Dave Rockey has a special talent … one he shows off every weekend in Tillamook County.
By Brad Mosher
When he sets up his booth at the Farmers Market in Tillamook, he becomes the Sharpenator – turning the dull back into being sharp.
When he works, the grinding sound can be heard throughout the market. To Rockey, it is music to his ears and brings a smile to his face. He is doing something he enjoys and is getting paid for it.
He covers most of the county, with stops in Manzanita at the Friday evening market, to the market on Saturdays in Tillamook, to visits to South County.
People bring their kitchen cutlery, old scisssors and even a variety of yard and garden tools which have become dull over the years.
Rockey tells the customer to leave the tools with him while they enjoy the rest of the farmers markets for a while.
Later, when they pick up their tools, the customers find them transformed – knives being able to slice cleanly through a piece of paper and scissors able to cleanly snip away at the edges of cloth rags.
In addition to kitchen tools and scissors, he also works on larger tools like axes, transforming them back into a sharp edge.
“It is usually knives, but they also bring in loppers and hedge-trimmers… along with shovels, axes and machetes,” he recalled. “I can sharpen anything with a straight edge that I can get on a belt like that,” he added, looking at his electrical tools he set up in the booth on Laurel Avenue recently.
For Rockey, it is something he has enjoyed doing for decades. “This is my tenth year (at farmer’s markets). It was a hobby for about 20 years before that.”
He wears a leather apron while working in the booth to sharpen the tools with the word “Sharpenator” etched in it across his chest.
His visits to the markets have also added up to more business. “IT has added off-site business during the week when people bring stuff out to my house. I pretty much am doing it year-round.”
But there is another reason Rockey is “The Sharpenator.”
“It is still fun. That is why I like to do it,” he said, adding he has no plans on stopping yet.
He has a sign on his booth telling people that if it should be sharp but isn’t then they should bring it to him.
When they do that, the customers get their tools back in much better condition…. and much sharper.
Rockey, AKA The Sharpenator, can be reached by calling 503-842-0077 or 503-457-6417.