Monthly Archives: March 2018

GEC 43 Stag Disappointment

I received a few of the 43 Stag yesterday and for the most part, they were a disappointment.

The 43’s were run in a very small quantity and two of the knives I received had pin cracks.  What’s disappointing is they came through as ‘firsts’ and not ‘store’ knives.  In good conscience I couldn’t run them through as first quality.

Pin Cracks

I don’t get concerned about a fracture line if it’s been stabilized and it passes the thumb nail test.  Both of these had open fractures that were easily felt when you ran your nail across them.  My hope was that I could exchange them but no luck.  No discount either.

The quality of the stag as far as uniformity in thickness/color/texture is concerned was as good as you could ask for.  The fractures were a real disappointment.  Evidently the pin fractures have been an issue.  Earlier this week I got an email that there were smooth camel bone and jigged bone 43 Store Knives available with pin fractures as well.  I have  few coming in for those of you looking for an economical EDC 43.

I failed to mention I received an order of the fixed blade Hess Knives last week.  The Hess’ sell well and each time I reorder it seems like it takes a bit longer for them to fill the order.  They’ve found there niche and I don’t see them trying to become a mega manufacturer.  It’s a couple of guys building knives on their own terms.

By now I think everyone is aware that Queen / Schatt & Morgan is done.  I received notification this week from the bankruptcy court that claims can be made until the end of May.  There hasn’t been any notification (that I’m aware) of the date of the upcoming auction but it sure would be a sad but interesting auction to go to.  I can’t imagine what all could be in the factory with historical significance for collectors.  Sad to see it end this way.

We’ll see a bit of a lull with an SFO coming through first.  Then, the Bull Nose will show up.  Beyone that…. who knows!

Cancelling TSA Knives Facebook Account

This will be one of the last TSAK Blog posts that will be fed to Facebook.  I’ve decided to cancel my personal and business Facebook accounts.

The primary reasons are the ongoing data breaches and privacy violations that accompany so many social media sites.  It’s gotten to the point people have slowly accepted the fact their privacy isn’t that important.  Guess I’m old school and unwilling to accept that.

Since I started the store and blog I’ve made an attempt to protect my customers data while trying to maintain at least a modicum of personal privacy.  I don’t collect or maintain customer information and don’t have any secret handshakes or email lists.  From day one I offered the opportunity to ‘create an account’ to expedite placing future orders but it’s certainly not necessary to make a purchase if you opt out.  I don’t maintain any mailing lists or keep credit card info ‘on file’ ( to the chagrin of many).

I know it’s lousy marketing but I refuse to mine my customer base to promote additional orders.  When I say that, I mean I don’t use Google or Facebook to push ads to potential customers.  Why?  It irritates the hell out of me to have these ads pop up on every web page I visit trying to sell me something.  There are times it seems like 50% of some web pages contain targeted ads rather then the content I’m looking for.  Without a doubt there are those of you that feel the same.  I don’t want to participate.  If it were possible to block all ads from my browsing, I’d be willing to pay generously.

While I know there are a fair number of you that follow my Facebook page, don’t despair.  You can catch the blog in full at www.tsakblog.com  without news-feeds or advertisements.  No sign in unless you want to leave a  comment.  I didn’t want to require a password for that but the blog got inundated with spam so it was necessary to protect the integrity of the blog.

Hope to see you right here at www.tsakblog.com !!

Knives, Guns, Social Media, Despair!!

Knives, Guns, Social Media, Despair…. without a doubt that heading has just placed me on a watch list with someone.  No black helicopters flying over the house yet but I’ll check again later today.  So what’s brought me to the brink of despair (tongue in cheek).

A couple of weeks back I had a post cautioning to be careful what you wished for and that’s been hammered home for me since then.   I’m not going to dwell on the gun control issue other then to say after watching the pro and anti news channels the twisting of facts by the anti’s is sickening.  No matter how serious and frequent the screws ups by government agencies the blame is squarely laid on the tool, not the cause.  The sickening part is the manipulation of the kids to push a political agenda.

We witnessed a similar situation with the Ivory drama that played out a year or two ago.  While I’m not denying the decimation of the elephant population by poachers, we were led to believe the only way to deal with the problem was to ban the Ivory trade at virtually all levels.  What I find incredible about the entire situation was the governments destruction of TONS of already harvested ivory.  In my mind the question remains, why wasn’t the ivory sold and the proceeds used to fund the projects to aid the elephant population and the elimination of the poachers.  At the very least, flooding the market with that much Ivory would have helped depress demand and push down prices.  And did this eliminate the black market for Ivory?

In the last few weeks we’ve seen corporate sponsors drop relationships with the NRA due to the Florida school shooting that could have been prevented with a minimal amount of effort on the part of local law enforcement and the FBI.  CitiGroup came out with the following policy change which is a meaningless, feel good effort to show they are concerned and ‘doing something’:

Under this new policy, we will require new retail sector clients or partners to adhere to these best practices: (1) they don’t sell firearms to someone who hasn’t passed a background check, (2) they restrict the sale of firearms for individuals under 21 years of age, and (3) they don’t sell bump stocks or high-capacity magazines. This policy will apply across the firm, including to small business, commercial and institutional clients, as well as credit card partners, whether co-brand or private label. It doesn’t impact the ability of consumers to use their Citi cards at merchants of their choice.

Yesterday Youtube announced they were banning certain gun videos   I’m interested to see if this will extend to competitive shooting match videos or military weapon displays.  How about a video of a demonstration of and 1800’s era Gatling gun?  And are they going to ban videos of idiots blowing stuff up?

And to add to the mix we find out that Facebook ‘screwed’ up when they violated there privacy policy and were found to be selling the private info of their users.  And of course this spider web creeps out into the apps you may have subscribed to through Facebook.  Take a second to read this from the Facebook Help Page.  Then slip on over and read this current article regarding security.  Is Your Data Safe On Facebook?

The ban on switchblades started with mass hysteria fueled by a Broadway musical.  And they were banned without the aid of social media.  In fact, it happened without many people even aware it was happening and no one spoke up.  Several years ago we witnessed a terrorist group executing victims by beheading them on camera using long bladed knives.  Edited versions of the videos were shown over and over on both TV and the internet.  I can remember at the time wondering if that could be a flash point resulting in a call for more blade length restrictions at a federal level.

Over and over I hear the statistic that 90% of the public favors stricter gun laws and I’ve yet to hear anyone provide a source for these “facts”.  I’m not hanging out with a group of fanatical militants but I sure can’t say that I’ve heard anywhere near that level of support in my circle of acquaintances.  Why aren’t these statistics called out?  There’s a point at which perception becomes reality.  The old joke used to be if you read it on the internet it must be true.  Now…..

I’ve avoided the knife discussion boards and haven’t participated on one in years.  I don’t know if it’s still the same but for a while so many of the boards became a place to complain and in some instances flat out smear others.  It seemed that level of discourse attracted other similarly mean spirited folks that had an axe to grind.  After a while it got boring and tiresome.  While I’ve never been a fan of Facebook, Twitter, etc I decided to use Facebook to ‘follow the crowd’ along with other manufacturers and retailers by automatically feeding my blog posts to a Facebook page.  Not sure I’m going to maintain it.

I can’t help but believe we’ve rapidly reached a point Einstein predicted:  “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction.  The world will have a generation of idiots.”

No doubt the social media outlets CAN be a great tool and do all kinds of good but there’s another aspect I just don’t care for.  It’s become more and more obvious the information we all leave on the social networks is used to influence and steer us in our consumption and more frighteningly our beliefs.   I hate being bombarded with popups for anything related to a search term I may have used.  Leave me alone!! And of course it can be an outlet for the intellectually challenged.  ‘Hold my beer and watch this!!!!…..’

Recently in Minnesota we had a young guy hold a book against his chest and had his girlfriend fire a shot into the book  at point blank range.  They were trying to gain fame on YouTube and filmed the entire incident.   For future reference, a hard cover book will not reliably stop a 50 caliber slug from and Desert Eagle .50 cal pistol.

Since your reading this blog post you obviously don’t fall into the group of knuckle draggers I’m referring to.

So speak up, speak out.  Don’t despair!  If you’re not willing to take the time and effort to write the occasional letter to your congress ‘person’, don’t bitch about changes you don’t like.  I’m cancelling my Citi issued credit card to make a small statement.  I’ve contacted my state representative this week about proposed legislation.  This isn’t just  about popups, news feeds, gun rights or knife rights or any specific rights its about freedom and choice.

The recent public battles may be centered around gun control efforts but if you don’t think that discussion can swing around to knife rights, think again.   Pay attention.  Listen and think about what’s said on social media.  If you stay silent and don’t think your voice counts, your right, it won’t.

Damn!  Gotta run.  I think I hear a chopper…..

 

Early Order Whalers Update 3.12.18

Just a quick update on the Early Order Whalers I have coming in are pretty well sold out.  I believe at this writing there are 3 Muscle Bone left and that’s it.  I’m still hopeful there might be a few strays show up when they actually ship, but no promises.  When I spoke with Chris this AM it sounded like virtually every one that had an early buy program is in the same boat.  The Whalers promised to be a hot commodity and sure enough they have been.

There are still good numbers available on the new 44 Gunstocks and dd 15 Boys Knives.  The 43 Oregon Trappers are steadily going out the door and more are scheduled to show up this week.  From a practical standpoint, the 43’s have been a great knife.

 

Muscle Bone Photo

Thanks to T. Scott for sharing this photo of one of the Muscle Bone Whalers  Roughnecks that were built a few years ago for the GEC Open House.

Muscle Bone Whaler  Roughneck Open House Knife

It’s kind of a cross between the Frontier Bone and Primitive Bone.   Great handle material for the Whaler.  Thanks again for sharing the photo!!

Early Order Update 3.9.18

Let me start by saying I was a little overwhelmed by the response to starting up the early order program again.  I had discontinued it last year for a number of reasons, the major one being it can be a real PITA to keep up with.  Even with the requisite deposit there were still a surprising number of ‘no pays’.  Orders come through without the deposit, etc, etc.  In addition, we saw the quantities (i.e. availability) of regular production knives increase substantially reducing the need to order early.

As soon as it became official the Whalers were going to be run once again, there was no doubt the interest was going to be sky high.  For that reason I thought I’d try the early order system one more time and include the new 44 Gunstock and 15 Boys Knives.  The volume of orders has been almost triple what I anticipated and the number of ‘thank you’ for reinstating the early order program comments was a surprise.  Feedback like that is what helps steer the direction of TSA Knives.  Going forward, you’ll see more Early Order offers.

I put a limited number of the Whalers up for early order and held some back in reserve until next Monday.  Chris will have the final numbers on dealer orders and I’ll get confirmation on exactly how many Whalers I’m getting.  Once I know where I stand, I hope to be able to offer a few more Whalers for sale but I don’t want to get overbooked.   At this writing there are still both handle options available but only a few.  If they sell out, check back Monday afternoon as I’m hoping I can release a few more.

I’ve been asked if the Desert Ironwood or the Muscle Bone Whalers has been selling better.  Right now the Ironwood has a very slight edge over the Bone.  Part of that is no doubt due to people not knowing what to expect with the “Muscle Bone”.  Until you actually see it….???  As in the past, after we actually saw the Percheron Bone and early Primitive Bone, interest increased.  I’m willing to bet we’ll similarly see interest grow for the Muscle Bone.

Early Orders for the new 44 Gunstock has the Northfield Autumn Gold running 2:1 over the Cocobolo and Stag.  Cocobolo is running 3:2 over the Sambar Stag.  The Northfields in total are out booking the Tidioutes 20:1.  I’m betting the Cocobolo is going to look fantastic next to the Brass.

Over 60% of the early orders are for one of each handle in the Whaler.  Almost 90%+ of the orders are for more then one knife.  That may be 2 or more Whalers on an order or a mixture of 46’s, 44’s and 15’s.

Understand, the above numbers are my numbers.  I have no idea what the mix is for anyone else.

It’s sounding more doubtful that we’ll see Queen revived any time soon.  A number of people have continued to ask about the future of the Trestle Pine Knives.  I’m exploring some options but am a very long way from anything certain.  While I’m not getting my hopes up, I’m definitely not giving up just yet.

 

GEC Early Order Links Active

I just finished putting up the early order link for the upcoming GEC Whaler, Boys Knife and the new Gunstock.   PLEASE don’t call or email asking to be put on the ‘reserve’ list.  It’s pretty simple to place an early order online and it makes life simpler for all of us.

All of the early orders will require a deposit.   It worked quite well in the past and reduced the number of  orders that were placed and cancelled.   Gotta have a little skin in the game as they say.  When the knives come in you’ll be invoiced for the balance due.  Domestic shipping is included in the price.  Overseas shipping will be billed at the normal rates.

The deposits are non-refundable UNLESS… GEC changes the handle material or they don’t deliver the quantities they promised me.  If by any remote chance they don’t deliver the promised quantity, the orders will be filled in the order received.

The prices are yet ‘to be determined‘ by GEC.  I’m hesitant to say this but the 2011 Cocobolo’s were in the $150 range, soo…. I would guess the Whalers are going to be somewhere in the $170-$190 range.  I know I’m sticking my neck out and I’m not making any promises, but everyone’s gonna ask and that’s my best guess.

I don’t have pix of the 15’s coming through with the Bail & Chain, but hopefully everyone has an idea what they’re talking about.  As soon as a picture or drawing comes up I’ll get it posted.

The 46 Whaler’s will be identical to the original with a large and small 1095 Pen Blade.  Fair warning, this is going to be a hot product.

The new 44 Gunflint looks nice and I do like the brass bolsters and the UN-X-LD stamp on them.  I think this will be another winner.

GEC Whaler is Back!

I just talked to Chris this morning and placed an order for the upcoming re-release of the Tidioute #46 Whaler.  If you’ve been around for a while, you’re probably familiar with this monster of a knife.  You’re probably also aware of the monstrous prices they now command on Ebay.  $400-500 isn’t uncommon.  If you’ve been wanting to own one but can’t justify these stratospheric prices take comfort and have patience, your chance is coming to be able to afford one.

Later today or tomorrow I’ll be putting up a link to pre-order one of the Whaler’s as well as the new Gunstocks and Boys’ knives.  Here’s a breakdown of what’s coming.

#462218 Whaler Tidioute Only, Spear and Pen blades, due to ship in June
Muscle Bone
Desert Ironwood

#152118 Tidioute Single Blade, All Steel
With Traditional Bail and Chain
Antique Yellow Jig Bone
OD Green Linen Micarta
Gabon Ebony Wood

Without Bail and Chain
Antique Yellow Jig Bone
OD Green Linen Micarta
Gabon Ebony Wood

#441218 Gunstock Clip and Pen blades – 3.5″ long closed – ready to ship
approx. end July
Tidioute – Smooth bolster and end cap
Goldenrod Jig Bone – Tidioute Shield
Gabon Ebony – Hotdog Shield
OD Green Linen Micarta – Hotdog Shield

Northfield
Autumn Gold Jig Bone – Brass Bullet Shield, Brass Pins, Brass Rat Tail
Bolster, Brass stamped UN-X-LD end cap

Cocobolo Rosewood – Brass Bullet Shield, Brass Pins, Brass Rat Tail
Bolster, Brass stamped UN-X-LD end cap

Sambar Stag – Nickel/Silver bolster and end cap, no shield

I’m surprised to see GEC put Brass bolsters and shields on the Northfield Gunstocks but I like the concept.  I’ve been using brass on the Trestle Pine Knives, (including the Gunflint & Topper gunstocks) and like the look as well as the way brass ‘ages’.

For now, hang tight and I’ll put up pre-order pages for the new releases.   As in the past, you’ll be required to put down a deposit with your order that will be non-refundable unless GEC changes the handle material or can’t deliver the requested quantities.

More New Old Stock

As we wait for the balance of the Great Eastern 43 Oregon Trappers to come through, I’ve been going through some boxes of knives that have ‘accumulated’, shall we say.  The discoveries have been some nice new old stock knives.

Some of them have come from small collections I picked up and just never got around to listing.  A few more are Queen and Schatt & Morgan old stock that I may have loaded up on in the past and didn’t restock in the store from my inventory.  Here are a couple of examples.

Queen City 41 Copperhead with Rosewood
Schatt & Morgan 65 Pint Sunfish Stag 1 of 20
715112 Bull Nose Orange Delrin – Only Bull Nose made in 2012?

A number of the listings sold within a couple of hours of being listed, so obviously, you’re paying attention!  There are more to be listed, in fact quite a few more of the old stock knives.  I just have to stay the course and keep working through them.

The 43 Oregon Trappers have been a booming success.  We’ve got the Canvas Micarta and Rust Red Jigged Bone Tidioute’s to go and then we’re on to the Northfield’s.  If I weren’t so taken by the newer powdered blade steel’s, I would be very inclined to carry one for a while.  The overall size and weight make it a great size for anyone wanting an EDC  knife that’s big enough for heavier tasks but not so big it takes a sheath to carry comfortably.  I’ve spent some time comparing it to the 73 I used to carry and that slight increase in size really feels nice in hand.

I’m waiting on another order of Hess Knives to show up in the next week or so.  I let them sell down and it seems like it takes a little longer each time I reorder to get the knives in.  It sounds like they’re getting close to being maxed out on keeping up with orders which is good…. I think. For the money they make a great product.

No news regarding Queen yet.  As someone else said, the longer this drags out with absolutely no word as to what’s happening, the more concerning it gets as to whether they’ll survive or get revived.