Category Archives: Trestle Pine Knives

Weekly Update 9.15.17 Trestle Pine Gunflint Notes

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.

Curly Koa & Old Growth Redwood

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.

Dyed Curly Maple

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!!!

 

Trestle Pine Gunflint Wood Preview & Recent Arrivals

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!

Trestle Pine Gunflint Dyed Curly Maple

Below are a few pieces of Natural Curly Maple and Walnut.

Trestle Pine Gunflint Handle Material

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!

Lightning Wood on a S&M #22 Medium Coke Bottle

Also in the box with the Medium Coke Bottles were some Schatt & Morgan Sowbelly’s with Smooth Amber Bone Handles

S&M #60 Sowbelly Smooth Amber Bone

As well as some S&M #06 Tear Drops with Smooth Amber Bone and Torched Stag handles.

S&M #06 Smooth Amber Bone
S&M #06 Torched Stag

The last new arrival came in this morning.  GEC’s latest Calf Pen in Orange Delrin.

GEC #35 Orange Delrin

Weekly Update New Arrivals 9.8.17

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.

Calf Pen

I’m not a huge fan of the ‘one arm’ opening blades, but the linerlock on the Wharncliffe makes up for it.

Next are some Schatt & Morgan #44 Folding Hunters.  The handle options include Golden Maple, Marvel Wood and Rams Horn.  The Rams Horn handles are outstanding.

Schatt & Morgan #44 Folding Hunter Rams Horn

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.

S&M #66 Turkish Muskrats

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.

Burnt 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.

Schatt & Morgan #3 EXP Stag

There will be more of the GEC’s coming through next week and no doubt Queen will have a few additions as well.

Trestle Pine Gunflint Notes and Comments

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.

Trestle Pine Toppers

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.

Trestle Pine Gunflint Prototype

So here are the details of what to look forward to on the Trestle Pine Gunflint:

  • Gunstock Pattern
  • 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.

Wire Stripper Notch

 

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.

Trestle Pine Prototypes, S&M Specials and GEC Production

This morning I listed 4 Trestle Pine Prototype knives.  These are not part of a regular production run but were built to see how the Wharncliffe Blade fit into the Gunstock frame of the Topper.  The regular production Toppers have Saber Ground S30V Clip blades.  The Prototypes have Wharncliffe CPM154 blades.

Trestle Pine Topper Prototype

I’ll let you know that there is a single blade Gunstock pattern coming later this fall with a CPM154 Wharncliffe blade and no cap lifter.  This will be the Gunflint.  The Wharncliffe works fantastic in the Gunstock frame and I had an opportunity to try one of the Proto’s out last week.   While I really like the Gunstock pattern, I don’t recall handling one before with a Wharncliffe blade but I will tell you it works really nice.

Trestle Pine Topper

Yesterday I listed some S&M 99 Executive Jacks in Burnt Stag at special pricing.  These are knives I had picked up earlier this summer and never got around to listing.  They were part of a ‘cleanup’ project and some had CPM154 Drop Point blades and a few had 1095 Clip blades.  Pricing is outstanding.

S&M 99 Burnt Stag CPM154 Drop Point

My post yesterday regarding the upcoming GEC 78’s resulted in a phone call and a couple of emails from customers.  Let me explain a little further.  GEC required dealers to place orders roughly 4 months in advance without having a firm price or a full listing of handle options (standard operating procedures) and….once the dealers place the orders, as of closing time today, GEC won’t let the dealer lower/cancel their order quantity.   So if GEC decides on hot pink bone… suck it up and swallow hard.  That’s arrogance at its best.

I talked to Chris this morning and confirmed that I wanted to cancel my early orders on both the single and two blade versions.  It appears that a couple of the SFO’s that were placed had also been cancelled.  My gut feeling is a few folks saw the projected production numbers and SFO’s deciding it might be best to sit this one out.  Me too.

I don’t mean to take anything from GEC as they build an excellent knife, but I have a problem being force fed.   I’m not trying to punish GEC and won’t be depriving any customers as there should be an abundance of the 78’s available from a variety of sources.    There’s just too many other good things going on.

Weekly Update 8.27.17 Field Trip

Great week last week even if it was too short!!!  Actually, my field trip lasted 5 days in the North Woods and that’s the longest we’ve gotten away from the office in many years.  Gonna have to do that more often.  The weather was great with a few showers thrown in but nothing of any consequence.

I didn’t get a chance to play any golf but we did some roaming around.   All in all, not a bad week. In fact, we met some really incredibly friendly folks this trip and spent a fair amount of time just visiting with people from around the country.

One of the highlights was a group from Canada coming through with their Rat Rods on the way to a show.  Wish I would have shot more pix.  The ingenuity the builders of the Rat Rods have just never ceases to amaze me.  I’m kind of a fan of the Steam Punk art and the Rube Goldberg machines so I guess my interest in Rat Rods would be natural.

Rat Rod

And it’s always good to meet up with an old friend, Tyson Cronberg, owner of the famous Beaver House tackle shop in Grand Marais.  I’ve know Tyson before he could see over the counter top and it’s always great to catch up with each other.  In fact, if you travel to Grand Marais, Ty is carrying the Trestle Pine knives so stop by and check them out.

m Tyson Cronberg, Proprietor  of The Beaver House

And of course everyday was started out with ….

On a couple of mornings we also ventured into town to have a breakfast from the World’s Best Donuts.  If you’ve never been to Grand Marais, WBD’s is known literally worldwide for their incredible donuts and rolls.  The line will form early in the morning and extend into the street.  This day they had a traveling minstrel entertaining the crowd as they waited in line.

And of course there was time set aside for a little….

And for sure, some good eats….  For the uninitiated, Poutine is probably the most effective method I’ve come across for increasing your cholesterol 10-15 points at a sitting.  French Fries smothered in Cheese Curds and Brown Gravy. ….OMG!!!

Burger on a Bagel Bun and Poutine

The one thing I specifically made time for was trying out the new Topper and a couple of old standbys.

So many choices in life…

A chore I find makes for a great comparison of blades is fire starting.  I use the Fallkniven A1 in the picture above for splitting kindling but the true test comes in the detail work.

Trestle Pine Buddy

The Trestle Pine Buddy is the perfect choice for a little coarser ‘shaving’ of my kindling.  It’s also my go to knife when it comes to kitchen work or other ‘medium’ sized camp chores.  What I was really interested in was the difference between the new Trestle Pine Topper with the Saber Ground Clip blade and the Prototype with the Wharncliffe blade.

Trestle Pine Topper

It’s a little difficult to see but the Wharncliffe was great for cutting thin shavings while the Saber/Clip was a bit more aggressive.  While I wasn’t surprised it was interesting to work with the two side by side in the same medium.  The slightly thicker clip blade acts a bit as a ‘wedge’ resulting in a thicker slice.  The slimmer profile of the Wharncliffe allows for delicate, slim shavings to be created.

The Wharncliffe is a 154 blade and the Clip is an S30V.  I didn’t use either of them enough to make a fair comparison as to which held an edge better.  All I can say is that both of them were used and neither show any sign of losing their edge.  I’ve had several customers tell me they prefer the CPM steels over the S30V primarily due to the feeling the CPM is a bit more user friendly when it comes time to touch up the blade and I’ll probably take that into consideration on the next knife.

Personally, I really like the Gunstock pattern the Topper is based on.  It rides comfortably in the pocket, provides plenty of handle to grip and is a comfortable size for general use.  If you feel the corners on the screwdriver are a bit to sharp in the hand, use a file to knock the corners off.  This knife is meant to be used so don’t be afraid to personalize it a bit.

The last day of the field trip we stopped at a home East of Grand Marais on the main highway.  Last year I posted a couple of roadside pix but this year we got out of the truck and spent some time wandering through this ‘creation’.  It is nothing short of amazing.

This individual has spent years hauling, piling and arranging rocks in some interesting patterns. Then, they enhanced them with little details to make you stop and look and look and the more you look the more you see.  Very cool.

And now, it’s back to reality.  Queen is releasing a couple of orders that will be arriving next week.  I’ll also be filling in some empty spots in the Hess inventory as well as uploading some more Trestle Pine’s.  By the way, there’s a new Trestle Pine in the works for later this Fall.

Weekly Update 7.22.17 New Topper, Knife Laws, Etc

This has to be a short update as I’m leaving to pick up my buddy Isaiah when I’m done to spend a few days with me again this summer.  Its a chance to get him out of those steamy Iowa cornfields for a few days and let him soak in some northern lake water.

The big news this week was the arrival of the Trestle Pine Topper.  I only listed a couple of the knives to start off as I’m waiting for the rest of the labels.  Suppose I could ship them out in plain white tubes, but… think I’ll hold off for the labels.  About half of the knives came in this week and as I said, I’m really pleased with the end product.  Queen did an outstanding job finishing these.

I’ve had a number of nice messages/phone calls regarding the Trestle Pine’s in the last week and someone asked me if I had a dedicated Trestle Pine website.  Yes.  There’s a brief story about ‘why’ Trestle Pine knives and a bit of information about the knives.  You can check it out at: www.trestlepineknives.com

Another notable piece of news was an article Jan Carter over at the iKC site sent me.  John Bamford had posted a link regarding potential upcoming changes regarding knife purchasing regs in the UK.  In a nutshell, it sounds like they’re working on a law that would harshly restrict online sales of knives to UK residents.  If a UK resident were to purchase a knife through an online source, the buyer could only take possession of the knife if they were to physically pick it up from the seller.  John, I’d love to have you come to Minnesota to pick up your next knife purchase, but I can’t blame you if you opt out.  Ridiculous.

I’ve posted it before, but at times like this it bears repeating.

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”  Groucho Marx

It gets so frustrating watching these (supposedly) well meaning law makers come up with new laws that are totally ineffective.  I’ve watched it happen to the gun industry over the years and have spoken up and written letters to try and influence the outcome of some of the proposals.  Sometimes our voices are heard and I sincerely hope our friends in the UK speak loudly with a single voice to try and stop the passage of the proposal

Gotta run, but watch for more of the Trestle Pine Toppers to show up on the website next week!!!

 

Trestle Pine Topper Update

The first lot of the Trestle Pine Topper arrived today!  I am happy with everything about them.  They look GREAT, feel great and hit the mark I was hoping for.

Black Ash Burl above.

The feel of the Gunstock pattern has always appealed to me.  It’s full enough to fill my hand without feeling like I’m holding a club.

There are a number of ‘exotic’ handle materials including the stunning Curly Maple above.  I dont’ have all of the handle options in stock yet so there are more to come!

 

The match strike pull came out better then I had hoped.  I was asked not to request a match strike in the future on the S30V blade as it is evidently hard to stamp.  On the upside, it results in an incredible nice, crisp match strike that would actually work!

I dressed the knife up a bit this time with the Saber Grind, a match strike pull and lined bolsters.  While I don’t want to turn the Trestle Pine’s into a knife that only gets ‘looked at’ and never used, I did want to offer something for everyone.  And yup, I’m sticking with the brass bolsters/end caps.

While so many of the traditional folders continue to be made with the standard 1095 or 400 series stainless blades, I wanted the S30V mark to stand out so there’s no mistaking the Topper as just ‘another traditional folder’.

If you’re interested in reading more about where the name came from, you can check out the Trestle Pine Knives website at:  The Trestle Pine Topper

Here’s a short excerpt from the website:

The name, Topper, is derived from a trout lake in North Eastern Minnesota of the same name.  It’s not a large lake by any means and requires a bit of a hike to get into and a fairly steep carry down to the lake with the canoe.  You don’t drive up to the lakes edge and drop your canoe in.  Over the years there were many great memories mentally recorded.  

One of my favorites involved a friend …………………”

As I mentioned, I have more Toppers coming in different handle materials.  I had hoped to start listing them on the website immediately, but ran into a snag getting my labels for the tubes.  And….., in a couple more weeks I’ll have another version of the Topper to show you that may be in the future.   For the time being, It will be limited and it is cool.

Weekly Update 6.23.17

Had a great week shooting (at) Prairie Dogs in Western North Dakota this week and will fill you in later.  Hated to come home and in a way wish I hadn’t!!!

I just got word this morning that the Trestle Pine Topper has been pushed back to late July.  Originally it was supposed to come out in late May or early June.  Things never seem to work out the way we hoped, but I really hope this one comes through sooner rather then later.

There were also a bunch of knives that showed up to be processed.  In the group are some new S&M #3 EXP’s in some of the nicest looking stag I’ve seen in a while.

S&M #3EXP Torched Stag

There is also another group of the #3EXP’s coming out in the next 4-6 weeks with at least a half dozen handle/blade options.  Two that I’m really looking forward to are a drop point blade and…. a release with a Damascus Blade.  That should be a gem.

I have to keep this weeks update brief as I’ve got some catching up to get done.  Orders to get shipped and emails to follow up on.  Monday I’ll try to share a few photo’s of this weeks adventure out West.  Truly a good time!