Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Scissorman comes calling

Yesterday the 'scissorman' came calling. As you can see he set up his machine outside. It took him quite a long time to sharpen the 10 knives and it cost me £20 which I thought was a reasonable price.
Seeing this guy arrive by car with his grinder powered by electricity reminded me how knife sharpening was done when I was a child (late 40's early 50's).

We had an old guy arrive on a bike and the pedals were used to turn the wheel which rotated the stone to sharpen the knife (well something like that). I found this old photo of a grinder's bike. My mother cannot remember what it cost but it would only have been a few pence.


I wonder if anyone else has similar memories to mine and I also wonder how you get your knives sharpened these days??
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23 Comments:

At 24/3/09 14:06, Blogger Asha said...

In India, guys come with that wheely sharpeners with a belt which sharpens the knives too like you have mentioned. I have a small swiss knife sharpener I bought in Geneva long time ago, still works so well! :)

 
At 24/3/09 14:29, Blogger Sam said...

my knife is as blunt as a baby's bottom. But when I do sharpen it I take it to a man at the farmer's market.

 
At 24/3/09 14:31, Anonymous jill said...

my dad has a stone he sharpens my mom's knives on. but.. the sound is like 'nails on a chalkboard' to me. i can't stand even thinking about it!

 
At 24/3/09 14:48, Blogger ChrisB said...

Asha if it works well then that's a good thing.

Sam I had noticed the knife I bought when I visited you was not quite as sharp which is what prompted me to get them done. It's lovely now, I also got one of yours done I don't expect you would even remember the one I mean?

Jill embee also used to do the same as your dad, but I wouldn't let him touch my best chef knife which cost me a lot and is my favourite.

That scraping sound is awful-it makes me shudder just imagining it.

 
At 24/3/09 15:37, Blogger Beccy said...

Did he come calling by chance or did you ask him to call? Sounds like he was a real bargain!

 
At 24/3/09 15:50, Blogger john.g. said...

Dad uses a sharpening steel! My Mum was a master butchers' daughter and she taught him the art!

 
At 24/3/09 16:14, Blogger ChrisB said...

Beccy it was the name that I got from *kitchens* they forgot to give it to me when we were there at Christmas so dad went back. I don't think this is the chap they originally mentioned to us, but he was fine.

 
At 24/3/09 16:17, Blogger ChrisB said...

john a skilful job butchering-my brother started learning the trade but didn't finish his training.

 
At 24/3/09 20:48, Blogger MarmiteToasty said...

Oh my Crispy..... you bought back such memories of the knife grinder that use to call down our little close when I was a kid, he had a bike like the one in the photo, only last week I was trying to explain to me lads about the knife grinder and his bike, and when my mum couldnt afford him to sharpen our knives she would grind them herself on the back concrete step.... as I do now LOL..... bugger, Im like my witch of a mother lol......

I also told me lads about the muffin man as we called him that use to call with a HUGE wicker basket that he would carry from his little van balanced on his head, and when he lifted it down it was full of bread and cakes and crumpets..... those were the days aye :)

x

 
At 24/3/09 21:13, Blogger ChrisB said...

Marmie my mum used the stone step too and I did for many years. LOL

You talking about the muffin man reminded me that my mother used to deliver the bread and cakes, from baskets in a van. I could make a post about that. Also I can remember milk being delivered straight from the farmer's horse driven cart- we used to take out the jug!

 
At 24/3/09 22:14, Blogger kitten said...

Both ways of sharping knifes is neat to me!

 
At 24/3/09 23:03, Blogger WT said...

I sharpen my own knives. As an aside, you see how he's using that extension cord while it's still wound on the drum, not advisable. The induction created can actually melt the insulation.

 
At 24/3/09 23:09, Blogger the mother of this lot said...

Chris, this is the second knife-sharpening post I've read today!

Go and see Amritas:

http://yesugarden.blogspot.com/2009/03/of-knives-and-fruit.html

 
At 25/3/09 01:44, Blogger Jettie said...

For neat!!! I have never had a knife ever sharpened!! And just asked Grizzly how can I sharpen my orange handled scissor!!

 
At 25/3/09 02:42, Anonymous Kila said...

My DH sharpens the knives. He used to be a butcher. (This explains a lot, doesn't it? ;) )

 
At 25/3/09 04:13, Blogger A Spot of T said...

We have never sharpened our knives. I know, we're losers. In my defense I didn't know you could get your knives sharpened and I certainly didn't know people would come to your home and do it. I might have to look into that, or at least find a place that will do it. Seems like such a shame to always use dull knives when you don't have to.

 
At 25/3/09 09:05, Blogger ChrisB said...

WT I must remind Embee of that because he doesn't always pull out all the wire.

Jackie I took a look at Amritas's post -what a coincidence.

Jettie you should try it, it makes such a difference. I even enjoy chopping the veg it's so easy.

Kila so you always have wonderfully sharp knives!

Joy it would be well worth finding someone. I asked at our local "kitchen shop" and they gave me the contact.

 
At 25/3/09 11:57, Blogger Amrita said...

hi ChrisB, thank you for visting my blog and leaving a comment. MOTL sent me a link to this post of yours and I came by but I could not comment as my lights went out.


My knife-man did 2 knives and 2 scissors for about 33 pence - that 's 25 rupees.

Twenty pounds for 10 knives would be about 1500 rupees. For that much I could buy a set of brand new 10 knives and more.(Chuckle)
I really like your blog Chris and your daffodils.

 
At 25/3/09 13:56, Blogger ChrisB said...

Amrita thank you for visiting. I would love to get my knives sharpened at the price you pay. I realise that what I paid must seem an exorbitant cost to you.

 
At 25/3/09 15:32, Blogger Steffi said...

Oh how interesting- a scissorman !In my childhood I know this too.

 
At 26/3/09 14:18, Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I have a vague memory of this sort, but I don't know if he was called the scissor man or not. I also remember the rag man and the ice man. How neat that the scissor man still comes round, even if by appointment only (if that's the case).

 
At 26/3/09 15:30, Anonymous EmBee said...

EmBee always pulls out all the wire when he knows that the current he is drawing is too much for the cable or is sufficient to cause a problem. The reel we have in the front is one I salvaged from a soild and smelly mass of stuck together Insulation. Love

 
At 31/3/09 02:38, Blogger Ari_1965 said...

There's a long steel rod that came with my block set of knives. I use that. I believe you can drop off your scissors at the fabric store and they ship them out to someone who will sharpen them. Then you pick them up at the store. I haven't tried it yet, plus I think it's for women who own those really good, heavy scissors for quilting and such. I only have cheap scissors.

"Do you know the muffin man, the muffin man, the muffin man. Do you know the muffin man who lives in the Drury Lane?"

I don't know any muffin men. I wish I did.

The only people who came door-to-door during my childhood (1970s, USA) were salesmen selling things we didn't want like vacuum cleaners, sets of encyclopedias, sets of brushes for every possible use, and, of course, Jesus as your personal savior. My mother was very firm and shut the door in their faces. She thought it was rude for them to come and interrupt people in their homes. I do, too, although the only salepeople to come to my door these days are the cable TV guys and the same Jesus as your personal savior types.

I get so many of the religious types coming around that I sometimes feel like putting a sign that says "I'm Episcopalian. I already know all about Jesus." on my door.

 

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