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Ed Caffrey's Workshop Talk to Ed Caffrey ... The Montana Bladesmith! Tips, tricks and more from an ABS Mastersmith.

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  #1  
Old 07-07-2005, 11:56 PM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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Another kit knife issue......

I thought that we had beaten this horse to death, but today it reared it ugly head in my shop!
A young man came by my shop today to show me some folders. I had never met the individual before, nor had I ever heard his name until today. He came into the shop with several zippered pouches of folder size, and proceded to show me "his" knives. When I opened the first pouch I was greeted by what was obviously a well known "kit" knife, which sported the individual's logo and name etched into the blade. I played along for a while, but then started to ask some questions like, what type of steel he was using, and what angles he was using for his blades/locks. Now he was adimante that he had created these knives, but he could not/would not answer my questions. Then we got to the real question that was on his mind......."How much do you think I can sell these for?" That's when I dropped my bomb. I told him that I would be ashamed to try to pawn off a kit knife that I had assembled from a kit, and then etched my name into in hope of fooling the buyers. His jaw hit the ground. After he got over the inital shock, he went on to tell me that he wanted to make some "quick" cash so rather than "waste his time" learning to make folders, he was buying kits and putting his name on them. I tried to tell him that it doesn't work that way, but he kept on with it. Finally I'd had enough and told him that if I ever heard of him selling any of those knives without disclosing they where kits, I'd be the first one to raise the red flag.

Now don't get me wrong. I think that kits are a great way for the beginner to understand the basics of knife assembly, and as long a full disclosure is made, I don't even have a probelm with folks selling them. However, when you misrepresent them in hopes of getting more money bu making folks believe they are handmade, custom or whatever.......that's WRONG!
In the end he called me a few choice names and stormed out of my shop...... I just smiled and waved good-bye.
Just goes to show that we are all stewards of handmade/custom knives, and must protect that which we love so much.


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Old 07-08-2005, 04:52 AM
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Unfortunately that's a big part of the world attitude being practiced these days in almost every field.
Got no truck with folks like that. They are the same group of people that don't take responsibility for the things they do wrong........it's always someone else's fault.

You did good to hold back as long as you did. I'd have escorted him out the door before he had a chance to use abusive language.
I compliment you on your way of handling the miscreant. I'd been tempted to give him a nice chunk of hot steel to take home!


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Old 07-08-2005, 05:54 AM
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SharpByCoop SharpByCoop is offline
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Ugghh and THANK YOU!

Your handling of this touchy issue is exemplary. We ALL thank you for your civility and firmness.

Well, the only partial saving grace is how well known these folders have become. Most custom knife savvy buyers would spot them. Hopefully he'd get called out before too much 'damage' had been done in buyer deception or confidence.

But the BIG point, as we discussed before, was the lure of a 'custom' to a newbie at a too-good-to-be-true price, and the subsequent buyers remorse and *anger* when someone tells you the disappointing news of your great purchase.

Dennis Greenbaum has shown us time and again, that with good enough personal marketing, you can sell these for a good dollar and STILL disclose the origin of the parts. He is missing an opportunity to build an honest rep with an honest product. Just take the #### name etch off the blade and let 'em know what you really did.

You'd do us a great service to post who this is in the Trade Report forum. Especially to those who may be in your are at shows ready to purchase.

And then again, he can go on eBay and just be one of the gang...!

Coop


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Old 07-08-2005, 07:05 AM
justice justice is offline
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i build and sell kits. but i always make sure when i show a finnished(or unfinnished) kit that it is infact just a kit that i built to look different.
i tell them that i get the parts all in one bag and all i basicly do is screw it together and throw some sand paper in it general direction.
at first i was numbering the kits i built and marking them with my first name as well as darrels name and the kits model all under the handel scales. but it was like writing a book!
for example (first kit ddr1 designed by DDR built by justice)
but as you can see that can get old fast! now i just leave them un marked and tell the buyer or who ever is looking at the knife that it is just a kit!
mostly people are just amazed and could care less that the knife started out as a bag of parts(kit)
i have not had a complaint yet!


...justin
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Old 07-08-2005, 05:00 PM
Vochraye Vochraye is offline
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And here I thought I was being crazy for having this same opinion.

I bought a kit once to make a chef knife as a present. My wife saw the page where I bought the kit, and some of the other kits they offered.

So when I spent hours cutting out my first folder she asked "Don't they sell kits for folders too?"

It is hard to explain to some folks - but then it wouldn't be MINE. Not really - no matter how much work I put into finishing it. If I had my druthers and a million bucks I'd be forging and digging my own ore

My knife may not look as good as a kit, but as Jim Hrisoulas put it (speaking on not having an apprentice - but it is still applicable):

"It's a very personal thing with me. It is called 'sole authorship'."

Kit finishing is a form of art - but passing it off as bladesmithing lands in the "Not cool" category.
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Old 07-08-2005, 06:36 PM
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You didn't treat him like he had an ear ring did ya Ed? heheheh


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Old 07-08-2005, 11:08 PM
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Did you check to see if some village is missing it's idiot?


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Old 07-08-2005, 11:13 PM
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You folks all know I get pretty cranked up about this sort of thing.......it just makes me crazy when someone wants to take short cuts, and in the process puts the rest of us in a bad light.

Bill....If he'd have had an earing......... :evil

I place people who do that sort of thing right up there with those who run scams on the elderly......they should have their private parts nailed to a stump, then pushed over backwards!


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Old 07-08-2005, 11:23 PM
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Thumbs up Good for you, Ed !!!

he went on to tell me that he wanted to make some "quick" cash so rather than "waste his time" learning to make folders, he was buying kits and putting his name on them.
I am soooooo glad ya set him on his butt, Ed.....
I have made several knives from kits' and except for one, have given them all away as gifts..
My wife, our daughter, son, son-in-law, special friends, etc..
The only one I didn't give away was a very expensive damascus folder kit; and that one I traded for a nice big quantity of beeswax right from the hives...
I told the man it was a kit with pieces and parts; and he said he liked the way I made em go together.....
I could never take credit for someone else's designs or work.. even if the parts are factory made.. It ain't morally right......
Thanks to guys like Chuck Burrows, Mike Fitzo Fitzgerald, Mike Routan, Josh Lange, J.Loose and others I get all kinds of help, trade with others, and build friendships.. " quick cash " never got me any of these things..
I'll take these things- they are far more important to me..
Summer on, and imposters beware !!!


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Old 07-08-2005, 11:41 PM
fitzo fitzo is offline
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I'd be interested in knowing just what's the problem with an earring???

kind of you to say that, Thom. any small help i've given has certainly been reciprocated and i am just as grateful to you. isn't it nice when it works out like that?
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  #11  
Old 07-09-2005, 08:08 AM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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Fitz..... about the earring. Years and years ago when I was living in Arkansas, a young fella called and wanted to learn knifemaking. I agreed to show him what I could. When he came to the shop, he had a BIG, long, dangling earring in his ear. (this thing literally hung to his shoulder) I told him that he would have to take it off before working around the machines, because it could very easily get caught in the works and get him hurt. He was cocky, just as I was at the time, and told me "No, I'm leaving it on." He was outside the door, and I was standing in the door way to the shop. I told him again, to take off the earring. He said something smart@$$ and started to push his way past me........I grabbed the earring and jerked..... he squawed, jumped back, and a fight nearly ensued. I tossed him back his earring, told him this was my shop, with my rules, and for him to get the H*!! out of here.
(That was back when I still had the big red "S" on my chest, and was bulletproof)

Some people, like Bill, know the story, so it's become sort of a joke. I personally don't like the earring thing on guys, but if folks have one then that's there thing. If it's not going to get a person hurt in my shop, I don't mind them wearing them......but in my shop, my rules apply, and long dangly earrings are one thing that doesn't go if the person is going to working on machines.


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Old 07-09-2005, 10:06 AM
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Thank you, Ed, for that story. More than the earring it was the idiot, of course, so I understand better now.

Thanks for being willing to take the time to explain!
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Old 07-09-2005, 02:30 PM
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Red face

How about those guys that come in a machine shop with neckties on ???
I remember as a kid my Dad coming home from work ranting and raving about people with no common sense..
He was a tool and die maker and he never wore loose clothes, rings, or chains or jewelry of any kind..
He always had a shop apron on every time I saw him at work..
That's one habit I wished I had picked up..
Dad told me one day about a guy at the shop who was wearing a wedding ring and grabbed the spindle on a drill press to slow it down and stop it; after he turned it off...
Guess it pulled the ligaments and tendons just about out of his hand..
Boy do I relate to Ed - his shop - his rules !!!
Summer on ...


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Old 07-10-2005, 01:29 AM
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That's a great story, Ed!


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Old 07-10-2005, 08:48 AM
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You did the right thing Ed.


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