Tag Archives: Queen Cutlery

Queen Cutlery, Trestle Pine Knives…now what?

After the announcement was official from Queen Cutlery on Wednesday regarding their cessation of operations I received a couple of emails and phone calls asking me did this affect Trestle Pine Knives and if so… now what?  The short answer is I don’t know.

First, I hope they come out of this reorganization whole and can continue operations.  The knife industry has changed dramatically in the last 10 years making it harder for everyone to maintain a big enough share of a shrinking market to survive.  When I say ‘shrinking market’ I mean there are more and more products vying for a limited number of consumers.   Queen had a unique niche manufacturing an old name representing a quality product that I hope they can focus on again.

Obviously, the fortunes of Trestle Pine Knives was/is tied to the ongoing operations of Queen Cutlery.  I haven’t had any substantive conversation with anyone from Queen since the first part of October.  Emails and text messages have gone unanswered or only vague replies were made.  More recently, I sent in several customer knives for repair/replacement which were returned to me marked “delivery refused”.  There are other personal and financial issues that make this particularly disappointing to me.  In brief, I’m totally in the dark as to the future of Trestle Pine Knives.  It all depends on Queens ability to recover.

I’ve been asked if I would work with another manufacturer.  IF it were possible, I’d consider it.  One of the problems is that the Trestle Pine’s are built using only premium blade steels which some manufacturers can’t or won’t work with.  Second, not everyone is willing to work with some of the exotic woods that I’ve used with Queen.   That leaves the option of following the market and building another traditional bone handled folder.  Not an option for me.

It was a hope that I would continue to scale back the business this year and focus almost exclusively on the Trestle Pine Knives going forward.  I had really hoped to have another knife released by now.   The acceptance of the line has been steadily growing and Sven’s efforts in Germany has been great.   But for now….. I don’t have a clue what’s going to happen.

Gun Show & New Product Update

The gun show last weekend was a bit subdued as a result of a few more days of prime fall weather and a big football game (Vikings ~ Eagles) that was a flop on the part of both teams!!  I did sell a few knives but the highlight was presenting a young lady with her first Queen hunting knife.

Ken Daniels had given me a few knives to hand out to some kids at the shows to get them interested in knives and collecting.  When this young girl (probably 11-12 yrs old) stopped by with her dad, I asked her if she collected knives or was a hunter.  She said she did hunt but wasn’t a knife collector and then she reached in her jeans pocket and showed me her folding lock back she carried.  We chatted for a few minutes before I asked her if she’d like a hunting knife.  Her eyes lit up and she had a grin on her face a mile wide when I handed over one of the Queen hunters.  Man that’s a lot of fun, thanks Ken!

Speaking of Queen, another pile of knives were on the doorstep Monday.  I finished listing them this morning and here’s the lineup.  There are more options available in the store but this is a good overview.

S&M 43 1/2 Half Whittler Golden Spalted Maple
S&M 43 1/2 Half Whittler Golden Spalted Maple
Queen Work Horse #11 Utility
Queen Work Horse #11 Utility
Queen City 32 Half Congress Black Diamond
Queen City 32 Half Congress Black Diamond
S&M 331 Cigar Muskrat Whiskey Catalina
S&M 331 Cigar Muskrat Whiskey Catalina
S&M 43 1/2 Half Whittler Stag
S&M 43 1/2 Half Whittler Stag

Also listed in the store was the next release of the 153216CL Boy’s knives in OD Green Micarta.  These will continue to trickle in over the next few weeks and it appears I’ll have extras available for sale.

What’s been happening….

I know it’s been quiet the last week and had an email yesterday asking me what’s been happening with the usual updates.  It may have been quiet, but it’s been busy.

For the last month my computer’s been acting up and I finally decided it was time to upgrade.   I started late Thursday uploading software and spent the weekend sorting through pertinent files and trying to clean things up before transferring them.  AND of course, no matter how much attention you pay to detail, there’s always the occasional fubar, so yesterday was cleanup day.  I’m still tweaking a few programs but it’s looking like things are gonna work as intended.

In between trying to get things up and running again and a little golf, this was what the front yard looked like Saturday afternoon.

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It’s Fall in Minnesota meaning that sooner or later the summer stuff has to be put away for the winter.  Not something I look forward to but that’s part of the program, like it or not.   Clean it up, cover it up and find a place to park it.

Saturday I also had a box of knives show up from Queen and today, finally got around to putting them in the store.  The first one that’s pretty neat is a old traditional pattern they’re calling the Forest Ranger.

Schatt & Morgan 69B Forest Ranger
Schatt & Morgan 69B Forest Ranger

From left to right they’re offered in Reverse Worm Groove Bone, Black Curly Maple and Burnt White Bone.  Blade steel is 420 HC and just a great looking knife.  Just 30 of each made.

The next release was a #60 Sowbelly.

Schatt & Morgan #60 Sowbelly
Schatt & Morgan #60 Sowbelly

The Sowbelly has 1095 blades and from left to right, Reverse Worm Groove, Moss Green Bone and Elk Antler handles.  I’m not a huge fan of the Sowbelly pattern as it always feels a bit awkward to me, but they’re great looking knives.

The third release is the traditional Queen 69 Barlow and the #69 1/2 two blade version.  Handle options were stag bone.  The blade steel is D2.

Queen #69 Barlow Stag Bone
Queen #69 Barlow Stag Bone
Queen 69 1/2 Barlow Stag Bone
Queen 69 1/2 Barlow Stag Bone

There’s lots more to look forward to from Queen before year end.  It’s been interesting seeing some of the short run patterns coming through and it appears we’ll most likely see more!

So that’s what’s been happening in this part of the country.  Fall is sliding in and the nights are getting cooler.   That change in the seasons means I spend more time working on boats, trailers, wiring, cleaning up fishing equipment and all sorts of tasks requiring a pocket knife.  Over the summer it’s gotten pretty predictable which EDC is in my pocket.   I love that Grand Portage!!

Weekly Update 9.2.16

Really tough when the weekly update has to start with a return to reality.  For those of you that aren’t regular readers, I spent a few days in the land of Trestle Pine Knives doing some field research and generally kicking back for a few days.  Frankly, I’d much rather still be there then back at work.  For now I’ll just say we had a great time and tease you a bit with this…..

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But, more on that later!

Lotsa stuff waiting on my desk when I got home Wednesday nite.  More 72’s of course and some great new Queen releases.

The first is a #56 Coke Bottle design with 1095 blades.  These came in Amber Stag, Elk, Torched Stag and Winterbottom handle options.  Great looking knives and very nicely done.

S&M #56 Amber Stag
S&M #56 Amber Stag

Next was a Hawkbill in Ebony Wood.

Schatt & Morgan Hawkbill Ebony Wood
Schatt & Morgan Hawkbill Ebony Wood

And the third are the S&M #99’s in Brown Jigged Bone & Ebony Wood.  These are really nicely put together but fair warning, they do have some pretty hefty springs.  I would rank the pull at a solid 8.5.  It’s a great looking traditional knife for the individual wanting a medium size knife that has a really solid lockup.

Schatt & Morgan 99 Brown Jigged Bone
Schatt & Morgan 99 Brown Jigged Bone

Next week, Queen will be shipping out a couple more new items in the form of the 41 Folding Hunter.

Based on the popularity of the last release with the Spalted Maple, I’m betting these are going to sell out quickly.

I’m getting caught up on processing orders and following up on messages.  There are more knives coming in today and tomorrow so the next few days and the first of the week you should see quite a few new knives get listed.  In fact, I’m happy to report that the final lot of Trestle Pine Grand Portages will be going in the store the first of the week.  There are also more Portages and some Buddy’s as well.  Stay tuned!!

Weekly Update 11.24.15

The weekly update is a little early this week, but with Thanksgiving on Thursday and a gun show this weekend, I’m not gonna be able to get it done Friday.  Actually, just a couple days into the week, there’s a fair amount to talk about.

First, some nice releases came through from Queen this week.  There’s a pair of new Bill Ruple Single Blade Trappers in Feathered Buffalo Horn and Stag.  Both are great looking and a perfect matchup with the earlier 2 blade release.

Bill Ruple Stag Trapper
Bill Ruple Stag Trapper

And a new twist on the typical lanyard tube is the relief cut in the end exposing the spring that allows a lanyard hole be placed through it rather then through the handle of the knife.  It keeps the lines clean, allows for an end cap and serves the same purpose as a ‘through handle’ lanyard tube.  Makes a lot of sense and I’d like to see more knives designed like this.

Lanyard Hole
Lanyard Hole

Next release was the Queen City Fisherman’s Barlow.

Queen City Fisherman's Barlow
Queen City Fisherman’s Barlow

It’s a nice slim knife that should work great not only for cleaning your catch, but other common chores around the camp kitchen.  This is a great example of using different carbon steels for ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ applications.  The Queen City line uses D2 which is more stain resistant then 1095 and makes more sense in a fish knife then 1095.

Another ‘find’ that I made were some 36 Sunfish in Brown Jigged Bone (run of 39 pieces) that I came across.  Not sure where they’ve been hiding, but for the Sunfish fans, this is a knife we haven’t seen GEC run in quite some time.  The STL series had the Northfield un-X-Ld deep stamped in the blade making it quite unique.

DSC_0398If you’re in the area, there will be a gun show on Friday after Thanksgiving at the Moorhead, MN National Guard Armory from 4-8PM and from 9:00AM till 5:00 PM on Saturday.   Last year was the first time they tried that schedule and it worked out great.  I’ll have 3 tables set up with a few knives and miscellaneous items so hope to get a chance to see a few of you!

One other note, Jan Carter from the iKC website passed on a request that I put up a note regarding donating any frequent flier miles any of you might be sitting on.  Here’ the content of Jan’s email and I really encourage you to get in touch with her if you’d like to help out.  Both are great organizations.  Just drop into the iKnifeCollector.com website and drop her an email.

“As you know I try to be sure to do this at the end of every year.  Lukes Miles or Heros miles are my preference.  Due to the fact that I have traveled less this year I only have 740 miles and amex requires 1000 for a donation.  BUT I can give away my miles to anyone with an acct to reach the 1K requirement and they can donate.  Put out the call to your followers on the blog?  Maybe there is a way we can make this happen

Jan Carter

Owner
Board Member Nat’l Knife Museum”

Thanksgiving has been a traditional day for us to get together with some old friends and their kids for dinner.   As their kids are all adults with lives and families of their own, we really look forward to seeing all of them.  I doubt I’ll get a chance to put up another post before Thanksgiving day, so I’ll just wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving a few days early!!!

Queen 69 Workhorse Barlow Review

A few weeks back I gave away a couple of the Queen 69 Workhorse Barlow special run knives and asked that the recipients take a few minutes to write a review on them after they had a chance to use them.   The first review was posted and Tori just forwarded the following to me for posting.  Really appreciate the time and thoughtful review.

“Sorry for the delay in getting this to you, I wanted to make sure that I really put this little workhorse through its paces in order to give it a thorough review. This is my first official review like this so sorry if it’s a bit rough.

First things first, many thanks to Greg at TSA knives for giving me the opportunity to try this knife out, I was actually eyeing it since I had no previous experience with the barlow pattern. I can happily report that it’s now one of my favorite patterns, and combined with the sheepsfoot blade it is hard to beat!

The Queen 69 Workhorse Barlow features a sheepsfoot blade in 1095 steel with a plumb-brown delrin handle. The delrin is surprisingly comfortable and the jigging makes it decently grippy, even in damp conditions. The sheepsfoot blade is excellent for a wide variety of tasks and is perfect for such a utilitarian design. The blade is thin enough to make it an excellent slicer, and after a few swipes on a stone even I managed to get it hair-popping sharp with my less than stellar sharpening skills. The size of the knife falls in that 3-3.5″ sweet spot where it’s hefty enough to handle slightly heavier tasks in the garden but is still small enough to ride well in the pocket and not be intimidating to most folks.

The nail knick is really more of a formality since the blade can be easily pinched open, and I would rate the pull at around a 7, leaning towards a 6.5. While this Queen is no safe queen (it’s not supposed to be!) the fit and finish are solid with the blade being well centered and no gaps between the delrin and the bolsters. There is the slightest of gaps on one side of the back spring but it’s only visible if you hold it up to a light, and I’ve had worse gaps on knives 3x the price. The walk and talk are decent and it snaps open quite nicely, though there is a bit of up and down wiggle in the half stop position, but who uses their knife like that anyway? For a “user” knife Queen really outdid themselves and I would rate the overall frame at an 8 out of 10, outstanding for a knife that’s less than $40.

My one (small) gripe with the knife is that the delrin around two of the pins in the covers/scales was rough immediately around the perimeter of the pins, which was pretty noticeable when holding the knife. However, after spending some time in the pocket of my jeans the roughness is wearing away, and I can only imagine that it will continue to improve over time. Seriously though, with such a low price and excellent build quality it’s hard to complain about small cosmetic issues.

Overall, the quality of the design and build are impressive for such an inexpensive knife, and I see this little workhorse toughing it out with me for many years to come. If you want to try out a barlow pattern or want a tough knife that’s not afraid to be used, the Queen 69 Workhorse Barlow is a great, affordable option. Thanks again to Greg for giving me a taste of this pattern, and my first Queen to boot!”

-Tori B

Queen Cutlery Giveaway Winners

Drew a couple of names last evening and we came up with Tori B winning the Queen Cutlery Sheepsfoot Barlow and Steve D winning the Queen Cutlery Yankee Muskrat.  Congrats and I’ll get these out in the mail to you ASAP!!!!  Remember, part of the deal is we want to hear back from you regarding your impressions of the two knives.

Yankee Muskrat and Sheepsfoot Barlow
Yankee Muskrat and Sheepsfoot Barlow

Trestle Pine Knives ~ TSA Knives Weekly Review 6/19/15

Another week of summer gone and it’s been an active one!  For the one or two of you  that care, my injuries are healing but my pride is permanently damaged.  I did get a nice note of concern and understanding from a retired cutler, but I have a feeling he was probably chuckling as he typed the email.

Last word I had on the Trestle Pine Knives fixed blade is that it is on schedule to be ready by the end of the month which is fast approaching.  I’m anxious to see the finished product!

I’m waiting on the latest short run releases coming from Queen.

There are also some really short run Equal End Whittlers, Swell Center, Stockman and Wildcat Drillers coming through. In all probabilities, I should see some of these show up by the weekend.

The big surprise for the week was the negative feedback on the latest GEC release of the Ben Hogan and Lady Leg.  I was surprised because neither of these patterns are huge sellers and the amount of feedback was out of proportion.

First, the Ben Hogan criticism was aimed at the lack of an end cap and ho-hum handle options.  I’m a big fan of the Ben Hogans, but I went really light on this release and yesterday cancelled part of  my initial order.

2015 Ben Hogan (L) 2011 Ben Hogan (R)
2015 Ben Hogan (L) 2011 Ben Hogan (R)

The other complaint from several people was that someone at GEC decided to pin her ‘knee’ and remove her ‘shoe’.

2015 Lady Leg (L), 2011 Lady Leg (R)
2015 Lady Leg (L), 2011 Lady Leg (R)

There were some really unkind and actually, rather humorous comments made.  We can all agree that not all bare feet are created equally.  There’s nothing cuter then a babies feet and toes, but a 70 year old marathoner’s feet???  Not so much.

That pin on the ball of the foot was reminiscent of a bunion and the one on the heel makes one think of a big old callous.  While the bow tie shield might make you think of a garter, there’s no doubt that big pivot pin makes me think  of a knee replacement.  Now don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just passing on what I’ve heard (and one or two of my own perceptions).

I have to agree, that original Lady Leg was really classy looking.  The shoe was done exquisitely with the pin highlighting ‘her’ ankle.  Other then trying to bring the price down, why would you make the changes?  We all know you’ve got some years on ya’ Kate, but they sure didn’t have to do that to ya.

An old customer made the comment yesterday that it almost looked like something you’d expect from Rough Rider.  I don’t know if GEC thinks their knives are too expensive so they’re trying to push the price down by making these changes or what there motivation is.   It’s sad to see happen as we have enough commodity knife companies out there already.