Monthly Archives: December 2015

FrogLube Test Update

Not sure how many of you remember these pictures of the start of the FrogLube Test from December 14, 1015.  …..  This is a much abused Queen Country Cousin that’s been used hard and put away wet more then a few times.  The blade steel is D2 which I’ll admit is more stain/rust resistant than 1095, but none the less, will rust.

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I put this well used EDC knife outside in the edge of my picnic table on December 14, 2015 after I’d treated it with FrogLube.  Per the recommendations, I cleaned the blade with a degreaser, warmed the blade and applied a very light coat of the FrogLube allowing it to dry for about 1/2 hour before leaving it outside. That was nearly 2 weeks ago.

In the mean time, we’ve had rain, snow, fog, warm, cold, sun, clouds and  everything in between for weather.  This morning I decided it was time to see how much damage (if any had occurred).

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Three or four times while the knife was outside, I wiped the blades with my fingers to see if you could still feel the presents of any lube on the blade.  While the blade wasn’t oily, the blade had a smooth, slick feel to it like it had been waxed.

Here’s what it looks like today.

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There’s still a smooth, dry waxed feeling on the blade and no sign of any rust or staining on the blade.  The only sign of any metal deterioration is behind the tang at the pivot, which I didn’t lube.  All I did was wipe down the exposed blade.

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While I’ll admit this FrogLube Test isn’t scientific nor was a control of any kind used for comparison, I’m pretty impressed.  Two weeks stuck in a table top in the elements with no sign of rusting is pretty damned good in my estimation.

To continue the test, I’m going to lay it down on the table, in the snow and we’ll see how things look in a few more weeks or months.  I’m not going to reapply any more of the FrogLube and all I’ve done is wipe down the blade with a dry cloth.  In fact, I’m tempted to leave it out there until Spring just to see what happens.  At the very least, we’ll get to see just how tough Queen’s D2 is!

So here we go!  Let’s see what a little more time will do to things!!

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FROGLUBE – IMPRESSIONS & USE

This is an unsolicited review of FrogLube from Dave at Knife Leather Traditions.  I have a lot of respect for Dave’s opinion on products as he’s the type of guy that isn’t gonna blow smoke in your face and tell the worlds all puppy dogs and kitties when it’s actually wolves and mountain lions.  Trust me, when Dave said he was a ‘little skeptical’, he wasn’t kidding.  After I sent him down a free sample to at least look at, he tried it and decided it might be worth a second look.  And if anyone wants a free sample to try it yourself, just include a note with your next order and I’ll include one!
Greg
FrogLube
FrogLube
FROGLUBE – IMPRESSIONS & USE
When Greg first told me about this product I was more than a little skeptical.  “FrogLube” !!  Never heard of it……..
Now I will admit that my life’s experiences have made me more than a little cynical.  My “cup” is not only half empty, it leaks besides!  Just the name “FrogLube” made me suspicious.  So I had pretty much made up my mind not to like it.  I was happy with the popular dry lubricant I have been using for years, but I also know that if we do not try new things we would never learn anything.  So, somewhat reluctantly, I thought I should at least give it a fair try.

I read the information on the FrogLube website.  How to properly apply it, and all the testimonials from satisfied users, but from what I read it seemed like it was basically a rust protectant, and virtually nothing was mentioned about use on knives.  I don’t really need a rust protectant, although that is a nice bonus, but what I really wanted was a superior DRY lubricant for the pivots of my knives.  I gave up on oils years ago because they end up attracting and holding dust and dirt, especially when used in the outdoor environment I prefer.  So a dry lube is the only option I consider.  The FrogLube products sounded good, but they seemed rather expensive.  I thought, “Probably won’t need it………”

To give the FrogLube a fair trial I took four of the knives I regularly use and carry.  All of these four knives have identical backup models, lubricated with the product I have used for years, for me to use as a comparison.   I chose these knives because they all have close tolerance construction and each has phosphor bronze bearing washers between the blade and the frame scales of the knife.  To be properly lubed the lubricant used must penetrate into these bearing surfaces and the tolerances are extremely close.  I thought this would be a good test for the FrogLube.

I thoroughly degreased the four knives using the FrogLube solvent and set them in a south facing window to dry.  I wanted to warm the knives in the direct sunlight before applying the FrogLube.  I found the solvent did a very thorough job of cleaning and preparing the metal, dried rapidly and, unlike other solvents I have used, did not dry out and irritate my hands.   When thoroughly dry and well warmed in the sun I took the first knife and applied some FrogLube to the blade at the pivot point.  As soon as it contacted the warmed blade it quickly disappeared down into the pivot.  Looking good so far.

Three of the test knives are liner locks, the fourth being a mid-lock.  I rotated the blade open and closed to work the FrogLube into the pivot area, down into the bearing washers, and hopefully to reach down to the pivot itself.  The more I worked the blade the faster and easier it flew.  I have never had a lubricant work quite like this before.  It felt like it was penetrating well and reaching where it needed to go, and the blade was moving very smooth and easy.  Now I was beginning to be impressed.

When I worked the FrogLube well into the pivot of that knife I spread the excess lube over the blade and all other surfaces to apply a good treatment overall.  Then I wiped off the excess lube with a microfiber towel and put the knife back in the direct sunlight for warmth to let the FrogLube penetrate and dry.  Each of the remaining three knives responded the same way as the first.  I did find that I had used more of the lube than I needed to.  A little goes a long way and because of this I learned that the FrogLube is not expensive, as I had first thought, when one considers how far it goes and what it does.  By the time the fourth knife was treated and set in the sun I noticed the FrogLube had penetrated completely to the pivot of the first knife and was showing on the frame around the head of the pivot pin.  Excellent.

The real surprise came after the knives had dried.  Opening and closing of each knife was very noticeably faster and smoother.  More so than ever before.  Thumb flicking the liner locks was wonderfully fast and the knife with the mid-lock rolled open smoothly and easily.  It was like all contact surfaces had been polished.  All surfaces that had the FrogLube applied to were slick and smooth, including the blades, yet absolutely DRY.  I was very impressed with what I was feeling and seeing.  The results truly have to be experienced to fully appreciate the difference the FrogLube makes.  I was so impressed by the improvement in action of these four knives I gave the entire FrogLube treatment to seven more.  But I wondered how the FrogLube would stand up in daily use over time.
 I used two of the original four knives hard everyday for two weeks as my only knives for all work.  I used them for my usual daily cutting chores, plus kitchen duty and meal prep, and as my table knives.  They got rinsed in hot running water often as well as halving 400 degree baked potatoes, and still the FrogLube held up.  I spent a day in the mountains using one of the knives for fuzz sticks and fire building for my noon tea and soup.  The other I used for trimming some of my bushes at home.  Anything that needed cutting, indoors or out, these two knives got the call.  At the end of the two weeks both knives still opened and closed smoother and easier than they ever had before the FrogLube treatment, so I believe the FrogLube held up very well in daily use.
I touched up the blades on my Edge Pro and thought to give each knife a small amount of additional lube.  I found it did not take much, and the lube penetrated even faster and more thoroughly than the first time.  I do feel that allowing the knives to warm in direct sunlight is an important part of the FrogLube treatment.  The heat makes the lube more liquid and just makes the job easier, besides allowing the lube to penetrate into the warm metal surfaces.  I am absolutely impressed with the results obtained from FrogLube.
Besides being the best lubricant I have ever used on my knives I like the fact that FrogLube is totally food safe and a “green” product.  Also the fact that the company is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Company means something to me too.
Thanks Greg, for introducing me to FrogLube.

Weekly Update 12.29.15

I know the weekly update used to be a regular Friday feature, but with the holidays I’m kind of squeezing it in when I’ve got time.  Maybe after the first of the year things will get back to a normal schedule.

Main reason for the early weekly update is the upcoming Fargo, ND Gun Show.  I’ll be spending New Years Day setting up for the show which will be at the Fargo Air Museum January 2nd and 3rd.  This is the first year the show has been held at this venue so if you plan on going, make note of the new location, next to the Fargo Airport.  This is one of the largest regional shows so hope to see a few of you there!!

An interesting piece of news came out this week from Great Eastern Cutlery regarding future Stag handled knives.  Going forward NONE of the stag (Genuine, Natural, Burnt, Stag, etc) will have shields.  I’m speculating its because it’s a royal pain to inset a shield into a nice gnarly stag and keeping things level, not too deep and so on.   Personally, I think it’s an excellent idea as one of the frequent complaints I hear about stag is the shield is set too deep, or one end of the shield is higher then the other, etc, etc.  I’ve also felt it’s a shame to ruin the appearance of nice looking stag with a shield.  The question is…. will this mean a price drop in new stag handled knives?  I’m betting not.

Queen came through with another really short run of #69 Schatt & Morgan Exclusive Limited Run Barlows with a smooth Blue Bone handle, Mother of Pearl Keystone Shield inlay and a CPM154 blade.  There were a total of 3 clip, 7 Spear and 9 Sheepsfoot blades.  The Mother of Pearl shields look fantastic against the blue bone.

69 S&M CPM154 Blades
69 S&M CPM154 Blades

The response to the CPM154 blades has been great.  Seems like the guys that understand steel are really embracing it being used in the traditional patterns.

This morning I got news that I’ll be receiving another short run of Schatt & Morgans in the form of a Cotton Sampler with ATS34 blades.  All I know at this point is they should ship right after the 1st and will come with a dark colored jigged bone handle.  A total of just 15 pieces are being made.

In a separate post, I’ll put up a review from Dave Taylor regarding the FrogLube.  His comments echo my personal findings.  It’s a great protectant and if you’ve got a slip joint that’s a bit sticky, follow the directions and the FrogLube works fantastic to smooth things up without getting gummy or collecting dust.

Not sure I’ll get a year end update posted, but let me say a big thank you to all of you.  This has been one of the best years I’ve had since I’ve been selling online and sales in December alone were over double last years December sales.  The response to the Trestle Pine Knives was incredibly gratifying and I only have a few of the Superiors left on hand.  The Barlow is coming out early next year with the traditional Old Growth Wood handles but a group will be finished with some high end woods as well.

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I’m working on another pattern to come through by spring and already looking beyond that!  I keep telling myself and my wife that someday I’m gonna hang it up and fully retire but at this point, I’m still having fun.

On the chance I won’t get a chance to put up another post before the New Year, thanks again and here’s hoping all of you have a happy and prosperous New Year!!!

Christmas Giveaway Winner!!!

Sorry for the delay in releasing the Christmas Giveaway Winner but a little suspense never hurts!!  And the the winner is……..

Syd!

Syd, the new Trestle Pine Knives Barlow is scheduled for production at the end of January and you’ll be receiving one in the mail, compliments of TSA Knives.  Thanks to everyone for giving it a shot and better luck next time.  We’ll definitely do this again!!!

Merry Christmas From TSA Knives, LLC

Merry Christmas  everyone!!!

Christmas

I didn’t have time to really put much of a holiday wish together for everyone but it doesn’t mean I don’t sincerely wish all of you a happy Christmas season.  Just seems like the entire year has come and gone in a flash with little time in between.

This Christmas will be different and maybe a little difficult now that my dad is gone.  I’m starting to understand that with dad’s passing, I’ve become a family elder.  While I haven’t accepted that as fact, I’m starting to understand.  This will be the last Christmas we’ll visit our family home where so many wonderful memories reside.

When both of my parents were alive, Christmas was a time of cooking and baking for days in advance.  As a kid, dad and I went out and harvested a tree from one of the area farmers with a small patch of pines, specifically grown for the locals.  And who can forget those miserable tree holders that were always just a little too small to squeeze the stump of the tree into.  One of the best memories was dad cutting the top (not the bottom) off from a monster of a Christmas tree to get it to fit in the family room.  It ended up looking like it was growing through the ceiling, but boy was the bottom of that tree a beauty!

A real highlight of our Christmas get togethers was when my sister arrived with her husband and their 5 kids.  Total pandemonium but incredibly entertaining.  There were boots and shoes all over the place with a pile of wet coats, pants and socks and miscellaneous stacked near the fireplace and usually a wet dog roaming around somewhere.  The floor was an obstacle course you navigated like a mine field, avoiding toys and kids.  The noise level was right up there with a Leonard Skynyrd concert and by the time dinner was over, there were more dirty dishes on the counter then I knew mom even owned.

After dinner, the mountain of packages under the tree were distributed and all hell broke loose once again.  Paper flew, empty boxes piled up and my brother in law and I started hauling the debris to the burning barrel.  We’d stand outside in the cold with a cup of coffee enjoying the peace and quiet for a few minutes before we went back in for the next round.  Within 24 hours, all the trash was taken away, the dishes done and the house was restored to normalcy.  The transformation was nothing short of incredible.

It didn’t take too many years and those nephews and nieces were grown and starting their own families.  The annual get together continued with even more bodies around the table and an all new noise level was reached.   Somewhere along the way, it became more fun to give the gifts then get them and I think that’s when I realized things had really changed.

Those now adult nephews and nieces have their own piles of wet gloves and shoes, mountains of gifts to ‘enjoy’ at Christmas in their own homes.  They’ve started to create their own memories and as bittersweet as it is, that’s the way it should be.  Several years ago one of my nieces, with her own adult son, was complaining about stiff joints in the morning and a shoulder that was giving her trouble.  All of a sudden she turned to her siblings and said, ‘oh my gosh, we’ve become our parents!’.

Not sure what all of you are doing for Christmas this year, but I hope your plans include some time to kick back and think about Christmas’ past.  Whether you’re spending it alone, with friends or family, it’s a special time of the year and I wish you all the merriest of Christmas’!!!

 

Schatt & Morgan News!

Couple of quick notes to share.  Queen Cutlery and Schatt & Morgan  is doing a bang up job helping finish the year with a flourish.

Today a few of the Schatt & Morgan Keystone Series #69 Burnt Orange Barlow’s came in.  GREAT looking bone.  I particularly like the ‘distressed’ look and the color is super with a lot of variation from knife to knife.

Schatt & Morgan Burnt Orange Bone
Schatt & Morgan Burnt Orange Bone

The response to the Schatt & Morgan Barlow’s with the CPM154 blades was excellent.  Seems folks figured out pretty quickly that the price on those was, shall we say….right. So I went begging again over the weekend and I am happy to say I have another handful of them coming in with a mix of sheepsfoot, clip and spear CPM154 blades, a smooth blue bone handle AND….. a Mother of Pearl Keystone shield.  I believe there were less then 24 of these built and from the photo’s I saw, they look fantastic.

I won’t have them in stock until after Christmas, so we’ll call them a New Years Special.  I know I’m pushing my luck and don’t really anticipate another deal like this for a while, but I will say I am really grateful!!

Weekly Update 12.17.15

The Weekly Update still comes out just once a week but it sure doesn’t feel like a whole week has slid by!

The GEC #15 Navy knife came through and sold out in just over an hour.  Not a surprise.  Based on store sales the last quarter, the collector market is alive and well.

The FrogLube was added to the store recently and a few customers have taken me up on the free sample offer.  Not surprisingly, the feedback from the ones that have tried it has been very positive.  I also have been reading articles on the web trying to find negative feedback and so far, almost all of the comments have been pretty positive.  If you’ve got a sticky blade, I’d highly recommend trying it.

I’m really anxious to hear from our friend Dave.  I sent him a sample of the FrogLube and while he told me he was already pretty committed to another super premium lube, he went ahead and tried the FrogLube anyway.  Knowing Dave as I do, he’s not the kinda of guy that gets his head easily turned by the latest, newest innovation.  He tried it on a couple of knives this week and so far his reaction has been just short of amazement.  The proof will be in once he’s had a chance to see how well it holds up and I’m hoping he shares his assessment.

The other notable product release was the Limited Edition Schatt & Morgan #69 Barlows that came through with CPM154 blades.  Queen confirmed that these are the first Schatt & Morgans ever produced with CPM154 blades and I think it’s really promising for future releases.   I put these out at a Christmas promotional price that won’t be repeated and when these are gone….. they’re gone.

Schatt & Morgan 69 with a CPM154 Blade
Schatt & Morgan 69 with a CPM154 Blade

I use my knives and don’t have any safe queens or beauty queens to show off.  I like a pretty face as well as anyone, but when ya get right down to it, I wanna know if she can carry her end of the canoe.  For my personal use, I want a knife with a blade that’s high quality and capable of performing at 110%.  I’m a big fan of the Fallkniven’s with their VG10, Cobalt and powdered gold steels.  D2 is a hands down favorite of mine in carbon steels and I promise you’ll see CPM154 on a future Trestle Pine Knives project.

In little more than a week, another Christmas is is behind us.  This has been one incredibly short year!  I plan to get a post up next week ( not sure if there’ll be a weekly update ), but a little advance warning, I’m closing down for a few days next week and all shipping will be suspended as of  6:00 AM Wednesday, December 23 until after Christmas.  Also, don’t forget to leave a ‘comment’ before Christmas Eve if you’d like to be included in the Christmas drawing for one of the upcoming Trestle Pine Knives Barlows.  To enter,  Leave your comment to this post:  http://tsakblog.com/2015/12/08/christmas-giveaway/

Schatt & Morgan CPM154 Barlows

I was lucky to pick up a very short run of Schatt & Morgan CPM154 Barlows.  To the best of my knowledge, I got all of the knives in this run.  They’re not only a great looking little knife, but they’re actually pretty unique.

So what’s the big deal?  Well, first they have some knock out stag on them.  Second, there’s an assortment of Clip, Sheepsfoot and Spear blades and finally, they were built with CPM154 blades.  As a Christmas special, I’m offering these at a bargain basement price for a knife of this quality.  They were built in a limited quantity so fair warning….. when they’re gone, they are gone.

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The CPM154 blades are a really big deal as far as I’m concerned.  I’m a big fan of 154CM which is very comparable to ATS34 but in reality, a better choice and only a bit more expensive.  When you jump up to the CPM154, while it’s not only more expensive yet, you just took a leap to another level of steel quality.   More expensive then either the ATS or 154CM, it’s absolutely a top shelf steel.

The edge retention and chip resistance of the original 154CM was excellent, the CPM series is even better.  The characteristics of the powdered steels results in a more uniform steel and while it’s tougher then the original 154CM, it’s actually supposed to be slightly easier to grind and polish.  These little CPM154 Barlows are gonna be one tough little knife!

I find it really interesting and encouraging to see a company like Queen using the high end steels in their traditional knives.  This is one of the reasons I started Trestle Pine Knives, to combine traditional with modern, to bring  old and new together.  I hope we see Queen do more of the same.

GEC #15 Navy Knife is in stock

Just finished listing the release of the GEC #15 Navy Knife in the store.

GEC#15 Navy Knife
GEC#15 Navy Knife

Built on the #15 Boy’s Knife frame, it appears to be a shrunken down version of the original Camillus EZ Open ‘Sailors’ Rope knife.  The GEC #15 Navy Knife is more pocket friendly then the original and if you like softer springs, you’re really gonna like this one.  With the easy open notch the spring on the Navy Knife would make a great knife for a younger first time knife user.

I’m not 100% certain what the quantities run were on the handle options, but I had originally been told there would be 50 each in Ebony Wood, Cocobolo, Cola Jigged Bone and Red Linen Micarta (pictured).