Worm Groove Tear Drop and 72 Rosewood

As promised, the Schatt & Morgan Worm Groove Tear Drops arrived this AM.

S&M Tear Drop Worm Groove
S&M Tear Drop Worm Groove

These are an exclusive run of 25 with Worm Groove handles.  Just an incredibly well done, great looking knife.

The GEC 72 Mini Lockback with East Indian Rosewood also came in.

72 Mini Lockback East Indian Rosewood
72 Mini Lockback East Indian Rosewood

I had seen the picture on the GEC Facebook page of the Rosewood and was surprised the knives I got didn’t have the reddish hue of the knife pictured on their site.  I have a feeling it was lighting, but the knives I’ve seen run more to a brown color somewhat similar to Ebony Wood.  The picture above is representative of the color on the knives I received.

On a side note, just a heads up that I’ll be heading out on a ‘field trip’ this weekend.  I’ll post shipping schedules, etc, later this week, but be advised I will be out of the office for a couple days.  Some day I really plan on getting away for more then a couple of days, but for now, I’ll make the  best of what I’ve got!  There are so many knives, tools and doodads I’d like to try out that a couple days just doesn’t cut it.

Grizzly Cut Bone 72 GEC’s Arrived

The Grizzly Cut Bone 72 GEC’s arrived this morning.  Nice looking knives.

GEC 721116LB Grizzly Cut Bone Lock Back
GEC 721116LB Grizzly Cut Bone Lock Back

I believe the Rosewood are in transit and should arrive Monday.  In the storefront I’ve just listed one of the knives with a stock photo as the knives are virtually identical in appearance.  As of this posting there should be a good supply available so if you wish to purchase more then one, there should be plenty available.

Weekly Update 8.19.16

Another week of summer behind us isn’t much of a weekly update, but we’d better remember our days of summer are numbered!  It’s been a great summer on a lot of fronts including the knife biz.

This past week we saw the release of the Schatt & Morgan Teardrops which were a big hit.  DSC_3682The Moose Antler Teardrops were outstanding.  The Golden Spalted Maple was another handle material I hope we see more of in the future.  Overall just a great looking run of Teardrops.  I believe next week there will be a release of a two blade teardrop in stag which I look forward to getting as well.

I’m also happy to let you know there will be more of the Grand Portages arriving in the next couple of weeks.  As most of you know, I made a decision to have the bolsters laser engraved for a deeper, cleaner image of the Trestle Pine tree logo.  Originally, I wanted a distressed, worn look to the tree stamped in the bolster but enough folks didn’t like the worn look, so I opted for the laser engraving.  If the tree was deep stamped, we lost detail on it so lasering was the only other option.

The problem came in finding someone that could laser brass.  Most laser engravers are set up with equipment to handle harder metals like nickel silver, stainless, etc, but due to the lower melting point of brass it takes a different type of machine not to destroy it.  I quickly found out it’s hard to find anyone with that type of laser!  Then it’s been a matter of waiting to get things scheduled to get them engraved and we’re finally at that point!  The upside is it resulted in a nice clean image.

Trestle Pine Grand Portage New Laser Etch
Trestle Pine Grand Portage New Laser Etch

There will be another run of the Trestle Pine Superior’s coming through this fall.  A few minor tweaks will be made including upgrading from a 154CM to CPM154 blade.  I’ve been so happy with the performance of the CPM steel in the Grand Portage, I decided it was well worth it.  I’m also staying with the Wharncliffe blade pattern and moving the nail nick a bit closer to the blade tip.

I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries as to when the 15 Beer Scouts and Boy’s knives will be coming in.  All I can tell you is soon.  In the next few days the 72LB should start arriving from GEC.  I know they had more SFO’s to run but I’m assuming the 15’s should follow shortly thereafter.  My best guess would be early September.

So that’s it for this weekly update!  Now it’s time to try to get out and enjoy some of this summer weather!!

Schatt & Morgan Teardrops

The Schatt & Morgan Teardrops came in today and they look great!

Left to Right: 1 Golden Spalted Maple, 2 Desert Ironwood, 3 Moose Antler, 4 Blood Orange Spalted Maple
Left to Right: 1 Golden Spalted Maple, 2 Desert Ironwood, 3 Moose Antler, 4 Blood Orange Spalted Maple

The Moose Antler was a really pleasant surprise.  If you’re not familiar with a moose antler, they’re primarily flat ‘palms’ rather than ’rounds’ like you see on a deer, stag or elk antler.  Frequently, you also see only very light color on a good part of the antler.  These are absolutely some of the nicest looking moose antler I’ve seen used on a handle with really nice coloration and texture.  Sincerely hope we see more of the Moose Antler in the future.

The Spalted Maples look great but as with most spalted woods, it’s not unusual to find minor voids or natural small fractures.  Not a flaw, but for those of you used to smooth woods or bone, spalted woods are a different animal.  It’s a great looking handle material, but unique.

I got about half of the Moose Antler listed today and will try to finish them up along with the Spalted Maples and Desert Ironwood tomorrow.  Great to see such a diverse group of handle materials come through from Queen on these Teardrops!!

Weekly Update 8.12.16

This has been a week full of family and friends and not many knives!  There are some great things coming from Queen starting next week, but for now, this is how the week has gone.

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It was a great week with family all last weekend and plenty of time spent on the water.  The weather couldn’t have been any nicer had we special ordered it and the mosquito’s were actually pretty tolerable.  Just a fabulous weekend.

Earlier this week I met up with my buddy Isaiah from Iowa and he came up for the balance of the week and he and I have spent the last couple of days golfing, fishing and tubing.  We started of the visit by dropping in on a good friend that has a large farming operation.  He had just taken possession of a new John Deere tractor.  I guess there are only 6 of these in Minnesota and something like 12 in the state of Iowa.  Isaiah got the privilege of driving this $500k behemoth pulling a $160k worth of equipment.

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Just a few specs, 400+HP, 340 gallon fuel tank, 100 gallons of hydraulic fluid capable of plowing about 40 acres/hr burning around 20 Gallons of diesel an hour.  Let’s see, I cut my teeth on the farm driving an “A” John Deere with 26HP built in the 1940’s.  Oh how things have changed!!

Next week, back to reality.  There should be quite a few new products coming from Queen.  I’ve also been sitting on a pile of Hess Knives that I just haven’t taken the time to get listed.  Then I’ll be getting ready to do a little field testing in the northwoods toward the end of the month.

I’ve had numerous requests from folks wishing to place an early order on the Moose antler Teardrops.  I’m not taking any reservations and will let everyone know via the blog when they come available.

For now, gotta run!  Isaiah and I have a “T” time coming up.

New Queen Release Coming!

I received some pix of the next new Queen release.  They are releasing the 06 Tear Drop with some outstanding looking wood.

I find this exciting as I like the ‘exotic’ woods and really appreciate some of the spalted woods.   For those of you that aren’t familiar with ‘spalted’ wood, in the most simple terms it’s basically wood that has gotten soft or ‘punky’.  If it’s caught before the wood actually starts to deteriorate, it can be dyed and or stabilized highlighting some gorgeous grain.  It can be difficult to work with but the final result is usually well worth the effort.  Queen has been working with the Trestle Pine Knives using some of these different spalted woods with great results.  I can’t wait to see the Tear Drops.

I’m also excited about a special exclusive run of the 06 Tear Drops with Moose Antler handles I’ll be getting.  There will be around 20 of them available with 1095 Spear Blades.  I like the unique handle material and Moose being native to Northern Minnesota just makes it all the better!  Moose antler isn’t a particularly commonly seen handle material.

My hope is we’ll see these start to show up in another week.  There are also some 56 Swell Centers and 62 Coke Bottles with various handle materials coming through very shortly.  Queen has really taken up the slack from some of the other manufacturers with  great new releases.  It’s a bit reminiscent of the early days of GEC when we used to see new products in short runs coming from them almost weekly.

Early Update 8.3.16

This weekend is the family get together and I thought I’d better say whatever I’ve got to say a bit early.  By Friday I expect if we’re not fishing, tubing, skiing, water balloon fights or eating I plan on sleeping.

This past week I added some outstanding Schatt & Morgan Limited Run Executive Jacks and Gunstocks.  The fit, finish and stag on these is outstanding.  There’s both Torched Stag and Amber Stag.  All great looking.

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I regularly catch hell for not putting up the greatest looking photo’s and the main reason is I don’t wipe the blades free of oil before shooting them.  When a shipment comes in it usually involves taking 100+ photos which means cleaning each and every blade. And I don’t like removing the factory lube if it isn’t necessary.

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I have to admit, I’m a bit disappointed in the new packaging these knives came in.  Queen is using a lighter weight one piece white box rather then the traditional two piece black or green boxes.  One of the problems will be shipping them.  If they go out in a padded envelope they’re going to get crushed really easily so I’ll most likely start shipping them inside a cardboard tube to protect the packaging.  I sent management a note expressing a hope these were a temporary change but haven’t heard anything back so am guessing, this is the future.

Tuesday evening I spent a little time perusing some of the discussion boards and am amazed at how quiet things are.  It seems that GEC is stuck in another SFO cycle and the next regular run item coming soon will be the 72 Cody Scouts later this month followed by the 15’s sometime in September?  Nothing really new.  Beyond that….. who knows.

Queen’s been keeping busy releasing short runs almost on a weekly basis.  It’s been nice seeing the quality of stag they’ve been running lately.  I know it’s in relatively short supply and quality stag is at a premium.

I’ll try to get back to the blog on Monday and fill you in on my weekend.  The weather is looking to cooperate and other then a bumper crop of mosquitoes, things are looking good!  Gotta get ready to entertain!

Weekly Update 7.29.16

Update: What can I say….

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We finally got some much needed(more then enough) rain these past weeks and combined with the warm temperatures, the mosquito hatch has been incredible.  Recently, we’ve had three small children and a dog carried off by mosquitoes, the local blood bank has put out a call for donations to treat gardeners and fisherman, people have quit using Cutter’s and Off in favor of flame throwers.  Evenings you can hear the occasional boom of a 12ga from folks picking off the bigger skeeters. Get the picture??  In fact it’s bad enough my wife was wishing this morning that we could get a hard frost to kill them off.  This from a woman who thrives on 90 degree temperatures.  Worst of all, next weekend is our annual family get together.

On the bright side, we can look forward to some interesting releases from Queen next week.  There’s a group of Gunstocks and 99 Jacks coming through with Stag, Amber Stag, ATS34, 420 and CPM154 blades.

I had a good chat with Ken Daniels yesterday and told him how happy I was to see Queen using these high end steels.  While 1095, 440C and D2 (which I’m a great fan of) are great blade steels, it’s really exciting to see some of the ‘newer’ steels typically seen on tactical and fixed blades used on the traditional folders.  Not all of us want to carry an assisted opening, tanto blade, carbon fiber handled knife with a pocket clip. BUT…. we (I) do like that high performance steel blade in a pocket friendly folder.  Wouldn’t it be fantastic to see a traditional folder with, oh, lets say a CPM S35VN blade?   Hmmmm……

My buddy Dave has probably caused me to spend more money on stuff I didn’t know I needed than anyone I know.  The good news is he hasn’t steered me wrong yet.  His latest pitch was the Spyderco Mule Team project knives.  Dave gave me one of the Mule Team #21’s with CPM 4V steel.   I haven’t had an opportunity to really ‘test’ it, but every day routine use hasn’t challenged the edge in the least.

Spyderco Mule Team #21
Spyderco Mule Team #21

Now, thanks again to Dave, I’m going to pick up one of the new release Mule CPM Maxamet Steel blades.  They’re talking about a Rockwell hardness in the upper 60’s range with excellent chip resistance.  That, my friends, gets my heart pumping double time.  In a few more weeks I’ll be taking my annual field test trip to the NE corner of Minnesota.  There’s going to be more knives then time I’m afraid.

On a more serious note, I hope you know what a staunch supporter of our military I am.  I try to regularly support the Wounded Warrior Project financially and encourage others to do likewise.  Our Vets sometimes get forgotten and they’re sacrifices are often ignored.

More recently the number of members of the law enforcement community has been sickening.  Over the years I’ve interacted with members of the law enforcement community on a professional and personal level.  I had a brick and mortar retail sporting goods store that was burglarized 5 times.  I’ve stood shoulder to shoulder with these guys as I unlocked the door for them, guns drawn while the alarm was going off.   I watched them calm down a mentally  ill customer and gently escort him out of our store.  On the few occasions I’ve had to answer to them for my actions, I’ve been treated with respect and have responded in kind.  I’ve had a drink or two with them, we’ve fished together and have two retired troopers just up the street.  My experience has been they’re regular guys/gals that are underpaid, under appreciated, doing a dangerous job you couldn’t pay me enough to do.

Next time you meet a squad car, give them a friendly wave and a smile.  If you see a cop on the street, tell him thanks.  If you’re having lunch and a group of law enforcement folks are eating lunch as well, consider picking up there tab.  If they’re in the convenience store buying coffee, pay for it.  Let them know you support them and appreciate the risks they take to try and maintain law and order.

Weekly Update 7.22.16

These weekly updates seem to come closer together every week!!  I’m not sure if we started shortening the weeks to 6 days instead of 7 but it sure feels like it.  It’s another case of summer sliding by before we know what’s happening.

The GEC 14’s continue to trickle in and hopefully should finish up fairly soon.  I know there are a ton of SFO’s coming through so it’s going to take a while.  It’s starting to look like GEC may have finally come close to matching demand with production.  From the looks of things most dealers have extras in inventory.

As promised, I did get the rest of the knives from the collection I picked up listed in the store this week.  There were some really incredibly nice pieces in this group like the following.

GEC #23 Good N Plenty
GEC #23 Good N Plenty
GEC 362208 Jumbo Stag
GEC 362208 Jumbo Stag
Tuna Valley / GEC Cotton King
Tuna Valley / GEC Cotton King
Schatt & Morgan Presidents Choice Proto
Schatt & Morgan 2002 Presidents Choice Prototype

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This is rather neat Prototype as I don’t believe this was the final version that was released for the President’s Choice Knife in 2002.  It is indeed a ‘prototype’.   The shield is different and the laser etching on the back didn’t make it to the final run.  If you look closely at the pins in the second photo, you can see they had lasered a spot where the pins were to be set.  I’m not sure if the intent was for this to act as an outline around the pin or why it was done.

It’s hard to find a quality collection like this for sale with any regularity.  And it’s really fun to be able to actually get to buy a group of knives like these.  If you have a collection you’re interested in selling, know of anyone wishing to liquidate their collection or if you here of an estate situation, drop me a note.

I had a short conversation with Chris this past week and it sounds like there’s an outside chance they may get to the 15’s before late fall.  They have a bunch of SFO’s to run but most of them are single blade projects which go together fairly quick, so with any luck…

On the Road

I was on the road for a couple of days this weekend and ran down to Iowa to check on a few things.  For years, we’ve had people joke about the fact we are living up North near the edge of civilization just a stones throw from Fargo, ND for gosh sakes, ya know?  It was refreshing to get home and be reminded of where we live and how grateful we are to live here!

We stayed in a nice Motel in Northern Iowa and for $135 a nite, it’s really nice to have a room with a view.  Maybe it’s the Iowa equivalent of a Northern Minnesota view of the lake and forest from your room, but it’s definitely not the same.

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I can’t really make too much fun of the situation as I grew up in Iowa and 50 years ago wouldn’t have probably even noticed!  Most likely I would have been tempted to step in a few rows and see how the ears were developing.

And about the time we quit laughing about the cornfield view, we were heading home on the Interstate in Minneapolis and came upon this.

Windows UP!!!
Windows UP!!!

I’m still wondering if we could have witnessed a possible kidnapping and someone was either trying to get our attention (it worked) or maybe they were trying to sneak a ‘note’ out the door.  Probably never know.

All I know is that while it’s good to get away however briefly, it’s always good to get back to the same old familiar humdrum.  Familiar sounds and scenes.

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“Oh, but anyway, Toto, we’re home – home!……… And…  there’s no place like home!”