FIF like or not thread

opaul

Well-Known Member
The latest show was a disappointment to me.
Maybe this show will create an off shoot for more realistic knife making offerings.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
I think Chris Railey said it on the other thread, and it was a good point. I think FiF needs to transition into a blacksmithing show. They’ve done the knife thing to death since they primarily view knives as weapons. It’s obvious that they are starting to draw a blank on their next challenges and the show is entering the silly zone from a knife perspective because the box they created for the show’s concept is too small.

If they went the blacksmithing route the possibilities are endless. They can still incorporate knives but it would free them to present interesting challenges. Team challenges for problem solving would be cool, such as three smiths: first one needs to make tongs for the second to make a tool for the third to use to make something or accomplish a task.

Whatever- just please: no more making a knife that’s also a hammer and a crow bar, and is tested by cutting a railroad track.
 

Mark Knapp

Dealer - Purveyor
I have a ton of respect for Mark and John, two of my friends that have posted here that have been participants. Same goes for my other friends and all the contestants that have appeared on the show.

I can see how FIF could be both a benefit on a personal level and a detriment to the general industry at the same time.

As counterpoint to the 'it brings a lot of new interest to knives' and 'sheds new light on knifemaking' views, I've yet to be convinced that FIF does anything positive at all for the industry.

As I mentioned in more detail in another thread, the 'new interest/exposure' from FIF comes in the form of misinformed buyers/collectors questioning sound methods/materials OR it generates misinformed new makers who become competition. And the two are a vicious cycle that feed off each other.

As a full time maker, I've been affected at the very least by defending my methods/pricing and lost time correcting misinformation from potential new customers reaching out to me directly wanting stuff done like they'd seen on FIF.

I 100% agree these issues didn't start with FIF........but FIF has been a readily available and easily accessible platform to exacerbate the issues.

The general masses far too readily assume EVERYTHING they see on t.v. is gospel truth. But common sense and discernment are so rare these days, they're like super powers.

Hi John, before FIF the custom knife industry as a whole was going down hill fast even as mine and your personal knife businesses increased. The Blade Show had fewer and fewer participants every year. There were more and more empty tables and less attendance every year. Since FIF Blade show participation has increased by leaps and bounds, both in attendance and admission. For the first time since I've been going they opened up another room this year.

Sure, I have to answer questions like "Why would you charge $1,200.00 for a knife you made in six hours on FIF?" the answer, of course is, "You aren't going to get a six hour knife when I make it in my shop" and, it took me 20 years to learn how to make a quality knife and someone needs to pay me for that. You're not just buying a knife, you are paying me for my 20 years of experience.

A rising tide lifts all boats, and I am glad the show lifted our boats a little bit too.

A big question I get asked a lot is "How much has your business increased from being on the show?" The answer is none. I get inquiries from the show but they haven't resulted in any sales. It's a different kind of person, from my regular customers, that will call me after seeing me on the show. They aren't used to the custom knife world and the prices generally scare them away in a short time.

I'm not complaining, I was already getting what I wanted for my knives and had a pretty good backlog before my 15 minutes of fame. Those things haven't changed.
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
I watched a cooking show for a while( short while) the other day..."chopped" something or other....Reminded me of FIF so I changed the channel...the contestants were literally sprinting around the kitchen...doing things in a cheesy fashion to beat the clock. As ALWAYS...the only variable Hollywood can add to a "reality" show is "unreality"....

Yes it is entertainment....just not for me personally...Die FIF...Die...You guys realize the whole world thinks we "repair" blades by welding them right? Lol!
 

Mark Knapp

Dealer - Purveyor
I watched a cooking show for a while( short while) the other day..."chopped" something or other....Reminded me of FIF so I changed the channel...the contestants were literally sprinting around the kitchen...doing things in a cheesy fashion to beat the clock. As ALWAYS...the only variable Hollywood can add to a "reality" show is "unreality"....

Yes it is entertainment....just not for me personally...Die FIF...Die...You guys realize the whole world thinks we "repair" blades by welding them right? Lol!

I'm pretty sure the whole world doesn't think we repair knives by welding them together.
 

AkWildman

Well-Known Member
Ok I've been dodging this subject since it came up,I too have a love hate relationship with tv he show,love to watch it but hate some of the content.It does get people talking and interested in forging and knives and starts conversations with folks that give us a opportunity to give them information and correct some of the misinformation that happens as a result of the show.Ive been asked over and over by my children to go on the show and have been contacted by the production staff and only time will tell if I actually walk on the set.My mindset for doing something like this is simply to have fun and meet some folks that I otherwise might never meet. Win or loose doesn't matter for at the end of the day if you had some fun and you showed the world good character especially toward your fellow man you can lay your head down as a winner. One of the largest segments that I see that d ok not like the show are guys that do strictly stock removal. They seem shall we say butt hurt.Both types of knife making have there good and bad points and I do both but have been forging a lot longer than strait stock removal. Yes the show has flooded our little world with a lot of custom shank makers but the same can be said about social media weather its Facebook YouTube or web pages such as we are on here.I would say get out in your shop and make something awesome that can stand the test of time and then sit down with your loved ones and have a good time together watching a show that's a show designed to simply entertain, it's your job as a craftsman to educate and encourage not the shows.
 

Mark Knapp

Dealer - Purveyor
Allow me the use of hyperbole to make a point....;) which usually the "lol" indicates...

That's kind of my point....;). It's seems like those that are willing to knit-pick the show to death are not as willing to have their' comments about the show knit-picked with the same enthusiasm.

Let me put it another way. If you're willing to critisize the show for all it's little failings, then please be willing to have your comments criticized in the same way.

Just sayin'
 

Ty Adams

KNIFE MAKER
That's kind of my point....;). It's seems like those that are willing to knit-pick the show to death are not as willing to have their' comments about the show knit-picked with the same enthusiasm.

Let me put it another way. If you're willing to critisize the show for all it's little failings, then please be willing to have your comments criticized in the same way.

Just sayin'
You can knit-pick my comments Mark. I have thick skin. Maybe it's just in Montana, or the fact that I'm a stock removal guy the fact that almost all my conversation about knife making start with FIF drives me nuts. Most of my conversations are about a knife that can fillet a fish, dress big game, and chop down a cottonwood tree in a pinch. I do spend the time to try and educate them, but it does get boring. When I start forging that might all change until than I'll just bite my lip and try to be happy about people being interested in my knives.
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
Hi Mark...fwiw...my comment that I posted...that you quoted was made a minute after you had just posted...while I was yet writing. My post was not an attack on you or the clear points that you made. I apologize if if seemed that way....and i do get what you are saying.

My post was simply my irritation at a show that has done a poor job "educating" the public...Not that they ever claimed to make that effort. Please accept my apologies if it seemed to be disrespectful...sincerely not my intent....didn't read your post till much after I had made mine.

Since it's just a TV show my "nit-picking" is merely my experience sitting on a couch watching guys jump through some fairly difficult hoops...some of the finest not really being allowed to do their finest...jmo.

Since i am not a fan I'll try to follow thumper's dad's rule..."If ya can't say sumthin' nice doan say nuthin' at all..."

Apologies to any I may have inadvertently offended. Yep...I'm opinionated...not my first apology. But I probably wasn't adding much....
 
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Mark Knapp

Dealer - Purveyor
You can knit-pick my comments Mark. I have thick skin. Maybe it's just in Montana, or the fact that I'm a stock removal guy the fact that almost all my conversation about knife making start with FIF drives me nuts. Most of my conversations are about a knife that can fillet a fish, dress big game, and chop down a cottonwood tree in a pinch. I do spend the time to try and educate them, but it does get boring. When I start forging that might all change until than I'll just bite my lip and try to be happy about people being interested in my knives.


Hi Mark...fwiw...my comment that I posted...that you quoted was made a minute after you had just posted...while I was yet writing. My post was not an attack on you or the clear points that you made. I apologize if if seemed that way....and i do get what you are saying.

My post was simply my irritation at a show that has done a poor job "educating" the public...Not that they ever claimed to make that effort. Please accept my apologies if it seemed to be disrespectful...sincerely not my intent....didn't read your post till much after I had made mine.

Since it's just a TV show my "nit-picking" is merely my experience sitting on a couch watching guys jump through some fairly difficult hoops...some of the finest not really being allowed to do their finest...jmo.

Since i am not a fan I'll try to follow thumper's dad's rule..."If ya can't say sumthin' nice doan say nuthin' at all..."

Apologies to any I may have inadvertently offended. Yep...I'm opinionated...not my first apology. But I probably wasn't adding much....

Both you guys are fine, (as if I have a right to judge), heck, you didn't even get my blood pressure up. I was not offended, just felt like things needed a little leveling up.

A great guy once said "He who wealdeth the sword must certainly expect to need his shield" Just kidding, nobody great ever said that (I'm pretty sure). I just made it up, so no need Google it.

I got another one too. It doesn't pertain to our conversation now, but here it is.

"If your moat has crocodiles in it, your going to need to feed them" What that means is, if your mouth (the moat) says outlandish things or preposterous claims (the crocodiles) you will need to back it up with facts or proof to support them (feed them).

Anyway, we're all good. Merry Christmas and Happy new year. Be safe, have fun.
 

Mark Knapp

Dealer - Purveyor
Furthermore, I've got just two more things to say (unless I think of more):)

First of all, a "knit" is not a "nit" and I appreciate you guys not throwing that up in my face, shows a lot of class.

Second, and this is not addressed to anyone in particular so..... it's not you. Say what you want about the show but if you haven't learned anything from watching it, you just haven't been paying attention. In the episode I was in alone you might have learned;

About spark testing steel to see if it has enough carbon in it.
About break testing it to see if it is hardenable.
About thermo-cycling to remove stresses from the steel before hardening.
About differential heat treating.

Just to mention a few. And that's just one episode. I'm afraid I contributed only one of those I mentioned above. If you really pay attention you can learn a lot more. At least I do, when I watch them, we don't have cable.

It's pretty easy to learn what not to do by watching the show.

If you watch the episode with me in it that's playing on You Tube right now you can learn that I sound like Daffy Duck if the speed of the recording is just a little off.
 
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