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!
Below are a few pieces of Natural Curly Maple and Walnut.
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!
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.
I’m not a huge fan of the ‘one arm’ opening blades, but the linerlock on the Wharncliffe makes up for it.
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.
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.
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.
There will be more of the GEC’s coming through next week and no doubt Queen will have a few additions as well.
This morning I listed 4 Trestle Pine Prototype knives. These are not part of a regular production run but were built to see how the Wharncliffe Blade fit into the Gunstock frame of the Topper. The regular production Toppers have Saber Ground S30V Clip blades. The Prototypes have Wharncliffe CPM154 blades.
I’ll let you know that there is a single blade Gunstock pattern coming later this fall with a CPM154 Wharncliffe blade and no cap lifter. This will be the Gunflint. The Wharncliffe works fantastic in the Gunstock frame and I had an opportunity to try one of the Proto’s out last week. While I really like the Gunstock pattern, I don’t recall handling one before with a Wharncliffe blade but I will tell you it works really nice.
Yesterday I listed some S&M 99 Executive Jacks in Burnt Stag at special pricing. These are knives I had picked up earlier this summer and never got around to listing. They were part of a ‘cleanup’ project and some had CPM154 Drop Point blades and a few had 1095 Clip blades. Pricing is outstanding.
My post yesterday regarding the upcoming GEC 78’s resulted in a phone call and a couple of emails from customers. Let me explain a little further. GEC required dealers to place orders roughly 4 months in advance without having a firm price or a full listing of handle options (standard operating procedures) and….once the dealers place the orders, as of closing time today, GEC won’t let the dealer lower/cancel their order quantity. So if GEC decides on hot pink bone… suck it up and swallow hard. That’s arrogance at its best.
I talked to Chris this morning and confirmed that I wanted to cancel my early orders on both the single and two blade versions. It appears that a couple of the SFO’s that were placed had also been cancelled. My gut feeling is a few folks saw the projected production numbers and SFO’s deciding it might be best to sit this one out. Me too.
I don’t mean to take anything from GEC as they build an excellent knife, but I have a problem being force fed. I’m not trying to punish GEC and won’t be depriving any customers as there should be an abundance of the 78’s available from a variety of sources. There’s just too many other good things going on.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
The Damascus is Alabama Damascus and it looks fantastic! My understanding is this is a 416 layer Damascus hardened to 58-60Rc. There are a lot of inexpensive, low quality imported Damascus blades out there, but this isn’t one of them. It not only looks great, but should make a tough working blade as well. There will be four different Damascus patterns randomly offered on the different handle options.
The Damascus will start shipping the first of the week, so I’m hoping I have them in hand by next weekend. I’ve increased my initial order quantity but if you’re interested, I wouldn’t wait till the last minute.
A couple of new releases from Queen include a Schatt & Morgan #27 Muskrat in Smooth Green Bone and Smooth Oiled Bone.
There are also Schatt & Morgan #41 Copperheads in Black Micarta and Torched Stag. The Torched Stag is outstanding. I don’t know where Ken’s getting the stag, but it’s some of the nicest I’ve seen in a while.
Great Eastern is finishing up the 66 Calf Ropers and announced a new release to slide in called the Churchill. My first guess is it’s a slightly shrunken down version of the #53 Cuban. Should be a nice size. Makes me wonder if we might see a redo of the Moose pattern in the future?
They also brought out the Calf Pen. I didn’t bring any of these in, but will be glad to order one for anyone interested.
I want to thank my friends in Germany for posting on Facebook some outstanding photo’s of the Trestle Pine Knives. Julian Holzberger specializes in photographing knives and does a fantastic job of it! Sven Kinast owner of Messer Depot also does some incredible photo work. I recommend checking out Sven’s online store as he makes some of the best looking Kydex sheaths I’ve seen. Sven carries the Trestle Pine Knives in his shop in Solingen and if you’re in Germany, be sure to drop by.
That’s the short version of the week gone by! Personally, I had a great 4th. Our company couldn’t make it up but we had some other friends drop by unexpectedly, which was great. We spent a quiet 4th and watched the fireworks on the lake from our deck. The crowd in town on the beach was probably one of the biggest I’ve can remember. With 80 degree temps and a clear blue sky, who could ask for more? How about picking up a new prairie dog rifle this afternoon???? Ya, that’s the perfect ending to a great week.
Sorry the weekly update is a bit late this week and a bit short on ‘updates’. I was out of town for a couple of days attending a funeral. Now I’m playing catchup so this will be brief! (maybe to the relief of some)
I got a call from Ken yesterday while he was at Blade in Atlanta and it sounds like the new #3EXP Mountain Man Auto is a winner. We only chatted for a few minutes but Ken was really happy with the reception it got. Mine will be coming in later next week and I’ll be shipping the early orders first. I know that my order is going to be short so not everything may get shipped right away. They’ll go out on a first in first out basis.
Chris called this week from GEC and let me know there are a couple more handle options for the Tidioute 38’s that will be coming through. I apologize I don’t recall the bone colors as I was on the road when she called. Apparently an SFO was partially cancelled so the ‘over run’ will go out with the regular production run. They won’t have any special markings other then the normal GEC/Tidioute name.
I received a couple of emails from Sven Kinast with Messer Depot in Solingen and his first order of the Trestle Pine’s sold out almost immediately. We put together another order and they’ll be heading overseas first thing Monday. This has been gratifying for both of us as your never sure how a product will be received in a new market. While I’ve always had a good customer base in Europe, I’m glad this is working as well as it is for both of us.
It’s interesting that Sven has a motto on his website that states: My motto: “Sell only something you would buy yourself” If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you know that’s exactly my sentiment as well. If I don’t believe in it, why in the world would I try to convince my customer base it’s a great product and they should buy it.
Otherwise, that’s about it! We had high temperatures last weekend in the upper 40’s and yesterday we hit 87F. Not sure when you get up in the morning if you should grab the long underwear or the Speedo’s. (Most folks around the neighborhood prefer I go with the long underwear regardless of the temperature)
I wanted to post a new photo of the Mosaic Pins used on the recent release of the Trestle Pine Buddy. Not being a photographer, my photo’s rarely turn out as intended and the previous Mosaic Pins photo was a case in point. This will give you a little better idea how they look.
In real life they look incredibly nice on the different woods. In all honesty, I was shamed into getting a new picture up after getting a couple of photo’s from Sven at Messerdepot in Solingen, Germany. He received his order or Trestle Pines for his shop and forwarded a couple of pictures he shot. Think I should consider hiring him to do my photo’s!!!
A couple of weeks ago, I acquired a handful of Factory Samples from Queen. This week, I had a few more Factory Samples arrive including a couple of Doctors Knives which I haven’t seen made in quite some time. Many years ago I smoked pipe and found out that spatula blade worked great for cleaning the pipe bowl and the pill crusher was great for tamping the tobacco. Probably not a Doctor approved application, but it worked!
An interesting detail is the Doctors Knives have the old “Gowanda, NY” tang stamp. Very interesting.
The Factory Samples also included an assortment of 1 of a kind 99 Executive Jacks. There were some Brown Jigged Bone, Pink Bone, Elk etc. All come with a signed COA.
The Trestle Pine Buddy order also arrived Wednesday. There’s a great assortment of ‘exotic’ handle materials and they did not disappoint! The pictures don’t do them justice. If you’re familiar with the term chatoyancy, these handles have it in spades. You never know how much color and depth you’ll have until the knives are finished.
As luck would have it, Wednesday I was finishing up sawing the final panels for the Trestle Pine Topper when my band saw died. I needed about 20 more pair to finish the order. I could either wait a week for parts or buy a new saw, so… new saw it was! Considering how much I use that saw, why does stuff die at the most critical times? There were so many opportunities for it to crap out during ‘so what’ projects. Oh well.
While I was sawing the panels, I sand and buff a few to try to get an idea how they’ll finish. Some of the quarter sawn ash looks really promising. The first Trestle Pine Superiors came through with a few quarter sawn ash that were really unique. Hopefully, there will be more on the Topper. At this point, we’re still on track for a late May delivery.
My understanding is we’re just a few weeks out from the new #3 EXP Mountain Man Auto. I’m guessing the first part of June would be a good bet. Based on early order interest, the #3 EXP will be every bit as popular as the 71 John Henry Express Auto’s.
This weekly update is a bit short on ‘news’. Other then a few more of the older GEC’s I added there was a shortage of new items to report but a few good things are in the future. There’s some Trestle Pine and Queen updates but that’s about it!
Queen has a couple of new items coming through I believe next week. The first will be a Medium Toothpick.
Next will be some 63 Rail Splitters.
Actually, I’m not sure which order they’ll be coming in. These are both popular items.
I believe the next issue of John Henry Express Auto’s will be arriving in the week or two as well. There are 3 new handle options that haven’t previously been offered. Queen also has another new release that will be announce to coincide with the Blade show and I’ll pass on the details as soon as I can.
Yesterday I got confirmation that the wood will ship for the Trestle Pine Topper next week. Everything else is ready to go so we should be on track to see the finished knives arrive before the end of the month. These will have the S30V blades. With any luck the new run of the fixed blade Trestle Pine Buddy should also be arriving before month’s end. The Buddy’s will have 1095 blades and most will be high end woods with Mosaic pins. Should be a really great looking EDC knife.
And finally, the Swiss Army knives shipped today. My hope is they’ll arrive sometime next week. Its been a long time since I’ve carried the SAK’s and look forward to getting them. Honestly, I look forward to shifting gears and moving on to something a little different.
It’s been quiet the last half of the week, but a brief weekly update is still in order.
The GEC 48’s continued to come through with the first of the two blade models coming in mid week. I believe the two blade stags are either in transit or close to being shipped. Next up are the #54’s with a whole bunch of SFO’s in the lot.
Queen’s 1/2 Whittlers, Swing Guards and 26 Whittlers rounded out the latest from Queen this week. The 26’s are a really nice small to mid size knife that would make an excellent EDC.
I do have some news for the Schatt & Morgan 71 Express Auto collectors. We’ll shortly see another short run coming through with some new handle materials. Last I knew, it will include Smooth Yellow Bone, Burlesque Stag and Pearl Shock Wood. The Burlesque Stag is an imitation stag that I’ve been told is a really great looking handle material. The original Red Shock Wood was well received and based on the coloration we saw, I am assuming the Pearl could be a knockout.
I’m waiting on the wood for the Trestle Pine Topper. At this time I’m still anticipating a mid to late May release. As we get closer to Blade, it gets a little more difficult to predict if everything will go ‘as planned’. Everyone has priorities that don’t parallel mine (which I’ve never understood). I’ve got my fingers crossed and hopefully all will go as planned.
I was informed this morning that the Trestle Pine Buddy’s will be going to production in the next couple of weeks and anticipate an early to mid-May on those coming in. Blades will be 1095 with exotic wood handles and Mosaic pins. Should be a great looking EDC knife.
This past week I realized it had been almost 3 weeks since I last touched up the blade on my Superior. It’s still cutting fine, but I like a razor edge if I can. I’ve been really impressed with the CPM154 and can’t recommend the CPM steels enough. My concern had been that since we typically see the 154’s in bushcraft type knives, maybe a traditional folder would have a blade to thin to resist chipping. Not a problem.
There are so many fabulous blade steels out there today it’s hard to believe. The great thing is that many have been developed specifically for knifemakers. After reading all the glowing reports about the S30V, I can’t wait to try it out on the Topper.