What's Inside a Botan Nagura?

Discussion in 'Hones/Honing' started by Gamma, May 5, 2012.

  1. With my current plan to put together a travel-hone set up based on Jnats, there are a couple of challenges. One was to have a set of smaller Nagura to work with so in case I decided to hone a blade on the road I would have everything I needed. I could just toss a few full-size Nagura into a box, but I did want an even smaller/lighter option. Yes - OCD is at work here.
    So - when I decided to cut a Nagura in half, I started with a Botan. I've mentioned before that Botan can have a sand-layer in it but I don't know if anyone has actually seen it. So - here it is. Both photos were taken after I popped it in half though. I should have tried to get an image of the black sand-line before hand I guess. At any rate, you can see pretty clearly what's going on. I soaked it overnight to get the sand to swell up so I could split it cleanly.
    In use, one would not want to make a slurry using the narrow sides of this Nagura. Instead, using the stone with the sand-layer parallel to the Awasedo would be the right thing to do. When the Nagura was worn close to the line, it should be lapped clear of the sand and then the issue would be gone.
    Not all Botan have sand inside of them like this, but it is not an uncommon situation.


  2. I would not have just 2 pieces. There would be one for all my friends too. :lol: It would not be intentional though:wacko:
  3. Lol...that sand line fissured open easily and as you can see, pretty cleanly. If you've ever popped a Geode open, it's kinda like that. Still, I did have visions of Micro Nagura in my mind when I was bringing the hammer down on the chisel.
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  4. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    When you gonna split a Koma? :lol:
  5. That's actually the next one up.... I have an old piece of Koma, no stamp, just rough rock... a piece from a sword polisher friend..I'm going to cut a piece off of that one. I may wait, I have another chunk coming, so I might want to cut a piece off that one instead.
  6. I don't know much about these things, so I found that rather facinating! An expose of sorts... thanks!
  7. I would have thought more Botan
  8. how much does one of those cost?? *(i don't know chit about j-nats)
  9. nah, I'm only going to cut one of each up. Question is - what to do with the pieces I don't plan on using. I guess I'll just toss them in the drawer.

    Here's one half of the original stone lapped, alongside the top part. I think there's another sand-line in the part I lapped, so I'm going to cut that half in half. I'll wind up with a nice rectanglish piece of very clean stone then.

  10. I had been wanting a Koma very badly, right until I saw the current prices they have been fetching! They ones I saw were more then I paid for my first jnat. Like a hundred dollars more. I got it at a steal. More then what I was quoted for my second jnat too, if he can ever find one for me. Another poor mans specials as I like to call em. The next jnat I suspect will be a long wait. I asked about komas and was told I wouldn't very likely be lucky enough to finding a cheaply priced real koma. My source wouldnt be able to help there something bout a rabbit and behind was mentioned.
    I would be terrified of cutting a Koma even if I used the scroll at slow speed. Love the idea of smaller ones for a travel set. I think that is what my jnat was made for.
    Thank you for posting, I would have never guessed the inside would have looked like that. Its fun learning about the never ending addiction to Jnats and naguras no matter what it is.
  11. Very interesting, thanks for taking pics.

    Man I'm glad I loaded up on Nagura when Maxim had them on the cheap. I felt greedy at the time but I'm set for life, hopefully. Koma excluded of course... :p
  12. That black line did turn out to be another layer of sand. It wasn't a clean line so I hack-sawed the part with the inclusion off.
    I"ll post a pic tomorrow, it came out nice. It took about 5 minutes to cut through, and I'm pretty sure I killed the blade.
    One down, 3, maybe 4 to go.
  13. Cool thread... you just using a normal hacksaw to cut all these?
  14. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    Are all black lines sand? Or is there a fool proof way to determine it?
  15. Yep, the Nagura are just chalk, so it's no big deal. It was way harder to cut a Tomo off my Nakayama.

    Not sure if all black lines are sand, and outside of chipping a hunk of the stone out, I can't think of a way to tell for sure.
    I was pretty sure that line you see in the 3rd pic was sand, but I still checked it by chiseling a small piece out. The sliver with the sand in it is going in the trash, the top of the Nagura with the stamps will probably get lapped free of the sand romorrow, I just hope there's no surprises hidden underneath that crust. i'd like to keep that slab whole.
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  16. I did manage to keep the top part whole, but my GF has absconded with it.... she likes the stamps.
  17. I am been told in Kyoto that the black lines you see in Naguras is water running true the stone some of them can be pretty cool to look at.
    Also a note that all Asano Naguras is different like Jnats and sometimes Mejiros is finer then Koma and Tenjyou finer then Mejiro. That came as surprise for me too but its true
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  18. Cool Nagura! I love those spots!

    Well, some black lines are sand, but the lines I'm referring to don't look like the lines in the stones above.
    One of the first things I noticed was this personality thing in these little nodules of fun... in fact, with the first set I bought - the Tenjou was finer than the Mejiro. That's when I realized that linear thinking wasn't going to work with these stones.
  19. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    I just like looking at mine. :smile:. I guess it's like the guys who collect coticules.

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