Monthly Archives: August 2016

Weekly Update 8.26.16 ~ Shipping Delay!

Just a reminder there will be a shipping delay for the next few days.   I won’t be shipping any orders starting Saturday 8.27.16 through 9.1.16. (Actually, I plan to resume shipping on the first of September.)  Also won’t be answering the phone.  IF your tail’s on fire and you absolutely have to talk with me…..EMAIL!!!!  That’s about the only chance you’ll get a response from me and that’s not a guarantee.  I plan on spending as much time as possible out of wi-fi range.

Reason for the shipping delay?, time for the annual field trip to the land of Trestle  Pine Knives!!!  In the past 40+ years I haven’t missed this trip more then a couple of times and it’s become a tradition I look forward to like a kid at Christmas.  Not only is it a great time to revisit lakes and trails we’ve traversed countless times, but it gives me a chance to sit by the fire and unwind.

I’ll also get the chance to look at some knives objectively and discuss them with my wife’s nephew.  He’s not as deeply into knives to the extent I am which is good as he’ll ask ‘dumb’ questions that I might not normally give much thought to.  Dumb questions like…. is CPM steel that much better then CM?  Well of course we all know the answer to that, right?  Or maybe,…. why aren’t all blades made from Stainless Steel instead of Carbon Steel.  Get it?  I really enjoy these thought provoking exchanges and never fail to end up learning a lot about my own perceptions and beliefs.

There’s been another flurry of requests to pre-order Beer Scouts and everyone seems to be asking WHEN are they coming!!  All of the knives I allocated for early orders have been spoken for, but I ordered extras of all the handle materials to make available through the storefront. I talked to Chris earlier this week and as I said before, it appears that October will be the best guess for shipping.  We’ll also most likely see the Boy’s Knives first and the Beer’s Scouts will follow.  This is due in part to availability of the handle material.  There are no pictures available of the handle material yet but watch the GEC website.

As far as anything new by the end of the year from GEC… not a clue.  They are so deeply committed to the SFO’s that I think the odds of anything really ‘new’ before year end is pretty slim.  (For the last two years I’ve heard they would put more emphasis on ‘regular run’ knives available to everyone, but I think we can put that one to bed.)  When we talked about possible upcoming knives, I was amazed to hear they might consider running a GEC Barlow as a regular run item.  From what I hear from some of you EDC customers, we’re all kind of barlow’d out.

If you’ve got any ideas what you’d like to see, speak up!  GEC is glad to get input from their customers.  I know they read this blog and the other board discussions regularly.  In the past year or so the excitement on the discussion boards has dwindled to the point that they seem to focus on one pattern.  Some of you have fallen by the wayside with disinterest, but if that’s the case, find your voice and speak up.  If these manufacturers don’t hear anything else from their customer base, they tend to assume everyone is satisfied with what they’re building.

My suggestions included another Whaler, how about some Camp Knives in adequate quantities?  There seems to be a reluctance to make many knives that break that $80-90 price point and that’s too bad.

A suggestion I made was to get away from the time worn Ebony and rather flat Rosewood and step it up to some higher end woods.  I know they can’t/won’t work with some of the highly figured burls and Spalted woods, but at the rate the recent Queen Spalted Tear Drops and Trestle Pine exotics sold out, there’s definitely a demand for higher end woods.

While I’m on the subject of new releases, I got a peak behind the curtain of what we might see coming from Queen in the next weeks.  No absolute promises on these, but it’s better then a 2:1 bet in the very near future we’ll see….

  • 99 Keystones, 1095 Wharncliffe: Burnt Orange, Dark Red, Dark Brown, Stag
  • 06 Teardrop 2 1095 2 blade: Reverse Worm Groove, Iron Wood
  • 66 F&W Clip Long Pull D2: Reverse Worm Groove, Rogers Brown Jig Bone, Curly Maple, Walnut
  • #16 Keystone, ATS34 Clip/Wharncliff: Stag, Amber Italian Bone, Blue Jigged Bone, Rogers Jigged Bone, Elk(yes!)

Understand that things can change, but most of these will be short run knives in the sub-30 piece range.  Queen is really making an effort to get a variety of products out on a regular basis.  The quality I’ve witnessed on recent releases has been excellent.

So for now…. that’s about it.  I have to finish packing my kit and wish you all could come along.  Gonna be a quick trip, but it’s always a good one!!!

 

Worm Groove Tear Drop and 72 Rosewood

As promised, the Schatt & Morgan Worm Groove Tear Drops arrived this AM.

S&M Tear Drop Worm Groove
S&M Tear Drop Worm Groove

These are an exclusive run of 25 with Worm Groove handles.  Just an incredibly well done, great looking knife.

The GEC 72 Mini Lockback with East Indian Rosewood also came in.

72 Mini Lockback East Indian Rosewood
72 Mini Lockback East Indian Rosewood

I had seen the picture on the GEC Facebook page of the Rosewood and was surprised the knives I got didn’t have the reddish hue of the knife pictured on their site.  I have a feeling it was lighting, but the knives I’ve seen run more to a brown color somewhat similar to Ebony Wood.  The picture above is representative of the color on the knives I received.

On a side note, just a heads up that I’ll be heading out on a ‘field trip’ this weekend.  I’ll post shipping schedules, etc, later this week, but be advised I will be out of the office for a couple days.  Some day I really plan on getting away for more then a couple of days, but for now, I’ll make the  best of what I’ve got!  There are so many knives, tools and doodads I’d like to try out that a couple days just doesn’t cut it.

Grizzly Cut Bone 72 GEC’s Arrived

The Grizzly Cut Bone 72 GEC’s arrived this morning.  Nice looking knives.

GEC 721116LB Grizzly Cut Bone Lock Back
GEC 721116LB Grizzly Cut Bone Lock Back

I believe the Rosewood are in transit and should arrive Monday.  In the storefront I’ve just listed one of the knives with a stock photo as the knives are virtually identical in appearance.  As of this posting there should be a good supply available so if you wish to purchase more then one, there should be plenty available.

Weekly Update 8.19.16

Another week of summer behind us isn’t much of a weekly update, but we’d better remember our days of summer are numbered!  It’s been a great summer on a lot of fronts including the knife biz.

This past week we saw the release of the Schatt & Morgan Teardrops which were a big hit.  DSC_3682The Moose Antler Teardrops were outstanding.  The Golden Spalted Maple was another handle material I hope we see more of in the future.  Overall just a great looking run of Teardrops.  I believe next week there will be a release of a two blade teardrop in stag which I look forward to getting as well.

I’m also happy to let you know there will be more of the Grand Portages arriving in the next couple of weeks.  As most of you know, I made a decision to have the bolsters laser engraved for a deeper, cleaner image of the Trestle Pine tree logo.  Originally, I wanted a distressed, worn look to the tree stamped in the bolster but enough folks didn’t like the worn look, so I opted for the laser engraving.  If the tree was deep stamped, we lost detail on it so lasering was the only other option.

The problem came in finding someone that could laser brass.  Most laser engravers are set up with equipment to handle harder metals like nickel silver, stainless, etc, but due to the lower melting point of brass it takes a different type of machine not to destroy it.  I quickly found out it’s hard to find anyone with that type of laser!  Then it’s been a matter of waiting to get things scheduled to get them engraved and we’re finally at that point!  The upside is it resulted in a nice clean image.

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

There will be another run of the Trestle Pine Superior’s coming through this fall.  A few minor tweaks will be made including upgrading from a 154CM to CPM154 blade.  I’ve been so happy with the performance of the CPM steel in the Grand Portage, I decided it was well worth it.  I’m also staying with the Wharncliffe blade pattern and moving the nail nick a bit closer to the blade tip.

I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries as to when the 15 Beer Scouts and Boy’s knives will be coming in.  All I can tell you is soon.  In the next few days the 72LB should start arriving from GEC.  I know they had more SFO’s to run but I’m assuming the 15’s should follow shortly thereafter.  My best guess would be early September.

So that’s it for this weekly update!  Now it’s time to try to get out and enjoy some of this summer weather!!

Schatt & Morgan Teardrops

The Schatt & Morgan Teardrops came in today and they look great!

Left to Right: 1 Golden Spalted Maple, 2 Desert Ironwood, 3 Moose Antler, 4 Blood Orange Spalted Maple
Left to Right: 1 Golden Spalted Maple, 2 Desert Ironwood, 3 Moose Antler, 4 Blood Orange Spalted Maple

The Moose Antler was a really pleasant surprise.  If you’re not familiar with a moose antler, they’re primarily flat ‘palms’ rather than ’rounds’ like you see on a deer, stag or elk antler.  Frequently, you also see only very light color on a good part of the antler.  These are absolutely some of the nicest looking moose antler I’ve seen used on a handle with really nice coloration and texture.  Sincerely hope we see more of the Moose Antler in the future.

The Spalted Maples look great but as with most spalted woods, it’s not unusual to find minor voids or natural small fractures.  Not a flaw, but for those of you used to smooth woods or bone, spalted woods are a different animal.  It’s a great looking handle material, but unique.

I got about half of the Moose Antler listed today and will try to finish them up along with the Spalted Maples and Desert Ironwood tomorrow.  Great to see such a diverse group of handle materials come through from Queen on these Teardrops!!

Weekly Update 8.12.16

This has been a week full of family and friends and not many knives!  There are some great things coming from Queen starting next week, but for now, this is how the week has gone.

IMG_20160805_174152178_HDR IMG_20160806_110912664 IMG_20160806_100546602 IMG_20160805_200143625

It was a great week with family all last weekend and plenty of time spent on the water.  The weather couldn’t have been any nicer had we special ordered it and the mosquito’s were actually pretty tolerable.  Just a fabulous weekend.

Earlier this week I met up with my buddy Isaiah from Iowa and he came up for the balance of the week and he and I have spent the last couple of days golfing, fishing and tubing.  We started of the visit by dropping in on a good friend that has a large farming operation.  He had just taken possession of a new John Deere tractor.  I guess there are only 6 of these in Minnesota and something like 12 in the state of Iowa.  Isaiah got the privilege of driving this $500k behemoth pulling a $160k worth of equipment.

IMG_20160810_133504089[1]

Just a few specs, 400+HP, 340 gallon fuel tank, 100 gallons of hydraulic fluid capable of plowing about 40 acres/hr burning around 20 Gallons of diesel an hour.  Let’s see, I cut my teeth on the farm driving an “A” John Deere with 26HP built in the 1940’s.  Oh how things have changed!!

Next week, back to reality.  There should be quite a few new products coming from Queen.  I’ve also been sitting on a pile of Hess Knives that I just haven’t taken the time to get listed.  Then I’ll be getting ready to do a little field testing in the northwoods toward the end of the month.

I’ve had numerous requests from folks wishing to place an early order on the Moose antler Teardrops.  I’m not taking any reservations and will let everyone know via the blog when they come available.

For now, gotta run!  Isaiah and I have a “T” time coming up.

New Queen Release Coming!

I received some pix of the next new Queen release.  They are releasing the 06 Tear Drop with some outstanding looking wood.

I find this exciting as I like the ‘exotic’ woods and really appreciate some of the spalted woods.   For those of you that aren’t familiar with ‘spalted’ wood, in the most simple terms it’s basically wood that has gotten soft or ‘punky’.  If it’s caught before the wood actually starts to deteriorate, it can be dyed and or stabilized highlighting some gorgeous grain.  It can be difficult to work with but the final result is usually well worth the effort.  Queen has been working with the Trestle Pine Knives using some of these different spalted woods with great results.  I can’t wait to see the Tear Drops.

I’m also excited about a special exclusive run of the 06 Tear Drops with Moose Antler handles I’ll be getting.  There will be around 20 of them available with 1095 Spear Blades.  I like the unique handle material and Moose being native to Northern Minnesota just makes it all the better!  Moose antler isn’t a particularly commonly seen handle material.

My hope is we’ll see these start to show up in another week.  There are also some 56 Swell Centers and 62 Coke Bottles with various handle materials coming through very shortly.  Queen has really taken up the slack from some of the other manufacturers with  great new releases.  It’s a bit reminiscent of the early days of GEC when we used to see new products in short runs coming from them almost weekly.

Early Update 8.3.16

This weekend is the family get together and I thought I’d better say whatever I’ve got to say a bit early.  By Friday I expect if we’re not fishing, tubing, skiing, water balloon fights or eating I plan on sleeping.

This past week I added some outstanding Schatt & Morgan Limited Run Executive Jacks and Gunstocks.  The fit, finish and stag on these is outstanding.  There’s both Torched Stag and Amber Stag.  All great looking.

DSC_3563 DSC_3578 DSC_3604

I regularly catch hell for not putting up the greatest looking photo’s and the main reason is I don’t wipe the blades free of oil before shooting them.  When a shipment comes in it usually involves taking 100+ photos which means cleaning each and every blade. And I don’t like removing the factory lube if it isn’t necessary.

DSC_3615

I have to admit, I’m a bit disappointed in the new packaging these knives came in.  Queen is using a lighter weight one piece white box rather then the traditional two piece black or green boxes.  One of the problems will be shipping them.  If they go out in a padded envelope they’re going to get crushed really easily so I’ll most likely start shipping them inside a cardboard tube to protect the packaging.  I sent management a note expressing a hope these were a temporary change but haven’t heard anything back so am guessing, this is the future.

Tuesday evening I spent a little time perusing some of the discussion boards and am amazed at how quiet things are.  It seems that GEC is stuck in another SFO cycle and the next regular run item coming soon will be the 72 Cody Scouts later this month followed by the 15’s sometime in September?  Nothing really new.  Beyond that….. who knows.

Queen’s been keeping busy releasing short runs almost on a weekly basis.  It’s been nice seeing the quality of stag they’ve been running lately.  I know it’s in relatively short supply and quality stag is at a premium.

I’ll try to get back to the blog on Monday and fill you in on my weekend.  The weather is looking to cooperate and other then a bumper crop of mosquitoes, things are looking good!  Gotta get ready to entertain!