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TOPIC: Sharpening at Events (Knife Shows, Markets, etc.)

Sharpening at Events (Knife Shows, Markets, etc.) 1 year 4 months ago #11276

  • cbwx34
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Since there has been a bit of interest in sharpening as a business lately... I was wondering if those of you who sharpen at events: gun shows / farmer's markets / etc. would share your process? For example, how much time you spend on a knife on average, what level of finish you go to, what problems you have encountered etc. It would seem in these scenarios, you would be under a bit of a time crunch, vs., for example, a mail order or a drop off service.

For example, there's a couple of videos of Clay sharpening at knife shows... it appears he spends about 10-15 min. on a knife (most of that is showing/talking about what he's doing though), he matches or comes close to the bevel that's on the knife (just from the videos I watched), goes thru what appears to be 100-1000g stones, a set of ceramics, and at least one leather strop. Here's a couple of videos... (if you find others or have your own... please post!) (I'm summarizing from the videos, so may not be totally correct.)





So, what do some of the rest of you do? I watched Bob Nash briefly at a gun show... but didn't get a chance to see the entire process on a knife. Based on some of his Facebook postings though, it looks like he gets thru quite a number of knives in a day.

I've seen a couple of other members here that sharpen at a flea or farmer's market... how do you do it?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Sharpening at Events (Knife Shows, Markets, etc.) 1 year 4 months ago #11278

  • EamonMcGowan
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Curtis,
Thank you so much for bring this topic up. I was just in this scenario yesterday? I called over one of my RSO's to the house who is a hand sharpener (and good) and asked him is this blade sharp enough?
I realize that sharp is a retaliative term and probably means something different to everyone reading this? I call all the way through to 1K diamonds and strop 5/3.5 "Wicked Sharp"?
However it seems to me? I really spend to much time on a blade? I know I am not 1/10 the sharpener that Clay is but there should seem for me a happy medium?
Just watching the video I know that I am far to rigid and need to relax with the process. People are dropping their knifes off and I give them back when done. I'm doing about 3-6 knifes a day? 6 is definitely on the high side.
I am very curious to know what is enough for say a 3-4 inch folder, and a $5.00 service charge? I am thinking it should push cut bond paper?
Thoughts? TIA!
The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result?
An old Irish toast, May the wind always be at your back, may you always have work and may you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows your dead. Cheers!
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Re: Sharpening at Events (Knife Shows, Markets, etc.) 1 year 4 months ago #11281

  • PhilipPasteur
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What is an RSO? Range safety officer??? I had to guess having no context!!

I hesitated to reply to this because I don't sharpen at events. People bring the knives to me. Mostly through word of mouth with a few postings on some community bulletin boards.. and ads in some local free "newspapers".
Right now I am doing this as a sideline, sort of a Hobby, that helps defray some of the cost of my equipment.
I have a full time 10 plus hours per day job...

I don't have the pressure that Curtis mentioned to get to the next paying customer. In that respect this is off topic.

If I charge $5.00, it is a literally 5 minute trip using three belts (120/300/600) and maybe a leather belt with "white" polishing compound on it on the belt grinder. Possibly the most time in that process it changing belts.The key is understanding what the person expects. I have knives that I show to folks, and I ask them what they use the knife for. Once I know what they want, I offer them a range of prices. If they want a mirror edge refined to submicron levels, they pay much more than $5.00. So, I believe that what level I take a knife to is totally dependent on what the customer wants. I have done knives for friends producing a mirror bevel, asked them a month later how they liked the edge and they tell me they haven't used it because they didn't want to mess it up. That is counterproductive...;)

OTH, most people that I give the 5 minute belt grinder job to still tell me that their knives have never been that sharp... They go off and beat the hell out of them...then bring them back for sharpening.

Which makes more sense???

Bottom line is that I have never worried about speed sharpening on the WEPS. Could I use the factory angles and run through the diamonds and hit it with two grits of stops in 15 minutes... probably. But if that is as much as I need to do to keep someone happy, I may as well use the belt grinder... AND, 15 minutes is too long if you are only getting $5.00. You would starve to death doing that.

For me,using my WEPS is for labors of love...or people willing to make it worth my time. In those cases, I will not rush through the job.

I probably brought nothing to the specific topic, but hopefully someone found the info useful.

BTW, I wouldn't trade my WEPS for a dozen belt grinders... but each has its place.
Phil

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Last Edit: 1 year 4 months ago by PhilipPasteur.
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Re: Sharpening at Events (Knife Shows, Markets, etc.) 1 year 3 months ago #11388

  • tuffybraithwaite
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i sharpen at a kinda new farmers fare. it opened may 4th and is only opened each sat. thru. oct and then 2 sats. in nov and dec.----9am to noon.

first two sats. i did 6 or 7 each, then 3rd sat - 11 and last sat - 15 - last customer dropped off 6 at 11:30 - fare closed and i was still there.

for me it takes approx. 12 to 15 mins per knife and most all have been FFG kitchen knives.

last week i started using the new jaws and new set of 50/80's (not used 50's yet), but the 80's i like. on most knives i stop at 800 and then use coarse and fine ceramics ---then 10 or so strokes on leather strop with compound.
this sat. i plan on stopping at 600 on most and go with ceramics and strop.

i do not own the other ceramics - they were on back order when i wanted them so i just went with the others and they are really nice. i really want to add some water stones soon. when i owned the EP, i had nice stones i got from Ken for it and the stones are great as we all know.

give u another report sat. on how it went.
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Re: Sharpening at Events (Knife Shows, Markets, etc.) 1 year 3 months ago #11395

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Sounds interesting.
Did you get any feedback from the customers? Do you do any demos with their knives for them? As in maybe shaving aram hair or slicing paper?
Just curious. That kind of thing would seem to be dependent on word of mouth, happy customers mean more customers...
Phil

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Re: Sharpening at Events (Knife Shows, Markets, etc.) 1 year 3 months ago #11398

  • R.JeffreyCoates
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Sounds good.

You mentioned "new jaws" ... If I may ask, what were you referring to?

Thanks.

Jeff
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Re: Sharpening at Events (Knife Shows, Markets, etc.) 1 year 3 months ago #11399

  • ApexGS
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I set up at flea markets almost every Saturday and usually pull in a fair profit. I get a lot of advertising out of it which is certainly cheaper than a newspaper ad :) I've started duplex printing my business cards with my gunsmithing shop on the front, and knife sharpening info on the back. I repurposed an old Bushnell spotting scope case as a WEPS travel kit and have it stocked with ten or so cheap auction box lot knives to use as demonstration pieces. I also keep a bag of scrap paper strips and a catalog or two handy.

The most common knives I see are small pen knives and mini Buck style ones, so they don't take very long at all. I did have a two day event where some of the vendors brought their kitchen knives in on the second day and kept me busy all day long! Usually the customer will drop the knife off and wander around at the flea market, then come back to pick it up. I have had some really great conversations with folks who were interested in the process and the WEPS itself, or just talking gunsmithing stuff while I sharpen.

I've been really surprised how many guys don't carry even a small pocket knife, or think that carrying a knife is against the law. Here in PA our only major issue with knives is poor wording about automatics, but spring assist and anything else is fine with no size limit. I can't really fathom not having a pocket knife on me at all times unless I was employed somewhere I was barred from having it at work.
Your friendly neighborhood gunsmith!
- Tom
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Re: Sharpening at Events (Knife Shows, Markets, etc.) 1 year 3 months ago #11410

  • tuffybraithwaite
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had the farmers fare gig this morning - 12 knives - 11 were henckels and 1 old pocket knife.

of the 11 henckels, 4 were hollow edge Santoku's.

grossed $66.00 bucks - table set up fee $20.00......$46.00 smackers.....i like it....:cheer:
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Re: Sharpening at Events (Knife Shows, Markets, etc.) 1 year 3 months ago #11411

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What is that device that you have clamped up in the WEPS...in the attached picture?
Phil

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Hoping there is that bridge!
I miss you Buddy!
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Re: Sharpening at Events (Knife Shows, Markets, etc.) 1 year 3 months ago #11416

  • Mikedoh
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Is that the tormeck attachment cbwx posted a little while back?
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