Yes, a little digging and I came up with a few gems to share. Some of these came out of collections and a couple I just plain forgot I had.
This 53 Muskrat is an interesting piece. It not only has some colorful Red Stag handles, but GEC only built 20 of them in 2007 and I don’t recall they were “Red Stag”. In addition very few Genuine Stags are in circulation without serial numbers and this one is not numbered.
The next is an incredibly great looking 734208LPJ. 2008 was a banner year from Great Eastern for high quality stag and this one is a terrific example. Beautifully matched Burnt Stag.
And a major gem is a #36 finished in Mammoth Ivory. Twelve of these were made and this one has some really pretty tan Mammoth Ivory slabs and the deep stamped “Un-x-LD” logo on the main blade.
Great looking knife.
Yesterday I uploaded a few more of the Trestle Pine Superior’s that didn’t get listed earlier. One of the knives that I kind of overlooked was the Blue Box Elder Burl Superior. It’s a great match with the Brass Bolsters.
Seems like there’s always something that turns up from time to time. Glad to share these!!
This past weekend was the Fergus Falls Gun Show and it was a good one! The weather was nice and people were out of the house and spending money. It was really nice to see some of you blog followers able to make it by.
One of the main attractions was the ability to get a look at the Schatt & Morgan 71 Express knife. Everyone that looked at it agreed it was an impressive piece of hardware. The Red Shock Wood got a lot of attention and I hope we see the Shock Wood used on more patterns. Very unique.
I sold more knives than usual and was really pleased with the reaction to the latest release of the Trestle Pine Superior with the CPM154 blade. Most people liked the look of the Brass bolsters as it really sets off the wood. The guys that had never handled the knife liked the feel of the knife with the wharncliffe blade rather then the traditional clip point. Looks different but feels great. As one guy said, the wharncliffe ‘feels’ like it’s putting a lot more blade in the same size knife.
Older Copperhead (L) and First Run Superior (R)
My best seller was the Trestle Pine Buddy. I’ve had these at other shows but for some reason, I had more lookers and buyers of them at this show then usual. It’s a great size and a practical knife for most outdoor chores.
The higher end figured woods were the most popular. Going into spring I’m going to have more of the Trestle Pine Buddy’s finished and I think the exotic woods will be the focus. On the initial run I had a few made with Mosaic pins highlighting the highly figured woods. Those were very popular and I may go that route on the next run as well.
I enjoy the opportunity to talk to consumers at the shows and get their honest feedback. Rather then the one sided sided online sniping about quality or selection, I get the opportunity to actually engage the disgruntled and discuss their concerns. In the past few months it’s been fun to physically place one of the recent Queen knives in a customers hands and have them check the quality. Prime examples are my Trestle Pine Superior’s, the Mammoth Ivory Executive Jacks AND the recent 3T Mountain Man. Since Jeff came on board at Queen the quality has been steadily improving. The aforementioned Executive Jacks are a great example. Some of the finest blade polishing, centering and overall fit and finish you could ask for. Glad to see it happening!
I’m reaching the point where I find the shows a lot more fun then the online sales. That ability to show and tell is such a powerful tool to get a point across. Recently a Great Eastern knife came back with a blade tip sitting ever so slightly to high. The customer had his shorts in a knot and felt it was sub par for a knife in that price range and demanded a refund. In a face to face situation, you can explain the issue, a few quick passes with a stone the problem’s resolved and everyone goes home happy.
The next local show is coming up in late April at the Detroit Lakes, MN Armory. I wish more of you were within driving distance. There’s a lot we could learn from each other!!!
What’s going on? I haven’t had much time to post regular updates the last couple of weeks for one thing. My 94 year old father-in-law took a couple of falls recently and his health deteriorated rapidly until his death last week. We’ve traveled back and forth to Iowa over the last couple of weeks and things got put on the back burner. I appreciate everyone’s patience for the resulting delays in shipping and response time.
In between, the GEC 71 Bullnose knives came through and believe they’re completed. The Red and Burgundy were fast movers but I do have a good supply of the OD Green, Black and Nifebrite in stock. After the series of SFO’s I believe GEC moves onto production of the 13 Congress’.
I’ve had a number of requests for reservations the 13 Congress and once again, due to the fact I have no idea how many I’ll be getting, I’m not taking any early orders. It’s been frustrating that GEC has been building more of these allocated runs making it impossible to predict what I’ll have for inventory. But, you have to give them credit for controlling how many knives are out there.
Most of the folks that have gotten these two knives in hand have loved them. You can’t appreciate what a piece of heavy duty hardware the 71 Express is until you have it in hand. The Mammoth Ivory is so much prettier then the pictures show and the fit and finish is top notch. The really good news is I’ll have more of the 71 Express knives with Stag handles on Thursday. Just in time for the show.
Mammoth Ivory Executive Jack
First Run Stag John Henry 71 Express
The John Henry Express has been a fun knife to sell and has led to some interesting conversations. Yesterday I was reminded that I believe this is the only Schatt & Morgan auto that’s been built. Queen had an auto years ago that wore the Queen logo, but not a S&M. I was also asked why Queen doesn’t include a COA with the knives and had a brief exchange with Ken as to why not. The short answer is that in the event more handle material of the same type became available, things can change. The best example is a run of 25 stag could become a run of 27 or 28 if some larger pieces of stag became available a month down the road. Burl woods are notorious for breaking during construction and an anticipated run of 40 can become a run of 30. And maybe 6 months later that can change. On the positive side, I haven’t seen a ‘short run’ turn into a ‘long’ run.
Someone else asked about serial numbers. A couple of years ago collectors seemed a lot more interested in collecting ‘specific’ serial numbers then they do today. Personally, it seems like serial numbers have dropped in popularity. From watching secondary market sales, it doesn’t appear the serial numbers have much affect on the prices.
It’s been an adjustment to retire my Trestle Pine Grand Portage for one of the new Superiors. I’ve grown really attached to the GP but wanted to use the Superior with the new CPM154blade. The original Superior had a 154CM blade that’s great but the performance of the GP CPM blade was a ‘must try’. More on this later, but so far, I love it.
As a reminder for this weekend, drop by the National Guard Armory in Fergus Falls, MN this weekend. The Schatt & Morgan John Henry Express, Mammoth Ivory Executive Jack and more will be on display!! Hope to see some of you there.
Just a very quick weekly update with more to follow, but the John Henry Express knives are in stock. Pre-ordered knives shipped out today. And the really good news is there are going to be a limited quantity of Stag available. I don’t know the actual number of Stag yet, but I have entered an early order option for the first 10. Hopefully, there are more then that coming but until they arrive….
There are also Leopard Wood and Desert Ironwood that I will upload individual photos into the store tomorrow. Here’s a photo to give you an idea what they look like.
The Red Shockwood hasn’t come through yet, but I’m hopeful that they’ll be in next weeks shipment as well.
Talked with Ryan and Ken this AM and the next run of John Henry Express knives will start shipping this week.
My understanding is this run will have Stainless liners. There have also been a few tweaks and some of the minor issues noted on the first run were addressed. It should make collector values interesting to watch as that first run was what I’d call a ‘prototype’ run. Very limited quantities on brand new design. Numbers won’t be a whole lot larger on this current run. I’m not sure if there will be any discernible differences in appearance in the first and second runs.
I hung onto a Stag from the first run for myself. Two offers have been made to buy it from me which were, shall we say, tempting. There were only 23 of them built and I’m not aware at this time of any more stag coming through on the current run.
Another positive note is that I’ve been able to increase my order quantities. I’ll update the quantities in the store once I have them in hand and also get some actual photo’s posted as well. Which I hope will happen late next week!! All early orders for the John Henry will ship as soon as they arrive.
Queen also slid a very short run of around 20 each of their Schatt & Morgan 3T Mountain Man knives through this week. They used a Dyed Maple Burl in Green, Orange and ‘Golden”. Fabulous looking knives with the S&M Cigar Band and 1095 blades. Queen is doing an outstanding job of getting a handle on their quality.
There are still a few more handle options of the Trestle Pine Superiors to be uploaded. Just a lot of things happening all at once!
Which reminds me, there’s a box from GEC sitting on the floor with some of the 71 Bullnose and Hunters to be uploaded. If it doesn’t happen today, I’ll try to get them loaded tomorrow.
A few notes to answer a lot of questions regarding the GEC #13 & #38 knives….
I’ve been asked if the #13 is a single or two spring knife and will they be laser engraved. The Whittler and the Speaker Jack will both be two spring knives. The Single blade Clerk will be…a single spring. The single blade Clerk will have the laser engraving as shown in the GEC mock up. Handle colors haven’t been determined yet. They’re being doled out to distributors on an allocation basis so I’m not taking any reservations as I have no idea how many I’ll get.
The #38 isn’t on any schedule yet. No production date set yet, no handle colors, no idea when to anticipate them. Maybe late spring???? The drawing GEC put up was meant to sample the interest and while I don’t doubt it’ll go into production at some point, there are other things coming first.
A couple things to look forward to in the near future are more of the #53’s in different configurations as well as another run of 48’s. GEC put out an informal survey to distributors and it sounds like there was somewhat of a consensus that those were of interest. Personally, I would have liked to have seen some more Vipers and some of the big frame 45’s and 46’s. And even better, how bout more of that Texas Camp Knife in larger quantities!
The Trestle Pine Superiors arrived this afternoon and I’ve just started going through them. Here’s a sample of some of the ‘exotic’ handles. There will be a total of 14 different handle materials. Thirteen wood and some choice Stag.
The Masur Birch (L) and Thuya (R) are two woods I’ve not used before and came out with some stunning figure. Needless to say, I didn’t do many as I wasn’t sure how they would finish. Now I know!
There are a couple of subtle changes made on this release. The first are the Brass bolsters on the current run. I also moved the the nail mark about a 1/4″ closer to the tip to provide a little more leverage. Most people just pinch the blade between thumb and fore finger to open it, but now you’ll have a little more advantage if you use the nail mark.
The new release has a CPM154 blade upgraded from the original 154CM. I had Queen mark the reverse side of the tang with the CPM154 stamp.
I’m really pleased with the work Queen did on these. The grind on the blades looks great and the one’s I’ve looked at have a good out of the box edge. The goal with the Trestle Pine tang stamp has always been a good looking, high quality, every day carry knife and they definitely surpassed the mark!
Personally, I’m anxious to use the CPM154 and compare it to the 154CM. I’ve been carrying one of the Grand Portage’s since they came out and have really gotten attached to it. It’s going to be hard to retire it even temporarily. Tomorrow I’ll get busy listing these in the store.
There’s a whole lot going on this week and it’s only Tuesday!!! We’re talking Mammoth Ivory, 71 Express and 74 Stallions. Let’s start with the ‘big’ (for me) news. A ‘major’ endorsement for the Trestle Pine Superior.
Affirmation that you’ve done something right is always great and it’s REALLY great when it comes from someone you respect. I got it yesterday. Had a good conversation going with Ken Daniels yesterday and in the course of the conversation we talked about the Trestle Pine Superiors that are in transit. Ken said they came through looking really good with some terrific woods (and this is coming from a ‘stag’ fanatic). He followed up the comment by telling me he was in fact carrying one of the Superiors for an EDC knife and really liked it. It fit his hand well, liked the easy access to the tall blade and the blade was great for just about any task at hand. Understand, this wasn’t a paid endorsement (but to be 100% honest with you…. I’m not sure Ken paid for the knife either).
This meant a lot to me not only that it came from Ken, but because the blade/handle combination was received with some skepticism. It strayed to far from the ‘traditional’ folder design. A wharncliffe blade in a Copperhead frame? Old growth wood handles?? Using a 154 series blade instead of 1095 or 440C!!!!!!!!!!!!! Totally unconventional. Well, that first release sold out in just a few weeks and most folks loved it. The next run should be arriving later today or tomorrow.
Next good news is a special run of 40 #99 Executive Jacks with a 1095 Wharncliffe blade finished in Mammoth Ivory is coming in. I’ve wanted to see more premium handle material on anything for quite a while and was glad this deal came together. With luck, they’ll start coming through next week.
The next run of John Henry 71 Express knives is tentatively scheduled to start shipping mid February. Interest is running high and I know the Black G10 is close to sold out already.
And the last update is in regards to the GEC 74 Stallions. These have proven to be wildly popular and are selling out quickly. I increased my orders twice on several handle options and still find it’s not enough. The Green and Yellow Rose have so far been the runaway most popular but I’m willing to bet the Northfield Jigged Bone is going to be the biggest hit. Great looking jigging pattern.
Confirmation came in this morning that the most recent release of the Trestle Pine Superior shipped today. I’m hoping by mid week next week I’ll have them in hand and start getting them listed. There are a few minor changes on this release. The most noticeable will be the brass bolsters and more important (but less obvious) will be the CPM154 blade.
This morning I received the Schatt & Morgan #98 Sleeveboard Whittler in Black Maple and Worm Groove. That’s not a fracture in the Maple handle but nice stripe of grain. These have a very user friendly pull that I’d probably rate at around a 4.
The next are some 48 Carpenter’s Whittlers in Elk and Blue Pic Bone. Nice knife with a much heavier pull. These have robust springs that result in a pull closer to an 8. Great work knife.
And the last is a 2 Blade Maroon Bone 69 Barlow.
Jeff has done a great job at Queen improving the grind on recent releases. It’s hard not to notice that the edges are much better then in the past. They’re coming out of the box ready to use (unless your a bit anal like myself and can’t use a knife without putting your own touch on the blade).
I haven’t posted these in the store yet, but wanted to share some pix with you. Hopefully later today I’ll get them listed.
A quick follow up to my ongoing experiment with the Kydex. I’m not going into any great detail as there are a load of great how to videos online using Kydex. All I’ll tell you is that it’s cheap to get set up (under $50) for a few sheets of Kydex, some rivets and screws and a ‘press’.
I heat the Kydex in the oven at around 300 degrees to get it soft to work with. Two 12″ pieces of plywood hinged together, some high density foam make up the press. Add a couple of wood clamps and you’re good to go!! A small heat gun works great to make final forming adjustments.
This is my first project and it’s not done yet. I need to shape the edges with a sander then attach a belt loop.
The purpose of the screw is for attachment of a firesteel loop. That’s another project I hope to get to…..soon. The sheath fits snug enough that I can tip things upside down and shake the hell out of it without unsheathing the knife.
It’s a fun, simple project that won’t stress most anyone’s skill level. As soon as things slow up a bit, I’m anxious to get back to it and work on a couple other ideas.