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Thread: Prices of Japanese natural stones

  1. #16
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    John, I respect your viewpoint but I’m willing to give the benefit of a doubt. Most often I feel that this is a case of ‘either/or’ choices more than anything else. Example being perhaps someone buys their sought after sharpening stone but decides not to take a vacation, etc.

    My point, is that it’s easy to take something like sharpening stones or infill planes and consider it excessive, but I suppose I simply see it as indicators that demand for such things is strong and in the case of something like infill planes I’m glad to see someone patronizing a talented maker at a level that allows them to stretch their legs a bit.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  2. #17
    Brian and James, I understand what you are saying and agree, but again, it is the "inordinate pride" that is concerning.

    When you show me your new tool, car, whatever, if the first words out of your mouth are the cost instead of how well it works; how beautiful it is; how much it means to you; how this adds to a collection that is an important hobby of yours; how it will change your life or the lives of those you care about; or, in some manner benefit mankind other than just transferring wealth, then I become suspect and get the feeling that the pride you have is simply because you have the object and need to impress me with the cost.

    Instead, I would love to hear how the good Lord has blessed you with resources for which you are thankful, and how much the new toy means to you.

    As an artist and a woodworker, I have a great appreciation for art, for the craftsmanship one puts into their work, for ingenuity and invention and the commercial aspect of those items being sought by others. All of those things create the capitalistic system we have and for which I am grateful. To put it plainly, I just do not like the "snob factor." It isn't my job to judge folks, but the conclusions I draw from their behavior are mine - you may have yours and they may differ.

    I will leave it at that in an effort to let this thread be about the OP's comments.
    Last edited by John Keeton; 05-21-2020 at 1:13 PM.

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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Keeton View Post
    True, Brian, but you have ignored or avoided the qualifying phrase in my post - “a segment of the population that takes an inordinate pride...”. It is the “inordinate pride” that is concerning to me. You may have differing opinions.
    My "inordinate pride" is usually focused on how something was acquired for a ridiculously low price. Though some of my bobbles were purchased at retail and receive as much pride.

    Quote Originally Posted by James Pallas View Post
    I often find things interesting to investigate. The price of tool is what it is worth to the user. I have often thought “why is that tool so expensive”. Sometimes I just want to know if the tool would be of value to me or if in my view I’m satisfied with what I have. If my inquisitive mind gets the better of me I search out someone who has the tool and go see for myself. I have purchased tools that I have at first thought “no way would I pay that price”. In the mean time I don’t question the buyers of such tools. After seeing the tool in use I many times decide that it is not for me because I can do the work equally or better with what I have.
    Often we think of the cost of a tool in the terms of what another similar tool costs. In my case it is my $25 Stanley #4 that is ~130 years old compared to a $350 Lie Nielsen #4. Of course the LN is going to beat it in every category except removing shavings from a piece of wood.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    John, I respect your viewpoint but I’m willing to give the benefit of a doubt. Most often I feel that this is a case of ‘either/or’ choices more than anything else. Example being perhaps someone buys their sought after sharpening stone but decides not to take a vacation, etc.

    My point, is that it’s easy to take something like sharpening stones or infill planes and consider it excessive, but I suppose I simply see it as indicators that demand for such things is strong and in the case of something like infill planes I’m glad to see someone patronizing a talented maker at a level that allows them to stretch their legs a bit.
    For some, the vacation might be a new sharpening stone to work with during a week or two of no other responsibilities.

    On a philosophical level some may experience a oneness with the tools they use. Some of my tools do feel better in hand than others. Paying more for some unexplainable comfort is worth it to many. Others choose to get the job done without the luxury. That is why we have Hyundais and Mercedes driving on the same highways.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #19
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    It's the same thing in lots of areas, the wild price differences of "luxury items." Wines, whiskeys, cars, clothes, travel, and nearly anything else. At some point along the spectrum of cost vs quality, higher prices don't buy performance, they buy exclusivity, insane attention to fine craftsmanship, and rare materials.

    As a wise old man once said to me, "there's an ass for every chair." I'm glad that there are artisans making very high end tools that I will never be able to buy, but I am also glad there are manufacturers of high quality tools that with some scrimping and saving I can afford (think LN and LV). Good tools have always been expensive.

    For me, there are two sweet spots, the highest "out of the box" performance for a reasonable price, (again, LN and LV) and buying a used tool for a low price and restoring it to high performance. I enjoy the process, which is good, because the investment in time making an old rusty chisel sing, for instance, would make it a very expensive chisel, if I considered my time in the cost.

    DC

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