As the title implies, I've got a pretty basic question regarding etiquette for contacting tool makers with regard to my custom/semi-custom order. Keep in mind, this is my very first custom tool order, so I am very new to the process. It is not my intent to bash the toolmaker I am dealing with, so I will not be using their name. The situation is this. In July of 2017, I placed a deposit on a custom order with a tool-maker whom I believe to be well-respected in the knife community based on what I've seen and read thus far. At the time I placed the order, the lead time communicated was 18-20 months for delivery. I received a follow-up email a year later indicating that the maker is about 2-3 months behind schedule. Note: I've not followed-up at any point with the maker up until this point. In May of this year, I sent my first status inquiry; "Good Evening. Just wanted to check-in on the status of my order. Based on my understanding, these were delayed 23 months worst case. Should I anticipate this one to be ready pretty soon?" The response I received went a little like this (paraphrasing just a bit to preserve anonymity here) "I'd say that we are getting pretty close to your order being scheduled. You must keep in mind that only one person makes the tools, so giving an exact completion date is nearly impossible." Which I kind of interpreted as a somewhat kind way to tell me to just be patient, but also kind of a blow off. It's now nearly November, and I still haven't received any indication when my July 2017 order will be ready. Is this normal? Am I being too impatient here? Am I expecting too much by thinking that the maker would communicate more frequently regarding significant delays? Is this delay even considered significant in the world of custom tool orders? Thanks for looking!