View Full Version : I am Thankful

05-08-2013, 06:39 AM
As some of you may know, I was "retired" back in 2008 and at my age and with my wife's health issues I realized I would not be in the construction game any longer. I kicked around a bit and tried a few things. Nothing clicked for us. After a few more months, Herself suggested I sharpen knives for folks. I assumed everyone knew how to sharpen a knife and figured it was her way of saying "get out of the house before you drive me crazy" or words to that effect. Anyway, I found a couple of Farmers Markets and they accepted my application. The first year was pretty puny but as word got out and my reputation built, business started to come in. I am now sharpening at eight Farmers Markets and a bunch of private sharpening each month and I must say, I really enjoy what I do. Every day is different and I get to meet great people at each venue. I thought it could not get any better. Until yesterday, when a local grocery chain asked me to sharpen at each of its stores once a month for the customers. This will be year round and I intend to ride the wave until it passes.

I am thankful to our Lord who enabled me to find a new endeavor I enjoy and can support my family. To my Pop, thank you for teaching me the value of a good sharp knife so many years ago, thank you. And for those of you who have remembered me in your prayers either specifically or just in general, Thank you.

Wayne Smith
05-08-2013, 07:02 AM
Congratulations! It's good to turn a skill into income, and no, most people have no idea that knives can even be sharpened any more, much less know how. I don't know how many teenagers have asked me to teach them.

God provides, we just need to realize how we can grab ahold of His provision.

05-08-2013, 10:18 AM
I am glad for you finding a less stressful occupation. And I dont think the wave will wane. Once folks get used to sharp knives, they get addicted to them!

05-08-2013, 10:30 AM
Gee, I hope you're not sharpening assault knives :kidding:

seriously though, Good Luck,

05-08-2013, 10:35 AM
Any chance one of the Flea Markets you work at is Hartville Marketplace?

05-08-2013, 12:38 PM
Well done, and congratulations! I sharpen relative's knives when I visit them, it's funny to me how few folks seem to actually know how to sharpen one well. I have dug some very nice knives out of the dumpsters in my yuppie housing area (I'm working on leaving, honest) and all they ever need is sharpened.

Recently I splurged on a new stone set. It was a well-used but still serviceable Norton IM-313 with 11.5 inch stones mounted on a triangular holder and sitting in an oil bath. Got it on eBay. They make shorter versions, perhaps more useful to the traveling sharpener. This large one is intended for professional meat packing setups. Boy howdy will an 11.5 inch stone 3" wide mounted in a nice secure holder sharpen a blade and but quick! The oil bath is nice because it helps keep the stoned lubed and clean. I would never pay retail price for one, a used one was fine for me. I had to bid a while on eBay to win one for what I was willing to pay, but lost nothing in the waiting.


05-08-2013, 04:21 PM

05-08-2013, 04:22 PM
Any chance one of the Flea Markets you work at is Hartville Marketplace?

No, the fellow at Hartville is Don Kovacs. He spent some time with me watching what I did and decided to try it on his own. Good fellow, I wish him well. He and I are the only non electric sharpeners I am aware of. He does it more as a hobby but for me, it is how I make a living. He rebuilt a bicycle like contraption. I repurosed a treadle sewing machine and only work Farmers Markets, (got all the l fleas I need!)

05-08-2013, 07:30 PM
Oh. I guess I could've read your OP a little closer. Anyway, I love Hartville Marketplace, and make it a point to stop in every time I'm out that way; my step-daughter lives out near Lima, so we pass through at least twice a year. It was a whole lot easier to see her when we lived in Cuyahoga Falls, but the rest of the family is in PA, so that's where we are.

05-08-2013, 08:56 PM
God is good. People need sharp knives, and not everyone can sharpen a knife, I know I can't. Glad it's working out for you.


05-09-2013, 07:43 AM
Good morning
Thank you for writting that. God always has something for those who are willing to be lead by Him. God gives us each abilities and useful capacties to keep going on. The plus is as you said meeting people and I am sure your testimony will help others to be encouraged to keep on and look for heavenly help.
Mike in Peru

05-11-2013, 01:32 PM
Sounds great! All it takes to sharpen a knife is a steady hand and a good eye, some folks just don't understand the process. I offered to sharpen a guest's knife @ my brother's deer lease last year and before I got done with the first one other hunters had piled up several knives in front of me! All were in serious need of a good sharpening.
It does sound like a nice way to make a living and meet folks. Glad it is working out for you.

05-11-2013, 07:29 PM
Strawhat, the Lord does work in mysterious ways, for example the idea you just gave me. A country gunsmith doesn't do much, the people are too scattered. My wife has the machines to sharpen clippers and scissors, maybe I could sharpen knives. I'm pretty good at the old hand methods, my Dad taught me. After I get out of the hospital Wednesday I'll have to look into that, gonna have a month or two of not doing much. GW

05-14-2013, 01:52 PM
Goatwhiskers and anyone else who is interested, feel free to contact me and I will do what I can to help you.

05-16-2013, 07:24 AM
God is good. People need sharp knives, and not everyone can sharpen a knife, I know I can't. Glad it's working out for you.


Gibbs44, I know a sharpener in Winston-Salem. If that is close to you, let me know and I will provide you his contact information.

LC Press
05-16-2013, 08:11 AM
God is most definitely good.

Three years ago he threw us a curve and it has been most rewarding. I quit my job due to issues within the company. The next week we went on vacation we had already paid for. The day after we get back my wife was let go. Two kids and no income!

We are both self employed now and happier than ever.

05-27-2013, 01:40 PM
I carried an old Kabar 5" folder with a leather thong through the hole in it for many years. I was down in KY for some party time(old days) and a fellow asked to see it. He was horrified at the edge on it. He sharpened it while teaching me what he was doing. With that little lesson and practice I can sharpen anything!

I like stainless knives but sometimes they dont cooperate while sharpening them.

My Dad cut his leg with his chainsaw one time. The DR that fixed it up was impressed by the smoothness of the cut. Dad bragged that I kept his chains very sharp. :)

05-28-2013, 06:52 AM
Stainless can be a problem. The older Buck folders that were usually worn in a scabbard on the belt, used a tough steel. It takes a bit of patience to get them sharp. More modern stainless alloys have a higher carbon content (I think) and are easier to sharpen.

06-11-2013, 09:46 AM
Happy to hear things are working out well for you. The world needs more old time craftsmen to keep the arts alive.

06-14-2013, 07:06 AM
Thank you. Unfortunately, service trades are a dying art. Young folks want to make a fortune without using their hands. Watch repair is another area with a void of interest. My watch repair guy is pushing 80 and trying to get me to learn the trade. While interesting, it needs to be passed to someone younger.

Victor N TN
07-02-2013, 07:11 PM
Sounds like you found something you like to make a few coins. Good luck. Prayers sent for your continued success.

07-02-2013, 09:34 PM
Thank you. Everyday I get to meet new folks and talk to people I might never had met if not for the service I provide. I hear from lotd of folks who remember when the itinerant sharpener would come down their streets and their Moms would send them out with the knives or scissors to be sharpened. I am blessed everyday.

01-01-2014, 09:00 AM
2013 is gone and it was a roller coaster for me. The knife sharpening business is still providing a good living for my wife and me, and more opportunities are opening up for us. I lost a brother the Monday before Thanksgiving, after suffering with Altzhiemer's for several years, his demons are now behind him. I look forward to 2014 and wish all a health and Happiness in the New Year.

11-27-2014, 09:59 AM
(Rather than a new thread, I will update this old one.)

This year I am happy to say that Herself is still holding on, not improving but most importantly, no decline. My health is also good. The business is growing, old customers returning and new customers lining up!

I am also thankful for the opportunity to visit fora like this one and learn from those who's experiences in life are different than mine. I hope I can provide the same insight to others.

To you and to all, Happy Thanksgiving.

11-27-2014, 12:17 PM
Happy Thanksgiving, StrawHat. Glad to see you doing well!

11-29-2014, 09:09 AM
One door may close but another will open . Glad you are staying the course , he will provide if one listens . Sharpening is almost a lost art now , I'm glad you are enjoying what you are doing !

12-03-2014, 04:09 PM
Sounds like good news all around. I could have used Strawhat's expertise on Thanksgiving. I was nice to read this thread again.