Thursday, July 30, 2009

Measuring a Beauty Shear to Fit the Hand of a Stylist

I get a number of questions concerning how to sell shears. There are many pointers and tips I have for this, but I wanted to share two with you today and they are two methods you can use to fit a beauty shear to a Stylist's hand if she asks if a particular shear is the right size for her.

Now the tips I show in this video are not etched in stone, they are only rules of thumb. The best shear for your client is always the one that feels right in their hand and that they enjoy cutting with. You also have to take into account what they will be using the shear for and how long a length of cut they want to do. But I'll save these topics for a future post or article in my newsletter.

With that said, take a look at the video below. It's not my best video, but I think it explains the points I want to make clearly enough. As always, if you have and questions just e-mail me or call.

The Sharpeners Jam I mentioned in the video has already taken place this year and was a great success from what I hear. Here is a link to the Bonika web site with info about shows like this.

Service Awesomeness!

One of the things I try to pound into the heads of my students is service is everything, especially in this business. Getting our customers to trust us, see that we're reliable, and stand behind what we do is a must!

Here recently, I had the chance to benefit from this kind of service from Spartan Copy, the copy machine sales and service center I use. I had bought a new copier from them for the newsletter I do for professional sharpeners called On The Edge. When I went to hook this new unit up to my computer, I couldn't get the driver to load properly on my computer or ledger size paper to print. I called them after hours, left a message telling them my problem, and hoped they'd be available to help the next day.

I got a call at 7:50am while on my way to work. The tech told me he would meet me that afternoon and he fixed my problems. Great example of quick, thoughtful service!

Now I had no doubt that Spartan Copy would handle things this way, I've used them for years and the confidence I have in them is why I continue to buy from them when I need new equipment and pay for their service contract. Instilling THIS kind of confidence in your customers about you and your business should be a daily goal. Confidence is king in a service business!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Restoring a Shear on the Wolff Hira-To® Scissors Sharpener

Last week I told you I'd be putting up a video of a shear restoration job I did on the Wolff Hira-To® Scissors Sharpening System. Here is the video:

Let me give a quick run down of what I did on this YouTube video on the blog as well.

I started by tipping the shears down on the Twice as Sharp® Scissors Sharpener. I could have also tipped the tips down on the Hira-To® with an 80 or 60 micron disc, but the Twice as Sharp® was readily available so I chose that route.

I then chamfered the inside top of the ride area. I did this so I could re-align the hone line all the way from the tip to the back of the ride area. The reason I had to do this was the shear had been sharpened so many times, the ride area was too far above the cutting edge to re-create a good hone line. Removing the metal on the upper inside of the ride area allowed me to re-create the hone line across the entire length of the inside the shear so the shear would cut in the early entry area of the blades.

You'll also noticed that I used a 1000 grit Shapton water stone to re-create the hone line. I could have used the 6000 grit water stone, but that would have taken more time. Wolff does not sell the 1000 grit stone, but if you'd like to buy one you can find them here:

After re-working the inside of both blades I then re-convexed the front surface of each blade with a 60 micron disc. When finished, I pulled the burrs back with my 6000 grit shapton water stone and sharpened the shear just like any other shear on the Hira-To® Scissors Sharpener. Here is the video showing the overview of this sharpening process:

If you have any questions, please give me a call at Wolff at 800-888-3832 or e-mail me at If you e-mail me, be sure to include your phone number just in case I need to call to answer some of your questions.

Restoring a shear like this is fun, but it's not a money maker. I think I had about 40 to 45 minutes in restoring this shear. So if you choose to take something like this on, be sure you have the time and be will to trade about an hour to make a good impression.

To find out more about the Hira-To® Flat Hone Sharpening System, visit the Hira-To web site:

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Friday, July 17, 2009

NBTSG National Beauty Tool Sharpeners Guild

**note** This is a reprint of the an article I wrote for the July Issue of On The Edge. It is rare that I ever mix these two mediums together, but I put a lot of though into this write up promoting Larry Brooks' new show and I wanted to share it here too. On The Edge is a subscription newsletter that I publish for the sharpening community. If you're interested in subscribing, or if you'd like to find out more about this newsletter; just e-mail me at **note**

I’ve been trying to figure out how I was going to promote this show over the past few days. I have a number of documents from Larry at Sharp Edges that are all well written and loaded with information, but I think I’m going to shy away from all that material and just tell you why I’m going.

Let’s Start with Larry Brooks
Those of you that have known me over the years know that I have been friends with Larry for a long time. We’ve spent many hours together trading ideas and techniques and we’ve collaborated together a number of times to work to help all of you in your businesses.

In my opinion, Larry is one of the finest examples of a professional sharpener in the industry. He has proven himself in three ways.

1. He has grown Sharp Edges into one of the most successful mobile sharpening business in the country. This business now supports not just he and his wife Linda, but their son Dennis and his family too.
2. I hear more complements about how well he trains and the time and attention he gives his students than I do about any of the other sharpening trainers in the industry. He has turned out a lot of successful pupils!
3. He has stuck his neck out to show he’s a great sharpener over-and-over again. Larry has been an active participant in the NSSG for years now. He started out as a entrant in the certification and over time, proved himself with his consistently high scores and eventually became a judge.

Let’s Look at the Plan for the New Guild
Larry has been talking about doing something like this for some time now. He mentioned to me a few years back that he thought there should be a Guild that would encompass the sharpening industry as a whole instead of just one aspect of it. While he has enjoyed his time with the NSSG and supports it, he thought it was time to push forward with this vision and make it a reality. He will do this with this show if we as sharpeners support him.

The Certification
Larry has created a certification process for the NBTSG that will allow you to increase your skills through both training and testing. The 2009 certification categories are Beauty Shears/ Thinners and Clipper Blade Sharpening. There will also be a discussion about including Nail Tech Tools in next years line up. If you participate in this certification you will achieve one of four potential Guild Membership Levels:
Guild Member Apprentice: This is a sharpener that tested but did not score high enough in the test to meet the requirements in their chosen field for full Guild Membership.
Guild Member: This is a sharpener that scored high enough on the test to achieve status in their chosen field.
Master Sharpener Guild Member: This is a sharpener that scored high enough on the test to achieve a title of Master Sharpener in the Guild in their chosen field.
Grand Master Sharpener Guild Member: This is a sharpener that has achieved Master Sharpener status in all the fields offered.

The test is graded on a point system based on the quality of work in a predetermined list of steps in the sharpening process. These shears and clipper blades will be judged by Larry Brooks, Dennis Brooks, and Craig Cazier. I can personally vouch for each of these men and feel they are more than qualified to judge for this certification. It is also planned that Bob or Bobby Huffman will help judge the clipper blades and a number of other industry leaders, like myself, will assist in the overall judging process.

The Show Itself
Many of you have expressed that you’d like to see the old-style Wolff show come back where you can view a number of seminars and visit with industry vendors. This show will have all of the best parts of the Wolff Show. There will be seminars on the latest equipment in all the different aspects of the sharpening industry. There will also be a vendor room that will be open during the entire show, so if there’s a seminar you’re not particularly interested in you can visit the vendors in the Vendor Room and learn as much there as in any of the seminars.

Finally Trust
I’d like to end this with one more word about how I personally feel about Larry. I trust him. And quite frankly, this is the highest complement I can pay a fellow sharpener, supplier, and trainer. When Larry attaches his name to something, he gives himself to it 120%. I strongly suggest you consider attending this show. I think it has the potential to become a powerful tool to help you, as a sharpener, grow in this industry and set yourself above your competition.

The dates for the show are August 30th, 31st, and September 1st. The cost to attend is just $175.00. The cost to participate in the shear or clipper blade certification is $120.00 for each. There will also be a fun getaway during the off hours; Larry has set up a dinner cruise. If you’d like to attend, the cost is just $40 per person. Call 217-853-6256 or visit to find out more or to sign up for the show.

I will be attending along with David Wolff and Bill Pierce. All three of us are looking forward to spending some time with you and helping you as you continue to expand your knowledge in what I think is one of the best businesses in the world. Please consider coming if you can. Larry has never disappointed me. I know this show will be a great success. Get in on the ground floor of this new Guild and help support the new NBTSG.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Social Media on Jim Sharp

I just wanted to give you heads up that if you're subscribed to my YouTube Channel... (Subscribe! It's Free!)'ll find a few Social Media Videos on there.

They don't fit the context of this blog, so I'm not posting them here; but they are well worth a look. My friend Olivier Blanchard shares some great info on how to use Social Media in your business. Here's the links:

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:

You may also want to visit Olivier's blog on Business Branding. He's one of the best branding consultants I know. You can check his blog out here:

I'll be writing another post later today about the NBTSG that's coming up at the end of August. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Sorry for the silence over the past few days. I've been busy with a number of projects here at Wolff and haven't had the time to focus on my blog.

I will have the video I talked about above on YouTube in a few days. Just too many editing projects in the way.

The next few weeks will be spent getting ready for Larry's new show as well. I'm really looking forward to this show and hope to see many of you there. For more info about this show, visit the web site at I'll write a post with more details about the NBTSG later this week.

Thanks again for watching my Interview Videos. If you have any questions, please give me a call or send an e-mail. I'll talk to you soon.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Ron, today's interviewee, is without a doubt one of THE BEST Andis Master Clipper Repairmen in the country. He has been a friend for many years and excels in both scissors and clipper blade sharpening. Come join me as he gives us a tour of his mobile unit and shows us some of the sharpening equipment he uses.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Jack has been a great friend to me over the years and is an excellent sharpener. He's one of the few sharpeners that specializes in the Large Animal Segment of the business and has built a large following of horse and cattle customers in southern Texas. He is a wealth of information to me and others in the sharpening trade! Let's visit with him for a few minutes:

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Huff's Wholesale is one of the premier suppliers of clipper parts to the sharpening community. While at their show this past month, Bob took me on a tour of their facility. Come along with me as Bob shows some of what goes on at Huff's every day.

If you'd like to find out more about Huff's and how they can help you, visit their website at: