Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:02 pm
I read that Japanese natural water stones should be flattened before use. Is that your understanding as well?
What recommendations might you have for the prep of the Ohira Tomae High Quality stone?
Thanks for your help and direction.
Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:05 pm
Most of the natural stones we sell are flat and ready to use right out of the box so have at it. Just put some water on it and go.
Also, this stone should not be soaked for extended periods. It's splash and go. I use the ohira frequently as my final finisher before I strop and it's a really nice stone. I hope you enjoy it.
Here's our full selection of Japanese Naturals.http://www.chefknivestogo.com/nashst.html
Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:05 pm
Does your stone get surface scratches on it? (They appear to be more aesthetic than not)
Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:36 pm
The coarser natural stones (Arato) like the Kyushu Ohmura, Hirashima and Amakusa should be flattened as they are softer stones and will dish more quickly. Aoto, Monzen aoto (another type of aoto), should also be flattened but less frequently, depending on usage. Igarashi and Binsui , middle grit stones or Nakado, even less often.
The harder polishing stones will get flattened even less often. For the very hard polishing stones, I would personally start off with a fine Atoma diamond plate (1200 grit) for polishing plus texturizing the surface. These stones wear very slowly and flattening them with a coarse diamond plate wears them unnecessarily. For more irregular stones (eg Koppa) you might also want to bevel the edges of the stone. For this I use smaller pieces of Atoma (140 or 400) mounted on granite (shipping out to Mark today, btw).
You can use the 1200 Atoma to generate a bit of slurry on the stone or alternatively use a small piece of the same stone you are using as a slurry stone to generate an even finer slurry. This is something I often do. The natural stones I cut for the EdgePro work well for this usage and are backed by aluminum, making them less delicate and likely to break. Using a stone that is the same as the stone you are sharpening or honing with is a type of nagura, specifically referred to as a tomonagura.
The hardest of polishers seldom require flattening because they wear so slowly. Just using them evenly seems to take care of the problem for a long time between flattenings. Here the tomonagura often acts to level things out adequately and does a superb job of both generating slurry and conditioning the surface optimally.
I often have pieces of tomonagura for various stones so just send me a PM if you want to get one. These can also be used as finger stones too (yet another topic).
Wed May 02, 2012 6:45 pm
Mark and Ken - thanks for your help here.
Next question - what's the difference between the DMT and Atoma plates? I see the 1200 grit version of the DMT is ~$100 less than the Atoma - what benefits would I get from the additional investment for the Atoma?
Thu May 03, 2012 1:15 am
The Atoma has what I call structured abrasives. They aren't just spread around the plate, but the diamonds are placed in a precise pattern. It cuts a lot faster and leaves a cleaner scratch pattern. If you use it for flattening, you'll notice there is no stiction with the Atoma plate. The DMT has a tendency to stick.
If solely used for flattening, the cost is hardly justifiable imo. But when you use it for sharpening too, I strongly suggest the Atoma.
Fri May 04, 2012 11:49 pm
Actually, the 1200 Atoma is particularly good for texturizing the surface of the stone and raising slurry without dealing with the stiction problem. As you go to finer and finer flattening plates, the stiction issue becomes more severe.
When you use an Atoma 1200 for texturizing the surface of a natural stone (or the 1200 DMT) do be sure to 'break in' the plate before using the resultant slurry from lapping the stone as there may be a stray 1200 grit diamond particle mixed into the slurry that can cause scratcheing. Once the plate is broken in this is a minimal problem.
Sat May 05, 2012 12:27 pm
We got the small sized atoma plates in on Friday but haven't got them on the site yet. I should have them up on Monday. They're nice for creating a slurry on naturals.
Thu May 17, 2012 4:03 pm
All stones should be flattened prior to first use and as needed from there. JMO
Thu May 24, 2012 11:57 pm
This may be a bit esoteric, but there are instances where you do NOT want a stone to be flattened. This is an issue that comes up with sword polishers, who want a CURVED surface to some of their stones. Now each sword polisher will SHAPE his own curve (convex, not concave) to his tastes. For this reason, flattening the stone will waste a valuable rare stone. I have one such stone, a Marukei, of a particularly rare uchigumori (At last count there are 9 of these left on the planet). It is left in an unfinished state for precisely this reason. A customer must be approved to purchase this stone who is a properly qualified sword polisher for me to be allowed to sell it to them. Just sayin' .
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