Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
Reminds me of the escher
Response To:
Re: The winner... ()

David Weaver
which I may or may not have put in this string of discussion..

..eschers are pretty stones. They were generally sold over a period of a few decades, and then the veins that they were taken from were exhausted. In an attempt to get more value, either the original maker or a follow-on investor attempted to gather the dust/cuttings and press/adhere it into reconstituted stones (these weren't as fine as the earlier stones).

The fact that the stones had really pretty labels and worked and were very even (you get one Y/G escher, then the next labeled stone of the same will be almost identical - much like decent trans arkansas stones).

The trip-up with them is that they're good. They work well. The combination of collector attributes and limited availability of older remaining labeled stones makes two things occur:
* suddenly more old stones appear because they're worth $600 instead of $75, and in a few cases, labels are floated off one and stuck to another, but not too much so
* the people who have the stones faff with them endlessly and want to give them attributes that nothing else has

They are good, but can often be bettered by a half inch slice of japanese waterstone that came out of a barber shop in a group of 5 stones for $250. Or to be more clear, the little well used stones that nobody wants in japan for $50 often turn out to be better than the eschers. But they're available, which makes the whole proposition of talking them up and driving up the value less desirable.

I get the feeling that some of these tubes of polishing wondrousness could end up on ebay for 10 times what they would bring new if they were made now.

The other interesting observation of human nature is that whatever the expensive and rare thing does, if it's slightly different (not better) than something common, then the difference is always deemed desirable in favor of the expensive item. If you come along with a microscope and show that everything is about the same, then the peanut gallery picks the strangest little things to try to talk about in favor of the expensive stuff.

Completely lost in the discussion for razors is the fact that graded chrome ox on balsa significantly increases the sharpness of all of these expensive stones. Once this is seen and felt, then the user of the duller edge will often decry what they were looking for (the sharpest finest stone) as being far superior to the "too sharp edge".

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