Watching the Shigefusa family sharpen in Maksim's videos was the single best lesson in how to get a perfect Kasumi finish on wide/single bevel knives that I have ever gotten. Replicating their formula and progression of stones (Starting with Shaptons to level out the geometry, and then using the JNS synthetic Red Aoto, JNS 6K, decent J-Nat, and hand work with finger stones and powders.) just works
I sorta recall that Maksim might have brought that natural Coti/BBW combo stone with him for Iizuka San to try, but could be wrong. Stones that special, in that size were just starting to evaporate when I first got into Belgian stones... Part of me is still kicking myself for not jumping on some of the things I used to see coming up for sale back then...
One of those videos from Maksim when he spent some time with Shigefusa, is where I got the idea to try my Shapton Pro 1K for thinning work. At the time I was reading about people using really muddy/soft coarse and medium grit stones, which didn't quite jive with my experience with these stones, which was that they seemed to hide holes in the grind, if not even dig them deeper, and erode the shinogi line. Then I tried using hard/non-muddy stones for the initial grinding work, after seeing that video, followed by the finer stones that could still create the contrast... Then it clicked.
Thanks for posting the screenshot, @Choppin
. Brought back good memories, from when Dave Martell was still running the forum, Maksim Envoldson was a regular poster, and Salty was doing stuff like this: