Time flies… Just wanted to let everybody know that I am working on my order list. Progress is slow but steady – with so many on the list and me working simultaneously on several of them, it looks slower than it is. I am hoping to get through most of the orders by the end of June. That might be a very tight schedule, but I will do my best. I am still looking for a job starting around August, so I am not sure what will happen to the handle hobby after this coming mid-July. If I can, I would like to continue although I will have to rethink my prices and the number of orders I can take on – as it is, I am losing money AND feel guilty for being so slow, not what I hoped for when I started this
That said, there are quite a few handles currently available that I have not yet uploaded to this page. Some were shown on www.kitchenknifeforums.com but there are a few more. If you are looking for something, please email me; I also hope to get pictures up here soon. I am not sure how many people follow this blog that are not also in the kitchen knife forums.
Hi, I cannot believe it’s February, but here we go. As some of you may have read on www.kitchenknifeforums.com (KKF) my contract at the University of Hawaii will run out this summer, and I am currently looking for a new job. To help with my back log, I have hired a young student for a few hours per week, and my goal is to get all my orders out at the latest by mid-May, hopefully earlier. My work commitment ends mid-May, my contract ends at the end of July. So, over the summer I will either be doing more woodworking if I stay in Hawaii or I will have to look into moving over the summer. Leaving the islands means that I do not know whether I will be able to continue making handles, it all depends on where I go and what conditions I will find there. While my order list is very long, I am still confident that I can finish all this, but I will have to limit what else I can take on, until I have a better feeling what my June will look like. Thanks again for your understanding and your patience. As for available handles, I may have a few extras that come up while I make the current custom orders, and I will try posting them here and in my section at KKF. Sometimes they sell at KKF before I even get to posting them here, but I will try. The reason for extras is that I sometimes just see a few pieces that fit nicely together while I am preparing ordered handles, and I throw them into the pile. Or I make two versions of a handle to give the customer a choice or to have a second one when I know a handle is tricky and I want a backup in case the first one breaks or I mess it up. But my focus in the next weeks will clearly be on moving the ordered handles forward. If you want to see where I am with that, you can always look at my order list which I will try to keep reasonably up to date.
Hi everyone. Just another quick update. After having lots of great plans for more woodworking over the summer, I decided I need to give my day job some priority and spent a lot of time writing and researching, only to find out that my contract does not get extended I will have to find a new job in the coming year. So, with all these things going on and starting with preparing my materials and the job search, I am behind – again. But I am back in the shop and continue working on things. A number of handles should go out over the coming two weeks, but others will take longer. I will sort through and reorganize my order list once the next batch is shipped and them may contact you for details if they have not been discussed already. As before, I may not be going strictly in the sequence of the orders. The reason is that there are two main types of handles with slightly different construction: The ones with and the ones without metal spacers. I can work much more efficiently when I work them in batches of the same type, so I sometimes just pull together a few similar ones, even if they are a bit further down the list. The ones with metal pieces take me longer and several extra steps to make. I can often ‘squeeze in’ a handle if it has a very ‘simple’ design, but the more complex it is or the more metal it has, the longer it is likely to take. As I said, I will do what I can and try to spend more evenings in the shop.
while I have gone back to working on handles again after a longer than expected work-related break, I still have a lot to catch up with. So, to not raise false expectations and not go crazy in the process myself, I will not accept any more custom orders from now on until I see light at the end of the tunnel – and I hope this will be in September. Oc course, all orders that are on my order list will be taken care of, but it will very likely not be in the time frames that I had expected. If this causes anybody to withdraw their orders, I fully understand, please let me know. Otherwise, thanks for your patience to everyone who is waiting. I am doing what I can and wish I could be faster, but summer had a few unexpected things coming up in my day job that may affect my long-term perspectives and I just needed to give that priority.
I have to admit, I created this to update everyone who is interested occasionally with news, but I find myself posting more regularly over on www.kitchenknifeforums.com . But I want to make sure that everyone here is up to date also:
I had to take a few weeks to focus on my day job, so woodworking had to go on the back burner for a while. As much as I hate letting people wait and orders piling up, the day job pays the bills and I try telling everyone in advance that there may be longer wait times because of that. At this time, I have the worst behind me (i.e. pressing deadlines at work) and more flexibility again, so I hope to get back more regularly to the shop for the rest of the summer. I hope to take Fridays off for the rest of the summer and work handles full time on those days (I am on a 9-month contract, I shouldn’t even work at all in my day job over the summer because nobody pays me, but the projects need to keep running, papers need to be written etc.). Many handles on my order list have been started already, and I want to give those priority and get them out, at the same time try to acknowledge that some of you have waited longer than others – in short: trying to be fair but also looking at efficiency.
I have also bought a bit more wood in the meantime, and I am slowly trying to focus more and more on local Hawaiian woods. This won’t be exclusive, I will continue working with others that I like, but we have so many great – and sustainable – woods out here that it makes sense to give priority to those. Eventually, I will make a list of available woods. There are several of which I only have a few pieces, others that I have in abundance. Right now, I am trying to find some premium curl koa in instrument quality – one would think that to be easy in Hawaii, but the real prime quality is something that many sellers hold on to, maybe I just need to buy more from them before they let some of the prime stuff go….
The only other thing I can think of is that I am trying to find someone, maybe a student, who can help me out a few hours per week to get caught up over the summer. Unfortunately, they all seem to prefer surfing over woodworking…
Many of you may be aware, but just in case: There are a few brand new kitchen knife forums on the block. The one where you will see me most at is www.kitchenknifeforums.com . Another new one is kitchenandknife.com . Check them out, lots of great information, good people, and all are kitchen knife enthusiasts.
Hi, just as an update: It took me a while, but all handles that were paid up until today, Feb 12, have been mailed out and should arrive shortly.
First of all, thanks for your interest and to all of you who signed up. Still working on understanding how to get things to you, but I hope I will figure it all out eventually…
Thanks also for picking up several of the handles, some went really fast. I have been stuck at work during normal business hours (= opening hours of our post office) for a while, so I have a bunch of boxes piling up but I will try getting them out asap.
In case you are interested, I have been (and still am) working on a one-time run of ‘off the shelf’ handles for Dave Martell. These are limited to two sorts of wood (maple and ziricote) and I made a larger batch of them (with the help of two friends out here), so they can be a bit cheaper than the ones I offer here. Of course, I’ll be happy if you buy the available ones from me, but I also know that they are not in everybody’s range, so I wanted to help Dave to have a few more affordable ones without going below my minimal standards.
It took me a moment between starting this thing and getting ready to go public, but here it is, still a work in progress. I will be adding more about handle making in the future, and also still need to add the links to all the other great people out there. But if you made it to this site – welcome! Please have a look around and let me know what you think. Or if anything is missing. You can also subscribe to different things. I don’t expect to flood you with mails, but that is a good way to stay in the loop if you are interested in new projects, current work times and when new handles become available.
If you have been in contact with me before, here is one request: I would like to bundle all my handle-related mail to one email account, so please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org in the future – thanks!
this is where I occasionally want to write about what is going on with the handlemaking hobby. I don’t expect to go crazy with this, but sometimes I get emails from people asking me how things are. And I think besides the ordering info sheet ( see tab ‘Custom Ordering’) this is also a good way to keep people in the loop who have ordered a handle and who are waiting for it. So, please check back occasionally. If you subscribe to the page, I will send you a quick info when new handles are available, so that you can have a look as soon as new ones come in – and I promise that I will not spam you with mails…