Haven't posted updated for a while, so here are some.
Back on Track With Making Handles
Made some changes to design to minimize (and hopefully avoid all together) failures. Still tweaking the design (and buying new tools), but so far so good - the first two have been successful. This week will try to get as many done as possible and to get some knives out.
Getting Electricity Upgrade
My landlord finally caved in to my threats of leaving and I will be getting electricity upgrade to the shop - a big deal for me, as I operate on a next to nothing electricity. I finally can start using some equipment that I purchased but was unable to use and I will b expanding my metalworking shop and adding a woodworking shop.
This has been on a back burner for a long time now, but hopefully in the next 2-3 months, it will become a reality.
New Types of Knives and Handles
Western handle scimitar, Western handle bread knife, a couple of versions of D handle honesuki are in a pipelines. At this time I won't be taking orders for these, but I will make some now and then and post them for sale. I have a number of 52100 Damascus blanks made by John Thomas and will be adding some stainless when Devin is back on his feet working.
Cutting Boards, Blocks, and Magnetic Strips
I finally found somebody to help me with making cutting boards and other accessories. This guy has the right attitude and attention to detail (and requires little training, as he makes circular stairs for living, this would be his side-gig a few hours a week). It will be a limited production, 5-10 boards a month. I will do a good share of the work - wood selection, grain alignment, gluing and all detail and finishing work. Having my worker do all prep work and cutting would be a huge help. I will start with the boards (I still have some lumber from days I was making them) and gradually add more accessories. Board will be 2" thick, but will be a low-profile with recessed silicone feet and cutouts for easy lifting.
Knife workshops in NYC
Working with a few people on the forum on putting together workshops on sharpening, knife skill demonstration and general knife education in NYC. This is still in works, so stay tuned.
This is going to be a busy year and hopefully a successful year.
This is all I can think of right now.
Wow, so many things to be excited about but I think the bread knife is what I'm most eager to see.
Wow, quite an update. No moss on your stones. Really good news about the electricity. I know that's been holding you back. Cutting boards: put me down for one. Workshops: I'd be interested in those too. I'm actually going to a knife skills class next week at ICE (Institute of Culinary Education).
I would definitely be up for one of those prototype Honesuki's.
Good to hear Marko, I feel you on the electricity thing, I can't even use my vita prep at work. Have to turn off my immersion circulator when vac/packing. Things being out of your own control but constantly affecting your business is a frustrating thing, hopefully you will be using your new toys soon enough. Have fun!
I have 20Amp circut and 3Phase 20Amp for everything in the shop. I have been going crazy jockeying between the tools.
A short update.
I took a short time off from knife making and finalized design of magnetic knife holders and contemplated a design of a counter top knife stand. The latter is still in works, though a prototype should be upcoming. My cutting board design remained unchanged - low-profile, finger recesses and recessed feet. I plan on having a full line of accessories available (boards, holders and stands), as well as some sharpening supplies and care-and-maintenance supplies.
There will be a couple of knives in Devin's mystery carbon coming up, but it is likely not going to be a steel I will use often, due to a difficulty of hand-finishing it and its cost. 52100 and A2 will be my go-to carbon steels, latter geared toward those who would prefer more stain resistance. I am reviewing a list of stainless steels to offer, as some are much harder to obtain that I thought, and I might have to look for some quality substitutes. There will be a few knives made in JT damascus steel (52100 and 15N20 mix), but damascus won't be a my go-to steels due to the cost and a demand.
I will offer two versions - thinner and thicker, but other than that, there is not changes to how I grind my knives.
I am aiming for a combination of sharpness (and toughness or edge-stability, as these go hand-in-hand) and wear resistance. All my steels will be heat treated for this combination. Salt pods are in the plans.
I barely make any octagonal handles these days, mostly D style, which has been well received and therefore, is to stay unchanged. There will be a western style handle coming up (still in prototype stage, but close to finalizing design). All western knives will feature a guard that will be ground to resemble an integral bolster. I am considering including a contrasting end-cap on the western handle as well as some other embellishments, at least on some. One such handle would be made out of layers of birch bark and will feature a spacer as well as an end cap - Michael Rader influence.
New Types of Knives:
These are not that new, as I aired them in my subforum already, but they still need to be made - a bread knife, a scimitar, and a new version of honesuki knives. I will probably add a garasuki version for those who would prefer a heftier, larger version of a bird splitter.
Wait list and long overdue orders
Wait list is long and includes orders that have been placed (few are paid but most are not) as long as 2 years ago. There is not a good excuse on my part, other than to say that I rather err on a side of caution and proceed slowly to get better knives out. How better, is a rhetorical question, though I think that cumulative experience has been very helpful.
I would like to ask for a little more patience and will do what I can to make up for a long wait. Whatever I quoted at the time of placing an order, is the price we go by. People are also free to cancel their orders.
I apologize for an excessive wait time. I wish I could make knives faster. Knife-making is not something I can do day-in-day-out mindlessly - there good days when I am very productive, there are bad days, when things go wrong and I get discouraged. Ultimately, I go back and redo/redesign/correct things and move on, but trying new ways, new things carry a risk of a failure, and failure is something I don't take lightly.
Price for 2013
There will be a price increase due to the fact that I am unable to keep up with my orders at the 2012 pricing. I try to do my best to keep my knives affordable, but the reality - low output and high labor intensive process makes the prospects of a very affordable knife dim. I have so far resisted the idea of price increase, but I don't know how much longer I can do that. A long list of orders is also keeping me from pursuing new markets, something I have to do if I am to continue making knives.
Sole Authorship Work
Just to remind you guys that all that I offer I make myself. I tried a couple of guys for woodworking, but they each didn't last a day. I am difficult person to work for, and it would require to similar demands to oneself for me to consider investing my time in training people.
Sole authorship work, on one hand, is a good thing, as I can guarantee a certain quality, but on the other hand, there are only so many hours in a day I can work.
My pricing for accessories might appear to be higher than comparable items on the market, but everything I make I put to a highest scrutiny in design, performance and to a some degree, a common sense. I am sorry if I priced some people out, but the amount of work that goes into these, the material cost, the quality, make up the price. I appreciate when people recognize that.
Got timed out.
Just one thing to add - all work is done in the house by me. I don't subcontract any of the work (heat treating, pre-grinding, handles, woodworking, etc)
Originally Posted by Marko Tsourkan