Craziness!!

Discussion in 'Knife Dogs Main Forum' started by Gliden07, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. Gliden07

    Gliden07 Well-Known Member

    Just had a potential customer ask me to make him a knife with 3/8" steel!! Is that total overkill or am I nuts?? I was thinking 1/4" was gonna be overkill for what he wanted, when he ever said 3/8" I kind of just thought he must be busting on me! Nope he was serious! I don't know if I should even try with him.
     
  2. Forum member

    Forum member Member

    I remember old Elmer Keith the gun writer from down the road got into knife designing and kept asking for thicker steels. Not sure how far he went but it was way above the norm and he wouldn't have turned down 3/8". Maybe your customer is a fan.
     
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  3. Forum member

    Forum member Member

  4. Gliden07

    Gliden07 Well-Known Member

    Beautiful knives!! Just GIANT STOCK!!
     
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  5. John Wilson

    John Wilson Well-Known Member

    Elmer Keith didn't like any gun if he couldn't fit his thumb in the bore. (I'm kidding... kind of) Makes sense he'd like gigantic honking knives, too.

    To each his own. Perhaps what this customer needs is a hatchet.
     
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  6. Forum member

    Forum member Member

    Hats and cigars, too.
     
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  7. EdCaffreyMS

    EdCaffreyMS Forum Owner - Moderator

    I've had a number of people ask me to make "crazy" knives for them. After the first one, I quickly learned to just say NO! If someone asks you to make them a knife that you know you shouldn't, trust your instincts. The reason? Because if you make it, chances are very good that knife is going to come back to you, and come back to you, and come back to you...... in other words the great idea the customer thinks they have, will usually turn out not to be such a great idea. One I got talked into making haunted me for several years...... the individual wanted me to produce a knife with a 6" handle.... his reason was that he was 6'9" tall, and 350lbs. He further explained that the knife would be "his"...."forever". I finished the knife.... to me is was way out of balance, gawdy looking, and was just plain ugly. I sent it to the individual (remember he said it would be his forever?) I guess "forever" means a couple of months....because 3 months later it showed up on a purveyor's site, and I started getting emails and phone calls....not the good kind, about that knife. That knife stayed on the purveyor's site for a couple more months...... till I just couldn't stand it anymore. I contacted the purveyor, and purchased the knife, just to get it out of circulation. It sat on the bench for a while, and I finally tore it down, totally rebuilt it/refinished it, and ended up selling a knife that I felt proud of. There have been other instances/situations during my career, but I have learned that when the "red light" goes off in my head, just turn down the order.

    Moral of the Story? If it doesn't "feel" right when taking an order, trust your instincts, and just don't do it. ;)
     
  8. Smallshop

    Smallshop KNIFE MAKER

    The intuitive rule Ed is talking about holds true in almost everything. As a contract machine shop owner Jobs come through that "fit" so well that you can't wait to get started! Other jobs?....when the alarm in your head starts clangin'...RUN THE OTHER WAY.

    When I say "fits"...it means the job matches your work style, your equipment, and thus your ability to estimate the cost accurately.

    conversely, when the job (or knife) does not fit....you will hate working on it, you will lose money, you will not be proud of it when done, and the only thing you will have learned after making yourself miserable...is RUN THE OTHER WAY....lol.

    unfortunately, financial needs almost always make this a long hard lesson to learn(or listen to). I have talked myself out of the intuitive warning many times because of fear of finances....."maybe it won't go so bad this time....we do need some work in the shop..." HAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Run, Forest, Run!
     
  9. John Wilson

    John Wilson Well-Known Member

    It can't just be me...

    Do you guys get requests from people for "custom" knives that could be had at any flea market for $30? Another common request is for a handmade version of a ho-hum production knife?

    It usually goes like this:

    "John, can you make me a..." and then (the voice in my head)

    • KaBar (uhhhh, you can go buy one of those for about $70. That's less than the cost of my materials.)
    • Rambo knife (.......... no. just.....no)
    • machete ( do you mean one like every milsurp store sells for ten bucks, or do you mean a handmade $600 machete so you can chop weeds? You must have nice weeds.)
     
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  10. Gliden07

    Gliden07 Well-Known Member

    Some of the requests from the guy that started this post are nuts. The good and the bad is the show Forged in Fire. They make the BIGGEST HONKING knives on that show! All of the stuff I'm making is utilitarian, smaller EDC stuff, I've started to move into the direction of hunting, camp knives. Bigger but still utilitarian! I want people including myself to use these knives! Are they handcrafted, yes, will it cut, yes are they the best I can make them at my skill level, yes! You don't need a 3/8" thick machete that's as long as your forearm. Besides it would cost you a lot of money and I don't care that I'm a new builder. A knife like that from an established builder would be in the thousands of dollar range!! Eds right just got a bad feeling about this guy! Think im gonna walk.
     
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  11. GeneK

    GeneK KNIFE MAKER

    I had a guy that has bought a couple knives from me, want me to make him a sword. I have no interest in making swords at this point and told him I don't have the right equipment to heat treat it. He says "Well, you could build a big fire, get it hot and dunk it in a pond." I ran from that one.
     
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  12. John Wilson

    John Wilson Well-Known Member


    That's my biggest problem with Forged in Fire. Everything they make is for chopping a 100lb block of ice to see if they can ding the edge. But I suppose that's a lot more interesting for TV than everyone making a sushi knife and seeing whose knife makes the prettiest slices.
     
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  13. Forum member

    Forum member Member

    You often see the finalists at their home shop with a wall full of patterns that they make. All of them are 3-6" usable EDC type knives but now they need to forge a 9 point boomerang sword from Venus. Oh well. I'm watching an episode right now using a backhoe bucket.
     
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  14. EdCaffreyMS

    EdCaffreyMS Forum Owner - Moderator

    I'm somewhat fortunate in that when someone asks me if I can made a handmade version of XXXXX, I will generally tell them..... Yes, I can, but it will likely be more money than you're willing to spend. If that doesn't work, I usually tell them.... That's just something I'd rather not do.

    There was a time when I had the bright idea....if I didn't want to make something, I'd quote some stupid high price, but that bite me right square in the behind.... I fella called and wanted me to build a a Klingon Batlath (the big curved thing on Star Trek)..... I quoted him a price that I thought would scare anyone away, and the response was "OK!" NUTS! Now I gotta make this thing! Even though the payday was a good one, I hated every moment of building that thing...... and learned my lesson about trying to scare someone away with pricing..... some folks just have more money then they know what to do with. :)

    Forged in Fire.....it is what it is...... drama for the masses. They still call me about twice a month, asking if I've changed my mind about being on the show.....nope!
     
  15. Ty Adams

    Ty Adams KNIFE MAKER

    My only problem with forged and fire with customers has been about pricing. Quote a price and get the I watch that show on TV, it only takes 3 hours to make a knife..... I wish!
    I get asked more than I want to admit to fix people's knives. Usually Gerber's or kershaw's. I always say yes... $100. Haven't had to work on one yet.
     
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  16. Gliden07

    Gliden07 Well-Known Member

    I do like the premise of Forged in Fire. Some GREAT talent on there! But if you really think about it it's a GAME SHOW!! It has to be exciting or the ratings go in the Toliet. It is what it is! Im a beginner at this and I think it's amazing they can do what they do in the time allowed.
     
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  17. John Wilson

    John Wilson Well-Known Member

    Don't get me wrong, I love the show. But what the general public misses is the first knives they make on the show during the timed portion are two steps up from a prison shank. Those guys do a fantastic job to turn in anything in three hours time- that truly is amazing.
     
  18. Smallshop

    Smallshop KNIFE MAKER

    The problem with forged in fire is...awww nuts...nevermind. Orange County Choppers used used to tick me off too....I don't watch FinF anymore...lol

    Don't let knuckle heads contaminate your vision....
     
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  19. Gliden07

    Gliden07 Well-Known Member

    Reading all the posts again made me laugh! John Wilson yes! The guy that made me start this post wanted me to make him a Kabar style Marine knife made with 3/8" thick stock! You can buy a real Kabar for 70 bucks online!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  20. Ty Adams

    Ty Adams KNIFE MAKER

    Sorry to hear that the sell didn't work out.
     
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