Honing on Jnats


Learning to Hone on Jnats. 

It’s easier than you might think. 

People always ask – ‘how many laps?” – ‘how do you know when to move from one Nagura to another?’ – and other similar questions. 

Well – these questions are normal I think; and since there is no rule book or stroke count to share I put together a fairly simple honing process that worked for me early on, and has worked for everyone I’ve shared it with since then. 

Most people moving to the lighter side have been using synthetic stones of some type. So I begin with an edge that has had it’s bevel set and refined somewhat on that system. 

First – get the bevel set correctly, and then refine the edge to about the 5k or 8k level.   

Then - make a bit of botan slurry and start honing. Hone until you think your done and then hone some more. Don't let the slurry get muddy or too thick - keep it wet. Do not dilute the slurry; you just want to keep it wet, not sticky.  

Keep honing until it hurts and you're sick of it. Then hone some more. When you absolutely can't stand honing on it any longer - hone some more. Around this time, you'll probably be 'done' with the Botan slurry and you can strop and shave. 

You should be able to get a fairly decent WTG pass and possibly a bit more.  

If you got that decent WTG - you're good to go to the next step.  

If you did not get that decent WTG shave - then do the Botan process over again and possibly again until you do get that decent WTG pass.  

When you've passed the Botan test; go back to the synths and get the blade to 5-8k again.

Do the Botan shuffle again but follow with Tenjyou slurry and work it like you worked the Botan. Then strop and shave. 

When, with Tenjyou slurry, you can get the edge past what you had with Botan (keener/smoother) you have passed the Tenjyou test.  

If you have not passed the Tenjyou test – repeat the process and work it harder/longer. 

If you have passed the Tenjyou test - bring Mejiro slurry into the process. When your edge passes the Mejiro test, repeat everything and follow through to Tomo slurry.  

At this point  - your edges should probably be laser razor sharp and smooth and you have learned the process well enough to do it again consistently. You’ll also be able to see where you can do less or more work in one area. Additionally - you should be able to see how moving straight from a bevel-set on a 1k synthetic to Botan slurry on a Jnat can be done.

© Keith V Johnson 2014 - 2018