Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:02 am
My customer wrote this question. I am paraphrasing.
I own an Aoto from Ken and a Ohira Asagi. I was wondering what you might recommend that would work as a tweener stone? I was thinking about the Atago or the Yaginoshima but would consider others as well. Any thoughts?
Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:43 pm
I don't know if any of you guys have this experience but when I go to the grocery store I try and use my warped analytical skills to buy stuff. So I'll stare at the cans of tomatos for 10 minutes trying to "compute" what is the best deal based on all these criteria that doesn't relate to taste like cost, weight, pretty picture on the box etc. Fortunately, Sue usually rescues me and walks up a grabs a can and drags me away. Trying to give stone recommendations for naturals reminds me of this, especially when a customer asks me what would be a good progression like the above question when I've never tried the 2 stones he has. It's a pickle. Synthetics are much more straightforward since they are repeatable commodities. I also never really use natural progressions and usually just use a finisher after I've worked with synthetics on lower grits.
Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:19 pm
Well ........... Aotos and Ohira Asagis each have a range of hardness and fineness, but it may not be too far off to assume a midpoint range which should be fairly reasonable to allow transit from one to the other. Otherwise any JNS Users (other than the highly experienced ones) would be tossing lots of money at potential JNS which could be terrible choices. I suspect that happens quite a bit, and that potential surely delayed my venture into JNS many years.
In this case, Yaginoshima Asagi seems a very 'safe' gamble, especially given CKTG flexibility for brief trial usage. Atago Middle Quality remains of interest in terms of a bit more detail re. origin and characteristics on some blades. Focus is double-bevel (mostly carbon) which should narrow likely possibilities.
Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:36 pm
I find Naturals to be like Wine--you can describe and make educated guesses about it, but you can't know what it is like until you consume some of it.
The problem is this: a Natural stone progression(beyond coarse->fine->done) is not like asking for "A Red to go with Steak". It's like saying "I need a Pinot Noir to follow a heavy Beaujolais for a dinner party, but it has to pair well with Lemongrass Shrimp". The answer will be different depending on each individual you ask; the right answer is that you should try as many as you can and decide which you like best; the most common solution is to not bother.
Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:56 am
Interesting analogy and sets a realistic, but perhaps imposing, tone for new JNS collectors. In this context, even with a fair sense of wine selection, the sommelier is a valued resource when choosing from a 'short list' of personal interest. He/she is of little value if they simply offer a thick book/list and shrug their shoulders.
I will avoid being too picky here, since Yaginoshima Asagi has already been raised as a sound candidate. Agree that acquiring it now, with expectation to add another (possibly Atago Middle Quality), is the only way to learn and grow. Maybe I'm asking too much to know which to get first, although my JNS sommelier made his preference quite clear.
The solution needs to be harder/finer than my Aoto and softer/coarser than Ohira Asagi. Currently only one nagura for the Asagi and maybe a couple others will enhance its utility.
Thanks for the comment. Please add any possibilities to help winnow the immediate choices down.
Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:00 am
I think it is appropriately daunting, because it is better to get the message that you are out of your depth BEFORE you spend the money. Just like you said, having an expert help you is critical, and your task is to simply learn enough to communicate what you like.
The good news is, you don't drink a stone in a night. Once you buy one, you won't wear it out(unless you are part of <.01% of the population).
Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:38 am
Ha ! I have definitely 'adjusted' my small wine collection since retiring from HP. Some of my friends and contacts have staggering stocks which I envy greatly.
I just noted additions made to CKTG's Atago JNS description (from Imanishi-san) and must now consider it seriously. In tune with your post, no doubt either new JNS will help a great deal by giving me hands on comparisons with the two I now use.
Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:49 pm
I've been goofing around with my ohira and using it as a substrate and using these little slurry stones I've been accumulating to work through a progression. It works really well. I just take the ohira and get it wet, rub a 500 grit slurry stone on it and sharpen with that slurry. Then I rinse the stone off and repeat using a 1K, 3K etc. Finally my last stone is the ohira with no additions. It's a fun way to use the stone. I should do a little video on this to demonstrate.
Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:22 pm
Good to hear this approach and your success with it. I have a specific approach with JNS (good/ bad/ indifferent) in which I choose to use only JNS in those sessions. An intriguing path for me will be to use tomo nagura with Ohira Asagi (possibly other nagura) to accomplish a similar result. Likely, if the Yaginoshima Asagi is added, I will use tomo nagura for it as well. This is not to negate or critique the use of synthetic nagura, just my personal preference for JNS sessions.
Thanks and regards,
Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:11 am
Really need to hear more solid input on Atago Medium Quality JNS ... OR ... at least more on Atagoyama JNS and important characteristics. I noted several for sale on other sites and fairly high prices ... but these are also Atagoyama Suita and Kiita. I have no clue what 'medium quality' suggests when trying to compare this stone. Any experienced user comment will be very useful. The '2K' descriptor is of most concern as that will not complement my Aoto. Please help if you can.
BTW .... original post was off target
in the sense that I'm not so much trying to fit a 'tweener' in between two existing JNS as to find a reasonable finisher a step above the Aoto. My Ohira Asagi is way too hard and fine to use directly after Aoto. Maybe I can improve this situation through use of tomo nagura or other materials. I really do not know which path is better ..... new middle grit/hardness JNS, or working with the Ohira Asagi to work better with Aoto scratch patterns.
Last edited by doubtingtom37
on Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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