For Roy Scott, refurbishing axes started out as a hobby. Collecting old axes from thrift stores, friends, and watching YouTube tutorials he slowly began to master the art of restoring old axes. It wasn't until a few years later when he found himself at a crossroads that he decided to launch this hobby into a full on career. Tune into how Roy built out a name for himself in this niche category.
Jeremy Perkins 0:00
Hey, this is Jeremy and you're listening to bucket talk powered by BRUNT, owner of vintage x works Roy Scott took his hobby of refurbishing old axes into works of art and turned it into a career, listening to how he made the leap and the tricks he learned along the way.
Eric Girouard 0:13
This is bucket top weekly podcast where people who work in the trades and construction that aren't just trying to survive, but have the ambition and desire to thrive. The opportunity to trades and construction is absolutely ridiculous right now. So if you're hungry, it's time to eat. We discuss what it takes to rise from the bottom to the top with people who are well on their way and roll up their sleeves every single day.
Jeremy Perkins 0:42
Today, we're here with Roy Scott of vintage axe works, Roy. Welcome. Thanks a lot, man. Thanks for having me. Appreciate it, buddy. I'm glad to have you on the show. Can you restore access? correct? That is correct. Yeah,
Roy Scott 0:54
a lot of people think that I say that I make axes. But I don't actually forge the heads. I've got this love affair with all the axes. I've been collecting them since I don't know 2012 2013 something like that. And so I make my own handles. And I restore the heads and I make my own sheets. And I am lucky enough to call this my full time job.
Jeremy Perkins 1:14
So let's bring it back a little bit. You know, I want to I want people to know what you know where you came from. Yeah. And and where you are currently and and how you got here today, how'd you get into restoring vintage axe heads and making handles? Well,
Roy Scott 1:28
I mean, just like anyone with kind of a an outlandish hobby, it kind of consumes people. At least that's the way that I am. And this is the days before Instagram. So I started collecting axes, they were always just beat up and shitty, you know, like people just abuse the hell out of accidents. I don't know why, but they just seem to get used really freaking hard. So you can find access pretty cheap junk stores, or stores, that sort of stuff. And I started collecting them. And then I just wanted to make them nice. So I made a couple nice for myself. And I took pictures of them. And I took them back to my work and showed my friends and you know, and they're like, oh, man, that's cool. my grandpa's got an old axe I can Can I can I give that to you? And have you restored and fix it up and do all that for me? And I was like, yeah, sure, no problem, when I was just kind of doing that stuff, just for fun, nothing serious. And, and no handle work whatsoever, I was just going down to local hardware store and bought a cheap handle. And like crossing my fingers hoping for the best and get, you know, trying to put the two together. And I didn't know the first thing about hanging an axe. So I got to been. There's a whole bunch of tutorials. And I'm not going to get into who has the best or anything. But there's a really, really good comprehensive one that the Forest Service put out. It's called an axe to grind. It's like an hour long episode. And it's very thorough. So I've watched it over and over and over and practiced over and over and over. And as soon as the demand from my co workers and my friends and whenever just kind of kind of became too much. And I was like I can't I can't do this anymore. I just started collecting heads and just doing head work. And then so that timeframe is like I don't know, 2013 14, something like that. And I was living out in Washington State. So x is out there and Idaho, the Northwest. I mean, they're just, they're just everywhere. Because logging is such a huge part of the community, part of the the economy, the culture. So I could find axes all day long. So I was just fine heads and cleaning them up, restoring them sharpen the best I could and selling them on eBay. And then I got I decided to move back home to Kentucky to go work for my buddy that I've been friends with for like 30 years or something and Yep, so that worked for about six months and then I got
Jeremy Perkins 3:58
Roy Scott 4:03
Are you doing? Well? Are you doing what was the work? So my buddy, he wanted me to be a service writer, for he owns a certified BMW repair shop and he wanted me to do service writing for you. Yeah. And he was opening another location in Louisville and he wanted me to manage it. So I was you know, just learning the ropes cuz I didn't know shit about BMWs it's just not my jam at all. I mean, I'm kind of a gearhead just, I've always been around cars and trucks and that sort of stuff in my my buddy, like he and I worked on trucks as kids. So you know, I felt comfortable enough doing it and I just needed a little change. I was in Washington for 15 years and I'm from around Louisville, Kentucky area so I thought I'd help him out and give him a few years and you know, it only lasted six months and I got the boot and so I actually got married When I moved back, yeah, so I'm married for like two weeks, I get fired. And I still hadn't got every I hadn't brought everything in from the garage from moving into my wife's house. And I'm carrying some boxes in and ships got clanging around. And she was like, What the hell is all that was like, oh to look taxes, she didn't even know that I collected access. And I had like, a pile of frickin axes that I've just dragged across the country. And she is a total hustler. She was like, okay, so you don't have a job? You have some axes? Can you make some money off of those? And I was like, Yeah, I've never lost any money. So I just started flipping heads like crazy for about a year. Well, it's easy. And I've been doing it for a few years. So reprofiling heads, putting a new finish on it, sharpen them up and put them on eBay, easily doubling my money, sometimes three to 4x on the dollar turn, and my wife, so that was like for about a year. And then my wife said, you need to start hanging axes. And I was like, Oh, fuck, I'm not. I'm not. I'm just not that good at it. Yeah. And she was like, what you better get good. So. So I went out and got a whole bunch of handles, and I started practicing a whole bunch. And then I and I did that for about a year. And I got really good at it. And the thing of it is with with hardware handles, they're just junk. They feel like a billy club, they're really fat. There's no uniform I shaped tune. So you almost have to take the head that you're working on into a hardware store, pull off all the good candidates and try to match up the head with all the handles that they have available. And maybe one out of 10 will work.
Jeremy Perkins 6:42
So I'm, I'm the most abusive person when it comes to my tools. And yeah, I started off with wooden ball pins. I've since moved to like a synthetic ball pain, but I started off and I used to snap handles all the time or or mop really good. I still don't know, you should have seen the end of my ball pins talk about being a mechanic, I had nails jammed into the end of every right everything just to try to get the head to stay on the handle.
Roy Scott 7:09
Yeah, it's a pain in the ass if you don't know what you're doing. Um, so I did that for a little bit. And then I started an Instagram account. And it was really discouraging. So this is like four years ago or so. And I'm posting things about axyz. And I see other people that are doing some, you know, similar work to me, and they've got 6000 followers or 10,000 followers, I was just like, golly, never gonna, I'm never gonna catch up to them, like I'm doing the exact same thing get no traction. And my wife was like, when you have to start making your own handles, you have to do something that no one else is doing. And you have to be different than everyone else. You know, I was like, Listen, if I'm going to do this, I'm going to all fucking in and I'm going to get seen an equipment, frickin bandsaw a grinder, a big huge buffer vices I'm going to I'm going to take your grandpa's shop, and I'm going to transform it into a really bad ass place to work. So a lot of people see me on Instagram and they see my shop, my shop has kind of become a character within my fee altogether, because I've got about 900 heads on the walls. All my walls are pallet wood in the front room. I love it.
Jeremy Perkins 8:31
I love the fan that you got rolling in the shop that Yeah, crazy.
Roy Scott 8:35
So they're actually three fans. Yeah. And one of my buddies donated them to me, they're from fanimation they're like, it's based on an old 1800s design. It was a belt driven. Yeah, they are, they're really freaking cool. So the ceiling has a it's like tin roofing from an old barn. So I've got two rooms in my shop the front room is all done at still need to get more tin for the back room so that I can put it up on the ceiling and then put three more fans up in the back. But so that being said, I was like if I'm going to be in this shop, eight to 10 hours every single day. It has to be a place that inspires me to want to do work and and I want it to be like one of the coolest things that you know when people scroll through my feed they're not just seeing me in my idiot face. They see the shop the background and just the whole experience. So I started slowly building up the shop I slowly acquired machines and equipment because I didn't want anything you know Harbor Freight Chinese bullshit stuff so I got all my tools or vintage American tools with the exception of my chop saw which just chops wood so I don't really care about it. There's nothing about but all my equipment. It's all American made. It's all old. And it's just it's not because I'm trying to be cool hipster it's because shits good and it works. And it's solid. I mean, my planer it's a 12 inch Parkes planer, it probably weighs, I don't know, 500 fucking pounds or something. Yeah. And it's just, you know, why would Why would I spend more money on a lunchbox planer when I can buy something that is American made and cast iron and will last another lifetime, we it's just the way that I roll. And that's kind of the the whole business model that I've set up, whether it's my equipment, whether it's the axes, it's just like, that's what I do.
Jeremy Perkins 10:34
Well, we I talked with you know, we talked before the show about Jesse Savage, and that and that was one of the biggest things is like, a lot of the the older tools are easier to maintain, easier to fix. Yeah, they're just way less components that that, you know, I mean, I got to talk to guys in the, in the tractor industry, and they're, and they're moving from, you know, new tractors back to old tractors, because there's just so much electronics, and they're like, you know, essentially, we just need to plow the field in but I mean, are we to do whatever we need to do. I don't need this, you know, $150,000 fancy tractor, I could buy a, you know, $1,000 International fix it up. So it's interesting.
Roy Scott 11:18
Like, you get into the cab and one of these new things and automatically Tick Tock pulls up and your fans are fucking blowing on you. And it's like, what?
Jeremy Perkins 11:29
Yeah, welcome, Roy.
Roy Scott 11:31
Yeah, really? So no, my bandsaw for instance, it's, it's 19 I think 40 or 45 model that that style of delta Rockwell bandsaw that's what every bandsaw today has been built on that foundation right there. So why wouldn't I just get the original mean? You know, it's fucking bomber. So whatever.
Jeremy Perkins 11:54
So let's get let's get into a day in the life like, No, no, no. I mean, we're rolling right along this. Yeah. Great. I figured I just throw it out there. I want to know what you do from sunup to sundown. how the how the heck do you, you know, make a vintage x out, you know, is a lot of shopping on eBay. What I
Roy Scott 12:15
know. All right, so, so honestly, I wake up around between six and seven in and I don't get to the shop until probably between nine and 10 for all sorts of ancillary bullshit stuff that goes on behind the scenes kind of stuff, like administrative type stuff. So for instance, this morning, I was taking some orders, finishing up orders from the day before. Maybe I had to do a couple final touches on some leather. I gotta pack stuff up, take it to the post office. So I usually start working like, you know, full on working in the shop around 10. Yep. And today, I was like, God dammit, I'm gonna get to the shop at eight o'clock, because I got a whole bunch of shit I need to do. I didn't make it out until 10 o'clock, because all this other stuff just keeps keeps adding up. And I'll give you a stupid example. Here's something a little behind the scenes of vintage x works. I posted a picture today of a bluegrass half hatchet that I sold yesterday. Okay. Taking one picture to put on freakin Instagram took me 45 minutes, 45 minutes. And I'm not even joking. Because it needs to be perfect. Because on on the podcast that I host the XR and podcast we always talk about you know, you only see the home runs right. So this was a home run piece. It had to be perfect. And I'm shooting click in turn in sunlight here, you know, just all that stupid little stuff for a perfect post. So
Jeremy Perkins 13:47
you're not messing around. I mean, that's, that's crazy, because that's exactly what we do. And my wife is like, if she's listening, she's gonna kill me. But essentially like, Why? Why does it take you so long to do this? And I'm like, I don't know. And, and now you're on tik tok, or now you're on Facebook, or now you're on this. I'm like, I gotta try.
Roy Scott 14:07
Yeah. So it's like, it's wild. So like, 90% of my business runs through Instagram. Oh, most of my sales come through Instagram. So why would I put stupid shitty photos out there? Where I'm trying to sell something at a premium my stuff is among the highest priced pieces out there. So if the photo looks like crap, that just turns people off, like, oh, he doesn't even care about the photo, like, does he even care about the x, it just restored? I mean, it's all those little little details. And if you scroll through my feed, you'll see a couple a couple of common themes of what I say it's all about the details is one. It's not just an X, it's an experience. And I truly believe that so whenever you get something from me, I want your mind to be fucking blown. So it all starts with a picture. I mean, as silly as that sounds, the setup for every single thing. If you said you yourself up for mediocrity when God dammit, that's what you're going to get and set yourself up for excellence. Maybe you hit it, but you keep fucking trying to hit it every fucking day.
Jeremy Perkins 15:10
Well, and that's, that's one of the foundations of starting our podcast was the fact that, you know, when it comes to men and women in the trades, you know you have your you have your mediocrity, but then you have the people that really kill it. And, and, you know, I want to get in the mind to the people that, that understand how, I mean literally wake up and piss excellence like, I want to I want to go spend 45 minutes on every photo, and you're laying the foundation. I mean, seriously, though, I mean, I there's people out there that I mean, I did with one with the powerline podcast, and the guy is just between work and this and that he's, he's all over the place. I mean, all of our all the people that we've interviewed, their job does not stop after they go, you know, they leave whatever they're doing. Yeah. And a lot of them live where they work. So it's even, it's even crazier.
Roy Scott 16:04
Yeah, I'm, like, 100 feet from my house, it's in my backyard. So I don't have any rent on my building, I just pay, you know, the utility is just tied right to the house. So I'm essentially working air quotes for free here. And, and I was just talking today on my podcast, that if you're, if you're not bumping into shit, you're, you're doing something wrong, right? Like you need, you need to surround yourself with tools, equipment, supplies, frickin everything right there at your disposal, I'm not saying that it has to be like a shitbox thing where you can't move anything. But you need to be constantly running out of space, because you're trying to fill your area to capacity, either whether what you're building or the process, or, you know, whatever you're trying to accomplish, you need to do it at an 11 every frickin day. So I get in the shops, I take a couple pictures do all that sort of stuff. The day kind of goes, if I've got existing orders, is it a customer supplied head that they sent me? And I need to go get it in the mail? Or is it just something? Some customers say well, do you have so and so x? Do you have a Kelly, perfect jersey and now pull one off? And I'll say yes, and I'll start building it. And then it's literally, I've got, I don't know, 30 templates, the handles that I've made over the years, so and I've got a stock pile of lumber. I've got hickory ash, and I've got some crazy laminate blanks that I'm currently working on. So I literally just put the two together, you get a get a template, go to the back room, get a get some wood, put it on the chop. So I'll draw out my template, put it on the bandsaw. And then I I hang all of my heads with a draw knife. And why do I do that? Because it's the best fastest method? I didn't invent it.
Jeremy Perkins 18:05
I thought so. I thought it was so when cut you. You can't cut yourself with a draw knife, right? Dude, I've cut myself so many fucking times with that thing. Crazy. But that's the thing, when you pull a draw knife toward you, you can't cut yourself correct. You're the
Roy Scott 18:22
you're no body, you could be a dummy and like cut your gut, or your hand could slip off the handle. And it could get into if seriously, if your razor if your draw knife isn't like a razor blade, just stop what you're doing and resharpen it because you're the whole purpose is to get that rough shape of the eye to the head, right? And fast stock removal with a draw knife is the most efficient means to do it, you can hang and I'm not saying that because that's how I do it. That's the only way to do it. There are tons of ways to hang ahead. But people give me shit all the time about oh my god, I just saw you hang that head. And now you're saying and now you're profiling and now it's finished. And it's been two hours, three hours and you're already done? Well, the answer to that is I've been doing this for a long time. I've got a ton of practice. Yeah. And if I can get that head fitted to the handle, get it sanded, get pictures taken and get it in the boiled linseed oil. That's money. And I can start on the next one. What people don't understand is I'm actually running a business it is a legit business. And if I'm sitting here, dilly dallying around, I'm not making money. And a lot of people have this romance with restoring axes especially now last five years Holy fuck people just want to restore axes, right? And they do one they sell it. You know they sell it air quotes to their friend or they post it up on Instagram or Facebook, hey, this one's going out to new customer, really, really go into a customer, were you just saying that so you can play business, you know, like dress up in a business suit for a day. Because it took you It took you all weekend to do it. And it's just for fun for you. And that's fine. Like, go ahead, do it, I encourage everyone to do that. It is fun. But whenever it goes from fun to a business, and you try to scale it, things change. And
Jeremy Perkins 20:30
there's a ton of Yeah, there's, there's what, there's way more behind it. And you're you're, you're when you boil down the price of an axe into the amount of time effort thought everything into it. Sometimes you can't even justify your labor cost into the price of the axe, you know? And yeah, to try to get there, wouldn't you what you've gotten there is is, you know, something that a lot of people can't do. So that's, that's good.
Roy Scott 20:59
Well, thank you. And, you know, a lot of people think that the head is the most valuable part of the x. And you know, they, by and large, that might be correct, if you have a valuable head, like a really desirable one. But you know, they made millions of axes every single month. So there is a finite amount of them, but you can still find them relatively inexpensively. So, I mean, just for an unmarked head, I charge $25 for it, because I usually find it for $20. But I've got $5 into actually going out and pounding the pavement and finding it. So I'm not making money on the head, it's all time you don't lumber. If you buy in bulk, like I do, it's relatively affordable, right. But again, again, it's on scale someone you know, just a backyard guy, you know, doing 1x a month or something like that. It's it's just a pain in the ass to go get five quarter or six quarter lumber, rough sawn lumber and process it and all that sort of stuff. So, to your point, it's all about time. That's that's what is wrapped up in into all the products that I sell is just time. I mean, yes, there are materials, there are supplies, but by and large, it's time. And the shorter that I can make that time, the more money I can make. I'm not charging anymore, but just on the back end. If I can save hours and start working on something else. Then I'm turned in another piece and I'm making, you know, another paycheck.
Jeremy Perkins 22:31
Yeah, it's all about Yeah. And that's what and that's what people don't realize, you know, it's I mean, I've take I'll let I'll let our listeners take a look at your website at the price your axes, but I took a look at your axe. I was like, Oh,
Roy Scott 22:45
yeah, some of the stuff that's out on my website. I mean, those are just silly pieces. Those are poxy stuff that like I had this grand idea last year. They just never moved and they're just parked out there average price were vintage x workpiece for a full size x. By and large, it's like 350 to $450 hatchets, like that bluegrass that I sold yesterday at sold for $400. Just because, you know, bluegrass is very desirable. It had a really cool handle on it with tons of figuring. I just, I just did one today with crotch green, laminate walnut. And that one's $400 for a little 15 inch hatchet. So, you know, like, right around that area. But you know, for if a customer sends me something, yeah, they got they got a little hatchet from their family or whatever, that it's $225 plus shipping and you get a fully restored head handshape handle and a leather sheath. So it seems it that to me that's affordable, it's fair, you're getting a quality product, and you will be able to pass it down to your relatives later on down the road.
Jeremy Perkins 23:53
What was funny, because I was actually in the market for my Oh, here we go. Here we go. Here we go. So no, I mean, why, um, so my nephew was in, he just got into the Boy Scouts. And being you know, in the podcast industry now, and dealing with all these different trades. I was like, I started to look for a Boy Scout x because he wanted it was his birthday was coming up. He's in the Boy Scouts. I was like, Hey, you know, I'm gonna get my nephew something that maybe his parents don't want him to have. Yeah, of course. That's fine. Right. Exactly. So I looked and I and unfortunately, I didn't I didn't come across you in time. So I actually went to the boy scout website, but you know, 100 and I think $17 later I got a Boy Scout stamp axe, and he loves it. But you know, when I grew up, we were able to buy axes under 18 I don't know how it is out Kentucky but that's all I don't know. Massachusetts you got to produce ID them to buy an axe now. So my God, yeah, no, this is the I remember. Like I said saving my pennies going down and buying an axe and doing stupid stuff. That's probably why you have so many beat up axe heads, probably.
Roy Scott 25:05
But you know those Boy Scout axes, right? A couple companies made them plumb being the predominant one. And they made them in several different patterns. They're they're highly desirable for exactly for the exact reason that you just laid out. I do a lot of Boy Scouts, I typically buy every boy scout axe that I can find, right? Because you can never have enough. You never have enough. I don't know how many I have right now probably I don't know. 20 or so. That's awesome. And oh, here's a little side note. If you ever run across a Girl Scout, little hatchet buy it immediately on the spot. If it's less than $200. To pick it up. Yeah, they're very, very rare. They're very, very desirable. They're very collectible. I've got I don't know, maybe half dozen or so. And I've only gotten rid of one of them. And it was for one of my buddies. He is Don't let him go. Some things just don't like go in Girl Scouts. were one of them. Anyway, you
Jeremy Perkins 26:02
You got any kids? No. All right. Well, I was leaving into a question here. And the question was, do you want your kids to go on the trade so you can pretend you don't have kids? Or you do have kids? It doesn't matter.
Roy Scott 26:18
So listen, I think it is important. I hate kids. Alright, I'll just be strict. I think it is important for these little shithead kids to get up off their butts. Yeah, get get, you know, take their frickin cell phones away, take their iPads away and make them go camping. Make them go work on an old beat up truck or tractor or something and get their frickin fingers scuffed up and, you know, cut, get get a couple of scars. Because all these kids are fucking snowflakes today. Everyone gets a blue ribbon bullshit. No, that's not the way life works at all. Seriously, when no one has given me a blue ribbon every day, every time that I lock my door to the shop and head to the house. I don't get a blue ribbon. So why? Why are we teaching these kids to get a frickin ribbon? Just because they play soccer. I mean, come on, you passed. You graduated high school. Congratulations. You did the state minimum you did what the state mandated you to do. You passed now start your fucking life.
Jeremy Perkins 27:23
No, and you're you're you're 100% right. You know now. Now the trades are are coming up people are, you know, exactly. We forgot about the trades for a long time, we forgot how to work with our hands. And now now we're in a situation where you know the price of Labor has gone because there's clearly nobody that wants to do it.
Roy Scott 27:45
And that's the thing, like people don't want to do it. There are jobs out there. But people it's like, oh, it's beneath me. I don't want to go work in a factory. Well, you know what, before I was an engineer, I worked in a freakin factory. If you hate something bad enough, you will change your situation and make it better for yourself or you'll not try and or at least I will. So yeah, I got up off my ass I was I went I in high school, I took woods, I took metals. I went to a vocational school. So I only went to high school. Half the day that I went to vocational school and then your senior year of vocational school. It was a work release. So I started working in a plywood factory and I hated it. And I was like, I'm going to college. Fuck this. Yeah. And then became an engineer. And then I got laid off in 2008. And I decided to go back to school for something that I liked and loved, which was outdoor recreation, and only took me a year and a half to get another bachelor's degree. And then I was like, well, economy still hasn't picked up. One of my professors said, you know, you should really apply for grad school. And I said, Listen, I can't afford it. He said, Well, you know, there are assistantships. So apply for the assistantship. So if I just made a deal with myself, if I if I get the assistantship then go to grad school. So I did get it. It was paid for by the state. I had to work 20 hours as an instructor for recreation classes. And that's kind of what led me to the love of axes because it was very outdoor, obviously was outdoor recreation, recreation oriented, and I was just consuming tons of information. You know, john Muir stuff. The Sierra Sierra Club kind of club. Yeah. And then there PBS put out a wonderful documentary. This dude named Dick pinoke. He was a he. Are you familiar with the story alone in the wilderness? Yes, yeah. 50 year old 50 year old dude moves to Alaska in like the 60s or 70s or whatever it was, yeah. At 50 years old. Build a cabin with hand tools with an axe being One of the main components of his toolkit, builds this cabin and lives up there for like 30 years by himself alone in the wilderness and shoots everything with like an eight millimeter camera, PBS documentary, and I just, I just ate that shit up. And then I got, I graduated with my master's and I started working at a mental hospital for criminally insane people in Washington State. And I was doing recreation forum. And so part of my programming that I would offer to these guys was, it was called leisure education. And I would read them outdoor recreation type books and information, and then read that book to them, show them the movie. And this is like, I'm in my early 30s at this at this time in my life, and I was like, This fucking god did this at 50. And I'm 30. And I don't have the slightest clue what I would do. I better get on the ball. And I already had an outdoor recreation degree, I had a master's degree and I felt like I was underprepared. If you know, the zombie apocalypse came, so I started going out and buying a bunch of hand tools. And that's what really got me into axes. And like, if, if the world decides to turn over on itself, yeah, guns are cool. Bullets will run out. axes will be around forever. Even if the freakin handle breaks, you can still throw the freakin head at someone. I mean, it's just it's just very practical. That's all I'm getting that
Jeremy Perkins 31:31
No, no, yeah, and you're 100% right. And, and it's funny that that you say that because I think the trend for for people. Nowadays, the younger generation is they're moving to and I don't know if you're going to be able to associate it but they're moving to smaller houses, a lot of people are moving to van life, a lot of people are traveling, I think people are moving away from more materialistic things and moving towards more outdoor exploration. And, you know, people don't want to be tied down to a job, people want to move from place to place and, and I got buddies who are who are younger than me, they're like, I can't believe you work a nine to five, I can't believe you've done this for 10 years or whatever. Like, what this is what I'm supposed to do, like I'm supposed to go to work. And then I'm supposed to do this. Right. And long story short, it's just funny that there's a there's another breed coming up that that is more of an outdoor enthusiast. And and so there might be a revitalization there anyway.
Roy Scott 32:28
Well, you know, guys that are 14, I hate to say this, I'm 42 now, and guys that are my age and a little bit younger, that is totally true. These guys just want to you know, be able to be self reliant. And this whole bushcraft movement came about, you know, being self reliant, and you know, just being able to live off the land and all that horseshit stuff, right? What it really just comes boils down to is, you know, just treating it like teaching boys, how to be boys and men again, and tough women, you know, like that. That's what it comes down to? Because we have, we have forgotten so many of those hard skills that we got to we got to pay some asshole to teach us well, right? You don't really just go out into the woods and flail around for a couple of years, you'll figure it out. That's what I did. I mean, it's just that simple. And this is a very general blanket statement. But people want the short answer for everything. Right? How do you do this? How do you do that? They want a one line answer. And it's just not that simple. And people are so reluctant, and in so afraid to get off their butts and go try something and fail at it. Like I didn't think venom Jaques works was going to be where it is today, four years ago, but yeah, I didn't have a choice. I had to do something. My wife wasn't gonna let me sit around and watch frickin Pornhub all day and, like, collect unemployment. I mean, come on. I mean, I had to do something. So people just are so afraid of failing that they almost don't even try. And believe me, I've failed so many times at different projects that I'm working on in the shop. Or, you know, I've tried like the epoxy stuff that was a huge, I made I made quality pieces. But in terms of marketability and sales and everything, it was a complete failure, right? But no one else was doing it. And I would rather be frickin first and wrong than second right on that one.
Jeremy Perkins 34:37
Well, I mean, there's there's a lot to be said about that. I mean, every day I try something new. I mean, I don't know how many times I got screamed out by my boss because I tried to take a shortcut. Well, the shortcut wasn't because I wanted to shortcut. I wanted to get it done in a quicker amount of time. The books right to do it this way. Well, I'm smarter I could do it that way. But once you down that path It's either you do it or you're or you fail and when you fail, it sucks. But when you win, when you hit a homerun, you come out looking like a king. Yeah, of course you do. Oh, I'm taking those risks.
Roy Scott 35:12
Here's the other thing. You do that a couple of times and you knock it out of the park. And then people start people start noticing, right? And they're like, Oh, you know, what, what's this guy up to? Now? What's going on? How did he How did he do this? And you know, and then all the freakin all the trolls start coming out of the woodwork I hadn't. I had no idea that people would be trolling freakin x restoration company. I mean, come on people. It's just It's exhausting. So they needed they
Jeremy Perkins 35:43
need to get outdoors. I think that's what you're saying they need to get outdoors and stuff here somewhere. I guess. So man. It's just silly. I mean, it's absolutely silly. So moving along you you clearly collect vintage axe heads because we've we've hammered that home. But tell me about a cool build or project you have been excited about something you got on the back burner. Something you got in the works, something you've done. Oh, that's
Roy Scott 36:07
a good question, man. I mean, I've got I've got a couple I got this black Raven project that I'm holding out on. And if you don't know what a black Raven is, just Google it. It's the most desirable sought after x and x history. Like even the lay person doesn't know x is like they've seen or heard of a black Raven. Okay, so I've got I've got a black Raven that I'm working on. I sent it up to a powder coater this is like two months ago sent into power, but I want to murder this bitch out. Right, I would just go. And it's good. It's gonna be awesome. No one powder coats freakin heads anymore. So I started doing that. Yeah, so he powder coats it, I make this hand shaped handle for dye the handle black, I'm going to do a black wedge, I'm going to do black leather. And the head comes back and it's it's not real black, but it's good enough. In that start, I start grinding in the cutting edges. And on my two by 72. I just tilted the head a little bit too far into the belt and it scuffed up the paint. So I had to send it back to the powder coater they're gonna strip it repaint it, and the powder, this powder coat is huge. So I'm just like a nothing burger to them, right? They just get to me whenever they get to me. They're a huge corporation. So I'm waiting on that one in the reason that I'm so antsy about this one. It's a very, very expensive, desirable head. It's a small black Raven, which makes it even more desirable. So anytime you collect anything really big things are valuable. They're really small things are valuable. The middle of the road stuff, just Miller road stuff. This one's a small one. And it's very expensive. So I'm also I have to say I'm, I'm not restoring, I've got a 79 Ford F 150. I'm not restoring it. It's a daily driver, but like it's, I'm hopping it up. So I've already done a lowering kit. I dropped the front three inches, I dropped the rear four inches, did all new, all new hubs, my wheel bearings frickin desperate, like every single steering component from the gearbox to the rag joint. Everything has been replaced. And the point of all this is I made a deal with my wife.
Jeremy Perkins 38:20
Oh, that's gonna be sweet man.
Roy Scott 38:22
Yeah, and believe me, I had a 69 Chevy It was a four wheel drive. I everyone just calls him c 10s. Now, but a 69 Chevy. And that's tying it back to an earlier story. My buddy that fired me he was my neighbor as a kid growing up and my dad and I were working on this C 10. And my friend would come over and we would all work on it together we would listen to the radio, listen to oldies, and that that's how I got mechanically, you know, just kind of comfortable working on cars and trucks. So I'm with you. I love Chevy's too. But I also love for I'm just a truck kind of guy. No, no, no,
Jeremy Perkins 39:11
you know, it's it's funny that you say that cuz you know I do like General Motors through and through I mean growing up that's that's what we did. My buddy of mine has a What is a 66 Ford Fairlane that he stores Okay, at my house and, and I mean, you can appreciate, you know, old American vehicles and I mean, it doesn't matter. But yeah, it's just the rivalries funny, I love it. And yeah, I love talking about it, you know? And it's true because there's there's Chevy guys and then there's four guys and then they're all for sure. And then there's dodge guys. And then now we got three older guys. Fuck Dodge, guys.
Roy Scott 39:57
So it's funny the way that that Truck be getting that truck. My wife and I so her dad, he's a gearhead too. Yeah, we would, we would go to car shows. And last year we went to another car show and my wife. Were looking at this. It was like a 7172 Chevelle had a 427 in it or something like that. Yeah, I mean, just frickin hopped up in a cell in it, right? So he's like, hey, pretty girl wants to come over here and start up this car. See, if you like it, you want to buy it? And so he's like, okay, so she walks over bumps the key, and you know, it's just shaking and rattling and just watch. Yeah. And I'm like, leaning in the door. I'm like, we need this. We got like, we need this. And she was like, we can't afford this. And I go, I'll make you a deal. How about, we get a shop truck. And you let me fix it up and hop it up and make it run like this. And she was like, I can get on board with that. So within a month, I bought the the 79 F 150. Just been slowly working on it. I'm going to do a I know this is a kind of trade thing or whatever. But I'm going to do a top end kit on it. Edelbrock top end kit, so you know, new, new aluminum heads, intake, headers, all that sort of stuff.
Jeremy Perkins 41:20
Well, since it's a shop truck, you got a document, no, no document and put it put it on Insta and then tag every hashtag the mechanic Scott.
Roy Scott 41:29
I have, I've started doing that stuff. And another another way for me to like, be able to, you know, suck some some blood out of the turnip is what Hey, hon. It's a shop truck. It's a tax write off and we can we can claim this on our tax.
Jeremy Perkins 41:47
Like I never thought of that.
Roy Scott 41:50
So it's gonna be a full blown shop truck. Hopefully my tattoo artist hopefully he will be able to paint my logo. I want a hand painted logo, you know, like the old school rat rod kind of shit where like you actually take a paintbrush and you paint on kind of a crappy logo but it's just real authentic and that's the look that I'm going for.
Jeremy Perkins 42:14
Well it's it's funny that you talk about rat rods because you know me and the boys at the shop we talk about you know what you would want for a vehicle and a lot of the allowing the guys who are young mechanics are like I can do suspension I can do engine work. I can't do bodywork because that's a whole nother that's like a whole nother thing. So a lot of guys want to buy that that as we call it like that straight line vehicle, you know, one that doesn't need much and I go for it. But now I rat rods are all the craze because it's it's you know, you take a whole bunch of gearheads you just you just clear coat all the stuff that we can't do doors that don't belong to it if it needs them and then yeah, the shit out of it.
Roy Scott 42:59
So dude, I've got everyone fooled on my Instagram feed. Like I've got the It looks good. 15 feet away paint job. The previous owner or two owners before me who knows they took it to a body shop where they did it themselves and they painted it. The Doors aren't aligned right? They didn't repair the the floor pans the cab corners anything like that. Or the the fender wells over the rear wheels were it every every truck in Kentucky in Indiana just rusted out. And it's like they painted the rust. But it's like 15 feet away. It's that fucking poppin Ford blue paint that just looks great in the sun.
Jeremy Perkins 43:42
It's like a Yeah, Ford blue. I forget what they call it corporate blue. I think it's corporate blue. After work. What's your What's your deal? Do you do you get into cars? You go out to the bar you play pool? I mean, what do you do after work? What's your release?
Roy Scott 43:57
So I I haven't I don't really do anything. I mean, I know that's a lame answer. I only my wife. She's a traveling sales rep. So she's gone Monday through Friday. So for me working in the shop until like now it's what is it? It's going on 10 o'clock. This is not abnormal for me. And then I go in, I'm beat. I'm exhausted. I take a shower, I eat something. I go to bed. And then my wife comes home on the weekends and we hang out and we go to junk stores thrift stores, we go over to her parents. I'm old. I don't really do a whole lot. Now whenever I was living in Washington and Idaho, I was an avid fly fisherman. I absolutely love fly fishing and backpacking. So if you picked up on in if you're if you and or your listeners have picked up on anything in this podcast, I don't like laziness and complacency.
Jeremy Perkins 44:51
Not Oh, we got that.
Roy Scott 44:53
So in every aspect of my life, so I was a huge fly fisherman but I wasn't like a roadsides Last fishermen, I would backpack a couple miles in to go fishing just because the fishing is better and there aren't people there and people are really lazy. And if you live in Idaho, fishing is good just about everywhere you drive your car, but if you just get off the trail off the road for two miles deficient is even better. So right now, I am planning a trip to go to Montana. Leaving on I think September the second I'm driving to Montana from Kentucky and I'm taking a nine day backpacking trip into the bob Marshall wilderness with one of my buddies that still lives out in Spokane, Washington. So I cannot wait for that. I'm actually afraid because I have not been in the woods with a backpack on for five years. And I have consumed a lot of beer between then and now. And I have gained weight. I've got the dadbod going on. I'm a little worried. I'm a little worried.
Jeremy Perkins 46:00
But you hate kids. Yeah. Well, I got I got I just got the the 40 year old married BOD going on whatever. No. So that that'll be a wild trip. I mean, so I've been I've been up in that area. I've got a cousin those up in Montana. I'm super jealous. The other thing I wanted to get into and I know we we got into a Ford Chevy thing but so that's your that's your shop truck is the is the Ford but what do you normally drive? Oh, my daily driver. Yeah, your daily driver was a Saturday. No, dude, I
Roy Scott 46:35
lived out in the Pacific Northwest. Yeah. The car that's a diamond doesn't out. There's a Subaru Outback. And I still drive it. I still got my Washington plate on the front, too. I've been in Kentucky for five years. I refuse to take that thing off.
Jeremy Perkins 46:49
Even registered in Kentucky.
Roy Scott 46:51
Yeah, it's registered in Kentucky. But you know, the in Washington, you got to have a plate on the front of the back right in the back. I'm just holding on, you know, just out of solidarity. I still love Washington more than I love Kentucky.
Jeremy Perkins 47:02
You know, welcome to Massachusetts, I mean, front plates back plates. They can't be they have to be legible. I mean, yeah, it's it's awful. Awful. But you know, I really appreciate you being on the show. Right now, I'm going to give you and I hesitate because God knows well, here we go. I, I give you the opportunity to talk about anything from your podcast, to a website to people that you've met along the way that you love. I mean, here's your floor.
Roy Scott 47:33
So early on within Jack's works, kind of whenever I was in that transition period, I was actually on the road with my wife. Whenever she was selling stuff, we actually drove from Minneapolis to Miami to New York to Boston, two weeks on two weeks off. And as I'm building vintage x works up, I was fortunate enough to meet a lot of people that I looked up to, and a lot of followers that had come on to my feed. So just being able to have the freedom and flexibility to meet a lot of great people in the whole x community has, you know, they have been very supportive of me and Ben and Jack's works. Either they love me or they hate me. You know, they hate me because I'm doing what I love. And they don't get to do what they love, but they love axes. So I just want to say to all of my followers to anyone that has purchased anything from me, thank you very, very much. I appreciate it. I am nothing without that support. So I could make tons of cool axes. But if I don't have anyone to buy them, well, I just got tons of cool axes to throw in my house. So to be able to make a job and living out of doing what I love be because of this crazy world that we live in now. I mean, right, right. I feel very, very fortunate. So thank all of you guys.
Jeremy Perkins 49:04
It's you bring that up because it's it's a different it's a different business model. Now that's crazy that we didn't. It is so many people now.
Roy Scott 49:14
It is absolutely crazy in and you and I were talking before the show about steve steve lives, we're on the acres of timber podcast. He calls it the wood printer. And I started calling my business and me and my friends you know that actually have businesses like or micro printers. So people I've got fucking sponsors, man I've got I'm sponsored by Red Label abrasives I'm sponsored by bomont tools. We're sponsored by evapo rust. I never in a million years thought I would ever have companies solicit me and give me money and products because I believe in them and I use them every Single Day and without them I couldn't make my products that's just that just blows my mind that people on Instagram have that much weight and influence to be able to get things from large corporations in you know it's it's a mutual respect in relationship between both parties and and on that front I'm so freakin grateful so grateful so thank you to all my sponsors also
Jeremy Perkins 50:29
thanks give it's give the people what they want the people demand something and out of the fire comes comes somebody and fortunately for for the world it's you and yeah you know they're they're gonna continue to support you until I know
Roy Scott 50:48
I'm gonna get one one more plug fucking Wilton vices I've been pushing their goddamn products for years now and those guys are getting so much free content out of vintage Jack's works that they like seriously open invitation Wilton if you are listening I need the hook up because I've got two five inch bullets. I got a four inch bullet I got a three inch bullet I got it to two inch baby bullet. I love fucking Welton vices, not because they're sexy as all get out but they work like a dream. They are the best vices I've ever used in my life. So Welton, step up in, you know, send me some fucking love.
Jeremy Perkins 51:31
Hey, well, you know, I gotta I gotta step in there to not that I'm looking for. I'm just helping you out. I got two Wilton vices as well. Yeah, my mine are newer. And I love him to death too. So, you know, a Pass Pass the level on? Hell yeah, man. All right. Well, thank you. I mean, thank you. This was this was awesome. A great conversation. You're good people. Yeah. Good luck. Thanks
Roy Scott 51:54
for the invite. Thanks for the invite. I really appreciate it, man. Thanks for reaching out to me. Super cool. Keep it up.
When Roy Scott started refurbishing axes, he truly wasn't trying to make a career out of it. Since 2012 he's been collecting old axes, and today he's lucky enough to call it his full time job. "Just like anyone with an outlandish hobby..it consumes people..at least that is the way I am.."
Early on Roy noticed the axes he would find in old shops where always beat up. As he showed them off to freinds, they would ask if he could put some work into restoring axes for them and their friends. By 2014, the demand was piling up. "Axes are just everywhere out in Washington state..logging is just such a huge part of that culture...I just started restoring them and selling them on eBay."
After a short stint managing a BMW in Louisville, Roys wife was the one to push him into flipping the axes. After years and years of refurbishing axe heads, he had established himself as an expert in a super niche category. This time around, he was flipping axes as his full time job and doubling his money sometimes tripling.
Listen in to hear how Roy took his side hobby to a full time career, and took advantage of a unique opportunity.