Tag Archives: Superior

Gun Show Update What was selling…

This past weekend was the Fergus Falls Gun Show and it was a good one!  The weather was nice and people were out of the house and spending money.  It was really nice to see some of you blog followers able to make it by.

One of the main attractions was the ability to get a look at the Schatt & Morgan 71 Express knife.  Everyone that looked at it agreed it was an impressive piece of hardware.  The Red Shock Wood got a lot of attention and I hope we see the Shock Wood used on more patterns.  Very unique.

Schatt & Morgan 71 Express Red Shock Wood

I sold more knives than usual and was really pleased with the reaction to the latest release of the Trestle Pine Superior with the CPM154 blade.  Most people liked the look of the Brass bolsters as it really sets off the wood.  The guys that had never handled the knife liked the feel of the knife with the wharncliffe blade rather then the traditional clip point.  Looks different but feels great.  As one guy said, the wharncliffe ‘feels’ like it’s putting a lot more blade in the same size knife.

Trestle Pine Superior Black Ash Burl

Older Copperhead (L) and First Run Superior (R)

My best seller was the Trestle Pine Buddy.  I’ve had these at other shows but for some reason, I had more lookers and buyers of them at this show then usual.  It’s a great size and a practical knife for most outdoor chores.

Trestle Pine Buddy

The higher end figured woods were the most popular.  Going into spring I’m going to have more of the Trestle Pine Buddy’s finished and I think the exotic woods will be the focus.  On the initial run I had a few made with Mosaic pins highlighting the highly figured woods.  Those were very popular and I may go that route on the next run as well.

Black Gold Boxelder Burl

I enjoy the opportunity to talk to consumers at the shows and get their honest feedback.  Rather then the one sided sided online sniping about quality or selection, I get the opportunity to actually engage the disgruntled and discuss their concerns.  In the past few months it’s been fun to physically place one of the recent Queen knives in a customers hands and have them check the quality.  Prime examples are my Trestle Pine Superior’s, the Mammoth Ivory Executive Jacks AND the recent 3T Mountain Man.  Since Jeff came on board at Queen the quality has been steadily improving.  The aforementioned Executive Jacks are a great example.  Some of the finest blade polishing, centering and overall fit and finish you could ask for.  Glad to see it happening!

I’m reaching the point where I find the shows a lot more fun then the online sales.  That ability to show and tell is such a powerful tool to get a point across.  Recently a Great Eastern knife came back with a blade tip sitting ever so slightly to high.  The customer had his shorts in a knot and felt it was sub par for a knife in that price range and demanded a refund.  In a face to face situation, you can explain the issue, a few quick passes with a stone the problem’s resolved and everyone goes home happy.

The next local show is coming up in late April at the Detroit Lakes, MN Armory.  I wish more of you were within driving distance.  There’s a lot we could learn from each other!!!




Trestle Pine Superiors Have Arrived

The Trestle Pine Superiors arrived this afternoon and I’ve just started going through them.  Here’s a sample of some of the ‘exotic’ handles.  There will be a total of 14 different handle materials.  Thirteen wood and some choice Stag.

Trestle Pine Superior
Stag, Masur Birch, Black/Gold Boxelder, Thuya, Clear Boxelder

The Masur Birch (L) and Thuya (R) are two woods I’ve not used before and came out with some stunning figure.  Needless to say, I didn’t do many as I wasn’t sure how they would finish.  Now I know!

Masur Birch (L) Thuya (R)

There are a couple of subtle changes made on this release.  The first are the Brass bolsters on the current run.  I also moved the the nail mark about a 1/4″ closer to the tip to provide a little more leverage.  Most people just pinch the blade between thumb and fore finger to open it, but now you’ll have a little more advantage if you use the nail mark.

First Model top, Current Model Bottom

The new release has a CPM154 blade upgraded from the original 154CM.  I had Queen mark the reverse side of the tang with the CPM154 stamp.

I’m really pleased with the work Queen did on these.  The grind on the blades looks great and the one’s I’ve looked at have a good out of the box edge.  The goal with the Trestle Pine tang stamp has always been a good looking, high quality, every day carry knife and they definitely surpassed the mark!

Personally, I’m anxious to use the CPM154 and compare it to the 154CM.  I’ve been carrying one of the Grand Portage’s since they came out and have really gotten attached to it.  It’s going to be hard to retire it even temporarily.  Tomorrow I’ll get busy listing these in the store.


Weekly Update 12.2.16

Anyone else realize it’s just over 3 weeks until Christmas?????  How in the world did that happen?

If you’ve been watching, I got another lot of the knives listed in the store this week and they tend to go about as fast as they get listed.  There are some very nice pieces in the collection and a lot of you are paying attention.  I have around 25 more that I’ll list next week.  I’m also working on acquiring another small group of GEC’s from another collection next week.

The current collection has been a rather eclectic group with some TC Barlow’s and JBF Champlins thrown in the mix.

JBF Champlin 85's
JBF Champlin 85’s

I was invoiced this week for the last of the GEC Beer Scouts (Wood).  My best guess is they should show up tomorrow and I’ll try to get them listed and invoices sent out this weekend.

This week I shipped the wood out for the next run of the Trestle Pine Knives Superior.  The initial run of the Superiors sold out really quickly and I meant to get another run put together earlier this fall.  BUT…. didn’t happen.  It’ll be after the first of the year before they’re ready so hang on.  There’s going to be a good selection with 12 different wood handle options, including the Old Growth Wood.

A customer got ahold of me this week and told me that he had ‘dinged’ the blade on his Trestle Pine Buddy.  He wasn’t quite sure how to go about touching up a convex grind without messing things up.  If that happens to you, let me know and send it back for a free sharpening.  All I ask is a couple of bucks to cover the return shipping.

A convex grind is really easy to maintain with a soft pad and some superfine (1500-2500 grit) sandpaper.  This link: Bark River Collectors Assoc. covers the subject pretty thoroughly.  In the event you don’t feel comfortable doing it on your own, let me know.

This is a good time of the year to get serious about dragging out the Edge Pro or whatever you use to keep things sharp.  In the northern states, big game seasons are starting to wind down and some of us are getting ready to think about ice fishing.  So while you’re touching up the hunting knife, you might just as well get the fillet knife out and get it ready as well.

I find I tend to sharpen my pocket EDC’s on a regular basis but neglect the bigger knives I take camping until I need them.  There are few things more irritating then getting into camp and pulling out a dull knife.  Now’s a good time to give them some attention, apply a coat of Frog Lube and put them away for the season.  Come summer you’re ready to go!


A few of my favorite things

While I was rummaging around in some drawers last week I realized I had a lot of knives that don’t get used a lot.  And I found a handful of knives that have truly become a few of my favorite things.  After going through the ‘discards’ and the knives that have stayed in rotation over the years, it made me understand that I think I’ve become somewhat of a steel ‘snob’.

This wasn’t a sudden transition but a gradual move to better steels in patterns that I really liked and some I didn’t.  In a couple of cases, the steel caught my attention before the pattern.

Favorite Fixed Blades
Favorite Fixed Blades

Starting on the left, the Bark River Northstar with A2 steel was my first exposure to something other then the more common carbon steels such as 1095.  I’ve always been fond of the Loveless drop point and the A2 was truly a step up from some of my other fixed blades. Tough stuff and relatively easy to sharpen

Front and center is a Trestle Pine Buddy with 1095.  I settled on this pattern/steel because of the ease of maintaining the edge around camp.  Smaller then any of the others pictured, it fills the slot between a fixed blade and a folder.

The Cold Steel SRK lying behind the other knives was an Ebay purchase and the old Carbon V steel was another interesting blade that held an edge and held up well. It was one of my early hard use, all around camp knives.

The the Fallkniven A1 (extreme right) really got my attention.  The laminated VG10 took an edge like a razor and held it incredibly well through some really rough usage.  This was probably the first premium steel blade that really got me interested in the higher end steels.  I’ve used it for everything from splitting wood to slicing tomatoes for supper all on the same day.

The Spyderco ‘Mule’ (middle center) with a 4V blade was a gift and the blade steel is incredible.  I’ve never been a huge fan of the Spyderco blade profiles, but this one has grown on me reeeal fast.  It takes a razor edge and I’ve never (so far) seen a steel take such a fine edge….and hold it with no chipping or rollover.  It hasn’t seen near the field use of the others, but it’s cut a mountain of cardboard, wire cutting as well as doing some notching in hardwood on a couple of maintenance projects.

But these are the gems that get used on a daily basis.  There are others I like, but these are the main EDC’s I prefer.

Favorite Folders
Favorite Folders

On the right is one of the Queen Copperheads with a D2 blade.  Truly some tough carbon steel that will hold an edge like there’s no tomorrow.   Actually, one of my favorite D2’s was a Queen 48 Whittler that I gave away.

Next to it is the Fallkniven U2 with a Laminated SGPS (powdered steel) blade.  It’s light, takes a superfine edge and will cut, and cut and cut and…

To the left of the U2 is a Fallkniven Gentleman’s knife with a laminated Cobalt Steel blade.  Probably the largest pocket knife I carry with any frequency, the steel performance is outstanding.

On the extreme left is a Trestle Pine Superior and center front is a Trestle Pine Portage.  Both have 154CM blades.  The 154 Series of steels are top notch blade steels and perform incredibly well.  So many of the current production knives are stuck in the 1095 mold, it was time to break away from the pack and I’m glad I did.  In fact the next Trestle Pine knife called the Grand Portage, takes it up another notch and will have a CPM154 blade.

While I still respect and like 1095 on some knives, the advantages of the ‘newer’ steels and powder steels in particular can’t be overstated.  I know a lot of guys that actually use their knives are afraid of D2 due to it’s reputation of being hard to sharpen.  Maybe it’s the sharpener, but I use the EdgePro and don’t find D2 all that much harder to sharpen then a good quality hardened 440C.  Personally, I think the 154CM is relatively easy to sharpen considering the edge retention.  Harder to sharpen then 1095?  Yup.  Worth the effort?  Absolutely.

So I don’t know, maybe I have gotten preoccupied with blade steels but it’s been an innocent transition.  My eyes tend to glaze over and my mind starts to wander listening to the wonders of blade centering and the disgrace of spun pins.  But talk to me about your latest experience with CowryX or 4V and you’ve got my attention.  Tell me about shredding a thousand cardboard boxes, cutting a mile of fiber tape and then using the blade to shave with…. I hear ya!!!

Weekly Update 10.30.15

When I sat down to type this weekly update it suddenly hit me that Christmas is just eight weeks from today???? Time flies when you’re having fun, eh?

News coming from Queen Cutlery is the upcoming Blade Show release of another Bill Ruple collaborative knife.  There will be both a Jigged Bone and a Stag offering.  These have been a popular series and I have no doubt the single blade trapper will be just as popular.  I like the concept of the “special cut bolster lanyard’ and am anxious to see it in person.

Queen RupleNext week I’ll kick off a Wounded Warrior Project Auction for a special build Trestle Pine Knives Buddy.

Trestle Pine Knives Buddy, with Exhibition Grade Desert Ironwood
Trestle Pine Knives Buddy, with Exhibition Grade Desert Ironwood

I’ll get the details out next week, but basically I want to coordinate the auction with the upcoming Veteran’s Day.  Dave Taylor donated the wood and mosaic pins which resulted in a great looking, practical sized knife for everyday carry.  Hopefully, we can raise some money for our wounded vets.

Hunting season is getting underway in most parts of the country and knife sales are reflecting that.  Fixed blades and larger folders are selling nicely.  The Superior has been moving steadily and the inventory of Ash and Oak are both getting low.  I brought in a few more of the Estwing hatchets and have more coming in next week as well as more of the Hess fixed Blades.  All told, it’s been the second best October I’ve had in the last 10 years.  No complaints!

Somebody commented earlier about the recent pictures in the storefront being better quality of recent.  I picked up a new camera and am still learning but it was long overdue.  I’d been getting by with my old Nikon Coolpix, but just barely.  After seeing the moose and wolf earlier this fall, I decided it was time to take it up a notch.  Bear with me as I learn how to use it, but in the meantime, anything is an improvement!

I’ve got some news to share about the Trestle Pine Knives project that I’ll share with you later on.  I’d do it now, but gotta run!!!


Trestle Pine Knives Update

I got back from my trip to the Arrowhead this past weekend and had two large boxes of Trestle Pine Knives Superior’s to get listed.  First, let me tell you I’m incredibly happy with the finished products.

Trestle Pine Knives Superior Ash, Oak, Yellow Birch, Maple
Trestle Pine Knives Superior Ash, Oak, Yellow Birch, Maple

I wanted these to come off as an EDC knife and not a blinged up collectible destined for the display case.  So there’s no blade etches, lined bolsters  or shields.  Just nice clean lines on a knife that will hopefully get used.

About the only thing ‘fancy’ is the wood and the wood isn’t a highly figured ‘ohmygosh’ stick of wood.  It’s just an interesting handle material that speaks to me every time I handle one of the Trestle Pine Knives.  The wood isn’t just another piece of wood, but where it came from and what it represents is special.  It takes me back to a time and place that holds incredibly wonderful memories I wish everyone could experience.

The Wharncliffe blade is a pattern that’s become really popular in the last couple of years and has slowly started to grow on me as well.  My thought was a Wharncliffe using a high end stainless like 154CM was bound to be a winner with anyone that actually uses the Superior.  And yes, there is a half stop.   As far as the pull is concerned, on a scale of 1-10, I’d rank it a 7.  Firm with a solid lock up but not requiring a pair of pliers to pry it open.   Perfect.  I haven’t had the time to put one to use yet, but I think it’s gonna work out great!

I really hoped the blade would sit high enough in the frame to make it possible to open it by ‘pinching’ the top of the blade rather then depending on using the nail nick.  If you’ve got cold, wet hands as is often the case in the north country, pinching the blade to open is sometimes a bit easier.  It worked out perfectly without cutting in an EZ Open notch.

Trestle Pine Knives Superior
Trestle Pine Knives Superior

Finally, I like the way my thumb or index finger fit between the tang and bolster for either push or draw cuts.  Combined with the gently rounded corners on the the butt, it should make for an incredibly comfortable knife to use.  The whole point behind the Trestle Pine Knives is coming up with ideas that work.

DSCN5262 DSCN5263

There have been a couple of people ask about production totals.  On the first run there were:

  • 41 Ash
  • 38 Oak
  • 32 Yellow Birch
  • 27 Maple
  • 4 Redwood Birdseye Burl
  • 4 Exhibition Grade Desert Ironwood

All of the pre-orders for the Trestle Pine Knives Superior have shipped so keep an eye on your mailbox!  Once you get your knife and have a chance to use it a bit, if you’d like to post a comment, I’d be happy to know what you think.

TSA Knives Weekly Update 9.24.15

I’m squeezing this weekly update in a day early this week.  Not a lot going on but a couple of things worth noting and passing on.

First, confirmation came through that the Trestle Pine Knives Superior are indeed on their way.  The picture looks good and the feedback I’ve gotten has been positive.  I posted a pre-booking slot in the storefront and quite a few of you have already taken advantage of it.

The survey has been interesting.  So far, it appears the Barlow is a hands down favorite.  Blade choices are kind of split up and the choice of blade steel is all over the place.  Two people were forth coming in admitting their experience with blade steels was limited to 1095 or the 440 class of steels.  I didn’t tally the totals yet, but it appeared the steel choice was pretty evenly distributed.  I’ll leave the survey up for a few more days and take a look at it then.

I added around 20 new/old stock GEC’s yesterday to fill in some gaps.  There are a couple of nice older Case knives I acquired recently that I’ll also try to get listed next week.

I’ll remind you again in the next couple of weeks, but for those of you within driving distance, there’s a gun show coming up in Fergus Falls, MN at the National Guard Armory the weekend of October 17-18.  If you want to check out the Trestle Pine Knives Superior and Buddy, I’ll have them at the show.  It’s always nice to get to chat with you and listen to your input and ideas.  I’ll be filling up 4 tables with ‘stuff’ and a good supply of knives.

Found this information about “Madstone” rather interesting in”3001 Questions & Answers”.   As follows…..

“The Madstone is found in the stomach of a deer and is caused by a ‘growth’.  It will positively cure mad dog or cat bites but I do not know whether or not it will cure snake bites.

There is a lady of this place who has one and nearly every summer uses it as there are quite a few dogs and cats go mad.  The madstone sticks to the place bitten until all the poison is drawn out which lasts from 6 hours to 3 days and sometimes longer.  The stone is boiled in milk to remove poison.

This is not superstition but fact.  Proof can be furnished if wanted.  I hope this will benefit some readers. “

Can’t find any ‘proof’ having been furnished, but I think I would have stayed clear of that ladies neighborhood full of mad dogs and cats!!

Trestle Pine Knives Superior Update

Just got in a photo of the first of the Trestle Pines Knives Superior.

Trestle Pine Knives Superior (Yellow Birch)
Trestle Pine Knives Superior (Yellow Birch)

From the picture, I’m really happy with the way it turned out.  One of the things I was hoping was that the blade would sit up high enough to allow you to grab it with your finger tips like an easy open.  The single blade should also result in a nice flat profile for pocket comfort.

If you’re interested in pre-ordering one, I set up a store link yesterday and a couple of you found it already.  Here it is:  Trestle Pine Knives Superior

The only disappointment is I won’t have one in time to take it with me this weekend!!!