Monthly Archives: November 2015

New Pre-Order Option Added to the Store

A few years ago I stopped offering a formal pre-order process as it was the source of a number of problems and resulted in more then a few irritated customers.  There were problems with a manufacturer not always delivering what had been ordered, some of the stag in an order was rejected due to quality issues, etc.  Most irritating were customers pre-ordering with multiple distributors and cancelling all but one of their orders after they were notified the knives were in stock.

In the last year it seems the pre-order or pre-booking has gotten to be the trend on new releases, so I’ve decided to try something new in the store and have added a Pre-Order or Pre-Booking category.

Here’s how it’ll work.  If you go to the Pre-Booking category, there will be a listing of the different knives you can pre-order.  Place a pre-order just like a normal order and when you ‘check out’ you’ll be charged $10 which will be credited toward the purchase price when the knives come in.  That puts a hold on the knife for you.

Understand, the $10 deposit is non-refundable with a couple of rare exceptions as follows:

  1. The manufacturer significantly changes the specs on the knife. i.e, they change a bone handle to an acrylic or cancel production of a handle option.
  2. The manufacturer shorts me on the quantity ordered OR I return knives due to quality issues.
  3. You die, I die or the world ends.

I’ll contact you as soon as the knives are in stock and invoice you for the balance due.  You’ll have 72 hours to pay the invoice or the knife goes back into inventory and I’ll use your 10 bucks to buy a good cigar, thank you very much!

I’ve tried to set this up to insure that there are adequate quantities available to cover any pre-orders.  If the storefront allows you to add an item to your cart, you can assume the knife will be available, BUT…… understand, there are circumstances beyond my control. Should there be an issue with shortages, I’ll contact anyone affected as soon as possible.

I won’t list every new release as a lot of them are made in adequate quantities to cover most orders.  In some cases, it’s even been possible to go back and reorder.

We’ll see how this works out for everyone.  I wish I could quote prices on the GEC’s when you pre-book but GEC doesn’t tell us the price until the knives hit the doorstep.  Anyone has any comments, complaints or suggestions, feel free to speak up!

Weekly Update 11.24.15

The weekly update is a little early this week, but with Thanksgiving on Thursday and a gun show this weekend, I’m not gonna be able to get it done Friday.  Actually, just a couple days into the week, there’s a fair amount to talk about.

First, some nice releases came through from Queen this week.  There’s a pair of new Bill Ruple Single Blade Trappers in Feathered Buffalo Horn and Stag.  Both are great looking and a perfect matchup with the earlier 2 blade release.

Bill Ruple Stag Trapper
Bill Ruple Stag Trapper

And a new twist on the typical lanyard tube is the relief cut in the end exposing the spring that allows a lanyard hole be placed through it rather then through the handle of the knife.  It keeps the lines clean, allows for an end cap and serves the same purpose as a ‘through handle’ lanyard tube.  Makes a lot of sense and I’d like to see more knives designed like this.

Lanyard Hole
Lanyard Hole

Next release was the Queen City Fisherman’s Barlow.

Queen City Fisherman's Barlow
Queen City Fisherman’s Barlow

It’s a nice slim knife that should work great not only for cleaning your catch, but other common chores around the camp kitchen.  This is a great example of using different carbon steels for ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ applications.  The Queen City line uses D2 which is more stain resistant then 1095 and makes more sense in a fish knife then 1095.

Another ‘find’ that I made were some 36 Sunfish in Brown Jigged Bone (run of 39 pieces) that I came across.  Not sure where they’ve been hiding, but for the Sunfish fans, this is a knife we haven’t seen GEC run in quite some time.  The STL series had the Northfield un-X-Ld deep stamped in the blade making it quite unique.

DSC_0398If you’re in the area, there will be a gun show on Friday after Thanksgiving at the Moorhead, MN National Guard Armory from 4-8PM and from 9:00AM till 5:00 PM on Saturday.   Last year was the first time they tried that schedule and it worked out great.  I’ll have 3 tables set up with a few knives and miscellaneous items so hope to get a chance to see a few of you!

One other note, Jan Carter from the iKC website passed on a request that I put up a note regarding donating any frequent flier miles any of you might be sitting on.  Here’ the content of Jan’s email and I really encourage you to get in touch with her if you’d like to help out.  Both are great organizations.  Just drop into the iKnifeCollector.com website and drop her an email.

“As you know I try to be sure to do this at the end of every year.  Lukes Miles or Heros miles are my preference.  Due to the fact that I have traveled less this year I only have 740 miles and amex requires 1000 for a donation.  BUT I can give away my miles to anyone with an acct to reach the 1K requirement and they can donate.  Put out the call to your followers on the blog?  Maybe there is a way we can make this happen

Jan Carter

Owner
Board Member Nat’l Knife Museum”

Thanksgiving has been a traditional day for us to get together with some old friends and their kids for dinner.   As their kids are all adults with lives and families of their own, we really look forward to seeing all of them.  I doubt I’ll get a chance to put up another post before Thanksgiving day, so I’ll just wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving a few days early!!!

Weekly Update 11.20.15

I could sum up the Weekly Update by simply saying I’ve spent most of the week on the road and it’s good to be home.  We’re still in the process of cleaning up my dad’s estate and I made a couple of trips ‘home’ this week.  Total, I’ve spent 24 hours on the road driving just over 1500 miles this past week.  Yesterday was a miserable drive with icy roads, high winds and blowing snow the last 150 miles of the trip making driving interesting.   Like I said, it’s good to be home!

It was particularly nice to come home to a couple boxes of new knives to add to the storefront.  GEC is starting to release the latest run of the 25 Barlows and if you’re into the SFO’s it looks like you won’t be disappointed in the options.

The 25’s have always been popular and no doubt, this one will be as well.  When they first came out 7 or 8 years ago I really liked the pattern and used one fairly extensively.  Since then, my hands are stiffening up and it’s just a little small for my hands anymore.

DSC_036025 Red Linen Micarta

The other knife to come in is Queen’s latest #26 Small Stockman in Carved Stag Bone.  It’s the counterpart to the #48 Whittler which is a favorite of mine.

#26 Small Stockman (L) #48 Whittler (R)
#26 Small Stockman (L) #48 Whittler (R)

I think I preferred the 48 Whittler due to it’s slightly larger size, but both are great options for a  smaller sized EDC knife with D2 blades.

#26 Small Stockman (L) #48 Whittler (R)
#26 Small Stockman (L) #48 Whittler (R)

In between road trips this week, I started cutting the slabs for the next Trestle Pine Knives release.  I happened to cut a piece of Ash that was quarter sawn and revealed some really interesting end grain.

1/4 Sawn End Grain Ash
1/4 Sawn End Grain Ash

I’m not sure how much of this I’ll be able to produce, but hopefully there will be enough for a few knives at least.  It’s really been interesting to be able to cut this wood myself rather then turning it over to someone else and keeping my fingers crossed.  Many thanks to Mike at WSSI who’s been stabilizing the wood as well as giving me some invaluable advice along the way.  He’s given me a number of tips and suggestions on cutting some of the woods to show them off at their best.  The Trestle Pine Knives project has been a serious learning process and an opportunity to meet some really nice people along the way.

Weekly Update 11.13.15

Happy Friday the 13th!  It was a bit of an uneventful week but there’s always something going on to justify a weekly update.

First and utmost is thanks again to the winner of the Wounded Warrior Project auction knife.  Great to see someone halfway around the world willing to support our wounded.  Many thanks Anders.

With the ever decreasing number of new items coming through, I’m surprised at how strong sales continue on the older releases.  There was a point when I had close to 2000 GEC’s in stock and I seriously was doubting if they’d all ever sell.  Today, I’m starting to wonder when I’ll run out.  The lack of new product seems to have really increased the interest in the older knives.

The curious thing is watching the older patterns sell in ‘clusters’.  I may not see activity in an older pattern for several weeks or a month and suddenly there will be orders for them from 3 or 4 customers in a matter of a few days.  No doubt it’s driven by the discussion boards and someone re-discovers an old forgotten favorite.

I put out some info on the next Trestle Pine Knives release yesterday and the reaction to the first two releases has been incredibly encouraging.  With any luck, the next one will be received just as well.  As  I said, I’ve tried to put some thought into what’s being put together and I’m always anxious to listen.

I’ll remind you later, but if you’re in the Fargo/Moorhead area around Thanksgiving, there’s a gunshow at the Moorhead, MN Nat’l Guard Armory coming up the Friday and Saturday immediately following Thanksgiving.  It’s open to the public from  4:00 in the afternoon Friday until 8:00PM and from 9:00AM Saturday until 5:00 PM.  Last year was the first time they tried this schedule and it worked fantastic.

Phone calls and messages.  I know people get frustrated they can’t reach me by phone at all hours of the day and night (which isn’t uncommon).  Had a call yesterday that didn’t end real well.  The individual had tried calling several times over the weekend, never reached me and opted not to leave a message for me to return his call.  When I answered his call yesterday, I got an earful.

Look, the best way to contact me is by email.  If you want to talk on the phone, that’s fine but understand it’s not always possible for me to grab the phone.  On top of that my phone is frequently lying on my desk when I’m working on something else, somewhere else.  I’m always glad to visit on the phone, but leave a message if you don’t reach me.   I will call back.  One more item.  If you have caller ID blocking and a message shows on my caller ID that it’s from a “Private Caller”, your call won’t get answered and you’ll have to leave a message if you want to talk with me.  I’m getting more solicitation calls from anonymous callers and the caller ID blocking seems to be a popular method of hiding their identity.

Phone orders.  A few people don’t like placing orders online for security reasons and while I understand the concern there are some misconceptions.  There seems to be a belief that if you ‘call in’ an order, your credit card information isn’t transmitted over the internet and its more secure.  Wrong.  Without having a credit card swiping machine and your credit card in hand, the only way to process the charge is online.  What people don’t seem to be concerned with is the fact when an order is called in, 90% of the time the information is written down on a piece of paper until it can be processed.  You’re putting a lot of faith and confidence in the fact that slip of paper will be properly disposed of through a shredder.  Believe me, placing that order online is a lot more secure.

Otherwise, the countdown to Thanksgiving is on and Christmas is just over the horizon.  Where does the time go????

 

Trestle Pine Knives News

The next Trestle Pine Knives release is off the drawing boards and ready to go to production the first of the year.  I took some of the comments from the poll earlier this fall and implemented some suggestions along with a couple of my own ideas and we’ll see how it works out.

What I have coming is a Barlow that will measure around 3.5″ closed.  I vacillated on one or two blades and settled on a single 154CM blade in a drop point pattern.  Nearly everyone responded very positively to the 154CM choice in the Superior so I thought it was worth sticking with.  I’ve been carrying and using one for about a month and a half and have been really happy with the steel performance.  Not particularly difficult to sharpen and it holds the edge extremely well with nothing more then an occasional touch up on a bench strop.

The Barlow pattern has gotten so popular it just seemed like a natural ‘next’ knife.  In the last few years my hands are starting to get a bit stiffer and handling the smaller knives has gotten uncomfortable for me for any length of time, so I opted to go with a medium size Barlow.  I stuck with the slim single blade profile to keep it comfortable in the pocket but substantial enough to make it an honest to god work knife.

Another detail I opted for was an EZ Open cutout in the handle.   Unlike the Wharncliffe in the Superior, the drop point doesn’t have enough height to easily grab without the cutout, so the cutout was the only option.  There will be a short nail nick near the tip so it should be easy to handle with cold, wet hands.

Handle materials??….. gonna expand the wood options.  As I mentioned before there will be some high end wood in very limited quantities.  Of course, there will also be more of the old growth Birch, Ash, Maple and 1/4 Sawn Oak.   What’s going to happen will be a wider handle selection with fewer of each available.  I’ll share some of those options with you as we go along.  Something rather interesting along these lines is I’ve found a few pieces of the Ash that are 1/4 Sawn which are revealing some very unique grain as I slab them.

Finally, I’m looking at late January, 2016 before they start to ship.  I’ve been surprised and pleased at the number of requests to reserve a knife before I had released any details.  I won’t be taking any early reservations until close to the release date.

Meanwhile, it’s back to cutting and sanding (arghhhh) for a few days.  I’m not really complaining as it’s fun to see what’s revealed when you start slabbing out some of the wood.

Raw Wood
Raw Wood
Stabilized Wood
Stabilized Wood
Sawn and Sanded Panel
Sawn and Sanded Panel

As any wood worker knows, there’s a thing of beauty inside a stick of wood just waiting to be uncovered.

Wounded Warrior Project Auction Winner!

The Wounded Warrior Project Auction bidding is officially closed!

Congratulations and many thanks to Anders in Sweden for placing the winning bid of $140 for the Wounded Warrior Project Auction knife.  I think you’ll be pleased with the knife and I know the Wounded Warriors will certainly appreciate your contribution.  Many thanks to Dave Taylor for help making this possible as well!!!

Have a great Veterans Day and try to thank a Vet today!

Wounded Warrior Project Auction Reminder

Just a reminder that you have just over 24 hours to bid on the Wounded Warrior Project Auction.  The bidding will end at 11:00 AM CST, tomorrow, November 11.  The eleventh hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, pretty momentous time in world history.

Currently we have a high bid of $130.  Last chance for shot at winning this gem!  To bid, go to:  Wounded Warrior Project Auction and leave a reply with your bid.  Remember, 100% of the proceeds go the the Wounded Warrior Project.

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New Additions

A few new additions went into the store this morning.  The GEC Farm & Fields are now in stock and a few other items were added to the inventory as well.  A couple of items I want to highlight are the Rough Rider kits, Cold Steel fixed blade and the Fallkniven PC.  The Cold Steel first.

While I don’t regularly stock them in the store, I do pick up a few of the Cold Steel Knives every year to fill special orders.  Now and then I’ll check to see if they’re offering anything that catches my eye and the little Pendleton Mini Hunter did just that.

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Cold Steel Pendleton Mini Hunter
Cold Steel Pendleton Mini Hunter

It’s not only a compact yet practical knife , the price on these is very affordable.  You’re getting a VG1 blade with a nonslip handle all wrapped up in a kydex sheath…..shipped, for under $30.  Tough to find a 440C fixed blade in that price range.

The Rough Riders aren’t something I stock in the store, but the kits were too good to pass up.  Somehow I’m going to set aside the time to put one of these together myself for no other reason then to get a better understanding how a slip joint comes together.  Once again, it looks to me like a fun project without a big cash layout and a great idea to get a youngster interested in knife making.  Christmas is coming!!!

Rough Rider Trapper Kit
Rough Rider Trapper Kit

Finally, I couldn’t resist stocking a few of the Fallkniven PC’s in colored handles.  I’m impressed with the price for a linerlock with a Cobalt Special Steel Blade.  The blade is hardened to 60 RcH and my experience with the Gentleman’s Pocket knife (with the Cobalt Steel) has been excellent.  It’s no secret I’m a big fan of the Fallkniven line and I think they offer an incredible knife at a realistic price.

Fallkniven PC Orange Cobalt Special Steel
Fallkniven PC Orange Cobalt Special Steel

I’m always looking for products that offer value or might be just plain fun to have!!

Weekly Update 11.06.15

Let’s start this off by saying I that just as I started typing up the Weekly Update, I did one of the stupidest things I’ve done in a long time.  I tipped a bottle of Neetsfoot Oil over and splashed about an 1/8 of a cup of it across my laptop keyboard.  So far, it’s still working and, I have a nice shiny, supple to the touch keyboard albeit a bit slippery!!!  Hope it keeps working.

Anyway, busy week and I apologize to the folks that didn’t read the blog that I would be out of town for a few days.  Shipping is back on schedule and all orders have been processed.  So let me bring everyone up to speed.

The inventory of Trestle Pine Knives Superiors is getting depleted in the Ash and Oak handle options.  I’m down to just a very few of each.  There are a few more of the Yellow Birch and Maple left, but they too are getting thinned out.  People are asking for dark grey, or black streaks in the Ash and that’s just not an option.  I think there are only 4 or 5 left.

The wood buying part of the weekend trip was for the next Trestle Pine Knives release.  The next knife will feature more of the old growth recovered wood but the demand for some of the high grade figured woods took me by surprise.  Seems like people really liked the burled redwood I posted the pictures of and the Desert Ironwood as well, so I’m going to add a few exotics to the next knife for handle options.  (Mike at WSSI has been fantastic in letting me drop in and hand pick what I want.  Believe me, he has some incredible wood!)

I’ve got a couple of concerns doing this, the first of which is I really want to try and focus on offering an affordable yet unique EDC knife while trying to satisfy the interest in a higher grade knife as well.  The second concern is offering a handle option that’s truly unique but still affordable.  I’ve quickly discovered there are some incredible options and it seems the only limiting factor is the price.

Quantities are going to be limited to around 10 pieces of each of the higher end woods (or less) with somewhere between 3 or 4 handle options.  I’m not going to start taking any reservations for quite some time and not sure if I’ll allow reservations or just put them in the store.  Plenty of time to figure that out.

Just for a bit of a tease, here’s a shot of one of the offerings.  It’s a double dyed Black/Gold Boxelder Burl.

Double Dyed Black Gold Boxelder Burl
Double Dyed Black Gold Boxelder Burl 

I’ll be receiving the rest of the wood in a few more weeks and I’ll show you more of what’s coming.  Trust me, there is one incredible stick of wood that I am anxious to get some feedback on.  It’ll make stag look inexpensive but it is gorgeous and something that’s typically only seen on custom built knives.  You’re gonna like it.

Also on my desk this morning was a box of new knives I’ll try to get listed this weekend.  While I’m not a huge fan of the Rough Riders, they’re a great bargain at the price, so I decided to pick up some of their Folding knife kits.  They’re very reasonably priced and look like the perfect starter kit for someone wanting to try and build a knife without breaking the bank.   If you screw things up, you’re not out much $$.  I had a lot of fun this summer helping my buddy build his first knife  and I thought this might encourage someone else to give it a try.  Christmas is coming and in the North country we’re going to be spending more time inside, so……., I think I may try one myself just for the fun of it.

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I’ll also let you know a little more about the next Trestle Pine Knives release next week.  Everything has been finalized, a pattern chosen, etc and now it’s a matter of waiting.   Gonna be something to look forward to in the dead of winter.

Finally, I don’t want you to forget about bidding on the Wounded Warrior Project Auction knife.  I’m pleased to see the bidding moving up and there are only 5 more days to get a bid in!  That’s a really nice knife and you’re supporting a great cause.

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AND…..I’m happy to say my computer is still functioning!!!  At the very least, the Neetsfoot oil should add a degree of water/coffee resistance to the keyboard, no?

Wounded Warrior Project Auction!!

This Wounded Warrior Project auction is a collaborative effort with Dave Taylor, Knife Leather Traditions.  Dave very generously donated some gorgeous slabs of Exhibition Grade Desert Ironwood and Mosaic pins which we had applied to one of the Trestle Pine Buddy blades.  I think the result is a great looking knife and definitely a very rare piece.  A grand total of just three of these were built.

I’ve always favored the Wounded Warrior Project as an organization that does a great job of filling a void for our returning Wounded Warriors and I know Dave feels the same.  In honor of their sacrifices past and present, I thought it might be appropriate to hold an auction ending at a time which would commemorate the upcoming Veterans Day.

Trestle Pine Knives Buddy with Exhibition Grade Desert Ironwood
Trestle Pine Knives Buddy with Exhibition Grade Desert Ironwood

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The slabs are matched front to back.DSC_0204The knife will come with a formed fitted leather sheath with FireSteel Loop in the box with a COA.

All you have to do to place a bid is hit the “leave a comment” button at the bottom of this post with your bid.  Here’s a brief set of rules that are about as simple as I can keep them.

  • Bidding opens immediately
  • The bidding will end at the 11th hour (CST) of the 11 day of the 11 month.
  • In the event of duplicate bids the earlier bid takes precedence
  • If you don’t feel like bidding, how about going to the Wounded Warrior Project website and consider making a direct donation.

100% of the Proceeds from this auction will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Let the bidding begin!!!!