Business Profile

Posted: Tuesday, July 11, 2000

Duane Haffner

Title and firm: Owner and tool sharpener, Haffner's Sharp All.

Services: ``There's only two things I don't sharpen -- that's your teeth and your wits,'' Duane Haffner said. He'll hone lawn mower blades, grass scythes, sickles, and if anyone brings in a pocket knife, he'll sharpen it for free.

Biographical information: Haffner was born in Canada; he and his eight family members moved to Tacoma, Wash., when he ``was about 24 inches long.'' Haffner's father came to Juneau to look for work during the Depression; his family, including 12-year-old Haffner, joined him in 1935. At the time, the Alaska-Juneau gold mine was ``running all the way around the clock,'' Haffner said. ``It was fun.''

Haffner worked in a sawmill and as a pile driver before beginning his sharpening business in 1970. At the time, he was also working with Alaska Electric Light & Power Co.; he retired in 1985. ``I got into it before I retired so I'd be established by the time I retired, but I started 15 years too soon,'' Haffner said.

Family: Haffner is married to Jewel; he had two adult children, Cathy and Richard, with Gene, his late wife of 43 years.

Notable: Haffner learned many of his sharpening skills in high school shop class. ``We had to learn how to maintain all the tools we used,'' he said. ``There's nothing worse than a dull tool -- unless it's two of them.'' Today, Haffner thinks he's probably the only person in Juneau who still sharpens hand-pushed lawn mowers.

Quotable: ``(Work) is kind of steady. I'm not flooded with a whole bunch of knives or tools, but I don't ever seem to run out of things to work on.''

Employees: Just Haffner.

Contact information: Call 586-1467 or visit the shop; it's located in Haffner's basement at 907 C street, downtown.

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