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Thread: New japanese natural stone Shobu

  1. #21
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    I wonder if sometimes these sellers are looking at the side of stone figuring that there is a karasu layer in there somewhere. I have seen them for sale like that before, but I don't know. I would not consider one faint black spot a Karasu either, but some do. I also see a some listed as phantom Karasu and I really can't see the phantom pattern either.
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  2. #22
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Shoubu patterning looks like a quilt in wood terms. I wonder if they call it karasu because they just don't have a term for it, but they don't want to say that it's plain. Of course, if something is perfectly even in color with no variation at all, depending on what it is, that can be worth a lot, too.

    Maybe they're afraid of the term "blah". It's "blah" pattern.

    I like the shoubu pattern, though it's not karasu, the quilt look is interesting. I've seen it in less fine ozuku stones, which I know most people don't see much of, but I had one from aoki that was gray and he said it was for tools. I thought I was going to get a razor stone for a steal, but it turned out he was exactly correct. It had that pattern, and it turned out to be a wonderful practical tool stone - the kind where you can sit down on a bench to cut a few rows of half blind dovetails and do nothing other than rub your chisel on the finish stone from time to time.

  3. #23
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    Thanks Steve, one of the Shobu Karasu's on Takeshi's site is mine. It has stayed on the site as out of stock. It's easy to differentiate as mine is 1104 grams. You will see its hardness is at 8.8 and particles size at 9, so its as you mentioned a hard stone. I bought all three from him, and I've only had good edges thus far, and that will improve as my skills in using them improves. The Karasu thing isn't an issue for me, but it's hardness and particle size does, as that is what gets me good finishing. thing is with all three of the stones I asked for hard finishers, and that's what I got. he tested them with razors personally, and the guarantee of if its' not what you want, then money back is hard to beat. True these three stones are not bargain basement stones. The Karasu was the smallest, and it's 210 x 78 x 28-30 at 1104 grams. The other two are double side and the Ozuku is 1.6 kg and 212 x 80 x 38, so with two sides and size like that I am getting a lot of stone for the money. But if they aren't good razor hones size means nothing.
    I wanted to be clear though, that the vendor in this case, gave me every option to return any of these stones if I wasn't happy, he even tested two different razors on each of them to be certain they were what I was asking for. I'm not saying that to soothe my ego for making an error in the purchase, I just remember back to buying a 8 x 3 inch select grade Coticule for $400 USD and I couldn't get any edge at all from it or the other three I ended up buying and getting nowhere with, so to get good edges off stones I only tried two or three times, suggests that with use they will only improve.

  4. #24
    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobski View Post
    I at first thought the Ozuku was the harder, and the Shobu the softer. Well, I now firmly believe the Wakasa is the hardest.
    Just to throw a spanner in the works, your test may not be related to hardness at all. It could simply mean the Wakasa has less cutting strength.
    “The white gleam of swords, not the black ink of books, clears doubts and uncertainties and bleak outlooks.”

  5. #25
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobski View Post
    Thanks Steve, one of the Shobu Karasu's on Takeshi's site is mine. It has stayed on the site as out of stock. It's easy to differentiate as mine is 1104 grams. You will see its hardness is at 8.8 and particles size at 9, so its as you mentioned a hard stone. I bought all three from him, and I've only had good edges thus far, and that will improve as my skills in using them improves. The Karasu thing isn't an issue for me, but it's hardness and particle size does, as that is what gets me good finishing. thing is with all three of the stones I asked for hard finishers, and that's what I got. he tested them with razors personally, and the guarantee of if its' not what you want, then money back is hard to beat. True these three stones are not bargain basement stones. The Karasu was the smallest, and it's 210 x 78 x 28-30 at 1104 grams. The other two are double side and the Ozuku is 1.6 kg and 212 x 80 x 38, so with two sides and size like that I am getting a lot of stone for the money. But if they aren't good razor hones size means nothing.
    I wanted to be clear though, that the vendor in this case, gave me every option to return any of these stones if I wasn't happy, he even tested two different razors on each of them to be certain they were what I was asking for. I'm not saying that to soothe my ego for making an error in the purchase, I just remember back to buying a 8 x 3 inch select grade Coticule for $400 USD and I couldn't get any edge at all from it or the other three I ended up buying and getting nowhere with, so to get good edges off stones I only tried two or three times, suggests that with use they will only improve.
    Tamamoku is a good description more than Karasu (not trying to beat a dead horse, I think you paid a fair market price for the stone regardless of pattern, so it's not important what it says it is). It looks like a good stone, and anything that aoki calls particle 9 will finish a razor quite well as long as it's not billowy soft (which it isn't). Plus your stone has a nice shape. At any rate, tamamoku is a good description, and given that it came from Aoki in the first place, there's really no question that I've ever seen of whether or not you're getting what you pay for. Aoki is very fair and honest in what I've gotten. I think I bought three stones from him just to get a handle on what his hardness and fineness numbers equate to. Sort of an expensive way to answer a question that I really didn't need the answer to.

    And you are 100% correct, it is going to be miles ahead of just about every coticule on the planet (I have had one coticule that was incredibly fine, but a lot that turned out to be less fine and require a whole lot more touch than the seller disclosed). You're going to get a shaving edge with your stone pretty much if you rub the razor on it, even if you use pressure by accident. Touch will just make it even better.
    Last edited by DaveW; 07-12-2017 at 04:42 PM.

  6. #26
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    It's touch I now need to develop, as all three are different propositions. But the good thing is I haven't had one razor that's turned out bad. I've gotten three pass shaves off all my attempts so far, and if a razor works against the grain it has to be reasonably sharp. I used the Wakasa last night on a 7/8 TI, and used super light strokes for a good five minutes on a hint of slurry, and had an against the grain shave that was fine. So, I'm travelling today to see my kids and grandkids, so I won't have my jnats to play with, for four days......withdrawals. Oh I do have a barber hone sized cnat riverstone, In my wet pack if things get tough....lol
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  7. #27
    Senior Member Steve56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobski View Post
    It's touch I now need to develop, as all three are different propositions. But the good thing is I haven't had one razor that's turned out bad. I've gotten three pass shaves off all my attempts so far, and if a razor works against the grain it has to be reasonably sharp. I used the Wakasa last night on a 7/8 TI, and used super light strokes for a good five minutes on a hint of slurry, and had an against the grain shave that was fine. So, I'm travelling today to see my kids and grandkids, so I won't have my jnats to play with, for four days......withdrawals. Oh I do have a barber hone sized cnat riverstone, In my wet pack if things get tough....lol
    You do know that traveler jnat hones are wonderful thing to explore. My current fave is a Shobu Type 100 from Alex.

    Cheers, Steve

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