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Messages - Y-Not

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1
General Tormek Questions / Re: Farmers Market update
« on: June 14, 2018, 11:58:35 am »
(B) in order to get any useful information onto a band-aid, the font would be too small to read.
...

Congrats on the business!

I would add my congratulations on your well deserved business success (although I would be reluctant to leave a steady day job with benefits).

I have never liked the band aid marketing program. While it may be cute, I do not like the message it conveys that using a Tormek increases your risk of injury. I have had numerous minor incisions from sharp knives and tools over the years. As they have been minor, I have just washed and dressed them and carried on. I remember from first aid class that the blood flow from incisions tends to be self cleaning, lowering the risk of infection. A cut from a dull or rough edge knife, while still an incision, would lean toward being a laceration, a more ragged wound more prone to infection.

My preferred defenses against cuts are sharp knives and large cutting boards.

Ken

Thanks to one and all.

And Ken, I totally agree.
The band-aid idea is cute. But it's really nothing more than that.
Plus, adding anything other than the basic necessities, contributes to the overhead and reduces profit. If I truly thought that adding a band-aid was required, I would have.
But it's not so...I'll never do that.

My feelings are that knives (sharp things) and fire have a lot in common.
Misuse or neglect either one and harm will come your way.
Manage, maintain and respect them and they are welcome assets (if not requirements) to your life.

And unless in some freakish world, sharpening suddenly starts offering healthcare benefits, there's not a chance in hell I'll give up my day job. 

2
General Tormek Questions / Re: Farmers Market update
« on: June 13, 2018, 04:23:37 pm »
Just had what I think of as a humorous thought, that I do not think is practical, but....  You should "package" a single bandaid, under one of those clear plastic things that "Packing Lists" come in, on the outside of some shipping boxes. 

Rick

We jokingly thought of having band-aids printed with the logo/info in them.
That idea was quickly squashed as (A) having custom band-aids printed is stupid expensive and (B) in order to get any useful information onto a band-aid, the font would be too small to read.

It was a fun thought for minute or two.   8)

BTW, last weeks Farmers Market was a crazy success. We were there and set up and ready for about 30 minutes. I was starting to wonder if this was going to be one of those slow days.

Then the flood gates opened and for the next 3 hours I never stopped.
Wound up making more in 3 hours than I do in a full 8 hours with my full-time job.  Sort of makes one wonder....should I be considering a job change?  :-\

3
General Tormek Questions / Re: Farmers Market update
« on: May 29, 2018, 04:54:25 pm »
I suspect part of this is just returning to your "comfort zone"... using something you're familiar with... especially in a new/unknown environment?

But if you continue to evaluate using the Tormek, I would consider looking at alternatives to the Platform Jig.  I've only used it for a short time... but am finding it really slows the sharpening process down.

The quote from Tormek that Herman Trivilino posted, I'm finding to be spot on.

I haven't timed it, but I know I could set a knife in the standard jig, set the angle, and sharpen it, considerably faster than using the Platform... even if the Platform Jig was already set.

If a knife needed a quick touch-up, I could see using the Platform... but I doubt you're seeing that at a Farmer's Market.  ;)

Maybe take another look at Steve's ideas for incorporating the Tormek with your other methods?  (At least so it's not just "sitting there"...).

Just a couple of ideas. ???

You might be right.
Before the whole farmers market thing came about, I had only sharpened freehand with stones then in the last 2 years, using a guided rod system. I had never used a belt before. I suspect that my freehand experience is why the belt worked so well for me.

Steve...Steve is Da Man in my book.
I'm always looking into his operation (when he was doing it).  My setup is almost a carbon copy of what he had set up at the markets he attended.
Not that I'm trying to model myself after him. It's just that his setup makes sense to me and works for me.

When I sharpened my (not dull) kitchen knives, the Tormek was the Mac Daddy! 
A couple of quick passes then a visit to the leather wheel and I was done.
Anything else, took more time that I wanted.

I'm sure the diamond wheels will have a positive impact on turn around times and I'm looking forward to them coming out.

4
General Tormek Questions / Re: Farmers Market update
« on: May 29, 2018, 03:04:03 pm »
Y-Not,

I am pleased your farmers market experience has been such a fine success.

My two principal sharpening tools are my Tormek and my belt grinder. For me, my Tormek is my work horse, however, I would feel uncomfortable without either of my complementary tools. They work well together. I would feel uncomfortable in a farmers market situation without a good backup.

Granted, the belt grinder is a very efficient and versatile tool. I think the Tormek is, too. However, I do not the standard Tormek technique is always fast for volume work.

This is changing. The new diamond wheels will eliminate many of the constraints. There will be no need to interrupt sharpening for truing or grading the stone. This will be a huge improvement. Also, I believe the 600 grit diamond wheel will eliminate the necessity for changing grits, especially when used wet.

My thoughts on bevel setting are well known on this forum. The Anglemaster works fine with chisels, however, I find it difficult and slow to use with knives. I find the black marker easier to use, but certainly not as quick as a kenjig. The diamond wheels will eliminate any need to compensate for wheel wear.

Y-Not, I suggest you keep using your belt grinder at the farmers market and also continue tuning your Tormek technique. You have a good sharpening background. As you continue tuning your technique, you may wish to use both tools. Whichever tool you favor, I would feel more comfortable having a good back up system with me at the farmers market!

Do keep us posted and, as always, the best of luck.

Ken

ps I think the paper knife sheaths with your contact info are an excellent idea!

pps For very mobile work, where you have to carry and set up a lot like in restaurants, I love my T4 carried in a bowling ball bag. It's the cat's meow!

Ken,

As always, you and everyone here have been very supportive and willing to share your knowledge.  This has been a BIG help as my anxiety about market and using the Tormek were taking hold, it was and still is fun to be involved with a group like this.  Bloopers and all. ;)

I'm sure that given enough time, my performance with the Tormek would get much better.  At this point, it's all about the turnaround time (and not over heating the metal).  The belt sander has the speed that I need and it's up to me to manage the temperature of the metal.

I fully intend to keep sharpening my skills with the Tormek.

My full time job is computer hardware repair and I'm always moving from one tool to another as my experience with each one tells me which will perform best for the task at hand.

Swapping between the sander and the Tormek is not all that different.

Thanks again and I'll keep you posted as my progression continues.

5
General Tormek Questions / Re: Farmers Market update
« on: May 28, 2018, 06:12:06 pm »
He gave me a business card and I would call him and find out when he would be there again.  I'm sure you must be doing something similar. 

Rick

Yeah, sort of.
I toyed with the idea of getting business cards.
Then my wife suggested that instead of business cards, we hand out the knife sheaths that already have our info on them.

Everyone seemed to think that it was a clever/good idea.
They have my info and they have something to bring their knife back to me in.  Win/Win.

I'm all over Facebook and NextDoor.  I had one elderly lady that has physical issues and can not get around the market. She contacted me yesterday and dropped off 4 scissors and 8 knives.  I told her that if she didn't need the sheaths, to please hand them out to friends, family and neighbors. Just as one might do with business cards.

What they don't know is that all of the sheaths we've given out, have a little mark on them that only we know to look for.  So...I'll know if the "business cards" are coming back or not.

6
General Tormek Questions / Re: Farmers Market update
« on: May 28, 2018, 05:34:19 pm »
Bad Ole Guess?   ;)

Nice going.  Sorry that the Tormek didn't fit in.  Maybe another time.  With that under your belt, what to you see yourself using the Tormek for? 

Rick

It depends on what unfolds over the next few weeks.  The woman managing the market wants to put me in touch with the local restaurant chiefs. If that happens, it'll be nothing but Tormek.  While turnaround is important, precision is more so in that case.

7
General Tormek Questions / Re: Farmers Market update
« on: May 28, 2018, 05:31:18 pm »
I think he uses the BOG scale.
Big ol’ Grin  ;)

Pretty much.
If my customers are grinning, I've done my job.

8
General Tormek Questions / Re: Farmers Market update
« on: May 28, 2018, 05:30:17 pm »
just curious, do you use a Bess scale after sharpening ?

Love too but...Most market folks aren't impressed with numbers.
Can it shave hair?  That's what they are asking for. 

I'll use the phone book paper or news paper to check my work for areas that need a little more attention.
Outside of that, the market folks are tickled stupid to have sharp edges again.

9
General Tormek Questions / Farmers Market update
« on: May 28, 2018, 01:40:41 pm »
Hey everyone...

I've got good news and bad news.

First off, the Farmers Market was an OUTSTANDING success.

We pulled in a really nice bit of business. While the weather report called for rain, not a drop fell. :)
We were talking to several other vendors and most all of them said that this was the biggest opening day for the market that they've had in the 10 years the market has been happening.

We were pretty much set up and ready for business about 15 minutes before the official starting time.  About 10 minutes before the opening, I started sharpening my first blade and was sharpening something, non-stop for the next 90 minutes. Which is sort of funny because I had told my wife that I needed to use the restroom before we got started...Damn good thing I was highly focused or I might have wet myself.   :P

We had one fella (older gent) wander by. Asked about the price. Then he said "for that, I'll just keep trying on my own".
Everyone else, was more than willing to pay.  One guy said that no matter what he did or who tried, he could not get an edge on his pocket knife. I told him to let me try. If I can't do it either, there would be no charge for my failure.  ;)

5 minutes later, I look over to my wife who is giving him his knife back. I saw him shave a 1 inch strip of fur off of the back of his hand. The look on his face was worth more than what he paid for the sharpening.  That was a beautiful thing and a hell of a confidence booster.

Another fella had a combo straight edge/serrated pocket knife. He said that he thought that serrated edges couldn't be sharpened. Again, I asked that he let me try it. We gave him a Tormek band-aid as he cut his thumb thinking it was still dull.  He gave us a tip.  :)

One guy was a retired military veteran and was awarded a very, very nice (and since very well used) pocket knife. Apparently whatever branch of the service he was in, didn't teach basic knife sharpening. He said that he's never been able to get an edge on it like it had when he first got it.
He left grinning like a school boy after his first kiss.  :)  Another happy customer.
 
We had a few Scissors. I cut myself a few times just cleaning them up. Job hazard I guess you'd call it.

The bad news...and I hate to bring it up due to present company (this entire forum) is that while the Tormek was present the whole time, it was never used. Not even plugged in. :(

While I love everything about the Tormek, it's simply not fast enough to keep pace at the market. It does a beautiful job. Edges are a delight to look at but it's not designed or capable of being used in a high volume environment. I needed really sharp edges and a really fast turnaround and the Tormek can only fulfill one of those requirements. :(

I've got a belt sharpener with various grit belts and a leather belt with honing compound. As I've grown up free handing on stones, the various angles were muscle memory. The biggest different between the belt sander and stones is the heat.  As long and I used a light touch and paid close attention to the blade temperatures (fingers always on the blade, sensing for warmth), it was the best and fastest method of getting the hair cutting edges I was looking for.
If a blade started getting warm, I'd quench it in a bucket of water and get right back to sharpening. It worked, it was fast and no one had to wait more than about 5 minutes. Most everyone had their blades done and waiting for them when they returned from shopping all the other vendors.

Everyone seemed to like the claim ticket concept. It made sense to them. Some of the guys didn't want to wear them around their necks. We told them to put'em in your pocket if you want. Just make sure to bring it back when you come to collect you blades.

I was a little sad (a lot really) to see the Tormek sitting on the bench, not being used. But I was happy to produce the edges I was wanting and to see the expressions on the faces of the customers when they came to collect their knives.

All in all, it was a fun and profitable day and I now look forward to doing it again next Saturday and the next, and the next, and the next...Until the last Saturday in October. :)

10
General Tormek Questions / Re: Farmers Market test run...
« on: May 14, 2018, 03:58:30 am »
How awesome doing a test run.  I have worked several BBQ cooking contests. 

Your table is too low.  By the end of the day you won't be able to move!!!!  Ok I am not 20 either.

But I found a higher pedestal workstand/bench allows me to raise the Tormek higher and I can sharpen much better longers. 

I have found too that customers like there items separated.  As you I keep separate baskets.  I wasn't doing the second control of providing a ticket or other item.  Great idea.  I have a 3d printer and will make some knife plastic thingys or something to keep each basket to each customers.  Great idea!!!!!!

I was super nervous my first BBQ.  Second and third I was able to focus more on my process and the customer, where now, I have it down pretty well.  ANd yes I have found even in broad daylight, a desk lamp always helps!!!!

Yeah, I hear what you are saying about the bench being too low.  And at first, it was a concern for the reasons you mentioned but while getting to know my Tormek and practicing my techniques, I have spent many an hour working over it.  I set the height based upon the Tormek suggestions and what I'ev read here and a dozen other places.  So far, no discomfort what-so-ever. If needed, I can always raise it. Right now, it works and I'm good with it.

The light, was not an option.  My normal job is working on computers. Generally in the wee wee hours in a less than well lit data center. As I'm 20+ years away from my 20's, lighting is a requirement for almost everything I do these days.   :P

More photos from the "test event" and one of my bin/claim ticket process.

In one of the photos, you can see the knife rest (thanks to Herman!).
In another, I'm putting it to work.  If you look, you'll see a clear bottle of water.  I use that to rinse the rest after a couple of knife flips.  Just to rinse away any grit that might have been deposited on the knife rest.  I also use the same bottle to rinse out the water trough when I've finished each blade.

My son was giving me grief about it being a ketchup bottle.
I told him that it does what I need and didn't cost me a penny.  So why go out and buy a bottle just for this purpose when I was about to toss one in the recycling?

11
I also took a tip from Y-not, and added just a touch of oil to the tape surface and wiped most of it off, (I don't want to get oil on the wheel)... this worked well enough to make the duct tape workable.  Good little tip!. :)

Yeah, just a drop on each side, spread around then wipe the excess on the platform and spread it around too.

That platform is the cat's pajamas!
I used if yesterday during my test run (for the farmers market). It worked like a champ for what I needed it to do.  :D

12
General Tormek Questions / Re: Farmers Market test run...
« on: May 13, 2018, 06:55:52 pm »
Brave, Y-Not! you have devised and executed an excellent plan. You practice run will have so many benefits. I like how you have involved your family.

Keep us posted!

Ken

Thanks!

The first benefit is that we've ironed out some wrinkles before opening day. That was really BIG.

The second and perhaps most important is that I'm feeling more at ease with the whole working at a market thing. 

I'm absolutely confident about my ability to sharpen.  It's the market part that's had me on edge. The Tormek helps a whole lot.  Speeds things up nicely as well as allows me to expand my list of items that I can sharpen while at the market.  You may have noticed that I've got a reel mower displayed on my banner.  I've been doing those for years too but I will not be able to do that at the market.  But that's there just in case some one might be interested. They can drop them off at the market and either pick them up the following Saturday or some day during the week.

Also, one of the two boys in the photo is not mine.  He's the son of a neighbor/friend of my son.

13
General Tormek Questions / Farmers Market test run...
« on: May 13, 2018, 06:26:59 pm »
Yesterday, my son, wife and I set up our canopy, tables, benches, banner and all, just as we might for the actual farmers market that'll be starting in two weeks.

For the past two weeks, I've been letting the neighbors know that I'd be doing this and that I needed input from them on what works, what doesn't and what they thought was missing.

I also wanted them to bring me things to sharpen. While this was not a requirement, I thought it'd be useful to go through the whole process for 4 hours just as if I were set up at the market.  We had a few folks come by. All brought me something to sharpen as well as sharing their thoughts on the whole set up.

I'm afraid that they didn't feel like they could give me honest, constructive criticism. Everyone seemed to like how it was organized and how easy it was to drop off items and how it was set up so that every order was kept isolated from the others. They seemed to really like the knife sheaths (big thanks to Steve Bottorff for sharing his template)

I made a few bucks. Which was not really the primary goal.
Most importantly, I was able to sort out how I wanted everything arranged, how to work with another person or two milling about while I was working.
What items we didn't really need. What items we really needed (fan, trash can, cooler).

Most of the time was spent just sitting, waiting for someone new to arrive. That part felt like a waste of time. I expect that I'll have times like this at the market too. The biggest difference is that we'll have people to talk to as they pass by.

All in all, it was worth it.

I feel like I got a small sample of what people will present to me at the market.

I had to decline a couple of items just because they should have been tossed long ago or it would require more effort to sharpen than it was worth (broken and duct taped handles on shears being one).

Some of our friends (more my wife's than mine), dropped off a few knives, pickled up their claim tag (a lanyard with  logo and a number) then wandered about our yard/garden talking to my wife about whatever they talk about. My son sent a text message letting them know that their items were complete and ready for pick up.  15 to 20 minutes later they wandered back. I gave them the bin with their items (matched the bin number to the claim tag number). My wife collected the $$ and the transaction was complete.  :)

Again, all in all, it was a success without the pressure of hoards of people. We had time in between "customers" to rearrange things and discuss what we'd need for the opening day at the market.  Very, very low pressure event and the primary goal was obtained.  I'd give myself a "high five" but I'd look like some numb nut clapping for no reason.   ::)

Now to print up a bunch of sheaths and price lists (again, thanks to Steve for his ideas/templates).

14
General Tormek Questions / Tormek Bloopers anyone???
« on: May 09, 2018, 04:51:22 am »
Hey Folks,

A new member posted a comment that Ken S responded to that got me thinking that it might be fun (and perhaps educational) to hear about the various flubs/bloopers that we've experienced. Especially when getting to know our new machines.

While mine is not all that funny, looking back at it I have to laugh at myself so...I'll start it off with my lame excuse for a blooper.

As some may know, I'm about a month into my Tormek experience and I'm getting ready to be a sharpening vendor at a Farmers Market.
With that in mind, I'm wandering about my shop, garage, kitchen, neighbor's houses, etc..looking for things that I can try to sharpen.

I came across a Woodsman Pal. It's got a somewhat curved edge as well as a hook at the end.  The backside of the hood needed to be ground flat. Like you would with a chisel. No problem I thought. My mighty Tormek was made for this.

So I go to flatten the back of the hooked part of the blade. It's going along rather well. Albeit somewhat slow.  So I'm pressing a little firmer than I had with the chisels. It's progressing and finally it's all nice and smooth.

I go to wipe off the part of the blade that I was focusing on and there's this red substance on the blade.  What the hell?
I wipe it off again. And it's still there.

Bewildered, I go to grab a clean shop rag and when I reached for the rag, I see that my index finger was dripping blood. Not gushing. Just dripping a bit.
I guess for some reason I figured that my skin was tougher than metal and would be unharmed while the stone had other ideas and tried to sharpen my index finger between the first and second knuckle.

Oddly enough, it was never even the least bit uncomfortable while it was happening.  Just the cool water running over my finger.  Never even thought about it grinding away at my skin.


Like I said earlier, it's not nearly as entertaining as Ken's post but still...
It's been part of my learning curve.

15
Knife Sharpening / Re: The learning curve...
« on: May 09, 2018, 04:12:41 am »
Agreed. That would probably be our topic with the most replies, and also our most useful topic. :)

Ken

I'll start it in the General area.  You can move it, make it a sticky or whatever...
Thus far, my bloopers aren't nearly as good as the one you posted but...I've got one or two. ;)

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