Paying up front for Custom...

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  • His IG page looks pretty pukka. I wouldn't be too worried myself, as long as there isn't a language barrier, and wait and build times are up front, and you get a receipt for your funds.

    The internet is very easy to spread the word, so most makers want things to go as smoothly as the customer does.

    Maybe it's a European thing, and he's been left with commissions in the past.

    I'm in the lucky position that most people I deal with in the USA, know someone who knows me, maybe that accounts for my experiences.

  • Ok, so to play devils advocate. Had one a few years ago, asked for £150 for materials, sent the cash.


    Knife was completed, not to the spec that was agreed, he insisted on me paying the remaining £100, I refused and he sold the knife elsewhere. What do you do in such a scenario?

  • Maurice san-mai-usa mentioned receipts. I agree. All great for UK. :thumbup:I can assure you that legals get really sh1tty, really quick, with European Union member state citizens.


    Ok, so to play devils advocate. Had one a few years ago, asked for £150 for materials, sent the cash.


    Knife was completed, not to the spec that was agreed, he insisted on me paying the remaining £100, I refused and he sold the knife elsewhere. What do you do in such a scenario?

    No receipt ? My opinion only.

    £150 was for materials that equals 60% of the value of the knife ? Wow !

    £150 was not a deposit. He did not make to the spec, so he is obliged to return your "material " payment !

    No return of materials equals legal action or public disgracing . He gets to choose !

    I'll reiterate what I intimated via the Ronin link " Whenever there is doubt, there is no doubt.

    Every time I've ignored my own advice, the legal action has been extensive & when you add up the hours in preparation & procedures, it becomes solely about the principal.

  • Iv been both sides of the fence as a knife buyer Iv been caught by people when paying deposits and knives never appearing [the successful transactions far far outway the poor ones]


    And as maker in a totally different craft had people fail to keep up there end of the deal..... and now won't lift a finger without a 50% deposit


    It's a difficult call and the risk of the internet .....there is different circumstances ......If it's a standard pattern that the maker regularly makes and sells ,I wouldn't expect to pay a deposit or a small amount 10-15% would be acceptable ....If it's a custom commission that is particular/bespoke to myself then I'd expect to pay a bigger deposit. like 50%


    There has to be a bit of respect and trust from both sides and if your not feeling that after doing your research on him and his product ,don't do it ....Maybe find a maker doing something closer to what your after where he wouldn't need such a deposit

  • I think its only fair to ask for a breakdown of what exactly the deposit covers and the sources. I agree it may be fair to cover the material costs, but as already been said, that amount seems awful high for just steel and handle.

    The thing is though when you make a knife you risk getting your fingers shredded by an extremely powerful belt grinder or other very serious injury. I agree it seems too high but the material cost alone might only be £10 for g10 handle and £6 for D2 steel for example. £16 is of little comfort if you do 5 hours hard risky dirty work and end up with a knife that with free materials in it.

  • The thing is though when you make a knife you risk getting your fingers shredded by an extremely powerful belt grinder or other very serious injury. I agree it seems too high but the material cost alone might only be £10 for g10 handle and £6 for D2 steel for example. £16 is of little comfort if you do 5 hours hard risky dirty work and end up with a knife that with free materials in it.

    What does risk of injury have to do with it? Surely you don't expect people to pay a danger deposit?

  • I look at it on a case by case basis.

    I normally don't ask for any deposit if it's something I think I can shift on easily when finished.

    I've had a couple of buyers that seemed a little vague during the planning and design process, in those cases I've asked for a deposit to cover materials (normally £20 or so) Both thankfully worked out fine.

  • hi

    Recently I payed up front for a custon, but only because the maker does not know me. And it was a 6th of the price. I can understand the point of view from the maker side. He does not know me, so he does not know how serious I am about the deal.

  • You don't get it mate so forget about it

    I'm intrigued. I don't get it either.

    I'm in a workshop using machines & tools just like Stewart & all the other knife makers.

    The danger of a human manually working with compressed air, lathes & power tools is inherent & all I've known for nearly 40 years.

    Is the upfront payment to cover danger ? If said maker takes full deposit then cuts his fingers off, what then ? Does he keep the money coz it's dangerous ? :lol:

  • you're right, I don't get it... hence my questions. Just saying forget it doesn't carry much conviction in your statement. Help me understand.

    It is very difficult, skilled, costly and dangerous work. Lets say you pay me £10 for handle, £6 for steel upfront and then pull out after I make it. I spent £20 on belts plus electric, broke a couple of £2 each drill brits, used my own glue, paid £15 for heat treat, maybe 5+ hours labour. And on top of that the risk serious injury. To say £16 for materials is fair is ludicrous, I could end up £50 out of pocket with a knife I don't want and with a missing finger all because you decided to pull out. This is exactly why makers ask for a good deposit because they are not mugs.

  • I'm intrigued. I don't get it either.

    I'm in a workshop using machines & tools just like Stewart & all the other knife makers.

    The danger of a human manually working with compressed air, lathes & power tools is inherent & all I've known for nearly 40 years.

    Is the upfront payment to cover danger ? If said maker takes full deposit then cuts his fingers off, what then ? Does he keep the money coz it's dangerous ? :lol:

    It is very difficult, skilled, costly and dangerous work. Lets say you pay me £10 for handle, £6 for steel upfront and then pull out after I make it. I spent £20 on belts plus electric, broke a couple of £2 each drill brits, used my own glue, paid £15 for heat treat, maybe 5+ hours labour. And on top of that the risk serious injury. To say £16 for materials is fair is ludicrous, I could end up £50 out of pocket with a knife I don't want and with a missing finger all because you decided to pull out. This is exactly why makers ask for a good deposit because they are not mugs.

  • It is very difficult, skilled, costly and dangerous work. Lets say you pay me £10 for handle, £6 for steel upfront and then pull out after I make it. I spent £20 on belts plus electric, broke a couple of £2 each drill brits, used my own glue, paid £15 for heat treat, maybe 5+ hours labour. And on top of that the risk serious injury. To say £16 for materials is fair is ludicrous, I could end up £50 out of pocket with a knife I don't want and with a missing finger all because you decided to pull out. This is exactly why makers ask for a good deposit because they are not mugs.

    So how much of a deposit do you ask for to cover the risk of a missing finger?


    I don't know about everyone else but personally I value my digits for a lot more than the cost of a knife so it would be an interesting one to get someone to cover 'in case of damages'.

  • im struggling to think of any shop that would allow a stranger to walk in and say 'i'll have that' and pick it up in a couple months with no deposit and expect it to still be there? the average cost for making a knife (excluding labor) in materials and sundries is around £50-£70 possibly twice that with a fancy steel.


    i have on occasion made knives with no deposit for customers i know or who have had knives from me in the past if its a knife id normally make.

    for a one off commission i charge more because it has to be right i may have to start over if something goes wrong. i spend far more time back and fourth with with the customer with progress reports and questions. on top of that the knife may be difficult to move on if the buyer pulls out and will no longer be a commission piece, rather a stock blade.


    if a maker asks for a deposit and you dont like it find another maker.