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What did you do in the shop today?

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nice work.. Bandsaw for the cuts? 

7 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

I was told that to be a professional you have to be able to turn loose of your work.  If you don't want to---put your name on it as a "personal piece".

Any piece of quality ware that I make gets my mark whether for sale or not..   100 years from now  I want someone to question "who" made such a good piece of work.. 

I wish now that I stamped every piece that I made up to my standards.. 

I get asked all the time if the items on the table at the demo are for sale..  Not a single 1 has a price on it..   I say sure it's all for sale for the right price..  Value is on the person who wants to buy it.. Is this a fair way to do it???   What is fair to start off with.. 

A lawyer getting 400 per hour fair?  A trash man getting 15.00 per hour fair..    Where would we be with no trash men.. 

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The value of any given product or service is all dependent on what someone will pay for it. I had a sales rep in last week trying to convince me that his companies £1000 a day training course for my sales guys was excellent value for money because of the return on investment when they brought in more sales (despite the fact they already bring in more sales than I can cope with). I wanted to know how a 1 day PowerPoint presentation is good value at £1000 when I just paid £750 for a 3 day course to qualify me to work in potentially explosive areas. 


57 minutes ago, JustAnotherViking said:

The Lawyer's hourly rate represents the thousands of hours invested in their education, and continual study of their subject matter, not too mention financial investment in degrees. 

It also takes into account overhead for the firm. Premises, furniture, additional staff, so on and so on.

Yes and no. I had an argument with a dentist customer of mine recently. She called me out at 8am on a Monday morning because her compressor didn't work so I dropped the job I was doing, battled the rush hour traffic to get there to find it had blown a fuse (I have advised before it needs a 16 amp supply but she runs it on a 13 amp plug). I changed the fuse carried out some tests to make sure it was okay and went back to my shop. Before I left she said she hoped I wouldn't be charging her £100 for the job just to change a fuse. I said that with the travel there and back plus the time on site testing etc it was a 2 hour job. £50 a hour is a fair rate. I also pointed out that she charges me £20 for a 10 minute check of my teeth so that works out at £120 per hour.  Ahh yes she says but that covers my premises and equipment, the nurse, the reception, on going training etc. I pointed out that my £50 per hour covers my time, my offices time to process the job, my workshop, stores and office space, my van and tools, the minimum of 10k in spares in my van and a fleet of loan compressors in case we can't fix it there and then. We also undergo training multiple times a year for both technical skills and health and safety regulations and myself and all my guys have done 4 to 5 year apprenticeships. Finally I pointed out that when I need a dental appointment it's normally a few weeks wait but I'm expected within my price to offer 24/7 cover with a 2 hour response time. 

She paid the £100.

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More treadle hammer modifications: cut the top off the head, melted in more lead (old type from the college letterpress) with a plumber’s torch, and welded the top back on. The head weight is now just over 59 pounds (up from 36).



Interestingly, I figured out that it had way too much return spring before. It’s now much better balanced and very easy to stomp. 

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Heat treating includes normalizing, hardening and tempering (and sometimes annealing too)  You have partially heat treated your knife and left it in the MOST DANGEROUS state.  It can crack of even fall into pieces just laying on a rag on the work bench!  (HAppened to one of my students: went to bed with a lovely knife, woke up to it in multiple pieces!) ALWAYS temper after hardening.  DON'T LET IT WAIT!    If you don't have time for the full process stop before hardening!

I took a forge and 3 anvils to our Church's Country Fair; had two nice guys from Fort Bliss come and forge as well.  Long fun day; now for Ibuprofen and muscle relaxant.

I've had a Dr's office pull the "Well he went to school so much longer and so his time is worth more" routine. I pointed out that with degrees in disparate areas I had actually spent more time in College than he had and I was responsible for multi million dollars a day production and so could I be reimbursed for the time I wasted there?    They were not happy.

Had someone try to talk my price down today for a hand forged item.  I just said no as I had already had it priced below market. (They paid.) 

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Nice scroll work and vines 58er! Looks like a lot of work.

I built a V swedge today to fold leaves into. Its a piece of angle iron between two pipes to make the transition between flat and bent a little more gradual. I ground the edges of the angle iron so there was a smooth transition between it and the pipes.


Here is my first attempt at a larger leaf with the bend in the center. The stem transition got messed up so it took on the look of a Calla Lily without the stamin. 


I hope the next one will be a little more leaf like. 

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8 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

I've had a Dr's office pull the "Well he went to school so much longer and so his time is worth more" routine. I pointed out that with degrees in disparate areas I had actually spent more time in College than he had

I would have to counter this slightly with my experience of studying programming vs friends whom studied medicine. 

While everyone in my classes was breezing through and enjoying ourselves, they were all permanently stuck lugging around huge medical volumes and rarely not reading, memorising and regurgitating all of it word perfect.

A very different skill set in my eyes, and not one just anyone can pick up.

They didn't just jump into a nice hourly rate after graduation either. It was continued learning, and while I could clock out at the end of the day, they were all doing double shifts, then home for more reading, couple of hours sleep and start again.

I get it wrong, the company loses profit. They get it wrong, someone loses a family member. 

I'd gladly let them take home a higher hourly rate for that level of responsibility. 


On the other foot, of justifying a higher rate than others, I'm sure you've shared my experience of software development, keeping server hardware and software up and running, customer support, project management, and assisting with sales tenders and meetings.

Basically able to perform any business function. Take any of those other areas, and I'm sure there are people employed for that. 

A project manager could also do customer support and sales, but I doubt they could program or support the servers.

Despite my own abilities in software etc etc, there's not a chance I could study medicine or law.

So in my eyes, it comes down to specialised skill sets that can be scarce, and as we know when buying anvils recently, scarcity and demand drives up the price.

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Everybody who has a job usually has some sort of self worth and have an idea of what the job will pay or is worth..  (everyone here has had or has a job they work at and feel the pay is either good, fair or underpaid)...

My point was that without the trash men it get pretty ugly quickly.. Look back to the 70's or was it the 80's when they had the strike I think it was in NY or WA.. 

People charge what they charge and the comment or statement made was both a joke, rhetorical and meant to raise a thinking process which you bit into..  

People often get offended when an educated person feeling as though they have been slighted by such a comparison with a need to protect their vocation or the vocation of other educated people..   It's ok..  the Belief in the action we do is the reason we do it and is part of our worth..   

As for continuing education... Everyday of my life is a continuing education course involving both farrier work and horses and metal work..   So the continuning education thing is just whether you are forced to because of vocation or because the person wants to be better at what they do or are in "Search of".. 

Mind you a trash man won't need remedial training.. LOL.. Again just an example of different values and what or how people feel about such things as it relates to how or pricing an item you desire to keep or sell.. 

I've worked for millionaires, and I've worked for trash men..   for blacksmithing work the millionaire is usually a better, higher paying person but also more difficult to deal with..  For farrier work I'd rather work for the trashman day in day out because they know what it's like to work hard and will pay me with a smile on their face.. 

I've been run around more than once with Millionaires who own horses.. 

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I apologize for any inferred in-equality or bringing up a politically or opinion oriented topic which can be very heated.. 

It was not my intention..    I was hoping my statement would simply be a comparison but forgot how heated it really is..  Sorry.. 


I've worked for many Wealthy people and find they are as different as common folk..   Some pay with a smile and a thank you, truly appreciating ( YOU) the work. .. Some pay reluctantly as if they are doing you the favor.. 

A good customer or a good person or a good hearted person  is just what all will hope for and are usually great to deal with. (back ground doesn't matter or play in).  But we all have a few pair of shoes that don't fit quite right and it comes out sideways with sore feet and sore calfs which need stretching.. :) 

If I price an item because I have the desire to keep it..  I now don't leave it on the table..  If I am using a product and show someone and they say ( Is it for sale and how much, i then say.. This one in particular is not for sale but I can take your order for 1)  

This person sometimes is an on the spot purchaser and if I need travel money maybe I'll sell it or maybe not but then I can have the ball game in my pocket vs just saying  "NO" it's not for sale.. 

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It's a blacksmithing Forum with the focus on  " Blacksmithing and metal forming"   skills, tools and tricks..   

There are business sections and such and thus I felt we were getting off mark.. 

Having open conversations is very tough with how things are but being respectful always has a place..  I'm with you.. :) 

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