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TOPIC: New customer from the farmers market.

New customer from the farmers market. 1 year 2 weeks ago #13347

  • JedBowen
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I had a very good day at my local farmers market Saturday. First off I kick myself for not taking pictures of what I got for before and after pictures that I would like to add to my up and coming webpage.

I found out our farmers market will try to go until December which is nice but will be cold but a longer season for me.

Now good part. I had the owner/head chef of our local fancy restaurant find me at the farmers market on Saturday. I showed him what I can do with my crappy Thrift Store, made in China "recycled knives" and he said to stop by after the market closed. So I show up and chat him up for a min and he hands me off a shallow hotel pan full of about 20 knives.The first question I asked him was "what angle did he prefer to be put on his knives?". His response was "I have never been asked that question ever in over 30 years of being a chef", I explained the pros and cons of the knife angles and he settles on between 20-25 degrees. So I ask him about working in trade at restaurant, he agrees and I quote my price then he hands me a gift card.

Some of the kitchen knives were in pretty bad shape from the previous "grinder in a van guy", pretty sad what they can do to a knife in a matter of seconds with a grinder. So I talk to the other chefs in the kitchen and they ask how I sharpen the knives, with my answer being "by hand of course" and their eyes light up. They heard I was stopping by to sharpen knives and hid all of their personal knives which were all Shuns. They started bringing them out one by one after the "by hand of course" sharpening method I mentioned. Then my eyes started lighting up from the beautiful knives and the extra revenue I was generating. So I set up out on the side porch and started to work and one by one I gathered my own crowd of chefs. They start asking to feed me and if they can bring me a beer and what would I want to drink. That really made me feel good that the chefs were secure enough to turn loose of thousands of dollars in knives and to offer me food and drink as I worked. So I finished up the lead chefs knives first and was she very happy when I repaired the broken and bent tip on one of her knives. She is a knife geek like the rest of us so I had to impress her and the owner most of all.

When I finished up I went to the kitchen and asked for a potato, and with each knife I sliced off a round and julienned the round to show how sharp the knife was and to show off my old cook knife skills. Then I washed all the knives and the cutting board and then accepted my food, drink and beer. They took real good care of me and I took good care of them and their babies. It took me about 3 hours to get set up, sharpen all the knives, demonstrate, clean up, and tear down my station.

In the end they were happy with working in trade, asking what angle they would like their knives sharpened at, that I sharpened the knives by hand, I demonstrated how sharp the end product was, and hand washed the knives to finish up with. I was also offered a job there too. I think they were happy in the end.

Any other ideas about how to schmooze and keep clients happy or provide a better service?

Thanks for listening to me ramble, but I hope this may help give some ideas or generate new ones for others.

Jed
Last Edit: 1 year 2 weeks ago by JedBowen. Reason: added a line
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New customer from the farmers market. 1 year 2 weeks ago #13351

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kewl

i like it
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New customer from the farmers market. 1 year 2 weeks ago #13363

  • EamonMcGowan
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Way to go!! That's a High Five! :woohoo: It just could not be any better! ;)
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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New customer from the farmers market. 1 year 2 weeks ago #13365

  • razoredgeknives
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Great story man! Thanks for giving us ideas of what worked for you!

So any idea of how long it took you per knife? Also, what progression did you use and how much of a perfectionist were you on them?
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New customer from the farmers market. 1 year 2 weeks ago #13370

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On all the knives I do for my normal economic price of $5 for 6" and under to $8 up to 10" and $10 to 14" I leave the arms set at the 25° mark. My progression is 50 or 80 grit to start with and progress up to 600 grit then hit it with a few strokes of the coarse then fine on the ceramics then hit it about 10 strokes with the strops. My average time is 5 min for the knives that aren't too bad off and up to 10 min if I have to grind away with the 50 grit to burnish out the nicks or reset the bevel, I add $3.00 to the cost to do this. The Shuns I spent about 8-10 min on each as they were not bad but I needed to impress the chefs with even angles and a straight cutting blade. In all I was done in 3 hours and I did shoot a little low on my quote but I figured with that many to sharpen I would do a free knife or 2 for free to let the chefs try them out while I finished. And my free knives turned into lunch with a beer in the end so I figured it out to be even in the end.

I have learned to turn off the perfectionist in me to sharpen for the farmers market and make a profit. If I can make there as what I make as a respiratory therapist per hour then I am happy. So the kitchen knives I did my normal farmers market job and on the chefs knives I put a bit more effort in with the ceramics to make them shine. I still rarely use my 800-1000 grit stones any more unless I turn on the OCD or am trying to put the mirror edge to it.

Even with this progression I get a knife sharper than most people have ever seen and that is all that matters in the end.

So my quick jobs are, put on the Kevlar gloves and the arms locked at 25° for the whole day. Just use the key to level the blade in the top or bottom hole. Eyeball the fwd and aft adjustment of the blade. Lock it in and run a marker along the edge. Go normally from 80 through 600 grit. Polish up that edge with the ceramics and knock off the microscopic burr with the strop. Wipe with a rag and alcohol and collect my monies.

The majority of my time is spent with the 80 grit to put the new bevel on and 100 grit to get out the scratches from the 80 grit the. The rest go fairly quickly. That is also why I use the Kevlar is because I try to do it quick and I do not want to get any more cuts.
I figured a lot of time was wasted on the setup for normal sharpening could be used to actually sharpen the knives that did not need to be perfect so I tried to get the best result with the least amount of steps and this is what I came up with.
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New customer from the farmers market. 1 year 2 weeks ago #13371

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JedBowen wrote:
On all the knives I do for my normal economic price of $5 for 6" and under to $8 up to 10" and $10 to 14" I leave the arms set at the 25° mark. My progression is 50 or 80 grit to start with and progress up to 600 grit then hit it with a few strokes of the coarse then fine on the ceramics then hit it about 10 strokes with the strops. My average time is 5 min for the knives that aren't too bad off and up to 10 min if I have to grind away with the 50 grit to burnish out the nicks or reset the bevel, I add $3.00 to the cost to do this. The Shuns I spent about 8-10 min on each as they were not bad but I needed to impress the chefs with even angles and a straight cutting blade. In all I was done in 3 hours and I did shoot a little low on my quote but I figured with that many to sharpen I would do a free knife or 2 for free to let the chefs try them out while I finished. And my free knives turned into lunch with a beer in the end so I figured it out to be even in the end.

I have learned to turn off the perfectionist in me to sharpen for the farmers market and make a profit. If I can make there as what I make as a respiratory therapist per hour then I am happy. So the kitchen knives I did my normal farmers market job and on the chefs knives I put a bit more effort in with the ceramics to make them shine. I still rarely use my 800-1000 grit stones any more unless I turn on the OCD or am trying to put the mirror edge to it.

Even with this progression I get a knife sharper than most people have ever seen and that is all that matters in the end.

So my quick jobs are, put on the Kevlar gloves and the arms locked at 25° for the whole day. Just use the key to level the blade in the top or bottom hole. Eyeball the fwd and aft adjustment of the blade. Lock it in and run a marker along the edge. Go normally from 80 through 600 grit. Polish up that edge with the ceramics and knock off the microscopic burr with the strop. Wipe with a rag and alcohol and collect my monies.

The majority of my time is spent with the 80 grit to put the new bevel on and 100 grit to get out the scratches from the 80 grit the. The rest go fairly quickly. That is also why I use the Kevlar is because I try to do it quick and I do not want to get any more cuts.
I figured a lot of time was wasted on the setup for normal sharpening could be used to actually sharpen the knives that did not need to be perfect so I tried to get the best result with the least amount of steps and this is what I came up with.
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.that is what has really helped me the past 3 weeks or so .....setting up at 22* and done for the day, i will try your set up of 25* thur. at my whole foods gig.............no kevlar - where u get left and right set??
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i have a lady who claims she is bringing me a whole set of shuns, u do not do them at 25* - i have only done 3 shuns so far and i think i did them at 16 or 17*....but on 1, i believe it was closer to 20*----it looked as if it had been sharpened on a machine when i first looked at it..." in my vid, i said sometype of japanese knife at first" so i followed the angle that the machine or whatever had on it.
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New customer from the farmers market. 1 year 2 weeks ago #13373

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Max the 25° works great because it is less material to remove and that equals out to faster. I measures a few knives there and they were really at 23° with the a angle cube. But 22° is not far off of the 25° and every knife you put in is a different angle depending on the height. And if they bring the knife back to be sharpened at a later time it will line up quickly and sharpen just with a touch up. So keep the 22° if it is working for you.

www.ansellpro.com/hyflex/11-500.asp

These are the gloves I got and paid about $25 for 12 pairs. They are up to about $30 now for the dozen. I picked them up one eBay and they are great. I did some research and these are lightweight with a slip resistant grip and have a great slash resistance. You will still get poked through the gloves with the tip but then they still minimize that with the rubber palms. They wash just fine in the washer and price vs quality and quantity these are wonderful.

Look up the thread on "ancillary equipment" I have some more comments on them and links to pictures.

Also all but one of the Shuns were a normal bevel. One was like a reverse serration called a utility knife or sandwich knife. No e were sushi/sashimi knives with the left or right handed types of 2 different degrees to the bevels. And I did them all at the 25° as well. So hope this helps some.
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New customer from the farmers market. 1 year 2 weeks ago #13374

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JedBowen wrote:
Max the 25° works great because it is less material to remove and that equals out to faster. I measures a few knives there and they were really at 23° with the a angle cube. But 22° is not far off of the 25° and every knife you put in is a different angle depending on the height. And if they bring the knife back to be sharpened at a later time it will line up quickly and sharpen just with a touch up. So keep the 22° if it is working for you.

www.ansellpro.com/hyflex/11-500.asp

These are the gloves I got and paid about $25 for 12 pairs. They are up to about $30 now for the dozen. I picked them up one eBay and they are great. I did some research and these are lightweight with a slip resistant grip and have a great slash resistance. You will still get poked through the gloves with the tip but then they still minimize that with the rubber palms. They wash just fine in the washer and price vs quality and quantity these are wonderful.

Look up the thread on "ancillary equipment" I have some more comments on them and links to pictures.

Also all but one of the Shuns were a normal bevel. One was like a reverse serration called a utility knife or sandwich knife. No e were sushi/sashimi knives with the left or right handed types of 2 different degrees to the bevels. And I did them all at the 25° as well. So hope this helps some.
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ok Jef
thanks
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New customer from the farmers market. 1 year 2 weeks ago #13380

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JedBowen wrote:
I leave the arms set at the 25° mark. My progression is 50 or 80 grit to start with and progress up to 600 grit then hit it with a few strokes of the coarse then fine on the ceramics then hit it about 10 strokes with the strops. My average time is 5 min for the knives that aren't too bad off and up to 10 min if I have to grind away with the 50 grit to burnish out the nicks or reset the bevel...

Even with this progression I get a knife sharper than most people have ever seen and that is all that matters in the end.

So my quick jobs are... arms locked at 25° for the whole day. Just use the key to level the blade in the top or bottom hole. Eyeball the fwd and aft adjustment of the blade. Lock it in and run a marker along the edge. Go normally from 80 through 600 grit. Polish up that edge with the ceramics and knock off the microscopic burr with the strop.

The majority of my time is spent with the 80 grit to put the new bevel on and 100 grit to get out the scratches from the 80 grit the. The rest go fairly quickly.

I spent a bit of time with this progression today, and it works well. My thought was it would be a bit too aggressive (especially 80g at 25 deg.), but not as bad as I thought. Considering many knives customers bring are in bad shape to begin with (my experience anyway), this does make the job go quick. For example, I took an 8 in. Chef's knife, dulled the heck out of it (scraping it about a dozen times across a SiC stone will do that), and went to town. In just over 6 min. (6:12), I was done and had an edge that would pass all the usual tests (shave arm hair, slice phonebook paper, etc.), and used it to make my lunch salad. (That's total time... starting the clock, then clamping the knife, setting the angles, etc., unclamping when done, and stopping the clock. Plus, couldn't resist wiping the knife between stones. :)) I could, with careful examination, find a couple of small chips left from not getting the 80g scratches out, but I had to look for them... they didn't show up in use... even slicing phonebook paper. (Actual angle was around 22 1/2 deg. btw).

As Jed said, you get a knife sharper than most have ever seen... in fact, I was left with an edge that was very sharp, and looked good.

I'm still not sure I'd suggest hitting every knife with an 80g stone... experience might tell when you really need it (but like I said before, most probably do). :)

Good post... thanks! Looks like you've done a good job of assessing your needs from the WE, and working to that end. As others have shown, there's a variety of options, from this example, to those who charge a premium and provide a "mirror" finish. A lot of options on the table, depending on the need and desired results.
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New customer from the farmers market. 1 year 2 weeks ago #13382

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JedBowen wrote:
On all the knives I do for my normal economic price of $5 for 6" and under to $8 up to 10" and $10 to 14" I leave the arms set at the 25° mark. My progression is 50 or 80 grit to start with and progress up to 600 grit then hit it with a few strokes of the coarse then fine on the ceramics then hit it about 10 strokes with the strops. My average time is 5 min for the knives that aren't too bad off and up to 10 min if I have to grind away with the 50 grit to burnish out the nicks or reset the bevel,

I have learned to turn off the perfectionist in me to sharpen for the farmers market and make a profit. If I can make there as what I make as a respiratory therapist per hour then I am happy. So the kitchen knives I did my normal farmers market job and on the chefs knives I put a bit more effort in with the ceramics to make them shine. I still rarely use my 800-1000 grit stones any more unless I turn on the OCD or am trying to put the mirror edge to it.

Even with this progression I get a knife sharper than most people have ever seen and that is all that matters in the end.
quote]

I too ran a test using most of this method. I ram a mora that I dulled using a scrub pad. It went from really sharp to really dull. I always have a hard time making a perfectly good edge dull? lol Anyways I set up the We and acted as if a customer dropped it off? I hit it with the 80 and buzzed up to 600. Where I went to 1200 then 1600. Total time was just a hair over 7 minutes.
The blade was sharp and shiny. I ran the usual through bond paper and just a little rough for my taste and I mean just a little?
I saw on Tuffy's video that he keeps a bench strop set up. So I grabbed a Barber type strop I have loaded with the green compound and gave it a good 10 strokes! I got to tell you this knife came out totally acceptable. And it is probably sharper then most even keep their knives?
I am very impressed with this method and see how just leaving the angle set will work. I believe this is the route I am going to take for now on.
I am grateful to you guys for putting your methods out there. My first Farmers Market is coming up and I sure know this method changes everything for the better!
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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