Sat May 12, 2012 9:58 pm
I could hardly contain my excitement when the package from CKTG arrived yesterday containing the Nubatama Ume XXC Aratae 24 grit and 60 grit stones. I tore open the box and retrieved what everyone else seemed to think were a couple of black cinderblocks. More than a few puzzled looks indicated concern for my mental health, but when I gave my usual helpful explanation, “you just don’t understand,” all was well.
This morning I took the stones out to the workshop, where two dull axes, and two dull hatchets, which had obviously never been properly profiled or sharpened, awaited me. All four tools looked like someone had used the blades as sledge hammers. They have been unusable for years. I set up the Nubatama Ume XXC Aratae 24 grit and started working on putting a profile on the first axe. After about an hour, I had completely re-profiled the two axe heads. It was a lot of work, but by the time I was done, both axes were ready for sharpening.
After a break, I set up the Nubatama Ume 60 grit stone and worked on repairing the tip of a large knife made of hard D2 steel. The 60 grit made short work of the task, and I had repaired the knife, and profiled it for sharpening in no time.
I couldn’t see any dishing at all in either stone. It looks like both stones would work well as flattening stones for finer grit stones.
The speed that these Nubatama Ume stones grind metal is comparable to a belt grinder. Its like having my own belt grinder, sans the expense, electricity, and noise of a belt grinder. And obviously the stones don’t generate heat like a belt grinder.
The Nubatama Ume XXC Aratae 24 and 60 grit stones are extremely versatile stones for anyone who does a lot of serious sharpening and repair work. You simply can’t go wrong with these stones. Highly recommended.
Sun May 13, 2012 5:47 am
Thanks for sharing your experience. I will probably end up investing in some of the course stuff myself.
Mon May 14, 2012 6:53 am
Thank you for such an excellent review!! Might just need to put them on the Wicked edge
You certainly got those stones right - a belt grinder without a cord
Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:14 am
The dog days of summer arrived in Utah's Ashley Valley this weekend. Summers in the Ahshley Valley are paradise. Arid, the day time temperature rarely exceeds 100 degrees, and it always cools off so that every night is good sleeping weather.
The morning sky today was crystal clear, and quiet, so I walked out to the workshop with a bright cup of Hawaiian Kona peaberry coffee that arrived yesterday freshly roasted from Arianna Farms (one of the three or four finest coffees in the world). As is my habit, and my pleasure, my coffee had a healthy dose of the best tasting organic milk from a farm a short distance across the border into Colorado, from a ranch near Meeker, where the cows graze along the lush banks of the White River.
My gaze rested on the Nubatama Ume XXC Aratae 24 and 60 grit stones, then on the now ancient golok style machete from El Salvador.
The El Salvadoran Golok was a design based on the traditional Indonesian golok, but only bigger, and had been my "one knife" during a nine month tour of the jungle in Central America, courtesy of Uncle Sam. From the British SAS we learned what the SAS had learned in the 1950's during the Malaysian insurgency; that is, we learned to use "one knife" for all your needs.
British SAS taught us to sharpen our goloks the same way that Malaysians had taught SAS to sharpen their pangmas. That is, razor sharp on the upswept tip for dressing fish and game and other fine tasks, about 20 degrees on each bevel for chopping on the belly of the blade, and at about 15 degrees on each bevel near the handle, which we used for carving (while SAS taught us how to sharpen the goloks, I taught the proper use and maintenance of Spanish Cetme rifles shipped in by Franco).
But you would never guess that my golok had once been so versatile. With the best Hawaiian Kona coffee in the world kicking in, however, I was compelled to seize that old golak and to reshape the grind on that blade with the Nubatama Ume 24 grit stone. Within twenty minutes, I had reshaped the blade on the golok. Soon, it was ready for finer stones, so I gradually worked my way up the Nubatama Bamboo series, stopping at the 2,000 grit Nubatama Bamboo.
Within forty minutes the golok was in bettter shape than it had ever been, and I smiled when I thought of how nice it would have been to have the Nubatama stones in the jungle in Central America....