Japanese Woodworking Forums Forum Index Japanese Woodworking Forums
Presented by www.japanesetools.com
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Natural stone Mystery
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Japanese Woodworking Forums Forum Index -> Tool Sharpening
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Peter Cowick



Joined: 15 Jul 2004
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:33 pm    Post subject: Natural stone Mystery Reply with quote

So,

As a matter of book keeping and keeping things in some better order, I will contiue the questions about natural stones in this section.

I inquired about the different layers containing different stones after reading somewhere that stones that are shallower in a mine are softer and those that are deeper have withstood more preassure and are harder. Is that generally true?

Of the layers I mentioned you indicated that the shallowest layers are the hachimai on top then the sen mai then the tomae and aisa, namito and hon suita. The hon suita is the deepest in the mines or do I have the order of depth backwards?

In a seperate email to me you mentioned that in addition to Hon Suita there is a layer named tenjyo suita that is really shallow and below the hon suita there is a layer named shiro suita. Do the same kind of stones come from all these different suita layers? What kind of stones come from each layer? Are there hard suita and soft suita?

When I asked you about different stones that come from each layer, what I meant was, for instance there is a nishiji suita and a renge suita. Are there more different kinds of suita stones?

Peter
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Peter Cowick



Joined: 15 Jul 2004
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:12 am    Post subject: Natural Stone Mystery Reply with quote

So,

Please forgive me for not doing my homework before asking my question. Since the last post, a great friend and scholarly fellow has sent me a chart depicting the three forms of mountain geology (Ai ishi naori/Chuu ishi naori/ hon kuchi naori). Now I understand the difference in the layering of the mountains in different areas.

You had emailed me that the mines around Mt. Atago, the west (nishimono) and east (higashi mono) were of the hon kuchi naori type with the various layers ranging from shallowest to deepest as, aka pin, tenjyo suita, hachimai, senmai, tomae, ai, namito, hon suita and finally shiro suita. Is it true that the hon ishi naori stones are much stronger cutting action than other formations?

The higashi (eastern) mines were Narutaki mukaida, Nakayama, Okudo, Ouzuku and Shobu. Are there others in this group?

The nishi (western) mines were Ohira, Mizukihara, Shinden, Okudomon and Hatou. Are there others in this group?

You have said that the stratum in the Ai ishi naori are Honshiro, nakashiro, tenjyo tomae, naka tomae and shiki tomae. Which mines have the Ai ishi naori form. Tomonori Nakaoka (mifuqwai) has said that the stones from the ai ishi naori are more homoginous in appearance, but do not cut as well as those from the hon kuchi naori. Is that generally correct?

Which mines have the Chu ishi naori form? The chu ishi naori is the one with the ball form where everything is in one layer. Are there natural stone quarries in mountainsthat have this form?

Since the Hon kuchi naori has several different layers or stratum (Sou), what type stones come from the Tenjyo suita layer, the Hon suita layer, and the Shiro suita layer? Are the suita in the upper layer softer and the bottom suita layer, shiro suita, harder? Is the Tenjyo suita layer the Tenjyo nagura we have seen?

What are the differences or charactoristics that make the three suita layers in the ai ishi naori (tenjyo (ceiling) suita, naka(middle) suita and shiki (floor) suita)? What stones come from those layers?

Peter
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
soatoz



Joined: 30 May 2007
Posts: 23
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:10 am    Post subject: Re: Natural stone Mystery Reply with quote

Hi Peter,

Sorry for my short answers regarding individual questions, but larger scale description will be found in the article I am working on now. I will upload it to my site, and get back to you with the URL when it's done! So, please stay tuned.

Quote:
I inquired about the different layers containing different stones after reading somewhere that stones that are shallower in a mine are softer and those that are deeper have withstood more preassure and are harder. Is that generally true?


Yes!

Quote:
Of the layers I mentioned you indicated that the shallowest layers are the hachimai on top then the sen mai then the tomae and aisa, namito and hon suita. The hon suita is the deepest in the mines or do I have the order of depth backwards?


No, Hachimai shallowest, and Hon Suita deepest.

Quote:
In a seperate email to me you mentioned that in addition to Hon Suita there is a layer named tenjyo suita that is really shallow and below the hon suita there is a layer named shiro suita. Do the same kind of stones come from all these different suita layers?


Yes, in a broad sense, that they all have Su in them, and generally have higher cutting strength. But each of 3 Suita stratum has it's own characteristics. But basically you won't be able to find any Shiro-Suita except for really soft ones that are basically useless. If you spot any Shiro-Suita from famous quarries sold, and if it's not super dooper expensive I'd consider it non genuine.

Quote:
What kind of stones come from each layer?


The name of the stone is the name of the layer. It's like French wine, if you are familiar, where the name of the town (the origin) is the wine's name. So stones from Hon-Suita layer is called Hon-Suita.

Quote:
Are there hard suita and soft suita?


Yes! Definitely!!!!

Quote:
When I asked you about different stones that come from each layer, what I meant was, for instance there is a nishiji suita and a renge suita. Are there more different kinds of suita stones?


Oh, I see.

Nashi-ji means the stone has dots that look like pear's skin, which has higher cutting strength. As you might know and probably like(?) nashi refers to Japanese pears(^^) Hahaha.

Renge means lotus flower, which refers to the lotus flower like patter which is often pink to purplish beautiful colour, again that has higher cutting strength. Renge is somehow only found in Suita stones.

These are just expressions of the character of the stone rather than a categorized term. So there are Nakayama Nashiji and Okudo Nashiji, etc.


So


Last edited by soatoz on Sat Jun 16, 2007 4:14 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
soatoz



Joined: 30 May 2007
Posts: 23
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 3:55 am    Post subject: Re: Natural Stone Mystery Reply with quote

Quote:
Please forgive me for not doing my homework before asking my question. Since the last post, a great friend and scholarly fellow has sent me a chart depicting the three forms of mountain geology (Ai ishi naori/Chuu ishi naori/ hon kuchi naori). Now I understand the difference in the layering of the mountains in different areas.


Good! Then maybe you already got the detail how they were formed and stuff? That's what I have basically written in my article.


Quote:
You had emailed me that the mines around Mt. Atago, the west (nishimono) and east (higashi mono) were of the hon kuchi naori type with the various layers ranging from shallowest to deepest as, aka pin, tenjyo suita, hachimai, senmai, tomae, ai, namito, hon suita and finally shiro suita. Is it true that the hon ishi naori stones are much stronger cutting action than other formations?


Hmm, generally speaking, Yes, but please don't think that all Nishimono and Higashimono stones are good. I can't emphasize this enough, but there are crappy Nakayama and superb less famous stones such as Bajiyama, Mizukihara, Yaginoshima, etc.

The only way to know if you'll like the stone or not is to try it yourself. That's why I always accept returns for the stones I sell directly from my site (ie not for the ones from ebay).

This might be a bit interesting so I'll put it here. It's a bit long so please read it when you have time. You can print it out and read it in the toilet (hahaha~~~~) This is my reply to the question from someone who's bought an Okudo Suita along with Yokoyama-En plane. It was much longer before editing the personal parts....

===

> I must admit all the different stones and grades makes me dizzy, and a
> little sad. Its so hard to choose especially when availability is so
> limited.

Yeah, that's how I felt in the beginning, but don't worry, I'll tell you
about many things as we exchange mails. The availability isn't too
limited once you can trust me and my dad. I think he has the largest
collection of stones in Japan (now over 40,000, and he just told me he's gonna buy a US$10,000 stone.... Out of his mind....). But if you try to find these rare stones from elsewhere, you'd have a hard time finding them to begin with, and when you do you'd be shown a huge price tag, I think. It might be a bit too early to say this but I think you are lucky that you've found us(^^)

I have told him, that the first stone we're handing to you will decide
whether you will try more stones and tools from us or not, and asked him
to choose the best of the best for you. We really want you to try
Yokoyama's tools, so I am hoping this stone will suit your preference,
because no matter how good the stone is it's all about the timing
whether someone will LOVE this stone or simply think it's OK.

For instance, let's say you get a super quality stone which is very
hard, but your skill wasn't ready to handle this stone. Then this stone
will scratch the hell out of your tools and you think the stone sucks
and the seller has ripped you off, and you never ask for more. But years
after, you find this stone from the back of the drawer and give it a try
and goes "wow this stone is great!" and you try to contact him to get
more. And if you're lucky the seller is still there. So, this example is
about skill level matching the stone or not. Natural stones are very
different from snythetic stones that YOU have to adjust to the stone to
get tha max potential of the stone. You'd have to try so many things, so
many ways to find out how to bring the magical performance from this
stone. Type of Nagura you use, or not to use, amount of water, type of
steel, etc.

Another example. Suita is a two kanji word. Su+Ita(巣+板)(does the Kanji
show? It's useful to know this Kanji because you'll see it stamped on the
stone from time to time, then you'll know that it's a Suita stone). Su
means nest (=beehive), and Ita means board(=layer). So it means "a layer from each mine that has beehive like holes." (You can see the Su in my Okudo stone, but the Shinden stone doesn't have any at the moment.) And sometimes and many times, these holes contain scratchy particles you need to be careful of. Okay, now sometimes the Suita stone has these holes on the surface when you get them, and someone who doesn't know that these holes will go away as you use them will think that this stone is like that throughout (well sometimes it is like that... doh!), when in reality it is only a matter of time until the next layer which is a magical layer awaiting to surface... but not knowing this he sends back the stone... And there is the case opposite of this too. In the beginning it was super, but as he used the Su layer appear (This is more common with  hops.) In the former case it's about trust + knowledge to whether keep on trying to see how it'll be in the inside of the stone. But there has to be a trust established between the seller and the user in order for the user to keep on going without returning, right?

Okay, one more example en passant. This is about tools. To be specific
let's name this tool. Sakata Kenji's Reigou. A renowned temple builder
from Kyoto with a very short temper once bought Sakata's Reigou plane
called "Shisei (至誠)" which is one of the best from this master which costs well over $2000 at that time. He sharpened it but the tip kept chipping (very small but visible), it doesn't yeild the keenest edge. Enraged, this temple builder went to Sakata and complained. Sakata told him " use another 2mm, and if it still doesn't cut bring it back." Next time when this temple builder returned, he ordered another, and after that he only used Sakata. So, this would be about trust.

Many of the shops hasn't tried their tools nor stones. They just buy from the wholesaler and tell what they heard from them or the customers.
There are too many items to begin with, and they are too expensive to
try! So this is another difference between me+dad, and the stores. Dad
is a user himself, and a crazy one with enough funds to back it up. He is a
member of Kezuroukai so he use and test tools and stones everyday! There are not many tools he hasn't tried. I am a hobbyist who use tools and sharpen tools almost everyday (now that I started selling I'm not
working as much as I used to, but) and for most of the tools I always
try before selling, and I comment on them as you might have seen on my
eBay items.

So, you see, it's all about trust and skill level (including knowledge).
In a simpler term,,, link by fate(^^)

===


Quote:
The higashi (eastern) mines were Narutaki mukaida, Nakayama, Okudo, Ouzuku and Shobu. Are there others in this group?
The nishi (western) mines were Ohira, Mizukihara, Shinden, Okunomon and Hatou. Are there others in this group?


You can refer to the article I'm getting ready with.

Quote:
You have said that the stratum in the Ai ishi naori are Honshiro, nakashiro, tenjyo tomae, naka tomae and shiki tomae. Which mines have the Ai ishi naori form. Tomonori Nakaoka (mifuqwai) has said that the stones from the ai ishi naori are more homoginous in appearance, but do not cut as well as those from the hon kuchi naori. Is that generally correct?


Generally yes. But not always. It really depends on the usage, skill, preference, etc. so it is basically impossible to know which stone will suit you without the aid of someone who is re~~~~~ally familiar with natural stones.

Quote:
Which mines have the Chu ishi naori form? The chu ishi naori is the one with the ball form where everything is in one layer. Are there natural stone quarries in mountainsthat have this form?


Atago is this Naori.

Quote:
Since the Hon kuchi naori has several different layers or stratum (Sou), what type stones come from the Tenjyo suita layer, the Hon suita layer, and the Shiro suita layer?


Basically they are all called Suita. Shiro Suita is really white (shiro) so it is easier to tell apart form the other two. But basically Shiro Suita is unavailable nowadays.

Quote:
Are the suita in the upper layer softer and the bottom suita layer, shiro suita, harder?


Yes!

Quote:
Is the Tenjyo suita layer the Tenjyo nagura we have seen?


NO!!!!! Nagura is not in Kyoto. It is in Aichi prefecture. Totally different stuff. Nagura has 12 layers and the most famous and useful ones are Tenjyou, Mejiro, Koma, Botan. You can refer to my site's Nagura page in Natural Stone section. Scroll down to almost bottom please~~~~!


Quote:
What are the differences or charactoristics that make the three suita layers in the ai ishi naori (tenjyo (ceiling) suita, naka(middle) suita and shiki (floor) suita)? What stones come from those layers?


As mentioned above, stones' name is the same to the layers' name. And the hardness is generally defined by the depth of the layer.

Whew~~~ that was long! That should do for now!?

Talk to you again Peter~~~~ Very Happy

So
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Peter Cowick



Joined: 15 Jul 2004
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:57 am    Post subject: Natural stone mystery Reply with quote

SO,

I have not seen anything about the geological history or development of the three naori. I would be interested in reading it. Is it ready?

What do the Japanese use as the definition of hardness? Most of the web sites I have seen use a 1-5 scale for hardness. Do they use commonly available standards to do scratch tests or what. Here in the USA we use the Mohs scale to measure the hardness of minerals and the scale runs from 1-10 talc being the softest and diamond the hardest. Do the Japanese use this scale and only need the bottom 5 classifications of hardness for sharpening stones or do they use a completely different system?

Is the Okudo Habutae (rice cake) stone one of the shiro suita which you refer to?

You mentioned that Mt. Atago is one of the mines in the chu ishi naori. Is this the mine that was open strip (surface) mined after the 1970's? This mine was supposed to have produced some good sized stones and since there was no underground mining methods used to produce them, they were relatively less expensive than many other natural stones. What strata do these stones come from? Are they suita or tomae or what? How do they rate for fineness and cutting strength?

From the Takenaka Museum site on natural stones, comes the idea that not only renge comes from the suita layer, but also the momiji. Can you describe the charactoristics of the momiji stone? They also tell of a Nashiji stone that is brown with light blue haze that is a tomae stone. One of the other popular stones that is often seen for sale on the internet is the Asagi. What layer does this stone come from. It is a light blue gray color isn't it? What are its charactoristics that make it desireable, (second only to suita)?

What are the 12 layers of Nagura. Which mountain(s) or mines do they come from in Aichi prefecture? What are the differences in density and fineness of grit and other charactoristics of the stones in the 12 layers?

So, I am sorry you make me thursty to soak up more about stones.


Peter
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Alx Gilmore



Joined: 01 Oct 2006
Posts: 16
Location: wine country CA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:19 pm    Post subject: Regarding the Skin on the backs of Toishi Reply with quote

So-san, all great answers and Peter-san, all great questions. Most modern carpenters would think we are nuts talking in such great detail about rocks. Are we nuts about rocks.

So-san, if you would not mind either now or in your article I would like to learn more about the skin on the back of the stone and what it represents. Is it the outer edge of the ita or layer? Sort of like the outer limit edge or skin of the layer after which the useable stone stops? Is there a upper skin and a lower skin to each suita with a layer of useable stone in between? Not all toishi have a skin, some may have quarry marks or chip marks or saw marks. Do these finishing techniques represent what era the stone may have been processed from ie. Showa, Taisho? Does the presence of a skin indicate any quality characteristics? Or lack of? I am including photos of the skin side of a few stones for reference.

Earlier this year I had a conversation at Inomoto's dai-ya shop with his good friend the blacksmith using the professional name of Hatsuhiro. He told me that most people do not know it but that Inomoto-san is well known in Sanjo/Niigata as one of the best sharpeners of tools. Hatsuhiro-san also said that in the old days that there were quarries in the mountains above Niigata that yielded fine quality awasudo toishi that was prized and that the blacksmiths of Sanjo and Yoita and Niigata would actually match up their tool metallurgy and tempering with those native local toishi. When he said this my wife and I got the impression that he was speaking in terms of during the Edo or Meiji eras or at least many many years ago.

In Japan if have learned that the basis and foundation of art, is craft. In man made items the craft must be able stand on its own in order for the finished product to glow and endure. I feel that in the woodworking trades one of the basic elements of craft is tool sharpening. Sharpening is the private time we don't get paid for, the labor that produces the edge that communicates our intentions as workers, and imbues those surfaces with a polish that displays the respect due to the trees and nature as a whole.

www.thejapanblade.com/images/toishi_skin.jpg

_________________
Craftsman/women have a secret, we love to touch things. Making products that others will use and maybe hold dearly ties us to the whole world and its past and its future.


Last edited by Alx Gilmore on Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
MJC



Joined: 06 Apr 2007
Posts: 80
Location: Calgary, Alberta

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say that this is exactly the type of discussion that makes this forum so valuable and so unique. Thank-you to Peter and So for sharing the questions and the knowledge.

Matt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Hotaka Kagu



Joined: 10 May 2007
Posts: 89
Location: Hotaka, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Regarding the Skin on the backs of Toishi Reply with quote

[quote="Alx Gilmore"] "Sharpening is the private time we don't get paid for, the labor that produces the edge that communicates our intentions as workers, and imbues those surfaces with a polish that displays the respect due to the trees and nature as a whole".

OK, if the sermon is over....and you could write good ad for George Nakashima furniture. It is no different from any other practical skill or manual trade. Does an electrician need to have such reverence for the cables to do a good wireing job..or a plumber for the pipes? People out in the west tend to want to analyze and make things more complicated than they really are. It's one of the reasons why the Japanese are capable of such good work, that they don't spend so much time attending to a need to get carried away with themselves, which leaves less time and energy to get their hands dirrty.

Dennis
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Alx Gilmore



Joined: 01 Oct 2006
Posts: 16
Location: wine country CA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:00 pm    Post subject: Thank you Dennis Reply with quote

Thank you Dennis, and I apologize for taking the thread off subject. Alx
_________________
Craftsman/women have a secret, we love to touch things. Making products that others will use and maybe hold dearly ties us to the whole world and its past and its future.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Hotaka Kagu



Joined: 10 May 2007
Posts: 89
Location: Hotaka, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alx,

I was just trying to offer a somewhat additional perspective, pulling your leg a bit. My point is that no matter how much one holds a philosophy up as a guiding light, when it comes to a practical skill like woodworking, it is 99% the physical practice of it, that brings fruition in terms of developing skills. Giving your tools a keen edge falls into this category for sure. Not that there isn't a place for sensitivity and a respectful attitude about what one does, as your quote expresses. I think that Jim krenov did a great service, and has inspired a lot of fine woodworking/woodworkers, by suggesting a certain personal relationship with the materials and the tools, one that previously, few other people apparently realized was worth considering. Perhaps in the west, that is the better order of things, to first find a philosophy, and then seek out the methods to be true to it. I can't argue with it by any means, it seems to work, and I think that the huge market there as well, people wanting to spend big money on "inspired" hand made goods, is very supportive of an artisan bareng his soul and expressing a uniqueness in what he does. A litttle self indulgence in the mix is probably an unavoidable by-product.

In Japan, fine work was once very commonplace, but it was based on less a certain found individual philosophy, than the more immediate need for basic survival, where speed has always been a priority. Like dogs after a piece of meat, just get your s@}% together by just about any means, and then you could rely on it

Since you mentioned craft, and to tie it in with this off topic discussion (my apology), controlled spontanaety seen in the work has been a much reverred quality. Perhaps less so in woodworking than in something like ceramics, but still there are many examples of it in wood as well. Here, it's generally the strong familiarity with technique that enables the human expression to give it's message unencumbered. The advanced skills first, and then comes the "philosophy"......and I'll suggest it before somebody else does, "Then you die".

Dennis


Last edited by Hotaka Kagu on Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Peter Cowick



Joined: 15 Jul 2004
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:16 am    Post subject: Natural stone mystery Reply with quote

So,

Some time ago I read that there were two mining districts. The Umegahata which contained the Naurutaki and Kizuyama mines and the Kameoka which contained the Ohira, Shinden and Atago mines. What part did the districts play in establishing production, stone grading standards and controling what got to market? Were there other districts. Which mines belonged to which districts.

What is the relation ship of the mines to wholesalers. Were the stone wholesalers in as much control over the stone sales as the tool wholesalers were over the tool production? Did the mine owners act independantly? Was the governmental control or imperial control more important than the wholesalers?

Peter
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Peter Cowick



Joined: 15 Jul 2004
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:14 pm    Post subject: Natural stone mystery Reply with quote

So San,

Is the correct charactor for Namito 並み砥? The meaning of this is a common stone or average stone. What stones fall into this catagory or stratum? I am lead to believe that many stones of supposid better quality are only namito stones. Is this true?

Peter
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
soatoz



Joined: 30 May 2007
Posts: 23
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 4:31 am    Post subject: Re: Natural stone mystery Reply with quote

Quote:
I have not seen anything about the geological history or development of the three naori. I would be interested in reading it. Is it ready?


Whew, my PC crashed couple days ago, and I am finally recovering.

The article is ready, the English is much better than usual because of my friend's help. He says it ain't done yet, but I told him it is good enough, and if it gets any better, it would look like as if I just cut and pasted it from an English site(^^) (D'know if yar reading this thread, prolly not, but, thanks mate for editing!)

http://www.geocities.com/soatoz/tech_knlg/toishi/Awasedo.html

Quote:
What do the Japanese use as the definition of hardness?


They have no definition at all. My dad always says "Be careful when you express the hardness of a stone". A soft stone for dad is usually very hard for most of the people, since he has a super hard stone fetish.

I think what Dennis has mentioned below, really grasps the reality of traditional good side of Japan and it's culture (basically lost though, people are more Westernized in a bad way, because they don't go all the way but only half way, so it's disastrous) That would be the answer from a traditional Japanese craftsman. With more harsh words. hahaha.

Japanese aren't as logical thinkers as Western people. It is good when it comes to art, but teribble when it comes to war and sport. No way they can win (hahaha) But Japan's illogical way of thinking comes from a deeper view towards this universe that it is one as a whole, so there's no such thing as friends and enemies (as if you can't separate the surface and the back of a sheet of paper), so no reason to fight, no war to fight to begin with.

But this deep philisophy is basically lost in modern Japan, mixed partially with logical Western way. People say "you are too logical" when you say something a bit logical, but usually these words are said when they are simply not able to follow the logic, but not for the deeper reasons.

Anyway, I don't mean no disrespect, but all the questions asked here, it is "fun" to know scholastically, but it won't do basically any good that would link to the result (ie. sharper edge and better woodworking). That's partially why (other major part is pure ignorance) most of the Japanese don't know all these knowledge. It's just that I am more Westernized than average Japanese, that I am able to and willing to answer these questions, but if you were to ask these questions to a Japanese master woodworkers, they might not feel like answering them for the exact reason Dennis has wrote below. To be accurate, they don't answer because they don't know, so they usually get upset thinking that they are being humiliated by being asked something they don't know. But they don't know because they don't care, and they don't care because they KNOW that it doesn't matter to their work.

I know that Peter is representing all the members who are or likely to be interested in this topic when asking these questions, so all the things I said above isn't necessarily directed to Peter, but all of you who are interested.

In short, I am willing to answer as much as possible, but at the same time, I need to emphasize the fact that these knowledge might do more harm to your actual sharpening and woodworking in a way.

This is kind of hard to explain, since I don't want to mention this certain stone seller, but without mentioning it would be kind of too vague... And as I have written in the top of this thread, I don't like to talk about bad things about other people. If he's accepted as a trustworthy seller even though he's selling not so good things, then it's non of my business dishing the dirt. If people's happy that's fine then.

Quote:
Is the Okudo Habutae (rice cake) stone one of the shiro suita which you refer to?


Yes, Habutae is a pure white very expensive drapery used for kimono. The whiter Shiro Suita has a nick name Habutae because of the similarity of the colour.

Quote:
You mentioned that Mt. Atago is one of the mines in the chu ishi naori. Is this the mine that was open strip (surface) mined after the 1970's?


Yes.

Quote:
This mine was supposed to have produced some good sized stones and since there was no underground mining methods used to produce them, they were relatively less expensive than many other natural stones.


Yes.

Quote:
What strata do these stones come from? Are they suita or tomae or what?


Chu-ishi Naori's stratum stracture (Naori) is different from Hon-kuchi Naori, and has no distinct difference within the Naori.

Quote:
How do they rate for fineness and cutting strength?


Again there is no such thing, for the same reason as hardness mentioned above.

Quote:
From the Takenaka Museum site on natural stones, comes the idea that not only renge comes from the suita layer, but also the momiji. Can you describe the charactoristics of the momiji stone?


Exactly the same with Renge but the pattern is more similar to Momiji leaves (Maple).


Quote:
They also tell of a Nashiji stone that is brown with light blue haze that is a tomae stone. One of the other popular stones that is often seen for sale on the internet is the Asagi. What layer does this stone come from.


Hmmm, I've never thought of that before.... Let me ask dad and get back to you. I'm really busy lately, so I might forget, so if I don't answer for a long while please remind me again. Thanks.

Quote:
It is a light blue gray color isn't it? What are its charactoristics that make it desireable, (second only to suita)?


Oh, I would never say Asagi is second to Suita. Again it really depends.
The best stone which produced the straightest edge out of all the stones I have tested is my Asagi shown in my HP (Nakayama Asagi 2). I checked my Reigou blade (The hardest blade to sharpen) with the shown Asagi and checked it with my x200 microscope and the edge was still perfectly straight with no visible serration!!! Magnificent. Oh, there's a funny story regarding this Asagi. I went to see Usui-san one day, and saw a huge raw stone (原石) of Asagi in a super market plastic bag sitting on the cabinet. It was too awe inspiring, I couldn't ask where he got it from, needless to say the price.... I called dad and told him Usui-san has this superb Asagi stone, and if he knew where he got it from, and he said "a sorya wasiga usui-san ni purezento shita mon ya"(That's a stone I brought as a present to him). Hahaha. In return he got Usui-san's Tamahagane plane. The stone shown in the HP is the same stone, except it is cut in to square shape. Great stone. (Peter-san: if this is too much of an advertisement, you can erase the part where it needs to be. No problem.)

Suita is good because it has very high cutting strength, so it suits carpenters who needs to sharpen their tools quickly, but the fineness isn't as good as stones from non Suita layers. Okudo and Shinden Suita is considered king and queen of Suita because it is as fine as very fine non Suita stones.

Asagi's characteristics is it's high cutting strength without any lines or Su like found in Suita. But most of Asagis are too scratchy, so beware you all!!!

Quote:
What are the 12 layers of Nagura. Which mountain(s) or mines do they come from in Aichi prefecture? What are the differences in density and fineness of grit and other charactoristics of the stones in the 12 layers?


From the top

Mejiro
Tenjyo x2 layers
Serizuna
Buchikou
Koma
Botan
Yae-Botan
Mushi
Atsu
Ban
Shiki-Ban

I don't think anyone out of Japan knows this....

Only a couple suit tool sharpening. Koma, Mejiro, Tenjyo, Botan are the most popular.

Quote:
So, I am sorry you make me thursty to soak up more about stones.


No problem~~~~

So


Last edited by soatoz on Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:25 am; edited 6 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
soatoz



Joined: 30 May 2007
Posts: 23
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 4:53 am    Post subject: Re: Regarding the Skin on the backs of Toishi Reply with quote

Hi mate,

Quote:
So-san, if you would not mind either now or in your article I would like to learn more about the skin on the back of the stone and what it represents.


This is impossible to explain in words. All I can say is that the skin is the heavier substances such as oxidised iron (please refer to the article as well) that resided before the lighter substances such as clay and remains of Radiolaria.

Dad can tell the quarry from the colour of the skin. This is from his experience of seeing thousands of stones. Also stone sellers sometimes colour the skin with certain pigment to make it look like a more expensive quarries stones. Takashima Asagi's darker skin painted to more orange colour to make it look like Nakayama Asagi. You'd never be able to tell it's a fake, unless you have tried how great a genuine Nakayama Asagi feels like.


Quote:
Is there a upper skin and a lower skin to each suita with a layer of useable stone in between?


Yes, but not only Suita but every layer.

Quote:
Not all toishi have a skin, some may have quarry marks or chip marks or saw marks. Do these finishing techniques represent what era the stone may have been processed from ie. Showa, Taisho?


No. Sometimes it does, but not always. My dad is probably the only person who can tell which quarry a certain stone is from just by looking at the skin and the surface of the stone, and even for him some of the stones are unidentifiable. There are so many similar stones from different quarries.

Quote:
Does the presence of a skin indicate any quality characteristics? Or lack of?

No, nothing to do about the quality, but if the stone is surounded by skin, that means it wasn't cut, so it should be large and rare.

Quote:
I am including photos of the skin side of a few stones for reference.


Thank you.


Quote:
Earlier this year I had a conversation at Inomoto's dai-ya shop with his good friend the blacksmith using the professional name of Hatsuhiro. He told me that most people do not know it but that Inomoto-san is well known in Sanjo/Niigata as one of the best sharpeners of tools. Hatsuhiro-san also said that in the old days that there were quarries in the mountains above Niigata that yielded fine quality awasudo toishi that was prized and that the blacksmiths of Sanjo and Yoita and Niigata would actually match up their tool metallurgy and tempering with those native local toishi. When he said this my wife and I got the impression that he was speaking in terms of during the Edo or Meiji eras or at least many many years ago.


Hmm, I have never heard of this before, but it might not be awasedo but med grit stones? I don't know. Sorry~~~~.

Quote:
In Japan if have learned that the basis and foundation of art, is craft. In man made items the craft must be able stand on its own in order for the finished product to glow and endure. I feel that in the woodworking trades one of the basic elements of craft is tool sharpening. Sharpening is the private time we don't get paid for, the labor that produces the edge that communicates our intentions as workers, and imbues those surfaces with a polish that displays the respect due to the trees and nature as a whole.


Yeah, that's so true, but at the same time like you've mentioned since it doesn't get paid, modern woodworkers tend to not care about sharpening anymore. Especially the carpenters. Only a handful of carpenters are lucky enough to be able to spend many hours sharpening thier tools without starving themselves. Most of the temples are now made by machines, believe it or not. You might have seen some TV programs where the temple builders are using traditional handtools, but as soon as the camera turns he switches his hand plane to an electric planer(hahaha).

In order to be a professional and make things in a way you have described, it isn't too much about skill or good tools they use, but the ignorance to money. Chiyozuru Korehide god of J tool lived in a rented chicken shack he modifed into a small room....

Anyway, the surf was awesome today! Easily double overhead, super clean barrels firing!!! I'm so exhasted now, my comments are so low tension today!!!!

Sorry guys~~~~~


Last edited by soatoz on Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:30 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
soatoz



Joined: 30 May 2007
Posts: 23
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I can just quote what Dennis has explained already....

Quote:
My point is that no matter how much one holds a philosophy up as a guiding light, when it comes to a practical skill like woodworking, it is 99% the physical practice of it, that brings fruition in terms of developing skills. Giving your tools a keen edge falls into this category for sure.


In Japanese, someone who knows about things a lot but not so good at doing it actually, is called Atama-dekkachi (頭でっかちbig headed) and considered to be very embarrasing. I think Western culture has a trap of leading people to this tendency. Talk the talk but.... kinda situation.

Quote:
Perhaps in the west, that is the better order of things, to first find a philosophy, and then seek out the methods to be true to it. I can't argue with it by any means, it seems to work,


In Japan, logical thinking tends to be quickly dismissed becaues of their ignorance (it is called Rikutsu-ppoi 理屈っぽい), using the deep philosophical teaching (Mushin無心 or Suigetsu水月) as their excuse, and think that they don't have to develope their logical thinking ability.

But Mushin or Suigetsu can only be attained by training oneself to the point where your body automatically moves according to the logic, like sport, where you have to start from mastering detailed form in the begining and after so many years of arduous training, you must be able to let yourself go and not think about all the things you've learned.

But majority of the people don't understand that and just "not think". don't learn the form. This ignorance is the trap Japanese culture tends to foster....

So, either east or west, not perfect. They both need to meet and unite.

Wow, what am I doing giving "sermons" here (excuse me master Dennis).

Hahaha---

Thanks everyone

===

Oh~~~~~ BTW, Dennis-san, kondono kezuroukai Gifu taikai, kyu-kyo watashi sanka suru koto ni narimashitayo ~~~~~! Dennis-san korare soudesuka? Soshitara kaijyou de oaidekimasune.(^^) Nimura-san to uchi no oyaji to nomini ikimashou yo!!!! Da~~~ijyoubu, mou uchi no oyaji sonnani nomemasen kara. hahaha. Yokattara kondo PM ka me-ru de nihon no rennraku saki (denwa bangou mo) oshiete kudasaine.

Sorede wa mata~~~~

So


Last edited by soatoz on Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:36 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Japanese Woodworking Forums Forum Index -> Tool Sharpening All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group