge basically pushes/plows into the hair and leaves burn. As I look under my loop at the finished edge, although it pops arm hair, it's rather clear that my stone progression is not sufficiently removing the lower grit scratches; I am left with highly polished scratches essentially. I understand my stropping progression could be more complex, further micron grits, nanocloth, etc., but I know that won't substitute for a lack in the stone department.
Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:58 pm
No real reason for compounds or nano cloth. People have been sharpening razors with stones and a barber strop for a long time. With proper finishing on stones it should only take a few minutes with a bare leather strop to produce a clean and smooth edge. It seems as maybe you are not spending enough time with each stone or creating uneven pressure points while grinding that's leaving a "patchy" edge.
Try going back to the 1k and working each stone slowly making sure the edge is crisp, clean, and sharp at the end of using each stone.
Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:13 pm
thanks Jason, I'll give that a go. I know there are different thoughts on technique with the stone as well, I had learned that some recommend circles on each bevel on the lower grit, then the standard back/forth pattern on finishing stones. Either way, it would appear that I'm apparently not spending sufficient time eliminating previous stone's scratch patterns.
Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:36 pm
Start with the basics. Use a heel to tip type "X" stroke or if the stone is wide enough forward edge leading strokes pushing the whole edge straight. Doing circles is IMO the worst for making the sharpest edge, the abrasive contacts the edge randomly causing uneven formation of the apex.
Whatever direction/technique you use the most is the one you should stick to throughout the progression.
Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:25 pm
Yeah, I say spend more time on the middle grits. Don't get impatient.
Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:20 pm
copy that. Yea, I just found out that some of the veteran shavers on the straight razor forums consider my particular razor to be a "letter opener" that will never take a fine edge. I did purchase a less expensive starter razor, but I apparently should have done more research on better entry level models. I'm afraid I may be trying to overcome low quality metallurgy with high quality stones or techniques; oh well, lesson learned.
I'm still open to insight and comments regarding my stone collection overall, however. thanks again for everyone's input.
Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:30 pm
I think overall you have specialized stones for the not so specialized sharpening you do. The only reason I would use that many naturals is when sharpening clad blades or traditional cutlery that would benefit from that progression.
I would replace everything after the 400 stone with 2 synthetic stones such as the 1k and 6k Arashiyama for general sharpening and use the natural stones for kitchen knives and other appropriate cutlery.
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