Friday, July 27, 2007


Since many of my sharpening friends use credit cards to finance their business, I thought it would be prudent to share this article with you from the Wall Street Journal. I am a big fan of credit cards, WHEN THEY ARE USED CORRECTLY!! If you don't use them correctly, YOU WILL GET HURT!!!!

As this article shows, credit cards can be a great source of capital if you use them to buy products that will turn into cash flow, but you always need to KNOW and WEIGH the cost of that debt!!!! In this write up you'll find a listing of some credit cards that are geared toward small business. It's worth a look!

There is good debt and there is bad debt! Before you take on any kind of debt, know what kind it is!!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


First, I wanted to drop my e-mail in here to give you an easy jump off point if you want to ask a question or two about the Wolff/ Huff Show post. The best e-mail to get me at is

Second, when you get a chance, hop over to the Inverter or Generator post and give us your opinion on inverters verses generators for mobile units.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


The contract is signed!! We are ready to go!!!!!

The show will be held in Harrisburg, PA (Just outside Hershey, the sweetest town on earth!) at the Harrisburg Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Center October 19 - 21, 2007.

The price to attend the show is just $89 dollars and seating is limited to 50, so sign up quick!

Room rates at the host hotel are just $89 dollars/ night plus tax and fees.

All the major details are on the Wolff Website and you can book your seat at the show through either Wolff or Huff's.

To book your hotel room, call the Holiday Inn and tell them you are with the Wolff/ Huff Show. Their number is 1-717-774-2721.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call. I hope to see you there! I'll be posting the seminar schedule in the near future. Keep an eye out for it!


Invest in yourself! How many times have you heard this? Well, it's true! It's something you should do, and it's something you should continue to do!

I read a great article about this in Wise Bread today, take a look at it. It also had perfect timing with the upcoming announcement about the next Wolff/ Huff Show.

If you've never been to one of these shows, you are missing out! Not only do you get to learn from the manufacturers of some of the top equipment in the industry, you also get to network with other sharpeners and learn from each other!

I just got off the phone with the hotel that will be hosting the event. Once the contract is signed, I'll post the location and dates. Should be today or tomorrow.

Monday, July 23, 2007


What a great trip! I trained a couple of guys and got some training myself! The trip was well worth the time and energy!

At the end of my last post, I told you I was in the heart of downtown San Fransisco. Well, that next day I went from the heart of the city to the heart of the country!

Here is a picture of the front of the second sharpener's home that I trained. He lives on a beautiful piece of land in Grass Valley.

Here is a picture from his back deck. What a nice place! And a good sharpener to boot!

I have to admit I'm glad to be home though, but not for long. I head to Atlanta this next weekend for the Sharpener's Jam. If you're going, I'll see you there.

I will also be writing an article on hammering the set into shears. It will be in On The Edge this next month.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


What a time so far! Here's what's been happening.

After I flew into San Francisco International I stopped by Mike Solaegui's place. I met Lou and got to see the store. WHAT AN ASSORTMENT OF KNIVES!!! You can tell Mike is a real player in this industry!

I then hit the road for San Luis Obispo by way of SR-1. The scenery was amazing! This part of California is very earthy! Strong browns and silvers and dark greens! I love it here! Very different from home!

I then spent a day with Jason Pintel. We shared ideas and tried some new technology. Great fun! I helped him with the new diamond polishing pads Wolff developed for the Hira-To and he taught me how to hammer set into a shear. You'll see an article about that in an up-coming On The Edge. All I can say is WOW!

I'm now with a sharpener in San Francisco that has a Hira-To. I am doing a little training for him and spending a night at his place. He lives right in the thick of it! Just eight blocks up from the water and Fisherman's Wharf. It's a beautiful apartment and a beautiful city!

I'm not sure when I will be posting again since my next leg of this trip takes me to Grass Valley, CA. I will be in a pretty remote spot, so I'm not sure of I will be able to get online.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


It was a great day yesterday! Got to rub noses with most of my overseas suppliers and spend some time with good friends from here in the states like Matt K. Andis, Matt's dad and Ramone Eickert . Other than the visits though, I was a little disappointed in the show. Not much new this year!

I also had the chance to eat at a brazilian restaurant yesterday evening. They cook many different kinds of meat and bring it out to you and carve you as much as you want. Cool! Good company too! Sammy Cheema from Kenchii and Joe Coladarci joined us.

While I'm writing this I'm sitting in the Las Vegas Airport waiting for my flight to San Francisco. Once I get there I'll stop at Mike Solaegui's place and then take my time going down coast on SR-1. I'll take a few pictures along the way and post them if I can get online during this leg of the trip.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Well I made it safe and sound to Las Vegas! So far, good stuff! The business-to business beauty show I'm at is called the Cosmoprof. It is broken into four separate halls that cater to Spa and wellness, cosmetics and personal care, packaging, and professional hair/ nail tools. Bet you can't guess where I spent the majority of my time!

I also had the chance to attend a good seminar on branding with my friends Barbara Vogel and Joe Coladarci. Two of the most important things talked about were packaging and brand personality. I'm am still working to improve the saleability of Wolff's beauty and grooming lines to make your jobs easier when you sell. I came away with some good ideas you will see implemented in the future.

As for last night, it wouldn't have been right to work without mixing a little pleasure in there too. So a group of us got together to go see Penn and Teller. Great show! The magic bullet routine is amazing and the debunking they do to the physic industry is brilliant.

I am looking forward to today's adventures and then I fly out to California tomorrow morning. Since I always like to leave you with a number of things to think about, and I've been thinking a good bit about branding this morning; there is no better way to market yourself than building your "personal brand". Jeffrey Gitomer has written some great articles on this! Take a look at this one and let me know what you think. I'll post again when I can get online.

Friday, July 13, 2007


I thought everyone might like to see the Mobile Sharpening Station I use for In-Salon Sharpening.

This is a Stanley Galvanized Rolling Workshop. I bought it from Home Depot a couple of years ago. It comes apart in three parts so it is easy to put in the trunk of a car. I added the 24" x 11 1/4" poplar top by screwing it to the flip-top lid from underneath. I also cut the hinged storage bin out of the bottom to store my machines. Most of the units they make now just have a bin in the bottom, but most flat hone units will still fit in it. (You will see what I mean when you click through the link above) The middle unit on the newer models has a draw in it and a parts bin. It can be a little cumbersome getting it through doors, but it provides a work space for me so I don't have to take up a station in the salon.

The other thing I like about this set up is I get to work at the same height every time. And it's a perfect height for me because I'm...well...short. :) If you are taller than my highly elevated 5' 9'' stature, you could add what ever thickness board you'd need under the 24" x 11 1/4" top.

When I bought it, I think I paid about $80 dollars for it. The aggravating part is that Home Depot only stocks it from time-to-time. (It's out of stock online right now) They are readily available in the UK, but I guess they don't sell as well here in the states. If you'd like one, ask your local Home Depot about it. If they don't have them in stock right then, keep a lookout for it there and online. They will probably have it in the future.

The top picture shows the unit with the Hira-To and and Ookami in it. The bottom shows it with my equipment on top, ready to work.

If you're in the market for any of the Wolff  sharpening machines, be sure to give me a call before you buy. I know all the best places to buy at the best price! Call 864-381-8697 or email me at


Cyril Murray asked this question...

Hi from New Zealand. Do any of you mobile sharpeners have definite views on whether its best to provide power to your sharpening machines and lights from a small generator such as Honda's EU 10i or a power inverter and a bank of batteries? I currently use a Honda but would welcome feed back for next time round.

I have my opinion. I would go with the inverter and bank of batteries! It is quieter, cleaner and once you have all of the components, you can replace each as they fail. What I mean by that last statement is if a battery goes bad, I just have to replace a battery. If the inverter goes bad, I replace the inverter. If a generator goes bad, you have to repair or replace the whole thing.

This is my opinion. What is yours? Use the comment section below to share your point of view. Also I included some links to my favorite inverter and batteries in the post. Click on the colored words and take a look.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


On the road again! I just can't wait to get on the road again! (You know the rest!)

As of this Saturday I will be on my way to Las Vegas to attend a business-to-business beauty trade show for a few days. I then jump over to San Francisco to visit a few friends.

Two people I am on my way to see is Mike Solaegui and Jason Pintel. I will be training with Jason for a day and trading ideas on how the Hira-To might be improved in the future. Unfortunately, Mike with be heading to Greece when I'm in town, but I'm still going to stop by his store for a visit with Lou.

You may have guessed by the title of this post that I have gambling on my mind. I am heading to Vegas after all! That is why this post on Success from the Nest caught my eye today! It drives home the point that while starting a business involves risk, if you do it right, risk doesn't mean blind luck. Take a look and let me know what you think of Tony's post.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


George asked this question in the comments section of the post titled "Repairing a Wrecked Shear on the Hira-To".

Regarding a deep nick that cuts into the ride line on the back of the cutting edge - what is the proper procedure to remove this nick on the Hira-To and what grit paper should be used?
If you look in the comments section, you'll see that I answered his question. I also said that I would post an example of this in the future with some tips about how to do this so you don't have a big step down in the throat of the blade. Pictures will be included, but it will be a couple of weeks before I get to do this. I will be on the road all of next week and that always hampers my ability to be online.

Keep the questions or comments coming in the comments section! I want to know your questions so I can do my best to deal with them here at Jim Sharp.

Monday, July 9, 2007


Dane Carlson wrote a post on his blog that caught my attention today. It talks about free stuff and plays well with my post about Sales Promotions.

The hard part about this business is deciding what to give away for free. While promo items are a good idea when making sales, giving away free sharpen isn't always. Remember, I said isn't always! Sometimes giving a free sharpening is the right thing to do IF it earns you business!

Anyway, I think the book that Dane mentions, by Chris Anderson that will be coming out soon, would be a beneficial read. I'll buy it when it goes to print and you should too.

Take a look at Dane's post and let me know what you think. Many of you have sent me e-mails telling me you have read my posts. What you may not realize is that you can post comments on my blog in the comments section at the bottom of each post. Simply click on the work comment and that will bring up a screen where you can share you thoughts. I'd like to see your opinions if you have any, so take advantage of the communication tool!

Friday, July 6, 2007


One of my former students sent me a shear that he took in trade for a new shear sale. He told me he was selling shears by the dozens because a sharpener in the area was not sharpening beauty shear properly. He gave all the stylists $25 dollars off his regular discounted price on his shears to replace all the damaged ones.

What I told him I'd do is show how the Hira-To can reconvex a blade that is even severely damaged. So here we go...

You will see the damage in the top picture. (Click on each picture for a better view!) This shear has been bevel-edged and the throat is dipped out.

In the second picture, you can see that I've started the repair on an 80 micron dics. The first thing I had to do was knock the top of the angle on the shear back. I could start by rounding the shear right to the edge because that would have left a hump just above the cutting edge.

In the third picture you'll see that to knock the back of the bevel down, I simply worked the area directly over the back of the angle first before completely convexing the shear to the edge. You can still see some of the left over bevel and the dip in the throat.

In the fourth picture, you can see that I've reached the majority of my edge, but there is still a dip in the throat. To deal with the dip I had to rock back into the throat area and then work the edge radius back into shape. (If you don't understand this, or any of the steps above, call me at Wolff and I'll explain)

The fifth picture shows the blade after I completed the work on the 80 micron disc. You can see that it is loaded with scratches at this point and it had quite a large burr.

The sixth picture shows me working the blade on a 60 micron disc. This will start to remove the scratches created by the 80 micron disc.

The seventh picture down shows the blade after I completed the work on the 60 micron disc. You can see the scratches are finer, but I still have a good bit of work to do.

The eighth picture shows me working the point off the tip. With this much repair, often the tip will bee too pointy.

The ninth picture shows the tip after I re-rounded it.

Picture ten shows me working the blade on the 6000 grit water stone to remove the heavy burrs I created with the 80 and 60 micron discs.

Once I pulled the burr back and reworked the inside line with the water stone, I then worked the blade on the 30, 15 and 9 micron discs. You can see this in picture number eleven.

Picture twelve shows the blade after working it on the 15 micron disc and picture thirteen shows the blade looks after the 9 micron disc.

Picture thirteen shows that after I've worked my blade on all three of these discs, I then go back to the water stone to work the inside.

Once the burrs are pulled back and the shear has a new inside line, I'm ready to start polishing as you can see in picture fourteen.

Picture fifteen shows the completed blade. It is fully polished and reconvexed. This takes a little time to do, but a repair like this will dazzle a customer! If you have any questions about any of these procedures, give me a call at Wolff at 1-800-888-3832. Also. drop some comments below and let me know what you think of this post.


Have a website? Interested in getting more traffic? Here is a great article about Pay-Per-Click Advertising. Look it over and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


I had intended to write this article in On The Edge this month, but I ran out of room. So instead, I decided to write this here.

While we were in Reno, Bob Huffman spoke about different sales promotions sharpeners run to help with scissor sales in the Beauty Industry. I thought these were great! Here are just a few suggestions he made.

First was to give away a free clipper with purchase of a shear. The top picture in the post shows an Andis Untra 13 piece Adjustable Clipper Kit. It comes with six different comb attachments: 1/16", 1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 3/4", tapered barber comb, protective blade guard, neck cape, blade cleaning brush, lubricating blade oil, and complete step-by-step instructions. Your cost on this is just $12.25 from Huff's. A valuable give away that could close the sale! You can view this products feature by entering part number 18050 in the search box in the Andis website.

Another suggestion was giving away a dryer with a shear. The middle picture shows an Andis Tourmaline Nano-Ceramic Dryer. It has features that will reduce frizz, it's light weight and the Nano-Ceramic minimizes friction and delivers far-infrared heat that penetrates the hair from the inside out! Your cost is just $22.00 from Huff's. You can view this products feature by entering part number 80405 in the search box in the Andis website.

The last suggestion I'll mention here is a trimmer. The bottom picture shows an Andis Lola. It comes with five attachment combs: 1/16", 1/8", 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2". It is super lightweight for all-day use and powerful enough to clip and small enough to trim! Your cost is just $30.65 from Huff's. You can view this products feature by entering part number 72120 in the search box in the Andis website.

Bob has other suggestions for the Grooming and Barbering Industries, but that will have to wait for another day. Want to know right now? Give him a call at 1-800-664-8337 and I'm sure he'd be glad to help you with some promotion ideas!