I received the last of my Muscle Bone Whaler order yesterday and should finish invoicing the balances due for early orders today. If you haven’t been invoiced yet, hang tight. It appears I’ll be able to get knives to everyone that ordered one. You may not get your entire order, but everyone should get something.
As I said earlier, I only got around 2/3 of what I ordered. Even though I tried to build in a cushion to prevent over booking, I hadn’t anticipated getting shorted anywhere near that quantity. Several people had placed orders ( in some cases several orders) for up to 10 knives. So I made the decision to spread them out.
Most folks understood where I was coming from. A few, not so much. I’d rather have a few people mad at me and a lot more happy they got a knife. In the future, if I continue taking early orders, I’m going to limit the quantity an individual can order and scale WAY back on the quantity of early orders I’ll accept. This time around I had reserved 25% of my order to cover any shortages and still came up short.
The Whaler situation is a bad news ~ good news story. While explaining the situation, I’m going to try to answer the range of questions I’ve been getting, so read carefully. Let’s get the bad news out of the way.
It was confirmed yesterday that a large percentage of the Iron Wood Whalers were rejected for cosmetic reasons. I ended up getting about 2/3’s of what I had ordered and at this point it sounds like that’s all I’ll get.
The good news (if you will) is even though I allowed early orders for about 75% of the Whalers I hoped to receive, I’m hopeful everyone will get a knife. As usual, a few early orders didn’t respond to requests for payments so those orders were cancelled which will help. The second thing I’m going to do is reduce the multiple knife orders to just one. A few customers placed orders for 3-5 knives or placed multiple orders. On larger run, standard production knives that’s usually not a problem.
Going forward I’m going to clearly restrict early orders to just one knife on these allocated runs. The early orders are an attempt to give as many people as possible a shot at a hard to get knife before they’re released.
The next situation is going to be the Muscle Bone. Without a doubt, we’ll see the same shortages arise. Until the order arrives, I won’t know for sure where I’m at on filling those early orders.
If you ordered an Iron Wood AND a Muscle Bone Whaler you probably haven’t been invoiced for the balance due yet. You won’t be until the Muscle Bone arrives which should happen in the next few days. I’m holding back Iron Wood for those orders and at this point, it looks like the Iron Wood will all get filled. Fingers crossed.
I’ll repeat that I won’t be sending out invoices until I have the Muscle Bone in hand and know where I’m at regarding quantities. Orders will be billed and filled on a first in first out basis. If you’re toward the end of the list and I”m short of Muscle Bone you may still be in the running for a knife if someone else doesn’t pick up their order. In short, it could be a drawn out process. Be patient.
The GEC pin sets should be here the first of the week. Great Eastern very generously donated these to the TSA Knives Wounded Warrior Project fund raising effort. I believe there will be 30 pins in each set. It should be a complete set of pins excluding any SFO’s, Club and Rendezvous pins. All of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. NO early orders on these.
I’m getting emails and calls asking when I’m going to ship the Whalers. Actually, I started shipping the Iron Wood Saturday.
The Whalers are coming through piecemeal. The first box of Iron Wood arrived late last week, another box yesterday and the balance of Iron Wood are still on the way. My guess is I’ll see the Muscle Bone coming through in a similar manner. I assume GEC is trying to get knives in everyone’s hands as soon as possible and this means unless a dealer only ordered a few, they’re coming through in partial quantities.
IF you only ordered an Iron Wood, you should have received an invoice. If you paid the invoice, your knife is either in your hands or on its way. IF you ordered a Muscle Bone andan Iron Wood (or just a Muscle Bone), you probably haven’t been invoiced yet. As soon as the Muscle Bone arrives, invoices will start going out for the balance of the orders.
Lots of requests are coming through for specific handle coloration preferences. Sorry, but it’s just not possible to take care of everyone’s requests. I haven’t seen any of the Iron Wood that doesn’t look good. If you don’t like the looks of your knife, put it on Ebay. I just saw the first one sold on Ebay this AM for $250. Another is at auction with a current bid of $169.00 and another buy it now for $215.
I said earlier I was allowing 72 hours for payment of your invoices before your deposit was lost and your order cancelled. Several of you emailed and told me you were sending a money order which would run beyond the 72 hour window to get here. That’s fine. As long as I know what’s going on. IF I don’t hear from you or receive payment in the 72 hour window, I’m operating on the assumption you’re not going to complete the purchase and your order is cancelled.
I’m trying to fill orders in the sequence the orders were received. Believe me, the sooner I can ship the orders the happier we’ll all be!
I just received the first Whalers this afternoon. They look great with satin finished blades, bolsters and shields. Just a classy looking knife.
As you can see there’s a lot of variation in the colors. The handful I’ve looked at all have nice grain. A few of you asked for hand picked knives with light wood, dark wood, straight grain, lots of figure, etc, etc. It’s just not possible.
The Iron Wood and Muscle Bone are shipping in ‘partial’ shipments from GEC as they finish them. I have at least two more boxes of Iron Wood coming and the Muscle Bone will be broken up as well. By the way, I got the pricing on the Muscle Bone this afternoon. $149.95. The Iron Wood is $139.95 So hears what’s going to happen.
I’ll start sending out new store invoices & PayPal invoices to customers for balance due on their early orders. Its going to take a few days to get all of the invoices out. You’ll have 72 hours to pay the balance due or your early order gets cancelled and your deposit forfeited. If you’re going to send a money order, don’t I assume I know that. TELL ME!!!!
So many of you placed orders for one of each handle material, I won’t start shipping until I have both knives on hand. Once I have a decent quantity of both handle materials on hand, I will start shipping the early orders. They’ll ship in the order that the early orders were placed.
It’s been a relatively quiet week as new releases or deliveries go. I had hoped to have the first of the Whalers in hand by now but nothing so far. The next delivery is later this morning so with any luck…
Emails and phone calls started up this week asking when the knives will be in and what they’ll cost. Hopefully the Desert Ironwood will start showing up in the next day or two. GEC likes to keep the pricing secret until the day the actually ship. This is a major PITA for both dealers and customers. Some good news, I did get the pricing on the Desert Ironwood Whaler this AM. They come in at $139.95. That’s hard to believe when you consider the 2011, 2 blade Cocobolo Whalers cost $139.95 and get a load of this, the 2013 2 Blade Cocobolo was $130.00!!! I anticipated we’d see the new Whalers in the $160+ range. It’ll be interesting to see what the prices are on Ebay once they start getting flipped.
Every now an then I get into a discussion with someone about the bevel I use with my Edge Pro. Good question and it varies from knife to knife. I can say that I have hit what appears to be the sweet spot on my Trestle Pine Gunflint and Topper’s.
It’s 22 degrees. I started around 20 degrees and slowly crept up to 22 and that has been the best angle for edge retention as well as taking a razor edge. My knife gets used a lot and I’m finding I can run 3-4 weeks without totally taking my edge off. The blade doesn’t have that hair shaving edge but it easily glides through cardboard and slices envelopes without tearing.
This isn’t saying it’s the perfect bevel for your knife but it’s working great on mine. The best bevel is all dependent on blade design, steel and use. The steel in both of these Trestle Pines perform beautifully at 22….for me. If you have an Edge Pro, try tweaking that bevel a degree or fraction thereof at a time. You might be surprised at what kind of an edge you can develop.
Spring appears here to stay and I’m anxious to get out and do some camping. Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen for a while. I have the Blackjack I’m anxious to put through the paces as well as field testing the “Baddest Bee” Fire Fuses. Nothing beats actually using the products you’re selling!!!
John H is the First Place winner of the 2018 Ice Out Contest with a date of 5/1 at 4:00PM, Congrats! Second Place Winner goes to Syd with a guess of 4/29 at 11:20AM. John will receive a Trestle Pine Topper with a Black Ash Burl handle and S30V clip blade and Syd a Victorinox Classic and Tinker.
John couldn’t have come much closer to hitting the nail directly on the head. Yesterday our temp came close to 80 degrees with more wind. This morning it’s 37F. The lake was ice free in the early morning hours of 5/1 and as of 10AM CST, this is all that’s left.
I have to give John some credit because I know he spends some time and effort into making his prediction. To be very honest with you, I live on the lake and I didn’t expect this ice to be gone for at least another week. At any rate, its been fun, congrats to both John and Syd. Many thanks to those of you that gave it a shot. And I couldn’t be happier to see the ice GONE for another season!!!
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!
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!