Up front and to the point

Discussion in 'Redmeadow Knives & T.Knotts Knives' started by Redmeadow Knives, Dec 18, 2020.

  1. Redmeadow Knives

    Redmeadow Knives John Conner / lessismore Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 29, 2010
    Anyone that knows this subforum knows that I'm up front about my process and any changes that go on. I wanted to bring up a few things that I'm looking forward to and open up a discussion. Please chime in.

    First is that as you guys know I've invested in a leather sewing machine, by far the most expensive investment in my shop. That opens me up to some non-knife projects that I'll be displaying here in the sub. It also means that some sheaths will be machine stitched, some hand stitched, and some possibly a combination of the two. I'll be upfront about which is which. Not because I think there is a quality difference between the two but because as the buyer, I think you should know.

    The second thing is that I am having our Cowbell pocket blades waterjet cut by our steel supplier (New Jersey Steel Baron). I got the tracking number for the first batch today, they should be here by Christmas Eve.

    The third thing is that I'm going to be increasing the amount of Cowbells I do at one time. I have 8 dibs left on our list and will be doing them in two sets of 4, then we'll open up new a new call for Dibs.

    In regards to the changes to the Cowbells mentioned above, my goal is to improve the consistency and workflow.

    If anyone has any concerns whatsoever bring them up in this thread. If you have an opinion on waterjet, sewing machines, or anything at all, let's air that out.

    There's something coming in the Ether, or is that just Ether?
     
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  2. Dopic1

    Dopic1 Irredeemable wood purveyor Platinum Member

    Apr 1, 2013
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. SpyderPhreak

    SpyderPhreak Rocketman for hire Platinum Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    No concerns John! Just looking forward to forthcoming coolness. :D

    Any more thought about the wharny Cowbells? Any chance you got some of those cut out?

    I fully expected to see this happening. As you grow as a maker, you're going to streamline certain processes. It's pretty common to see machine-stitched sheaths and jetted blanks, and in my opinion at least, it takes nothing away from the quality.

    Good luck brother!
     
  4. Redmeadow Knives

    Redmeadow Knives John Conner / lessismore Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 29, 2010
    Ohhhh then you're gonna like what's comin Jared, I got you covered and then some.
     
  5. SpyderPhreak

    SpyderPhreak Rocketman for hire Platinum Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    :eek: :thumbsup: :cool:

    Pretty sure I already gotta dibs on one! ;) :D
     
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  6. gunspease

    gunspease Gold Member Gold Member

    576
    Nov 9, 2002
    Dibs on the cool stuff no matter how it’s made.
     
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  7. Comprehensivist

    Comprehensivist Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Aug 23, 2008
    Hey John,

    I understand the desire (need?) to improve processes and efficiencies. Water jet cutting blanks makes economic sense with no aesthetic impact on the finished product. Changing the sewing process on the sheath changes the character of the finished product to me. As I stated months ago in the quote above, the hand sewn sheath was a major draw when I signed up. Changing that process is not a deal killer, but disappointing nonetheless.

    Thanks!

    Phil
     
  8. Redmeadow Knives

    Redmeadow Knives John Conner / lessismore Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 29, 2010
    Thanks for mentioning that Phil. On the Cowbell Dibs they'll absolutely be hand stitched as originally promised, no worries there.

    My goal is to work two "lines" if you will. The sewing machine purchase was not made to completely replace handstitching but as a supplement.

    First would be models that are waterjet, machine stitched, and kept at a minimum cost. Entry level priced handmades with a few custom options for those that see high end custom prices and thinks all handmade knives are out of reach.

    Second would basically be everything else, wild builds, stacked leather, actual Custom orders, creative type of work.
     
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  9. SpyderPhreak

    SpyderPhreak Rocketman for hire Platinum Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    Dibs on a job as a lead in part of the design group, when you hit the big time! ;) :thumbsup:
     
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  10. Melvin-Purvis

    Melvin-Purvis Not a Registered User Staff Member Super Mod

    Jan 14, 2001
    Several concerns - you're a bright guy and your mind wanders, shiny objects and all that. I once worked with a really bright young guy that had a PhD in Applied Physics; we were under government contract to build a Submarine to Satellite laser communications system and he went off the reservation at just the wrong time - we found him later blowing glass in a rented warehouse. By then, the contract had shifted to another company with an equally bright young physicist. The rest of us went home. He did give me a really cool blown glass sphere about the size of a cue ball; it's greenish, I have it buried around here somewhere.

    Another bright guy, Ron Clark, developed a process for making knives out of Liquid Metal; he was the industry darling at the time, magazine covers and all that, revolutionary stuff (covered here at BFC, circa 2008; a few of his knives are still available at ACK); then, he drifted as well, started making mid-techs; grinding blades for someone else whilst picking at his navel lint - the story of our industry, our hobby, knife makers and the collectors of their work, is a story littered with coulda been, shoulda been, and has been makers. The common factor seems to be makers that drifted to the point their customers moved onto the next exciting thing.

    Production delays, self-gratification, blown glass and all that. I think you'd be really smart to state right up front that any order placed today will ship approximately six months from now (or, pick a time frame that works for you); if you come in under that date, customers will think you're a hero. That'll give you time to work on new ideas that excite you, while still meeting customer expectations, blown glass and all. Also, while presenting new ideas and designs, you might be better served doing so after the fact; allowing client input may (will likely) blur your vision, and distract from yesterday's projects still in the works.
     
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  11. Ron L

    Ron L Gold Member Gold Member

    747
    Mar 23, 1999
    Process improvements aren’t necessarily a bad thing and I think the overall gist of the knife needs to be considered. Folks also need to recognize that your quality, fit, and finish will still meet your standards.

    Example: after Pocket Blades dibs run, I’ll want a Camper (no maybes, definitely want one). Now, a Camper is a user, more tool-like knife. If it was water jetted and it had a machine sewn sheath, I’d have no problem with that.

    Now, if I ordered a beautiful Bowie with custom wood handle, fancy filing on the ricasso, etc, then I’d think hand cutting/grinding the profile and hand sewn sheath makes sense. The extra time and work should also be priced accordingly to reflect your work.

    Basically:
    Regular Cowbell - waterjet & machine sewn sheath
    Cowbell Deluxe - hand cut/grind & hand sewn sheath

    If this sounds rambling, I blame it on lack of coffee. ☕️
     
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  12. jlauffer

    jlauffer Tempt not the Blade Platinum Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    Cowbells filled with naval lint?o_O:D

    Still pretty new here and only have one knife so far (patiently waiting on the Faro:)), but no issues here John.:thumbsup:
     
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  13. Redmeadow Knives

    Redmeadow Knives John Conner / lessismore Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 29, 2010
    @Melvin-Purvis I know exactly what you mean Shel, my mind wanders constantly. As far as consistency though I think all of the decisions and investments I've made still focus on the goal, which is to build Redmeadow Knives, not "Mercantile" or "Knife and Tool" but knives.

    Side projects can be self gratification absolutely, but in the case of the leather work, it was Christmas presents and good practice running the new machine before I destroy some sheaths with it:eek: The blacksmithing is a byproduct of learning to forge knives. Distractions are things like the set of drumsticks I made out of walnut for my nephew yesterday morning and shiny objects are the leather gift tags for the journal cover and belt I made for Melissa lol. Those are the kind of things that take me away from knifemaking, along with the normal duties of work and family which is always a struggle to balance, but such is life.

    I agree 100 percent and have been working on not discussing my plans until they come to fruition, I'm bad about that. That's why I didn't bring up the work I've been doing on waterjet plans until I had everything worked out and received shipping confirmation. I've been working on that for a while and I think you'll find the result interesting. This thread exists for a couple of reasons but the main reason was that I wanted to get any concerns aired out before revealing waterjet blanks. I expected some folks would think it was a move towards automation, shortcuts, midtech goals, etc. Its not at all. It's a move towards consistency, improved workflow and the freeing up time to allow me to work on the higher quality, creative work that are the real shiny objects that I'd like to chase.

    Another reason I started this thread is because I see and get asked about a lot of smoke being blown around by makers on other platforms (IG & FB). I don't get in other peoples business but I try to make sure I'm not guilty of actions that I don't approve of. I've seen makers act elusive and hide the fact that they outsource heat treat, leather work, waterjet service and parts of their process. I want to be up front, I have nothing to hide.

    That touches on some of your concerns Shel and I hope it made sense. You're a smart cookie and know me better than anyone, just know that my main focus will always be knives.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
  14. Redmeadow Knives

    Redmeadow Knives John Conner / lessismore Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 29, 2010
    We're in agreement there Ron, I'm currently rollin out leather for your sheaths by the way. Two Right Pocket clips, correct?


    Hey I only pick my belly button lint when I'm hungry or its about to rain! The Faros will be worth the wait, definitely.
     
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  15. Comprehensivist

    Comprehensivist Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Aug 23, 2008
    John,

    Thanks for the reply above. The totally hand crafted Cowbell package is going to be a cherished user because of your personal touch.

    If the day ever comes when your knives start shipping with fortune cookies instead of mini-cowbells, we’ll know that you have gone too far with the efficiency thing. :eek:

    I wish you lots of success as you continue to evolve with new skills, new equipment, and new creative design ideas. You have done a great job so far in design and execution on every model I have seen in photos. Keep rocking what works for you.

    Phil
     
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  16. Ron L

    Ron L Gold Member Gold Member

    747
    Mar 23, 1999
    Yes sir. Two right with pocket clips.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2020
  17. Redmeadow Knives

    Redmeadow Knives John Conner / lessismore Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 29, 2010
    Christmas came early, 2 days ahead of the tracking estimate....
    20201222_141711-01.jpeg
    I'll update our pocket blade thread with more info.
     
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  18. jmgruber

    jmgruber Gold Member Gold Member

    355
    Dec 27, 2018
    Thank you for the open communication
     
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  19. SpyderPhreak

    SpyderPhreak Rocketman for hire Platinum Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    Holy moly!!! :eek: How many is that? 70??? :thumbsup:
     
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  20. Redmeadow Knives

    Redmeadow Knives John Conner / lessismore Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 29, 2010
    84
     

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