Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
Re: This is sort of a loaded situation...

David Weaver
So, for oilstones - dan's goes as deep as economics will allow. Not a huge fan of their soft stones, their "hard" relatively inexpensive stones are a decent finish stone, but not a true hard.

Their true hard, black and translucent stones branded "dan's" and not sold by someone else where they say "these came from dan's" are as good as anything I've ever seen from any of the types. If a 1/2" thick black or trans stone can be found at retail and glued to another half inch stone to make the whole thing feel like a full sized stone, it's effectively as good as any ark finish stone and lifetime is only limited by the ability to avoid dropping (fortunately, I didn't do that, but they don't tolerate being dropped).

Halls/preyda - OK, but while dan's black is available, there's no great reason to buy their black stones (i Had a couple - they release the odd particle here or there and just aren't as subjectively good).

Norton, can't tell - I've gotten some borderline finishers from their stones (faster, translucent stones that are on the bubble with small pores, etc). They could go back to the mine and get a new dose and everything could change.

As far as japanese stones:
* ohira mine is still operating last I checked. Their stones are OK. There can be some spectacular stones from them, too. You just don't know as the buyer and a moderate quality large suita is in the $400-$500 range. They will have association and mine stamps on them and be OK
* new old mine stones (nakayama, okudo, shinden, etc) - some of that stuff can be old stock that was stored and never stamped. But it's often sort of blah material that looks good and the association allows stamping of mines now where it wasn't stamped originally - risky bet

Any new dealer with anything average will try to get top price. Anything that's really spectacular will be higher yet. My opinion, it's hard to really go get good stuff without just buying a huge pile of used stones and then keeping the best older stuff. That's what I did. It was a huge time investment, and on break even terms, most would find it not worth it. Fortunately, my buyee and etsy and paypal records will show no profit, but at the volume I moved, I guess it could be subject to checking. Never happened. Making a profit on stones intentionally will yield not that much profit if one is honest, and then you get to have a business that files taxes and needs to be insured. No thanks.

My favorites, though, are the slightly odd shaped pieces that cut like magic (which doesn't mean they're 10 times better than anything else - it just means they have a combination of qualities that makes them fast for what their composition is supposed to be, fine for their speed and tough on the surface and pleasant to use for their purpose. They're a little better in all the places where it counts.).

If someone is just looking for sharpening capability, I'd avoid buying stones from any dealers in volume - you end up with, let's say, a $1k stone that's really worth a third to half of that at best (unless the cachet of the dealer can be transferred to the next buyer) and there's a good chance that a little $110 slice of suita like the one I showed above may beat it. You get into the conundrum that I did - on the left, I have a 2kg pretty block of nice cutting. On the right, I have a short and inexpensive piece of stone that looked really impressive in the picker's ad on buyee and when it showed up, it easily matched what their demo showed. What am I going to use when I'm working? I could fight to get the most out of the bigger stone and then easily match that with the other one - eventually the big one goes. Hopefully it wasn't too expensive.

I think the odds are just against the buyer, and the sellers and distributors know more about the stones than the buyers usually do - especially in regard to separating aesthetics vs. capability. Big push for everyone wanting kiita stones in hte last decade. Kiita stones are usually soft and a little coarse. Once in a while a real trooper comes through. But nondescript barber shop pulled stones that are old and well used may be a real trooper 7 out of 10 times, and a kiita stone of the same shape 1 out of 20. Karasu is a popular decoration sold by dealers - but karasu stones are often glassy and scratchy. What's the chance that they match a good vintage green tomae stone for every day use? less than 50%, but at much greater cost.

There's much value to be made in convincing people that these are great stones. Some of the new ones are great - or may be great for something slightly different than as sold (a stone sold as a razor stone but that's too coarse may be a great tool finisher, but if you struggle sharpening a razor on one and you're assured by someone else that it's a good razor stone, then how do you know? A great razor stone, you just rub a razor on it any way you want to use it, linen and strop and you have a comfortable shave. Most of the modern razor stones being sold are either glassy, and too coarse when slurried or they're soft and too coarse to match the vintage barber shop pulls.

what if you get 3 barber shop pulls and two aren't that great? well, all three would cost less than a barber sized new stone, and now you have one great stone and two that you can wait to find a use for.

i'm sort of going in circles with this. Going through a bunch of mediocre stones in person (where there are some that are great and just what you want) is a whole different proposition in a store in japan where there are 150 stones to try. They'll be cheaper there, too. I think I probably bought 15 stones in total from dealers in japan or the US. I don't have any of them at this point. If any would've been better than the stones that I kept, I'd still have them instead of the stones I have now.

Final answer - for natural stones, best bet is to buy 5 washitas, keep one fine one, one coarse one, and buy one good trans or black stone (vintage trans is fine, black new from dan's is the best bet there). Everything else that I've gotten (new coticules, etc, all iffy. Vintage coticules have been better on average, too, but they're usually expensive and some are stinkers).

Messages In This Thread

Sharpening Stone Ominbus - here we go
White Cretan - Novaculite *PIC*
stone pics... *PIC*
Black Sedimentary Stone *PIC*
pic of the stone *PIC*
Norton Queer Creek *PIC*
Pic of the stone *PIC*
Re: Pic of the stone
Re: Pic of the stone *PIC*
Purple Welsh Slate *PIC*
edge picture with a razor *PIC*
Very dense....
Re: Purple Welsh Slate *PIC*
Owyhee Jasper *PIC*
picture of the stone *PIC*
Chinese Agate *PIC*
Pic of the stone *PIC*
crest complete (And more dursol) *PIC*
Re: crest complete (And more dursol)
Re: crest complete (And more dursol)
Re: crest complete (And more dursol)
separate, since you got caught in the net...
Re: separate, since you got caught in the net...
Re: separate, since you got caught in the net...
Re: separate, since you got caught in the net...
Wrong R
Greasy/Coated India Stone *PIC*
Re: Greasy/Coated India Stone *PIC*
Gray China (Guangxhi?) natural waterstone *PIC*
pic of the stone *PIC*
Linde A - Paraffin Buffing Bar *PIC*
Try bee wax
Fine buffing compound
practically...
one other side benefit
Also with iron oxide bar
Picture of the "stone" *PIC*
The real Llyn Idwall *PIC*
Picture of the stone *PIC*
Re: Picture of the stone
Re: Picture of the stone
Re: Picture of the stone
two llyn idwalls
Re: two llyn idwalls
Re: Picture of the stone
Re: Picture of the stone
Re: Picture of the stone
Black Hone Slate *PIC*
pic of the stone *PIC*
Smiths Hard Arkansas *PIC*
pictures of the stone *PIC*
Re: Smiths Hard Arkansas
Re: Smiths Hard Arkansas
Japanese "Barber Oilstone" *PIC*
Pictures of the stone *PIC*
Slurried Trans Ark.. *PIC*
Am I understanding......
Re: Am I understanding......
This is sort of a loaded situation...
Re: This is sort of a loaded situation...
The other real issue with japanese finishers..
Re: This is sort of a loaded situation...
Re: This is sort of a loaded situation...
Re: This is sort of a loaded situation...
Re: This is sort of a loaded situation...
Re: This is sort of a loaded situation...
Clarifying hollow grind
Re: This is sort of a loaded situation...
dan's and washita.
Re: This is sort of a loaded situation...
Soft India?
soft vs. hard
Re: Soft India?
Now I am more confused
Re: I will make an exception…
Separately - a very good point made
Not defending wiley...
Re: Now I am more confused
Re: Now I am more confused
That explanation makes sense *NM*
Re: Am I understanding......
Picture of the stone *PIC*
Extra Fine India Stone *PIC*
Picture of the stone *PIC*
Sigma Power 13k *PIC*
Re: Sigma Power 13k
Re: Sigma Power 13k
Re: Sigma Power 13k
Re: Sigma Power 13k
Re: Sigma Power 13k
Re: Sigma Power 13k
Re: Sigma Power 13k
Re: Sigma Power 13k
Pic of the stone *PIC*
Re: Pic of the stone *PIC*
The rules of accommodation
Re: The rules of accommodation
Re: The rules of accommodation
Re: Pic of the stone
Re: Pic of the stone
Jackson Lea 5 micron "yellowcake" on softwood *PIC*
Is poplar soft enough
Re: Is poplar soft enough
picture of the wax bar *PIC*
Llyn Idwall *PIC*
Re: Llyn Idwall
Re: Llyn Idwall
Charnley Forest
releasing particles
Turkish Oilstone *PIC*
pic of the stone *PIC*
Dursol (Autosol) Metal Polish *PIC*
Tying up loose polishes - Autosol *PIC*
Re: Tying up loose polishes - Autosol
pic of the dursol *PIC*
(this one is good enough for everyone)
Re: (this one is good enough for everyone)
Re: (this one is good enough for everyone)
Re: (this one is good enough for everyone)
Re: (this one is good enough for everyone)
LV Green / Formax Microfine *PIC*
picture of the compound *PIC*
attractive old wives tales
Relevance? Question?
Re: Relevance? Question?
Clear summary thanks
Another White Alundum Japanese Stone *PIC*
Re: Another White Alundum Japanese Stone *PIC*
Very expensive (to me) japanese natural *PIC*
pic of the stone *PIC*
Re: Very expensive (to me) japanese natural
Dan's black Hard Ark *PIC*
pic of the stone *PIC*
Coticules - Fine and Coarse *PIC*
pic of the stones *PIC*
garnet
not sure
Unknown Japanese White Alundum *PIC*
the stone.. *PIC*
question
Looking at this picture..
I do both
Hand American 0.5 micron Green Chrome Ox *PIC*
pic of the oxide *PIC*
The purpose of the omnibus...
Not unicorn related, more clear
What else the creator of the weaver bevel post? *NM*
question for David
Re: question for David
Thanks David *NM*
Supremely Fine Japanese Natural Razor Stone *PIC*
Picture of the stone *PIC*
Re: Picture of the stone
Re: Picture of the stone
Re: Thank you, David
Re: Thank you, David
very few will care about mines or stamps...
Practical question
Re: Practical question + another regarding scale..
Re: Practical question + another regarding scale..
Scale overlay
Re: Scale overlay
sorry, addressed differently
request
Brief comments...
Re: Practical question
Re: Practical question
Fine White Okudo Suita *PIC*
Picture of the stone *PIC*
Shapton Cream *PIC*
Pic of the stone *PIC*
Fine washita *PIC*
Pic of the stone *PIC*
Kitayama waterstone *PIC*
Re: Kitayama waterstone *PIC*
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