JT Hats
James grew up on an Ozarks farm where tools like axes and picks were still used in the daily routine and the blades of stockman's pocketknives served their original functions. Receiving his first pocketknife at age four he got it open by himself nearly a year later and spent his formative years wandering the woods with a succession of ever larger knives, a book of matches and a rifle.

A veteran of Vietnam, James also served in Alaska during a stint in the Army, receiving his first intensive culinary training by setting a record for extra KP at Ft. Richardson.

Settling in the Pacific Northwest after his discharge, James crewed on sailing yachts in local races, backpacked hundreds of miles of mountain trails in search of good trout fishing, and occasionally attended college.

His first serious job as a civilian resulted from answering a Seattle Post Intelligencer want ad requesting someone who could lift 120 pounds repeatedly and wasn't afraid of fire. James apprenticed to John Frazier -- the most knowledgeable traditional foundryman in North America at that time -- for the next six years.

Returning to the Ozarks James made his living by growing ginseng on a hand-terraced wooded hillside and selling handmade wood turnery, furniture, sculpture and architectural carvings. James harvested trees from his own land, processing logs into posts and beams and turnery billets with saws, axes, froes and planes. Since many tools he needed were no longer available, James built his own forge from a barbeque grill, a vacuum cleaner and a 55 gallon steel drum, found a chunk of railroad track for his first anvil, and taught himself blacksmithing -- creating his own knives and tools from scrap steel and sweat.

Changing economic pressures eventually forced James back to the restaurant industry in Branson, Missouri, and later to even more success as a maintenance engineer for one of Branson's largest condominium resorts. Finally escaping to Indiana, James now makes his living telling true stories as a freelance writer.



ScissorPro Scissor Sharpener by Chef’s Choice | Professional Shears Diamond Hone 500

1 min read

ScissorPro Scissor Sharpener by Chef'sSharpening a pair of kitchen shears seems like an easy enough task, but if you’ve tried to do that by hand, you soon understand why professionals charge around $15 for the service. With the Chef’s Choice 500 ScissorPro, you can get professional results at home over and over, restoring even the good scissors that some well-meaning person used for cutting wire.

The Chef’s Choice 500 ScissorPro sharpens both regular and knife-edge shears. Simple adjustments shift the guides to sharpen either type. The coarse grinding wheel uses long-lasting industrial diamond grit to quickly shape battered scissor blades, removing nicks and squaring cutting edges perfectly. A fine diamond grit wheel hones the edge razor sharp. The guides accept scissors in either left or right-handed styles, and sharpen either type without disassembly. The blade guides use a combination of magnetic clamps and spring tension to hold the scissors as you draw the blades steadily through the machine. Practice on a cheap pair of scissors before you get out your best, because holding the scissors properly takes a few strokes to get right. Once you’ve fixed the cheap, paper scissors, you can confidently go on to embroidery scissors, poultry shears, and fly-tying scissors. Keep the blades moving across the wheels and apply only light pressure. Diamond grinding wheels cut quickly without overheating or clogging.

The ScissorPro works only on straight, plain-edged blades, so it won’t help with curved manicure scissors or pinking shears. If you own a pair of shears with one serrated edge and one plain edge, you can sharpen the plain edge and greatly improve the cutting performance. The double-beveled edge the ScissorPro creates makes an ordinary pair of scissors outlast a pair with an ordinary grind.

The ScissorPro only sharpens scissors, but Chef’s Choice makes many other sharpening systems designed for kitchen knives — including the Chef’s Choice 100W, a sharpener built for the home chef.

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JT Hats
James grew up on an Ozarks farm where tools like axes and picks were still used in the daily routine and the blades of stockman's pocketknives served their original functions. Receiving his first pocketknife at age four he got it open by himself nearly a year later and spent his formative years wandering the woods with a succession of ever larger knives, a book of matches and a rifle.

A veteran of Vietnam, James also served in Alaska during a stint in the Army, receiving his first intensive culinary training by setting a record for extra KP at Ft. Richardson.

Settling in the Pacific Northwest after his discharge, James crewed on sailing yachts in local races, backpacked hundreds of miles of mountain trails in search of good trout fishing, and occasionally attended college.

His first serious job as a civilian resulted from answering a Seattle Post Intelligencer want ad requesting someone who could lift 120 pounds repeatedly and wasn't afraid of fire. James apprenticed to John Frazier -- the most knowledgeable traditional foundryman in North America at that time -- for the next six years.

Returning to the Ozarks James made his living by growing ginseng on a hand-terraced wooded hillside and selling handmade wood turnery, furniture, sculpture and architectural carvings. James harvested trees from his own land, processing logs into posts and beams and turnery billets with saws, axes, froes and planes. Since many tools he needed were no longer available, James built his own forge from a barbeque grill, a vacuum cleaner and a 55 gallon steel drum, found a chunk of railroad track for his first anvil, and taught himself blacksmithing -- creating his own knives and tools from scrap steel and sweat.

Changing economic pressures eventually forced James back to the restaurant industry in Branson, Missouri, and later to even more success as a maintenance engineer for one of Branson's largest condominium resorts. Finally escaping to Indiana, James now makes his living telling true stories as a freelance writer.



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