Fill your drawers with the sharpest knives

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/08/2021 (404 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Everyone has a story and this one is about Bret Gordon and how a crazy idea turned into a thriving business called Wood Forge Sharpening.

Three years into his chosen career in environmental design, Bret was sidelined with a repetitive motion injury in 2018 which meant that he could no longer continue. Wood Forge Sharpening emerged in 2019 as Bret reinvented himself by leveraging a completely different set of skills.

“I would do the work by hand, if I could,” Bret said.

Photo by Debbie Ristimaki Bret Gordon has modified his bicycle to make it a mobile sharpening workshop.

Unfortunately, that was no longer an option, and a Tormek machine, which requires very little pressure, has become his primary work tool and blade sharpener of choice.

He made his first appearance at The Wolseley Farmers’ Market, where you can still find him today wearing a second hat — that of market director.  He has since expanded his services to customers at both the St. Norbert and South Osborne farmers’ markets.

Taking a creative approach to getting both himself and his tools around, Bret decided to cut up his bike and have some fun stretching it out so that it also became his work space. It is still in use today, and Bret estimates that he rides 70 kilometres a week, travelling to markets.

Standard and premium sharpening options are available with the difference being the ‘edge’ which starts at 1,000 grit and goes upwards of 4,000 grit. Pricing varies in accordance and also takes into consideration what is being sharpened. A large knife, for example, runs $10 for standard sharpening and $20 for premium. Further details can be found on his website www.woodforge.ca

As for caring for your knives once they have been sharpened, Bret recommends using a high-density polyethylene board which can be found at kitchen supply stores such as A Plus Restaurant Equipment and Supplies on McDermot Avenue. Ikea sells a relatively inexpensive version but is not of the same quality. Such boards are gentler on the knives.

Whether you’re looking to have an interesting chat, check out Bret’s modified bike or have your knives sharpened, you can find him at any of the following locations:
• St. Norbert Farmers’ Market — Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.;
• Wolseley Farmers’ Market — Tuesday and Thursday, 3 to 6:30 p.m.
• South Osborne Farmers’ Market – Wednesday, 4 to 8 p.m.

Debbie Ristimaki is a community correspondent for Bridgwater Forest.

Debbie Ristimaki

Debbie Ristimaki
Bridgwater Forest community correspondent

Debbie Ristimaki is a community correspondent for Bridgwater Forest.

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