Jump to content

Think I'm about ready to start sells


Byron Reeves

Recommended Posts

I consider myself as getting "close" to being able to sell the knives I make, but have several questions.

 

Considering that reputation is of great long term importance of any knifemaker, I would like for my name to be on all the knives I sell, but I'm not sure how to go about doing this. Engraving is not a option as I already heat treated the blade that's semi close to being ready. I might could put my name on the un HT tang part of it (it's a skeletonized design,so no handle material), but if I mess up (I never engraved steel before), all the work will be ruined, so here I am back to engraving not being a option. Any advice? I've heard about those etching companies that make stencils and etching supplies for you, but I always heard this method produces fuzzy results, so not sure about it.

 

I already have an idea of how to safely package them, which will basically involve the knife being incased in a thin block of stryofoam and another thinner block over it, then the two taped together. This would provide enough protection the knife would ever need during the shipping, once it's packaged in the box as well.(Although the added weight could bring up costs) My question about this, is there any disadvantages to this method, like could the sytrofoam scratch the knife, trap oxygen therefore making it rust before it's receieved, etc?

 

Speaking of rust, how would I insure that it doesn't rust before it is recieved? (01, so rusts easily) ?

 

As soon as I can, I'll be making sheaths for them as well, but I'm not sure how to go about packaging both a sheath and knife in the same package.(As I wouldn't trust the knife to be inside it, not during shipping anyway) Any advise on this as well?

 

Many questions, I know, but I have never considered selling anything before and this will be my first time at it.

"The most rewarding things in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done."

 

Make do with what you have, if at all possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Temper my advice with the knowledge that I am no professional. I'm a mere hubbyist that enjoys this and I'm not even very experienced in that.

 

For marking your name, you can either use a small electric engraver that can be had from $5 on up to I'm sure many hundreds of dollars. I''ve got a larger plug in dremel engraver and also a small cheepie from harbor freight that runs on batteries.

 

I've also had good success with a 9V battery and a conductive solution of water and salt. I'm sure somewhere online there is a how-to on this. I just reversed some of the electroplating I learned back in highschool. Eitehr way will work to mark hardened steel

 

For rust prevention, I use a product called rust sheath, which is made by birchwood-casey. I use this on all of my firearms as well. it can be purchased at any outdoors or sports store.

 

Shipping is much less important. just package it so it doesn't wiggle and bang around. I use closed cell foam, but I'm sure anything will work. And I ship with the knife in the sheath. All of the knives I make are for use. Some are pretty, some are not, but they are all intended to be used. If the sheath is made in a way that I'm worried about it surviving in the mail, then I think it would not hold up in the field very well.

 

 

I'm sure others will give their opinions and tips as well.

Have you ever thought about the life of steel? It's interesting to think that you can control the fate of a piece of metal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's another vote for etching, be it electro-chemical or just chemical... I describe the el cheapo method I use in this thread, but there are likely better ways (more consistent) to do it.

 

Last knife I shipped, I oiled it, encased the tip in a block of poplar wood and wrapped the heck out of it with bubble wrap and paper towels. I agree, do not ship it sheathed, leather can hold moisture and has nasty leftovers from the tanning process that can ruin a finish in short order (the vegetable tanned stuff I've been using lately seems less prone to this, but I still would not take any chances with it). You could wrap the knife in plastic wrap before sheathing it and it should be OK. I store all my knives in their sheaths, but I wouldn't do that with someone else's knife they just payed me for... :)

 

That rust sheath sounds like good stuff...

George Ezell, bladesmith

" How much useful knowledge is lost by the scattered forms in which it is ushered to the world! How many solitary students spend half their lives in making discoveries which had been perfected a century before their time, for want of a condensed exhibition of what is known."
Buffon


view some of my work

RelicForge on facebook
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Appreciate the replies. I might try the engraver but going have to spend some time practicing on scrap, and it'll probably be limited to unhardened parts of the blade.

 

On non skeletonized designs, I might try the electro etching method although I'm sceptical of it's quality. But as long as it doesn't distract from the knife I'm ok with it. I'll also look into the rust sheath.

 

 

I agree, do not ship it sheathed, leather can hold moisture and has nasty leftovers from the tanning process that can ruin a finish in short order

 

Yeah, this is why I didn't consider shipping the knife in the sheath. I was always taught that sheaths are for carrying and not storing.

Edited by Byron Reeves

"The most rewarding things in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done."

 

Make do with what you have, if at all possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i use card stock sleeves for the blade keeps them from cutting stuff i would just stick the knife in the sheath but 1, if any thing heavy gets set on it the knife might cut it up 2, i usually have just oiled the sheath before shipping and would rather let it breath a little before it gets there

Brandon Sawisch bladesmith

 

eagles may soar but weasels don't get sucked in to jet engines

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Electro etching can be great if done well, I use an etcher from Ron Claiborne and stencils from IMG and have great luck with them.

 

Another method you could consider is acid or even electro etching using single use stencils of PVC automotive decal. Ariel Salaverria had a little tutorial on how he does it on damascus. I used it to put a customer's name on a blade I'd done.

 

Acid and the decal was also the method used to do the decorative etching on all of the blades and armor made for Lord of the Rings and Narnia.

Beau Erwin

www.ErwinKnives.com

Custom knives

Bcarta Composites

Stabilized Woods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Think I'll go with electro etching then, what's the expenses of this method?

Edited by Byron Reeves

"The most rewarding things in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done."

 

Make do with what you have, if at all possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://lectroetch.com/powerunits.html

 

These folks make the best Electro Etch machines....

 

http://markingmethods.com/

 

And I get my stenciles from these guys

In life you get what you pay for......

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." — Mark Twain

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can build an etcher or buy one, I'd bought mine from Ron and I think it was about 150$ Had it a few years now and works great.

There's even ways to build an etcher from practically nothing. Just have to search on it some.

 

As for stencils I remember mine being 70$+ and I've still barely touched them. They were from IMG.

I can mark a number of blades before a stencil wears out and the mark still looks great.

Beau Erwin

www.ErwinKnives.com

Custom knives

Bcarta Composites

Stabilized Woods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most guys try to sell local before they start shipping and selling on the net. As far as Touchmarks, everybody has their own deal with that. It seems odd to me that anyone would forge a blade and then electro etch and even the guy I know who grinds for living uses a stamp. You can make a basic one easily enough and use it with a hydraulic jack. Just be careful, dont go shooting a piece of steel into yourself.

 

Your right about it being hardened already, that's pretty much a done deal it sounds like but you can plan better now. You can also just take a chisel and put a Kanji on your work, but again it needs to be done before its hard. At least that's my general plan as far as marking goes, for now I like the feel of the chisel.

 

 

 

You will need to add Japanese to your PC to view all the Kanji but you can find plenty on the net and make your own design. The key with carving steel at first is keeping the design simple with some straight lines versus starting super curvy.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanji

 

 

As far shipping, get some board and screw it together to make a shipping sheath, grease up your blade, pack it and send it. Dont be sending first class super sharp fixed blades in foam or any other junk packaging. Im not worried about the Blade as much as the Post Office people who are handling it. You need to protect them first when shipping, always safety first before other considerations. If you made a leather sheath just wrap the greasy Blade in its ugly wood sheath in plastic wrap and wrap the sheath up separate in the same package. New owner gets knife safely, wipes off grease, puts it in new sheath, happy ever after.

Edited by Bryan Bondurant
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't considered selling them locally, but I'm not sure how that would work out. I don't know of any local knife or craft shows and even if I did, I would have to rely on my parents to take me there.

 

I noticed that electro etching and stamping isn't in what I can afford atm, so would regular etching work? (Coating the blade with resist, scraping off the resist in the area I want etched, submerging it in a acid bath, etc) I know this method can potentially be dangerous and would bring difficulties (having to bring the chemicals to fire houses to have it properly disposed, etc) but I don't really want to go with the Kanji method as I'm not sure if they would identify me well enough.

 

About the board for shipping, wouldn't the bottom board need to be carved out so the knife would fit in it?

"The most rewarding things in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done."

 

Make do with what you have, if at all possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you look around there are some plans to make a Etcher out of the power supply from a computer. That should be easy enough to find as there are many scraped computers around. It was a real simple setup, maybe somebody can remember where the link is?

 

The thing about selling local is people get to pick up the knife and get a feel for it. They can meet the maker face to face, that's a much easier sell than trying to attract people to a new and unknown maker on the net. If your in Mississippi there must be all kinds of weekend farmer and flea markets you can go to. Depending on where you are you could maybe cross state lines and go to other markets. Many people have became great Bladesmiths by showing up with a bunch of railroad spikes and a forge on Saturday and hammering out knives. It helps if you have a dozen already made so folks can watch you hammer and you can sell them a finished knife. Its a time honored tradition around Arkansas and Texas, I'm sure its a welcomed activity in Mississippi too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...