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#3 Sharpening Story. Toby Maples

#3 Sharpening Story. Toby Maples

Toby Maples

Social Media:, Facebook

For as long as I can remember I have always been obsessed with knives. Whenever we traveled somewhere as a child I would always get a new knife as a souvenir. From an early age I had already amassed quite the collection of low end knives that I could afford as a kid. As I got older and my budget expanded, so to did my taste in knives. I steadily found myself buying higher end knives and rotating out my daily carry collection. You would assume that someone who loved knives as much as myself would also learn to sharpen them, but I was absolutely horrid with a whetstone. My knives would usually come out worse than when I started. From there I moved on to the yellow handle style sharpeners that were a one size fits all angle approach. At the time I didn't know or care that those were not really providing the proper edge geometry for most applications. My knowledge of the finer elements of knife design was still in its' infancy. The more research I did, the more I realized that I needed to be able to either match the current bevel, or pick my own angle based upon the intended use of the knife I was sharpening. The wheels began to turn inside my head and I quickly found myself googling through the vast array of sharpening systems on the internet. Countless searches later, and after several hours of youtube videos I had landed upon the worksharp precision adjust guided system(don't judge me just yet). After about an hour or two of using it on several knives I still couldn't get any of my knives to cleanly cut paper, let alone shave with. I found myself back on google and youtube trying to look for upgrades to make the system work better. While on youtube I started seeing videos for TSPROF and all of their sharpeners. I know very little about machining metals, but from what I do know I could tell that this system was beautifully made and well designed. There was just one major problem......I was severely limited on budget, hence the previous worksharp purchase. I had seen so many people on youtube saying how these were the ultimate sharpening system, and from that point on I knew I was going to get one eventually. Black Friday was just around the corner and I saw on the site that they were going to be having a pretty good sale, so I hid some money from my wife and patiently waited around for the sale to start. I placed my order for a K03 and started out by sharpening all my own personal knives. I quickly blew through my personal supply of knives so I started reaching out to family and friends to get some more experience. The next thing you know I have my own logo and website, and I have steady, repeat business. From there I found myself daydreaming of expensive culinary knives that I just couldn't afford. I figured if I can't afford to buy them, why not just make them myself. That might sound rather foolish to some of you reading this, but I have built lots of pretty awesome things over the years and I knew that with my woodworking background I could make some pretty epic chef knives. So now I am not only sharpening lots of knives, but I am also making some pretty cool chef knives with exotic wood handles. I am currently going to school to become an EMT/Firefighter so money is tighter than ever, but the sharpening income is starting to grow and my custom made chef knives are now waitlisted back several knives. There is a bright light at the end of the tunnel and it's all thanks to my decision to go out on a limb and hide money from my wife.

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