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Pocket Cleaver

Discussion in 'Fixed Blades' started by Grahamm, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. Grahamm

    Grahamm Active Member

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    So last weekend I started this. Now, I spend too much time on the Big Green Egg forum. I'm a big home smoker and I love my BGE.
    In a moment of weakness I came up with a contest on the forum to win it. If someone has helped you become a better cook, given advice that has helped you, then I asked for folks to nominate their choice that has been a huge help to them and made them a better cook.
    Then I did a random draw for a winner and they are getting this pocket cleaver I made. It was a lot of fun. Plus it pushed me a lot to do a better job and improve my game because someone was gonna win this.
    [​IMG]
    Now the problem is, at least 6 people have messaged me asking if they can buy one. I have no idea how much to charge for something like this. Quick math says $175 at least. Thoughts?

    Wasn't meaning for it to lead to any requests, was a thank you for folks that have helped me, but I guess I'd be silly not think about it.
     
  2. krash-bang

    krash-bang Active Member

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    I can see why they want to buy one. That is a beautiful cleaver man! I just love the lines, very well done.

    If you're happy with $175 go for it. It's well worth it.
     
  3. Grahamm

    Grahamm Active Member

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    Well when I told one guy $175 he realized he had enough knives already. :) I'm good with not making one if someone thinks I'm gonna give away my time.
     
  4. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    For plain steel $20-$25 per inch and Damascus 35-40 per inch for rough ball park numbers
     
  5. Grahamm

    Grahamm Active Member

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    John is that for overall length or just the blade?
     
  6. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    Wow! That much! Of course that'd be for the higher quality that you guys do. Silly question but, do you think there's any market for "beginner quality" knives? Somebody who just needs it sharp and functional? I'd love to recoup some of my steel costs.
     
  7. Grahamm

    Grahamm Active Member

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    You could set up an etsy page and put on what you have done. I checked it out, there are things all over the board when it comes to price. I didn't know what etsy was 2 days ago. Someone suggested it to me so I asked my wife what it was.
     
  8. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    I was using that for overall length based off a suggestion from here last year or year before.

    Square also has a catalogue feature but not really sure how it plays out for displaying to a customer.
    Etsy can work but there is a lot of people all competing for the same market but a key word search could get you displayed with others so maybe not a bad thing. Facebook is not to bad for showcasing to friends and family but the sale of knives is not allowed by their rules so the store feature will be of no use to you.

     
  9. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    There definitely is a market for all knives beginner to professional artist or whatever you want to call the best knife maker in the world if there is such thing. The most important thing is the price and that is an impossible topic to get a definite answer. I personally don't even consider the per inch method other than may be the steel itself. Example xxxx steel comes in a 30 inch bar and it costs $60. I am using 6" for a hidden tang knife so the inch price is $2 making the blade $12 worth of steel. There are too many variables that come into play like blade steel, handle material, blade finish, etc... I have seen a few knives sell for a lot of money and in my opinion it was worth it and would have tried to buy it if I had the extra cash. The price per inch would have been around $2600 per inch, and no I didn't add too many zeros lol. You just have to start off trying to get back what you have in materials and consumables and you will be able to slowly raise your price as you get known and improve. That brings on another variable. Quality VS being known. It happens all around us for everything we buy. We spend more on the brand or known maker. The known maker makes an amazing knife but the new guys knife can be very comparable in quality but the new guy can't get half the $$$ that the known maker can get. I'm definitely not knocking known makers because they deserve every penny they get for their knives which I see as amazing art. I probably rambled enough and with all of us combined we could write a novel and still not come up with a standard for a pricing method to go by. This is just my opinion and probably didn't help but it is something to think about. lol
     
  10. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    I found a bit of a market when first starting out with the $100-150 dollar knives by making and selling to the younger generation getting their first knife. They are not going to typically spend $400 plus and they would still like to buy something they like and is a decent knife.
    One younger relative was not only happy to have it but now her cousins want one as well for their camping trips. Each one is made with their favorite colors and theme, best part they fully understand the knife is custom and made just for them (bragging rights) and they love showing them off. Only snag so far has been protective mothers less than impressed with real sharp knives in the hands of their babies.

    At my first show their was lots of interest and I learned later that the $100 category is normally the big sellers for other makers. People will generally take out $100 cash and that might be their limit and if the son or daughter really want the knife or even the parents then they have the cash on hand and the knife is sold.

    Another thing for the beginner is that people that like the knife enough to buy it are also thinking there might be a chance you become a high end maker and they have one of your early knives for a real good price. Be like buying the Mona Lisa for a steak dinner.
     
  11. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    I have spoke to a couple high end collectors and they pretty much said the same John. If it looks like there is potential for you to make it "big time" they will buy a knife or two as an investment.
     
  12. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    Yep sold a skinning knife for that very reason guy put it on a shelf and told me to hurry up and get famous :roflmao
     
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  13. Grahamm

    Grahamm Active Member

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    So in the eyes of the experts here was my $175 too high? The overall is 7 inches which would put it right at the 150-175 range. I based my number on my inputs which are actually more about abrasives than anything else but steel plus handle etc got me to one point. I spent about 5 hrs total on grinding, hand sanding, heat treat etc. So I figured a reasonable amount was $20 per HR. So that's how I landed where I did.
    Now I'm just starting out but if I'm gonna make a blade at someone's request, I'm not gonna do it cheap "just because". I once had a guy ask me to make him beer and wanted me to do it cheaper because "I like doing it". I like doing stuff for me. I'm not sure I like doing it for someone else. Now a couple guys on here have given me great advice and if they wanted beer I'd be happy to do it as repayment for a favour but just because....I have other things I can be doing (note I may have had some beer in the sun already...:):beer:)
     
  14. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    I was thinking like 50 or 60 bucks. Really just to pay for materials. I dont mind giving my time while im learning. I would be thilled to sell around the 100 mark.

    I will have to work on getting my photo booth finished this week and show you guys my latest projects so i can set a decent baseline.
    I need honest criticism and comments. My wife and family go too easy on me. I know im getting better but i could use some guidance on how to get better
     
  15. Grahamm

    Grahamm Active Member

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    $50 bucks?? :)
     
  16. Grahamm

    Grahamm Active Member

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    Note the smiley face.
     
  17. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    I find the number per inch does not work out well for fillet knives or cleavers, one because really long with little material and the other very short and wide.

    A spreadsheet that tracks your time at each step if you really want to get serious is a good idea. I do flat rate some things like heat treating and cutting out a blank to simplify entry, this picture is an example of half the sheet I use.
    [​IMG]

    Started this to kind of get a feel for actual costs and time spent on each knife. There are another dozen columns for taxes, shipping, profit margin and sold price all to figure out if I can make money or should stay as a hobby and give them away more or less.
    Can be useful to keep track of all stages so you know where you spend a lot of time and maybe a better tool will really help.
     
  18. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    I should note that grinding is on the belt sander up to 400 grit and polishing is 400 grit and higher which is sort of an industry standard from what little I have read. Also polishing is often by hand for the 600-2000 grit for mirror polish and dollar value is based off hourly wages and time
     
  19. Grahamm

    Grahamm Active Member

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    So $175 was too much :) ?
     
  20. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    I spaced on that question but I would say from a quick run through the sheet and with a sheath I would have charged the same ($173.25). Not a fancy sheath but something with simple tooling and a 20% markup after totally all costs.
     
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