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Old 06-09-2019, 02:16 PM   #1
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Mystery Waterstone?

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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Old 06-09-2019, 03:01 PM   #2
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I just got off the telephone with Ken. I asked him to check his tally sheets, and it appears I'm square.

Now get this. He asked me to describe the stone and aluminum plate. He doesn't remember making one like that.

To that I said, "It's 1 3/4s on a two inch aluminum plate, by your hand..."

We both had a laugh, and I went to tell my wife what happened. She looks at me and says, "Well, both of you are getting senile--don't you remember what happened?"

It turns out that he was paying off a debt. When he and his partner parted company many years ago, he had no official clients or people to contact. He is an excellent craftsman and honest as the day is long, so I told everyone, even told this forum about his work.

According to my wife, she says Ken felt he owed me a "300 dollar debt." Ergo, a premium stone I never had to pay for.

If you're a polisher and need premium stuff, call Ken. I know I'll treasure that rock, and I still feel guilty...
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:23 PM   #3
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Well, here we go! Wish me luck, I usually need it...

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Old 06-09-2019, 03:48 PM   #4
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That stone is really just like pushing cream! As my wife was taking the picture we could not hear a thing! Not a swish, not a rasp! The stone just slide across the bevel effortlessly!

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