Well, I missed my bet. I was sure we’d see the ice gone by yesterday but it looks like it’s gonna be another day or two. It’s deteriorating and there’s a huge open area and a huge chunk of what’s looking like a big chunk of floating slush.
Ice condition 3.28.16
Spring is definitely in the air. Yesterday we had our resident pair of eagles perched in an old oak that hangs over the edge of the lake on the lookout for lunch. This morning the first pair of wood ducks showed up in the yard starting to look for nesting spots. Love it!!
The Beer Scout pre-booking orders continue to roll in and this appears to be huge run for GEC. For reference, the most popular handle option is Acrylic, then Bone, Micarta and Wood. All 4 are selling well and there’s not a huge spread but a couple of people have asked and I’m just telling you.
Over the weekend I got a package from my friend Donnie Carter. Always interesting to see what he sends up this way. I’ve joked before that Donnie’s become the ultimate recycler. He’s created knives from recovered items like leaf springs, coil springs, rail road spikes and so on, Well, I’m now the proud owner of his latest creation made from a recycled band saw blade.
He finished it off with a nice looking piece of black walnut and a red liner.
I’ve got 4 or 5 of Donnie’s knives since he started making knives a couple of years ago. He loves making them and I love getting them!!! Many thanks!
Let’s start the weekly update with an ice out update. The ice continues to disappear in spite of some over-nite temps in the teens. I’m still betting this weekend could bring things to a conclusion. I was going to post a new pic of the progress but it’s a dreary, gray day with a little precip in the air and frankly….everything (water and ice) look the same. Grey.
Everyone started posting their pre-booking pages for the upcoming run of Beer Scouts, Boys Knives and Navy Knives this week. My orders for the Beer Scouts are off the chart as I’m sure is the case for everyone else. I’ve had orders for up to 10 knives per individual and numerous orders for 2+ per handle material. The Boys Knives are booking strong and the big surprise has been the Navy Knife. That’s had the lowest early order activity which I had anticipated would be stronger due to the 440C blade. Maybe the other two knives have just sucked all the oxygen out of the room.
The Trestle Pine Portage has been steadily selling and the reception of the high end woods was a pleasant surprise. I had also put a few of the fixed blade Buddy’s in the store which sold out within hours of being added. So…. next round you’ll see more of the ‘exotics’ added.
I used the drop point in the single blade Portage and a few people were wishing I had stayed with the traditional sheepsfoot or wharncliffe. Personally, my feeling is there are a lot of knives already out there with a sheepsfoot or wharncliffe. Also, I wanted a low profile knife and in some applications, just prefer a drop point but I do like the Barlow pattern.
Here’s the breakdown on handle quantities for the Portage;
Recovered Old Growth
29 Yellow Birch
10 KOA Wood
5 Black/Gold Box Elder Burl
11 Black Ash
2 Redwood Burl
5 Circassian Walnut
And speaking of the next round, another Trestle Pine Knives project is on the production schedule for May/June. The next knife will have a wharncliffe….and a cap lifter… and a few other tweaks. Like a CPM154 blade instead of 154CM. And a couple other features you don’t usually see on a ‘traditional’ folder. In fact, it’ll be called the “Grand Portage”. The Grand Portage has a story behind it that I’ll share later on and I promise you, a lot of thought went into the knife.
It’s been interesting getting feedback on the Superior now that it’s been out there for a while. Everyone likes the fact it was built with a 154CM blade instead of the traditional carbon or 400 series stainless blades. When I put the Wharncliffe blade in the Copperhead frame, even one of the principals at Queen thought that might be a bit odd looking. The feedback has been positive and I really like the ability to grab that blade with gloves on. They have sold out and inquiries have come in asking if I’ll be running that knife again and the answer is yes.
Thanks to Queen Cutlery and the customers willing to try something different, the Trestle Pine Knives venture has been a dream come true. Being able to put a blade pattern in a frame that hasn’t been done for years or possibly never opens possibilities beyond my imagination. Using different blade steels to modernize an old design is something I’ve wanted to see for years. Even if it’s nothing more then using a wood rarely/never seen on a traditional folder before…. that’s what I want to do. Guess I never have been very good at following the crowd.
Just drove around the lake this afternoon and I’d say we’re at about 25-30% open water. I honestly can’t recall things melting so fast. It’s supposed to stay cool overnite the next few days with a couple days in the 40’s so I’m still betting we could have open water by Easter Sunday. I’ll try to get a few pix up for you tomorrow.
Received the details (as they are) on the GEC Beer Scouts, Boys Knives & Navy Knives this AM. Most of the handle material colors are yet to be selected. The info I have was that they’re anticipating a June ship date. That’s not chiseled in stone but it gives us an idea.
The Boys Knives and Beer Scouts will be a rerun of the previous knives. The big news is probably that the Navy Knife will be offered in 440C. This is one of the first 440C’s to come out of GEC in some time. I know the demand is there!
I’ve set up a Pre-Order page again as it seems to work really well for everyone. $10 deposit holds your knife and you’ve got 72 hours after you’re notified they’re in stock to consummate the transaction. Otherwise, you lose your $10 and I get a couple decent cigars!
Be sure to pay attention and be aware that the pictures on the Pre-Order page are NOT actual pictures of the knives. I plugged them in as fillers and that is all! So don’t email me and tell that I’m showing a picture of an acrylic but the description says Jigged Bone.
The ice is rapidly leaving!!! While there’s huge sheet of ice still melt…
there are also areas quickly opening up.
You can see the open water extending into the main body of the lake with another open area just off the point.
I’d make an unscientific guess that about 15% of the lake is opened up and the other 85% is deteriorating fast. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the entire lake open by the weekend. All depends on the temperature and the wind. Ice out before the end of March is going to be in record breaking territory!!! I’m good with that!
I’m not calling the race early, but I’d bet we have a race between Randy and BA. Here are the standings:
Lots to report in this weekly update. First, a note about the Ice Out Contest.
Remember that midnite CST, Sunday 3/18/16 is the cutoff for entries into the 2016 Ice Out Contest. This past week we’ve gone from near 60F temps to a daily high in the 30’s. Yesterday we had a couple of inches of snow.
The slab of concrete from the landing is a little more exposed and you can see where we had some open water this week that’s skimmed over again with ice. Even though we’re still iced in shore to shore, fortunately no one’s been venturing out to fish. We’re still going to see an early ice out. SO….. visit the Ice Out Contest page and leave a comment on that page to get a shot at the $100 gift certificate.
The Trestle Pine Portage’s came in and have been well received. Everyone that knows steel has been really happy with my choice of 154CM. (Next knife coming out this summer we’ll take it up a notch and go to CPM154. ) The second half of the order came in yesterday and there are a few more of the exotic woods that will be available the first of the week.
Great Eastern’s #180116 Stag and Natural Stag hit the doorstep this morning and I’ll be sending out invoices to everyone that had prebooked one, with the rest if the knives going in the store this afternoon. I’ve only looked at one and it looked nice considering how small a piece of stag that is.
There’s a new Schatt & Morgan #99 Executive Jack that also arrived this morning that is a gem.
Really a nice sized knife and with that Wharncliffe blade, the name Executive Jack seems appropriate. Blade steel is ATS34 and a total of 50 each in Elk, Stag, Whiskey Catalina and Worm Groove bone were built. Should be a very popular knife.
Gonna be a busy weekend with over 100 new knives waiting my attention. I’ll get as many as I can up today but it’s gonna be the first of the week before they’re all up. Oh ya, the finger’s healing up nicely (but ugly) and a couple more weeks in the splint and hopefully start using it some again.
Couple of things to cover on the Portage and GEC this morning.
I was asked if the wood on the handles is still from the Old Growth recovered logs? Yes. The Oak, Maple, Yellow Birch and Ash are Old Growth wood from logs recovered from deep cold water lakes and rivers in Canada and the Northern US.
Do I have more of the Premium/Exotic woods that I’ll be listing? Some. I’ll be listing some Black Ash Burl (not old growth) and a couple more Circassian Walnut (not old growth) this morning. There are a couple other surprises I’ll be adding in the next few days as well.
Have I quit answering the phone? Yes and no. I ignored the phone a good part of the day yesterday trying to get as many knives listed as time permitted. As soon as the knives hit the storefront I got a steady stream of calls and a good share never got answered. A couple folks were irritated they couldn’t get through to place a phone order and by they got hold of me, the knife they wanted had sold. Sorry.
I know some of you don’t like to use your credit card online and that’s fine. Rather than call, place the order online and select the payment option for a check or money order. That reserves your knife and you can drop me an email and we can arrange a phone call to get your credit card info. Spring is a busy time of the year and I don’t always carry the phone with me.
When is GEC shipping the new 98’s and can I reserve one? I don’t have a clue when they’re shipping them and I’m not taking reservations on them. It’s going to be a knife that will be split ‘evenly’ (????) among the distributors and no one seems to know how many will be available to split. Interestingly, all of the SFO’s are being built for non-stocking dealers or clubs.
That pretty much covers things for now! I’ll get a few more knives listed today and we’ll hopefully see the balance of the 18’s come through in the near future.
I’m starting to get them listed and it’ll take a day or two to get all of them up. In addition, there are more of them being finished and hopefully will arrive shortly. A few of the knives will be listed with a ‘stock’ photo as the handle material is very similar in appearance. Others, in particular the premium woods like KOA and Black Ash Burl will have photos of the actual knife you’ll receive. Either way the listing will tell you if its a photo of the actual knife or a stock picture.
There will be a couple other surprise knives show up in addition to the Portage, so keep an eye on the‘recently added’category. Thanks for your patience!!!!!