Category Archives: Weekly Update

Weekend Update 10.16.17

I participated in the Fergus Falls Show over the weekend and as a result, missed posting an update on Friday.  So this week, we’ll have a ‘weekend update’!  It wasn’t the biggest show they’ve had but it was a decent turnout.  Knife sales were good and I learned a few things.  Not a bad weekend!

But first, a quick review of last week.   It was a short work week for me as I spent 4 days in Trestle Pine Country.  This was the last camping trip for the season and we picked a fantastic time to go.  The weather was gorgeous and the leaves were really at their peak for color.

Every trip always seems to have it’s highlight and this time was no exception.  While we were cruising the back roads 3 timber wolves crossed the road in front of us.  The first one slowed down to check us out and two more came through behind him.  We’ve seen more timber wolves up there in the last 3 years than we saw in the prior 40!  It’s fun to see them but from talking to a few local residents, they’re also causing problems with livestock and pets.

I got back on Wednesday, just in time to pack up for the weekend show.  Now I play catch-up this week and get ready for a pheasant hunting trip next weekend in North Dakota and one last crack at the prairie dogs.  Then…. I’m done for a while.  Life is good!

Knives, let see, the first of the Northfield Churchills arrived last week and went out as quick as they went in the store.  The Smooth Yellow Bone is always a good seller and this one was no exception.  There are a couple more Northfields that will be showing up this week.

Northfield #35 Churchill Yellow Rose

The knife news that really caught my attention last week was the announcement of the GEC #43 Oregon available after the first of the year.

I’ll admit I’ve been pretty bored with the recent releases from GEC.  The Barlows have been beat to death.  While the small knives are popular, there’s an abundance of them in the marketplace.  We haven’t seen many big knives in a while from Great Eastern and this looks like a winner.

The first thing I thought was it looks like a large version of the #73.  The 73 was one of my first GEC’s and I really liked it.  The #43 is going to be a full 1/2″ longer at 4.25″,  so should put it in the size class of the #23 which measured 4.5″, or about a 1/4″ longer then the new #43.    My bet would be in the future we’ll see a locking version and possibly a 2 blade as well.  It sounds to me like it should be a great ‘work’ knife that’s not going to be overly heavy in the pocket.  Now, if we could just get GEC to upgrade it to a premium steel…..

 

Delayed Shipping and a Gun Show Coming Up

There were a couple more notes I meant to add to yesterdays update regarding delayed shipping and the upcoming Fergus Falls, MN Gun Show.

I’m going to be out most of next week so there will be a brief suspension of shipping.  First, i’m going to spend a few days in the northwoods enjoying the fall colors and just kicking back.  It’s not often I get to go up in October and am really looking forward to it.  Summers are special in that part of the world and Fall can be gorgeous.

As soon as I return, I start packing things for the Gun Show in Fergus Falls the weekend of 10/21 thru 10/22.   THE SHOW IS 10/14 THRU 10/15!! There will be one day to unpack from camping and get things sorted out for the show.  The show is at the National Guard Armory and I’ll have 4 tables of necessities you can’t live without.  Randy, Muskrat, Jim and all the rest of you I hope you can drop by.

It was a quiet week for new knife arrivals with GEC shut down for the week.  They’ll be back to work next week and I anticipate they’ll be working on the Churchills with a few knives going out next week.

The main addition to the store this past week were the Hess fixed blades.  Don and Andy Hess are getting busier then ever and extended delays between placing and receiving orders is becoming the norm.  Its a great line at a terrific price and more people that spend time in the outdoors are finding out about them every day.

I finished cutting the wood slabs for the Trestle Pine Gunflint just over a week ago.  That was shipped and should be just waiting to be applied to the knives.  With any luck we should see the finished knives in the near future.   The new curly maple is great looking and i can’t wait to see it on the knives.  Another wood that was a shocker to me is the Hawaiian Mango.  Wait till you see it!

Weekly Update & Hurricane Sale 9.22.17

Thanks for the response on the Hurricane Sale and I’ll try to get a few more clean up items on there today.  Living where I do, it’s a little hard to imagine the devastation those affected are experiencing.  I’m going to keep the Hurricane Sale going for a few more days to raise a little more money.

I also added a couple of items to the “Used” category.  One item is the Cattaraugus “Yukon”.  Its really a cool old knife and quite hard to come by.

Cattaraugus King of the Woods “Yukon”

It’s pretty amazing how much stuff you can accumulate without really realizing you have it!  What’s even more amazing is looking at it and realizing just exactly what you might or might not have.

Not much for new arrivals this week other then the Baby Doctor Knives and the Large Stockman from Queen.   The one item I was happy to have show up is the wood for the upcoming Trestle Pine Gunflint.

Trestle Pine Gunflint Handle Material

The small slabs above are from the left, KOA, Old Growth Redwood and Hawaiian Mango.  I don’t have the photographic skill to show the true beauty of these woods, but they are gorgeous.  The real surprise is the Mango.  I’ve never seen it in hand before but it is going to be one great looking handle.

Unfortunately, a lot of the ‘exotic’ handles will be in relatively small quantities of under 10 pieces. Some of the high grade wood can be as expensive as stag.  So when I find a new wood to experiment with, I’m always reluctant to buy too much at a time in fear that it may not turn out as good as anticipated.  The Curly KOA is always a winner if you stay with the higher grade.  The Old Growth Redwood and Mango were unknowns so I stayed pretty conservative on them.  I’m still learning!!!  Latest word is we’re still on schedule for a late October delivery of the Gunflint.

I had a fun email exchange with a new Trestle Pine customer bemoaning the fact he’s never found a need for a screwdriver/caplifter on a pocket knife.  This had held him up on purchasing the Topper.  Once we discussed the fact that a screwdriver isn’t necessarily just a screwdriver he finally gave in and bought a couple of knives.  We agreed to refer to the aforementioned screwdriver as simply an ‘auxiliary tool’.  That is,… pry bar, poking tool, paint can opener, etc.  So far, I think he’s pretty happy with his purchases.

While I did give in to some pressure and dropped the screwdriver on the Gunflint, I was also looking at a slightly slimmer profile.  Most folks that have actually used the Superior like it’s slim profile in the pocket and I think the Gunflint is going to have a similar feel.  I’ve never felt the Topper to be bulky when I carry it but if like my friend, you don’t need/want the screwdriver this should kill two birds with one stone.

I’m going to slip away this weekend to chase Prairie Dogs one last time this year .  We’ve had some wet weather the last week and it sounds like we may get more rain this weekend.  That’s just the way the way it goes sometimes so we’re gonna make the best of it.  I’ll just make sure to pack plenty of cigars and coffee.  Always good to get away from the phone for a  couple of days!

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.

Rambling commentary on blade steel and sharpening

Seems like every time I talk to Dave he gets me going on some sort of new path.  First it was higher quality leather sheaths.  Dave got me to try out and ultimately carry the Edge Pro’s.  Then he got me interested in the Spyderco Mule Team knives.  This led to a greater interest in the new high tech powdered steels.  And it goes on and on.  Thank god he’s not into fine bourbons or who knows where this could end up!

Anyway, last week he brought up the point that he’s putting a micro-bevel on some of his knives with great success.  A phone call from a customer in North Dakota the same day from a fellow Edge Pro fan led to a discussion about the level of sharpness you can attain on the newer steels.  All of which led me to play around a bit with a couple of my own knives.

It took me awhile to understand that the CPM, Fallkniven’s 3G, Maxamet and other premium steels don’t sharpen the same as 1095 or even A2.  When you’re working with steels in the 60+ Rc range the final edge needs more attention to get rid of that fine wire left on the edge when you think you’ve ‘got it’.    Once I understood that and spent more time honing the edge, I started to appreciate the ability of these steels  to not only take an edge but more importantly, to retain it.

I know Dave finishes his edge with a 4000 stone and finishes up with one fine edge.  I use the 3000 grit Tape and have no complaints.  If you take the time and finish with a super fine stone or tape you can end up with an edge that will almost cut paper with just the weight of the knife.  It’s amazing.

A few months ago I was at a show letting a customer look at my Trestle Pine Superior and watched him drag his thumb along the edge.  It was actually rather satisfying seeing the line of blood show up on his thumb as he coolly commented that the edge was ‘pretty good’.  ( he did end up with a TPK 🙂

After my recent email exchange with Dave I did try a micro bevel on my Topper.  Per his recommendation, I finished honing the edge with a couple of strokes on each side of the blade at a slightly increased angle.  The whole point being the micro bevel will allow a razor sharp edge and the micro bevel will add a slight bit of support to the edge.  It’s only been a few days so I can’t really say it’s made any difference, but it makes sense it should help.

But the point is how sharp does the edge really have be?  Guess the easy answer is ‘sharp enough to get the job done’, no?  Not really.  I have to admit to a certain satisfaction watching an ‘expert’ run his thumb down the blade and drawing blood.  I’ve had enough stitches of my own to now that stupid is as stupid does.

Personally, I like to see a blade that’s literally shaving sharp.  For years I loved the 1095 blades that would take an edge like nobodies business but got frustrated when that razor edge quickly deteriorated after cutting down a half dozen cardboard boxes.  You can get almost any blade steel ‘sharp’, but I want a blade that will stay sharp.

There are so many incredible choices out there for us steel snobs to play around with.  If you haven’t already, try one of the many premium steels out there.  I promise it’ll do a couple of things for you if you have some patience and are willing to learn.

  • You’re going to learn how to sharpen a blade like you’ve never done before.
  • You’re going to appreciate a really fine cutting edge that will last.
  • When someone asks to borrow a knife you’re going to offer yours up without apologizing for the dull edge.
  • You’ll feel taller and slimmer
  • Your significant other will look at you with even greater respect (well, maybe)

 

 

 

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 : Upcoming Field Trip to Trestle Pine Country

It’s that time of year to take the annual field trip to Trestle Pine Country.  I’m working on getting things packed up and making sure I’ve got a few spare blades to try out in the field.  The recently released Topper is already in my pocket and ready to go!

Trestle Pine Topper

I’m also taking one of the Topper prototypes Queen built for me with the CPM154 Wharncliffe blade.  The look and feel is outstanding and I’m anxious to try it out.  Since I put the pictures of the Proto’s on the blog, I’ve been surprised at the number of inquiries I had about running the Topper with a Wharncliffe.  Could happen!

There wasn’t much for new items to arrive this week but there are some new items showing up by the time I get back!  New from Queen that is.  GEC is back in SFO mode.  I’ve had numerous requests for the 25 Northfield Barlows and TC Barlows and sorry folks, I have/had none.  GEC cut all of the regular dealers out of the Northfield 25’s and gave the entire run to a single dealer.  Enough said on that subject.

Congratulations to Queen on their show last weekend.  The Titusville, PA newspaper had a front page article you might want to check out:  Titusville Herald.

Queen Cutlery knife exhibit draws crowd from across the country, globe

Otherwise, I’m going to keep this weeks update brief as I’ve got a lot to do before I escape tomorrow.    I’ll be putting up a separate post, but be advised you’ll be able to place orders in the store next week, but I won’t be doing any shipping until next Friday 8/25/17.

Big Weekend for Shows Coming Up!

Next weekend is a big weekend for collectors.   If you can make it to Titusville, PA, it has the makings of a dream come true for Queen and Great Eastern Collectors!!  Two big shows I’d love to attend.

August 10, 2017
Tours:     Thursday  8am – 2pm

Queen Factory
507 Chestnut St.
Titusville, PA 16354

August 11-12, 2017
Show:    Friday       12noon-6pm
              Saturday     9am-4pm
NEW LOCATION
Timber Lake Lodge
4286 State Route 8
Titusville, PA 16354
Cookout & Family Reunion:    Friday     6:30pm    FREE with Admission

And the same weekend…..

I keep thinking one of these years I’d love to make it out there, but its tough to get away in the summer.

The past week has been relatively quiet as far as new knives are concerned.  I know the GEC 25’s are in transit and there are a couple of items coming from Queen next week.  I’ve had inquiries regarding when I’ll get the rest of the Trestle Pine Toppers listed and all I can say is have patience.  Not enough hours in the day!

I had a couple of premium Toppers made this round.  Ryan came up with some gorgeous Mammoth Ivory that really came out nice.

Mammoth Ivory Trestle Pine Topper

This afternoon my family is coming in for the weekend.  We’ve been mowing, cleaning, cooking, gassing up boats, getting out life jackets and so on this past week to get ready.  This is the weekend I look forward to all year.  I love being around all the excitement of the kids enjoying themselves and updating me on their activities and accomplishments.  Two of the boys have taken an interest in knives so that’s going to be interesting.  One of them has a pocket knife that belonged to his great grandfather (my dad) and he wants it sharpened.   Hmmm…….  I’m particularly looking forward to hearing about my Great Niece’s discovery of a Mammoth Tooth in NE Minnesota.  She found it pretty close to the birthplace of Trestle Pine Knives.

So,… it’s time to get back to putting the finishing touches on things.  Looks like a gorgeous weekend coming and I can’t wait!!!

 

Weekly Update 7.28.17 Trestle Pine Topper, Grand Daddy Barlow, etc

Had a great week with my buddy Isaiah.  Lots of fishing, golf, fishing, tubing and a little more fishing.  The weather was great and we both had a lot of fun.

This forenoon I uploaded the #71 Schatt & Morgan Grand Daddy Barlow’s.  Great looking knives.  There are Smooth Blue Bone and a Black Micarta.

#71 Grand Daddy Barlow

I’ve had an order of #01 Swayback Jacks on my desk for over a week that I’ve been meaning to get to.   I’ll try to get a few more of them up yet today.

I’m working on getting all of the Trestle Pine Topper sorted out and packaged up.  I’ve started using the white tubes for the knives as I had a number of people prefer the original labels that I used on the first run of the Superior.  Personally, I liked the label on the boxes as well, but thought I’d give the zippered cases a shot.  I’ll be intermixing them as we go along, but the tubes will be the choice for now.  The larger tube makes it possible to use a larger label which in turn, is easier to read.

Next week is the big week of the summer.  My family comes up for a few days of fun together.   We’ll have a houseful of around 15 people and I can’t wait.  Unfortunately, a nephew and a great nephew won’t make it this year but on the plus side I have a niece coming that I rarely get to see.   And of course I’m looking forward to Butch and Sundance arriving with the rest of the Wild Bunch.   As a result, next week is probably going to be a bit unproductive on the work front and that’s fine with me!

 

Weekly Update 7.14.17 ~ Damascus #3 EXP

The weekly update highlights the arrival of the Damascus #3 EXP from Schatt & Morgan.  This has been a great looking knife to begin with but the Damascus adds a really classic look to a classic knife

Schatt & Morgan Stag #3 EXP Damascus
#3 EXP Damascus Worm Groove Bone

There are a number of different Damascus patterns throughout the releases and none are specifically associated with a specific handle material.  What you’re going to have to do is decide if you like the blade/handle combination or maybe buy two?  This will give you an idea of some of the options.

Different Damascus Patterns

The first thing I noticed about the Damascus blades of course is the beautiful pattern.  Second is the edge on the blades.  I’ve gotten used to the super fine edge that the 154 steels take and forgot how ‘toothy’ feeling the edge feels on a D2 blade.  The Damascus makes the D2 feel pretty fine.  While it’s not an edge I’d want to use to shave with or cut fine strips of paper, it’s definitely a blade made for aggressive cutting.  I immediately got the feeling if I wanted to cut through a heavy piece of nylon or hemp rope, this would be the tool of choice.  The edge is like a micro serrated blade that’s just looking for something to cut.

This is one of the more interesting knives Queen has brought out in the time I’ve been carrying the line.  It’s not a cheap knife but there are plenty of those out there already.  I know when Ken and Ryan were at GEC, we used to see some pretty interesting things come out of there and it appears the Daniels carried that willingness to push the envelope over to Queen.  They both get out to the shows and press the flesh with their customers.  More importantly, they listen to ideas and pay attention to what’s being said.   And they love to try different things.  In fact, I’m not sure this is meant for public dissemination but here’s an example.

Hmmmm….

Old pattern auto’s, Shockwood, Marvel Wood, 154 steels, Damascus, ….. keep it up guys!!

The GEC Proto’s I put up yesterday were well received!  I think over half of them sold last night and as I say, there are around 10 more to be listed.  The arrival of the Damascus  #3 EXP order ate  up the time I had planned to use listing the rest of the Proto’s this morning so it’s not looking like I’ll get to them today but will try to finish them up next week.

My understanding is we’re getting closer to seeing the new Trestle Pine ‘Topper’.  Last I heard, they should start shipping next week and I apologize for the repeated delays.  I know a number of you have been pretty patient getting to see it (as have I) and promise as soon as they arrive I’ll get them up.

Someone also asked when the next run of Trestle Pine Buddy’s would be coming through and at this point, the best answer I can offer is early this fall.  The selection is getting pretty picked over.   There might be a few more I can list, but supplying Messer Depot in Germany kind of thinned the herd a bit unexpectedly.

I had given consideration to adding a pattern to the fixed blade Trestle Pine line but based on the popularity of the Buddy, I think for the time being I’ll stick with it.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

One change I did make is the availability of a FireSteel Sheath or a Plain Sheath.  Going forward, both sheaths will have the Trestle Pine stamp.

Plain or FireSteel Sheaths

So…. that’s the news for this week.  Haven’t had time to take the new Prairie Dog rifle to the range yet, but I’m going to try to get the reloader setup, put a few rounds together and see if it shoots as good as the claim.  Have a good weekend!!!