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Thread: Thoughts on oil covered bricks?

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    Default Thoughts on oil covered bricks?

    I see lots of sellers insisting that their oil coated black brick of a hone is in fact, a razor hone.

    What do you guys do? Take the gamble and buy it? Talk them down, get them to clean it and send you pictures?

    I bought a rock like that recently on ebay, hoping for a Thuringian and wound up with a nice Dalmore Blue. If I'd paid a lot of money I would have felt jipped. In hindsight, it was a foolish risk. It paid off because I didn't get the razor finisher I wanted, but I did get the knife hone I actually needed. But I could have wound up with a generic slatey something or other.

    Do you guys just aquire some sort of spidey sense that lets you know what's under that oil slick?
    gssixgun likes this.

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    I suppose I ought to post the before and after pics.



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    Senior Member blabbermouth PaulFLUS's Avatar
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    First of all, welcome. Glad you decided to join us here. Maybe stop by the member introductions thread in the beginners section. Seems as though maybe you're not a beginner exactly but that's just where it is housed. Tell us something about yourself, your experience level, what part of the world you're in, your equipment, oh and post some more pictures. We love pictures.

    Concerning buying rocks, I assume you mean on auction sites like eBay or other online sellers. Yes, there is a lot of the false representation out there. I guess the word is out that if it is a knife stone people will pay $X.XX for it but if it is a razor hone (we even use our own fancy word for it:" hone" instead of stone) that people will add a zero to the end of that price. Forgive me if I am telling you stuff you already know but we in the straight razor world are subject to many afflictions such as RAD: razor acquisition disorder, SAD: soap acquisition disorder, and there are many others, not least among them HAD: hone acquisition disorder. This contributes to the asking prices. Maybe there are people who prize fancy rocks for knives too but I think that is a smaller cross section.

    Anyway, in answer to your question, speaking for myself at least, there is a lot of dice rolling based on educated guessing. Once you get really acquainted with certain rocks you can sometimes see the diamond in the mud. And then sometimes I'm wrong and you hear the sad trombones on opening the package. There is also that phenomenon like the cartoons where the guys are stranded on an island and the one guy looks at the other and sees a steak. I try to avoid that but HAD can be an ugly, hideous affliction.

    I personally have had pretty good luck with gambles but I prefer to see it in person. Generally the antique stores ask a premium and there is a lot of camel trading involved. Even then some people like the put museum wax or spray lacquer or whatever the dark shiny crap is on tools which includes hones, particularly boxed ones. That makes it even harder to tell because you can't spritz and dab a corner with WD-40 and a rag easily to get a closer look. I bought what I am quite certain is a washita like that that is still in the project queue because I can't get that $&# off of it.
    I'm sure smarter people than I have better methods but that's what I have on the matter. Hey, at least what you found wasn't an Ace hardware synthetic knife stone.
    Last edited by PaulFLUS; 01-25-2023 at 09:23 AM.
    Iron by iron is sharpened, And a man sharpens the face of his friend. PR 27:17

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    Senior Member yondermountain91's Avatar
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    This post made me chuckle, 'spidey senses' lol. Paul pretty much nailed it, like I have definitely bought more than one paper weight, I mean Jnat in the early days. But like Paul said after some time with a certain type of stone you start to really get to know them, and know what to look for. Also developing relationships with sellers is key, you can begin to trust them and the descriptions they give. But by and large most sellers label every Jnat as hard and fine with no toxic inclusions. So I get it, it's an up hill battle, lucky for you, you're part of SRP so you can always ask if your unsure, 9 times outta 10 there's someone here who'll know. But I usually refrain from blind buying stones these days. I have too many as it is, and I'm still early into this hobby. I wonder what my house will look like in 40 years at this rate, lol.
    -Laramie-
    outback and PaulFLUS like this.
    "If the brakes don't stop it, something will"

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    Senior Member blabbermouth PaulFLUS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yondermountain91 View Post
    ...I have too many as it is, and I'm still early into this hobby. I wonder what my house will look like in 40 years at this rate, lol.
    -Laramie-
    Yeah, in addition to that, pray you don't catch that sickness where you walk by a flower bed or just a plain old rock pile and say, "hmmm......I bet I could make a hone out of that."

    I have boxes full of rocks I found in the wild and tried to make hones from. The good part, or bad part depending on how you look at it, is a good portion of the time it works.
    Iron by iron is sharpened, And a man sharpens the face of his friend. PR 27:17

  6. #6
    Senior Member blabbermouth outback's Avatar
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    Oooooh.!

    Name:  KIMG6444.jpg
Views: 78
Size:  89.1 KB

    It'll work.!

    Name:  KIMG6436.jpg
Views: 73
Size:  31.0 KB

    Oooh yeah.!

    Name:  KIMG6438.jpg
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    Never know what a rock can do, till its a hone.
    RezDog, Gasman and PaulFLUS like this.
    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulFLUS View Post
    First of all, welcome. Glad you decided to join us here. Maybe stop by the member introductions thread in the beginners section. Seems as though maybe you're not a beginner exactly but that's just where it is housed. Tell us something about yourself, your experience level, what part of the world you're in, your equipment, oh and post some more pictures. We love pictures.

    Concerning buying rocks, I assume you mean on auction sites like eBay or other online sellers. Yes, there is a lot of the false representation out there. I guess the word is out that if it is a knife stone people will pay $X.XX for it but if it is a razor hone (we even use our own fancy word for it:" hone" instead of stone) that people will add a zero to the end of that price. Forgive me if I am telling you stuff you already know but we in the straight razor world are subject to many afflictions such as RAD: razor acquisition disorder, SAD: soap acquisition disorder, and there are many others, not least among them HAD: hone acquisition disorder. This contributes to the asking prices. Maybe there are people who prize fancy rocks for knives too but I think that is a smaller cross section.

    Anyway, in answer to your question, speaking for myself at least, there is a lot of dice rolling based on educated guessing. Once you get really acquainted with certain rocks you can sometimes see the diamond in the mud. And then sometimes I'm wrong and you hear the sad trombones on opening the package. There is also that phenomenon like the cartoons where the guys are stranded on an island and the one guy looks at the other and sees a steak. I try to avoid that but HAD can be an ugly, hideous affliction.

    I personally have had pretty good luck with gambles but I prefer to see it in person. Generally the antique stores ask a premium and there is a lot of camel trading involved. Even then some people like the put museum wax or spray lacquer or whatever the dark shiny crap is on tools which includes hones, particularly boxed ones. That makes it even harder to tell because you can't spritz and dab a corner with WD-40 and a rag easily to get a closer look. I bought what I am quite certain is a washita like that that is still in the project queue because I can't get that $&# off of it.
    I'm sure smarter people than I have better methods but that's what I have on the matter. Hey, at least what you found wasn't an Ace hardware synthetic knife stone.
    The dark shiny crap is most likely boiled linseed oil. Old time woodworkers used it on everything.

    ...and yeah, I'm newish to natural stones. Not new to wet shaving or most wet shaving forums in general. Just this one. I'll go post an intro thread before this post turns into one.

  8. #8
    Senior Member blabbermouth PaulFLUS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outback View Post
    Oooooh.!

    Name:  KIMG6444.jpg
Views: 78
Size:  89.1 KB

    It'll work.!

    Name:  KIMG6436.jpg
Views: 73
Size:  31.0 KB

    Oooh yeah.!

    Name:  KIMG6438.jpg
Views: 74
Size:  30.4 KB

    Never know what a rock can do, till its a hone.
    All "hones," started out being just a rock. That's why I am ever hopeful and only sometimes disappointed.
    Iron by iron is sharpened, And a man sharpens the face of his friend. PR 27:17

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    Senior Member Steve56's Avatar
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    Welcome Ryan!
    outback likes this.
    My doorstop is a Nakayama

  10. #10
    Senior Member blabbermouth PaulFLUS's Avatar
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    Case in point.
    Name:  Screenshot_20230201-214829.jpg
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Size:  9.9 KB

    Seller says "natural stone." By this picture it's hard to tell with all the dwarf and oily crap. So I looked at the sellers other items list which is mostly women's clothing and chochskis. Had they had lots of razor or knife stuff I would have been more confident. Still, looking closely at all the photos and trying hard not to let my eyes see what they want to see...
    Name:  Screenshot_20230201-214847~2.jpg
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    I am more convinced to take a chance. For $44.00 I decided to take a chance that it is in fact the Ark, most likely a Washita, that I want it to be. A Washita that size and in that condition would be worth much more.

    No guts no glory and all that sort of rot.
    Last edited by PaulFLUS; 02-02-2023 at 03:13 AM.
    outback and Johntoad57 like this.
    Iron by iron is sharpened, And a man sharpens the face of his friend. PR 27:17

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