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Jon Stormm

Pricing Questions

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I had no intention of down taking what it is that everyone here does. I was just surprised that there was a large market for knives made by hand, in some cases, from home.

I was not sure how to go about something like that. Again I'm extremely new to knifesmithing and depending on how well it goes for me, possibly down the road, selling what I am crafting.

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Yes, there is a market for it. Custom knifemakers are to knives what custom furniture makers are to furniture. Walmart sells furniture, but if you want a chair that will last a lifetime and then some, WalMart is not the place to go. Just so with knives. The level of performance you can get from a well made custom knife far surpasses what you can get from the vast majority of store bought knives.

 

As for who we sell to, it all depends on the knives you want to make. Some people want to make historical knives, and so they sell to collectors and historical reenactors. Some people want to make art knives, and so they sell to art collectors and knife aficionados. And yet others make outdoor camping/hunting knives, so their market is hunters and outdoorsmen.

 

I would strongly caution against selling knives prematurely.

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2 hours ago, Dan Breen said:

How much extra should I throw in for a leather sheath

 

Do it just like you do your knives. Calculate cost of matierial, shipping, with time in hours x hourly rate. Make sure to leave yourself some meat on the bone. It is fair to charge double the hours it will actually take (Should pay some of the shop bills) Not everyone needs a deal, and you can't do it for free. 

Edit: remember to include consumables in there too (Dye, broken needles, string, leather conditioner).

Edited by Zeb Camper

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Not to mention if the sheath is good or not.  A high-end sheath maker (they do exist) can charge almost as much as a high-end knifemaker.  It's all relative.

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For some reason I hate making sheathes. I like making pistol holsters though. I think, since I obviously make the sheath after the knife is done so maybe it's sort of anti-climactic. As a result I tend to overthink the sheath and feel self concious about mine. As a result, and having aqusititus, I have the tools that give me no excuses. With all that, and the price of leather, I sometimes feel like I'm selling someone a sheath and throwing in a knife that I made for fun.

Edited by Vern Wimmer

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8 hours ago, Vern Wimmer said:

For some reason I hate making sheathes. I like making pistol holsters though. I think, since I obviously make the sheath after the knife is done so maybe it's sort of anti-climactic. As a result I tend to overthink the sheath and feel self concious about mine. As a result, and having aqusititus, I have the tools that give me no excuses. With all that, and the price of leather, I sometimes feel like I'm selling someone a sheath and throwing in a knife that I made for fun.

My sheaths are nothing like yours then I'm sure! I personally would like to find someone to make mine for me.

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I need help in pricing some huge spear heads I am going to be making and what sort of steel I should make them out of.

I am being commissioned to make some spear heads that are huge about 35cm long and 2 cm thick in the middle for hunting pig and buffalo.

I have never made a sharp object this thick before there fore I do not know how to price it. 

Should I go to a dump shop to get some old leaf springs for the metal?

I am going to forge down the main bevels and then grind the rest flush. 

I only need to make the heads and not the handle.

I will be commissioned to make between 10-15 heads.

please help thanks.

IMG_4548.JPG

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I would seek out an industrial steel supplier in your area/country, and get some steel bar in a size that is conveniënt, maybe 20x30 mm.

Most of them will have a suitable spring steel in their catalogue. 

You"ll need a fair bit of steel so I would just buy a few meters, instead of spending days getting leaf spring to a size where you can forge a spearhead from.

I also think it is better to use New steel, instead of having a blade fail from a hidden crack in the spring when there is a hog charging up the other end.

As for pricing, I calculate how long a project SHOULD take me, multiply that with my minimal wage and add material and fuel costs. Then I add a bit on top off that to make a nice round number.:D

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Thanks a bunch mate but would you have any idea on what sort of steel will be suitable from the distributors because it is so complicated  the way they have the specs for their steel. Like instead of 01 or L6 they have 300light or something like that.

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1 hour ago, Dan Breen said:

Thanks a bunch mate but would you have any idea on what sort of steel will be suitable from the distributors because it is so complicated  the way they have the specs for their steel. Like instead of 01 or L6 they have 300light or something like that.

Hey Dan, where are you from? I have an app that allows me to search knife steels by country, and composition.

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1 hour ago, Zeb Camper said:

Hey Dan, where are you from? I have an app that allows me to search knife steels by country, and composition.

Hey zeb I am from Northern Territory Australia

Edited by Dan Breen

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1 hour ago, Dan Breen said:

Hey zeb I am from Northern Territory Australia

Check out Gameco Artisan Supply. They have a warehouse in Australia stocked with American steels. Something like 1075  or 1084 would be a good choice I think. I'll get a link for ya in a second.

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Cracking the code is the key here. I am sure if you call any supplier in your country and talk to a human they can decode for you. I wouldn't deal with one that couldn't.

Pricing for a "run" like that, of such unique objects is interesting. I always give advice based on "if it were me I'd...... "  , so.......

I'd grab what ever I could find handy and pound out a prototype. It wouldn't have to be functional just a test of method to establish time and materials. This also gives you a chance to refine the efficiency and avoid surprises and make any improvised tools like swages etc.

Call and line up materials.

Then

Material total X2 (you need to get paid for the time and your investment and handling )

Time it took to make prototype X wage you normally hope to make. X number of items.

Add those two.

Always round up. You are making something unique and that someone will be depending on.  You will be earning the money. That would be fair dinkum.

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On 22/12/2017 at 1:55 PM, Zeb Camper said:

Hey Dan, where are you from? I have an app that allows me to search knife steels by country, and composition.

Hey Zeb. What is the app called? Thanks.

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25 minutes ago, Charles du Preez said:

Hey Zeb. What is the app called? Thanks.

Knife Steel Composition Chart. It's a gray and black picture of a knife and a Fe symbol I think.

You are very welcome.

It was a little tricky for me to figure out at first, but it has more features than meets the eye. It's useful, though I can't be too sure how accurate it may be. 

 

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A better app is the ASM Heat Treater's Guide Companion, which is also free and what I thought you had.  The others are amateur at best.

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1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

A better app is the ASM Heat Treater's Guide Companion, which is also free and what I thought you had.  The others are amateur at best.

Thanks alan i just finished the download! This is awesome.

Edited by Jeremy Blohm

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Thank Jerrod Miller, he's the one who first told the forum about it.  B)

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I'm glad people are using it and liking it.  Good folks at ASM.  If you really want to be able to HT anything, get the full book (though it is spendy).  

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8 minutes ago, Jerrod Miller said:

I'm glad people are using it and liking it.  Good folks at ASM.  If you really want to be able to HT anything, get the full book (though it is spendy).  

Thank you Jerrod! This is going to make life a lot easier!:D

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10 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

A better app is the ASM Heat Treater's Guide Companion, which is also free and what I thought you had.  The others are amateur at best.

I'll be sure to check that out. Thanks Alan!

Edit: And thanks Jerrod!

Edited by Zeb Camper

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