Before getting your first Jnat it is essential to first own some basic knowledge of razor honing and understanding of the sharpening progression! Jnats are fascinating stones if used properly, but won’t be able to compensate for the lack of honing skills!
The Diamond Plate
A very important tool to have in possession before getting your first Jnat is the diamond plate. This tool is necessary to maintain all your stones lapped (natural or artificial), ready for honing and with a perfectly flat surface. Lap your stones before each honing session! Click here to see why is important to lap the stone each time after using tomo nagura.
Another use of the diamond plate is to create the slurry.
All the stones sold in this store will perform at the described level only with diamond plate slurry. The use of tomo nagura can be optional if you have a quality diamond plate.
If you need my recommendation then get the Atoma 400 or 600. It can be used to lap all kind of stones and to build slurry.
New diamond plates might have uneven or oversized diamonds that can leave scratches on the surface of the lapped stone. Break-in your new diamond plate by rubbing a piece of metal on the entire surface of the diamond plate. This will remove loose diamonds and even the tips of those oversized diamonds that are scratching the stone. Then wash it well and its ready to lap. This is how I do it.
The natural finishing stones for razors sold in this store are the ones with fineness levels starting from 5, and are referred as "Super finishers". These Super finishers are meant to be use in two ways:
- as a final finisher in a honing progression
- to maintain and refresh the edge of the razor each time the shaving becomes uncomfortable and pulls hair. How often will be necessary to refresh the razor? This mainly depends on the steel type and it’s edge retention. Other factors could be the leather strop, the stropping technique, thickness of beard, etc…
A straight razor can be maintained shave ready for years using only the Jnat and the diamond plate. There is no need to use lower grit stones if the edge is not chipped or rounded by incorrect stropping.
The use of tomo nagura can be optional if you have a quality diamond plate. But it can be used to add a bit of refinement to the edge after you’re already finished the edge with the diamond plate slurry.
Super finishers bought from this store will come with a small matching tomo nagura. The tomo is matching the base-stone in finesse. The hardness can be similar or slightly harder to have an even or a higher percentage of tomo/base-stone particles.
At a higher hardness levels using tomo can be challenging to build slurry especially for beginners. Two hard, fine and perfectly flat surfaces with a layer of water in between will easily glide without any friction. The best way to build slurry in this case is by raising the tomo at an angle and slowly increase the pressure until you feel is building slurry. Don’t press harder than necessary or it will scratch the base-stone.
Here is an example on how to build slurry with a very hard tomo on a very hard base
Finishing and refreshing a razor with a Jnat
Find out more about Japanese Natural Stones and razor history at historyrazors.wordpress.com. It is the only place I can recommend and it has the most accurate informations available online.