Added a few more Bark River knives to the store today. There’s little ones (Huntsman), big one’s (Gameskeeper II) and REALLY big one’s (STS8).
The STS8 was one of those impulse additions when I place my last order. Every now and then someone is looking for a big knife like the Bravo II or a Fallkniven A2 so I figured why not round things out with an STS 8. It’s a BIG piece of 154CM steel. You’ve got 8.5″ of blade that’s .29″ thick coming in at an even 16 ounces. It’ll take the place of a machete and do the work of a small axe. All you need to worry about is your arm getting tired!!
The Gameskeeper II has always been a favorite of mine and only recently did I part with my Ivory Micarta to a friend. That ricasso gives you room to get your finger right near the action if you’re doing some ‘delicate’ trimming. Lots of backbone and a great tool for splitting firewood. I always felt it was a good match for the Fallkniven A1 and big enough for most heavy duty tasks.
But I think the gem of the group was the Huntsman. This is a compact smaller knife with a whole bunch of back bone for heavy duty work if called upon. Just 7″ OAL and a 3.25″ blade that’s .187″ thick. When you put the knife in your hand it might feel small until you realize just how stiff that blade is. NICE!!!
If you’ve sharpened knives on a stone for any length of time or maybe inherited an old stone from someone, no doubt you’ve come across a worn stone with a concave surface. A lot of times the edges of the stone will have gotten rounded off as well. In fact, last fall a friend of mine was moving out of town and dumped off a box of ‘stuff’ for me. It included a nice older 6″ combination stone in the box that was absolutely loaded with old metal and oil and cupped in the middle. I scrubbed it up and used the following method to bring it back to true…..just like new.
An easy way to determine if you’re stone needs ‘leveling’ is to simply hold a flat surface along the top of the stone and see if any light shines through.
Edge Pro has a Leveling Kit that works really slick to take care of this. It’s simply a round piece of glass about 12″ in diameter with a round tube encircling the edge of the glass and comes with a bag of silica carbide.
Pay attention to the fact I’ve laid some newspaper under it to make sure none of the silica ends up on the formica countertop. You very quickly get an appreciation for that rubber ‘rim’ as it helps contain everything on the glass rather than letting it run off the edge. The silica carbide is meant to ‘cut’. It will take a formica or polished granite countertop and scratch the surface faster than you can say whoops. NOT an easy thing to explain as you’re sitting down to supper.
I pour about a tablespoon of the silica carbide on the surface of the glass…..
and just stir it with my finger a bit to make a slurry. It doesn’t take of lot of the carbide to get the job done.
Now, simply rub the surface of the stone on the glass in a circular motion to start leveling it.
When you start rubbing it, you’ll notice the carbide doesn’t spread out evenly as the void created by the uneven surface of the stone isn’t contacting the glass.
As you get down to level, you’ll see the silica spreading out evenly and you’re done!
You end up with a nice level and clean surface on your stone.
The second big benefit is the glass works perfectly to set up your sharpener on any type of surface and keeps any water from lubricating the water stones contained.
This whole process took maybe 5 minutes start to finish. If you’re really thrifty, you can let the water dry out and recover the compound for later use. You old timers have no doubt used a concrete block or maybe a piece of coarse carborundum sand paper to level things. This setup is so much more convenient to setup on the kitchen counter or my wood workbench in the shop (particularly in the winter). Most important, I know the piece of glass is about as true and flat as you can get.
Queen just built a short run of #60 Sowbellys that are kind of interesting. The run was limited to 25 pieces of each, one in Worm Groove Bone and the second, Reverse Worm Groove Bone. Blade combination is a Clip, Sheepsfoot and Spey.
A unique feature is the fact they have satin finished blades and while not unknown, you don’t see a lot of the S&M’s with the Keystone shield finished in satin. Nice looking knives for the collector or would make a great EDC.
Got a note this afternoon that there’s a Schatt & Morgan 2 blade #49 Cattle King coming through with wood handles and a Keystone Shield. What makes this release unusual is the fact it’s the first factory run wood with the Keystone Shield.
I didn’t ask the type of wood it’ll come in, but based on the popularity of the wood releases, don’t think it’ll matter. The run will be limited to 100 knives and should be coming in shortly.
Had a friend forward these current pix of the old Cattaraugus Cutlery Company. It was originally a joint venture between J.B.F. Champlin, his son and the Case brothers back in 1886 in Little Valley, NY. This was the launch pad for the Case Bro’s who went on to form the Case Cutlery Co in 1905. Cattaraugus finally closed it’s doors in 1963. It’s always sad to see a bit of history fall into disrepair and finally disappear.
Finally, the 42 GEC OD Green Linen Micarta’s arrived. I started the day with a dozen and I think there’s just one left. That was definitely one of the more popular runs I’ve seen in a while and the OD Green appears to be a major hit. Glad we’ll see more of it in the upcoming 72’s. It might even be nice to maybe see a deep maroon linen micarta. Great diversion from the acrylics.
It’s been brought to my attention before and I guess I don’t have an answer. Anyone want to speculate as to why the blade etches are so weak on the recent releases? This last group of OD Green’s have one of the faintest etches I can recall seeing.
Just out of curiosity, I pulled out a 2008 GEC (bottom) to compare with the 42 GEC from 2014 (middle) and one of the 15 Boys knives in 1095 (top). The ’14 is definitely lighter then the ’08 and the new 1095 is darker then either of the 440C’s. This leads me to think the 440C doesn’t take the etch as well as the high carbon possibly????
Another item I noticed and forgot to mention was the new tang stamp on the 42 Stainless blade. As with so many tang stamps, it’s too bad you can’t read all of the stamp. I understand you can’t get three lines above the bolster all the time, but sure wish we could! I like the update and it’ll be interesting to see if this is the trend going forward on all of the 440’s or if it’ll show up on the 1095 blades in time as well.
As far as I’m concerned, this is exactly the type of minor ‘tweaking’
that can keep things interesting and put a little bounce back in your
…….well, you know what I mean. Now, how about we see a few of the blades ‘stamped’ with the trademark? It looked great and we only saw it for a really brief moment in time. I may be dead wrong, but the little feedback I hear on the phone and in email’s, is this is the type of embellishment collectors don’t mind paying a little extra for. I understand these are the types of enhancements that cost a little more money, but don’t they also add a touch of class, setting them apart from the competition?
Jan and Donnie made a few stops after the Dalton Knife Show, one of them at Alabama Damascus Steel. There’s a nice piece of video Jan put up on the iKC site showing the damascus process and better yet, a second video of Donnie getting some on hands experience grinding a blade. He looks reeeal comfortable finishing that blade.
A few of you spoke up and it’s paid off. Just minutes ago I got the following update from GEC. These have just been added to the production lineup. PURELY a guess, but I’d say around the second week of April. Would surely liked to have seen some GEC stainless in the lot.
I know there are a bunch of you waiting for the Green Micarta 42’s and it sounds like they’ll start shipping this week. I’m gonna be out of the office for a long weekend, but I should have them in hand by Monday, the 17th.