Category Archives: Admin Comments

Wounded Warriors, Whalers, Memorial Day

I don’t know about the rest of you but in this neck of the woods, we are looking at 4th of July weather for Memorial Day weekend.  Typically this weekend also marks the opening of the tourist season (aka, summer) with cool, breezy, wet weather being the norm.  This year we’re expecting a hot sunny weekend with temperatures in the upper 80’s to low 90’s.  We need some of the rain you guys in the SE are getting but we’re not going to complain this weekend!!  It’s going to be a perfect weekend to take a moment to remember those lost in combat.

Thanks to Great Eastern’s generous donation of the Limited Run GEC Pins and those of you that have purchased them, I was able to drop a check in the mail for over $500 to the Wounded Warriors this morning.  That’s fantastic!  With Memorial Day coming up in just a couple of days I can’t think of a better way to commemorate the day.  Thank you all!!

These are a great looking set of all the regular production run buttons GEC has released.  Customer feedback has really been positive make a great centerpiece for any GEC collection.  Rare chance to pick up all of them in one shot.

GEC Limited Edition 30 Pin Set

 

The Wounded Warrior Project does an excellent job helping our wounded military and its great to do a little to help the cause.  My wife works at the local VA Hospital and every day sees the difficulties so many of these Vets face.  I encourage all of you to do what you can to help.  There are lots of great organizations that provide all kinds of services for our veterans and the WWP just happens to be my favorite.

Hopefully, today I’ll add a few more Whalers to the storefront.  I’m not taking early orders or reservations on these so don’t ask.  There were more then the usual number of early orders that weren’t picked up for one reason or another.  First I deal with the issue of cancelling multi knife orders to assure everyone gets ‘a’ knife and now I have knives that weren’t picked up leaving unsold/unclaimed knives.  Next, I’m gonna have some people pissed off that they didn’t get first chance at the ‘leftovers’.  You can’t win, so I’m not gonna try!!  First come first served.

This week another order of Hess Knives came in and I really want to get them in the store.  I want to put one of the Bird & Trout knives through it’s paces.  Over the years I’ve handled a number of the various B&T’s but never kept or used one for any length of time.  Time for that to change.  We’re getting ready to take another Dakota hunting trip in June and this looks like it might be a dandy knife for preparing lunch.

Hess Bird & Trout Leather Handle

It was sad to hear of the passing of another dealer in the knife retail world.  Derrick Bohn, owner of Knives Ship Free passed away unexpectedly this week and will  leave a void in the knife world for many.  In the recent past we’ve lost Bob Andrews, Terry Ray and now Derrick.   All three of these gentleman were involved in a business they enjoyed right up to their last day on earth, which isn’t a bad thing.  Greet every day as if it’s your last.  For some of us it may be.

 

Store Knives, Credit Cards and Monday Morning Ramblings

Monday Morning Ramblings… that pretty well covers it!  Over the weekend a couple of things came up and occurred to me that i thought I’d share.

For the last month I’ve struggled with the ethical decision of continuing to carry a credit card issued by Citibank ( aka: Citigroup).  They’ve taken a position of not working with businesses involved in the sale of ‘certain types’ of firearms.  Following suit, Bank of America made a decision to cease financing companies that manufacture ‘military style’ firearms.

Now Bank of America came into the picture when I received a solicitation to carry their card.  Not going to happen and I sent the solicitation back with a letter of explanation.  The moves by both BoA and Citigroup are meaningless, feel good attempts to make a show of  social consciousness.    Its interesting to research the companies both  corporations continue to finance in spite of their concern for mankind.  It’s all about profits.

I’ve been reluctant to surrender the Citigroup card due to the 5% rebate on gas purchases, particularly with the increasing gas price.  With 4 vehicles (3 4×4’s), 3 watercraft and a 4 wheeler, I do go through a fair amount of fuel.  So how do I balance walking the walk with personal greed.  Finally last nite I had something of an epiphany.

I was in the process of ordering a new upper for my AR15 and realized the best way to make my own statement was to use the Citigroup card to make the purchase.  Ah yes!  And I’m in need of more reloading supplies prior to heading west hunting prairie dogs next month.  My conscience is clear!  Even though my ‘statement’ won’t change anything, at least I feel I’ve struck back.

A major disappointment for me were the Muscle Bone Store knives that came in over the weekend.  In the past the store knives were offered at a decent discount and the knives themselves usually had minor cosmetic flaws.  In a lot of cases you couldn’t even see the flaw.  I had told Chris I would take all of the Store Whalers I could get and thank god she only gave me 4.

Muscle Bone Whaler Blade rubs

Whenever a blade rubs, you kinda wonder why.  When I opened the blade and looked down the spine it was pretty easy to understand.

Great Eastern has taken a hard line of no returns or exchanges on the Store Knives and I understand that.  If the price is right we can all live with a little less then perfection.  The problem is the discount for these store knives (to me anyway) is the princely sum of a 6% discount.  In other words, at retail a $149.95 knife would sell for around $140 in this condition.  Any takers?  I’m amazed GEC let a knife like this go out with their name it.  I’m struggling whether I want to send it out with the TSA Knives name on the package!

So I’m going to have 4 store knives going into the store under $100.  Gonna lick my wounds and take to heart the old adage, … that’s how ya learn!  I’ll try to make the flaws as clear as possible in the store pictures cause once you buy it, you own it.   I think these will be my last store knives.

What concerns me more is the grumbling starting to come in about the quality of the Whalers.  The Muscle Bone in particular has been criticized for having slabs that fall below the bolsters.  While the pull on the Whaler is, well, should we say ‘heavy’?, I have one coming back that the customer can’t open the small blade without a pliers.  And over the years, the above pictured knife is one of the most expensive EDC’s with the most egregious flaws I’ve seen.  It makes me wonder whether the increase in production is resulting in some sacrifice in quality.  I recall another manufacturer that got taken to the woodshed for letting things slip.  Hope it doesn’t happen again.

 

 

Incredible Customer

I have to share the story of an incredible customer that made my day.  He’s the kind of individual that makes the knife business ‘fun’.

After my on going whining this week about the situation surrounding the shortage of Whalers and subsequent rationing, I got a generous offer from a customer.  Understand, I was just venting my frustration and not necessarily soliciting sympathy.  (Well maybe a little)  I didn’t ask permission to use his full name but if he wants to respond to this post I’ll gladly give him full name recognition.  For now, I’ll use his first name, Jeff.

I received an email from Jeff telling me had ordered Whalers from several distributors in the hopes of getting ‘a’ knife.  Jeff ended up with two spare whalers and offered them to me in an effort to help more people get a shot at owning a Whaler.  He didn’t ‘offer’ the knives to me at an inflated price or ask for any special consideration, in fact, he didn’t even bring up reimbursement for shipping!

Over the years I’ve done a fair amount of business with Jeff and always respected him as a great guy to do business with.  If there was a problem with an order he was always understanding and willing to work out any problems.  He was never demanding about handle material, fit and finish, etc.  This offer pushes him over the top as a great guy.  Jeff, many thanks.  You’re a credit to the knife collector world.

Now, how I do put these back into circulation?  My first thought is to put them out at a markup over issue price and send the ‘profit’ to Jeff.  That only seems fair.  I thought about some sort of raffle but that’s a pain.  For now, I think I’ll chew on it for a few days and figure something out.

Another bit of good news regarding the Whalers.  I just found out this morning that I have a few Muscle Bone EDC knives coming.  Not sure what the issues are with them, but typically it’s nothing too serious.

Next up should be the 15 Boys Knives.  I’ve got a pile of early orders in place for these and don’t anticipate any shortage issues with them.   My understanding is that production numbers on these is ….substantial.  It’s just amazing the demand for that pattern.

At any rate, considering how the week started out, it’s great to finish it on a positive note!!

 

Whaler Shipment Update

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.

Thanks for understanding.

Whaler Allocation Shortfall

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.

 

 

Whaler Shipping Update 5.9.18

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  and an 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!

First Whalers Arrived!

I just received the first Whalers this afternoon.  They look great with satin finished blades, bolsters and shields.  Just a classy looking knife.

462218 GEC Iron Wood Whalers

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.

Weekly Update 5.4.18

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.

Trestle Pine Topper and Gunflint

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!!!

 

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!!

 

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.