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Going, going….

Yesterday’s high winds took an incredible bite out of the ice.  This years Ice Out Contest has been an interesting one to watch from the shoreline.  I live on a smaller lake about 2 miles long and roughly 1/2-3/4 mile wide.  But since it’s a deep lake at around 65′ max depth we tend to be one of the later lakes to open up.  Not this year.

The wind came down the length of the lake and within a matter of hours it had broken up the ice andpushed it to the far north end of the lake.  We sat on our deck yesterday afternoon watching the ice which had to have been moving 2 or 3 miles an hour as it slid up the lake.  They have ice to melt on the north end but our shoreline is open.

Now, I base the Ice Out contest on Detroit Lake which is considerable larger in surface area and a lot shallower.  Detroit typically opens at least a week before we do.  As of this morning I would guess about 1/4 – 1/3 of Detroit is still ice bound but giving up fast.

You’ll notice toward the top of the photo there’s a huge slab of floating slushy ice.

Along the shore, ice is piling up and stacking on top of ice that isn’t moving.  Just a matter of time.

On the north shore of Detroit,  ice is piling up but it shouldn’t hit the Holiday Inn dining room.  There’s about 20-30 feet of grass to cross first.

I’m going out later today to check it again.  While it’s too soon to call it, at this point it looks like John H has a better then fair chance at winning with 5/1 – 4PM being his guess.  This is followed by Paul S with a 5/5 date.  We’ve got a steady wind again today, temps in the 70’s  and a good chance of rain tonite.  Tomorrow should tell the tale!

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Bull Nose, Whalers, WWP Buttons & ICE

Today saw the last of the current 71 Bull Nose production.  I listed the Red Linen Micarta and they look great.  In fact, I’ve never been a great fan of the Delrin and the Linen Micarta is a welcome change.    Next up are the Whalers.

71 Red Linen Micarta

I talked to Chris on Thursday and there may be a few start shipping to dealers today.  Chances are best that we’ll see them start going out in numbers next week.  With any luck, by late next week we should start to see them show up.

As soon as they arrive I’ll be sending out invoices for the early order Whalers.  Price will reflect the deposit you made and shipping will be added to overseas orders only.  Watch for your invoice to arrive from PayPal as I’m allowing a72 hour window to receive payments.  IF the payment doesn’t show up in that time, you lose your deposit and the knife goes up for sale in the store.  If you plan to send a money order, be sure to let me know so you don’t lose your knife.

While talking with Chris I mentioned the GEC buttons that I’ve been selling and donating the proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project.  So far, all I’ve offered is a set of 10 different pins which have gone over really well.  Well, thanks to Chris and the generosity of GEC, there’s a special offer coming.

What GEC is doing for me (and the WWP) is donating a limited number of complete sets of  all the pins that GEC has made to date.  At this point I don’t even know for sure how many that is but it is going to be a bunch.  The number of sets will be limited to around a dozen and the proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

I won’t be taking any reservations or early orders for these as I don’t know for sure how many pins there will be in a set or what the price will be.  It’s also going to be a while before these come in but I wanted to throw it out there for everyone to think about.  Thanks again to Chris and GEC for this offer.

And to clarify the Bolster in regards to the upcoming 44’s.  The Northfields will have Brass bolsters with the exception of the Stag which will have nickel silver bolsters.  It is shown that way in the mock up GEC published but I had it listed as ‘brass’ in the storefront.

Finally, the ice conditions are a changing!  I took a drive around the lake this morning and signs of deterioration are increasing.

The shallow areas are starting to open up but there’s still a lot of ice to go yet.  Temperatures have cooled off a bit but the wind (which is a major factor) has been steady and persistent.  The winds have been in the 20-30k range and that’s the trend for the next 4 or 5 days.  AND by Monday they say we could see temps in the 70’s.  That combination is going to speed things up.

It’s about time to start thinking about getting boats, docks and lifts ready to go in the water.  Sooon I hope!!

 

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Blackjack Classic Knives ~ Specials!

I just listed a half dozen different Black Jack Classic Knives on sale through the end of April.  The knives I picked are a good cross section from the smaller Model 4 Boot Style knife the large #3 Sambar Stag and 1-7 Leather with CPM 3V steel.

Model 4 Natural Canvas Boot Knife
Model 3 Sambar Stag’s

Personally, I think the Blackjack Classic line is overlooked by a lot of outdoorsman.  They’re made by Bark River Knife and Tool and I can’t fault the fit, finish or overall quality in any way.  It’s just a great looking, solidly built tool.  I’ve only spent a limited amount of time playing around with one of the 124’s but what little I have used it, I really like the feel of it.  The convex ground blades are razor sharp and seem to hold an extremely good edge.  Just what you’d expect from quality hardened A2 Steel.

Black Jack 124 Stag

The 124 and 125 fall into the middle of the size range of the Blackjacks.  For all practical purposes, I can’t think of many chores it won’t do for my needs.

As I mentioned, the sale runs through Monday and prices do include shipping to US addresses.

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New Products Added To The Storefront

A couple of new products arrived this week I wanted to mention.

The first is truly a new item to to TSA Knives.  It’s the “Baddest Bee” Fire Fuses.  Being a camper and always interested in a better way to get a fire lit in the outdoors, I just had to try these out.   Each water resistant tube contains 8 fire fuses approximately 4″ in length.

Fire Fuse 3 Pak

In addition to the 3 pak of the Fire Fuses, there’s also a Kit available that includes a small pak of the Fire Fuses, a small fire steel and a ‘collapsible’ bellows.

Kit

The Fire Fuse is incredibly simple to use and effective.  Simply take one of the fuses, fray the end a bit with your knife tip.

Fray the Tip

And throw a good spark from your Fire Steel and….voila!!!!

Stick the fuse under your kindling and you’ve soon got a campfire.  The Fire Fuses burn fairly slow and can be snuffed out once your fire is started so you can save the remaining fuse for later use.  They come in a water resistant tube, work under wet conditions and from what I’ve experienced are idiot proof.

The next item isn’t really ‘new’ but deserves mention.  I originally received some of the EdgPro Apex Bench Mounts some time back but failed to make much mention of them.  A customer ordered one from me this week and asked why I’d never made mention of them on the blog.  My apologies.

It’s an incredibly simple device to resolve a common issue.  You previously needed a smooth surface such as a formica, granite or similar solid type of surface to mount the Apex Sharpener.  This simple bench mount makes it possible to mount it on most surfaces with an edge you can attach a clamp to.

The other ‘new’ item is an expansion of the line of Blackjack Classic knives I carry.  I’ve long been a fan of the Bark River line and the Blackjacks are quickly growing on me.  The Blackjacks have a strong Randall influence but are much more affordable AND available.  They’re built by the folks at Bark River primarily using the time proven A2 tool steel.  Good stuff.  Fit and finish is outstanding and they come with a razor sharp convex ground edge.

Model 3 Sambar Stag
Model 4 Natural Canvas Boot Knife

Camping season is coming and the Blackjack line offers some great camp knives.  I just received a good sized order and will put together some sale prices on a couple of the Blackjacks to give you a chance to try one out at a great price.  Keep an eye on the blog.

I’m always on the hunt for something new and the Edge Pro, Fire Fuses and Blackjacks fit the bill.  The key is, I’ve gotta believe it’s a great product or I don’t want to carry it.  If I wouldn’t use it I sure as hell don’t expect my customers to!!

 

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Ice Out Last Day to Enter!

Quick reminder, today, 4/23/18 at midnite CST is the last chance to enter the Ice Out Contest.

A brief update on the weather.  It has warmed up considerably the past few days and by all indications that’s the trend for the near future anyway!  I took a cruise around the lake this morning and while there’s a lot of ice to go, it’s starting to lose it’s grip.

Looking across the lake, you can see we still have some snow left on the ski slope in the distance.  Most of the ground is bare but in the woods you’ll still find a few patches of snow.

You can make your best guess and check on the most recent ‘predictions’ on the original blog posting:  Winter Ice Out Contest 2018

Good Luck!!

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Knife Control Crosses Atlantic

In the last few weeks I’ve posted several times encouraging vigilance regarding US Knife laws.  With the rash of fatal stabbings in London it’s brought the focus on knives and after reading the following article, Knife Control Crosses Atlantic I hope we keep our eye on the issue in the US.

A couple of weeks a go we had a really sad event occur in an elementary school right here in Minnesota where an 8 year old brought a kitchen knife to school and slashed 3 students.  So I guess based on the logic of the parent in Texas, if we’re going to ban Bowie Knives we’d better do the same with kitchen knives, no?

In an even sadder situation, last week we had a mother and and adult son murdered with a pipe wrench just 20 miles from where I’m sitting.  So do we ban pipe wrenches or all wrenches?  If only the solutions were so simple.

But two of the worst crimes were two separate incidents just a couple of weeks ago involving  the deaths of a 6 year old and a 3 year old from child abuse.  Both of the cases within 100 miles of where I live.  I really hope there’s a special corner of hell specially reserved for people like these.

The point of sharing these horrific events, even though they had nothing to do with knives, is to illustrate that mayhem and murder can take place with whatever weapon or object might be at hand.  Ban every sharp, blunt, heavy, pointy object you want and the evil mind will find an alternative.

I found it morbidly amusing in Pennsylvania when an Erie School District handed out little 18″ bats to the teachers.  The superintendent  said the bats were ‘symbolic’ and not really intended to be used in self defense.  What the hell was the point???  It’s the same old tune…‘at least we’re doing something‘.  Tell ya what, here’s another example of totally worthless symbolism:Image result for No gun zone poster

How’s that been working out for you?

Having held an FFL in the past I’ve tried to stay on top of the anti-gun movement and while supporting reasonable legislation, I have no illusion that there’s a simple answer to ANY crime.  What I’ve done is written letters and made phone calls to representatives and local radio talk shows.  Anything to try to educate, influence and keep the discussion factual.   Violent crime stirs up emotion and when emotion takes over the discussion, logic flies out the window.  To prevent that from happening we all have to stay involved and engaged.

If you think that little 3″ folding knife in your pocket can’t/won’t be a target in the future, you’re kidding yourself.

 

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Weekly Update 4.20.18

This weekly update bears good news for the Northland.  It is finally WARMING UP!!!!!  Without a doubt, this has been one long cold winter and right now 50 degrees feels pretty damned good with promises of better weather yet next week.  Exactly what we need to melt some ice.

I listed a few Queen/Schatt & Morgan odds and ends this week.  On of the ‘finds’ is an incredibly well executed 5 blade Sway Belly Prototype.

Schatt & Morgan Sow Belly

I believe these were released in 2010.  I’m not sure what the covers were but the Proto is smooth brown bone.  Really a nice knife.

There’s another incredibly rare GEC that I came up with as well.  It’s a Tidioute 362208 that includes a handwritten note of provenance signed by Ken.  It’s been tucked in the safe for several years and I thought I might share it with you.  Not quite sure what I’m going to do with it but it’s a shame to have it sit in the safe.

It’s always interesting to see what got tucked away and forgotten.  Somewhere I think I’ve still got a copy of David Anthony’s Book on Great Eastern Cutlery signed by both Ken and Bill.  That’s another hard to find collectible.  Not sure how many got signed by BOTH Ken and Bill but I know it was only a handful.

I’ll remind everyone over the weekend that the deadline for entering the Ice Out Contest is rapidly approaching.  You’ve got until midnite CST this Monday, April 23 to get in.  There’s no charge to enter, you don’t have to be a customer, no secret handshake or code words required, overseas entries welcome!  You don’t get put on a mailing list and if ya don’t enter ya can’t win.  That simple.

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Ice Condition Update 4.19.18

It looks like a great white wasteland.  Right now, that’s all it is!

Ice Condition 4.19.18

Temperatures finally moderating and by the weekend we should be in the low 60’s.  With any luck, that’s going to be the trend going forward.

Remember, you’ve only got a few days to place your entry and you can do it by replying to the original post:  Ice Out Contest  I’ve also put up a list of the current guesses for you to peruse.

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Ice Out Contest 2018

I think we can finally start the 2018 Ice Out Contest.  The snow is over and we’re supposed to start warming up later this week and see overnight temps above freezing!!!  Hooorah!  Let the contest begin.

First the Contest Rules.  Pretty straightforward.  Submit your entry by Responding To This POST between now and Monday,  April 23 .  PLEASE don’t send me an email with your entry.   I need a Name, Date, and Time (AM or PM, CST) that’s your best guess we will see the ice completely leave Detroit Lake.  ONLY ONE ENTRY PER CONTESTANT.  Be sure to enter AM or PM as two o’clock doesn’t mean much.  AND we’ve seen past contests decided by less then a 24 hour window.

Feel free to do some research on your own.  Check on previous contests for a little help if you’d like but remember, last year the ice was already gone by now.  As of yesterday, we had between 30″ and 36″ of ice on a lot of our lakes.  It’s going to take some warm weather to get it gone.

So what’s in it for the winner?  This year I’m adding a second prize for the next closest  guess.  First prize will be a Trestle Pine Topper with a Black Ash Burl handle and S30V clip blade.

First Prize Trestle Pine Topper Black Ash Burl

Second Prize are a pair of Victorinox Swiss Army Knives consisting of a Tinker and a Classic both in Red.

2nd Prize

Remember, to enter By Midnite CST, Monday, April 23:

  • Reply to this post
  • Name
  • Date (month/day)
  • Time (AM/PM CST)

Good Luck and I’ll post occasional updates to the ice conditions!!

Entries As of 4/24/18

  • Syd  4/29      11:20AM
  • John H  5/1    4PM
  • Paul S     5/5    1:PM
  • Steve C  5/6    1:20PM
  • Steve Patterson 5/6  6PM
  • Randy B 5/7   4:AM
  • Dave O. 5/7. 10:30AM
  • Anders Ö, May 13, 11:30 AM
  • Jeff C  5/14 3PM
  • John B   5/15   1:40AM
  • Ashley M 5/20 3:20 PM
  • Walter T  6/3    2: PM

CONTEST CLOSED TO NEW ENTRIES

 

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Weekly Update 4.13.18 Bull Nose Arrives

This week the first of the GEC 71 Bull Nose run arrived.  Best way to sum up the knife is, its a high quality, low priced knife built for EDC use.  And it scores 100% on all three points.

GEC 71 Bull Nose OD Green

There are a few more handle iterations coming through in the next few weeks.  If you’re looking for value, its pretty tough to beat the Bull Nose.  I didn’t set up an early order program for the Bull Nose but I have a good quantity of them coming in.

In the last week or two I’ve had a number of emails and calls asking when and if there will be an Ice Out Contest this year.  If you’re new to the blog, the last few years I’ve held a contest open to everyone to try and predict when the lakes in my area will be free of ice.  It’s meant to be a fun contest where everyone has an equal chance to win.  That being said, there are a few folks that actually do a little research on ice conditions before the make a guess.  If you want to check out the results of past contests, just type in the search term or click on this link: Ice Out Contest

Now, the answer to the question, will there be an ice out contest?  Yes.  I’ve drug my feet announcing it as we’re in a prolonged winter season up here and the ice out is (by all indications) going to be later then normal.  A week ago we had day time high temperatures that were below freezing.  Night time temperatures were in the single digits.  This weekend we have another major snow event going through the middle and southern Minnesota with a 15-18″ of snow potential.  With any luck that’s going to the south of me.  That snow cover insulates the ice and delays thawing.

To put the delayed ice out into perspective,  by this time last year the ice was gone.  As of this writing we have roughly 3′ (that is FEET) of ice on many of the bigger lakes.  This is what my front yard looks like this morning.  So I’m thinking next week might be a good time to start the contest.  Think of that…. this years contest STARTS later then last years contest ended.  Damn.  We need some warm weather soon and lots of it.

A couple of local inquiries have come in regarding the Spring Gun Show normally held at the National Guard Armory in Detroit Lakes.  This usually occurs around the first weekend in May.  Unfortunately, due to a remodeling project at the Armory it won’t be held this Spring.  The sponsors have looked for another local venue without success so sadly, no show this year.

So just to play it safe, I”m gonna gas up the four wheeler, put the plow back on and be ready just in case.  This is starting to get old.