I listed the first of the #35 Churchill I received yesterday and have to say it’s a nice sized ‘cigar’. It fits the hand nicely and doesn’t weigh a ton in your pocket.
When you put the two knives side by side you quickly understand where the model number came from. The earlier #53 on the right (below) got shrunk down to a #35 Chruchill (left). I was never a huge fan of the original 53 due to the size but the new #35 feels a whole lot more pocket friendly.
There will more of these coming in with different handles in the next few weeks. Typically, the Northfields will be the last to come through.
A quick note on the Hurricane Sale. I have to admit that I’ve made an ‘offline’ transaction that cleaned up some of the intended sale items. My intent was to get more knives in the store, but when it comes to fund raising, I’ll take it where I can get it! What I’ve done is lower the prices this morning on the few knives left in the category and will get a couple more in there before the day’s out. I want to wind this up by the weekend so don’t wait!
I’m a supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project and make it a point to send a check every now and then to help. With the hurricanes hitting the southern states and Puerto Rico as hard as they have, just seemed like it was time to support the Salvation Army and Red Cross a bit. It’s good to have a business that pays the bills and has some excess left over to give back. Anybody tells you they’re making too much money, suggest they send some of those excess funds to folks in need.
Thanks for the response on the Hurricane Sale and I’ll try to get a few more clean up items on there today. Living where I do, it’s a little hard to imagine the devastation those affected are experiencing. I’m going to keep the Hurricane Sale going for a few more days to raise a little more money.
I also added a couple of items to the “Used” category. One item is the Cattaraugus “Yukon”. Its really a cool old knife and quite hard to come by.
It’s pretty amazing how much stuff you can accumulate without really realizing you have it! What’s even more amazing is looking at it and realizing just exactly what you might or might not have.
Not much for new arrivals this week other then the Baby Doctor Knives and the Large Stockman from Queen. The one item I was happy to have show up is the wood for the upcoming Trestle Pine Gunflint.
The small slabs above are from the left, KOA, Old Growth Redwood and Hawaiian Mango. I don’t have the photographic skill to show the true beauty of these woods, but they are gorgeous. The real surprise is the Mango. I’ve never seen it in hand before but it is going to be one great looking handle.
Unfortunately, a lot of the ‘exotic’ handles will be in relatively small quantities of under 10 pieces. Some of the high grade wood can be as expensive as stag. So when I find a new wood to experiment with, I’m always reluctant to buy too much at a time in fear that it may not turn out as good as anticipated. The Curly KOA is always a winner if you stay with the higher grade. The Old Growth Redwood and Mango were unknowns so I stayed pretty conservative on them. I’m still learning!!! Latest word is we’re still on schedule for a late October delivery of the Gunflint.
I had a fun email exchange with a new Trestle Pine customer bemoaning the fact he’s never found a need for a screwdriver/caplifter on a pocket knife. This had held him up on purchasing the Topper. Once we discussed the fact that a screwdriver isn’t necessarily just a screwdriver he finally gave in and bought a couple of knives. We agreed to refer to the aforementioned screwdriver as simply an ‘auxiliary tool’. That is,… pry bar, poking tool, paint can opener, etc. So far, I think he’s pretty happy with his purchases.
While I did give in to some pressure and dropped the screwdriver on the Gunflint, I was also looking at a slightly slimmer profile. Most folks that have actually used the Superior like it’s slim profile in the pocket and I think the Gunflint is going to have a similar feel. I’ve never felt the Topper to be bulky when I carry it but if like my friend, you don’t need/want the screwdriver this should kill two birds with one stone.
I’m going to slip away this weekend to chase Prairie Dogs one last time this year . We’ve had some wet weather the last week and it sounds like we may get more rain this weekend. That’s just the way the way it goes sometimes so we’re gonna make the best of it. I’ll just make sure to pack plenty of cigars and coffee. Always good to get away from the phone for a couple of days!
I just had time to get a few items listed in the store under the Hurricane Sale Items heading. Hopefully, they’ll be of interest. You’ll find Used items, New items with flaws, and Used items with flaws. I’ve tried to be clear as to what the issues might be and photographed any cosmetic issues that are visible. In the next week or two I’ll try to continue adding items.
The prices are set so that I won’t accept returns on the sale items so if you have any doubts, don’t pull the trigger. If you have questions, ask. All of the items ship free and we can’t/won’t ship any autos overseas.
Yesterday a couple of new Schatt & Morgans arrived and were added to the storefront. One was a popular pattern we haven’t’ seen in a while and the second was a total surprise. AND… the is a Hurricane Sale Coming.
Part of a run of 30 pieces each, the Large Stockman is available in Black Micarta, Ironwood and the Orange Burl pictured above. This is a generously proportioned knife that is great for anyone needing a real working knife.
The next ‘surprise’ were the Baby Doctor knives. I say they were a surprise as we don’t see a lot of Doctor Knives released regardless of size.
While that Spatula blade is a bit of an oddity for many, believe me it has a lot of utility. Years ago I smoked a pipe and found that blade incredibly handy. It works great as a mini pry bar for opening paint and varnish cans. While not perfect as a screwdriver, it will work. With a little tweaking it should work fine as a striker for the Fire Steel. And on it goes…
And finally, there’s a hurricane sale coming. I’ve accumulated a few knives that I’m going to offer at some sale prices to try and clean things up around here. In addition, a portion of the sales will go to either the Red Cross or the Salvation Army to offer a little aid for the folks getting the hell kicked out of them from the recent round of hurricanes.
The knives are going to be a mixture of auto’s, traditional and maybe a few fixed blades. I take a fair number of knives to the shows I attend and some of the knives become ‘demonstrators’. Some have boxes or packaging that’s gotten worn. A few are knives that arrived or customers returned with cosmetic issues. And some are knives which came out of collections I acquired that have been used. The mixture will include some S&M Autos, used GEC’s, knives I don’t regularly carry like a Stryder or maybe a MicroTech or even an auto Buck. How about a used GEC / Schrade Auto?
I’m going to start putting a few up today to get things started.
Busy week this week with a number of new knives from Queen and a couple more GEC Calf Pens. I also added a few more Trestle Pine Toppers to fill some inventory holes.
Since I posted the pictures of some samples of wood that will be available on the Trestle Pine Gunflint, I’ve been asked if those will be the only handle options available. In short, no. There will also be the Old Growth Ash, Oak, Maple and Yellow Birch. Plus, there are several more premium woods like a premium Curly Koa and Old Growth Redwood. And no doubt a few other choices as well will turn up as well.
Interest in the Blue Dyed Curly Maple has been high. On the last run of Trestle Pine’s the Blue Curly Maple sold out immediately. Sven at the Messer Depot in Germany was lamenting the fact he didn’t order more. This time, there will be more Blue available on the Gunflint and this lot of Curly Maple is outstanding.
On this run of the Gunflint I’m having to saw all of the wood panels. In the past, at least half of them came to me pre-sawed which saved a bunch of time. I was working with a 9″ band saw and it seemed like I was constantly fighting it to keep a consistent thickness. I found a good buy on a 14″ and oh what a difference it makes. When you’re trying to make consistent cuts through stabilized 1″ stock that are .20″ thick the slightest flex in the blade raises hell with the finished slab. The new saw is going to pay for itself real fast by dramatically reducing material loss. It just doesn’t pay to go the less expensive route.
I hope that by late next week I’ll have some of the ‘new’ wood in stock to saw, sand and buff. I’m really anxious to see what the finished panels will look like.
A couple of weeks ago I had a brief post about sharpening and mentioned our friend Dave using a slight micro bevel when he finished up. The idea being that a few final strokes at an increased angle will result in a micro bevel that would actually add some strength to the the edge, however minor. I tried it and I think Dave may have something. If nothing else, I think it’s effectively making sure that ‘wire’ is removed in its entirety. It’s been about two weeks since I last touched up my blade and it’s still in great shape.
Next weekend I’m heading out to North Dakota for one more go at the Prairie Dogs. For you other ‘shootists’ out there, I bought a Savage Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor and can’t wait to try it out. I’ve worked up some 107 gr reloads that should be able to buck that North Dakota ‘breeze’ a little better and make more of those 400+ yd shots possible. Should be interesting!!!
I received a photo of some of the wood that will be used on the upcoming Trestle Pine Gunflint. This is dyed Curly Maple with some of the nicest grain you could ask for. The wood in the photo has just been sanded with 120 grit and will have a finishing 4-600 grit finish and polish. That should really make that grain pop!
Below are a few pieces of Natural Curly Maple and Walnut.
There will be some other handle options as well. I was really happy when I got the pix this morning and can’t wait to see what the finished product will look like.
Speaking of wood, some Schatt & Morgan #22 Medium Coke Bottles arrived yesterday with “Lightning Wood” handles. Fantastic looking wood. It looks a bit like stag but has some incredibly unique texture. Queen has really expanded their willingness to use some unique and great looking wood handle material and the Lightning Wood is a stand out!
As anticipated there were a number of new arrivals that came in this week. The first were a couple of the GEC Farm & Field Calf Pen knives. I’m not to sure what to say about the name “Calf Pen” but it conjures up some back breaking memories of my youth working on a farm involving hot summer days and a pitch fork. That being said, fortunately, the knife is a bit more pleasant to handle then the ‘calf pens’ I recall.
I’m not a huge fan of the ‘one arm’ opening blades, but the linerlock on the Wharncliffe makes up for it.
And to round things out are a group of Schatt & Morgan #66 Turkish Muskrats that came in at some super pricing. These normally list in the mid $80 price range but I put them in the store for $69.95-74.95. The Italian Jigged Bone are part of a run of 30 knives while the Acrylics were run in lots of 10. All have 1095 blades.
A pleasant surprise was finding 6 Burnt Stag “Prototype” Gunflints in the box. I didn’t get any of them listed today but will try to get them up over the weekend. My understanding was that I had all of the Proto’s so this was truly a surprise. Great looking stag.
Just a brief note regarding the “Prototype” designation. I refer to these as a Prototype of the upcoming Gunflint but understand, the final Gunflint will be a SINGLE blade knife without the screwdriver/caplifter. We wanted to see what the pattern would look like with the Wharncliffe and I requested they just build them up on the Toppers that were in process.
The last gems were some Schatt & Morgan #3EXP’s in Burnt Stag. Ken brought in some premium stag for these knives and it is incredible nice. It’s tough to find slabs of stag this uniform.
There will be more of the GEC’s coming through next week and no doubt Queen will have a few additions as well.
I hadn’t intended to start sharing too much about the next Trestle Pine Knife, but after a brief mention in a previous post, questions have been coming in. Based on the Topper the Trestle Pine Gunflint will share the frame and that’s about it. So here’s some details to ponder.
The above knife (on the left) is the current Trestle Pine Topper. The knife on the right with the Wharncliffe blade is the ‘prototype’ for the upcoming Gunflint. All I had done was installing a Wharncliffe blade in place of the Clip just to see how it would look/feel.
So here are the details of what to look forward to on the Trestle Pine Gunflint:
Flat Lined Brass Bolsters
Brass Pins & Liners
Wood Handles (some Stag)
CPM154 Wharncliffe Blade
No secondary blade/cap lifter
After the Topper came out, a friend forwarded a link to one of the discussion boards that had a chat going on about the Trestle Pine Knives. I know I should pay more attention to the discussion boards but sometimes it’s better not to let ‘constructive’ criticism and suggestions get in the way of creativity. I will say I was happy to read some of the comments from people that are actually using the knives and not just commenting based solely on pictures or hearsay.
It made me feel good to read a few comments that the Trestle Pine’s aren’t ‘traditional’ enough. What a relief. The last thing I’m trying for is building another traditional slip joint with the traditional 1095 clip blade with traditional nickel silver bolsters and traditional bone handles. Case, GEC and Queen have that market pretty well saturated. If that were my goal, I could tag onto any of a number of SFO’s coming through on a regular basis OR easier yet, just keep selling what’s already out there.
It’s also worth mentioning the screw driver / caplifter ‘blade’. I wasn’t thinking of just a caplifter when I had this added to the Grand Portage and the Topper. Actually, one of my first thoughts was being able to use the ‘top’ edge as a striking tool with the FireSteel. It works great. I haven’t shared the photo below as it demonstrates a total lack of skill with power tools on my part. What you’re seeing is a beveled notched filed into the caplifter that functions as a wire stripper as well as a fishing line cutter.
I’ll admit to succumbing to a bit of peer pressure in the design of the Gunflint. But I didn’t sell out my principals completely.
Why brass bolsters instead of nickel silver? Brass isn’t traditional, I like the look of it with the wood handles and it doesn’t wear like nickel silver. I don’t particularly like the look of Nickel Silver after a few months in my pocket competing for space with pocket change and keys. If you don’t like the patina that brass develops a couple drops of Brasso or a quick touch up with a cotton wheel makes things shine like a new penny.
I’ve been a fan of the Gunstock pattern for a long time and like that substantial feel in my hand with either a single or two blades. The Clip blade is pretty standard in the Gunstocks so I originally went with a Saber Ground Clip (for a heftier blade) on the Topper and upped the game with S30V (to toughen things up).
On the Gunflint I’m going back to the CPM154 steel with a Wharncliffe. I like S30V but there seem to be more then a few folks that prefer the CPM series steels. Honestly, I’m not sophisticated enough to be able to tell much difference between the CPM154 and S30V when it comes to every day use. The S30V will take a helluva fine razor edge and holds it incredibly well. How much better then CPM154? I can’t quantify it. The point being, I’m happy with the performance of CPM154 and sure don’t feel its any sort of compromise. I have dropped the caplifter on the Gunflint. It should be a nice, slim single blade yet still have the hand filling feel of a decent sized work knife.
The Wharncliffe seems to be a universally accepted blade by most everyone. Personally, its everything I can ask for in an EDC knife for my purposes. I just can’t think of any tasks a drop point or clip could do better. Actually, a drop point does do a better job gutting but I don’t do any hunting anymore anyway. I really like the drop point for general use but I like the high riding Wharncliffe for easy access. There’s nothing I hate more then having to take a pair of gloves off in cold/wet weather to open my pocket knife. On a future project, I may take a look at a Sheepsfoot instead of a Wharncliffe.
Now we wait. The Gunflint is scheduled to be shipped by the first of November and have been assured that will happen. I’ve had great feedback on the Topper and I think the single blade Gunflint will be a great companion knife.
Seems like every time I talk to Dave he gets me going on some sort of new path. First it was higher quality leather sheaths. Dave got me to try out and ultimately carry the Edge Pro’s. Then he got me interested in the Spyderco Mule Team knives. This led to a greater interest in the new high tech powdered steels. And it goes on and on. Thank god he’s not into fine bourbons or who knows where this could end up!
Anyway, last week he brought up the point that he’s putting a micro-bevel on some of his knives with great success. A phone call from a customer in North Dakota the same day from a fellow Edge Pro fan led to a discussion about the level of sharpness you can attain on the newer steels. All of which led me to play around a bit with a couple of my own knives.
It took me awhile to understand that the CPM, Fallkniven’s 3G, Maxamet and other premium steels don’t sharpen the same as 1095 or even A2. When you’re working with steels in the 60+ Rc range the final edge needs more attention to get rid of that fine wire left on the edge when you think you’ve ‘got it’. Once I understood that and spent more time honing the edge, I started to appreciate the ability of these steels to not only take an edge but more importantly, to retain it.
I know Dave finishes his edge with a 4000 stone and finishes up with one fine edge. I use the 3000 grit Tape and have no complaints. If you take the time and finish with a super fine stone or tape you can end up with an edge that will almost cut paper with just the weight of the knife. It’s amazing.
A few months ago I was at a show letting a customer look at my Trestle Pine Superior and watched him drag his thumb along the edge. It was actually rather satisfying seeing the line of blood show up on his thumb as he coolly commented that the edge was ‘pretty good’. ( he did end up with a TPK 🙂
After my recent email exchange with Dave I did try a micro bevel on my Topper. Per his recommendation, I finished honing the edge with a couple of strokes on each side of the blade at a slightly increased angle. The whole point being the micro bevel will allow a razor sharp edge and the micro bevel will add a slight bit of support to the edge. It’s only been a few days so I can’t really say it’s made any difference, but it makes sense it should help.
But the point is how sharp does the edge really have be? Guess the easy answer is ‘sharp enough to get the job done’, no? Not really. I have to admit to a certain satisfaction watching an ‘expert’ run his thumb down the blade and drawing blood. I’ve had enough stitches of my own to now that stupid is as stupid does.
Personally, I like to see a blade that’s literally shaving sharp. For years I loved the 1095 blades that would take an edge like nobodies business but got frustrated when that razor edge quickly deteriorated after cutting down a half dozen cardboard boxes. You can get almost any blade steel ‘sharp’, but I want a blade that will stay sharp.
There are so many incredible choices out there for us steel snobs to play around with. If you haven’t already, try one of the many premium steels out there. I promise it’ll do a couple of things for you if you have some patience and are willing to learn.
You’re going to learn how to sharpen a blade like you’ve never done before.
You’re going to appreciate a really fine cutting edge that will last.
When someone asks to borrow a knife you’re going to offer yours up without apologizing for the dull edge.
You’ll feel taller and slimmer
Your significant other will look at you with even greater respect (well, maybe)