Fan boys in the knife world can be pretty rabid, he might not even be watching what's going on.
Hardly anybody takes deposits anymore, except for some of the high end art knife people. They can be out $10K in gold and other expensive materials for a custom order. Too many makers have gotten behind and spent deposits without making the knives. It's always a bad situation, with lots of animosity. Very rarely does getting parts or knives made by outside machinists work. They generally aren't knife people and don't understand the nuances of the knives, or how to work with some of the exotic materials. Millit does good work, but they got way, way behind on stuff they've promised to people. If you want control, in house is best, but there is always a hard limit on production until you hire more people and that has its own pitfalls.
Sitting here typing this as I'm waiting for my MiniMill to finish up a part so I can put on the next one. It's fun working for yourself, only 10.5 hours in the shop today.