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Repaying Favors – the Mover


A few years back, when knife making was a simpler task and did not involve forging steel and power hammers, I offered to repay a favor with a stock removal knife, the only method I knew at the time. The favor was picking up and delivering a Bridgeport mill to my knife shop. That was two years ago! In the meantime, the process of building a knife has taken a new twist, or more to the point, a much more involved process of forging, heat treating, and shaping unique blades.


And that’s where the mover comes back into play. Forging 52,000 ball bearing steel is a tough row to hoe with a man and a hammer. Being a relatively average brained guy, I’m thinking a power hammer acquisition would be a wise investment. After a week of searching the internet, I found one in Kansas that was a “deal.” My son and I loaded into the truck and 24 hours later were back at the knife shop with a 2000# power hammer. A call to my mover buddy and two days later it is installed in my shop. The need to repay this man is now stronger. After using the hammer a few times and becoming more familiar with how it is “supposed” to work, it is very obvious that parts are moving due to excessive wear between the gibs and the ram, that weren’t designed that way. It was literally going to beat itself to death!


Now I’m really starting to feel self-conscious about calling the machinery mover, but that’s what I need to do to get it back on the truck, and delivered to a rebuilder. I mentioned the coming knife to which “Tab” replied, “I’m not holding my breath.” That was deserved and hit home. But the pain was not over as Tabb would be called yet again to put the rebuilt machine back in my shop.


The short story: He was given a knife four weeks ago. Based on his expression, the waiting time anxiety was erased. This knife was much more of a repayment than the originally intended stock removal blade, but then so was the work he did as my process evolved. Back to his expression – there are many ways to be repaid, and given the hours and equipment required to forge high-quality blades the money is appreciated, but to a person, the deep appreciation for the knives they receive is a reward on a whole different plane.


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