Category Archives: Weekly Update

GEC 15 Caveat, 14 SFO’s ~ Weekly Update

I’m sharing the Weekly Update a bit early this week.  Time to head out to North Dakota, visit friends, shoot a few Prairie Dogs, enjoy a great meal and reeeelax.  Can’t wait!

The GEC 15 run of regular knives is finished and the Bail & Chain series is coming up.  Chris sent out a caveat to dealers asking that we pass on the following information.  If you try to remove the Bail the odds are incredibly high that you will put a significant scratch in the bolster.  Should you modify the knife by removing the bail, you just voided the warranty.  GEC is NOT going to fix it.  I think we all know that when you modify a product it typically voids the warranty, so be advised.

The Fenix UC35 V2.0 lights sold out FAST!  As I said in the post last week, these are an incredible light at a bargain price.  Apparently quite a few folks are familiar with the Fenix line and the response took me by surprise.  I have more coming in an should have them back in the store next week.  For now, you can place a back-order and I’ll get them out to you as soon as they come in.

There still isn’t any clear info regarding the upcoming 14’s.  The last I heard there are going to be around 3000 SFO’s and no word of any regular production knives.  I’m getting totally confused about the SFO’s as it seems the terms have changed.  My understanding is that you need to order 100 knives, all the same handle  to get in on an SFO.  THEN, you are limited to just one handle.  In other words, you can order 100 blue but not 100 blue, 100 red and 100 green.  So, at best, you can only get 100 knives of a single handle and if you didn’t get in on the SFO you are SOL.  So does this mean there were 30 dealers (clubs, individuals) that ordered 100 knives each?  Don’t think so but I’ll be glad to be corrected.

I’ve had a couple of individuals wondering if there are any restrictions on who can get in on the SFO’s and to the best of my knowledge, if you can get your money on the bar, you’ll get served.  Interesting business model.

The question keeps coming up as to when the liquidation auction of the assets of Queen/Schatt & Morgan will occur.  I don’t know.  As I recall all claims against the company had to be filed by June so I would assume once everything is inventoried and the proper paperwork executed,  it’s just a matter of getting an auction date set.  There are enough serious collectors out there that would love to get there hands on a few unique artifacts that I think it should be an interesting auction.

More interesting will be finding out who ends up with the Queen, Schatt & Morgan, Queen City and other trademarks.  From day one my hope has been to see GEC purchase the names and get them back into production.  Can you imagine the Schatt & Morgan lines coming out built to GEC quality standards?

I’m not sure that will happen however.  It appears GEC is maxed out on production right now.  The addition of Schatt & Morgan would most likely more then double the demand.  My greatest concern would be seeing these names moved to an overseas production line.

I’ve been getting positive feedback regarding the crime report updates.  It’s  been suggested I make it a regular part of the regular blog posts.  Even though it seems a bit twisted that readers enjoy following the criminal activities up here I’ll keep sharing at the risk of further revealing our crime problems.  Our local guys and gals in Blue do a great job keeping things under control.

Remember a couple of  weeks ago when the fellow suspected his girlfriend lifted $40 from his wallet?

Well, let’s not forget the old biblical saying that we shall reap what we sow!

Blade, Boys Knives, Crime Update

Just a real short update this week and I’ll start with the Blade Show.  I didn’t go and I’m not sure how many of you made it but there seems to be quite a bit of grumbling.  In just the last couple of days I’ve talked to 4 people that went ( one didn’t even go in when he saw the line) and the complaints were all the same.  Had to pay to park, pay to get in, crowded as hell and the beer ain’t cheap!!!  It also sounded like they had split some displays off into different areas making it hard to get around to see everyone.  That’s too bad.  Let’s hope they make some changes to smooth out some of the rough spots next year.

I received the Red Micarta Clip Blades and OD Green Boys Knives today.  If you had an early order in you should have an invoice in hand by now.  Just a blunt reminder that I do expect the invoices to be paid within 3 days or you are SOL.  I’m really firm on that as there is another large group of 15’s coming in the next few days and I want to move these out as soon as possible.  Later next week I’m heading back out  to North Dakota for a few days so if things don’t get picked up in a timely manner, I can guarantee they won’t ship in a timely manner either.

I did order fairly heavy on the Clip blades and should have some decent numbers left available in the store after the early orders are filled.  The OD Green was completely sold out so no spares in that category.

Some of you may have noticed I had some Whalers that were added to the store.  I have an old customer make a non-knife trade with me and I’m basically handling these on a consignment basis.  I don’t typically like to do that but we’ve worked on deals like this before and it’s worked out for both of us.  Just glad to have some extras.

Just to wind things up quickly I have to share a few more posts from this past weeks Police Blotter.  Just about the time you think the boys and gals in Blue have things under control….

Been there done that!!!  Haven’t we all?  VERY common mistake but usually happened to me after closing time.

Hmmm….didn’t notice they hit the goats until they noticed the damage to the car?

 

Wonder why it’s important we know the complainant is ‘female’….

Have a good weekend and watch out for roaming goat herds!!!

 

 

Boys Knives, Whalers and Crime Wave

We’re seeing the Boys Knives coming through in a rush.  The Antique Yellow arrived mid week and I believe there are at least two more handle options in transit.  My understanding is there could be a delay on the Boys Knives with the bail and chain.  Note, that’s “Bail” not Ball and chain.  There’s been a little confusion.  Last I talked to Chris about them there was an issue with the parts not being ready yet.

Another knife that’s in the near future is a run of 14’s.  Interestingly enough, GEC didn’t open these up to regular production but so far has only offered them as an SFO.  The SFO offering resulted in roughly 3000 (yup, three thousand) SFO’s.  I didn’t jump in on these and at this point I don’t know if they’ll offer a regular run or not.  Why would they with those kind of numbers.

The level of interest in all things GEC is nothing short of amazing.  Who would have ever thought we’d see a production run line of knives double and triple  in price within days of the initial offering.

I’ve been getting a few of the Whalers back that are going back through the store.  A couple of things are happening.  The first is a few people were disappointed that the Muscle Bone didn’t always ride flush with the bolsters.  When you encounter a rustic handle material like the Muscle Bone, that’s going to happen.  I’ve added a caveat in the store description advising of this possibility.  The second thing are the folks that haven’t been exposed to the Whalers before and found out it’s #1 a BIG knife and #2, it takes tough finger nails and physical strength to open the blades.  That pen blade can be a bear.

Otherwise, hope everyone had a great Memorial Day Weekend.  The weather was more like the 4th of July up here and that’s OK.  On the downside, we did have a bit of a crime wave hit last week.  Here’s a few of the more egregious happenings.  Gotta love the folks in Blue that handle this ‘stuff’ on a regular basis.

Hope the dude with the light fingered girlfriend reads the next report before he goes any further into the relationship.

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.

 

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!!

 

Weekly Update 4.20.18

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

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

Schatt & Morgan Sow Belly

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

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

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

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

Weekly Update 4.13.18 Bull Nose Arrives

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

GEC 71 Bull Nose OD Green

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

GEC 43 Stag Disappointment

I received a few of the 43 Stag yesterday and for the most part, they were a disappointment.

The 43’s were run in a very small quantity and two of the knives I received had pin cracks.  What’s disappointing is they came through as ‘firsts’ and not ‘store’ knives.  In good conscience I couldn’t run them through as first quality.

Pin Cracks

I don’t get concerned about a fracture line if it’s been stabilized and it passes the thumb nail test.  Both of these had open fractures that were easily felt when you ran your nail across them.  My hope was that I could exchange them but no luck.  No discount either.

The quality of the stag as far as uniformity in thickness/color/texture is concerned was as good as you could ask for.  The fractures were a real disappointment.  Evidently the pin fractures have been an issue.  Earlier this week I got an email that there were smooth camel bone and jigged bone 43 Store Knives available with pin fractures as well.  I have  few coming in for those of you looking for an economical EDC 43.

I failed to mention I received an order of the fixed blade Hess Knives last week.  The Hess’ sell well and each time I reorder it seems like it takes a bit longer for them to fill the order.  They’ve found there niche and I don’t see them trying to become a mega manufacturer.  It’s a couple of guys building knives on their own terms.

By now I think everyone is aware that Queen / Schatt & Morgan is done.  I received notification this week from the bankruptcy court that claims can be made until the end of May.  There hasn’t been any notification (that I’m aware) of the date of the upcoming auction but it sure would be a sad but interesting auction to go to.  I can’t imagine what all could be in the factory with historical significance for collectors.  Sad to see it end this way.

We’ll see a bit of a lull with an SFO coming through first.  Then, the Bull Nose will show up.  Beyone that…. who knows!

Early Order Update 3.9.18

Let me start by saying I was a little overwhelmed by the response to starting up the early order program again.  I had discontinued it last year for a number of reasons, the major one being it can be a real PITA to keep up with.  Even with the requisite deposit there were still a surprising number of ‘no pays’.  Orders come through without the deposit, etc, etc.  In addition, we saw the quantities (i.e. availability) of regular production knives increase substantially reducing the need to order early.

As soon as it became official the Whalers were going to be run once again, there was no doubt the interest was going to be sky high.  For that reason I thought I’d try the early order system one more time and include the new 44 Gunstock and 15 Boys Knives.  The volume of orders has been almost triple what I anticipated and the number of ‘thank you’ for reinstating the early order program comments was a surprise.  Feedback like that is what helps steer the direction of TSA Knives.  Going forward, you’ll see more Early Order offers.

I put a limited number of the Whalers up for early order and held some back in reserve until next Monday.  Chris will have the final numbers on dealer orders and I’ll get confirmation on exactly how many Whalers I’m getting.  Once I know where I stand, I hope to be able to offer a few more Whalers for sale but I don’t want to get overbooked.   At this writing there are still both handle options available but only a few.  If they sell out, check back Monday afternoon as I’m hoping I can release a few more.

I’ve been asked if the Desert Ironwood or the Muscle Bone Whalers has been selling better.  Right now the Ironwood has a very slight edge over the Bone.  Part of that is no doubt due to people not knowing what to expect with the “Muscle Bone”.  Until you actually see it….???  As in the past, after we actually saw the Percheron Bone and early Primitive Bone, interest increased.  I’m willing to bet we’ll similarly see interest grow for the Muscle Bone.

Early Orders for the new 44 Gunstock has the Northfield Autumn Gold running 2:1 over the Cocobolo and Stag.  Cocobolo is running 3:2 over the Sambar Stag.  The Northfields in total are out booking the Tidioutes 20:1.  I’m betting the Cocobolo is going to look fantastic next to the Brass.

Over 60% of the early orders are for one of each handle in the Whaler.  Almost 90%+ of the orders are for more then one knife.  That may be 2 or more Whalers on an order or a mixture of 46’s, 44’s and 15’s.

Understand, the above numbers are my numbers.  I have no idea what the mix is for anyone else.

It’s sounding more doubtful that we’ll see Queen revived any time soon.  A number of people have continued to ask about the future of the Trestle Pine Knives.  I’m exploring some options but am a very long way from anything certain.  While I’m not getting my hopes up, I’m definitely not giving up just yet.

 

More New Old Stock

As we wait for the balance of the Great Eastern 43 Oregon Trappers to come through, I’ve been going through some boxes of knives that have ‘accumulated’, shall we say.  The discoveries have been some nice new old stock knives.

Some of them have come from small collections I picked up and just never got around to listing.  A few more are Queen and Schatt & Morgan old stock that I may have loaded up on in the past and didn’t restock in the store from my inventory.  Here are a couple of examples.

Queen City 41 Copperhead with Rosewood
Schatt & Morgan 65 Pint Sunfish Stag 1 of 20
715112 Bull Nose Orange Delrin – Only Bull Nose made in 2012?

A number of the listings sold within a couple of hours of being listed, so obviously, you’re paying attention!  There are more to be listed, in fact quite a few more of the old stock knives.  I just have to stay the course and keep working through them.

The 43 Oregon Trappers have been a booming success.  We’ve got the Canvas Micarta and Rust Red Jigged Bone Tidioute’s to go and then we’re on to the Northfield’s.  If I weren’t so taken by the newer powdered blade steel’s, I would be very inclined to carry one for a while.  The overall size and weight make it a great size for anyone wanting an EDC  knife that’s big enough for heavier tasks but not so big it takes a sheath to carry comfortably.  I’ve spent some time comparing it to the 73 I used to carry and that slight increase in size really feels nice in hand.

I’m waiting on another order of Hess Knives to show up in the next week or so.  I let them sell down and it seems like it takes a little longer each time I reorder to get the knives in.  It sounds like they’re getting close to being maxed out on keeping up with orders which is good…. I think. For the money they make a great product.

No news regarding Queen yet.  As someone else said, the longer this drags out with absolutely no word as to what’s happening, the more concerning it gets as to whether they’ll survive or get revived.