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Thread: Another interesting custom knife question...

  1. #1
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    Another interesting custom knife question...

    Let's say there is a situation where you have a knifemaker and a customer. The customer is adamant about wanting something done a particular way and the knifemaker thinks it's really not a good idea and maybe a terrible idea. From the customer's perspective, do you want the knifemaker to save you from yourself or do you just want what you want and that's that? From the knifemaker's perspective, are you gonna refuse to make the knife knowing that your name is on this knife of questionable design for years and years, etc or are you just going to take the cash and move on?

    I've personally screwed up in the design department once. It might have been nice to have someone tell me my idea sucked, lol.

  2. #2
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    i think that a maker should speak up if something seems off, but if they accept the commission then ultimately they should make whatever is paid for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    Let's say there is a situation where you have a knifemaker and a customer. The customer is adamant about wanting something done a particular way and the knifemaker thinks it's really not a good idea and maybe a terrible idea.

    are you gonna refuse to make the knife knowing that your name is on this knife of questionable design
    YES.

    -AJ

  4. #4
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    If the maker believes that it won't work he is morally bound to refuse the job. There will be someone who will be willing to do the job wrong, and then it will be on their head.
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
    Pirsig

  5. #5
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    I think the maker is obligated to tell you this or that wont work/work well and why. I WANT that feed back from them. They know limitations better than I might, or what they can procure, or how stuff might come together from previous attempts. Now, as the paying customer u can tell them u want it anyway, but u own that if it stinks

  6. #6
    I think it's interesting that in some trades, like Cooking and Landscaping, it is considered arrogant and self-destructive to make a habit of refusing to do things the way your clientele demands. Yet in others, like Tattooing and Marketing, doing things however anyone wants them makes you a hack.

    I mean, it's the same principle.

  7. #7
    For me the answer isn't cut and dry. If the design element is something that will hamper performance, and might be the customer striving to do something different for the sake of being different, then I will at first give my opinion as to why I think its a bad idea. If he is insistant, I will weigh my options, and may decide not to take the commission. I made one knife for a friend of a friend who insisted he knew what he wanted and that was final, but I didn't brand it. Once it was done he was tickeled pink! 2 weeks later he admitted the design was off, and he would have been better listening to me. I made him a different piece and he was pleased with it.

    If the design is different, but makes sense, then sure I'll do my best to build within the design parameters. Hell, I still need to learn new tricks right?


    Feel free to visit my website, http://www.rodrigueknives.com
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  8. #8
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    I think it partially depends on the knowledge of both the buyer and the seller. Some makers who are relatively new to kitchen knives may not yet know enough to flag a potentail issue in an aspect requested by the buyer. But with that being said, the maker should be up front about his working knowledge level.
    __________
    David (WildBoar's Kitchen)

  9. #9
    Senior Member NO ChoP!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildBoar View Post
    I think it partially depends on the knowledge of both the buyer and the seller.
    Yes.

    I think there are instances where the buyer may be very particular, because they are very experienced. The top Japanese makers have been making knives for centuries. Not to be negative, but maybe not all custom makers have perfected the art; pretty handles and damascus don't make a good performing knife alone.....

    I think a partnership between the buyer and seller to make the best possible product, in respect to both, is key.
    The difference between try and triumph is a little "umph"! NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!
    chefchristophermiller@yahoo.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member Johnny.B.Good's Avatar
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    As a customer, I would definitely want to be told if one of my ideas could be improved upon, or should be discarded altogether for one reason or another.

    As a maker, I would be hesitant to put my name on something that I didn't think would perform well since there is no guarantee the owner would always take credit (blame) for the design. Perhaps I would agree to make it but not put my name on it...tough call. Perhaps I'm wrong about this and one should take the attitude that the "customer is always right." Don't know. It is an interesting question.

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