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      IMPORTANT Registration rules   02/12/2017

      Use your real name or you will NOT get in.  No aliases or nicknames, no numerals in your name. Do not use the words knives, blades, swords, forge, smith (unless that is your name of course) etc. We are all bladesmiths and knifemakers here.  If you feel you need an exception or are having difficulty registering, send a personal email to the forum registrar here.  
Gerald Boggs

Pros and cons of production work.

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Interesting idea. Not sure how I would do it back in the early days, but if I was at the same point in experience as I currently am, I would incorporate or at least become an LLC. Hire smiths to do the work, especially the grunt work. Require a five year non-com for on-line sales and a fifty mile no work/shop zone once they leave. I've got friends that tell me I should do that now, but I like the freedom of being a sole worker.

I would prefer to premake, but for the last few years, my workload has made that difficult.

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On 11/7/2017 at 11:03 AM, Daniel W said:

Gerald, I think this is a great topic for anyone who's curious about where blacksmithing can take them professionally. Personally, I'm at a huge crossroad feeling.  Parts of it has come about because a wonderful friend of mine, moved off and got a professional blacksmith job at a decorative ironworks shop.   A huge success in my opinion, although at the time, decorative 'production' iron work didn't seem to be her thing.  And yet, I wonder - would I be a happier person if I also took the chance and made 300 hooks in a week - or continued with my 7-7 shift driving in a circle all week.  (fork lift driver at production facility)

Don't think just in terms of hooks as doing production. You can do production work is almost any field. Look around and find that spot that best meets that balance of “What you want to do, What you need to do and what you're willing to do and still be happy.” If we stay in the area of bladesmithing: Look at a style or time period and see if that's a fit for you. As an example: The fur trading era gives you a huge range of knives, axes, and spears styles to work with. You can stay as simple or as fancy as you want. You can do simple trade axes and tomahawks as bread and butter items while you build up your trade and name. Production is merely making things in lots.  Instead of making one tomahawk at a time, you do each step 10-20 times. Doing things in lots, makes for efficiency and higher return for your time/effort, and that's really all production work is.

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