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 Post subject: Re: Sharpening as a side business?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:27 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:20 pm
Posts: 34
Hard to make a buck doing it right. I'd say keep it a hobby and do something else for $$$.

 Post subject: Re: Sharpening as a side business?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:42 pm 
noneck180 wrote:If someone ever put any of my knife blades on a belt sander or grinder to sharpen them, they would be buying me a new knife. Stones and diamonds only for this guy.

:D I understand what you are saying, and I know the feeling. BUT, that being said, you might not want to throw out the baby with the bathwater... ;)

Most knives are made and finished with belt grinders. It's all about who's using it and their technique.

Before the argument of "de-tempering" comes up (might as well squash this now), this is only an issue for an in-experienced sharpener (aka someone who doesn't know any better). If you ever get the blade hot enough to de-temper it then you need to practice more before accepting money for sharpening. I've seen some real butcher jobs come from companies with reputable sounding names, so regardless if your sharpener decides to use stones or belts for your blade, it's best to (as with all things knives) find out their reputation first.

All things equal though, you can usually get a better edge using stones and that's how I finish 99% of all my jobs, not to mention there are finishes that belt sanders can't give you. Rarely will I ever actually give someone an edge that came straight from a belt sander.

So again, we arrive back at the argument. Here's how it's supposed to be (in my honest opinion).. belt sanders are better for working on the "blade", stones are better for the "edge". Setting a bevel and thinning with a belt sander work just fine if you know what you are doing.

 Post subject: Re: Sharpening as a side business?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:18 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:28 am
Posts: 896
I started a knife sharpening business a few years ago here where I live in Nova Scotia. Here are some pointers, note that any advice I give is a result of lessons learned. When I started the business, all I knew was how to sharpen knives, I was confident that I could make people happy but I've come to learn a few things.
1. The knives you get will not be like anything you see at CKtG, if knife abuse was a crime, most of my customers would be on death row. You need to learn how to transform a knife that hasn't been sharpened in 30 years to a knife that will thrill the owner and this often includes a new tip. For every 1,000 knives, I get 10 that are Japanese hand made knives and they are the easiest to sharpen.
2. A belt sander is a must for repair work but be careful, I have cut myself badly (my fault). I can't imagine doing the repair work I've had to without the belt sander.
3. Do not judge anyone by the quality of their knives, I have had elderly widows give me their wedding gift knives that may have cost $30.00 when new, 50 years past, treat every knife as if it were your dream knife and like Murray Carter was going to scrutinize your work.
4. If your goal is to sharpen a knife in 5 minutes, I doubt you are going to attain the edge quality that 20 minutes on stones will provide. I tell people if you want your knives back in 5 minutes to go elsewhere. Sharpening knives is a passion for me I take it extremely seriously, the "other guys" do knives in 5 minutes, I'm not one of those guys. If you want to stand out, be prepared to spend some time on a knife, transform it so that the owner not only sees the sharpest knife he/she has ever seen but has a grasp of the work that went into creating that edge, in fact, they can't believe what they are looking at, that should be your goal.
5. Enjoy the process, it is very rewarding and exciting. Don't rush a knife, people don't mind waiting for quality work. I've spent 2 hours on a 10 dollar knife, it was brutal and I didn't enjoy it but I was pleased with the results. If you can blow yourself away with an edge, imagine how the customer will feel.
Good luck

Peter Nowlan
New Edge Sharpening
Red Sector A
Nova Scotia
 Post subject: Re: Sharpening as a side business?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:57 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:18 pm
Posts: 10864
Location: Madison Wisconsin
+1 to all that and not just for knife sharpening but any business.

Mark Richmond
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