Sunday, December 29, 2013

Toishi envy....

The pile of kanna parts and pieces was really getting in the way, time to finish up some more tool rehab and rehabilitation...

Wow! Seeing these in a pile makes me think.... I don't know what it makes me think.... I DO need to make a tool rack, that's for sure! The tool R&R was mostly just blade repair, dai adjustment and fitting, correcting warpage. The usual round of tasks that are required for most of my Ebay purchases. These were all beaters.....clean and functional now.

Speaking of Ebay....I have heard that most of the Japanese tools are overpriced, non-functional items that no one in Japan wants. The good stuff stays in country and is bought and sold elsewhere, cause it ain't on "the bay". Where is it? The good stuff?

It's at Yahoo auctions, Japan. I am SO envious! REALLY good stuff (like I've NEVER seen on Ebay!) and about 1/3 the U.S. prices..... It looks like most sellers won't ship international.....*sigh*... speaking of envy...

Tanaka Kiyoto, my Toishi hero, has been trying out some newly mined stones.

From the blog "Perspective of guitar production house", craftsman Tanaka Kiyoto.
Nao natural whetstone is operated by a really great sounding guy who is bringing some REALLY nice stones to public attention. He is digging them from the parent stone, cutting them to size, testing (using some very impressive kanna blades!) the performance on a variety of tools, and writing about his findings. Reading his blog and follower comments makes me realize how little I know about Toishi and how they are properly used. It IS good to know that other people have the same affliction, of wanting to sharpen things just for the pleasure of sharpening. I need to learn if there is an actual word or phase for this.... maybe there is a support group?

What Nao natural whetstone has is native rock...... nice stuff. What I've got..... Remember the picture at the top? The white thing in the background... that was either a doorstop or a piece of rubble from the old stairway to our house, I can't remember which. I tripped over it for about the 100th time, then thought "What the heck....".

Crunchy quartz

Smooth quartz

"Use what ya brung". I know. Too hard. Doesn't release grit. Too scratchy.... Yep, all of the above. I'm starting to feel as though my day isn't complete without firing up the diamond wheel grinder. I cut and smoothed 2 sides to 1200 grit, just to see if there was any difference in the grain orientation. If that was, it was not too significant.

This was about 30 seconds work, beginning with a diamond nagura slurry. It did something..

Much better. This was 15 second, maybe, using the ODC nagura. 2000 grit or so.

This thing actually worked to a degree. I will use it a bit more to see how much of the abrasive action was due to the surface profile left by the diamond plate and how much was the actual stone itself. It seems to be a somewhat slower mid-range stone, around 2000 grit, but with a very consistent and shallow scratch pattern. The finish is more akin to a sandpaper finish, rather harsh and reflective, but also easily erased by a higher grit stone. The ODC nagura helped the stone produce a nice creamy slurry that cushioned the feel considerably and made for a tolerably smooth feel. I was quite surprised, so much so that I had to double/triple check, then compared the resulting finish to......

My green "Ink" stone. It took about 30 seconds to erase the quartz scratches. Hazy mirror.

Ozuku asagi, 30 seconds more and full mirror on steel.

This was totally for fun, I was expecting NO success at all. What I found was a pretty big surprise. Not world class, by any means, but.... interesting. I tried: straight water (slow, a bit rubbery, some "grabbing the earth/stiction"), diamond nagura (smoother, much faster), ODC #3 (coarse crunchy grit, thicker creamy slurry, fastest), diamond again, water again, ODC#1 (smooth nagura, thinner slurry, better feedback, slurry degraded too fast).

Then: "Ink" stone, Ozuku, quartz w/ODC#1.... Ozuku, quartz W/ODC#3, Ozuku finish.

Back and forth quite a few times, but the scratches are really easy to erase. The stone may have "mellowed" in use, we'll see. Very hard. Rather slow. Might be good for flattening ura's?

Interesting yard rock. Not anything like Nao natural whetstones, though. His Wakasa waterstones make my heart go all a'flutter. Check out his blog to see some of the shavings he pulls.... beautiful smoky mirror finishes, WAY cool ren-tetsu iron kanna blades..... My eyes are green....

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Like all of us, I am figuring this out as I go, so when you see something that is incorrect or flat out wrong (and you will!), let me know. This is a learning process. Real people and names, please. Constructive comments and questions are very welcome, but hate speak/politics are not! Life (get one!) is too short.

Thanks, Jason