Monthly Archives: September 2015

Trestle Pine Knives Update

I got back from my trip to the Arrowhead this past weekend and had two large boxes of Trestle Pine Knives Superior’s to get listed.  First, let me tell you I’m incredibly happy with the finished products.

Trestle Pine Knives Superior Ash, Oak, Yellow Birch, Maple
Trestle Pine Knives Superior Ash, Oak, Yellow Birch, Maple

I wanted these to come off as an EDC knife and not a blinged up collectible destined for the display case.  So there’s no blade etches, lined bolsters  or shields.  Just nice clean lines on a knife that will hopefully get used.

About the only thing ‘fancy’ is the wood and the wood isn’t a highly figured ‘ohmygosh’ stick of wood.  It’s just an interesting handle material that speaks to me every time I handle one of the Trestle Pine Knives.  The wood isn’t just another piece of wood, but where it came from and what it represents is special.  It takes me back to a time and place that holds incredibly wonderful memories I wish everyone could experience.

The Wharncliffe blade is a pattern that’s become really popular in the last couple of years and has slowly started to grow on me as well.  My thought was a Wharncliffe using a high end stainless like 154CM was bound to be a winner with anyone that actually uses the Superior.  And yes, there is a half stop.   As far as the pull is concerned, on a scale of 1-10, I’d rank it a 7.  Firm with a solid lock up but not requiring a pair of pliers to pry it open.   Perfect.  I haven’t had the time to put one to use yet, but I think it’s gonna work out great!

I really hoped the blade would sit high enough in the frame to make it possible to open it by ‘pinching’ the top of the blade rather then depending on using the nail nick.  If you’ve got cold, wet hands as is often the case in the north country, pinching the blade to open is sometimes a bit easier.  It worked out perfectly without cutting in an EZ Open notch.

Trestle Pine Knives Superior
Trestle Pine Knives Superior

Finally, I like the way my thumb or index finger fit between the tang and bolster for either push or draw cuts.  Combined with the gently rounded corners on the the butt, it should make for an incredibly comfortable knife to use.  The whole point behind the Trestle Pine Knives is coming up with ideas that work.

DSCN5262 DSCN5263

There have been a couple of people ask about production totals.  On the first run there were:

  • 41 Ash
  • 38 Oak
  • 32 Yellow Birch
  • 27 Maple
  • 4 Redwood Birdseye Burl
  • 4 Exhibition Grade Desert Ironwood

All of the pre-orders for the Trestle Pine Knives Superior have shipped so keep an eye on your mailbox!  Once you get your knife and have a chance to use it a bit, if you’d like to post a comment, I’d be happy to know what you think.

TSA Knives Weekly Update 9.24.15

I’m squeezing this weekly update in a day early this week.  Not a lot going on but a couple of things worth noting and passing on.

First, confirmation came through that the Trestle Pine Knives Superior are indeed on their way.  The picture looks good and the feedback I’ve gotten has been positive.  I posted a pre-booking slot in the storefront and quite a few of you have already taken advantage of it.

The survey has been interesting.  So far, it appears the Barlow is a hands down favorite.  Blade choices are kind of split up and the choice of blade steel is all over the place.  Two people were forth coming in admitting their experience with blade steels was limited to 1095 or the 440 class of steels.  I didn’t tally the totals yet, but it appeared the steel choice was pretty evenly distributed.  I’ll leave the survey up for a few more days and take a look at it then.

I added around 20 new/old stock GEC’s yesterday to fill in some gaps.  There are a couple of nice older Case knives I acquired recently that I’ll also try to get listed next week.

I’ll remind you again in the next couple of weeks, but for those of you within driving distance, there’s a gun show coming up in Fergus Falls, MN at the National Guard Armory the weekend of October 17-18.  If you want to check out the Trestle Pine Knives Superior and Buddy, I’ll have them at the show.  It’s always nice to get to chat with you and listen to your input and ideas.  I’ll be filling up 4 tables with ‘stuff’ and a good supply of knives.

Found this information about “Madstone” rather interesting in”3001 Questions & Answers”.   As follows…..

“The Madstone is found in the stomach of a deer and is caused by a ‘growth’.  It will positively cure mad dog or cat bites but I do not know whether or not it will cure snake bites.

There is a lady of this place who has one and nearly every summer uses it as there are quite a few dogs and cats go mad.  The madstone sticks to the place bitten until all the poison is drawn out which lasts from 6 hours to 3 days and sometimes longer.  The stone is boiled in milk to remove poison.

This is not superstition but fact.  Proof can be furnished if wanted.  I hope this will benefit some readers. “

Can’t find any ‘proof’ having been furnished, but I think I would have stayed clear of that ladies neighborhood full of mad dogs and cats!!

Trestle Pine Knives Superior Update

Just got in a photo of the first of the Trestle Pines Knives Superior.

Trestle Pine Knives Superior (Yellow Birch)
Trestle Pine Knives Superior (Yellow Birch)

From the picture, I’m really happy with the way it turned out.  One of the things I was hoping was that the blade would sit up high enough to allow you to grab it with your finger tips like an easy open.  The single blade should also result in a nice flat profile for pocket comfort.

If you’re interested in pre-ordering one, I set up a store link yesterday and a couple of you found it already.  Here it is:  Trestle Pine Knives Superior

The only disappointment is I won’t have one in time to take it with me this weekend!!!


Trestle Pine Knives Design Survey

A few weeks back a lot of you were willing and anxious to comment on the current state of quality and customer service in the knife industry.  This type of info is always interesting and with any luck, gets read by the people that can initiate change.  Speaking up is one of the best ways to make things happen, so here’s another opportunity to offer your input.

The second Trestle Pine Knives release will be out later next week and I’m considering what to follow the ‘Superior’ up with.  I have a few ideas I’m looking at, but I’m also interested to get some feedback from other ‘users’.  The next release following the Trestle Pine Knives ‘Superior’ will definitely be another traditional folder, but I haven’t made a decision on a single, two or three blade.  Everyone has their own idea of the perfect knife so I’d like to hear from you.  There’s room at the bottom of the design survey if you’d like to add any comments not covered in the questions.

I’ve had problems with someone making multiple submissions and I’ll ask you just reply to the survey once.  I went in and deleted the duplicates, but it sure is easier if I don’t have to.  Thanks!

This quiz is for logged in users only.

TSA Knives Weekly Update 9.18.15

Based on fixed blade sales this week it looks like hunting season must be getting underway.  I brought in more Fallkniven, Bark River and Hess to round things out a bit.  I know there are a ton of options out there, but those three brands offer as much as any of the others.  Hess has the 1095, Bark River a multitude of quality high carbon and stainless and the Fallknivens have an excellent laminated VG10 blade.

These are my three favorites and there’s always at least one or two of them in my kit when we head out for some time in the woods.

Trestle Pine Buddy, Bark River North Star, Fallkniven A1
Trestle Pine Buddy, Bark River North Star, Fallkniven A1

I’m counting on 9/25 being the ship date on the Trestle Pine Knives “Superior”.  Haven’t heard anything to the contrary so with any luck at all come October 1, they should be in stock ready to ship.  The price is going to be $79.95 for the old growth Oak, Ash, Yellow Birch and Maple wood with a 154CM Wharncliffe blade.

No news out of Queen and I’m not aware of what’s coming up in the near future.  I know they have a number of new releases coming through before the end of the year but don’t know what the schedule is.

GEC is in full SFO mode.  The upcoming 77’s will be SFO’s first, then regular production around the third week of October.  The SFO options are pretty extensive as far as blade and handle options are concerned.  The first of the year my understanding was GEC was going to be dedicating more time to regular runs, but obviously, that’s not the direction they decided to follow.   Another run of the 71 F&F comes in early November followed by the 25’s in late November.   Not aware of anything ‘new’ in their plans.

I did add a few odds and ends of knives to the inventory this week as well.  Finally.  I had a couple of older EDC knives, a few more Queen/Schatt Proto’s and some 2008 GEC’s that have been sitting in a box under my desk.  Should really see what’s in the bottom of that box.

I missed our annual journey North last weekend but I think this next weekend has possibilities.  The weather up here has been incredibly nice for September which can be rainy and chilly.  So I’ve got my fingers crossed!!!

And your thought for the week, from “3001 Questions & Answers”, here are the recommended provisions for one man making a one month trip into the wilderness.  There was also a note this list was assuming there might be some game or fish supplementing this list.  And I don’t think he’s traveling on a four wheeler.

  • 25# Flour
  • 10# Cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 # Good Baking Powder
  • 3# Salt
  • 10# Bacon
  • 1# Lard
  • 2-3# Butter
  • 12 # Beans
  • 4# Split Peas
  • 5# Dried Fruit
  • 4# Prunes
  • 5# Sugar
  • 2# Tea
  • Tin of Black Pepper
  • Quart of Maple Syrup
  • Bottle of Pickles

I’m thinking MRE’s are looking better all the time!!!

Outdoor Book Update

Received the books I ordered today.   “Woodcraft” by E. H. Krepps and “3001 Questions & Answers” both published by the A. R. Harding Publishers.  The information in both of these books was compiled in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

I just glanced through “3001 Questions & Answers” and all i can say is there is some priceless information in there!  Not all of which I’d necessarily choose to follow today, but nonetheless, fascinating to read.  I’ll try to throw in a few ‘facts’ in my regular posts you might enjoy.  Here’s an example of a couple things I learned just this morning!

Kerosene was considered at one time to be an effective treatment for frost bite.  It was said that if you immersed the effected parts in kerosene while frozen, it would ‘remove all frost’ and leave no ill effects. 

To prevent rust in your rifle barrel, use “Anti Rust Rope” sold by the Marble Safety Axe Co.

Recommended Reading

A couple of winters back Dave was kind enough to do a book exchange with me.  He had some fascinating books particularly about the final days of the buffalo hunters.  In exchange, I sent him a few of my favorites to read about the north country and we both had an enjoyable winters reading!

I”m one of those people that will reread a book if I found it interesting enough the first time through.  These four have been read more then once! For some time, I’ve meant to share a few of the titles I’ve read and reread but just never took the time to do it.  Winters coming up and it never hurts to plan ahead!!

This past weekend I spent some time revisiting an absolutely incredible book that I first read many years ago, and reread just a couple of years ago.  If you enjoy the outdoors or reading outdoor adventure stories, this is a must read.  More importantly, if you have a daughter and want her to read an inspiring story of incredible determination of another young woman, this is it.  DSCN5092

The Silence of the North” is the biography of Olive A. Fredrickson written by Ben East.  Olive grew up in northern Canada in the early 1900’s and spent her early life trapping in the extreme northern wilderness area around Slave Lake.  Every time I’ve picked the book up I’ve had a hard time putting it down.   I had to make an effort as I read it to remind myself this was a true story. Just incredible.  As you can see, my copy is getting a bit shop worn having been passed around and read many times.  I’ve never seen it, but I believe there was also a movie made back in the late 70’s or early 80’s.  Not sure how faithful the movie was to the book, but the books a winner.


Another gem to make a note of is “Woodcraft & Camping” by Nessmuk, aka, George W. Sears.  I know most of us are familiar with the different “Nessmuk” knives but a lot of folks don’t realize Nessmuk was a real and rather fascinating character.  It’s packed with neat tricks and tips related to camping in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s that are still relevant.  He discusses knives, hatchets and the gear that was necessary to get by in the wilderness of North America.


Canadian Wilds” by Martin Hunter is a fun read if you’re into historical tales of trappers and traders of the 1800’s.  From the inside cover,…”Tells about the Hudson Bay Company, Northern Indians, and their modes of hunting, trapping, etc…”  This one’s a little more obscure to find and my copy bears a 1935 copyright by Harding Publishing co.


The last one I’ll mention is “The Last Gentleman Adventurer” by Edward Beauclerk Maurice.   It’s the true story of a 16 year old from the UK apprenticed to the Hudson Bay Company’s remote posts in the Hudson Bay and Baffin Bay regions of Canada during the early 1900’s.  You have to read this book keeping in mind that this was a 16 year old that took off on the adventure of his life with his mother’s blessing knowing there was good chance their paths would most likely never cross again.

If anyone else (Dave?) has any ‘favorites’ they’d like to share the titles to, jump right in.  I’ve got many, many more I could mention but these four are definitely in my top 10 list.  Winter is my primary reading season and I’m starting to plan ahead!!!

TSA Knives Weekly Update 9.11.15

First thing that struck me when I typed that title was the fact it’s 9/11.  There’s a date that most of us will never forget and one I hope we never do.  Pretty incredible when we think of all the changes that day brought about.

Our plans got changed this week and the annual trip to the north woods has been postponed.  That’s a huge disappointment as it’s the only time of the year we get to take off for a couple of days on our own.  We’ve made this annual pilgrimage for over 40 years and only missed going up a couple of times.  With any luck and if the weather holds out, maybe it’ll happen near the end of the month.

Knife sales have been steady in spite of a lack of much new coming through.  My inventory of new / old stock GEC’s is steadily dwindling and Queen sales continue to grow along with Hess.  I’m still sitting on a fairly large group of knives I’ve purchased out of collections and keep promising myself I’ll get them added to the inventory.   Just all takes time.

Wednesday I ran into a fellow gun show participant.  I only work the gun shows during the fall and winter, but he works the shows and flea markets year round.  His experience has been that gun prices continue to go up but prices locally are steady or slightly down on the older collectible knives.  My first show doesn’t come up until mid-October so I’m interested to see what the mood is.  Usually folks are getting cranked up for deer season by that time and it’s often a good show for knife sales.

An item I’m adding to the storefront today are a couple of the Estwing Camp hatchets.  Last spring I acquired a couple of these in trade at a local gun show and have been using one around home.  (My dad had a couple of Estwing hammers that have to go back to the 30’s or 40’s that are still serviceable.)  I use a hatchet quite a bit for splitting short pieces of oak to use in the smoker.  When I decided to pick up some new ones for the store, I realized Estwing also made a hatchet sized ‘splitting’ tool and ordered a couple.  Love it!

Estwing Fireside Friend
Estwing Fireside Friend

It’s a miniature splitting maul that works 100% better for splitting campfire size wood than a standard hatchet.  I’ll try to get a short review up in the near future.  It has definite possibilities if you’re a deer hunter!

I got confirmation this week that the Trestle Pine ‘Superior’ is scheduled to ship on the 25th of this month.  I’m very anxious to get these in!  Everyone I’ve talked to is really enthusiastic about the 154CM blade and I think it should be a great tool.

That’s about it for this week.   Fall is shaping up to be gorgeous in this part of the country so I’m going to take advantage of it while it lasts!!!   Lots of golf, maybe some fishing and definitely cigars and coffee on the deck.  Have a good one!



Quality & Customer Service Survey Results

Here are the results of the recent survey on Quality & Customer Service.  In the early days of the survey, I was informed the Survey format I was using had been upgraded and the survey was deleted when the upgrade installed.  Fortunately, I had printed out the responses up to a point about 6 hours prior to the upgrade occurring.  A few responses may have been lost, but don’t think it would have had much impact on the overall results.  There were a total of 39 respondents.

It’s no surprise that over half of the respondents primarily purchase Great Eastern followed by Queen and Case.  Most are not only collecting but using their knives as well with the majority buying 2 knives or less per month.

When it came to how important blade centering and gaps were, I was reallllly surprised.  Blade centering, while important, falls into the middle to low importance end of the scale.  Likewise, gaps don’t seem to be super critical.

Side play and lock up on the lock backs were 2 issues that are more important to most of the respondents.  Blade lock up being most critical issue.

The response to question 9 was another interesting one.  “Is it reasonable to expect the same level of quality in a $60 knife as a $120 knife?”  While a majority of 68% said of course not, there were a number of people that said it was a reasonable expectation.  My personal expectation of price to value is the more I pay, the more I expect for my money.  It would have been interesting to put graduated prices comparing a $60 knife to a $200, $300, $400 knife to see where the break off in expectation occurs.  The other aspect to consider is personally I’ve had a number of new customers over the past year admit they were specifically Chris Reeves fans and expected the same level of quality in the traditional folders selling for a fraction of the price.

THE most shocking result was the question regarding who was ‘most responsible for quality inspection’.  An overwhelming 90% said it fell on the manufacturer.  Now, I absolutely agree and I’ve always felt there shouldn’t be any need to check a knife prior to shipping but experience has shown otherwise.  In reality, 90% of the time the blame for receiving a knife with quality issues falls upon the distributor (in my experience) with the knife going back to the distributor.

No doubt this is partially explained in the next two questions with about a third of the respondents answering.  “If you have dealt with any Manufacturers regarding quality issues, how would you rate their response“.  In this case 40% of the respondents fell on the side of dissatisfaction, 40% were satisfied with the rest falling in the middle.  Finally, “If you had a bad experience with the manufacturer, what were the major issues“.  As you probably already know, 38% were unhappy with the amount of time it took to get their knife back.

Just before I posted the survey, I exchanged emails with a longtime customer justifiably frustrated with the lack of response from a manufacturer over a quality issue.  He returned a knife to the manufacturer with a VERY legitimate problem.  After 14 weeks the knife came back with the same issue.  They basically put lipstick on a pig and sent it back.  When he emailed them asking for an explanation, he was met with dead silence.  To the best of my knowledge that’s where it still stands.  I refunded his money and sent a note of apology which is not the way this should have played out.  No wonder consumers are reluctant to deal with the manufacturers.

Anyway, this was an interesting exercise and I really appreciate your participation.  Hopefully, the manufacturers will pay some attention to your input.

Survey pg 1


Survey pg 2