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new to jnats

Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:44 pm

Hey guys, so I've been sharpening heavy now for about 2 years. I've got a few high end knives, white #1 and some 52100 carbon. I learned how to sharpen on naniwa ss : 400, 1000, 5000 & kitayama 8000. I've learned through trial and err and by reading through the forum and watching all the videos I can find, you guys have helped me out a great deal and I thank you all. I've been really interested in jnats but wanted to take it slow, one step at a time. I finally decided its time and I ordered an Aoto-tanba from Kameoka off of the AframesTokoyo site. It was listed as a 6.7 for softness, I like soft muddy stones. I'm wondering if anyone can give me any info on this stone and should I lacquer the bottom and sides? Or mount? Thank you.

Re: new to jnats

Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:30 pm

I've tried a handful of natural aoto and a couple Monzen from Ken, but not any of the aoto from aframes, so take what i say with a grain of salt. Based on my experience and what I've heard from stone dealers, it's very hard to find good quality natural aoto these days. A lot of what's available now is too soft, too coarse, and/or has rogue particles that can scratch up the finish that you're working so hard to put on your knife.

I've bought some other stones from aframes, so a hardness of 6.7 should be decent -- probably what i'd consider medium hardness for an aoto. I'm guessing the tanba aoto will generate a lot of mud and dish pretty fast, leaving a toothy aggresive edge suited for a gyuto or something like that (maybe 2000-3000 grit). It should be fun to use. Now if you're looking for stones to leave an even polish on a single bevel or a wide (double) bevel knife, the tanba aoto might not be great for that, because of the scratchy finish it leaves.

As for stone care, some of my stones came lacquered and others didn't. None of my aoto stones have cracked on me so far, but I don't ever soak them either. I've used over 3 dozen natural stones and I've only had one crack on me, a hakka. I think it happened when I was washing the stone under running water. There was probably a hairline crack on the stone and the water got in and made it grow. Since then, I've generally only splashed off the slurry from my stones and wiped it a bit with my hands. I try to minimize the amount of water that comes into contact with the sides of the stone.

I'll probably try to seal up more and more of my stones over time, but that involves testing out different sealants. I have some minwax polyurethane, but it seems to pull away from the stone a bit after some use. I'm going to pick up a can of shellac to try soon.

Re: new to jnats

Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:07 pm

Thank you vinhster, I plan on finishing with my 8 k and stroping untill I feel like I have a good enough feel for the naturals. Then depending on how I like this stone I hope ill know which way to take it from there. I'd like to know how the sealing works out for you and what you think seems to be the best. Thank you for your time.

Re: new to jnats

Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:29 am

There are a number of Aoto mines - not a single mine. Even within a given mine there are soft and medium hardness stones. You don't normally get hard aoto stones.

While you might consider Aoto as mostly mid grit stones or Nakado, formally they are considered separately. I don't soak aotos and it is not recommended however some customers prefer the characteristics they get from soaking their stones and run the risk of increasing the odds of developing cracks. Some of the Aoto I get are already lacquered and some not. There is no harm in lacquering them, but I don't usually lacquer stones that come without lacquer.

I consider aoto edges to be good working edges for a lot of tasks and working particularly well on carbon steel knives. In this instance you are sharpening for functional edges and not overly concerned with perfect kasumi finishes. The edges are a nice blend of toothy and refined compared to a synthetic edge. Some of the more expensive aoto do produce very consistent finishes and there is some variation between mines and individual samples.

I don't have specific knowledge of aframes' aotos.

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