Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spoon Knives! Spoon Knives!

After waiting what has seemed like an eternity, I opened the mail box on Friday and it was finally here.  Sitting under the never ending stacks of bills and home mortgage refinance offers was a gray package.  It was about the size of an express envelope, and was sealed on one end with a few strips of brown packing tape.  There, gleaming in the afternoon sun, was a flash of gold that drew my eye.  An abused postage label.

A quick look in the opposite corner confirmed what I already knew.

Nethergreen Farm!  The name Orford!  The hand written word England!  Oh Happy Day!  It was the knives!  The spoon knives had come!  I could hardly believe they were here!  With a herculean effort I composed myself in case the neighbors were watching, and calmly walked into the house.  There, in the safety of the kitchen, I quickly opened my treasure, being careful not to damage anything that may be inside.  Enclosed were several business cards from Ben, a hand written note from Lois thanking me for my order, and a receipt for my payment.  Oh yeah, and a matched pair of spoon knives!

A matched pair?  Yep.  It is not every day that you order spoon knives from across the sea, so when you do, you get a set.  Right and Left.  They were securely packaged, with the pre-sharpened blades securely wrapped in a length of leather for protection.  I slowly unwound the leather from the first and held it up to the light to inspect it.  As expected, the quality was impeccable.  I rolled the knife over in my hands and saw the maker's mark.

I quickly unwrapped the second, and saw that they were truly a matched pair.  The bevel is even and true on both knives, the curve is smooth and even, and both knives are identical in shape.  Both knives have been buffed to a mirror polish, and arrive pre-honed and sharp enough to work with straight from the package.

I went straight to the shop and used them immediately.  They cut extremely well.  They have a thinner blade than I am used too, but they are a joy to use, they cut easily and I am really pleased with my purchase.

I have been using a Mora crook knife to carve the bowls on all my spoons.  I thought it has performed nicely and the only problem that I have had with it, has been the width of the knife blade.  It doesn't handle steep curves very well, because the blade is too thick.  I also have some issues with smaller spoons because of the size of the Mora blade.  Looking at Ben's knives, I know that I will not have the same issue.  His blades are much thinner and will handle some of the cuts much better than what I have been using.

One thing that I would like to mention was that my experience with Ben and Lois was a true joy.  The transaction was handled quickly and efficiently.  Email responses were very quick, even after accounting for time differences.  I got the impression that Ben and Lois were looking to make sure that I was a happy customer, something that I find lacking more often than not in today's marketplace.  My purchase was securely packaged, and made it from the UK to the US in 14 days.  Would I buy from the again?  Most assuredly, even more so if I was local.  The smiling and friendly faces that appear on the top of their website has proven to be a genuine reflection of how the Orford's do business.  Click the link below to check out their site.

Wow, this has been a really long post.  I have so much more that I want to talk about, but it is late and morning comes early.  Happy Carving!

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