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View Full Version : Offering a Limited Amount of Custom Work to Public (Handles and Sayas)



Marko Tsourkan
03-05-2012, 09:59 AM
I decided to resume making a few custom handles each month in addition to other work I do. For now I will offer sayas in sets with handles only.

I will however, raise the cost of the service, as I no longer am a hobbyist and I carry overhead - I rent a shop space, I have equipment to maintain (and need to buy some more), and most importantly, I am shifting my time from other employments, so passion alone would not suffice, unfortunately. A lot of my work I do by hand, and I don't time myself - the end result is what matters, but it comes at a high time-cost to me.

I will offer three types of handles - octagonal, D-style and oval (like D-style with tapers on both sides of a ferrule, but without a ridge). I plan on stocking premium ironwood, stabilized premium koa, top grade cocobolo, premium grade curly maple, ebonies and some other woods. I will accept wood provided by a customer, as long as it is stabilized by a reputable source. Style of my handles will stay unchanged - as close to a classic look as possible, but I will be open to doing styles upon request, though I might have to price them differently, depending on level of complexity.

On my part, I will do my best work - custom handles with an excellent symmetry, excellent fit and finish, mortise-and-tenon construction, spacer/s, horn ferrule/end cap, clean installation, well fitted and constructed sayas, with a nice applied surface finish. Also, I will only take a few orders at a time, so a turn-around will be quick - I budgeted time for 2-3 handles per week.

Cost of the Service:

Premium Grade Handles
Arizona Desert Ironwood
Koa
$210

Top Grade Handles
Cocobolo
Ebony
Curly Maple (stabilized)
$185

Handles in Wood Provided by Customer
$175

Sayas - Price per inch of blade
Select Grade Poplar $10/inch
Highly Figured Maple/Walnut $14/inch
Top Grade Ebony $30/inch
Premium Arizona Desert Ironwood $40/inch

All sayas will come with custom-made pins (wood or horn)

Price includes return shipping, materials (wood, horn, spacers), installation and labor. During the process, I will be in touch, providing pictures so you know exactly what you are getting.

I am not including high-cost materials in the current pricing - cow horn, mokume, etc. These will be upgrades.

I will offer custom work coupons through my site shortly. I will list only few at a time, and will list new after old are completed.

I am sorry if I am pricing some of you out, but this is the only way I can offer work to public.

Thanks for your time.

Marko

Marko Tsourkan
03-05-2012, 11:01 AM
This is what I would call a 'premium grade ironwood'

5079

Blocks retail $40-65 on average

Here is where I will source it
http://shop.arizonaironwood.com/Ironwood-Knife-Blocks_c13.htm

This is a grade of Koa I have on hand

5081

bcrano
03-05-2012, 12:48 PM
This is great Marko! I'm sure a the line will be long!

El Pescador
03-05-2012, 12:52 PM
can you provide a link to your site for the rehandling coupon? I can't seem to find it.

Pesky

Marko Tsourkan
03-05-2012, 02:32 PM
can you provide a link to your site for the rehandling coupon? I can't seem to find it.

Pesky

Will be up later today.

Thanks!

Johnny.B.Good
03-05-2012, 02:39 PM
My offer still stands Marko, except now I will be mailing you two knives and not one. ;)

Marko Tsourkan
03-05-2012, 06:11 PM
I will need to test the store, so please hold on with your orders until I post an announcement.

Thank you.

M

Crothcipt
03-05-2012, 06:18 PM
wow Marko, congratz on the move forward. I can see it being a success just because of your work and craftsmanship.

Marko Tsourkan
03-05-2012, 06:20 PM
It's a limited venture to combine with handles for my knives. We are talking 10 handles a month or so.

Justin0505
03-05-2012, 09:35 PM
Can I get my handle with an attached Marko blade? I have been waiting to get on the list for a long time.

Johnny.B.Good
03-05-2012, 09:40 PM
Can I get my handle with an attached Marko blade? I have been waiting to get on the list for a long time.

That makes two of us.

Marko Tsourkan
03-05-2012, 10:47 PM
My knife-making goes relatively slowly, as I do everything in-house, and I have been working part-time on this.

Even now that I spend more time in the shop, I still end up a couple of days a week working on handles and sayas, a day heat treating, a couple of days grinding and polishing, and do some odds and ends in-between those days. At this pace, my current output would be 2 knives per a week, from start to finish, with custom handles and sayas.

Adding a couple of handles and possibly a couple of sayas to the weekly load, is manageable, so I am willing to do that. Adding another knife would be difficult, so I am hesitant to open a list for more knife orders, as I can find myself easily overwhelmed with work and stress - a recipe for failure.

I am planning to add a few peaces of equipment to improve my efficiency, plus I shifted a chunk of time from my other work to working in the shop, so things will move faster. However, I don't want to repeat past mistakes and overstretched myself with orders. There are 7 knives remaining on the first order list and these will be a priority for this month. I also have 4 old custom orders (sayas/handles) to clear, so I can move forward.

I added folks who contacted me to a list and will contact them as soon as I am ready to take new orders.

M

Andrew H
03-05-2012, 10:50 PM
Marko, I see the option on your websites for ordering handles but can't seem to find sayas. Will they done differently because the pricing varies?

Marko Tsourkan
03-05-2012, 10:57 PM
At this time, I would take orders for sets (handles and sayas), but not for sayas alone - I want to keep the workload manageable.
I am not sure how to bundle sayas to handles in the store, so this might have to be done on PM for a while.

M

mc2442
03-06-2012, 12:58 AM
I agree with Justin and Johnny, I would prefer getting a handle with knife attached, when time permits. Hopefully I am part of the list for the second round :knife:

Bonus time is coming up, so in addition to patiently waiting for Marko, I need to take a trip up to see Jon. Though as a home cook who does not cook enough I need to think about any additional purchases.

Deckhand
03-06-2012, 01:28 AM
I agree with Justin and Johnny, I would prefer getting a handle with knife attached, when time permits. Hopefully I am part of the list for the second round :knife:

Bonus time is coming up, so in addition to patiently waiting for Marko, I need to take a trip up to see Jon. Though as a home cook who does not cook enough I need to think about any additional purchases.

If you run out of room for knife storage send them my way:biggrin:

mc2442
03-06-2012, 01:54 AM
Lol deckhand, more trying to justify purchases than worrying about space concerns.

And wow, already aproaching 500 posts?

Deckhand
03-06-2012, 02:02 AM
Lol deckhand, more trying to justify purchases than worrying about space concerns.

And wow, already aproaching 500 posts?

It is a great place. Hard to get out much. Four little kids. I know about justifying purchases. In last few months a hattori parer, tojiro parer, misono ux 10 gyuto and santoku, boardsmith magnum board, tojiro itk bread knife, gray kunz spoons, bad ass egg spoon, rosle tongs, and yesterday Sakai Yusuke 270mm wa gyuto in Swedish stainless, and a Rodrigue gyuto in the works. On the bright side I do like to cook a lot.

Marko Tsourkan
03-06-2012, 03:28 PM
There are 5 of each type of handles available for sale (15 total). I might change types, if preference is more for one type than the other, but the quantity will stay unchanged. I won't list any new handles for sale, until all these 15 are completed. With 2-3 handles per week, there will be no new offers for 5-6 weeks.

If you want a saya with the handle (I will have the knife on hand), please contact me at marko@tsourkanknives.com.


You can access the web store here:
http://www.tsourkanknives.com/index.php/store/category/20-custom-japanese-style-wa-handles

Thanks everybody.

Marko

DeepCSweede
03-06-2012, 04:54 PM
I made the first cut for a handle - woohoo!! :viking: :bliss:

Marko Tsourkan
03-06-2012, 09:56 PM
Thanks guys!

I removed 3 handles from the list and added 3 sayas, if anybody is interested. I listed 240-270mm size, but would make other sizes as well.

http://www.tsourkanknives.com/index.php/store/category/21-custom-sayas

Johnny.B.Good
03-07-2012, 01:35 AM
I made the first cut for a handle

I'm in too...


woohoo!!

and I feel the same way!

mc2442
03-07-2012, 01:40 AM
That did sound like an in to purchasing a knife. I would be in too:biggrin:

Marko Tsourkan
03-07-2012, 09:10 AM
Thanks everybody who placed your orders.

I swapped one of a customer-provided-wood handles for an ebony handle with double spacers if anybody is interested. A matching saya is optional.

http://www.tsourkanknives.com/index.php/store/product/19-ebony-or-blackowood-handle-double-spacers-horn-ferrule-and-end-cap/category_pathway-20

Marko Tsourkan
03-08-2012, 12:54 PM
I got plenty to work with, so thanks again everybody who purchased custom work. Pics will be posted upon completion.

M

Marko Tsourkan
08-07-2012, 03:27 PM
A quick announcement.

I am going to discontinue all custom work and services (sayas, handles, refinishing, etc) effective immediately. I will honor all orders I committed to.

From now on, I intend to concentrate all my time and effort on making knives and developing new products.

Thank you.

M

SameGuy
08-07-2012, 03:38 PM
Noooooooooooooo!

Just kidding, of course. Good luck on this phase! But seriously, I would have liked to have a Tsourkan handle and re-profiling job at some point.

Marko Tsourkan
08-07-2012, 04:05 PM
I can't figure out an efficient and fast way to do these things and I need to focus more on making my own knives (I have new types and steels in works, and those need a lot of time before they can be offered for sale), so something had to give. I enjoyed doing it, but unfortunately, can't justify the time any longer.

SameGuy
08-07-2012, 04:35 PM
I get it. I don't have to like it, because I'm selfish, but I get it. :D

I know you'll succeed at whatever you set forth to accomplish, so there's that. I think it's a wise decision.

Crothcipt
08-07-2012, 05:01 PM
Oh man, I was just thinking of getting a saya and handle from you for my Tanaka santoku. Oh well you snooze you lose.

Lucretia
08-07-2012, 05:56 PM
Rats! Didn't get my ajikiri done in time!

Good luck on the new knives.

The hekler
08-07-2012, 06:03 PM
Glad I got in before you were done with handles, now I will just have to buy your knives to get more of your amazing handles, no problem there!

Marko Tsourkan
08-07-2012, 06:39 PM
Thank you for understanding.

M

Cipcich
08-07-2012, 07:46 PM
I guess that makes my New year's Eve cutting board kind of rare . .

Tristan
08-08-2012, 09:14 PM
Hi Marko, does this mean that you will still fulfill the orders on non knife work that we placed and are waiting for, or only the ones that were paid in full? Seeking to clarify, cheers

Dream Burls
08-08-2012, 11:42 PM
Marko,

Your decision makes perfect sense to me. There are only so many hours in the day and with all the time you put into experimenting and testing you need to get an optimum return from the hours that go into the actual production side of your business. I'm sure many of your fans will be disappointed, but I still think it's the right move for you.