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  #11  
Old 08-24-2018, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by allessence View Post

Matt, Its kinda a neat detail.. It takes a trained eye to notice the difference between composite pins and then Damascus pins..
I saw that & wondered but did not know what to make of it.


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Originally Posted by allessence View Post
Here is a better picture of the pattern in the blade..
That's amazing.
Jennifer, how do you go about figuring out how to price something like that?
Surely someone is going to want to buy it. What do you tell them?
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  #12  
Old 08-24-2018, 12:25 PM
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You are very talented....
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  #13  
Old 08-24-2018, 12:33 PM
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Nice A one of a kind for sure!!!
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  #14  
Old 08-24-2018, 07:03 PM
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That's amazing.
Jennifer, how do you go about figuring out how to price something like that?
Surely someone is going to want to buy it. What do you tell them?
Ah, my friend.. I've noticed that really now I'd rather not "make money " selling anything I make.. I'd really just about give it away.. Sadly resources cost me, so this plays in.. And time is worth something..

I would really just rather teach or I choose projects which I have interest in and are on the " to do" list.. (this knife is my new kitchen knife)

I still suffer from the same irritability that drove me to close up shop 14 years ago..

I forged the blade and finished this knife in short order.. Maybe 5 or 6 hrs..

With this said, what is anything like this really worth? Name brand? Known maker, famous maker?

If someone wants to buy something I just throw out a price which is close to what I think it's worth.. I had 2 people ask about buying this knife.. One price was 550.00 the other was 225.00.. Another person asked it might have been 350.00..

Again, the answer is complex since it isn't as simple as it could be for me..

Shop rate is 125.00 per hour.. But even that is on a flex schedule as things just take so long to make if made by hand and quality is my primary consideration.. irrespective of time..

Eventually I will get more modern with a belt sander and this will increase production substantially. I do enjoy the old way of making things but I don't possess the ability to make a rational work, production benefit ratio to costs.. Which can then translate into a known monetary figure..

LOL.. With all that said.. I don't have an honest appraisal of what something like this should cost..

Most modern smiths are making about 30-60 per hour.. I was making 65.00 per hour back in the 90's.. How does that work out..

I forged out a beautiful choker chain for pulling logs.. took about 3hr+..

This is really the type of stuff I'd rather be making.. Good Ol' fun stuff that keeps the skill set in check..

Sorry I didn't have a straight answer for you..
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  #15  
Old 08-24-2018, 08:58 PM
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As usual you continue to create and teach your craft at a level few attain. You've forgotten more than most folks learn in a lifetime which reinforces my belief you have an old soul. I haven't commented much here of late. Not due to lack of interest. Just trying to deal with my own trials, tribulations and personal demons. Shit will sort itself out just takes time.
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  #16  
Old 08-24-2018, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by cutter View Post
...how do you go about figuring out how to price something like that?
Surely someone is going to want to buy it. What do you tell them?...
Not to answer for Jen but I think this is an interesting topic to discuss. Custom knives are a very finicky game, very much like anything handmade these days but they have a few extra considerations to throw in.

There are people in this world that appreciate a good tool and subtle things like fit and finish and balance make that tool more enjoyable to them. Being able to sharpen it to a little bit finer edge, having it hold that edge longer,being balanced just how you like etc. all add value.

There are people in this world who don't appreciate any of that stuff and will always maintain that the knife they got at wal mart performs just as well for $5.00. To be honest they are right, to a certain extent, because they will take either knife and try to saw a ceramic plate in half and then continue to use the blade as dull as a butter knife for the next 10 years.

Some people can appreciate the difference in quality, but they have a predetermined budget in their life. " I really like it, but a knife shouldn't cost over $75". Some people even break it down, I've told that they won't spend over $50 on a fixed blade and $75 on a pocket knife.

Then there are the collectors. They buy for pride of ownership, and not to use. They buy for investment, speculating on what others would pay for pride of ownership.

Most successful custom knifemakers have to cater to the collectors if they want to stay afloat. There are guys with a following that can make a knife in 10 hours and sell it for $1000, and there are guys who are making a knife in 20 hours and selling for $200. This end of the game, the cost of materials, the labor involved, all go out the window and the knife is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

Most of us never get a fan club. We have to cater to the folks who appreciate a good tool, and try to balance our labor against our product so that we offer a good enough value people want to buy it. In the process we have to weed out the Walmart crowd, politely listen to their praise of Chinese "stainless" and let them scoff at us for suggesting a knife is worth hundreds of dollars.

Occasionally I get someone who scoffs, and I ask them how much they would charge for something that took them 10 hours to make. I usually find that if you use this logic on someone that works in a trade, that the light bulb comes on. They suddenly see your perspective, but will still maintain that nobody would pay that much for a knife.

I actually cringe when someone starts asking me what I charge for things because I know that 90 percent of the time they're going to insult me after I answer them. Most of them don't mean to, but they talk before they think.

This same discussion could be had for any handmade item, but I find you get more extreme cases with knives because everybody has at least one, and you literally can go to Walmart and buy a finished knife for less than I can buy the steel to make it.

Just look at this knife of Jen's. That chain had to be prepped, heated, fluxed, heated, hammered to set the welds, heated, hammered, over and over. Even with starting with a recycled steel, she has the expense of fuel, and flux, and labor. You can buy a knife for $1, and she spent more than that on coal and flux just to get a bar of steel to make a knife with.

So when its all said and done, you look at the knife and guess what you can get for it, compare that to what you can live with selling it for, and then put a price on it. If it sells quickly, maybe the next time you raise the price a little bit. If you have to haggle with the wal mart crowd for a month, you drop the price a little, limp back to the shop and try to find the motivation to keep making them.
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  #17  
Old 08-25-2018, 12:59 AM
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LOL.. With all that said.. I don't have an honest appraisal of what something like this should cost..


Sorry I didn't have a straight answer for you..
All of that is approximately next of kin to what I thought you'd say.

One reason I asked is because I didn't have any idea what a dollar amount should be or would be because I've never in my life made anything to sell, or with the idea of making money on it. Of course, everything that I've built or attempted to make has been by learning on the fly and strictly as a learning/entertainment endeavor anyway.

But I have a great empathy for anyone like yourself with such a remarkable skillset gained over many years of really hard work, doing what you love and trying to make a living at it. And all the while knowing that 99% of the people who look at it have zero frame of reference for understanding what they're looking at.
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I actually cringe when someone starts asking me what I charge for things because I know that 90 percent of the time they're going to insult me after I answer them. Most of them don't mean to, but they talk before they think.
lol
That's exactly why I tried really hard to frame my question in the least likely to offend manner I could think of. I re-phrased it 2 or 3 times before I set it free.

Here's another little item, Matt. You made a small knife a year or so ago that I "wanted" as soon as I saw the pictures of it. I mean that the knife just had some kind of special charm that leaped through the photos and grabbed me.
I didn't want it intellectually or for any practical reason. It was not a decision-making kind of thing but more of an immediate gut-level primitive urge.
But I did not need it and I certainly don't need to be spending any money on things I don't need. In fact, I didn't even want to buy it; I just wanted it.
On sight. lol
So I didn't say anything because I did not want to start a discussion that would wind up insulting you.
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  #18  
Old 08-25-2018, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by cutter View Post
...

Here's another little item, Matt. You made a small knife a year or so ago that I "wanted" as soon as I saw the pictures of it. I mean that the knife just had some kind of special charm that leaped through the photos and grabbed me.
I didn't want it intellectually or for any practical reason. It was not a decision-making kind of thing but more of an immediate gut-level primitive urge.
But I did not need it and I certainly don't need to be spending any money on things I don't need. In fact, I didn't even want to buy it; I just wanted it.
On sight. lol
So I didn't say anything because I did not want to start a discussion that would wind up insulting you.
I am getting thicker skin all the time

The other side of this is I have to admit that I have never spent more than $100 on a knife, and doubt that I ever will. I learned to make knives because I like them, but can't afford to buy the quality I would like to have. I routinely check out the knife case at cabelas, and all the emails from the online knife sellers even though I haven't bought a knife for myself in close to 20 years. Sometimes I get ideas of what to make, but mostly I just admire things I don't need.

Even though the process can be painful to try and sell your work, I will continue making knives because I enjoy doing it so much. I am sure this is where Jen is at too, and it is why you will find us saying a knife is WORTH several hundred bucks, and then turning around and giving it to someone for free. Sometimes it is more rewarding to just give a knife to someone that truly appreciates it than it is to sell it and have your work picked apart. The downside is now you have to find some other way to pay the bills

Social media and the internet play an interesting part in all of this for me too. Being able to post progress pictures in a forum like this or especially to put a time lapse video up on a site like youtube allows everyone to see the process involved. There are a lot of people being reached now, that are gaining appreciation for the work involved in making something and those who are skilled in using this media avenue are finding new customers and new success. Back in the 80's the only way anyone could understand the work Jen was doing was for her to invite them into her shop. Now everyone can login and watch. Of course there are people out there who are better videographers than craftsmen, and seeing their popularity rise so quickly kind of makes me gag but that's the nature of the game and maybe somebody I will become a better player
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  #19  
Old 08-25-2018, 07:47 AM
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I could not say it as well as either Cutter or Matt, certainly not better.I would like to hold,handle and use these [both]; but I want NOT to own them as I have no one to leave them to - any that would appreciate them are already gone.


They would literally end up as scrap, probably in less than a week of me kicking the bucket.

Would love to display them,but couldn't stand to have either so easily discarded.

Many thanks for showing them here,
wayne
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  #20  
Old 08-25-2018, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by cutter View Post
All of that is approximately next of kin to what I thought you'd say.

lol
That's exactly why I tried really hard to frame my question in the least likely to offend manner I could think of. I re-phrased it 2 or 3 times before I set it free.

So I didn't say anything because I did not want to start a discussion that would wind up insulting you.
You always have a great way with words.. I think it's amazing..

You guys are like family.. A good family not that crappy family.. LOL..

Matt's explanation was superb.. Thanks Matt..

I'm less touchy about talking about the process with friends, but it really is a struggle for me in the blacksmithing or blade smithing..

I make super money as a farrier.. This has spoiled the blacksmithing for me as an income source..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Shade View Post
I am getting thicker skin all the time

Even though the process can be painful to try and sell your work, I will continue making knives because I enjoy doing it so much. I am sure this is where Jen is at too, and it is why you will find us saying a knife is WORTH several hundred bucks, and then turning around and giving it to someone for free. Sometimes it is more rewarding to just give a knife to someone that truly appreciates it than it is to sell it and have your work picked apart. The downside is now you have to find some other way to pay the bills
Matt, thanks so much for replying and sharing.. You hit it all right on the head.. My skin never got any thicker.. LOL..

"I wish you to have shoe leather for you skin, and sell your blades far and wide with the price point you can be happy with"..

It is funny for me in the fact that the knife while really neat and a cool design, that choker chain I'm more proud of.. LOL. Or the hammer..

I love your work also and find it inspirational.. Do you have a youtube channel? I'd love to see it..

it really does take someone who is living the life to fully understand it and then someone able to put the words together to explain it.. (well done)..

I have to much emotion wrapped up in it and others that I have talked to about blacksmithing (other professinals or semi pros) can't believe what I charge..

Yet, they will sell their stuff for pennies on the dollar and consider it a good thing.. (arguing where else can they make 30per hour) I never figured I'd get rich doing hardware, but with this there is also a way to make a living.. Fair or trade pricing is based on the points you stated earlier..

30 or 60 per now is like 12-15 back then..

Quality is quality.. I still like to make good blades and my handle work is better but I still don't enjoy the handle work unless it's something weird and time consuming..


Anyhow, well said..
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Jennifer

If I defend myself I am attacked.

My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

I'd like to think of something smart, but I don't want to hurt myself.

My google+ page

DoALL 36"
Another Johnson model J Project
Lathe? Maybe..... 1958 SBL 13"
Yeti Esseti Aka running welder on 3phase.
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