Professional Knife Repairs by *AJH* Custom Knives & Services
Basic fees updated for 2023
Regardless of how many knives are repaired/year - this cost is ever-present and increasing:
Basic fee consists of:
- Initial Labor - first 2 hours - knife take down - 2 hrs.
- Shop supplies - tools, polishing compounds, sanding belts, polishing and sharpening wheels, adhesives
- Raw materials and parts - If necessary all the materials needed to do the work: blade steels, handle materials, spacer & bolster materials, rivets and pins, silver solder, guard, pommel,etc.
- Utilities - hydro, shop rental, machine repair etc
- Taxes and fees - collected by government on income, and purchases of materials and supplies.
and currency exchange losses
- Internet associated costs - registrations and maintenance, plus endless hours answering inquiries
- Extra labor time - Many hours for each knife at you costs often less than $1.00/hour
Every piece is hand made from scratch, every detail, precision tolerances - all takes great amount of work.
- Postage - First $35 to $75 - depends on shipping selected, package dimensions and weight, what state or country the knife returns to, and how high the insurance.
- As bad as ever, the Parcel shipping cost has increased by %40 just to gouge people before Christmas.
- And there is this Fuel surcharge on everything.
The problem with "lost" mail is ever present, and insurance collection has too much fine spring exclusions.
The only option is to mail uninsured package by Regular mail
- Invisible costs consists of making or purchasing return containers, scanning and mailing pictures, email, securing the finished and sharp knife for shipping, making shipping labels, cost of printing supplies for those, travel to the Post Office to mail it.
- Travel expenses - To the Post Office - to pick up and mail back your knife I travel 30 km.
To go to shop to do the repair takes on average 2 trips / knife at 20 km / round trip = 40 km
The fuel and bad road gobbles up your meager payment pretty fast.
So, for each design, each knife I make or repair for you, however small and insignificant, it would be impossible without the above mentioned inherent costs.
- Just have a wobbly blade
The pivot pin / rivet is worn out, possibly bent. The liners are worn at pivot contact - scored by the heal of the wobbly blade.
The pins / rivets have to be punched out and whole folder completely disassembled, because Liners / frame have to be restored to a flat contact surface or blade will wobble even with a new pin.
- To replace a broken folder blade
Same as above. It is extremely difficult, and in many cases impossible, without taking the knife completely apart after wasting a lots of time.
Also in this case the knife can not be cleaned inside, and new blade can not be correctly fitted to spring. Therefore it is not done here.
Your perfectly good scales will not survive this, unless they are only held to scales with screws. If glued or riveted, there is no way saving them.
Your perfectly good ancient handle scales will crumble like a dry toast at the re-assembly if not already broken up by disassembly.
This is the way it is with rivets at the very edge of materials (Master pin in the middle of handle)
The replacement scales will not be identical to your originals. You can purchase any scales you like and mail them in with the knife.
You are looking at extra cost of material - I do provide new installation labor at no extra charge.
The replacement folder blade needs to be fitted as to the thickness and position in opened and in closed positions to a tolerance of 0.002" - it is installed, checked and measured, adjusted, and reinstalled several times to accomplish that.
- Pins / rivets
Pins can't be reused and have to be replaced. I have to machine them from thicker rods.
All pins require machining from meager size selection one can purchase from Knife making supply stores.
The factory pins taken out from your folder are teh size not available to public.
- Rusty blades - fixed or folding
Most blades do require complete re-grind to be restored - the rust pits can be very small and seemingly insignificant, but also very deep.
With any pits left, good mirror polish is out of the question, as pits leave wash out lines.
Even with complete re-grind it is not always possible to get all the rust pits out, and they are usually left alone where the trademarks are stamped onto the blade's
ricasso near the handle.
For most rusted blades, glass bead blasting will clean the pits and makes them less visible, looking much cleaner.
If the blade is re ground ( even 5 thousands of an inch), the back spring has to
be re ground also to match - or the blade would become too sloppy sideways and spring too squeezed in between liners to work at all.
- Etching & Factory stamps: - If there is any logo etched or stamped too faintly on the blade itself, removing rust, or even polishing after sharpenning will
obliterate it without exception.
The only exception is the stamp or etching is deep enough in the blade, and even then the black soot etch qill bwe wiped off leavingthe shiny mark.
It is not possible to sand and polish just around it.
So if is to be saved at the cost of leaving blade rusty, that side of blade will not be touched at all. All ugly sharpening scratches will remain.
The work takes about 8-10 hours per knife from complete basic refinish up to the time is checked in at the Post Office
It takes longer for more extensive repairs.
Making, hardening and tempering a replacement blade or spring is a job requiring additional time and expensive resources.
- Kitchen knives
Even if you only have a cheap small kitchen knife needing a new handle (like the one you got at the garage sale for $2.00 - the cost of the repair is a lots more than meets the eye.
The handle material and installation is the same for $20 flee market knife as is for $400 custom made knife.
The finishing it takes as much shop resources as for the expensive knife.
It is unfortunate, but not avoidable, and the cost is the same.
All that is what average Basic fee is calculated on.