Weekly Update 4.20.18

This weekly update bears good news for the Northland.  It is finally WARMING UP!!!!!  Without a doubt, this has been one long cold winter and right now 50 degrees feels pretty damned good with promises of better weather yet next week.  Exactly what we need to melt some ice.

I listed a few Queen/Schatt & Morgan odds and ends this week.  On of the ‘finds’ is an incredibly well executed 5 blade Sway Belly Prototype.

Schatt & Morgan Sow Belly

I believe these were released in 2010.  I’m not sure what the covers were but the Proto is smooth brown bone.  Really a nice knife.

There’s another incredibly rare GEC that I came up with as well.  It’s a Tidioute 362208 that includes a handwritten note of provenance signed by Ken.  It’s been tucked in the safe for several years and I thought I might share it with you.  Not quite sure what I’m going to do with it but it’s a shame to have it sit in the safe.

It’s always interesting to see what got tucked away and forgotten.  Somewhere I think I’ve still got a copy of David Anthony’s Book on Great Eastern Cutlery signed by both Ken and Bill.  That’s another hard to find collectible.  Not sure how many got signed by BOTH Ken and Bill but I know it was only a handful.

I’ll remind everyone over the weekend that the deadline for entering the Ice Out Contest is rapidly approaching.  You’ve got until midnite CST this Monday, April 23 to get in.  There’s no charge to enter, you don’t have to be a customer, no secret handshake or code words required, overseas entries welcome!  You don’t get put on a mailing list and if ya don’t enter ya can’t win.  That simple.

Ice Condition Update 4.19.18

It looks like a great white wasteland.  Right now, that’s all it is!

Ice Condition 4.19.18

Temperatures finally moderating and by the weekend we should be in the low 60’s.  With any luck, that’s going to be the trend going forward.

Remember, you’ve only got a few days to place your entry and you can do it by replying to the original post:  Ice Out Contest  I’ve also put up a list of the current guesses for you to peruse.

Ice Out Contest 2018

I think we can finally start the 2018 Ice Out Contest.  The snow is over and we’re supposed to start warming up later this week and see overnight temps above freezing!!!  Hooorah!  Let the contest begin.

First the Contest Rules.  Pretty straightforward.  Submit your entry by Responding To This POST between now and Monday,  April 23 .  PLEASE don’t send me an email with your entry.   I need a Name, Date, and Time (AM or PM, CST) that’s your best guess we will see the ice completely leave Detroit Lake.  ONLY ONE ENTRY PER CONTESTANT.  Be sure to enter AM or PM as two o’clock doesn’t mean much.  AND we’ve seen past contests decided by less then a 24 hour window.

Feel free to do some research on your own.  Check on previous contests for a little help if you’d like but remember, last year the ice was already gone by now.  As of yesterday, we had between 30″ and 36″ of ice on a lot of our lakes.  It’s going to take some warm weather to get it gone.

So what’s in it for the winner?  This year I’m adding a second prize for the next closest  guess.  First prize will be a Trestle Pine Topper with a Black Ash Burl handle and S30V clip blade.

First Prize Trestle Pine Topper Black Ash Burl

Second Prize are a pair of Victorinox Swiss Army Knives consisting of a Tinker and a Classic both in Red.

2nd Prize

Remember, to enter By Midnite CST, Monday, April 23:

  • Reply to this post
  • Name
  • Date (month/day)
  • Time (AM/PM CST)

Good Luck and I’ll post occasional updates to the ice conditions!!

Entries As of 4/19/18

  • Syd  4/29      11:20AM
  • John H  5/1    4PM
  • Paul S     5/5    1:PM
  • Steve C  5/6    1:20PM
  • John B   5/15   1:40AM
  • Walter T  6/3    2 PM

 

Weekly Update 4.13.18 Bull Nose Arrives

This week the first of the GEC 71 Bull Nose run arrived.  Best way to sum up the knife is, its a high quality, low priced knife built for EDC use.  And it scores 100% on all three points.

GEC 71 Bull Nose OD Green

There are a few more handle iterations coming through in the next few weeks.  If you’re looking for value, its pretty tough to beat the Bull Nose.  I didn’t set up an early order program for the Bull Nose but I have a good quantity of them coming in.

In the last week or two I’ve had a number of emails and calls asking when and if there will be an Ice Out Contest this year.  If you’re new to the blog, the last few years I’ve held a contest open to everyone to try and predict when the lakes in my area will be free of ice.  It’s meant to be a fun contest where everyone has an equal chance to win.  That being said, there are a few folks that actually do a little research on ice conditions before the make a guess.  If you want to check out the results of past contests, just type in the search term or click on this link: Ice Out Contest

Now, the answer to the question, will there be an ice out contest?  Yes.  I’ve drug my feet announcing it as we’re in a prolonged winter season up here and the ice out is (by all indications) going to be later then normal.  A week ago we had day time high temperatures that were below freezing.  Night time temperatures were in the single digits.  This weekend we have another major snow event going through the middle and southern Minnesota with a 15-18″ of snow potential.  With any luck that’s going to the south of me.  That snow cover insulates the ice and delays thawing.

To put the delayed ice out into perspective,  by this time last year the ice was gone.  As of this writing we have roughly 3′ (that is FEET) of ice on many of the bigger lakes.  This is what my front yard looks like this morning.  So I’m thinking next week might be a good time to start the contest.  Think of that…. this years contest STARTS later then last years contest ended.  Damn.  We need some warm weather soon and lots of it.

A couple of local inquiries have come in regarding the Spring Gun Show normally held at the National Guard Armory in Detroit Lakes.  This usually occurs around the first weekend in May.  Unfortunately, due to a remodeling project at the Armory it won’t be held this Spring.  The sponsors have looked for another local venue without success so sadly, no show this year.

So just to play it safe, I”m gonna gas up the four wheeler, put the plow back on and be ready just in case.  This is starting to get old.

 

New 15 Boys Knife Added to Pre-Orders

This morning I added the Red Linen Micarta and Black Linen Micarta Boys Knife with the clip blade to the early Pre-order page.  These were a last minute production addition GEC announced last week.

Interest in the Boys Knife has been very high and a couple of the handle options are sold out for early orders.  I try to hold back a few to make sure any shortages occur due to flaws or other issues.  SO…. with any luck there may be a few (very few) available once they come in.

Delivery date on the 15’s is still set at late June into July.  At that time pre-orders will be invoiced for the balance due and shipped as soon as payment is received.

London Knife Laws Update

Just one short week ago I posted a note about the murder rate in London which I felt would be the impetus for new and even tougher knife laws.  This is one time I really hate to be right.  Take a moment to read the article in the Daily Wire.

I don’t profess to have any real knowledge of the legal system in the UK or the what the will of the the UK citizenry is regarding this crack down.  What I do know is this has the appearance of another politician bending to the will of an emotional demand that something be done in response to a horrible situation.  Logic be damned.

First the London Mayor bends to the will of the minority by earlier restricting the stop and frisk policy for fear of offending a minority group.  Now, he not only reverses this stance but tweets out:

Mayor of London

@MayorofLondon

 

No excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife. Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law.

Seriously….”...there is never a reason to carry a knife.”  Lets extend that logic and cut down the number of deaths by drunk drivers and say ” there’s never a reason to be able to purchase, consume or possess more then a single 12 oz can of beer each day”.   And when we talk about stop and frisk laws being discriminatory, if it’s determined a rash of crimes are being committed by short, obese, red haired, older white men with a limp…. PROFILE THEM ALL!!

What should further scare the  entire UK populous is the following:  “The U.K. government is expected to introduce a ban on online knife sales and home knife deliveries, declare it “illegal to possess zombie knives and knuckledusters in private” — “zombie knives” are those defined as being manufactured for the purpose of being used as a person-to-person weapon..”

Does this proposal infer that you can possess a “zombie” knife in public but not in private?  And what in the hell defines a “person-to-person weapon”?  Fair warning to our British friends, that phrase “person-to-person weapon” is about as nebulous as the definition of an “assault rifle”.  It would seem to this simple mind that if the blade points away from me and toward you, that’s person to person.

Banning online knife sales and home deliveries is nothing short of amazing.   So if you live in the countryside and you want to buy your wife a new $10 bread knife from Switzerland, your only option will be to drive 20, 30, 40 miles to a store selling Swiss made bread knives.  I would further assume you’ll have to purchase some sort of secure carry case that can be closed, locked and placed in an area of the vehicle which isn’t readily accessible to the occupants of the vehicle.  And most probably apply for an import permit.

And while the pols are at it, why not pass some sort of licensing/permit requirement.  Maybe 8-10 hours of knife safety training.  Another 8-10 hours of legal counseling explaining the rights and limitations of knife ownership.  Further regulate how sharp you can keep your knives.  Possibly require a locked drawer in the kitchen where you store them.  Better yet, have some sort of central government storage facility to keep your larger kitchen knives secure and only release them to you for the holidays or special occasion under close monitoring.  And of course, regulate how many knives you can purchase each year.

I have absolutely no doubt the miscreants currently creating mayhem with knives will immediately comply with all elements of the new laws.  Beam me up Scotty, there’s no intelligent life down here.

While I make these comments tongue in cheek it’s not a laughing matter.  We saw a ban on switchblade knives in a knee jerk reaction to a Broadway play decades ago.  Today, we have the gang members of MS-13 gaining notoriety for using knives and machetes to murder and mutilate their victims.  I’ll predict it’s a matter of time and we’ll see tougher knife laws revisited in the US to “combat crime”.

This past week we heard about the city of Deerfield, IL, pass a law banning the sale or possession of the dreaded “assault weapon” and large capacity magazines within the city.  Failure to surrender said weapon will result in a $1000 per DAY fine.  My read of the law says that would include my old Remington .22 with a ‘fixed’ tube magazine that will hold around 12 rounds of 22 shorts.

And just about the time I’m getting my blood pressure under control, I read the headline about gun control fanatic New York Mayor DeBlasio’s top aide getting arrested for possession of a loaded handgun.  Any bets this “high level Deputy Director” gets to walk?  I’m sure it was just a ‘mistake’ and of course someone in her high level of responsibility is exempt from this type of prosecution.   People of wealth, power and position need not be concerned.

John, my friend…. good luck to you.  I’d encourage you to move to this side of the Atlantic but I’m afraid we’re on the same slippery slope here.

TSA Knives Blog Turns 10

I just realized this week that the very first TSA Knives Blog was published March 25, 2008.  That, my friends, is very hard to believe.

The Blog started out to be a format to encourage interest and discussion of the then relatively new Great Eastern Cutlery knives.  In late 2006 or early 2007 I had started to buy GEC knives from JRE Industries who at the time was acting as a distributor.  The knives were obviously head and shoulders above most of the competition and later in 2007 I got hooked up directly with GEC.

Prior to the blog I had published a newsletter that was a subscription type of publication.  Interest in it steadily grew but it went out in the form of an email and was limited in scope as far as discussion or sharing info between subscribers.  Facebook was really in it’s infancy yet and blogs, discussion groups and Twitter seemed to be the route to go.

My  experience with the discussion groups wasn’t very satisfying and they had a tendency to get down right mean spirited at times.  A handful of individuals usually monopolized the conversation and woe unto those who didn’t agree with them.  I dabbled with Twitter but it wasn’t effective if you had anything to say other then…” the new release is in“.   I very briefly experimented with Facebook but the more I understood it, the less I liked it.  Blogging was the answer for me and continues to be.

The format allows me to say what I want without a filter.  If I don’t like something I can say it.  If I decide to go off on a tangent about politics or hunting, so be it.  I try to stay on task and keep it primarily to discussing knives but if something comes up I have strong feelings about….hang on, we’re going for a  side trip.

A huge disappoint for me was the loss of some of the early photo’s I had posted to the blog.  Back in April of 2014 there was a move to a new server and I found out when the change was made the photos were not moved and were ultimately lost.  I had done several reviews of new knives and posted photos that I would love to recover.

Over the 10 years I’ve tried to stick by the pledge that the blog is a place for an honest discussion about knives.  I tend to call ’em like I see ’em.  If I see something that I really like or am impressed with, I say it.  If I don’t like something, I’m not shy about expressing my feelings.  If I’m wrong, I don’t mind being corrected but am irritated when I make a mistake and no one calls me out on it.

I’ve tried to be fair with manufacturers but I won’t let it pass if I think they screwed up.  My passion really kicked in during the Ivory Grading Controversy.  The blog has been the perfect format to let the consumer know that they have a voice with the manufacturers, particularly GEC.  I know for fact the powers to be at GEC and previously at Queen read the blog regularly.  When there was more discussion taking place here and when I ran the occasional survey, they saw it.  There was more then one occasion your/our input influenced what was going on.  And when the manufacturer responds, I’ll gladly acknowledge it.  Another GEC Improvement and  GEC 42 Frontier Bone

Overall, it’s been a fun 10 years of blogging.  I look forward to sharing my thoughts once or twice a week and apologize for those times I wander off the reservation.  Understand though, I can be passionate at times and if there’s something that’s got me going, you’re probably gonna hear about it.  Thanks for your readership and I’ll try to keep it interesting.  So hang on and here’s to the next 10!! ( I hope)

 

London to Surpass New York Murder Rate? By Knife?

An interesting article out of the UK is predicting that London could surpass the New York murder rate.  Not surprisingly, due to the very restrictive UK gun laws, the weapon of choice appears to be knives.  Since the first of the year 70% of the murders in London were the result of stabbings.

Apparently London has seen an increase in violent crime committed by youth similar to what we’ve seen happen in the US.  The weapon of choice in London appears to be a knife while in the US it’s a gun.  In the US we struggle with the debate for more gun control to magically lower the murder rate.  But looking at the statistics you quickly realize that people determined to commit murder and mayhem will get it done with whatever’s at hand.  Guns, knives, bombs, cars, baseball bats, golf clubs….fists.  Banning the tool/method doesn’t change the mind set of the evil.

The UK has relatively restrictive knife laws compared to the US.   It’s going to be interesting going forward to see if more restrictive laws are proposed in London (in particular) in an attempt to address the increase in stabbings.  Frankly I’ll be surprised if new laws aren’t proposed as that’s typically the easy way to address and emotional issue.  It’s the old adage, “we have to do something” to show we care.

I know there are a lot of ‘knife’ people in the US that don’t really care about gun laws and just don’t feel like they have a dog in that fight.  In fact, some don’t get concerned about new knife laws assuming they’re immune from increased pressure from the vocal minority for new laws. Too often the vocal minority is made up of those magical thinkers who believe there’s an easy path to world peace, unity and universal brotherly love through these new laws.  Good Luck.

Too many of us are either in denial or too damned lazy to write a letter or make a call to our legislators when issues are under consideration that could affect us.  Even more folks don’t pay attention to what’s going on around them.  Don’t let that happen to you.  Someday you’re going to wake up and ask what happened to my gun / knife / driving / privacy / constitutional rights.  A tip of my hat goes to the brave group of students in Florida that recently had a walkout to show support for the Second Amendment.

I belong to the NRA because I believe in their overall mission but just as importantly, to keep myself informed.  Through their email messages I’m kept current on new legislation being proposed at both a State and National level.  They provide contact information with these emails making it incredibly easy to contact the right people to express my opinion.

There are organizations that focus on knives such as The American Knife And Tool Institute.  Another is  Knife Rights.  Even if you don’t join one of these organizations, use them to stay informed.  Both have great websites and are a fantastic resource for all kinds of information.

It’s so easy to let the world slide by and convince yourself that your opinion doesn’t matter.  No one pays attention to the ‘little guy’.  If you don’t speak up, you’re right.  It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy that no one will pay attention to your silence.  Every time I hear the statistics that 90% of the population supports a new law, the first thing that comes to mind is they didn’t ask me.  The second thing is I’d like to see the actual questions and how they are phrased and in what context.  If a poll were held asking if I’d like all the money I could spend in my lifetime, the quick response would be yes!  If it meant I was going to die the next day, I’d probably rethink my answer.

The whole reason I decided to bring attention to the London crime stats is to encourage you to pay attention to the direction this takes the knife laws in the UK and potentially the rest of the world.  The world has gotten smaller and what happens half way around the world today isn’t as distant as it used to be.

 

GEC 43 Stag Disappointment

I received a few of the 43 Stag yesterday and for the most part, they were a disappointment.

The 43’s were run in a very small quantity and two of the knives I received had pin cracks.  What’s disappointing is they came through as ‘firsts’ and not ‘store’ knives.  In good conscience I couldn’t run them through as first quality.

Pin Cracks

I don’t get concerned about a fracture line if it’s been stabilized and it passes the thumb nail test.  Both of these had open fractures that were easily felt when you ran your nail across them.  My hope was that I could exchange them but no luck.  No discount either.

The quality of the stag as far as uniformity in thickness/color/texture is concerned was as good as you could ask for.  The fractures were a real disappointment.  Evidently the pin fractures have been an issue.  Earlier this week I got an email that there were smooth camel bone and jigged bone 43 Store Knives available with pin fractures as well.  I have  few coming in for those of you looking for an economical EDC 43.

I failed to mention I received an order of the fixed blade Hess Knives last week.  The Hess’ sell well and each time I reorder it seems like it takes a bit longer for them to fill the order.  They’ve found there niche and I don’t see them trying to become a mega manufacturer.  It’s a couple of guys building knives on their own terms.

By now I think everyone is aware that Queen / Schatt & Morgan is done.  I received notification this week from the bankruptcy court that claims can be made until the end of May.  There hasn’t been any notification (that I’m aware) of the date of the upcoming auction but it sure would be a sad but interesting auction to go to.  I can’t imagine what all could be in the factory with historical significance for collectors.  Sad to see it end this way.

We’ll see a bit of a lull with an SFO coming through first.  Then, the Bull Nose will show up.  Beyone that…. who knows!

Cancelling TSA Knives Facebook Account

This will be one of the last TSAK Blog posts that will be fed to Facebook.  I’ve decided to cancel my personal and business Facebook accounts.

The primary reasons are the ongoing data breaches and privacy violations that accompany so many social media sites.  It’s gotten to the point people have slowly accepted the fact their privacy isn’t that important.  Guess I’m old school and unwilling to accept that.

Since I started the store and blog I’ve made an attempt to protect my customers data while trying to maintain at least a modicum of personal privacy.  I don’t collect or maintain customer information and don’t have any secret handshakes or email lists.  From day one I offered the opportunity to ‘create an account’ to expedite placing future orders but it’s certainly not necessary to make a purchase if you opt out.  I don’t maintain any mailing lists or keep credit card info ‘on file’ ( to the chagrin of many).

I know it’s lousy marketing but I refuse to mine my customer base to promote additional orders.  When I say that, I mean I don’t use Google or Facebook to push ads to potential customers.  Why?  It irritates the hell out of me to have these ads pop up on every web page I visit trying to sell me something.  There are times it seems like 50% of some web pages contain targeted ads rather then the content I’m looking for.  Without a doubt there are those of you that feel the same.  I don’t want to participate.  If it were possible to block all ads from my browsing, I’d be willing to pay generously.

While I know there are a fair number of you that follow my Facebook page, don’t despair.  You can catch the blog in full at www.tsakblog.com  without news-feeds or advertisements.  No sign in unless you want to leave a  comment.  I didn’t want to require a password for that but the blog got inundated with spam so it was necessary to protect the integrity of the blog.

Hope to see you right here at www.tsakblog.com !!