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WillC
08-06-2013, 12:03 PM
I am only one man and am aware that the order list has been growing more than I can cope with alone. I have been making plans to keep various streams of work open and evolving. Custom orders, the one off pieces, and Utility line pieces. I did this because I have been intending on training one maybe two people to help and the Utility line would be a very good first step in learning for an apprentice. However a source of potential investment has not come through for me which is a real shame as now is the moment I feel. So I must change my plans slightly to make things efficient with just myself and try to earn the money to make a start training someone the slow and sure way.
I fully intend on taking custom orders again early 2014. For now however I will feel a lot better catching completely up on work which I have taken deposits for. Names on my list after that will take priority for 2014 orders.
In the mean time I will be working on the new menu for 2014 as it very much needs updating. I think it will not include mono steel knives, as it is other areas which I feel I excel and need to focus on until I have a helper on board.
The pricing and options will be updated. Its not so much that the prices will be going up but the products have evolved completely since making the list.
I would like to work on one off pieces new patterns, and hopefully make an entire set of very high end knives, complete with storage. This time I feel is important to keep things fresh, custom order choices will benefit from this in the future.
This may seem an odd decision especially following getting some press, but I feel this is what I have to do to do the best I can at this moment in time. And its not for ever.
I will leave the prices and options list up on my site so I can work on updates as I go, but remove the form for now and replace it with a contact box and a note to say I will be opening custom orders again in 2014.:)
Please feel free to let me know how you feel about this, I see you as my friends and respect your opinions.

Crothcipt
08-06-2013, 01:11 PM
I find it sad that your backing has dropped out. I think this will be a good move in the future. Keep your head up. :thumbsup:

Lefty
08-06-2013, 02:49 PM
I can't help but think one of the wealthier members on this board might be interested in being a backer.

zitangy
08-06-2013, 03:09 PM
Hi Will .. sounds like a strategic move to a real niche market. As your products/finished goods has evolved, so too has the man in terms of knife making.Its a natural progress of a true craftsman..who has to find something stimulating and challenging.

Good luck have fun and as long as you are having fun...it'snot really work!.. maybe hard labour for a masochist.

Look fwd to what you will be coming up next of which I am sure will be exciting and also the incoming knives.

As always, rgds
d

Justin0505
08-06-2013, 03:16 PM
I think it's always better to do things with your own capital / credit if you can. Not owing anyone anything is a good thing. Slow growth is also safer growth. Still a bummer to have to wait / move slower than you'd like.

I understand not taking specific orders or deposits, but what about just a wait list. So people interested in signing up for "something" can at least get their name in and then once you're caught up and have the new stuff figured out, you can work though the wait list and flesh out who wants what.

I've been on a couple lists for >2yrs.

Zwiefel
08-06-2013, 03:16 PM
I know you were excited about the new possibilities with the investor...sorry to hear it didn't happen :(

Having a lot of work is a good thing though!

WillC
08-06-2013, 04:43 PM
Thanks guys your very kind and some good points. I am not intending on stopping doing custom orders for good, just have some space to catch up and refocus the menu and options slightly. Im sure it would be a good idea to open ordering for 2014 before the end of the year and as soon as I have had time to go through the options and pricing.
I cant really say much more on the grant/investment thing. But I think at this stage its best I build it up on my own. I'm quite relieved actually in a way as I have been in a limbo for weeks not knowing for sure either way. Now i'm just looking forward to doing what I know I can do best and looking forward to some special projects. :)

Mingooch
08-06-2013, 08:48 PM
If I win the Powerball, you would have a backer as soon as I got the check...and a large order too.

WillC
08-29-2013, 02:49 PM
Amazing news on this front guys. I have secured some funding to be able to take the step to train someone through an apprentice scheme. I will not say too much on this, but you know who you are and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity. The next step is finding the right person. I will be delivering a lecture in college soon to blacksmithing students and placing a few adds, so fingers crossed. I will have some minimal expansion of equipment, another grinder or maybe 2 depending on what I buy and some extraction equipment. I have also sourced some local tooling funding, by way of whatever I spend on equipment during the expansion I get half back, If they ever send me the form....needs chasing up. Anyway very excited, I will open custom orders once more once I have had a chance to run through what I will be currently offering and prices. I will likely open orders after the next feather batch.
The first year training someone will be a struggle no doubt. I am planning 3 epic sets of knives in my most high end materials, including storage. These will also help fund the difficult training period. I will let you know what develops. In the mean time I am catching up on orders and looking for an apprentice.
Thanks all, have a fab weekend:doublethumbsup:

Timthebeaver
08-29-2013, 02:54 PM
I am planning 3 epic sets of knives

Well this should be rather good.

Congratulations on the apprenticeship Will.

jigert
08-29-2013, 04:43 PM
Great to hear that it worked out! Will you continue with your utility line from time to time or will you focus on the higher end/epic knives? :)

apicius9
08-29-2013, 04:46 PM
Great to hear that it worked out!

+1 - Can't we add a "Like" button here, I am so getting used to that ;)

WillC
08-29-2013, 04:56 PM
Thanks Guys, I will not be making mono steel or utility line to order. The plan will be to work on my apprentice making mono-steel knives. No doubt in the first year some utility line will start to appear, all made in house and to my approval, if things go somewhere near plan. In year two maybe some rustic san mai in a utility line format.
Personally I will focus on san mai and damascus, which will be made 100% by me and I will take custom orders on the high end line up. This is the best use of my time. Of course to start with I will be playing more of a part in the mono and utility knives, less as an apprentice becomes competent. Its going to be a fun balance. Main thing is I'm really looking forward to having some company in the workshop:bliss:

WillC
10-01-2013, 06:20 PM
I am catching up steadily with current orders and feel much happier. I will be opening my custom order list for 2014 shortly. It will take me a week or two to work through the rest of this damascus batch. I can then update the new menu/pricing available for 2014. It will be high end carbon damascus and stainless damascus and plain stainless san mai with a few core options. I will be doing fixed profile selection from now on and will be making numbered templates in stainless, will also adds this to my site in a few weeks. I will send out notice when orders are open to my mailing list, and of course post here. I will take limited orders for next year, allowing time to work on one off projects.
I will not be making mono knives except the odd test piece for new core steels, my time is much better spent on forged work.:doublethumbsup:

Vangelis
10-09-2013, 06:50 PM
I am happy to see that you are keeping your self creativity busy. I am feeling bad for cancelling the order (there was a shigefusa interference), but one of your knives is on my list for to buy. So I am looking fwd for the next years orders.

All best

Vangelis

WillC
10-09-2013, 06:59 PM
Not to worry. Your order will be most welcome when your ready. I will open orders for 2014 shortly, just need to do all the web stuff, and do the template profiles. The general plan is to have a balance between custom and stuff made to sell each year. So I may take say 25-30 high ish end orders for 2014 then close the list and balance it with what other things we can produce, both high end and in the future more utility end. That way It does not get out of control with several years wait and there are different opportunities to buy. Thats the plan anyway, see if it works out:D

Lefty
10-09-2013, 08:29 PM
Man, I hate you for being so damn talented....

WillC
10-10-2013, 03:11 AM
Well I can live with that, mans gotta eat Tom! although i know you love me really:D
Just a reminder for those worrying to get on the 2014 list, go on my site and get on my mailing list, you will get told when i have a knife available and when the list opens.
I know some orders have gone terribly slow this year, but at the moment im on track to get everything wound up for the year end.
Many Thanks