Make us your home page
Instagram

Retiree makes sharpness his business

Many of the folks Harry Motter does work for have never seen him and don't even know his name.

But they really like what he does and use his services over and over.

Motter's specialty is taking apart, cleaning, oiling, sharpening and reassembling tools, knives, scissors and clippers. Customers include restaurants, pet groomers, veterinarians and weekend gardeners.

"Harry takes pride in what he does. He wants it done right. That's what I appreciate about Harry," said Bill Gessert, who has used Motter's services since he and his family opened the Hammerheads Ace Hardware store in Largo in the fall of 2005 and even before that, when they owned an Ace store in Oldsmar.

Customers bring items to the store to be cleaned up and sharpened and pick them up the next week looking like new.

Motter, 69, hasn't always been in the tool sharpening business. He was director of respiratory care at Mease Dunedin Hospital for 35 years and retired in 2000. Before becoming a respiratory therapist, he did a stint in the Air Force as a jet engine mechanic.

After retiring, "I knew I would need something to do," he said. "I like working with machines and fixing things." He planned to do woodworking but was fascinated by a friend's tool sharpening shop and became his apprentice.

"That was the beginning of my learning and I don't think I'll ever stop learning," Motter said.

He does skilled, quality work, Gessert said. And that's why he and other Ace franchise owners in Dunedin and Safety Harbor depend on him.

What kinds of tools do you work on?

I have 20 different machines in my shop and each machine does something different.

I sharpen hand saws, carbide saw blades, chain saws, scissors, knives, garden tools like hedge clippers, pruning shears and loppers. I even do pizza cutters for the Pizza Hut in Dunedin.

If I get a tool I'm not familiar with, I contact the manufacturer to find out how to sharpen it correctly.

What's the most unusual tool you have sharpened?

The big moon-shaped cutters for Pizza Hut.

How long does it take to work on each tool?

I may spend from one to three hours.

What do you like most about your work?

The satisfaction of accomplishing a job and making people happy. People are happy when they have clean, sharp tools to work with.

What is the name of your business?

D&H Tool Sharpening. Call (727) 733-1912.

News of businesses and business people can be faxed to the Business Digest at 445-4119, e-mailed to cosdon@sptimes.com or mailed to Business Digest, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. We are interested in new and unusual businesses, promotions, expansions, commercial sales and major new contracts. Photos can be mailed or e-mailed by jpeg file.

Retiree makes sharpness his business 03/13/08 [Last modified: Thursday, March 13, 2008 5:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  2. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  3. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  4. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  5. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags

    Autos

    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]