I got an email from Josh this AM and he made a pretty neat proposal. There’s a few details to be ironed out but this is what he’s proposing.
Josh suggested turning this knife into a ‘traveler’. He had the idea of passing the knife around to people that were interested in using it for a week or so and then sending it on to someone else that wanted to try it out. Along the way, you’d add your name and what part of the world you live in to a slip of paper that stays with the knife so there would be a bit of a diary / travelogue accompanying it.
What we may end up doing is put up a special category on the blog and call it the “Josh Wills Traveling Maverick” post where the current ‘foster parent’ could hopefully post a picture or two and give us an update as to where and how the knife is being used, performing, etc.
At some point, I may put up a post asking for names of folks interested in adopting the knife for a short time, but I’ll let you know when. It’s really be fun to see this go International, so Will, Andi, Andreas, Jani, and everyone else overseas that’s interested should keep it in mind as well.
So whaddya all think??? Sound interesting???? Pretty generous offer on Josh’s part and I think it sounds like a lot of fun.
Josh Wills, sure hope you wanted one of these, cause you just won one!
Here’s what I ended up doing to choose a winner. I took everyone that entered the contest and assigned them a number. I was talking to my dad at noon and told him to pick a number and he chose 11 which happened to be Josh’ lucky number! It’s also kind of appropriate as Josh had submitted eagle clawed jigged bone which was toooooo far away! Anyway, congrats Josh and these should be in stock shortly and one will be coming your way!!!
Thanks again everyone. We’ll do something like this again real soon.
Fenix has updated the original TK15 to the TK15 S2. The upgrade results in an increased lumen output from 337 to 400 lumens. I personally use one of the original TK15’s on an AR15 and have sold more of the TK15’s than any other Fenix flashlight. It’s a fantastic light for either tactical use or anywhere you want a bright, long reaching beam of light.
I purchased a bunch of the original lights on a special and have lowered the store price from $79.95 to just $59.95 for as long as supplies last.
These are the specs on the original TK15:
One of the most compact lights available with 4 Output
Levels plus Rapid Strobe. The TK15 can run up to 142 hours on the low
mode or throw up to 337L on high!! This is also a perfect “Tactical” light to mount on your rifle in conjunction with the AR102 Remote Pressure Switch.
• Cree XP-G LED (R5) with a lifespan of 50,000 hours • Uses two 3V CR123A Lithium batteries or one 18650 Li-ion battery • 5.7″ (Length) x .9″ (Diameter) x 1.33″ (Head) • 5.36 oz weight (excluding batteries) • Digitally regulated output – maintains constant brightness • Reverse polarity protection, to protect from improper battery installation • Tactical tail cap switch with momentary-on function • Anti-roll, slip-resistant body design • Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum • Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish • Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating
This was a tough one, but I kind of guessed this could happen. Chris sent me an email this morning and the name they settled on for the new bone is kind of a compilation of the suggestions they received.
Autumn Leaf Clawed Bone
The closest submission came from Eric Koontz, which was Autumn Leaves Bone. I’ll give him a 2 3/4 out of 4. So what I’m gonna do is give Eric a $25 gift certificate for getting close and have a drawing later today for the knife.
Thanks to everyone that got involved!! Not only was it fun, but at the very least, I think you provided GEC with a lot of ideas for future projects even if you missed the boat on this one.
In the initial announcement Friday nite I made it a point to make sure everyone would submit their name idea on this blog as well as on the GEC blog. If your idea was posted here and your suggestion was taken by GEC, TSA Knives, would give you one of the new knives.
Well, you aren’t gonna believe this one.
I had mentioned that I would be forwarding all of the names to GEC in the event someone didn’t’ / couldn’t / wouldn’t post them on the GEC blog for whatever reason. I know at least two of you said that you couldn’t log onto the GEC blog. There are also more than a few of you that I had to pull teeth to get you to sign in just to post on the TSA blog and you have a major aversion to participating in ANY of the discussion boards/blogs. Understandable and I’m the same. In fact, sccmuskrat was the first to respond and that’s only the second time I’ve heard from him in the last 12 months!!!
Mr Bill Howard at GEC has put down the word that GEC will not consider any names that are not submitted BY THE INDIVIDUALS to GEC’s blog! GEC will NOT accept my list if I simply forward your suggestions to the GEC Blog. So if you put the name on the TSA Blog and didn’t send it to the GEC blog, you’re out of luck. Supposedly, they won’t consider your submission.
My understanding is that GEC wanted to encourage more discussion about GEC and figured their request for name ideas would be all it took to get everyone chatting. Interestingly enough, I brought up the issue that it’s been pretty quiet of late on the net a while back and a number of you responded with some great comments. When I saw the comment on the GEC Blog requesting input on the new handle color wasn’t getting much response, all I did was grab onto the idea, offered up a free knife and figured that might get folks to act and get involved!!! And act you did. Almost 40 responses resulted in over 50 suggestions in a little over 48 hours but just a handful of you forwarded them to the GEC blog.
Since taking on the GEC line in 2007, I’ve made a major effort to support Great Eastern Cutlery by creating the blog before most of the other discussion sites started talking about them, I’ve encouraged discussion be it critical or in praise of GEC, I had contests to promote interest in the line, I’ve given away god knows how many knives promoting GEC (last year 12 knives were given away or auctioned), every year I’ve put up GEC knives for auction to raise funds for the Wounded Warriors, Red Cross and Salvation Army. I’ve not asked for nor expected thanks or recognition from GEC but did it because I thought GEC had a great product that deserved promoting.
As a result, I can’t believe that GEC has responded to this effort to get folks involved in such a petty manner. What GEC is doing is basically discrediting you’re suggestions based on where you posted them. While I won’t apologize for GEC, I feel bad and somewhat embarrassed they feel that way. Whether they’re interested in what you have to say or not, I am. You’re always welcome here.
It also deserves mention that the words of thanks and encouragement from both customers and non-customers has been extremely gratifying and appreciated. Several of you offered up thanks for the promotion and under the circumstances, you can’t imagine how much that means.
So here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m extremely doubtful that any of the names posted on the TSA Blog will have a prayer in hell of being considered regardless if they made it onto the GEC blog or not. That’s fine, but if that’s the situation and none of your submissions are taken, I’ll have a random drawing with everyone’s name that submitted an idea and I’ll give away a knife anyway.
Thanks Gang!!!! Without you, TSA Knives, LLC wouldn’t exist.
Since I got my hands on my first Bark River, I’ve been impressed how sharp the convex ground edge is and how easy it is to maintain a convex ground blade with just a regular touch-up on a leather strop. So, as promised, I broke down and bought a belt sander to learn how to put a convex grind on my knives. It’s cheap and easy!!!
I dropped into our local Harbor Freight store and picked up one of their $39.95 #2485 1″x30″ belt sanders. They’re currently on sale online with a flat $6.95 shipping charge. A couple of hobbyists recommended it as an inexpensive way to get started. (Thanks Donnie!)
The next recommendation I followed was to buy some GOOD sanding belts. The belts are not the place to cut corners. I was referred to Lee Valley Tools, LTD, www.leeevalley.com where I picked up 16, 30 and 45 micron Trizact belts. PLUS a leather belt for honing. These set me back another $50 with shipping and I probably could have gotten by without the 16 micron (that’s a pretty fine belt).
Setup is REALLY quick and easy as the only assembly required is discarding the belt that comes with it and replacing it with one of the Trizacts. The total unit is about 13.5″ tall and the base is roughly 9″ square. Very compact.
I ran the belts as loose as I could and moved the guide (behind the belt) to the rear most position so the belt wouldn’t contact it with moderate pressure. A very loose belt is one of the keys to getting that convex edge. The second point is to hold the knife almost flat against the moving belt with the sharpened edge pointing in the same direction as the moving belt. The angle is going to be probably in the 10-15 degree range. Finally, use a light touch. DON’T force the blade into the belt. You’ll be surprised how quickly the belt will remove metal, plus you want the belt to have enough slack to slightly curve up around the sharpened edge rather than leaving a flat edge.
As you alternately work both sides of the blade evenly, every few strokes feel the edge and you’ll start to feel a slightly ‘toothy’ edge. One or two more passes and you’re there. At that point, put the leather honing belt on and load it with a polishing compound. I use the green compound which is kind of an all purpose compound. Leave the leather belt as loose as possible and lightly work the blade 7 or 8 strokes on each side to attain an absolutely razor sharp edge.
Once you get the feel for things, we’re talking minutes to bring a blade in ‘fair’ condition to razor sharp. You’ll also want to experiment with a couple of different grits of belt to find the one’s that fit your preference. It’s just not that hard to do! Am I going to throw away my stones? Nope, but I know I’ll be using them less and less.
Hey gang, just got a note from Jan that GEC has put out a request for help naming a new bone color for the new 62 Maverick. Tell ya what let’s do, it’s been a while since we’ve had a giveaway so this is as good a time as any!!!
Post your suggestion on this blog (and submit it to the GEC blog forum as well) for a bone color and if it’s chosen by GEC, TSA Knives will give you a brand new 62 Maverick with the new handle material!!! But remember, it has to be posted on this blog to qualify. In the case of duplicate names, the first submission is the one that counts!
I don’t know how long GEC is going to take to make a selection, so don’t wait!!!! Post your idea here AND on the GEC blog forum.
I’ve got a little news I’ll share regarding Hess Knifeworks that might be of interest.
Yesterday, I talked to the guys at Hess and placed an order for some more knives and found out there’s a new knife coming out very soon. I didn’t get a lot of detail, but it does sound like it will be a hunting knife. I put in an order and hope to have a couple of them within the next few weeks.
In addition, I ordered a couple of their Outdoorsman, which was a model they released in 2011. I figured this was the perfect time to bring a couple in before hunting season. It comes with a guard and a skinner style blade. Here’s the specs.
OAL: 9 5/8 Inches
Blade Length: 4 3/4 Inches
Blade Thickness: .210 Inches Steel: 52-100
Weight: Approx. 9 Ounces Handle: Black or Green Micarta
Another rather cool thing that’s going to be an exclusive to TSA Knives will be a Small Caper with a couple of minor mods. After the trip up north I posted the article about the Hess Small Caper and pointed out what I felt could be nice modifications to fit my needs. Specifically, a sharp corner edge on top of the blade for use with the FireSteel and a butt that’s slightly rounded. I also thought that Micarta would be a great handle material option. I talked to Don and Andy yesterday and they seemed to feel that was ‘doable’. They aren’t going to change the standard (nothing’s ‘standard’ with these guys) production line, but were willing to make the mods for TSA. I’m excited.
It’s unique to work with a manufacturer that listens to your ideas and says “I think we can do that” and actually goes to work and does it whether they agree it’s a good idea or not! It’s that willingness to listen to the customer that means so much. While I wish them all the success in the world, I hope they never get so big and so busy they lose that flexibility.
It’s been an interesting summer for knife sales for TSA Knives and I’d like your input…..
This year has been a little odd in that the first part of the year was extremely strong until mid June when it felt like the bottom fell out. While a slowdown in June isn’t unusual, the drop this year was more noticeable than ever. I started checking in on some of the boards and other blogs and noticed the ‘chatter’ had quieted down all over about GEC. Likewise, the interaction on the TSA blog quieted down as well.
By the third week in July, things picked up dramatically and I saw more multi knife orders (3+ at a time) then ever and the growth of new customers has been steadily increasing domestically and internationally. It was almost like everyone went on vacation and sat on their cash until they couldn’t stand it any longer! Since then, things have leveled off somewhat.
With the drop in participation on the blog, I was concerned that readership was down, but exactly the opposite was true. The quieter it got, the readership increased to an all time high. I also found the number of personal emails went up in response to articles on the blog. I don’t know if people have grown more shy or just want to keep their comments private.
Meanwhile, I can’t help but notice the activity on all of the sites have become more focused on knives people already have and chatter about new releases seem muted. My sales of older knives has been as strong or stronger than recent new releases. And while my sales are up, I’m wondering why the chatter is down. Which leads me to ask, what’s going on???
Is GEC flooding us with too many new knives? Are we seeing too many re-releases of previously run patterns? Bored with the handle materials? Short of cash???? Just don’t have anything to say? Have I dropped the ball and not been sharing enough info? Help me out gang. What would it take to get everyone talking again?