Hand Tools Archive

Re: 2700 g stones

david weaver
in my travels, I found (on japanese auctions) low cost versions of atagoyama stones. Actually, they are nearly all low cost, but dealer markup of them can make them quite expensive.

the cost for a 6 pound stone from a hardware dealer in japan was $235. To my surprise, it had good action and was good enough to finish a razor. This kind of thing isn't common.

The other day, I was bidding on a 4 kg suita that looked pretty good, but I had to admit i have so many stones that it was unlikely to be better than some of my better ones and would just sit.

It sold for $162. Some would say that's a ridiculous cost, but it's fairly minimal in the world of good cutting finishers. It would've required surface shipping, too.

2kg finsihing stones from current or recent mines are fairly common, but the shipping rate structures from japan pretty much mean low cost shipping below 2kg and only very slow low cost shipping above that. I found out through trial and error that no stone above 1.7kg is going to be 2kg or less boxed.

How do I know all of this? There were a few unscrupulous stone flipping dealers several years ago, they're probably still all around. I would see the $200 atagoyama stones being sold from $700-$1000 and talked up, and i didn't like it. So, I ordered gobs and gobs of stones like that from japan, set up a site on etsy, graded all of the stones and sold them at cost. I told my buyers where I was getting them and how I chose them, knowing that they would go do the same thing then and counter some of this kind of thing.

Since then, a bunch of other people started doing it, so my goal was accomplished and i stopped.

This kind of thing doesn't harm the high service dealers like alex gilmore who go over and actually find uncommon stones rather than just flipping common stones and overselling their capabilities.

I saw finish stones on buyee as large as 11 kg. There are graded distribution avenues to get stones from japan, but there's a whole lot of old dealer stock or slightly irregular stones that ends up on japan's version of ebay at the hands of antique flippers over there. Some of them know enough to demonstrate the cutting capabilities of the stones properly.

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