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 Post subject: Re: Hakka Tomae Japanese Natural Stone finish compared
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 4:06 am 
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I think I know which competitor that is that argues about the increased HRC values. That's a hard sell for me too. But edge longevity? Well this gets into that gray area of defining sharpness etc etc. I do believe - in the mid to upper ranges that there is an element of truth to this claim. I've heard this reported too many times to ignore it from line cooks and woodworkers. The 'teeth' or where the scratch pattern intersects the edge is not a single uniform height so when the coarser 'teeth' abrade down to the lower level teeth they become exposed allowing increased 'toothiness'. This is more easily demonstrated with slice cuts than push cuts and is different than the ultrarefined edges of the 30k stones or the compounds beyond 30k or half micron. I still can't completely wrap my head around why compounds following a natural are such a good combination, but certainly in the straight razor literature, even early works 50 years ago suggested this with Chromium oxide and Nakayama stones as a combination.

And yes that 2k Bamboo is quite magical. It is hard to penetrate the knowledge and wisdom that went into designing that stone...

The Hakka has yet another trait for a stone sharpener - pure pleasure. I could sit on that stone all day sharpening. One should never underrate pleasure as a component of one's work.

Now this may be a bit off topic, but wasting such wonderful mud is a terrible thing to do. You may have noticed that I never rinsed the mud off. There is use for this and it may well be the subject of another video in my advanced sharpening technique series ...

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Ken



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 Post subject: Re: Hakka Tomae Japanese Natural Stone finish compared
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 5:23 am 

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I did notice your miserly mud practice and eagerly await your mud video :)

As for the anecdotal testimony you have often heard about naturals giving a better edge in some way, I have made a career out of disproving what people accept as fact. Moreover, did the people who claimed better edges from naturals have synthetic stones like the magical Nubatama 2K, or the equally magical ultra fine 1 micron and .49 micron Shapton Pro and Shapton Glass stones? At one time, everyone "knew" that the earth was flat and that the sun, and other heavenly bodies, revolved around the earth. And quantum mechanics will never make sense to the average person.... You get my point.

That being said, the Hakka is magical, too, and, as you point out, is a pleasure. Although it is a rare stone, even I have heard what a beautiful experience it is to sharpen a knife on a Hakka. Although I may prefer to listen to Chopin's Nocturns, Mozart's piano sonatas, or even the Rolling Stones, I have no claim that my preferred music is better than Lady Gaga (although I am certain that my preferred music IS better than any of Lady Gaga's songs....)

As I said, if someone claims the earth is flat, or that natural stones leave a better edge on a knife, then show me scientifically valid, and falsifiable data, and I will put them to Karl Popper's test of falsifiability. Until then, I will believe that the earth is round and that modern synthetic stones give you an edge as good as naturals.

In the meantime, I will remain convinced that Chopin, Mozart, and your beautiful Hakka MUST be better than Lady Gaga's music....



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“If one really wants to be master of an art, technical knowledge of it is not enough. One has to transcend technique so that the art becomes an ‘artless art’ growing out of the Unconscious.” Eugen Herrigel
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 Post subject: Re: Hakka Tomae Japanese Natural Stone finish compared
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 7:43 pm 
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I'm an earth is round guy too.

Anecdotally, I see no difference in performance between naturals and synthetics.

There are aesthetic differences in the finish and the way the stones look. I almost want to put mine up on our mantle. It's really cool looking and fun to use but they don't make my knife cut any better, last any longer or get any harder.



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 Post subject: Re: Hakka Tomae Japanese Natural Stone finish compared
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:08 am 
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Hey, you have a camera that takes tiny little microscope pictures, right?

Can you polish a part of a blade to completion of it's grit capacity on this(or any hazy finishing) natural stone and then post an absurdly tiny picture of the edge it leaves?

I need it for didactic purposes.



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 Post subject: Re: Hakka Tomae Japanese Natural Stone finish compared
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:36 pm 
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Sure - give me a call / PM and we can go over some details. We can even do it on one of your knives as a joint project. We might even do a micro video :)

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Ken



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