Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sellers review

Jason asked for more detail on the new cheap stone I got.

Your wishes are order dear readers. I will also review my new hammer buying experience at samurai pro shop.

First, the hammer:

I love the skin from the forge.

And the subtle variations it has.

But what I love most, is the finish near the sticking surfaces. Beautiful details.

This are the details of the guy who answered my mail.

Hitoshi Yoshino.
1469-3 Saijyou
Saitama 361-0005

He's really a kind person. We sent about 20 mails to each other. This is the hammer I got: NO.G12 Hisikan hiiro Square hammer 40匁 1pc JPY3.250 With shipping and handling, it came to 36 euros or 10 cappuccinos from tribeka. I'm looking forward to get another one.

Oh, and I realised I needed a square japanese hammer when looking on of David Barron's videos. It was pure lust.

Now the stone, together with ruler and Charnley Forest. (Does anyone know what do they put in the wood? Is black and smells bad, under it is the wood. Looks like teak)

The japanese stone came rough.  Spent around 1 minute in my 240 diamond stone and it was kinda ok. Then 600, and I gave it a go.

It's not so thick, but who cares. For less than 15 euros included shipping.

The surface with a bit of water:

Now, Jason asked if this was a hard stone. The answer is, I don't know. My experience with japanese stones is quite limited. I bought last year this one from dictum

That one was really hard, difficult to use, or I was too stupid. It's anyway in Chile so I cannot compare.

This is the slurry it makes after 30 seconds or so on the back side of the chisel.

It doesn't cut that much. But when you go to the soft iron, is a complete different story. It leaves immediately a black stripe of iron.

I tried with my japanese kitchen knife (more on that later) and I could shave as never before. A different kind of sharpness.

About the seller, 330mate, there is no much to say. The guy is quite professional and focused on business. He answers promptly and ships fast. I like the prices he has, and must probably, I will get a bigger stone before next year. In particular, I've been looking at this one. Maybe I also get other small ones, this is the "hard", he also has a "soft".  They make beautiful paper weights anyway.

In case you ask yourself, I glued the stone to the wood with "Moltofill", this paste that comes in a tube to fix the holes in your wall. I had it, so I tried. It hasn't break.

Hope this answers some of your questions Jason. I feel a bit dumb describing stones... there are so many subtle differences that I don't know yet how to explain. But I like the experience, I can see why people spend shits loads of money on them. There is a certain dance between the steel and the stone, it's nice to be there to see it happen.

Edit: Pictures with slurry form the 600 diamond stone


  1. Thanks for the details...... And that genno is excellent!!

    What a bargain! A hand forged tool for around $50usd seems like some kind of crime. So inexpensive! And it looks great, too.

    The 330mate stone chunks seem like a good way to try out some different types of sharpening stone. You certainly can't beat the price! I've thought about buying a bunch of the 500g stones to play with, but I seem to have slaked my stone buying thirst (temporarily?).

    This stones look pretty hard to me. Have you tried making a bit of slurry, using your diamond stone, before starting? I find the hard stones don't work correctly without a slight amount of slurry to cushion the blade. The swarf produced in your last photo looks to be VERY fine grit! It will be fun learning how to use this guy.

    1. not yet. A 600 is good enough? the 1000 has oil on it.

      The other japanese I have in Chile is from that kind. I was making the slurry with a ceramic 3000 I have there, but anyway the results were poor.

      I guess it's really fine grit. I forgot to say that cuts faster than the belgian stone and leaves a nicer feeling, mostly in the knife. I also like the way it soaks water, it's like a sponge.

      I guess next month I get one or a few more, after december I don't want to ship anything else to Austria since we will be moving soon.

    2. That's a great size stone for chisels. Small and hard, and the slurry looks nice, too. Just a bit, but not too much. It looks like you are getting nearly a mirror finish on the hagane. A very fine finisher!

      For the diamond nagura, I just take a light swipe or two with whatever is closest to hand. There would be some ideal choices probably, but I think that anything over #400 grit would be just fine. Some of my hardest stones don't really do anything without a tiny amount of slurry to get things started. The tool will slide around, floating on a bed of water, until you catch an edge and dig in. Oops! Scratch! Crap!

      Use a nagura of some sort, and it's a different story (stone). Then, you might have the finest control, and be able to focus your efforts on just the *very* edge of the blade. It's a funny thing, lots of interesting physics (you could model it!!).

      Sorry for all of the questions, but is it your other stone (from fine-tools) that soaks up the water? This stone looks very hard, and nearly impermeable.