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Trestle Pine Knives and Weekly Review 5-29-15

LOTSA new stuff this week.  As mentioned a couple of days ago, the floodgates opened up with Queen and a lot of new items arrived, the best of the lot being the special run of Work Horse Barlows with the Sheepsfoot blades.  Response has been excellent+.

I’ve also had some really good feedback from the folks that have tried the Ballistol samples I’ve sent out.  I can’t blame anyone for not investing in a product without trying it and the samples have really helped.  There aren’t a lot left, but remember, if you’d like to try it just include a note with your next order and as long as I have some left, glad to share.

Good news on the Trestle Pine Knives front as the blades are finished and waiting on handle material.

Trestle Pine Knives First Blade
Trestle Pine Knives First Blade

It’s been …..’interesting’?… watching this come together.  Lots of ups and downs, false starts, but finally, this looks like it might actually turn into a knife!  This weekend I’m making a trip to Iowa to pick up the stabilized wood and will cut a couple of slabs and sand them down to get an idea what it’s going to look like.

The sheaths are in process and will have a FireSteel loop.  The consensus seemed to be it’s better to have the loop and not use it then to wish you had it.  Hopefully, we’ll see some finished products in a few more weeks!

I promised to share some information on the name “Trestle Pine Knives” and also the name “Buddy” for the first model.   This all has a lot of special meaning and memories for me and maybe give you a little insight into my enthusiasm for the project.

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69 Workhorse Sheepsfoot & more new arrivals!

With Blade just a little over a week away, the floodgates opened up with lots of new arrivals from Queen.  Split Back Whittlers in Walnut, Stag Bone and Buffalo Horn, Mountain Man Stag Bone, Woodsman Special Run Rosewood and so on.  Great Eastern shipped the Natural Stag and Appaloosa Horsecut non-locking 73’s.

But the best of the lot are the Queen 69 Workhorse Sheepsfoot Special Run.  It’s slightly larger then GEC’s #25 Barlow, has the familiar 1095 blade, delrin handles and comes in at roughly half the price.

Queen 69 Workhorse Sheepsfoot Special Run
Queen 69 Workhorse Sheepsfoot Barlow Special Run
GEC 25EZ (L) Queen 69 Workhorse (R)
GEC 25EZ (L) Queen 69 Workhorse (R)

The blade sits just high enough above the handle that it is very easy to open without using the nail nick just like the GEC EZ Open.  A slightly lighter spring in the Queen also makes a tremendous difference in the effort required to open the blade.  Maybe I’m just getting old, but I don’t enjoy breaking a nail to open my knife.

DSCN3870GEC 25EZ (L) Queen 69 Workhorse (R)


Queen 69 Workhorse Sheepsfoot
Queen 69 Workhorse Sheepsfoot Barlow

I really appreciate the slightly larger size.  A little arthritis in the hands makes the slightly larger size a lot more comfortable for extended usage.   It just has a really nice feel ‘in hand’.

69 Workhorse Sheepsfoot Barlow
Queen 69 Workhorse Sheepsfoot Barlow

Overall, I don’t think there’s a US made Barlow with a 1095 that comes close for the price.  At under $40 delivered stateside, it’s a fantastic bargain.

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Trestle Pine Knives Status & Weekly Review 5/22/15

Crazy week.  Temperatures ran from the 30’s with snow flurries and sleet to close to 70F.  BUT…. we finally got some rain, things are turning green and I can mow the yard about every 3 days.

The Queen 4L Woodsman Lockbacks came in this week and I’m looking forward to the regular run series.  Nice knives.  With any luck at all, the special order Queen City Workhorse Barlows with sheepsfoot blades should show up today.  They shipped earlier this week but UPS delivery is painfully slow to this part of the country.  If they show up today, I’ll add a post to the blog as promised.

The really good news relates to…..


The boxes have arrived.  The wood should be stabilized in a couple of weeks.  Sheaths are going to production in the next week or two.  The blades are finished and ready for ‘assembly’!  It looks like late June is a good bet to see the finished knives.

Might as well let you know that there’s a second knife in the works as well.  This one will be a traditional slip joint in a pattern we’re all familiar with.  It’ll feature the same wood(s) used on the fixed blade, but I wanted to take things up a notch as far as the pattern is concerned with a premium blade steel in a popular style.  IF things go as planned/hoped/anticipated …. maybe an early to mid July release.  There are a few more knives in the planning stages but it all takes time!!

So for now, that’s about it.  Hope everyone has a nice Memorial Day Weekend.

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Have a Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

In this part of the country, Memorial Day Weekend marks not only a day of remembrance for those men and women that lost their lives defending our country, but also the beginning of summer.  Personally, it seems totally appropriate to spend a day of reflection remembering our fallen service men and women knowing it marks the beginning of a new season of warmth, outdoor activities and family get togethers we can enjoy, in large part, thanks to their sacrifice.

A lot of folks mark the day attending parades honoring our service men and women, a visit to the cemetery for brief services and possibly a picnic with family and friends.  Following the services at the cemetery, the conversations are sometimes quiet, solemn and maybe even tearful.  But then it always seems like people relax and start sharing memories about good times had and with any luck, some good laughs follow.

We always spent some time wandering among the markers with an older relative being reminded what our relationship was to some of the deceased who were second or third cousins or possibly great, great aunts, uncles, etc.  Who served in which branch of the service and where they served.  It was a great time to get ‘reconnected’ to who we are, where we came from and how lucky we are to be here.

Living so far from where I grew up, I miss those opportunities to see family and friends.  Memories tend to fade a little faster then they should and that’s not good.  So this year, I plan to spend a little time going through old photographs and remembering how lucky I am. Somewhere around here, I have a copy of the Blue Jacket’s Manual dated 1942 that one of my uncles gave me years ago.  Think it’s time to find it.


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Queen Woodsman Lockback Corrections ~ GEC 73’s

Think I’ve finally sorted out the Special Run Queen Woodsman Lockback release.  First, as previously stated the blades are 1095, NOT D2.  There are also a few Tortoise Shell Acrylics thrown in with the Cracked Ice.  And, the Worm Groove Bone has a thumb stud.  Sorry for the confusion, but I just posted the info that was originally passed onto me.

That being said, the Woodsman Lockback is a really nice pattern.  Visibly, it’s very similar in appearance to the GEC 73 Linerlock.

Queen Woodsman (L) GEC 73 (R)
Queen Woodsman (L) GEC 73 (R)

When you pick the two up, you immediately feel the difference in weight and thickness.  The Queen Woodsman Lockback has a slimmer profile and roughly a .3 oz weight advantage.  The Queen Woodsman Lockback feels like a smaller lighter weight knife.  The big difference comes when you open the blades.  The GEC linerlock has a spring you’d expect in a traditional non-locking folder but way heavier then I personally like in a locking blade knife.  There’s just no need for such a heavy spring.  The Queen Woodsman Lockback on the other hand has a very light, easy to open spring.

I really like the lanyard tube on the Queen Woodsman, but am disappointed in the inconsistent size of the holes.

Inconsistently sized lanyard holes
Inconsistently sized lanyard holes

I’ve been told there’s a possibility they may eliminate the lanyard tube in future runs.  If they can’t have the larger hole to accommodate a lanyard, there’s not much point in the added cost.

Overall, both of these knives offer a good choice if you have preference for a lockback or a linerlock design.  I’d like to see a lighter spring in the GEC and a functional lanyard tube in the Queen.

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Trestle Pine Knives Update and Weekly Wrap Up

Things continue to move along with the first Trestle Pine Knives release.  On Wednesday the wood arrived for the handles and today it left to be stabilized.

Trestle Pine Knives Handle Material
Trestle Pine Knives Handle Material

There will be a choice of Maple, Ash, Yellow Birch and Oak.  I’m really anxious to see what the wood looks like once it’s stabilized as it really brought out the color in the Prototype Yellow Birch.  The Oak is particularly interesting as it has some really nice grain to it.

Oak Handle Material
Oak Handle Material

The Birch looked great on the Proto and the rest of it looks like it’s going to finish really nicely as well.

Birch Handle Material
Birch Handle Material

I had two calls today asking me how knife sales have been.  Not sure if it was an informal survey but it sounds like it’s been slow for some folks.  Personally, it’s been up and down but overall it’s been a great year so far.  This past week was excellent and slowly but surely, sales of Queen knives is catching up with GEC and I’d be willing to bet unless we see more GEC product for the distributors, my Queen sales will soon overtake my GEC sales.  Queen has been putting out some great patterns, the response has reflected it and I under-ordered!

A quick reminder regarding the Queen Woodsman.  It was initially released that the upcoming short run knives would have D2 blades.  Thanks to a call from a customer, it was brought to my attention that on the Queen website they are listed as having 1095 blades which I have confirmed is correct.  1095 blades on all of them rather than D2.  A bit of a disappointment personally.

Next week I should have the special order Queen Workhorse knives with the Sheepsfoot blades.  It took a little longer than I’d originally thought, but they were supposed to ship today or Monday.  As soon as they arrive I’ll ship the pre-orders at once.

The GEC 73’s continue to trickle in with the Northfields expected to land shortly.  It’s still a solid, tried and true pattern that’s as popular as ever.  It would be nice if they’d back off just a tad on the springs, but I guess that’s just the nature of the beast.

The reaction to the Ballistol Oil has been pleasantly….surprising.  It’s an excellent product and I’m glad so many folks trusted my word on it.  Don’t forget, when you place an order if you’d like to try a sample just include a note and I’ll send along a free pre-oiled wipe.

Otherwise, it’s been a busy week!!!  Lots to look forward to and hope everyone has a great weekend.

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Queen Cutlery Woodsman Lock Back Short Run

Received a notice that Queen has a short run of the new 4L Woodsman Lock Back coming through next week.  I believe they’ve been shipped and I should have them by mid week, next week.

The Woodsman Lock Back is 3.75″ closed, D2  (CORRECTION) 1095 Clip Blade, Brass liners, lined bolsters.  Handle materials and quantities will break down as follows:

  • 50  ~  Jigged Winterbottom Bone ($99.95)
  • 25  ~  Ebony Wood ($99.95)
  • 50  ~  American Elk ($119.95)
  • 25  ~  Blood Wood ($99.95)
  • 50  ~  Cracked Ice Acrylic ($99.95)


Jigged Bone $99.95
Jigged Bone $99.95  NOT D2, ….1095 Steel
Ebony Wood #99.95
Ebony Wood $99.95   NOT D2, ….1095 Steel


American Elk $119.95
American Elk $119.95   NOT D2, ….1095 Steel
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Ballistol Oil review

I recently had an opportunity to get re-introduced to an old product, Ballistol Multi Purpose Sportsman’s Oil.  Many years ago when I first started hunting and fishing, we always had a can around the garage that I used as a multipurpose lube on everything that needed a fine grade of lubricant.

Over the years, I followed the trends of the ‘new and improved’ wonder lubes (finally settling on RemOil) and the Ballistol fell by the wayside.  In fact, I completely forgot about it until a friend gave me a can to use at a gun show this past winter.  I also forgot about it’s application as a bore ‘cleaner’ and cleaning agent when mixed with a bit of water.  Since then, I’ve been using it on my guns, knives, door hinges etc.

It’s a non-petroleum product that’s bio-degradable, contains no carcinogens and emulsifies in water.  More importantly (from a practical standpoint), it won’t gum up.  This is a major consideration when you’re using it on guns and the moving parts of your knives.

Ballistol has all the lubricating properties of any other oil, but what I’ve found interesting is that you can also use it on leather and wood.  It will darken leather and no doubt will have a darkening effect on wood.  I definitely would NOT recommend using it on suede.  Another caution that applying any time of oil to leather will keep it soft and supple but will also allow the leather to stretch.  I applied it to half of an older Case sheath and you can see a slight darkening where the pen is pointing.

DSCN3583Another application I haven’t tried is inside of the the sheath.  If there’s tannic acid present, Ballistol will bond with it and prevent interactions with metal.  I have an old Buck 110 that spends most of it’s time in the sheath and once or twice a year I have to clean up the brass where it’s turned green.  Interested to see how it works with the Ballistol.

It also works to polish brass and silver.  I took an old round of 50 cal. and polished the neck of the cartridge to see how it worked and sure ’nuff, the Ballistol did a nice job of cleaning it up.  Not as aggressive as Brasso, but worked fine and left a lightly lubed surface.

DSCN3582The fact Ballistol emulsifies in water has some great benefits.  The first being you can use it on a wet metal surface and when the water evaporates, the Ballistol will still be on the metal.  Second, use it as a lube on your oil stones for sharpening your knives and you’ll find your stones are much easier to clean with a little soap and water.  If you’re a black powder shooter, it works great as a solvent and lube.

Ballistol has a great website listing all kinds of uses and application that are well worth reading:  Ballistol Uses . There’s also some interesting reading on the site about the development of Ballistol and a brief history.

I had a reader email me about an experience with corrosion occurring on brass liners after using Ballistol in his knife.  I haven’t encountered any issues and a little research on the net didn’t reveal any similar incidents so while I’m not discounting his experience, I wonder if there were other factors involved.

My experiences past and present have been outstanding.  It has the characteristics of a penetrating oil and flows into joints, working fantastic to flush and lube pivot pins working it’s way into hard to reach places.  Otherwise, I wipe down my blades and guns with a light coat for long term storage.

I’m carrying Ballistol in the store in Aerosol, non-aerosol and pre-lubed wiping pads.  If you’d like to give it a try, I have a limited number of samples available.  Add a note to your next order and I’ll include one of the wiping pads with your order while supplies last.


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TSA Knives, LLC Weekly review 5/8/15

It’s been one of those weeks.  The last few weeks I’ve been traveling back and forth to Iowa to visit my 98 year young dad for a day here and there.  Dad passed away last Sunday AM and I spent the past week at his home laying him to rest and starting to wrap up the loose ends.

I can honestly say it was one of the better funerals I’ve been to.  Lots of really close friends and family got together to tell stories, share memories and more then a few hearty laughs.  He was a really special guy, (not just because he was my dad) and was well liked by everyone that met him.  He had a some pretty strong Irish blood in his lineage so we know how to celebrate a life.

So today I’m back at work and there’s some catching up to get done.  I did get the recent releases from GEC listed and you’ll find them in the Recently Added Products listings.  A box of Ballistol Oil products arrived as well and with any luck, I’ll get it listed tomorrow.  This is an excellent product and if you’re not familiar with it, I brought in some smaller sized bottles if you want to give it a try.

For now, I’ll keep this short and fill in a few blanks next week regarding the progress on the Trestle Pine Knives project.  Things are moving along.

In memory of Dad….. “May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”