I had just started to polish my new totally stainless steel folding knife, when I chanced to look down at my waterstones. One of them seemed to be wider than the others, and buried at the bottom of the pile, heaped in dust bunnies. I pulled it out and looked it over.
Then I almost fainted!
Clearly, this was a handmade stone. It was an odd measuring width, about 1 3/4s of an inch. The mounting plate was much wider than the stone, clearly done to keep a stone from cracking.
I soaked the stone and felt the surface. Yikes! It was in the +10K range, possibly over 20K. It had not been seasoned, polished flat or had the sharp corners beveled. It was brand new and unused.
I got out the Atoma 140 flattening plate and made sure the stone was dead flat. I also beveled it carefully. And oh, there's more...
If you are a polishing junkie, and there are five of us, you know what stones cost. Something of this this quality and handmade would easily be in the 300 to 500 dollar
range, if not more. But I have never paid Ken Schwartz more than 75 dollars for a stone, and this is clearly his work.
That, and it's been sitting here for more than four years. I have to call Ken, something tells me I stiffed a friend...
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