Ikarashi and then what? A polishing and sharpening question

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SolidSnake03

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Hey All,

So wanted to reach out about this since it’s a bit outside my wheelhouse. I mostly know non Japanese natural stones like Belgian Blues, Coticule, all types of Arks and Washita etc… recently I picked up a giant Ikarashi and am loving it. The finish that I’m getting off it on iron cladding is excellent, nice contrast, no stray scratches, not a too grabby/coarse finish, very consistent light scratch pattern. Also the edge off this is very nice, could use a little more refinement but it’s also still amazingly good on its own.


My problem is where do I go from here? I want to further polish the core steel and further improve the finish, smaller scratches/remove scratches etc… but I’m not sure what a good next stone would be? I’m thinking Jnats as I’m having a good time with this one and wouldn’t mind adding another one or two.

So…where do I go next?
 
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A logical next step from an ikarashi would be a softer Kyoto-area stone IMO. Something like a Maruoyama or other friendly suita, softer iromono / akapin, etc. lots of options really. Uchigumori would also fit the bill, but I think there are better value options for San mai out there. A good mikawa nagura could also work, but they're different stones with different strengths than your classic honyama stuff based on my experience.
 
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SolidSnake03

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Thanks for those great suggestions! Any advice on where to find them? Don’t see to many out there and what I’ve seen is really expense. I’m cool with a $100-300 or so but don’t know if I’m looking in the wrong places or if these are just that expensive? At least in the past when I’ve come upon a few
 
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Being patient and waiting for the right thing to pop up on BST is your best bet for finding polishing bargains... Japanese polishers are expensive. If you think about them in terms of fineness, usability (shape, size, etc.), & cleanliness (no toxic lines or nasty su) - you'd be lucky to get 1 of those three in the sub $200 range. For $200-400 you can expect 2 out of three, and if you want something clean, rectangular, full-size, fine, and soft enough to be usable on kitchen knives you're likely to find your wallet is much much lighter than you expected. It's definitely possible to find what you're looking for though. I'll see if I have anything on hand sometime this week and PM you. I'll also check in with some of the shops I buy from in Japan and see if they have any good-sized koppa in this range.

@ared715,@musicman980 or, of course, @refcast may also have something that could suit you.
 

SolidSnake03

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Thanks so much for looking into that and anything that you send my way. I’ll keep an eye out for that pm.

Yeah I figured that might be the case regarding pricing and what I could get for that amount. Definitely am not expecting a nice giant brick like my Ikarashi haha. If it ends up being an odd shape or size that’s cool by me as long as its clean. ;)

Jnats is one of those rabbit holes that I just know will eat a hole in my wallet too. That said I’m pretty well set on any diamonds you can think of as well as synthetics and arks, European natural stones/slates and more so this is the next frontier for me to explore.
 

SolidSnake03

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Someone needs to go through their stone hoard and give @SolidSnake03 a sweet deal. He's got a lot of built up karma in the good deals space (even if I'm never quick enough to take advantage of them)!

If I had a sweet stone hoard, I'd do it, but alas I just have my humble half dozen. :)
Too kind! I mean I’ll take any good will I can get hahah. But that said, nobody owes me a good deal, I just do it because I like you all and it makes me happy. ;)
 
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That iromono Ohira tomae is soft and fast with lots of contrast 5-8k, could make an offer here




Thanks! Any recommendations for what words to look for? Seeing a lot of Nakayama koppa type stones but I don’t know if that is near Tokyo….

Maybe that sounds dumb haha
 
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Nakayama is a mine. Roughly Yama = mine, so if you see Ohirayama, Maruoyama, etc. that's a mine name. Unless is Sho(u)honyama or honyama which just indicates its mined in the area around Kyoto, which is where most of the usual suspects on the finer end of the Japanese stone spectrum come from. I've found Ikkyu's suita hit and mostly miss, which mirrors the experience of a couple other users here I believe. That said, their prices tend to be a bit lower
 
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Shiro nagura is one of my favorite stones
 
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Kuro nagura is more coarse, but the finish isn’t as nice soft stone when re-hydrated and top layer taken off around 3k grit
 
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More tomae all with proofs, 5-8k soft fast easy to use high contrast
 
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The man has some of the best stones around, but he also likes thicc bricks which means $$$$ (worth it totally if they’re in your wheelhouse)

This is very true.... he carries some hardcore premium stuff

But he also has helped me with some "budget" stones that perform amazingly

Keep in mind Jnats Will be more expensive!
 
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