Vintage Suita Natural Polish Stone (205mm x 75mm x 50mm)
Product Description for Vintage Suita Natural Polish Stone (205mm x 75mm x 50mm)
Maker: Misc Makers (click to see more by this maker)
Item num: 88040
*** This is handmade and one-of-a-kind ***
Item weight: 68.70 oz.
Size: 205mm x 75mm x 50mm
Description: This exceptional Suita polish stone was mined prior to WW2. It is a very large stone - approx. 205mmx75mmx50mm (8.1in.x3in.x2in.). Stones of this size and quality were always rare. Today, these stones are unheard of. This light toned suita natural polish stone will leave a beautiful mist and haze finish. With a little practice you will be amazed at how sharp you can hone your fine blade. You can use it with or without slurry and it will give fantastic results.
This stone was quarried in the mountains north of Kyoto and is classified as a suita stone. Suita's "Su" means nest (of a bee, beehive) and "Ita" (means board or layer). It is the name of the layer in the mine from which the stone was quarried. Usually any mine will have this layer. The stones from this layer have beehive-like holes or flaws that were created by the gas being let through. These holes sometimes have hard particles that would scratch the blade, which needs to be dug out prior to using or avoided. Because these stones are very fast cutting, suita stones are favored by many woodworkers, chefs, and carpenters who sharpen their tools regularly. Also the lighter color of the Suita stones make it easier to see how much steel is being cut, because you can see the slurry getting black. This is quite important once you get used to natural stone sharpening and is why lighter colored stones are usually more expensive. It's not just the aesthetic value. Suita stones with light brown "burn (Yake)" have higher cutting strength and are generally preferred over red burns as these are sometimes too hard and will scratch.
Despite the excellent performance of synthetic stones, many experienced sharpeners still prefer natural stones for sharpening their finest blades. Natural stones can bring out a blade’s full potential and allow the sharpening process itself to become a pleasant ritual. The finest stones from the Honyama quarries around mount Atago in the Kyoto area are becoming increasingly difficult to find. Natural Japanese stones are soaked in water prior to use but should not be stored in water like some synthetic stones. Following best practices, the sides of this stone have been lacquered. This aids the stone to keep structural strength while soaking. Natural stones have slight natural imperfections and may vary somewhat in size. You will find that different parts of the stone can work steel differently. Through experience with a stone, you find what might be considered a sweet spot.
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