Government surveyors came to Ole’s farm in the fall and asked if they could do some surveying.
Ole agreed, and Lena even served them a nice meal at noon time.
The next spring, the two surveyors stopped by and told Ole, “Because you were so kind to us, we wanted to give you this bad news in person instead of by letter.”
Ole replied, “What’s the bad news?”
The surveyors stated, “Well, after our work here, we discovered your farm is not in Minnesota but is actually in Wisconsin !”
Ole looked at Lena and said, “That’s the best news I have heard in a long time. I just told Lena this morning that I don’t think I can take another winter in Minnesota .”
I apologize for starting a new thread on this issue, but I wanted enough ‘room’ to let you know how this played out.
It’s important to understand, this knife was purchased to be an EDC knife, not to reside in a display case. I should have pointed that out earlier as it does make a difference, particularly in this case.
When I got the knife back and looked it over I went ahead and issued a refund followed up with an email to the customer asking him if the ‘centering’ issue was the real reason behind the return. As someone said, I had a feeling he may just changed his mind, which would have been fine too but I need to know if it should go back to the factory. I tried my very best to be polite about it and I must have succeeded as we ended up exchanging numerous emails regarding quality which I think was enlightening to both of us.
The customer had returned the knife with a receipt (by mistake) from another company for a tactical knife he had purchased recently. Not a super high end piece but considerably more then the knife he was returning to me. It made me curious if possibly the traditional slip joints were somewhat new to him. During the email exchange he admitted that he was really more into the modern tactical type knives and had a particular fondness for a high end brand typically selling in the $350+ range and owned several of them. After reading some of the posts on the internet, he had decided to expand his horizons and try a traditional folder.
After receiving it, he spent a couple of days looking it over and the slightly off center blade just got to him so he decided to return it. He had become accustomed to seeing the high end tacticals with perfectly centered blades and anything less just seemed sub par. Once we addressed the fact he was comparing a knife that cost roughly a 1/4 of the cost of one of his favorites the discussion moved onto assembly methods.
Look, I’m not that familiar with the mechanics that go into assembling a traditional jack knife, but I do know it’s a lot simpler to assemble and adjust most anything with screws and bolts rather than fixed rivets or pins. From personal experience, I also know that with most of the ‘modern’ nuts and bolt knives, you can move the position of the blade by loosening and re-tightening the pivot and frame screws. And of course, there’s also the ability to remove the pivot screw and make adjustments through shimming. Screws are just a lot more forgiving then pins. I understand I’m oversimplifying things to make my point, but honestly, I’ve never understood why some of the knives that are assembled this way can get so damned expensive!
We also discussed the fact that the “traditional” knives are called that for a pretty good reason. Most of us have come to accept the fact that not only are they built around a traditional pattern that may have been in existence for decades if not centuries but the assembly methods are equally as old. Granted, the equipment in the shop in 1890 may not (but sometimes is) be the same machine used today, the basic method of assembly hasn’t changed. A few older established companies like Case and Queen no doubt have tooling and machines that are older than most of us.
I might be way off, but my explanation to him concluded with the point that a traditional folder to me means a knife that has survived the test of time that is still being built by a method and with materials not far removed from the days of my dad and granddad. It still requires a considerable amount of skill and knowledge to put it together and the final product will reflect the ‘human’ input of it’s construction. I’ll buy one for that reason, not because it has Titanium handles, the latest laminated powder steel blades or the fastest opening time in it’s class.
So a slightly off center blade, a superficial tool mark, a minute bone chip near a pin doesn’t necessarily detract from the quality of the knife particularly if it’s an EDC. If it’s a safe queen or resides in a display case, I can understand how cosmetics will come into play and everyone’s got a little different threshold of acceptance but sometimes….. we’ve all got to be reasonable. If we aren’t, I can guarantee you I can find a reason to send back most of the knives I get from most of my suppliers.
While he admitted he probably set his expectations too high, those expectations were also shaped by the hype he read on the internet. I totally agree with him that the ‘net’ has done as much harm as good when it comes to some of the claims made by the most enthusiastic collectors. Too often it builds up expectations that far exceed reality.
When it was all said and done, I think we both had a better understanding of our respective expectations. Just because you like filet mignon doesn’t make prime rib bad. It’s just different.
Just received word there’s a limited run pair of Schatt & Morgan’s that are shipping tomorrow. It’s a #21 Whittler that will be finished in both Stag ($99.95) and the Goldenroot Worm Groove Bone ($74.95). These are being limited to just 100 of each handle material. Sorry, I didn’t get the size on them but should have the knives in hand early next week. For now here’s a sneak peek….
It seems to run in cycles and right now, I’m seeing an increase in sensitivity to quality issues whether perceived or real. I’ve said before that everyone has a different threshold regarding what is and isn’t acceptable when it comes to quality. In the last 10 days, I’ve had 3 knives returned with ‘centering’ complaints.
I’ve always had one of the most liberal return policies out there allowing returns for any reason whatsoever with no restocking or return charges. And I have no immediate plans to change that.
So what do you say? Is this a quality issue that would cause you to return this knife? (and that’s not a nick in the top of the blade just behind the bolster)
Wow, just watching the news this AM and saw the pictures of the stalled traffic in Atlanta, GA. Unbelievable. Living in this part of the country, it’s hard to understand how 4 or 5″ of snow can cause that kind of problems. But, I understand you don’t have the equipment to handle that kind of weather. All I can say is I feel your pain!! This has been a miserable winter all over the eastern half of the country.
This past week, we had 3 days where our temperature dropped into the -20F range and never got above zero for a daytime high which sadly isn’t all that unusual this winter. Right now, we’re on track to threaten the record for the number of below zero days.
A lot of us in the northern tier of states are getting hammered now with the high costs of Propane. The governors of Minnesota and Wisconsin declared a state of emergency in an effort to remove some obstacles and increase efforts to get enough fuel into our states.
Propane is a common heating fuel up here, particularly in the rural areas where Natural Gas service isn’t always available. Heating costs have doubled and tripled with the extreme cold and now the rapidly rising price of Propane which has literally gone up daily. While it’s not unusual to have home heating costs run into the $250- 300 a month range in January, this year we’re seeing it climb into the $600- 800 range with more winter to come. This is putting a lot of stress on some of the businesses up here. If you use Propane to heat your business and in a restaurant, do your cooking, you’re feeling it big time. Add to that a lot of folks in the rural areas are backing off on their spending to cover their rapidly rising heating costs. Now, we’re seeing Propane distributors ration the amount of fuel they’ll deliver to you and in some cases, they’re in jeopardy of potentially having to close their doors because they may not have product to deliver. It’s becoming a serious concern not only in my region.
So I guess it’s not been a great winter for most of us. The good thing is, it’s gotta change for the better sooner or later. Like every other year (I hope), the snow will melt, the flowers will bloom and all will once again be right with the world (I really, really hope!!) And this global warming thing….. right now, I’m for it.
…it’s a dandy. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a few of the first Baby Sunfish released in the Keystone Series. (This is the First Quarter Knife of a limited run of 400 pieces for 2014). If you were lucky enough to see them at the Shot Show, you know what I’m talking about.
At 3 5/8″ overall length closed the size makes for a great size of ‘pocket’ knife. The 2 1/2″ main blade is big enough for most any job a pocket knife would be called for (under normal circumstances). Typical of the Schatt & Morgan polished blades, they have a gorgeous mirror finish on them. The lined/pinched bolsters add a touch of class making it a really dressy looking work knife.
The single spring makes for a little slimmer profile. And while I’m talking about springs….. Something I really dislike is a knife with springs that don’t ‘fit’ the knife. I understand a heavy spring can help mask some side play issues inherent’ in a slip joint but I get suspicious when a 2.75″ knife has springs that are near impossible to overcome without a pair of pliers. Worse yet, when you hit that 1/2 stop position and your heart skips a beat when you check to see if the fingers are still on the same hand. That being said, the ‘balance on the spring in this knife is just about as right as you can ask for. Nice resistance on the open and a secure lockup when fully open. No pliers needed, thank you.
Overall, the knife just has the comfortable feel in your hand you’d expect to find in an even bigger knife. The rounded ends are comfortable in both the hand and pocket.
Personally, I think Queen has been putting out some of the best looking stag we’re seeing lately. Just as important, they do an above average job of matching the front and back panels. In the case of the 65 Baby Sunfish, the stag I’ve seen has been excellent plus.
So what’s the price tag? Try $99.95 delivered in the US & Canada. Overseas you have to add another $5.95. If this is the standard Queen’s set for the rest of the line, they’ve set the bar pretty high.
I haven’t really taken the time to offer up many comments on the new lineup from Queen and Schatt & Morgan. To sum it up really quick….. I like what I’ve seen. But here’s just a few highlights that look really interesting.
First is the Limited Production Keystone Series which are limited to 400 of each. One will be released each quarter with Stag handles, starting with the Baby Sunfish (which I should have next week) at $99.95. Second will be the Sowbelly ($99.95).
Great looking Sunfish that we’ll also see show up in the Medium $104.95 and Large frames $109.95 in an even more limited series (300 each in Whiskey Catalina Bone) under the Queen City Trademark with 1095 blades.
Then the Jr Scout $99.95 comes along in the third quarter and the Deluxe Shiner $124.95 in the fourth. Of the four, the Sunfish and the Jr Scout seem to have caught the most attention.
Another eye catcher is the Joe Pardue 3C Cotton Sampler $129.95 with torched Stag and D2 Blade. The neat thing about this knife is the way the blade sits nice and deep in the handle keeping a really low profile in your pocket.
There’s another run at the tactical line coming and I am greatly interested in trying out one of the QT3 Lockbacks. We’re looking at the Mountain Man Lockback with ATS-34 and Black G-10 handles.. That’s a fantastic combination of materials, especially at a price of just $120 shipped!!!
To top it all off is the Schatt & Morgan Select ~ File & Wire Series. There will be a total of 3 knives, the Quart Gunstock Jack, Pint Gunstock Jack and the Kentucky Shiner Quart. Each will come with either Torched Stag or Goldenrod Wormroot handles. The Quart Gunstock Jack is gonna be one serious knife at 4 1/4″ closed and 7 1/2″ open. Blades are D2. Price will be $121.95 for Stag and I’d suggest you see what else is available for a knife like this anywhere near that price.
The last pieces that were pretty interesting are the Easy Open Trapper Razors These will be from the Queen City line featuring 1095 Blades and either Torched Stag ($109.95) or Bone Handles ($86.95). It will be a limited run of just 300 pieces of each.
While this isn’t everything, it’s the stuff that’s looks pretty interesting at first glance, to me anyway. You’ve got some prices to chew on for a while before these start showing up. The Baby Sunfish Keystone Series should be here late next week for the first arrival. The rest will be arriving throughout the year so you’re not gonna get hit all at once if there are a couple that you like.
Remember the #06 Pemberton? The #09 Esquire is in the same class. Very small, gentlemen’s knife made for formal occasions when you don’t want anyone to be intimidated when you pull out your ‘knife’. In fact, it’s small enough they may not even notice it.
It comes fitted with a pen and small coping blade with and overall length of around 2 7/8″ (73mm). Weight comes in at a slim and trim 1.1 oz with the Ebony Wood handle. The only identifying marks are the traditional Tidioute tang stamp. Otherwise, no serial numbers, shield or blade etches.
Here’s a comparison between the Esquire (left) and the Pemberton (right).
And to put them into perspective:
And maybe one more comparison for those of you more familiar with the bigger knives. Here it is sandwiched between a #23 and one of the #33 Conductors.
Just got this update in the production schedule this AM. FINALLY, a 42LB in 440C. Gonna repeat that for you Jason,…. a 42 Lockback in SS! And check it out OD Green Linen Micarta. There are also more of the 15 Boy’s knives coming for those of you that missed out the first time around or needed another KnifeBrite.
#42LB Missouri Trader
GEC – 440C Stainless Steel
OD Green Linen Micarta
Tidioute – 1095 Carbon Steel
Jigged Bone – color to be determined
Osage Orange Wood
Grey Pearl Acrylic
Northfield – 1095 Carbon Steel
Jigged Bone – color to be determined
#15 Radio Knife – Spear/Cap Lifter with a cap end
Rust Red Jig Bone
Antique Yellow Jig Bone
#15 Boys Knife – spear/pen with a cap end
Rust Red Jig Bone
Antique Yellow Jig Bone