Monthly Archives: July 2016

Weekly Update 7.29.16

Update: What can I say….

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We finally got some much needed(more then enough) rain these past weeks and combined with the warm temperatures, the mosquito hatch has been incredible.  Recently, we’ve had three small children and a dog carried off by mosquitoes, the local blood bank has put out a call for donations to treat gardeners and fisherman, people have quit using Cutter’s and Off in favor of flame throwers.  Evenings you can hear the occasional boom of a 12ga from folks picking off the bigger skeeters. Get the picture??  In fact it’s bad enough my wife was wishing this morning that we could get a hard frost to kill them off.  This from a woman who thrives on 90 degree temperatures.  Worst of all, next weekend is our annual family get together.

On the bright side, we can look forward to some interesting releases from Queen next week.  There’s a group of Gunstocks and 99 Jacks coming through with Stag, Amber Stag, ATS34, 420 and CPM154 blades.

I had a good chat with Ken Daniels yesterday and told him how happy I was to see Queen using these high end steels.  While 1095, 440C and D2 (which I’m a great fan of) are great blade steels, it’s really exciting to see some of the ‘newer’ steels typically seen on tactical and fixed blades used on the traditional folders.  Not all of us want to carry an assisted opening, tanto blade, carbon fiber handled knife with a pocket clip. BUT…. we (I) do like that high performance steel blade in a pocket friendly folder.  Wouldn’t it be fantastic to see a traditional folder with, oh, lets say a CPM S35VN blade?   Hmmmm……

My buddy Dave has probably caused me to spend more money on stuff I didn’t know I needed than anyone I know.  The good news is he hasn’t steered me wrong yet.  His latest pitch was the Spyderco Mule Team project knives.  Dave gave me one of the Mule Team #21’s with CPM 4V steel.   I haven’t had an opportunity to really ‘test’ it, but every day routine use hasn’t challenged the edge in the least.

Spyderco Mule Team #21
Spyderco Mule Team #21

Now, thanks again to Dave, I’m going to pick up one of the new release Mule CPM Maxamet Steel blades.  They’re talking about a Rockwell hardness in the upper 60’s range with excellent chip resistance.  That, my friends, gets my heart pumping double time.  In a few more weeks I’ll be taking my annual field test trip to the NE corner of Minnesota.  There’s going to be more knives then time I’m afraid.

On a more serious note, I hope you know what a staunch supporter of our military I am.  I try to regularly support the Wounded Warrior Project financially and encourage others to do likewise.  Our Vets sometimes get forgotten and they’re sacrifices are often ignored.

More recently the number of members of the law enforcement community has been sickening.  Over the years I’ve interacted with members of the law enforcement community on a professional and personal level.  I had a brick and mortar retail sporting goods store that was burglarized 5 times.  I’ve stood shoulder to shoulder with these guys as I unlocked the door for them, guns drawn while the alarm was going off.   I watched them calm down a mentally  ill customer and gently escort him out of our store.  On the few occasions I’ve had to answer to them for my actions, I’ve been treated with respect and have responded in kind.  I’ve had a drink or two with them, we’ve fished together and have two retired troopers just up the street.  My experience has been they’re regular guys/gals that are underpaid, under appreciated, doing a dangerous job you couldn’t pay me enough to do.

Next time you meet a squad car, give them a friendly wave and a smile.  If you see a cop on the street, tell him thanks.  If you’re having lunch and a group of law enforcement folks are eating lunch as well, consider picking up there tab.  If they’re in the convenience store buying coffee, pay for it.  Let them know you support them and appreciate the risks they take to try and maintain law and order.

Weekly Update 7.22.16

These weekly updates seem to come closer together every week!!  I’m not sure if we started shortening the weeks to 6 days instead of 7 but it sure feels like it.  It’s another case of summer sliding by before we know what’s happening.

The GEC 14’s continue to trickle in and hopefully should finish up fairly soon.  I know there are a ton of SFO’s coming through so it’s going to take a while.  It’s starting to look like GEC may have finally come close to matching demand with production.  From the looks of things most dealers have extras in inventory.

As promised, I did get the rest of the knives from the collection I picked up listed in the store this week.  There were some really incredibly nice pieces in this group like the following.

GEC #23 Good N Plenty
GEC #23 Good N Plenty
GEC 362208 Jumbo Stag
GEC 362208 Jumbo Stag
Tuna Valley / GEC Cotton King
Tuna Valley / GEC Cotton King
Schatt & Morgan Presidents Choice Proto
Schatt & Morgan 2002 Presidents Choice Prototype

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This is rather neat Prototype as I don’t believe this was the final version that was released for the President’s Choice Knife in 2002.  It is indeed a ‘prototype’.   The shield is different and the laser etching on the back didn’t make it to the final run.  If you look closely at the pins in the second photo, you can see they had lasered a spot where the pins were to be set.  I’m not sure if the intent was for this to act as an outline around the pin or why it was done.

It’s hard to find a quality collection like this for sale with any regularity.  And it’s really fun to be able to actually get to buy a group of knives like these.  If you have a collection you’re interested in selling, know of anyone wishing to liquidate their collection or if you here of an estate situation, drop me a note.

I had a short conversation with Chris this past week and it sounds like there’s an outside chance they may get to the 15’s before late fall.  They have a bunch of SFO’s to run but most of them are single blade projects which go together fairly quick, so with any luck…

On the Road

I was on the road for a couple of days this weekend and ran down to Iowa to check on a few things.  For years, we’ve had people joke about the fact we are living up North near the edge of civilization just a stones throw from Fargo, ND for gosh sakes, ya know?  It was refreshing to get home and be reminded of where we live and how grateful we are to live here!

We stayed in a nice Motel in Northern Iowa and for $135 a nite, it’s really nice to have a room with a view.  Maybe it’s the Iowa equivalent of a Northern Minnesota view of the lake and forest from your room, but it’s definitely not the same.

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I can’t really make too much fun of the situation as I grew up in Iowa and 50 years ago wouldn’t have probably even noticed!  Most likely I would have been tempted to step in a few rows and see how the ears were developing.

And about the time we quit laughing about the cornfield view, we were heading home on the Interstate in Minneapolis and came upon this.

Windows UP!!!
Windows UP!!!

I’m still wondering if we could have witnessed a possible kidnapping and someone was either trying to get our attention (it worked) or maybe they were trying to sneak a ‘note’ out the door.  Probably never know.

All I know is that while it’s good to get away however briefly, it’s always good to get back to the same old familiar humdrum.  Familiar sounds and scenes.

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“Oh, but anyway, Toto, we’re home – home!……… And…  there’s no place like home!”

Weekly Update 7.15.16

Has to be short weekly update I’m afraid.  Have to take care of some other business for a day or two and let the update sit until the last minute.

I see there are a bunch of GEC 15’s coming my way either Saturday or Monday.  As soon as they arrive I’ll be sorting through reservations and getting invoices sent out.  I should hopefully also be getting the balance of my order for the 14 Nifbrites two blades.  Not sure why those have gotten so strung out but thanks for everyone’s patience.

This week I put a number of the knives up from a collection of Cotton Samplers.  Really a nice group and a few unique pieces like this Whaler.

46 Whaler Spiral Cut Buffalo Horn
46 Whaler Spiral Cut Buffalo Horn

There’s probably another dozen or so to add to the list and I’ll try to get them listed next week.

Otherwise, it was a dreary week for mid July with high winds, rain, temps in the 60’s.  Made it feel more like early May then the lead in to August!  With just a couple more weeks before our annual family get together, makes me just a bit nervous.  We need calm, sunny warm days to keep everyone happy on the water.

New Additions to the Store

I’ve been adding some new additions to the storefront from a couple of collections and I wanted to let you get a flavor for some of the knives in the group.  This Tuna Valley Lock Back Trapper has probably some of the nicest popcorn stag I’ve seen in several years.

Tuna Valley Lock Back Trapper
Tuna Valley Lock Back Trapper

There were also a couple of GEC Cotton Sampler Proto’s that were added as well.  Just one of the Krack a Jack Cotton Samplers was added but I do have several more that I’ll put in later this week.

Finally, there should be a few single blade #14 Boys Knives available in the store after the reservations were filled.  These have been coming in, in small batches and I believe I got the last of the 14 single blades today.  Along with them were a few of the Nifebrite two blades (which were sent out to fill pre-orders).

Weekly Update 7.9.16

Once again, recovering last weekend, the weekly update is a bit late.  Hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July!!  It was great weather up here with some rain showers but nothing big enough to change many plans.  Great fireworks on the lake as usual and I ate enough to last me through the week.

Lots of knives coming and leaving this week.  The 14 Boys knives continue to trickle through.  There are still a few more Ebony and OD Green to come in, but for the most part they should be done.  And another reminder, pay the invoice for your reservations within 3 days or they go into inventory and your deposit is gone.  You’ll get a store invoice, a PayPal invoice and PayPal reminders each day so pretty hard to claim you missed seeing the bill.

I’ve been listing some of the knives from the latest collection I picked up and there are some really nice knives in the group.

Tuna Valley Cotton Sampler
Tuna Valley Cotton King
GEC 235210 Genuine Stag
GEC 235210 Genuine Stag

The above pix are just a couple of knives out of a really fine group.  The stag on all of the knives is absolutely some of the nicest you’ll see.  There’s a Cotton King I’ll be listing this week with some of the gnarliest popcorn stag I believe I’ve ever come across.  Just really stunning pieces.

I did some trading and ended up with a few more of the 15 Boys Knives which were listed and sold about as fast as they went in the store.  Rare to have someone wanting to trade such new releases but I couldn’t pass them up.  One of the Elk was really a fine piece with book end slabs that matched beautifully.

GEC#15 Elk Boys Knife
GEC#15 Elk Boys Knife

On a final note, I want to extend my condolences to Chris at GEC.  She lost her dad just over a week ago and our thoughts go out to Chris and her family.  Chris took a couple of weeks off and it’ll be good to see her back directing traffic at GEC soon.

Pay or Lose Out!

Quick reminder that if you had a pre-booking order in place for any knives, I have a 72 hour payment window.  In short, pay or lose out.  Invoices are sent out as soon as they are in stock and ready to ship.  A PayPal invoice is also sent out and (as explained on the listing) payment is expected within 3 days (72 hours).  In addition, PayPal reminders are sent out each day.  If payment isn’t received in the 3 day period, you not only lose the knife, you give up your deposit.

Now, I don’t really mind if you don’t pay for your knife as it means I’ve got your $10 deposit to spend on a reallllly fine cigar.  Plus, there’s typically a waiting list for any left overs.  What I do care about is if something came up and someone was unable to pay for a knife they really wanted due to unforeseen circumstances.  I’m usually willing to work with most people on a reasonable deferred payment if required.  But you have to let me know.

14 Boy’s Knives are Dribbling In

I got my first shipment of the 14 Boy’s Knives today.  I have no idea how they are running them, but I don’t think I got a full shipment on any of them.  My understanding is the rest are either in process or in transit.

This afternoon I started shipping/billing for part of them and finally gave up due to the fact some folks have multiple knives ordered in different handle materials,  Rather then try to bill for one knife and have more show up in a day or two, I decided to wait until my orders are closer to being filled.

I will say it’s a cute little knife and will no doubt appeal to anyone preferring a small pocket knife.

All I can say is your patience is appreciated and I’ll move forward as soon as I can.  Chris is off for a while due to a death in the family so I understand things aren’t going as smooth as normal.

Weekly Update 7.01.14 Happy July 4th!

Big day coming up on Monday, July 4th!

4th-july

Between what the day represents, good food, fireworks, summer weather and getting together with friends, this is one of my favorite holidays.  Our plans are already in place.

We have a good friend coming in for the weekend.  Not sure how we’ll fit it all into a 3 day weekend but it starts with a little golf on Saturday.  Pontoon and boat ride are a part of each day.  Sunday includes a trip to a large local flea market, some time sitting on the deck re-hydrating, grilling some rib-eyes for supper and an evening cruise around the lake.

Monday’s the biggie.  Golf in the morning?  A ride around the big lake in town to check out all the festivities.  Lunch at one of the outside restaurants on the lake.  The boat parade on our lake in the afternoon and grilling  hot dogs and hamburgers for supper.  Around 9:00 PM we’ll launch the pontoon and settle into a strategic spot in the middle of the lake, drop anchor, lay out some snacks, crack open a bottle of wine……then…. settle back for the next 2+ hours and watch the fireworks displays going off all around us.  Life is good!

But back to reality for a moment.

Emails have been coming in almost hourly the last couple of days wondering when the GEC 14’s are going to start shipping.  Last word I got on Thursday was they’re being shipped to me yet this week.  By Tuesday or Wednesday I’d like to believe they’ll start shipping.

The Schatt & Morgan John Henry’s absolutely blew out of here.  It was really neat knife and word I got from Queen was that there would be more run at a later date but no firm commitment as to when.

I’ve been asked when more of the Trestle Pine Grand Portages will be coming in and I would say about 2 or 3 weeks.  I had enough comments that the original pine tree wasn’t stamped deep enough in the bolster that I opted to look at laser engraving it in.  Personally, I liked the original stamp but you spoke, I listened.   The new pine tree is a nice, crisp look that won’t have that ‘worn’ look.

Trestle Pine Grand Portage New Etch
Trestle Pine Grand Portage New Etch

The main reason for the delay is once I started considering laser engraving I found out there are very few engravers that can work with brass.  Brass has a different melting point then nickel silver or stainless steel so I had to find a company with a Fiber Laser.  THEN, I had to find a company willing to take on outside work.   On the upside, after much searching and many phone calls, I met an incredibly nice fellow at a Minnesota company who was willing to work with me and opened up all kinds of possibilities for future projects.

This entire Trestle Pine project has been one incredible learning experience.  I have a better understanding why so many individuals opt to simply work with a knife maker that will run an SFO spun off from a current factory run.  You can eliminate sooooo many   obstacles it isn’t even funny.

I highly encourage any one with a ‘good’ idea about a knife design to go ahead and put the project together.  I don’t mean having a handle color changed and a slightly different grind put on a blade.  Find someone willing to work outside the box on what many manufacturers consider a small project of a few hundred knives.  See how flexible they are using different blade materials, fitting unique blades in standard patterns.  Check the cost of tang stamps, sourcing your own handle material, find a reliable stabilizing company willing to work with/around your unique requests, design your own labels, etc, etc.  Bring enough patience to the project to be sure everyone will turn things around on a timely basis to make sure the material is where it needs to be for the next step in the process because you’re the general contractor making sure all the gears mesh.  And get out the checkbook.

As someone so aptly put it, it’s a bit like criticizing  your buddies bird dog when you don’t have one.  The day comes when you have your own dog and you develop a whole new understanding and appreciation for just how bright your buddies dog seems to be while you’re trying to train your own.   But when your dog is trained, it’s incredibly gratifying!  Just remember, someone else will criticize your dog just like you did your buddy’s and until they get their own dog, they won’t fully understand.

So why do I bring all this up?  It’s the 4th of July on Monday.  I’m convinced that had those events leading up to July 4, 1776 not occurred, I and most all of us probably would not have the opportunity to do things we’re doing today.  Sometimes I wonder if those citizen soldiers had any concept of the influence their actions would have for many, many, many generations to follow.  Often times, I think we forget just how lucky we are that we can make our own life choices and determine our destiny as a result.

Celebrate the 4th.  Enjoy the freedom we have.  Have a great weekend!!!