Author Topic: When did you...  (Read 1098 times)

Offline Stephen M

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When did you...
« on: March 07, 2020, 10:18:09 pm »
Good afternoon all,

I've had my Tormek T-8 for about 4 weeks.  I've sharpened about 30-40 knives, a few pairs of scissors, and some chisels for friends and family members.  I know I need to do LOTS more before I even consider to start doing this professionally.  At what point did you feel comfortable in your abilities to start charging for your services?  Also, what do you consider to be a fair price for said services?  I'm trying to get a feel for the market and I would rather ask folks that have been doing this for a while rather than starting off blind.  Lastly, back when I was in gunsmith school we had a set of 3 flat oil stones of different grits to sharpen our chisels that we used for stock making.  They had a black plastic base that my gunsmithing instructor would pour transmission fluid in and use in place of honing oil (picture below).  Would it be a benefit to use this type of oil/fluid on Tormek stones?

https://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Norton-3-Stone-IM313-System-P48.aspx?gclid=Cj0KCQiAqY3zBRDQARIsAJeCVxOrWyYVjdyBQxdIAXBUV316YXUt1fDGp0kfpcMreTW_D6RkJproCq4aAiKoEALw_wcB

As always, I thank you so much for your time, input, suggestions and consideration.

Thank you,

Stephen M. 

Offline jeffs55

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Re: When did you...
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2020, 11:47:23 am »
Water is the only thing you use on a Tormek stone. As far as knife sharpening; you have sharpened several as you mentioned. Did you notice the uneven bevel grind on the blade? If so, are you good with giving that back to a customer? There is no easy way to not have that uneven bevel on a knife blade. The only way is to remove the knife from the jig and turn it over with the jig oriented the same way ie locking knob always up or down.
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Offline cbwx34

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Re: When did you...
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2020, 07:49:35 pm »
...we had a set of 3 flat oil stones of different grits to sharpen our chisels that we used for stock making.  They had a black plastic base that my gunsmithing instructor would pour transmission fluid in and use in place of honing oil (picture below).  Would it be a benefit to use this type of oil/fluid on Tormek stones?

I would guess the "official" answer would be 'no', and personally, what came to mind was, what a mess. :P  I wouldn't... water is relatively cheap, easy to clean up, safer (than transmission fluid), etc.

...Did you notice the uneven bevel grind on the blade? If so, are you good with giving that back to a customer? There is no easy way to not have that uneven bevel on a knife blade. The only way is to remove the knife from the jig and turn it over with the jig oriented the same way ie locking knob always up or down.

Not entirely true... while the jig is not "self centering", it's designed to handle knives around 2mm thick, and you won't see much of a difference until you approach a mm or so either way.

But yeah, it is something to be aware of, and start paying attention to the bevels on each side.
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Offline john.jcb

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Re: When did you...
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2020, 09:19:04 pm »
When I thought I was ready to do someone's knives I started slowly with friends and sharpened on a barter system.

My friends were happy and I remember getting a pot of Italian Wedding soup from a friend who is a chef. pellets for my smoker, some craft sauces that are not available over the Internet and some pastry from a local bakery.
They were all happy and were great word of mouth advertising.

I have always enjoyed barter. My first experience was as a young teenager where I gave our elderly Norwegian neighbor a salmon and in return he smoked the rest of the day's catch.
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Offline Stephen M

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Re: When did you...
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2020, 12:54:00 am »
First of all, thank you all so much for the recommendations. I really do appreciate all of the quick responses! You folks are great! That's a great idea about the barter system! I'll definitely keep that in mind!

Thank you all again!
Stephen M

Offline RickKrung

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Re: When did you...
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2020, 03:32:11 pm »
Good afternoon all,

...snip... Also, what do you consider to be a fair price for said services?  I'm trying to get a feel for the market and I would rather ask folks that have been doing this for a while rather than starting off blind.  ...snip...

Stephen M.

I think what you charge partially depends on the market you are in.  Cities more.  Rural areas less.  Etc.  And what else is available - competition and what folks are used to. 

Before I had a Tormek, I was having my knives sharpened by someone using a Tormek and they were charging $5 per blade.  Scissors, with two blades were $10.  So that is what I started doing once I did start sharpening for others. 

I live in a very rural area in far NE Oregon, which is split economically.  There are very few full time jobs here and many folks have to work 2-3 part-time jobs to make it.  Then there are the cattle ranchers, some doing well, others not so much.  Then there are those who are relatively well off, for whatever reasons.  Some around here thing $5 per blade is outrageous and I've never seen any of them.  Others don't bat an eye and keep bringing things to me. 

When I did a season at farmer's markets, two different locations, I charged the same and had a reasonable amount of customers.  I didn't care for that venue, so I'm not doing that anymore.  Partially because I like to do things right and that takes too long for that type of service. 

There is a guy here who brought with him, his sharpening business, from Kansas.  He uses a semi-commercial sharpening machine.  He charges $2.50 per knife.  I've never seen the edges he produces but I have seen his machine. I was not impressed, but it is obviously fast and easy. 

I hope this helps. 

Rick
« Last Edit: March 10, 2020, 03:33:46 pm by RickKrung »
Quality is like buying oats.  If you want nice clean, fresh oats, you must pay a fair price. However, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse, that comes at a lower price.

Offline john.jcb

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Re: When did you...
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2020, 08:37:31 pm »
I typically charge $5 unless the knife is badly damaged.
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Offline RickKrung

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Re: When did you...
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2020, 03:37:11 pm »
...snip...
I have always enjoyed barter. My first experience was as a young teenager where I gave our elderly Norwegian neighbor a salmon and in return he smoked the rest of the day's catch.

And where were you living/fishing in those days?  Astoria, OR?  Huge population of Scandinavians historically in that area and once an amazing salmon fishery. 

Rick
Quality is like buying oats.  If you want nice clean, fresh oats, you must pay a fair price. However, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse, that comes at a lower price.

Offline john.jcb

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Re: When did you...
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2020, 03:40:53 pm »
...snip...
I have always enjoyed barter. My first experience was as a young teenager where I gave our elderly Norwegian neighbor a salmon and in return he smoked the rest of the day's catch.

And where were you living/fishing in those days?  Astoria, OR?  Huge population of Scandinavians historically in that area and once an amazing salmon fishery. 

Rick

I spent my early years and time fishing in the waters around Bainbridge Island, WA. At the time seafood of all types was plentiful and there were not that many people competing for it. I remember picking oysters at Hood Canal and at low tide they were all you could see. Now we live in Illinois.
Sharpen the knife blade
Hone edge until perfection
Cut with joy and ease