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Discussion in 'Beginners' started by TomCat, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. TomCat

    TomCat Tommy B. <(((><

    hi all,
    at the risk of sounding overly cheap i will tell you what i have been doing, if you have never hit a used scalpel blade on a butcher steel you are tossing good money.
    i run full time shop and have not had to buy any(blades) in 3 years.
    now granted i do use a good knife and a butcher steel for the bulk of the work, and use the blades around nose, lips, eyes, light work ,but they will dull. hit it on the steel and good as new, and you can do this over and over good blades (Havel) can hold up to many sharpens. no name blades not as well, but you will know when to toss it as it will no longer take an edge.
    does anyone else do this?
    if you try it let me know what you think.
    oh yeah you do need to know how to use a steel,
    if not its def worth learing.
  2. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Been doing it for a couple of years now.

  3. Could you explain or even better show pictures?
  4. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    I've been doing it for at least a year. I keep a butcher steel close by for all my knives, scalpel included, and they stay good and sharp.
  5. timberlandtaxidermy

    timberlandtaxidermy Taxidermy Instructor NTA Certified Judge

    Watch the pennies, and the dollars will follow. ;)
  6. Cory

    Cory Keep an eye on quality!

    I believe Abe Lincoln said "give me 7 hours to cut down a tree, and I will spend 4 hours sharpening my axe."

    " the shnozberries taste like shnozberries "
  7. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    LOL Cory. I feel that way. I tend to ignore pissants when the elephants are charging. I use scalpel blades for EVERYTHING. When one dulls, the only thing I reach for is a new scalpel. I hope my surgeon does the same thing. I use his method of replacing them: I charge my customer enough that HE pays for them. From my perspective, scalpel blades are free and I save money on having to buy a good butchers steel.
  8. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    I have not had very good luck sharpening stainless steel scalpel blades. I would expect the cheaper carbon ones to be soft enough to put a second temporary edge on.
  9. alan webfoot

    alan webfoot New Member

    try a ceramic ''steel'' ,take it from someone who cut meat for over 30 years they work so much better
  10. Randy Miller

    Randy Miller Active Member

    what a waste of time.
  11. grumpa

    grumpa Member

    Three or four licks on a ceramic when it dulls and a scalpel blade will go for days of hard use.. And if you can't figure how to use a ceramic or steel George, come out to Idaho and I'll try to teach you, but you're probably beyond hope. Some of us don't have unlimited income or are just frugal. {cheap} for those slow learners here.
  12. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Sorry Grumpa, but to use Tom Selleck's line in "Quigly Down Under", I never said I didn't know how to use one, I said I didn't care to. I'm not futzing around sharpening blades at 30 cents apiece. I use maybe $2.00 worth of them on a start to finish job and it's built into my price. I don't have to wonder where I left the freaking sharpener, I know where the box of blades are. I grew up around a guy who used a "Sharp Finger" by Schrade and he carried one of those silver dollar sized Arkansas stones in his pocket. He'd done it for so long, he was like a guy dipping snuff, constantly grabbing the stone and hitting the blade whether it needed it or not. I don't sharpen my razor blades for shaving and I damned sure ain't going to sharpen scalpel blades when I can replace them with a new one before you can retrieve you sharpening stone. You've been around Richard Christoforo too long and getting cheap like he is. (Oops. Sorry Grumpa. NO ONE is that cheap. Ask Lavalee.)
  13. grumpa

    grumpa Member

    A very fine line between frugal and cheap. If you can remember where your scalpel box is, A NORMAL person can remember where his ceramic is. And $2.00 built into your price is $2.00 in a EXTREMELY SHREWD BUSINESS MAN'S pocket. If you have to water the lilies, do you forget where you left your hose?
  14. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Actually it's on a big reel bolted to the house right beside the faucet. LOL
  15. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    This discussion is interesting to me. We see it all the time that customers get what they pay for when they are too cheap to pay top price for a mount but taxidermists seem to tend to be cheap. I am guilty of it now and again but sharpening scalpel blades is not going to make or break my profit on a mount. If it does for you, maybe a price increase is in order?
  16. dktaxidermy

    dktaxidermy I'm on top of the dirt; how bad can it be?

    my understanding of economics says sharpening scalpel blades is jumping over dollars to save pennies
  17. TomCat

    TomCat Tommy B. <(((><

    I just threw this out for anyone who may have not though about this and may want to try it, I'm sure its like every thing else on earth its not for every one, Roof I have an uncle with the same budget idea, yup uncle Sam lol, unfortunately I'm the customer
  18. Adam Edwards

    Adam Edwards Member

    I agree that everyone has there preference on how they want to do things and if you want to resharpen your blades then why not. Me myself i am the same as George, i just let the costumer pay for the cost of the blades, its just a couple bucks (if that) not a big deal at all its part of the expense in mounting a specimen as much as the manikin, eyes, and everything else is in my opinion. Even if you resharpen blades your gonna have to buy more eventually once they wont hold a good edge on them anymore. So if your the one paying for the blades with your own money, instead of having the costumers pay for the expense of them and never having to worry about it, it doesn't make much sense to me.
  19. Randy Miller

    Randy Miller Active Member

    I save my morning floss in a box, then tie them together to sew mounts with. Beat that.
  20. TomCat

    TomCat Tommy B. <(((><

    lol, i no longer feel overly cheap.