Monday, October 06, 2008

State of the Anso Nation!

State of the Anso Nation!

Alot of stuff is going on in the Anso shop and it is about time I did my State of the Nation writeup...!

First things first!

Over the last year or so my deliverytime has grown from around 10-12 to 18 months and is continuing to grow. I find that the time needed in the office has grown substantially in order to keep up with correspondance, forum and homepage upkeep etc. To help me spend my time most effeciently I am going to change the way I accept orders rather radically. I was considering all kinds of different approches to help keep my deliverytime reasonable, among other simply stop taking orders. However I feel that I would loose some of what makes this whole business worth all the hard work...the direct communication with the customer figuring out excactly how that next knife should be made. On the other hand I know that when you order a knife and 18 months go by alot of variables gets into play. Your collection may change, you may discover new materials you like or I present new models that you would rather have. Your might be broke or lost interest in my work..(hey in theory it could happen )..well the solution for this is to start a waiting list rather than an orderlist. Works about the same but the details of the order is decided about a months before your sceduled to recieve the knife rather than the day you order. That way I save alot of time since I don´t have to maintain and keep track of hundreds of knives on order at a time, I don´t waste time by changing or canceling orders. I don´t have to read through 5 or 100 emails to make sure I got all the details from the last 18 months wait noted down. If the customer ”disapears” I have not invested alot of time that I could have used better by discussing orders with customer who have been waiting paitiently.

SO...from this day I will put names on my waitinglist and give an estimate on when I will get to that persons name. Approx 1 month before I am ready to build that knife (or knives) I will contact the customer and ask what model he/she would like and how it should be made. If I for some reason do not hear back from the client or the client wishes to cancell I simply move on to the next in line. Hope this makes sence. I will make a more thorugh post regarding orders alittle later that will explain verything in detail as there are a few things that needs to be put down in writing.

No I have not bought a CNC millingmachine...yet... however I have a very good friend near by that has his own CNC machineshop. To help maintain reasonable delieverytimes and to maintain reasonable sane I decided it was time to get some help to some of the more mundane chores in the shop. Since I allready design all my folders using CAD based programs it was easy for me to get these designs CNC ready. So far we have been working on the 67 design and the Zulu design.

It is of great importance that the work done by the CNC does not influence the final product in such a way that it takes away from the handmade qualities of the knife. I do not want to go on compromise in any way so what my friend and I have come up with is that we use the CNC for the outer profile for the blades and frames. The various holes are either drilled/milled close to final size and later driller or reamed by me or simply marked with a small dimple and again drilled and reamed by me. After this is done I go over the full profile myself on the grinders to finetune and adjust. What all this saves me is simply a bunch of time in front of the bandsaw and grinder and is comparable to having the blanks laser or waterjet cut. Please if you have any questions regarding this please let me know.

So far this year I have been at the Bladeshow and the Scandinavian Knifemakers Guild Show. In late November I will attend the New York Custom Knifeshow for the first time and I really look forward. If all goes as planed I wil continue to attend the Bladeshow and New York show every year. I like how these two shows are spaced out over the year giving me approx 6 months between shows. I hope to see you there!!

As you may have noticed that Outbreaks have been quiet whats going on??
I have not stopped designing and I have not closed it down but rather put it on hold to try and get up to date on my orderbook. While I am still behind I am catching up..! I expect you should see two more Outbreak designs before the year is over...! Stay tuned!

Special projects....:

Any day now really the Rocklobster made by Spyderco will hit the streets. I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am about this being my first collaboration with a production company. I hope this will be the first of may to come!!

I am currently working together with Joel Pirela on a special folder project...!!! and I must say that I am am more than excited about working with him on this. It is a RAD design and I hope that I will be able to show you more soon!

I am also working on a special limited edition project together with my buddy Jesper Voxnaes (Vox). We are still in the planning phase but intend to to at least one folder/fixedblade project together. Stay tuned for more on this!

I have decided to cut down on the dealers I use on a regular business and try and deliver more knives to these few instead. I am currently working with the following US dealers:
Duane at
David at
Phillip at

I consider all 3 of these men to be my friends which I feel is good basis for our future business. I plan on supplying both limited editions as well as my regular models on a steady basis. Please support these dealers!

If you have read this far you qualify to be a true Anso fan and I salute you...I know it was a long rampling and probably stacked with spelling mistakes and all but I hope you enjoyed the read and feel you know abit more of whats going on in my world...

Jens Anso


Blogger Suzanne said...

Jens: It sounds like you have a great plan! You also have some amazing and very exciting projects in the works!!!!! WOW!! I am so exited for you.

October 12, 2008 3:44 PM  

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