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Author Topic: Prodution?  (Read 1640 times)
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Daniel Rohde (D-Vision)
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« on: April 22, 2013, 10:17:23 AM »

Hey Ed are you a full time knife maker? do you ever work on more than one knife at a time if so how many?how much does one your knives cost(by cost I mean raw material,gas steel horn etc..)?    

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Ed Fowler
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2013, 10:52:47 AM »

I consider myself a full time knife enthusiast, if I am not making knives I am reading about them, writing about them or talking to other folks who have specialized interest in various venues of the knife.

Some days I feel like forging and I will forge several knives until I feel like going to the grinder, then I usually work on them one at a time until it comes to heat treating, then to save some money I will heat treat several blades that are approximately the same size.

Most thermal cycles in my Paragon have several knives going at the same time, annealing, and tempering.

From that point on most of the work is in stages, silver soldering one, starting a handle on another, and working on another handle that is waiting my attention.

I have never considered the cost of making my knives, I am what many consider a poor business man, I am more interested in learning more than examining the cost with a microscope. Rex figured out the cost of our work over 8 years and it came to over $70,000. If you figure time, research and costs associated with research, my knives probably cost about twice what I sell them for.

There is no amount of money that could replace the joy I have experienced learning and sharing with all who wish to know.

Years ago my accountant examined my cost for the average set of sheep horns. She had records of my purchases and had me estimate my time in the average set of horns using the then minimum wage and came up with a cost of over $200 for a set of horns, from which I am usually assured two knife handles, sometimes four.

My average time in a knife and scabbard is over 50 hours.

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Daniel Rohde (D-Vision)
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2013, 10:59:08 AM »

how many knives do you think you could make in a month if your where doing 10 hour days?
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Ed Fowler
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2013, 11:38:19 AM »

Maybe 7 if I was lucky and not too many phone calls etc. I did not go into knife making for the money, I started to because I wanted to make knives.

Many of those who go into knife making for the money soon begin prostituting their souls for benefit of profit, a few do make it only through their knives, but most custom makers have a fixed income or wives who work.

There is and always will be a place for excellence in any venue of the knife, some are easier to access than others. It is yourself you need to please.
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RAD
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2013, 12:40:15 PM »

D-vision If you have not seen Ed's DVDs it is well worth the time and money .
The time and enthusiasm Ed puts into these blades is incredible .

A lot of people put on music or a certain show .
When I am at home alone and doing chores around the house guess what I have in the DVD player.

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Daniel Rohde (D-Vision)
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2013, 04:17:04 PM »

I've seen them and own them and they are worth it!!
-Ed how many knives can you make from one three inch square bar like the ones you get from Rex?
-have you ever experimented to see how much steel to takes to make how many more cuts and pounds of pressure to bend?
-How wide are your guards?
-Do you make a handle to fit one and only one hand?How do you know how big a guys hand is and how to fit it?
-why have a hump on a handle profile?
-do you think a pretty knife even if designed to functional and meant to be used do you think that a pretty knife harms the user from putting to to hard use because he doesn't want to mess up the knife?
 
sorry I got carried away allot of these questions aren't even on topic but I didn't want to make a knew topic to write in Grin
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Joe Calton
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2013, 09:19:32 PM »

I figure that we can make good knives and make a profit at the same time.

The way i do it is through batching and cutting time in the shop process. Not in the process time in each knife though.

Example: it takes alot of time to set up to forge, to get the forge hot, why not forge several? That way the time to heat the forge is spread out over 6 knives instead of one.

Same thing with guards. It takes me about 10 minutes to get out the tools for guards, why not make 6 at a time?

Not only does batching like this save setup time, but you get into a rythm. And it often makes the work go much faster.

The other way to save time is through your equipment. I just built a kiln when i added up the hours ive spent annealing blades in wood ash over the last 2 months. 2 hours to get the forge hot and heat up some steel to heat the ash. Then fire up the little forge to heat the blades, then arange them all. Then the cleanup of the spilled ash. 2 hours each time, 3 times for each batch, 8 batches in the last 2 months. Thats 48 hours for just annealing in 2 months! The kiln cost $400 to build and maybe a full day. Big savings!!
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billy brewton
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2013, 11:31:33 PM »

I've been thinkin on this topic for awhile myself. first off Rad i thought i was the the only one that has that in the DVD, lol and i have to agree with Joe. when i got into knife making i did it as a hobby an because i love knives. but as i started getting away from the scrap yard steel and gettin in line with Ed's teachings an started buying steel and more equipment and as Katrina's husband  an to keep her um "understanding" i.e keep the bitching to a minimum.  i had to start showing a profit so i started selling them. if you are going into knife making as a business the profit is the name of the game, as is all businesses, but in that scope you have many variables, there r&d, equipment, quality of product, raw materials, customers, advertising etc. , i don't look to get rich from knife making, or the pottery for that matter, not lookin to be a Mike Snody. I  like a lot of you just wanna make HEPK knives, and maybe make enough off one knife sale to build two more. I have a line of neck knives that i actually loose money there my "women warrior" line. there Damascus blades with pink kydex sheath, homemade pink paper or canvas micarta and a pink paracord neck lanyard, I sell them at cost an half of that i donate to breast cancer research an the other half goes back in the women warrior knife fund to buy more materials. this is something i feel very strong about and its has hit close to home more than once. I  have a full time job so i still consider my self a hobbiest, but I don't think there is anything wrong with selling your art, but i do believe you should be selling the best product you can make.  an Ed i hope you remember that whole pricing thing when i go to buy one of your exceptional knives. Wink
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wnelson aka. dedox
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2013, 06:20:41 AM »

Quote
I figure that we can make good knives and make a profit at the same time.

The way i do it is through batching and cutting time in the shop process. Not in the process time in each knife though.

Example: it takes alot of time to set up to forge, to get the forge hot, why not forge several? That way the time to heat the forge is spread out over 6 knives instead of one.

Same thing with guards. It takes me about 10 minutes to get out the tools for guards, why not make 6 at a time?

Not only does batching like this save setup time, but you get into a rythm. And it often makes the work go much faster.

The other way to save time is through your equipment. I just built a kiln when i added up the hours ive spent annealing blades in wood ash over the last 2 months. 2 hours to get the forge hot and heat up some steel to heat the ash. Then fire up the little forge to heat the blades, then arange them all. Then the cleanup of the spilled ash. 2 hours each time, 3 times for each batch, 8 batches in the last 2 months. Thats 48 hours for just annealing in 2 months! The kiln cost $400 to build and maybe a full day. Big savings!!

i tend to make knives in batches too, Joe, i just annealed a few blades, and for some reason it makes things go faster and smoother for me.
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Daniel Rohde (D-Vision)
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2013, 09:33:24 AM »

I still have these Huh
Quote
-Ed how many knives can you make from one three inch square bar like the ones you get from Rex?
-have you ever experimented to see how much steel to takes to make how many more cuts and pounds of pressure to bend?
-How wide are your guards?
-Do you make a handle to fit one and only one hand?How do you know how big a guys hand is and how to fit it?
-why have a hump on a handle profile?
-do you think a pretty knife even if designed to functional and meant to be used do you think that a pretty knife harms the user from putting to to hard use because he doesn't want to mess up the knife?
 
sorry I got carried away allot of these questions aren't even on topic but I didn't want to make a knew topic to write in
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Ed Fowler
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« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2013, 03:50:18 PM »

The steel we get from Rex is in round bars, a 3" by 10 inch round bar could easily be forged into over 30 blades, depending on size.

A visitor to my shop asked the same question, I had a billet on a bar and asked him how many blades were left, he said one, I forged 3 and still had steel left for future knives.
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larnotlars
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« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2013, 07:34:04 PM »

I am sure that I still waste a lot of steel. One of the benefits of experience is knowing how to fit the most knives into the piece of steel... Of course, I still am trapped in the Bigger Knife More Testosterone mentality... That might be a factor as well.
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Ever since I took up forging, I have noticed that I am much less likely to hit my thumb with the hammer! 8-$
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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2013, 08:30:08 AM »

My guards for Pronghorns start out as 5/8ths square stock. I grind then down to fit the function of the knife as the handle develops.

When a client orders a knife, I ask about their shoe size. Shoe size and hand size are correlated high positive and indicate the geometry of the handle.

Take a look at your hand, you will see a hollow in the center, the hump is to fit the hand. The distance between wrist and fingers is usually the same length as the fingers.

One client said he had short fingers, when I met him at a show I shook his hand and noted that his fingers were much shorter than normal, but this is rare. When I shake hands with a client I always remember the character of his hand, this allows me to design a handle to his hand. The kind of work a man does also can come in to play in attempting to understand his hands. This knowledge is not absolutely necessary but it helps.

The design of a handle is meant to fit into the hand like it grew there with the hand and handle becoming a natural extension of the human body. When you can hold a knife in your hand and feel no uneven pressure with your hand you are on the right track. From here on the challenge is to make it fit in all the positions the client will need as he uses the knife.

A careful study of the human hand and learning how the hand functions, then designing a handle to be a true friend to that hand results in maximum control of the knife, thus assuring both safety and comfort is a challenge that is fun to meet.

Some collectors want to maintain a knife in mint condition, I feel this is a waste of a great tool, but it is their knife an thus their choice. I truly love to see one of my knives that has been used hard for this is what I make them for.

I hope I have answered your questions, if not ask again.
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Daniel Rohde (D-Vision)
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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2013, 02:50:30 PM »

Something interesting I've noticed is allot of knives I've held when you grip em your skin or hand pads seems to "pinch" and I think the swell helps that allot have you guys noticed this?
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Daniel Rohde (D-Vision)
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« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2013, 07:51:53 PM »

I've never heard of shoe size and hand size I've heard of guys asking for glove size though I still don't understand how to figure it out.
I thought you used 3/4" stock?
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