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TSA Knives Weekly Update 7.31.15

Has to be a quick update this week.  This is the weekend for our family gathering and after being in Iowa last weekend, most of this week was spent making preparations for this weekend!!

It’s that time of the year when there really isn’t a whole lot going on in the knife industry.  Queen sent out a couple of new short run releases that I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t even had time to look at.  There were also a couple of Barlows that were on backorder which I’ll get listed next week.

The best news is our friend Dave sent me a few sticks of some incredible looking Exhibition Grade Ironwood Burl too do something with.  I think we came up with a couple of pretty good ideas but it’s gonna be a while before it comes together.  In the meantime, here’s what we’ve got to work with.

Exhibition Ironwood Burl
Exhibition Ironwood Burl

Needless to say, the picture doesn’t do it justice, but it’ll give you an idea.

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Trestle Pine Knives Buddy Feedback

It was really nice to get some quick feedback on the Trestle Pine Knives Buddy and after I figured out how to lower the price, the following email was particularly gratifying.

“Hi Greg,

I would rather have you keep the $10 as I thought the price of the Buddy was quite low to start with.  ……….


P.S.  Ordered the Buddy Thursday night, received it Saturday morning!  Also, everything about the knife exceeds my expectations. Great, great knife!”
When I asked if he objected to my posting his comments on the blog, he replied:

No problem at all with posting what I said. THANK YOU for your hard work and dedication and perseverance in putting together this project that resulted in a great knife. It is that same work ethic and integrity that made, and continue to make, America the greatest nation on earth. 
Best regards,
I had another customer also suggest I keep the $10 as they felt the knife was well worth it.  If I don’t sell another knife, it’s comments like these that reassure me that my time and effort was well spent.
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Good News re: Pricing on the Trestle Pine Knives Buddy

For the past month, I’ve been struggling with why the production cost on the Trestle Pine Knives Buddy was coming in as high as it was.  I wanted to keep the price as reasonable as possible and hoped they’ be in the sub $100 range.

Got home late last nite after a quick trip to Iowa,  the invoice was here.  Well, that cartoon bubble light bulb went off over my head!  Figured it out.  I already had the total  cost figures,  but had overlooked the fact the knives were being run in two groups.  I’d rolled the total costs for all of the knives into the first group.  In other words, the second group were going to be ‘free’.  Hmmmm….. doesn’t work that way.  Recalculated everything and it all started to make sense.

As a result, the per knife price came down and I’ve adjusted the store price and refunds have been sent out to everyone.  Do appreciate the fact no one’s complained at the original higher price and the feedback you’ve given me makes me feel good that you’re happy with the knife.  Glad to be able to return a few bucks to you.

I spent some time with Mike at WSSI this weekend down in Iowa.  I had some more wood to get stabilized and Mike showed me some really gorgeous, unique slabs of wood.  In the first run I had a pair of the Buddy’s built with a Redwood Birdseye Burl that came out great and there’s all kinds of really unique wood Mike has to offer.  Almost all of it unique to his dying and stabilization process.

Redwood Birdseye Burl
Redwood Birdseye Burl

There are a few more pieces of the Redwood I plan to use on the upcoming folder and decided I may just experiment with a few more pieces of some of the other unique slabs Mike has.  It’s fun to break away from all the traditional ‘woods’ we see on a regular basis and I’m anxious to see how the other pieces finish as well.

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Trestle Pine Knives “Buddy” is in stock!!

I want to give everyone a heads up that I received the first of the Trestle Pine Knives “Buddy” today.  The bad news…. I’m only going to be able to get part of them listed today as I have a funeral to attend out of town which means, the rest will go up first of the week.  I’m going to try to get a representative sample of each handle material listed today.  ( I did get 3 of each listed and promise to get more up next week)

Let me say I’m really happy with the way they finished.   Here’s a peek of the four handle materials.

L to R:  Ash, Yellow Birch, Maple and 1/4 Sawn Oak
L to R: Ash, Yellow Birch, Maple and 1/4 Sawn Oak

The sheaths come with a FireSteel loop and the sheath can be worn on the left or right side.

The blade is 1095 Carbon steel, .125″ thick and measures approximately 2.875″ from tang to tip.  OAL is approximately 6″ butt to tip.  The weight comes in at a slim, trim 2.5 oz.


The knives will come with a leather lanyard and a piece of White Tail antler for a stop.

DSCN4286The FireSteel is an optional add on and the price is attractive for a ‘genuine’ Light My Fire Army size FireSteel.  Someone asked why I didn’t use one of the cheaper brands of Fire Steels or make my own from some of the inexpensive ferrocerium rods that you can pick up on Ebay.  I’ve tried them, and having used the Light My Fire brand and some of the less expensive stuff, there’s no comparison.

DSCN4285The reason I added the lanyard and the stop is actually pretty simple.  First, I like the lanyard which makes it easy to hang your knife on a limb, antler, what have you.  MUCH better then laying it on the ground and later wondering where you laid it.   Second, if you carry the Fire Steel, I’ve never been a great fan of the striker dangling below the sheath and also having the lanyard hanging from my knife handle..   so……..

IF you want, get rid of the lanyard on the FireSteel and simply attach the striker to the lanyard on your knife.  DSCN4293

That being said, the top corner edge of the blade has been left relatively sharp to facilitate using the top of the blade with the FireSteel.  Personally, I still like to use the striker.

This has been a great pattern that I’ve enjoyed using and I hope you’ll find the Buddy a good companion as well.

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TSA Knives Weekly Update 7.17.15

Just sliding along and realizing the first of August is closing in.  Sometimes summers seem to be getting shorter and winters longer.

Speaking of August, GEC is raffling off a super knife (46 Whaler in stag 1 of 2) to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.  This coincides with their annual Rendezvous and I encourage anyone and everyone to send Chris a few (or a bunch of) bucks and pick up some tickets.  At a buck a chance, you’re getting a shot at a great collectible and win or lose, some wounded American Vets are definitely going to be winners.  Just because we no longer have perpetual news feeds about the war and the conflict seems to be winding down doesn’t mean the wounded have magically disappeared.   You don’t have to be in Titusville that weekend to win and I can’t think of a better way to spend a few dollars.

TSA Knives is also running a special on the Beer Scout Glasses selling and shipping a pair of them for $15 (shipping included) with $10 of the purchase price going to the Wounded Warrior Project.  I’ve got less then a dozen left, so don’t wait much longer.  You won’t find a better price anywhere else and you’ll be making a donation to a great organization at the same time.  If you don’t drink beer, believe me, a cold soda or an iced tea tastes just fine served in these glasses too.

Trestle Pine Knives……. where in the world are they?!?!?!?  Checked yesterday and they won’t ship until Monday or Tuesday next week which means I won’t get them until late next week.  They had hoped to ship this week, but…. they didn’t.  I’m even more anxious then some of you to see how these come out and we’re just gonna hafta wait a little longer.  The handles were being shaped and buffed.  When I asked how they were looking, I was told they looked great.  We shall see!!


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Favorite Knife… tough choice

I’ve been digging around some boxes and desk drawers recently and got to thinking about some of my ‘favorite’ EDC knives.  It’s actually been kind of interesting to see how my tastes and preferences have changed.  Not so sure my day to day knife requirements have changed so much as what feels good and works best for different tasks.

A few of my EDC's
A few of my EDC’s

In the upper left hand corner was the start of a love affair with GEC knives that lasted a long time.  It’s a 2008 735108L Burnt Stag that’s had a lot of use.

CRKT M16 & Tidioute Melon Whittler
CRKT M16 & Tidioute Melon Whittler

Then there’s a  CRKT M16 that is still a handy utility knife.  There’s several floating around the property in desk drawers or the truck or Jeep consoles.  To it’s right is the Melon Knife, Executive Whittler (take your pick) that really struck my fancy with it’s slim profile and multi blade option.

GEC Trapper and Ben Hogan
GEC Trapper and Ben Hogan

Sticking with that preference for longer slimmer knives,  the Trapper and the Ben Hogan were a couple of naturals.  I took out my Dremel Tool and turned the Ben Hogan into an EZ-Open which brought a whole new dimension to that knife especially if you were deploying the blade with wet or bloody hands.

And then Queen came into my life with the Copperhead and it’s D2 blade.  My knife carrying preferences started to shift.

Queen Copperhead

The Queen Copperhead still followed a relatively slim profile but had a blade that was big enough for serious work.  And the blade steel……, love it.

Then I seemed to start to vacillate again between a smaller knife in the form of the #48 Queen Whittler and the Fallkniven Gentleman’s Knife.

Queen #48 Whittler and Fallkniven Gentleman's Knife
Queen #48 Whittler and Fallkniven Gentleman’s Knife

I liked the smaller size for carrying but had come to have a serious appreciation for premium blade steels.   Still a big fan of the Queen D2 blades, the Fallkniven has a laminated Cobalt Steel that is nothing short of fantastic (which comes at a price).   I could also loosen the pivot and effectively have a gravity opening knife for one handed deployment.

And somewhere along the line, I had to get into the lower price knives and found out there are some great US made, sub-$40 knives out there.

Queen Country Cousin and Sheepsfoot Barlow Workhorse
Queen Country Cousin and Sheepsfoot Barlow Workhorse

The Country Cousin has the D2 Blade I like and the Workhorse has a 1095 blade.  I’m willing to compromise on the blade steel considering the Sheepsfoot blade on the Barlow.  Pretty tough to deny that you’ll never find a blade profile easier to maintain (other then a Wharncliffe) then that nice straight edge of a Sheepsfoot.

So what’s in my pocket today????

Fallkniven U2
Fallkniven U2

Gotta admit, the Fallkniven U2 with the laminated powdered gold steel blade.  I’ve praised it’s virtues countless times before and so far, the bloom is still on the rose.  What really helps maintain that ‘favorite’ status is the low maintenance.  Incredible edge retention, stain resistant steel, light weight, comfortable to use…. ’nuff said.

Now this is just a sampling of my ‘favorites’.  One I missed in the photo is a GEC 4 blade Congress that’s had a lot of use and I haven’t even dug into the fixed blades yet.  What I find is if I’m working on a specific project (wiring, fishing, etc), I have a ‘go to’ pattern I’ll drop in my pocket, otherwise the U2 is my constant companion.  For camping, love that Ben Hogan and the Copperhead.  Repairs around the house, the sheepsfoot Barlow can’t be beat.   And so it goes.

Guess I can’t really remember a time I’ve only had one knife since I was a kid.  The thought of having to cut my choice down to a single knife would be a seriously difficult decision that would take a lot of consideration.  Maybe…. I might just give that some thought for a little mental exercise.



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Beer Scout Glasses ~ Wounded Warrior Fund Raiser

Just got a shipment of the GEC Beer Scout Glasses and came up with a fund raiser idea for the Wounded Warrior Project.  It’s been a while since I did anything through the storefront and gave everyone a chance to help out, so here’s your chance.  Ya can’t lose!!!

Beer Scout Glasses ~ WWP Fund Raiser
Beer Scout Glasses ~ WWP Fund Raiser

GEC says these glasses should retail for $7.25 each.  Well, while my supply lasts, for a grand total of $15 (including shipping), you can buy a pair of the Beer Scout Glasses and…….

$10 of that $15 will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project!!!

Now consider the glasses alone should sell for at least $14.50.  AND, the shipping cost is roughly $6-$8.  The way I figure it, you just got a value worth over $20 for just $15,  AND…. you just made a $10 contribution to the Wounded Warrior Project in the process!!!

Just so there’s no misunderstanding, GEC did NOT donate these glasses for this fund raiser.  I’ve only got a couple dozen of the glasses so it’s first come, first served.  Really sorry, but I can’t ship these overseas due to the shipping cost and risk of breakage.

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TSA Knives, LLC ~ Trestle Pine Knives Weekly Update 7.10.15

First, let me tell you that the 4th of July was a ‘booming’ success at our house.  If we weren’t eating, we were on the water.  The evening of the 4th was drop dead gorgeous to be on the lake with temps in the low 70’s, a light breeze and fireworks from 9:30 till after 11:00.  It was great to get together with old friends and a good time was had by all!

It’s been a pretty quiet week otherwise.  I did finish cutting the handle slabs for the upcoming folders and the fixed blades are supposed to start shipping next week.  When I was cutting the Oak I realized I’d failed to mention that almost all of it is quarter sawn.  In fact, quite a bit of the Birch is quarter sawn as well.  That really results in a nice looking piece of finished wood.

The big news is I finally put up an informational website this morning for the Trestle Pine Knives.  The address is just,  Nothing fancy, just a nuts and bolts informational site that offers some background on the knives and wood.  There’s a photo gallery that will be a work in progress as time goes on.  John asked me yesterday if I had any old photo’s I could put up of the old trestle that was part of the inspiration for the knives.  I’ll do some digging and I know I have some pictures that go back 20 or 30 years I can scan and add to the photo gallery.  All in good time!

Otherwise, just another week living the dream!!!  By this time next week, I’m hoping I have some knives to show you.

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Trestle Pine Knives Update

The fixed blade Trestle Pine Knives  are in production and should start shipping the first of next week.  It’s taken a few weeks longer then originally anticipated but there were a few small details that had to be worked out.

The pieces are also coming together on the first Trestle Pine Knives folder.  I haven’t said much about the folder as I wanted to get the fixed blade out before I got too far ahead of myself.  Right now the folder should be coming through around the first of September and I’ll share some details in another week or two.

Otherwise, we’re in the summer doldrums and it’s been relatively quiet regarding new or exciting releases.  I have some of the Beer Glasses on order from GEC and am thinking about using them as a fund raising item for the Wounded Warrior Project.  The collector buttons did well for a fund raiser, but have slowed up so the glasses might be a good replacement item.

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Great 4th of July Story

Really wanted to share this with everyone on this gorgeous 4th of July morning.  I had a phone call yesterday from an old customer that’s breaking up his collection.  He asked how he might go about selling one of his knives on a forum and contributing a portion of the Sale to the Wounded Warrior Project in the name of the buyer.

Well we had a nice conversation and less then an hour later I got another call from him that the knife had sold.  It seems once the buyer found out a portion of the proceeds was being donated to the Wounded Warriors, the buyer decided to make a matching donation.  How cool is that?

It’s wonderful to see what can happen when we extend a helping hand and the effect that can have on others.  We both agreed that the gratification we get from helping others far exceeds any financial benefit we might realize.  That my friends is what it’s all about.

Hope you’re all having a safe and happy 4th of July!!!