Important Info! Ordering a David Mary Custom - what to expect

David Mary

pass the mustard - after you cut it
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Jul 23, 2015
This post is to give you an understanding and expectations about the process, rather than the actual knife itself.


Right of first refusal. This is my preferred method of conducting orders. You say to me "I like that design, I would like one" and I say "No problem, I have everything I need in the shop to make it, let's figure out how you want it done, and I will make it for you. No money up front, PayPal invoice upon completion".


I do take deposits on orders from time to time, especially if I have a lot of demand for something new I'm making for the first time, or starting up a run with significant overhead costs. Deposits go to help cover things like steel, waterjet cutting, heat treatment, grinding belts, handle materials, sheath materials, and all the shipping, customs and importation fees that entails for me (I live and work in Canada, but get most of my materials and processing from the USA). In the deposit invoice I will list the item and give an estimate of the expected completion time frame for the item.

In the past I used to leave deposit transactions unmarked in my PayPal transaction history, and then add tracking to them, and the balance due transaction, upon completion and shipping of the knife. But during a call to PayPal support today, I learned that I am supposed mark deposit transactions as "order processed" right away, and only provide tracking info to the transaction that took place upon completion of the item. This was news to me, but going forward, if you pay a deposit through PayPal, expect to see a PayPal email notification of "order processed" shortly after paying it.

Balance due on completion

Once I finish a knife, I send an invoice for whatever balance is due on it, and once paid, I package the knife using the mailing address I find in the PayPal transaction, unless another one is specified. I then ship the knife on my next postal run, which is usually the Friday of the same week, and input the tracking number into the PayPal transaction. This triggers a PayPal notification to be sent out by email, which will take you to PayPal where you can follow the tracking info.

Shipping the knife

I ship via Canada Post expedited parcel service, and I declare the item as "cutlery". Canada Post hands this over to USPS when it crosses the border. You can track your package using either the Canada Post website, or the USPS website, as they share information with each other. I have found that a package takes approximately ten days to get from my hand to your mail box, on average. It is very rare that there is a hiccup, but if it does occur, such as you see your package moving in the wrong direction, or it is peculiarly long since it was last scanned, and it has been more than ten days since I shipped it out (i.e. the threshold before which Canada Post will investigate), then contact me right away, and let me know, and I will file a ticket to have Canada Post initiate an investigation. Canada Post will want a phone number for the receiver, so please provide it at that time, unless I already have it. So far I have found that on the rare occasions there has been a delay, the package turns up in the customer's mail box within a day or two of filing a ticket.


I save money for the customer where I can. My customers are already paying for the fact that I import my materials, and rather than adding even more cost for special packaging, I literally use cardboard destined for the recyclers. I have been doing it this way since I started. Here are a couple posts about this very thing, from back in 2022 when I lived in a different town.

Now I have the post office and some local outlets hold off disposing of their boxes (from time to time) so I can select suitable pieces to take home and cut into shipping boxes. When I receive blades and other knife making materials in the mail, I save the bubble wrap, paper, foam, etc. for use in wrapping and protecting your knives. It has the added benefit of looking "unprofessional", which in my opinion also makes your package a less eye catching target for .... well, no need to even mention it explicitly. But my packaging material is literally free to me (okay aside from the six pounds of tape I use on every package 🤣) so that I don't have to add any costs for you.

In the box you will find the items you ordered, a card with my contact info, and a PayPal packing slip with a brief note expressing my thanks.
If I may, I would like to add that the customer should expect to receive a very well designed and made knife. By a maker with a history of providing excellent quality knives at very reasonable prices.

This is the opinion of a customer owning 9 such knives at present. Most of the 9 were either full blown customs based on my ideas, were the melding of the characteristics of two or more existing models or at least tweaks to standard models. There are few makers so willing to work with a customer to tailor a knife model to the buyers preferences. This is a customer testimonial, one that I would offer to VERY few of the makers I have dealt with over the past 30 years.

Loss of work forced a halt to knife acquisitions but i look forward to adding to my collection soon.

Managed to catch one more pic with the knives “in” it.
Managed to catch one more pic with the knives “in” it.
Canada ... by way of truck to the US/CA border ... tunneling under and low crawl drag to avoid customs ... and finally hauled by burros to David's house.
Oops I thought I posted that in my shop thread 🤣

Anyway, those are on their way to the USA…