Should I Sharpen My Own Moulder Knives?
From the original questioner:
Thanks. I knew that entry barriers would include price. I'm looking more at the opportunity cost involved. I run a lot of molding and if I have to send a set of knives out for shopping, I'm finding the turnaround time to be in the neighborhood of 2 weeks. Add to that the cost of $25 per set, which based on your formula would be about right, and I find myself wondering if there might be a better way. Thought about duplicating my knives, but some of these babies are pretty expensive in their own right.
From contributor R:
Turnaround time for me at Mirror Reflections is within a few days. If I made my customers wait two weeks, I'd be out of business.
From contributor J:
I started making and sharpening my own knives after I had about 10 sets of knives. I bought a Nielson grinder in 93 and I am still using it. You can get used grinders for low dollars now. We have about 450 sets now and still growing. The grinder makes us money. I can't imagine having to wait on a set to get back from a grinder service.
From contributor L:
What do you do when you are in the middle of a run and hit a piece of trash wedged in a crack? I can't see running a molder without a grinder. We've got a Weinig 950 that I bought used. It's been good. We run complex templates on the CNC, but simple ones can be made manually about as quick. You will need a balance and measuring stand, too.
From contributor R:
I agree with everything contributors L and J have said, but in reality, there are a lot of one and two man shops out there that don't have the volume of mouldings, time, manpower or money to justify a grinder. That's why businesses like mine survive. I am so busy I am not currently taking on any new clients. All of you make very good points - I am just trying to show the other side of the coin.
From contributor P:
This may seem a little outdated, but we still grind our knife sets on a bench freehand. We're running a 70's Tri-state, a Vonnegut from the late 20's and an XL, all with smooth steel. It took about 3-4 years before I really got the major parts of it down, but it makes it easier to do custom profiles for restoration work, and to put a different rake on the knife for different species if necessary.
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