Monthly Archives: May 2016

Trestle Pine Knives Grand Portage Update

I just received confirmation the Trestle Pine Knives Grand Portage is scheduled to ship the end of this week.  As soon as I get a picture, I’ll get it up on the blog.  I have some other business I need to attend to but hope by the end of next week I can start getting them listed in the store.

Also wanted to let everyone know there will be a delay in shipping orders placed 6-2-16 thru 6-5-16.  And there may be a day or two next week as well, but it won’t be too noticeable.  I bring this up as I usually ship 2-3 times each day and the expectation for lightening fast deliveries has become the norm.

First GEC Navy Knife arrives

Just a couple of quick notes on the new GEC Navy Knife.  I received the Natural Canvas Micarta this AM and just finished listing them in the store.

Brushed Bolster GEC Navy Knife Natural Canvas
Brushed Bolster GEC Navy Knife Natural Canvas

The first thing I noticed was the bolster and shield have a brushed finish rather then the traditional polished finish.

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It doesn’t show up that well in the photo, but when you have it in hand, it’s very obvious.  With the canvas micarta it’s actually kind of attractive.  This doesn’t seem to be the type of knife that needs highly polished surfaces.  And let’s be honest, it doesn’t take too many months in a pocket full of change and keys to lose a polished finish anyway!

The position of the bail pivot pin requires the blade to sit abnormally high in the frame making the blade appear a lot wider/deeper then it is.  I almost anticipated seeing a pruning style blade when I opened it.  While that high riding blade with the bail makes for a pretty blunt, tall profile, it makes for easy access with cold wet fingers or a gloved hand.

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I’m not a huge fan of a bail on any knife.  Always seems like I end up with one of my keys stuck through the bail ending up with half of my pocket contents coming out with my knife.  I realize it’s issue of ‘authenticity’ and a minor criticism.

The spring is a bit stiff for a knife this size.  It’s not bad until you hit the half stop, but from the  mid point to full deployment, its plenty stiff.  Again, not a big deal and with the ability to get a firm purchase on the top of the blade it shouldn’t be an issue.

For all the clamoring I’ve heard in the past year for more 440C from GEC, I was a bit surprised the pre-booking orders weren’t stronger then they were.  The Boy’s Knife and Beer Scouts have booked (for me, anyway) at about a 5-1 ratio over the Navy Knife.  I’m not sure if it’s the pattern or just a change of interest in the 440C.

The Jigged Bone and Chestnut are still to come.  Not sure where GEC is at with production, but I’d anticipate they should follow relatively soon.

Weekly Update 5.27.16 Memorial Day Weekend

Hard to believe it’s Memorial Day Weekend already, isn’t it?  I’ll never believe how fast spring and summer slip by.

I’m marking this Memorial Day by sending off a check to the Wounded Warrior Project with monies generated from the sales of the GEC buttons.  Some time back I set them up in the store with the proceeds from their sales going to the WWP.  It’s been a good way to keep a little stream of revenue coming in for the Wounded Warriors and thanks to all of you that have purchased a set.  Since the first of the year, you’ve made it possible to donate almost $500.  Give yourselves a pat on the back!

The Schatt & Morgan Granddaddy Barlows went out about as quick as they came in.  I think as of this writing there’s one left.  It’s a great knife, well done and for the lucky people that got one, a very limited production series.

Elk
Elk

It’s been fun seeing all the new knives coming out of Queen this year.  The variety coming through in runs of  20 or 30 pieces keeps it interesting as well.  I hope they keep using more of the high end blade steels.  Taking a time proven pattern and upgrading it with modern high-tech steel draws me like a moth to the flame.

Which brings to mind a gratifying comment I got this week about the Trestle Pine Knives.  A long time customer called this week on another matter but had to tell me he couldn’t believe how well his Portage held an edge.  Like most of us, he’s carried a 1095 or 440 steel blade for years and the Portage was his first exposure to 154CM.  I had another friend comment on their appreciation of the fact that Queen seems to be using more of the ATS34 and 154CM instead of the 420 which has been a mainstay for years.  For the collectors, it doesn’t make much difference, but for the remaining few of us that need a good knife, we’re craving more!!!!

With spring in full swing and camping season getting underway, more and more people are getting outside.  As a result, I’ve seen sales of the fixed blades increase.  I added a few more Hess’ last nite but even with those, my Hess inventory currently has a number of holes in it I’ll have to fill.   I’ve gotten nothing but positive feedback from Hess customers and with good reason.  For the price, there’s just nothing out there to compare.

Caper Cocobolo
Caper Cocobolo

So far, it’s been a fabulous year for knife sales.  The biggest problem is acquiring adequate inventory.  I’ve been lucky to be able to pick up a couple of small collections but it’s not keeping up with demand.  Even though I don’t handle any of the SFO’s from GEC, it appears most are selling out before the knives are delivered.  Pre-booking on the new regular run releases has been incredible.

While the current collector focus seems to have shifted from older knives to new, I’d say the appetite for ‘new’ collectibles is at an all time high and growing.  I can’t begin to imagine how many thousand Barlows have been sold in just the last 18 months.  Watching the secondary market pricing, it’ll be interesting to see how long the current trend lasts.  This trend seems to be you buy 2 or 3 identical knives, sell 1 or 2 at hyper inflated prices recovering your ‘investment’,  keep one for your collection and move on to the next iteration almost like a Ponzi scheme.  Not being a collector, it’s been fascinating to watch.

Never collect purely on speculation of future financial gains.  Collect ‘it’ because you like ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ might be, knives, guns, art, coins, etc.  If the value goes up, great.  If the value goes down, you can still enjoy it.  Collecting and investing aren’t always synonymous.

Take the time to give thanks and remembrance this weekend to those who have gone on before us.  Enjoy the company of friends and family.  Have a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend!!

Pair of Nice Schatt & Morgan Releases

The Schatt & Morgan Granddaddy Barlows came in today and what a nice knife.

Brown Jigged Bone
Brown Jigged Bone
Elk
Elk
Smooth White Bone
Smooth White Bone

They’re a big knife measuring 5″ closed with a robust 4″ clip blade.  Blades are ATS34 and perfect for anyone looking for a heavy duty pocket size knife.

The second release is a Special Run of just 20 knives with Torched Stag.  They’re a #66 Muskrat with a Clip and Wharncliffe blades.  Blade steel is 420 stainless.  Overall length closed is 4″ making it another nice sized EDC knife with enough size to fill most needs.

Torched Stag
Torched Stag

There have been a number of great Schatt & Morgan releases already this year.  One of the details I can’t help but miss is the blade edges are greatly improved over a year or two ago.  I’ve got the scars to prove it if you doubt me!

I catch hell every now and then for not wiping down the blades prior to photographing them and agree I probably should.  I just don’t like to take the factory oil off from them and run the risk of forgetting to re-lube them prior to boxing them back up.  My intentions are good.

Tomorrow I’ll try to get some more of the older GEC’s listed.  Interest was good on the first lot and there’s more gems to come!

Weekly Update 5.20.16

Last weekend I picked up a great collection of 30+ older GEC’s.  There are some ’06’s, 07’s 08’s and a few newer pieces.  Most of the knives are 73’s with a couple of the 23 Bull Locks.  Really a nice group for you guys that collect the older knives.  They’ll start going into the store later this fore noon.  Check the “Recently Added” category for an update to what’s been added to the storefront.

With all the interest in the newer SFO’s that double and triple in price days after they sell out, these older knives are getting harder to find as well.  I know my inventory has shrunk dramatically from close to 2000 GEC’s to around 500 in just the past year or so.  While I try to keep the prices as reasonable as possible, the selling price is obviously driven by the cost  of acquisition and the older knives have gone up.

Here’s a bit of a tease for you.  This is a 2007 Northfield 73 Factory Test Production Run knife serial #48.  They only made 6 of these with Green Boker Jigged Bone.

2007 Northfield 73 FTPR Boker Green Jigged Bone
2007 Northfield 73 FTPR Boker Green Jigged Bone

Notice anything else unique?  Check the tube labels.  I love finding stuff like this!  Almost makes me want to start collecting.

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I want to remind everyone that the news out of GEC is that the series of 15 Boy’s knives, Beer Scouts, etc will most likely be a Fall delivery.  It sounded like October but nothing chiseled in stone.

I had a note yesterday and the Trestle Pine Knives “Grand Portage” is still on track for an early June delivery.  There’s a good chance I’ll have a picture next week to give everyone a peek.  Appreciate all of the early interest and promise to get the photo up ASAP.

A few of my favorite things

While I was rummaging around in some drawers last week I realized I had a lot of knives that don’t get used a lot.  And I found a handful of knives that have truly become a few of my favorite things.  After going through the ‘discards’ and the knives that have stayed in rotation over the years, it made me understand that I think I’ve become somewhat of a steel ‘snob’.

This wasn’t a sudden transition but a gradual move to better steels in patterns that I really liked and some I didn’t.  In a couple of cases, the steel caught my attention before the pattern.

Favorite Fixed Blades
Favorite Fixed Blades

Starting on the left, the Bark River Northstar with A2 steel was my first exposure to something other then the more common carbon steels such as 1095.  I’ve always been fond of the Loveless drop point and the A2 was truly a step up from some of my other fixed blades. Tough stuff and relatively easy to sharpen

Front and center is a Trestle Pine Buddy with 1095.  I settled on this pattern/steel because of the ease of maintaining the edge around camp.  Smaller then any of the others pictured, it fills the slot between a fixed blade and a folder.

The Cold Steel SRK lying behind the other knives was an Ebay purchase and the old Carbon V steel was another interesting blade that held an edge and held up well. It was one of my early hard use, all around camp knives.

The the Fallkniven A1 (extreme right) really got my attention.  The laminated VG10 took an edge like a razor and held it incredibly well through some really rough usage.  This was probably the first premium steel blade that really got me interested in the higher end steels.  I’ve used it for everything from splitting wood to slicing tomatoes for supper all on the same day.

The Spyderco ‘Mule’ (middle center) with a 4V blade was a gift and the blade steel is incredible.  I’ve never been a huge fan of the Spyderco blade profiles, but this one has grown on me reeeal fast.  It takes a razor edge and I’ve never (so far) seen a steel take such a fine edge….and hold it with no chipping or rollover.  It hasn’t seen near the field use of the others, but it’s cut a mountain of cardboard, wire cutting as well as doing some notching in hardwood on a couple of maintenance projects.

But these are the gems that get used on a daily basis.  There are others I like, but these are the main EDC’s I prefer.

Favorite Folders
Favorite Folders

On the right is one of the Queen Copperheads with a D2 blade.  Truly some tough carbon steel that will hold an edge like there’s no tomorrow.   Actually, one of my favorite D2’s was a Queen 48 Whittler that I gave away.

Next to it is the Fallkniven U2 with a Laminated SGPS (powdered steel) blade.  It’s light, takes a superfine edge and will cut, and cut and cut and…

To the left of the U2 is a Fallkniven Gentleman’s knife with a laminated Cobalt Steel blade.  Probably the largest pocket knife I carry with any frequency, the steel performance is outstanding.

On the extreme left is a Trestle Pine Superior and center front is a Trestle Pine Portage.  Both have 154CM blades.  The 154 Series of steels are top notch blade steels and perform incredibly well.  So many of the current production knives are stuck in the 1095 mold, it was time to break away from the pack and I’m glad I did.  In fact the next Trestle Pine knife called the Grand Portage, takes it up another notch and will have a CPM154 blade.

While I still respect and like 1095 on some knives, the advantages of the ‘newer’ steels and powder steels in particular can’t be overstated.  I know a lot of guys that actually use their knives are afraid of D2 due to it’s reputation of being hard to sharpen.  Maybe it’s the sharpener, but I use the EdgePro and don’t find D2 all that much harder to sharpen then a good quality hardened 440C.  Personally, I think the 154CM is relatively easy to sharpen considering the edge retention.  Harder to sharpen then 1095?  Yup.  Worth the effort?  Absolutely.

So I don’t know, maybe I have gotten preoccupied with blade steels but it’s been an innocent transition.  My eyes tend to glaze over and my mind starts to wander listening to the wonders of blade centering and the disgrace of spun pins.  But talk to me about your latest experience with CowryX or 4V and you’ve got my attention.  Tell me about shredding a thousand cardboard boxes, cutting a mile of fiber tape and then using the blade to shave with…. I hear ya!!!

Update 5.13.16

Friday the 13th, 38 degrees, cold and windy.  That was one short summer!

I finally have a picture of the Schatt & Morgan Mini Barlow in Gold Lip Pearl.  Great little pocket knife for the office and 1 of just 30 built.  There will be a matching Black Lip Pearl coming in as well.

Schatt & Morgan Mini Gold Lip Pearl
Schatt & Morgan Mini Gold Lip Pearl

It seems like we’re close to done with the 18 Canine series of Coyotes and Beagles.  Everyone’s been hounding me about the 15 Boy’s knife series and all I can say is they are coming.  I know there’s a number of SFO’s that have to squeezed in and no doubt it’s going to take some time for all of the 15’s to get run.  I’m still taking reservations on them and have most options still available.

Just received an update on the 15’s and it appears their production has been pushed back to ‘around’ October, 2016.

Folks have also been asking about the upcoming Trestle Pine Knives “Grand Portage”.  Far as I know, we’re still on schedule for an early June delivery.  I’ve resisted taking reservations on the Grand Portage primarily because of the very limited quantities of some of the handle options.  Several are limited to 5 or 6 pieces and how many make it through assembly is always a guess.  I did put up a little background on what the Grand Portage is and the thought process behind the knife.  You can check it out on the Trestle Pine Knives website which is: www.trestlepineknives.com

If you’re not familiar with Voyageurs and the early history of the fur trade, there’s some interesting reading available online about the Grand Portage area.  Our friend Dave and I have exchanged numerous emails and books about that period and both of us are in awe of what a rugged group the Voyageurs were.

Many times exploring that country I’ve whined and complained about the bugs and rain for three or four days.  To think of enduring those conditions for several months without my lightweight tent, Gortex, UnderArmour, waterproof lightweight hikers, bug repellent, freeze dried meals, 42# canoe, etc, etc.  And oh, the misery of having to tote that canoe and gear over a rock strewn 10 rod portage to the next lake full of hungry fish.

But then, I read about the Voyageurs paddling their canoe for up to 18 hours a day with several TONS of furs and gear in it.  Loading and unloading it to make countless portages each day.  Toting two 90 pound bundles of furs at a time across the portage.  Eating the most meager of rations consisting of pemmican or dried peas boiled with a bit of salt pork in it.  Then finally (hopefully) reaching your destination only to turn around and do it all over again.  I can only imagine the relief it must have been to reach the Depot at Grand Portage and enjoy the events at the Rendezvous, collect your pay and most likely spend all of it on a little fun and necessities for the next trip.

As I said, Dave and I had numerous email exchanges during the development of the Grand Portage knife which were as enjoyable as putting the concept together.  We both have a deep appreciation for history and are convinced we’ve most likely both lived in an earlier time.

Considering the heyday of the Voyageurs was in the 1700 to early 1800’s no doubt many of the logs that were recovered and will be handles on the Grand Portage knives were mature trees at that time.  Not only that, the trees came from the very area the Voyageurs traveled.  Both Dave and I are absolutely convinced that more then one of the Voyageurs took a break or slept under the very trees used to make the handle of the knives.  Maybe,…..just maybe even carved their name in the very tree!  That’s our story and we’re sticking to it!!!!

Weekly Update 5.6.16

I can pretty well sum up this weeks update by telling you it was almost 90 degrees F on May 5.  Supposed to hit the mid 80’s today and with weather like this the first week of May, it just doesn’t get much better.   What more needs be said??

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I went back to the previous years Ice Out contests and couldn’t help but notice that in 2013 the ice didn’t go off the lake until MAY 12!!!  We didn’t have boats in the water at our house until Memorial weekend.  On Tuesday evening this week, May 3, there we’re kids riding around the lake on a tube.  What a difference a couple years can make, no?

Otherwise, knife sales continue strong and the 18’s continue to trickle in.  Queen sent out some great looking Gold Lip Pearl Pen knives and I’ll get some pix up the first of the week.  For now, have a couple more boats to  get in the water and start planning for next weekends fishing opener!  Gotta run!!

More Beagles & Cattle Knives

Another bunch of the Beagles and Cattle Knives landed on the doorstep today.  The Beagles are the Tidioute  Red Linen Micarta and Cola Jigged Bone.  Not being a small knife guy, I have to admit they do grow on you!  And a quick reminder, I have more of the Red/White Acrylics coming in later this week.

#18 Beagle Red Linen Micarta
#18 Beagle Red Linen Micarta

I also received some more of the 98 Texas Cattle knives in Kingwood.  Just like the Beagles, the 98 series appeals to a certain group of buyers and the folks buying them really like ’em.

98 Texas Cattle Knife Kingwood
98 Texas Cattle Knife Kingwood

I also had an update on the anticipated ship date for the Trestle Pine Knives ‘Grand Portage’.  Right now it looks like early June which is perfect timing.  It will give us something new to slide into summer with.