This morning I listed 4 Trestle Pine Prototype knives. These are not part of a regular production run but were built to see how the Wharncliffe Blade fit into the Gunstock frame of the Topper. The regular production Toppers have Saber Ground S30V Clip blades. The Prototypes have Wharncliffe CPM154 blades.
I’ll let you know that there is a single blade Gunstock pattern coming later this fall with a CPM154 Wharncliffe blade and no cap lifter. This will be the Gunflint. The Wharncliffe works fantastic in the Gunstock frame and I had an opportunity to try one of the Proto’s out last week. While I really like the Gunstock pattern, I don’t recall handling one before with a Wharncliffe blade but I will tell you it works really nice.
Yesterday I listed some S&M 99 Executive Jacks in Burnt Stag at special pricing. These are knives I had picked up earlier this summer and never got around to listing. They were part of a ‘cleanup’ project and some had CPM154 Drop Point blades and a few had 1095 Clip blades. Pricing is outstanding.
My post yesterday regarding the upcoming GEC 78’s resulted in a phone call and a couple of emails from customers. Let me explain a little further. GEC required dealers to place orders roughly 4 months in advance without having a firm price or a full listing of handle options (standard operating procedures) and….once the dealers place the orders, as of closing time today, GEC won’t let the dealer lower/cancel their order quantity. So if GEC decides on hot pink bone… suck it up and swallow hard. That’s arrogance at its best.
I talked to Chris this morning and confirmed that I wanted to cancel my early orders on both the single and two blade versions. It appears that a couple of the SFO’s that were placed had also been cancelled. My gut feeling is a few folks saw the projected production numbers and SFO’s deciding it might be best to sit this one out. Me too.
I don’t mean to take anything from GEC as they build an excellent knife, but I have a problem being force fed. I’m not trying to punish GEC and won’t be depriving any customers as there should be an abundance of the 78’s available from a variety of sources. There’s just too many other good things going on.
I received an email from Chris at GEC this afternoon regarding the upcoming Single Blade 78 American Jacks. These aren’t expected to ship until mid to late December and just Friday they were asking for early order commitments. Today, five days later, GEC is committing to building 1800 Tidioute and Northfields PLUS…….. 1000 SFO’s. That’s almost 3000 single blade 78’s.
I had placed an early order last Friday but cancelled it today. I think there will be plenty of knives available and most likely some pretty good ‘deals’ for the knowledgeable shopper. Unless they’ve increased their production capacity, this will tie up production for a considerable length of time so I don’t think we’ll see much else from GEC till well after the first of the year.
Great week last week even if it was too short!!! Actually, my field trip lasted 5 days in the North Woods and that’s the longest we’ve gotten away from the office in many years. Gonna have to do that more often. The weather was great with a few showers thrown in but nothing of any consequence.
I didn’t get a chance to play any golf but we did some roaming around. All in all, not a bad week. In fact, we met some really incredibly friendly folks this trip and spent a fair amount of time just visiting with people from around the country.
One of the highlights was a group from Canada coming through with their Rat Rods on the way to a show. Wish I would have shot more pix. The ingenuity the builders of the Rat Rods have just never ceases to amaze me. I’m kind of a fan of the Steam Punk art and the Rube Goldberg machines so I guess my interest in Rat Rods would be natural.
And it’s always good to meet up with an old friend, Tyson Cronberg, owner of the famous Beaver House tackle shop in Grand Marais. I’ve know Tyson before he could see over the counter top and it’s always great to catch up with each other. In fact, if you travel to Grand Marais, Ty is carrying the Trestle Pine knives so stop by and check them out.
And of course everyday was started out with ….
On a couple of mornings we also ventured into town to have a breakfast from the World’s Best Donuts. If you’ve never been to Grand Marais, WBD’s is known literally worldwide for their incredible donuts and rolls. The line will form early in the morning and extend into the street. This day they had a traveling minstrel entertaining the crowd as they waited in line.
And of course there was time set aside for a little….
And for sure, some good eats…. For the uninitiated, Poutine is probably the most effective method I’ve come across for increasing your cholesterol 10-15 points at a sitting. French Fries smothered in Cheese Curds and Brown Gravy. ….OMG!!!
The one thing I specifically made time for was trying out the new Topper and a couple of old standbys.
A chore I find makes for a great comparison of blades is fire starting. I use the Fallkniven A1 in the picture above for splitting kindling but the true test comes in the detail work.
The Trestle Pine Buddy is the perfect choice for a little coarser ‘shaving’ of my kindling. It’s also my go to knife when it comes to kitchen work or other ‘medium’ sized camp chores. What I was really interested in was the difference between the new Trestle Pine Topper with the Saber Ground Clip blade and the Prototype with the Wharncliffe blade.
It’s a little difficult to see but the Wharncliffe was great for cutting thin shavings while the Saber/Clip was a bit more aggressive. While I wasn’t surprised it was interesting to work with the two side by side in the same medium. The slightly thicker clip blade acts a bit as a ‘wedge’ resulting in a thicker slice. The slimmer profile of the Wharncliffe allows for delicate, slim shavings to be created.
The Wharncliffe is a 154 blade and the Clip is an S30V. I didn’t use either of them enough to make a fair comparison as to which held an edge better. All I can say is that both of them were used and neither show any sign of losing their edge. I’ve had several customers tell me they prefer the CPM steels over the S30V primarily due to the feeling the CPM is a bit more user friendly when it comes time to touch up the blade and I’ll probably take that into consideration on the next knife.
Personally, I really like the Gunstock pattern the Topper is based on. It rides comfortably in the pocket, provides plenty of handle to grip and is a comfortable size for general use. If you feel the corners on the screwdriver are a bit to sharp in the hand, use a file to knock the corners off. This knife is meant to be used so don’t be afraid to personalize it a bit.
The last day of the field trip we stopped at a home East of Grand Marais on the main highway. Last year I posted a couple of roadside pix but this year we got out of the truck and spent some time wandering through this ‘creation’. It is nothing short of amazing.
This individual has spent years hauling, piling and arranging rocks in some interesting patterns. Then, they enhanced them with little details to make you stop and look and look and the more you look the more you see. Very cool.
And now, it’s back to reality. Queen is releasing a couple of orders that will be arriving next week. I’ll also be filling in some empty spots in the Hess inventory as well as uploading some more Trestle Pine’s. By the way, there’s a new Trestle Pine in the works for later this Fall.
It’s that time of year to take the annual field trip to Trestle Pine Country. I’m working on getting things packed up and making sure I’ve got a few spare blades to try out in the field. The recently released Topper is already in my pocket and ready to go!
I’m also taking one of the Topper prototypes Queen built for me with the CPM154 Wharncliffe blade. The look and feel is outstanding and I’m anxious to try it out. Since I put the pictures of the Proto’s on the blog, I’ve been surprised at the number of inquiries I had about running the Topper with a Wharncliffe. Could happen!
There wasn’t much for new items to arrive this week but there are some new items showing up by the time I get back! New from Queen that is. GEC is back in SFO mode. I’ve had numerous requests for the 25 Northfield Barlows and TC Barlows and sorry folks, I have/had none. GEC cut all of the regular dealers out of the Northfield 25’s and gave the entire run to a single dealer. Enough said on that subject.
Congratulations to Queen on their show last weekend. The Titusville, PA newspaper had a front page article you might want to check out: Titusville Herald.
Otherwise, I’m going to keep this weeks update brief as I’ve got a lot to do before I escape tomorrow. I’ll be putting up a separate post, but be advised you’ll be able to place orders in the store next week, but I won’t be doing any shipping until next Friday 8/25/17.
Last weekend was the highlight of the summer and it was great! The weather was about as perfect as you could ask for. A brief shower over the weekend gave everyone a chance to take a break and play some indoor games but otherwise, the fish felt the pressure.
And at the end of the day…..
I got a note from Ken last evening and it sounds like the Queen show was a booming success. Over 300 people going on the tour and a steady stream of people in the store all day.
Last week I brought in more of the #01 Swayback Jacks. The first group sold quickly and I decided to bring more back in.
Another arrival was a unique Trestle Pine Topper. There were extra frames and a handful of Wharncliffe CPM154 Blades from my previous order. Ryan suggested putting the extra Wharncliffe’s in the Topper frame and I’m glad they did! I like the looks of this well enough to consider having a full run made with the Wharncliffe. Maybe a single blade?
I’m not sure what I’ll do with the Wharncliffe’s I received yet. As I said, there are only a handful of them and I know one will be going in my pocket.
For the fine folks in Germany, an order of the Topper’s are on their way to Sven Kinast at Messerdepot. I’m anxious to here what you think of them. I know the Superiors were very well received and hope the Topper will be as well.
As I was writing this, I got some pix from Ken this AM. The show opens at noon today. The tables were sold out and they ended up adding tables trying to accommodate everyone. Outstanding!!
I haven’t heard any reports from the Rendezvous at GEC, but I do want to pass on some info. It was brought to my attention by a customer that GEC is having a raffle for a Stag #36 Sunfish to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project. This was the first I heard of it and didn’t see anything on the website until today. You don’t have to be present to buy tickets or win.
To Purchase tickets: call 814-827-3411
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is one of my favorite groups working with our wounded ‘warriors’. They do great work helping these folks out.
Next weekend is a big weekend for collectors. If you can make it to Titusville, PA, it has the makings of a dream come true for Queen and Great Eastern Collectors!! Two big shows I’d love to attend.
August 10, 2017
Tours: Thursday 8am – 2pm
507 Chestnut St.
Titusville, PA 16354
August 11-12, 2017
Show: Friday 12noon-6pm Saturday 9am-4pm NEW LOCATION
Timber Lake Lodge
4286 State Route 8
Titusville, PA 16354 Cookout & Family Reunion: Friday 6:30pm FREE with Admission
And the same weekend…..
I keep thinking one of these years I’d love to make it out there, but its tough to get away in the summer.
The past week has been relatively quiet as far as new knives are concerned. I know the GEC 25’s are in transit and there are a couple of items coming from Queen next week. I’ve had inquiries regarding when I’ll get the rest of the Trestle Pine Toppers listed and all I can say is have patience. Not enough hours in the day!
I had a couple of premium Toppers made this round. Ryan came up with some gorgeous Mammoth Ivory that really came out nice.
This afternoon my family is coming in for the weekend. We’ve been mowing, cleaning, cooking, gassing up boats, getting out life jackets and so on this past week to get ready. This is the weekend I look forward to all year. I love being around all the excitement of the kids enjoying themselves and updating me on their activities and accomplishments. Two of the boys have taken an interest in knives so that’s going to be interesting. One of them has a pocket knife that belonged to his great grandfather (my dad) and he wants it sharpened. Hmmm……. I’m particularly looking forward to hearing about my Great Niece’s discovery of a Mammoth Tooth in NE Minnesota. She found it pretty close to the birthplace of Trestle Pine Knives.
So,… it’s time to get back to putting the finishing touches on things. Looks like a gorgeous weekend coming and I can’t wait!!!