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  #46  
Old 04-08-2007, 12:23 PM
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"That said, colloquial contractions of phrases are common in language and it would thus appear that the frequently perceived meaning behind the word "custom" is actually "custom made". It would also seem to fit with broader definitons proposed here.

It then becomes a matter of concensus whether the word is allowed to imply the phrase. "

I think you hit it on the nose Mike! You have a gift for reducing a discussion to it's simpliest form. This is what I think the whole argument hinges, on right here.

It seems very clear that the term 'custom made' shares a great deal of ground with the term 'hand made' in so far as it applies to knives.


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  #47  
Old 04-08-2007, 12:29 PM
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Mike,

I think you have summarized the situation perfectly. I stress again that we are just trying to define one word here, there are still other terms that can be used to cover situations that 'custom' may not cover.

Your suggestion of 'custom made' is a perfect example of one such term and should be added to our original list. Another term already on the list - 'Customized' - cover still more variations on that theme. Some would say we're splitting hairs here but I say that any profession (not just a job but a profession) has a specialized terminology. The professionals know their terminology in depth while other more casual parties with an ancillary interest in that profession will use the terminology to a lesser degree. All I would like to accomplish is to define the terminology. After that, the various makers will ,hopefully , use it according to their needs ...


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  #48  
Old 04-08-2007, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
It seems very clear that the term 'custom made' shares a great deal of ground with the term 'hand made' in so far as it applies to knives.

I don't see that at all Andy. Although we haven't gotten past our first definition yet, when we do get to 'hand made' I anticipate that it will descibe something about how the knife was made - perhaps without power tools for instance. So far, both 'custom' terms, i.e., 'Custom' and 'Custom Made', refer to why the knife was made. Some one ordered the knife made to their specs, or the knife maker decided to make a knife to his own specs.

There are many terms in knife making that do not specifically relate to the actual processes used to build a knife. Even 30 years ago the term 'custom' had nothing to do with process whereas a term like 'hand made' has certain inescapeable connotations...


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Last edited by Ray Rogers; 04-08-2007 at 12:44 PM.
  #49  
Old 04-08-2007, 01:47 PM
fitzo fitzo is offline
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The term "custom" is obviously used interchangeably with "custom made" in the current "knifemakers' glossary".

If you are attempting here to create an updated terminology that lends itself to more specificity and less ambiguity then I would have to agree that the two terms can be separated and "custom" be confined to meaning an item ordered specifically to a customer's specifications.

I would have no problem calling what I do "custom made". In fact, I see taking an opportunity to differentiate the two approaches as welcome. They are, after all, two different scenarios and while I do one, I don't do the other.

The purpose of language, after all, is to disambiguate communication.

Last edited by fitzo; 04-08-2007 at 02:14 PM.
  #50  
Old 04-08-2007, 02:03 PM
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I concur completely, Mike. Whenever possible, I strive to eschew obfuscation ...


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Last edited by Ray Rogers; 04-08-2007 at 06:27 PM.
  #51  
Old 04-08-2007, 06:06 PM
fitzo fitzo is offline
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You like that 50cent word, "disambiguate", Ray? I only recently learned that. Who'd have thought I'd ever get to use it!

Last edited by fitzo; 04-08-2007 at 06:08 PM.
  #52  
Old 04-08-2007, 06:33 PM
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I dunno MIke. That sounds like one of those new psuedo-words a politician would use so that he could claim later that you misunderstood what he meant if he gets caught in a factual error while explaining what he knew and exactly when he knew it....


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  #53  
Old 04-08-2007, 06:51 PM
fitzo fitzo is offline
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It's in American Heritage, FWIW, but it's Kennedy era poli-speak. So, as such, yes, it is a manufactured word. But then, aren't they all?
  #54  
Old 04-08-2007, 07:41 PM
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Hay Ray
i just read the poll question and i agree with definition number two.
i don't take orders from customers so i wouldn't be a custom maker, just a knife maker.
this work on definitions is worth while (it won't be easy,,but)
not wanting to make more problems,,but ,,,some methods of making knives might be divided into "modern" and "traditional",,,a modern maker would use all the latest tools that are hand held/controled by the maker but the use of electisity would be a given.

i figure this subject will burn in everyone mind for a long time i just hope progress can be make and everyone is able to hold there temper while others dissagree with thier views.
  #55  
Old 04-09-2007, 12:57 AM
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Perhaps some examples of what I'm taking about...


Joe's dad works in a swamp as a park ranger. He is a very large man with big hands and sweaty palms.
Joe is a part time knifemaker. He wants to give his dad a knife for his birthday. He chooses to make it with an oversized handle to fit his big hands and gives it deep finger grooves to combat the sweaty palm syndrome. He also makes it from high grade stainless to ward off the forces of the moisture and gives it a high mirror polish to make it easier to find if he drops it in the guk.
This knife is made for a specific person who provided the performance specifications by simply being who and what he is. However, he's not a customer. He did not commission the work.

Who among us could deny that this is a custom knife?

By your definition, Ray, it's not. I just can't buy that. Few knives could be more custom than the one described.

How 'bout these:

Sam lives outside Fort Bragg. He makes tactical chute knives with the logo of the 82d Airborne Division on them and he markets them to those troops. Are these not made as custom knives for the paratroopers of that unit?

Dave is a fireman. He designed a knife with gas shut-off and O2 bottle wrenches built in. He offers them for sale to his fellow firemen as 'The Fireman's Friend'. Are these not custom made for firemen?

Let's say I get an order for a knife with very specific performance characterists and size restrictions. Let's say my customer is the Wichita Police Department. Is this a custom knife even if I make 1000 of them?
In that same vien, is an M-9 bayonete or a Marine Kabar a custom knife. They were made to detailed specs and a customer is involved.
Does the dictionary which you used to find your definition of custom also provide that the object must be unique or one-off?

This is fun!

I'm not trying to be argumentative. I just don't like the very narrow definition of what custom can mean.


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Last edited by Andrew Garrett; 04-09-2007 at 01:01 AM.
  #56  
Old 04-09-2007, 01:03 AM
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Another thought:

If Mike makes himself a knife, and he pays for the materials, and he provides the specs to fit himself, why can't he be his own customer?

It did, after all, costs him money to aquire the knife.


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  #57  
Old 04-09-2007, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Garrett
Another thought:

If Mike makes himself a knife, and he pays for the materials, and he provides the specs to fit himself, why can't he be his own customer?

It did, after all, costs him money to aquire the knife.

I agree with you, Andy, and brought this point up earlier. Ray's response was, "You cannot 'order' a knife from yourself. 'Order' is a word which has a meaning too
and we cannot arbitrarily choose to ignore it."

Ray,

Sorry I didn't get a chance to comment before you started the poll, but I do not agree with either of the definitions you posted. I prefer the definition I came up with earlier, or that modified by Andy in a later post. So, I abstain from casting a vote.
  #58  
Old 04-09-2007, 08:10 AM
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Ray,

It seems that despite the ongoing discussion and the fact that Nathan and I have offered alternative definitions, your original two definitions submitted for your poll remain unchanged.

Furthermore, as they are written, it seems at least noticably clear to the reader that there is a prefered answer. I'm not sure that the statisticians of the world would approve of our scientific method here.

In any case, neither of those options represent any of the points I've made accurately, so regretably, I too must abstain from voting.

Pity. I was enjoying the lively debate and was looking forward to your responses to my latest batch of 'what ifs'.

No hard feelings brother! All in the name of greater human understanding. Let's do it again sometime.


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  #59  
Old 04-09-2007, 09:15 AM
fitzo fitzo is offline
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Back when I used to ride motorcycle quite a bit, I became a member of an organization of people of like interest. After several years involvement, I allowed myself to be talked into being hetman of said "club".

It was an impossible task. Here I was attempting to organize and create concensus amongst 250 people who had gotten into the motorcycling thang because individuality and independence of spirit was at its very core! Discussions would rage over the simplest things. Their version of this discussion would be, "What's a real 'biker'?" (In that case, I thought it was silly. In this case, I think the goal has merit but perhaps the realization may be next to impossible for the same reasons.)

Eventually I got tired of that whole idea of organizing anarchists and realized it was a futile cause in the first place, and that the least amount of rules and definitons might be the best thing.

So, I said, "Adios", climbed on that old iron horse, and road off into the sunset, happily doing whatever the heck I wanted to again.........

"I made it. It's a knife." That's enough for me at this time. Good luck with the project, Ray. I admire your efforts.

Last edited by fitzo; 04-09-2007 at 09:40 AM.
  #60  
Old 04-09-2007, 09:54 AM
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Hang on now! It isn't quite time to take your ball and go home just yet.
Besides if you do that, isn't that the same as saying 'my way or no way'?
I'm perfectly willing to include a 3rd definition or even more but if an additional definition is included it has to earn it's spot through discussion. I made what I thought were some fairly important points about your third definition but you never ersponded to them. If I missed the response in the avalanche then I appologize and please direct me to them.

Also, the Poll is not started. It says right there in the text that the Poll is there for review, not voting. The thread is locked, you couldn't vote if you wanted to. I figured it would be easier to review if I put it up where it could be easily found instead of buried in this thread. The comments for changes go in this thread and the results will be put in the Poll before any voting. It's my attepmt at organizing a very complicated process. It's a start, not an end, unless you choose to make it an end.

As for Joe and his dad, you're right, by definition #2 it wouldn't be custom but by #1 it would be. Vote for #1 when the time comes. Or, recognize that Joe's knife could be Custom Made, a term we haven't discussed much yet. Perhaps we should change the Poll to include all the 'custom' terms we can identify? That way, it might be clearer that there is a difference between them and those differences cover all the options pretty well.

Would you want to consider Sam's knife custom? I guess if he actually made all 1000 of them himself it could be. But usually, under those circumstances, the bulk of those knives would be manufactured and, so far, I think we have all felt that to be 'custom' by most any knife related definition a knife has to be made by a knife maker. Again though, it seems to me that definition #1 would allow that to be called custom if that's what you want.

Finally, if you don't like the way the Poll is stated then suggest some changes. I was aware of the need to avoid bias when I wrote it and tried to be as even handed as I could but it's still a starting place. Just making a suggestion though is not enough of a reason for the definition to be changed or a new one added - the point has to be proven through discussion. I offered a staring definition and that definition, after discussion, has been changed somewhat to be #2 and an entirely new second definition that I didn't create has been added. How can I be more fair?


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