Tag Archives: Gunflint

Edge Pro Stones, Trestle Pine Gunflint, 154 Steel

A key point in making the Trestle Pine Knives has been the use of premium blade steels.  Every now and then I hear from a customer regarding the steel and it’s always gratifying to hear it’s as good as I hoped.   This week I got an email from a customer with a Superior and he expressed how well the steel performed.  At the show last weekend, two customers dropped by the tables to give their feedback.

One of the guys at the show brought up the point that while the 154 series will hold an edge like crazy, there’s a price to be paid when sharpening it, although its worth it.  That price involves a bit more time sharpening if you neglect the edge.

Personally, I use the Edge Pro sharpener and admit to staying on top of things.  Every couple of weeks I’ll take a few swipes over the edge to keep things shaving sharp.   It only takes a few minutes and the payoff is worth it.  Yesterday I took touched my Gunflint up and checked the condition of the stones I’m using.

This is a look at the thickness of the mounted stone and the cupping in the middle of the stone is pretty obvious.  I can’t really quantify it, but this stone is about a year old and has sharpened, many, many knives, including 1095, D2, S30V and 154.  I’ve dressed it once before but the wear is more noticeable since I’ve primarily been using it on the harder steels.  Time to dress the stone.

Old stone (top) New Stone (bottom)

I’ve found one of the simplest methods to dress a stone is using wet and dry sandpaper.  In this case, I’m using a 220 grit wet and dry.

600 Grit mounted stone on 220 grit wet and dry

After just a few circular strokes on the sandpaper, you can start to see the effect on the ends of the stone as they’re smoothed down.

A couple more minutes and  it’s really apparent that its having the desired effect.

And after less then 5 minutes the surface is dressed to level.  The stone is thinner then a new one, but I’ve just stretched the life of that stone by several months and many sharpening sessions.

In the past I’ve also used the 2000 grit diamond tape to finish the edge to a mirror polish resulting in an incredible sharp edge.  Edge Pro has a 4000 grit stone that I just started using and it puts a fantastic finished edge on things.  The texture of the 4000 stone is so smooth you question whether it’ll actually do anything or not.  Trust me, it does.

The true test is in how thin a sliver of paper I can shave and the effort to cut through the paper requires the slightest pressure.  Add to that the fact I have an edge that will hold up extremely well and I’ve got a winning combination.

I’m just starting to get feedback on the Gunflint and the comments have been positive.  One criticism (?) I have heard from a couple of people is I failed to have the blade steel stamped on the tang of the Gunflint.  I’ll admit it was an oversight on my part and wish I’d had it marked.   The tube label is marked and the COA’s are marked, but the tang…..

Somebody asked me which of the Trestle Pine series do I personally like the most.  That’s a tough question.  I tend to rotate my way through them and every time I do, I think I’ve found my favorite.  Until I switch models.

I’ve got a few weeks of pocket time on mine and really like the Gunflint.  The screwdriver I still miss but I can always go back to the Topper when I need it.  The shape of the handle fits my hand well and seems to work with the Wharncliff blade.

 

Trestle Pine Gunflint Notes

I’ve had a chance to carry one of the new Trestle Pine Gunflint knives for about a week now and wanted to share a few notes about the knife.  The Gunflint just came out about a week ago and I’m anxious to get some feedback from folks that have purchased them.

Here’s a really brief explanation of the name.  The Gunflint Trail passes through the middle of some of the area that I’ve enjoyed for 40 plus years.   The Gunflint Trail has it origins on the shores of Lake Superior and lies south of the Grand Portage.   It passes a few miles to the north of Trestle Pine Lake and lies just south of Topper Lake.   See a pattern yet?

Trestle Pine Gunflint COA

The Gunflint was derived from the original Topper.  The key differences are as follows, the Topper had a secondary screwdriver blade and the saber ground clip blade was S30V on the Topper.  The Gunflint has a single CPM154 Wharncliffe blade.  The biggest difference is most noticeable when you look a the overall thickness.

The original Topper measures approximately .55″ thick at 2.8 ounces compared to the Gunflint at .42″ thick and 2.1 ounces.  At first glance, the numbers don’t seem very significant until you drop both knives in your pocket.  While the Topper isn’t overly large or heavy, thin the handle down about an 1/8 of an inch and the Gunflint seems to virtually disappear in your pocket.

Trestle Pine Topper

Both knives are a comfortable fit in my hand but the difference when you remove the screwdriver blade is noticeable.  While I’ve never found it to be an issue, when you’re using the blade for cutting you feel the screwdriver blade.   The new Gunflint has a smoother feel when the blade is open but personally, I miss that screwdriver blade on the Topper.

Trestle Pine Gunflint

Another minor change in the two knives is the use of slightly smaller end pins in the Gunflint.  I feel the smaller pins tend to distract less from the wood grain.  The center pin is the same size due to the additional stress on it.

Topper (L) Gunflint (R)

I grabbed one of the Prototype Toppers with the Wharncliffe blade and have been using it for several months.  The Wharncliffe is a favorite blade profile of mine so in my comparison of the two knives, the only real difference was in the feel.  Both blades are 154 series steels which is a fantastic blade steel.  There’s a noticeable difference between the 1095 and 154 steels and the extra cost of the 154 is worth it in my opinion.  The 1095 takes a fine edge but there is no comparison when it comes to edge retention.  I find I’m touching up the edge of the 154 every few weeks instead of weekly for the 1095.

In all honesty, I miss the screwdriver more then I thought I might.  In the time I’ve carried the Topper I’ve gotten very used to having that mini-pry bar on my knife.  It’s amazing how often I use it for all sorts of tasks.  On the other hand, I do like the slim profile of the Gunflint and if you don’t like/want/use a screwdriver blade, you’ll like the Gunflint.

I’ll admit to an obvious prejudice when I look at the Trestle Pine Knives and am always anxious to hear from other ‘users’.  In fact, I’m really looking forward to the Moorhead Gun Show this weekend in Moorhead, MN to get some feed back.  It makes all the difference when you get to hold the knife in your hand and actually get the feel of it.  The show is at the Moorhead, MN National Guard Armory from 4-8PM Friday and 9-5 on Saturday.  If you’re in the area this Friday afternoon or Saturday following Thanksgiving stop by and at least say hi!!!

Weekly Update 11.17.17

The big news for me in this weekly update is the article in Messermagazin.   It was great to have it coincide with the release of the Trestle Pine Gunflint.  I think I have some of each handle option listed in the store now and have been trying to fill in as knives have sold.  So far, I’ve only carried one for a few days and I like it.  Next week I’ll post a few more details and first impressions of the Gunflint.

Trestle Pine Gunflint Hawaiian Mango

The last of the GEC 81 Bull Moose came through this week and the Stag should wind up the run.  This seems to be one of the more popular ‘new’ releases from GEC in a while.  I know it was one of my recent favorites.  The size and feel just all seemed right.  Now we wait till the first of the year for the new #43 Oregon.  Just looking at the specs and initial drawings, I have a feeling that’s gonna be a good one.

And I finally there’s more 4 oz Frog Lube in stock.  There was a minor glitch.  I had put together an online order and failed to hit ‘submit’ order.  That doesn’t work.  While I’m on the subject of oil/lubes, I have a few samples of the Ballistol left.  I’ve been sending samples with orders if someone requests one so don’t hesitate to ask.

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving and there will be a gun show at the Moorhead, MN National Guard Armory Friday from 4-8PM and Saturday from 9-5.  I’ll have a full assortment of the Trestle Pine Gunflints with me so it’s a great time to check them out if you’re in the area.  Sounds like the weather will be nice so great opportunity to take a drive and drop in!

 

Trestle Pine Gunflint Has Arrived

Yesterday the first of the Trestle Pine Gunflint knives arrived.  It’s everything I hoped for and was worth the wait!  I plan on working on starting to get them listed in the store later today but here’s a quick preview.

Trestle Pine Gunflint Blue Curly Maple

There are some stag and a few more wood stragglers that should arrive next week to finish up the run.  The Gunflint is a single blade version of the Topper.  I changed the S30V Clip blade on the Topper to a CPM154 Wharncliffe in the Gunflint.  And I dropped the screwdriver on the Gunflint.

As I said, I’ll get some knives in the store today and post a little more info on Friday.

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

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.