05-06-2018, 08:04 AM
Join Date: Nov 2014
Honesty in the cuterlery industry.
I believe that Ken Schwartz is one of the most honest men in our profession. It's been a pleasure to know him, Ben Dale, Rob Babcock and Dwade Hawley.
Money never seems to be our focus, but honesty is. Here's what happened to me this weekend.
I'm doing more tanto knives because I've become a believer in their ancient design. My shaping tool is one inch wide, and there are only straight edges on most tanto knives. I called Ken and asked him to make me two handmade shaping tools (one in 140 grit and the other in 40 grit) but with widths of two inches wide mounted on two inch wide stone-arm mounts. This would take lots of custom handwork and dead-flat precision assembly.
He told me the shapers would be done immediately, and he sent me an e-mail invoice for the work. I figured 400 bucks, but his bill wasn't even close--I have common singular stones that cost more than the two shapers.
Anyway, as you know, my computer is "grainy," and I saw the figure he charged and entered my credit card number. I was horrified to see that he had placed the decimal point in the wrong slot and essentially billed me for about a buck and a half.
I called Ken and complimented him on his new pricing--which made him open up his receivables. We had a laugh, and he entered the proper amount. I paid that immediately.
Now, both Ken and I work in smaller amounts of cash. Sure, Doc pays the rent, but there's a lot of ones and fives in this business. If a long list of receivables matches the monthly payments, the bookkeeper "assumes" the tally is correct. In this day and age I can see a hack polisher paying the buck and laughing all the way to the bank.
Instead Ken shipped the shapers, and because I've known him for over a decade as an honest tradesman, I entered the missing revenue within minutes. If he said these handmade stones were coming while his books showed a buck, I made sure he knew how I appreciated his customer service.
Talk to guys at knife shows. You rarely find out-and-out thieves.
...No matter where you are it's enemy territory...