About supplying your own wood for handles...
with Mark creating a whole new pool of wood addicts ;) I get more and more requests to use wood that the customer provides. Just some thoughts on this:
- If the wood has been stabilized by a reputable source (like all of Mark's woods but also a few others), I may consider using the wood you supply.
- Since I am a wood addict myself, I may already have that same wood in my own stash. I don't dare to calculate it, but I would estimate conservatively that I have paid over $8,000 for the wood I have sitting around. So this becomes a little bit like bringing your own groceries into a restaurant and asking them to cook it for you... I had a few occasions, where my own wood was nicer than the provided pieces, but in any case it would be a nice gesture if you checked back with me what I have before you go ahead and buy if you have me in mind to make a handle. In the end, I am flexible with this, e.g. I have accepted some of Mark's heirloom koa because I do not have that exact same quality available.
- I am very bad on the business side of this. Generally I do not take the wood prices enough into consideration unless it is a very expensive or very rare piece. For example, I have made handles from wood I received as a freebie but charged the normal price, but more often I have used woods that I could have sold for $70-80 - and also charged the normal price. In my calculation, most of the price gets determined by the work time, even if I am hurting myself a bit with that. So, if you supply a piece of wood, please do not expect the price to go down by whatever you paid for that piece.
- When making a handle, something can always go wrong - I drill the piece the wrong way, I sand it too small, there are hidden cracks in the wood, the figuring looks different after it is sanded down etc. Of course, I will treat every piece I work with as carefully as possible, but please understand that I can not take any responsibility for wood that was sent to me.
All that said, there are still no news on the job front, so I am coming to the point where I have to see how much I can accept and finish realistically in the time I still have available here. Currently, I am aiming at finishing everything on my list by the end of May. I am still accepting orders if I think I can get them done in time. Things are moving along right now, and I also hope for spring break, in about 4 weeks, to give me an extra boost. After that, I will know better what work load I can handle. I hope I will also have a better idea about the job situation by then.