• Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to all of you! Thanks for your continued support and I hope that your holiday season is a blessed one.

Full Time Maker?

Dec 20, 2000

Someone asks if you are a "full time maker".
Does this mean:

1. You work on knives 40 or more hours a week.

2. Knifemaking is your only source of income.

3. You can still make knives and get a pension check from your old job.

4. You're not related to any one of the Rockefellers.

5. You can sell knife magazines.

6. You can only sell old issues of knife magazines you're done reading.

7. You're not a full time "knife destroyer."

8. There are a number of people who love what you do.

9. There are a few people who hate what you do.

10. You're in hock up to your neck with equipment and supply bills and you're ready to prove it!

11. You sleep in grinding dust.

12. You just prefer a thorough manuicure.

13. You plead the fifth admendment.

14. Under your clothes, you have small knife parts sticking into your body.

15. All of the above, and then some!

Let's have some fun..... any further suggestions?


Tom Anderson
Hand Crafted Knives
16. You are not allowed lunch, vacation, or Holiday leave.

17. A "life" is something that is only remembered in your dreams.

18. The only time you get to read those old knife magazines is on the toilet after an all-you-can-eat Mexican food buffet.
19. You have one belt to wear - the rest are for grinding.

20. Your shop is enclosed by 4 large dart boards.

21. You can shave with your letter opener.

22. Your back still has hair cause you can't reach back that far to test a blade.

23. You can't put a shine on the toes of any of your shoes.

24. You can tell the difference between buffing compounds by taste.

25. You've worn a shop apron, long socks, and hiking boots with shorts.

26. All your friends invest heavily in Johnson & Johnson

C'mon folks, there's gotta be more!
Thanks for #27 Bill!

28. You can recall super-gluing your ear to the telephone more than once.

29. You have a photo of the UPS driver's family on your mantle and you know all their names.

30. You're having trouble jumping in on this thread because of all the bandaids on your fingers.

to be continued........


Tom Anderson
Hand Crafted Knives
It's DAMN hard to use the mouse with burned finger tips

My neibors think my kids are running around the yard with my knives when they are actually only DULL wooden and aluminum templates!!

I go to a show and my 9 year old daughter pics up a MT OTF and cylces it several times without a hitch.... MUCH to the dismay of the perveyor

What IS that funky rust smell in the shower that only happens after grinding knives??

This is NO longer a garage, it's a knifeshop! If you don't want dust all over your car, you have to move it out in the morning and BACK in again at night.....

Also Honey...
I have good news and bad news....
I finally bought a little oven to do my Kydex in. The kitchen oven is back to being ALL yours!
Bad news...... The three vises with the knives clamped in them....dripping epoxy....on the kitchen counter....That's just a one day thing...I PROMISE!! This is Florida and it's too cold in the shop for the epoxy to cure

I better stop here!
Great thread Tom


Knives in STOCK!! I just updated my website, PLEASE take a look :)

Thanks, Neil!

Came up with some more in my dreams last night.....

You're a Full Time Maker if:

37. You can recite a tap-drill chart but forget your wife's birthday.

38. You start thinking your car might go faster if you changed all the pulleys.

39. Your cat's name is "Bald Spot"


Tom Anderson
Hand Crafted Knives

[This message has been edited by Tom Anderson (edited 12-30-2000).]
I've never made a knife, but I'm thinking of doing so with my son using a kit. So this is highly instructive. But Tom, before we start this project, can you explain #23--how come you can't shine your shoes anymore?
Hmmm..let me see if i can come up with a few.

40. You can't type because your fingers are all burned up or cut up.

41. Arm hair, whats that??

42. little pieces of cut up stuff everywhere...paper, tissues, cardboard, veggies
(try to cut thru an orange as it is falling

42. parents go crazy looking for the clamps you "borrowed" ovet the summer for gluing handles.

43. "I love the smell of Micarta/G10/Dymondwood in the morning!"

44. You have scraps of metal, handle materials, pin stock kydex, etc everywhere. Kitchen table, bathroom, bedroom...I mean everywhere! ( I found a chunk of metal that fell off of my dresser into my clothing drawers

45. During the winter, your cool down bucket is snow instead of water

46. notebooks full of drawings that will never become knives

47. You laugh at most production knives

48. Your steel bill is higher than your car payment, or in place of the car payment

49. The belt bill is more than your heating bill in the winter

50. You forge knives simply to be warm and near heat

51. The UPS drivers want knives you made

52. You are on a first name basis with the knife supply house people and they know your voice already

53. You have seen blade spin around in the drill press cuz you forgot to clamp them

54. You know how dangerous buffing wheels can be

55. You have dreams of using the Grizzly as a 110 pound anvil

56. You leave little "wish lists" around the house with steel, belts, handle stuff, etc for your significant others to find and hopefully they will get the hint you want that for christmas instead of the socks, ties, book store gift certificates.

All for now!
Shoes, what are those??? you are supposed to wear shoes when you grind?? Damn. Guess you should wear clothes, too, huh? I wear apron, respirator and face mask...no wonder I was getting those odd looks! Especially during the winter!

just kidding

As for the kit, Mochiman, look in the shop talk under "kit". I did a step by step instruction list there a while back, or jsut post there and I will write when I have more time, email me or catch me on IM tjham1773. I have done several kits and can help you guys out! It is very fun!!
57. You have dreams/nightmares that you get to the Las Vegas Classic Knife Show and can't find your knives.

58. Your wife changes things in the med cabinet and you take tylenol PM instead of the reg tylenol and and she finds the knife you were lookin at in bed still there.

59. You cant keep up with demand for you work.

60. You work in a shop 8 hrs making damascus steel and then go spend 8 hrs in your own shop when you get home.

Arthur D. Washburn
ADW Custom Knives

Explanation of #23: Saw, drill, grind, and machine a while an you'll notice that any of the pairs of shoes you wear are constantly being hit with chips, sparks, and dirt. Since the tips stick out from under your shop apron, that's the part that gets hit!

It's kind of like the "Racoon eyes" you get when buffing with safety glasses and no face shield.


York College is only a few miles away from my shop. Wanna stop in sometime? Give me a call at 266-6475.

That said..... let's keep this boiler stoked! Any more observations?


Tom Anderson
Hand Crafted Knives
Thanks for the explanation, Tom Anderson. I was thinking maybe you couldn't shine your shoes because you're spending so much time standing over the bench that you lose the necessary flexibility. But I get it now.
Thanks for the offer, Tom!! I don't have a car, so I will have to convince my roomie to take me, or a friend of mine who I am making a knife for.
TAZ - Heck, I'll pick you up!

62. You're starting to consider WD40 acceptable as an after shave.

63. You've upped your eyeglass prescription more than once since you've started building folders.

64. You start howling like a Comanche warrior on the attack when you finally get a lock to fit properly. (And your wife wonders if you've hurt yourself!)

65. You start criticizing the cutlery at every restaurant you eat at.


Tom Anderson
Hand Crafted Knives

[This message has been edited by Tom Anderson (edited 12-31-2000).]
bttt - let's get back on track



There is one rule:
Never postpone your life for a man.