Ground JointsTeam Chameleon
No, it’s not the bottle of burnt ends that you throw in your spacecase when you’re hard up. The glass fittings that allow you to assemble and take apart functional glass pieces are called ground joints. “Ground”, as in the surface is put into a grinder or etching machine to abraid the surface. “Joint”, as in the point at which parts of an artificial structure are joined.
At the beginning of the ground joint craze, joints were priced at less than $1 each wholesale. You’re not in Kansas anymore. All ground joints have skyrocketed in price recently and joints that once sold for .95¢ are now $3.49 or more wholesale. Care for some salt in that wound? Here you go — call them whatever you will — German, Czech, Indian or Chinese, precious few (LGA and GTI) are made in the U.S. and from what I can observe, all of the imported ground joints are now seconds due to the dramatic increase in inclusions and tool marks.
So, what you face now is a dramatically more expensive, lower quality raw material, and there isn’t jack sh*t anyone in the U.S. can do about it until more of them are made here domestically. Once LGA and GTI show the third world that we can make a quality product at appropriate prices, production stoppages and ridiculous price increases will be a historical blip in our rear view mirror.