Tag Archives: Trestle Pine

Monday notes 12.11.17

Sorry I missed posting a Friday update so I’ll try to make up with a few Monday notes.  How’s that?

Actually, last week was relatively quiet as far as ‘new’ stuff showing up was concerned.  I filled some inventory holes in the Swiss Army Knives and added some more Trestle Pine’s to fill in some voids as well.  I’ve been waiting on some Queen #9 Stockman and 29 English Jack’s that were ordered about 3 weeks ago.  Nothing yet!

I had hoped to get some more of the the Trestle Pine Buddy’s finished before Christmas with the Mosaic pins but it’s just not gonna happen.  It’s a matter of making some decisions on handle material.  To my friends in Germany and the surrounding area, I just checked the tracking information and a shipment of Trestle Pine Gunflint’s departed Frankfurt yesterday on their way to Sven Kinast at Messerdepot in Solingen.  They should be showing up soon!

Great Eastern is in the midst of a massive run of the 78 American Jacks.  That has to be a major Christmas present for GEC.  Last count was 22 different versions of the 78’s coming through.  To the best of my knowledge that has to be one of the largest runs of a pattern in one group that I can recall.  As long as you like Spear blades, there’s gotta be something in there for handle material to appeal to everyone.

Christmas knife sales have been strong with over half of the orders for 2+ knives per order.  What’s selling?  Just about everything.  It’s been interesting as a lot of the orders are for 2 identical pattern’s/handle materials.  Gifts for the kids I assume.  The Swiss Army Knives have been popular and make great stocking stuffers.  A number of years ago we gave a Swiss Army Climber to the daughter of friends on her way to Europe for a semester of school.  I don’t think she was overly impressed when she got it but sent us a note several weeks later telling us it was the handiest ‘tool’ she had in her kit.

Speaking of multiple orders of the same knife.  When you go to a product page such as the Victorinox Swiss Army knives, ignore the ‘qty’ shown below the small index photos at the  top of the page.  That has nothing to do with the quantity available.  I just noticed all of the SAK’s show “1” below the photos.  Ignore it.

It’s been a little hard to get into Christmas mode up here as the weather just doesn’t look and feel like Christmas!  Talked to my friends in Georgia this week and they’ve both had more snow in the last week then we’ve had all winter!  Not complaining but it’s been mild and today I see we have an area about the size of two football fields with open water on our lake.  I’ve never witnessed that this time of year.  Our lake is about 65′ deep at max depth and is spring fed but we’re usually froze up tight by now.  Keep your sled off the ice Santa!!

 

 

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!

 

Weekly Update 11.3.17 Winter is Here

This weeks update is a bit short on news to update!  Frankly, there hasn’t been a whole lot going on or much to update as far as knives go.  I’ve just been alternating between enjoying reflecting on the hunting trip to North Dakota and bemoaning the fact the ground is still white from our snow of a week ago and will most likely stay that way until Spring!

There have been a few more of the GEC Bull Moose arrive this week and I’ll guess they’ll probably finish them up in the next week or two.  Personally, I like the knife and am really glad to see GEC revert to building some larger knives.  Once the Bull Moose is finished GEC will start building the 78 American Jacks.  And there will be a bunch of them!  You’ll have a choice of 21 handle options from 9 different SFO’s and the ‘normal’ GEC runs.  This will be their only focus well into next January.

No word on the Trestle Pine Gunflint delivery date.  Last I heard it would be the second week in November and I’ve got my fingers crossed that will happen.  On a positive note, I had more blades run for the Trestle Pine fixed blade Buddy and will start working on handle material next week.  Based on the reaction to the knives I ran with the Mosaic Pins, I plan on having more built with them .  I’ve thought about just using them on the premium woods and leaving the brass pins in the Old Growth Handles.  I also added the option of either a plain sheath that can be worn on the left or right side OR the right handed sheath with the fire steel loop.  The loop adds to the cost and if you don’t plan on carrying a fire steel, no sense in paying for it.

I had to laugh this week as I was going through some pictures I’ve saved on my phone.  The first I had was how much we (I) relate food to good times in the outdoors.  There were a lot of ‘food’ pictures and they always had something to do with memorable moments in the outdoors.  I do enjoy good food!

Lunch
Campground Beef Stew
Hearty Breakfast!

Another picture I had meant to share earlier this year was a road sign I photographed.  It dawned on me that most road signs let you know how far it is between towns.  After all that’s usually the most important indication where you are physically in respect to the rest of the world.  When you get into northern Minnesota that changes.

It’s way more meaningful to know how far you are from the next lake.  Once you get familiar with the area, explaining where you saw the moose or wolves is best understood by telling folks what road you were on and how far and what direction you were from which lake.

In days long past, the Voyageurs measured distance in ‘pipes’ not miles.  A five minute pipe break was allowed once and hour so a 5 pipe trip was about 5 hours ‘distance’.  If there was a strong headwind on the lake or slippery trails underfoot, linear distance was far less meaningful then the ‘time’ required to travel a specific distance.  So a couple hundred years ago the above sign would have been marked and read totally differently.

Even today, portages between lakes are measured in ‘rods’ not feet, meters, yards or miles.  I suppose that’s because pipe smoking is no longer PC.  Now I know with my short legs a rod is about 6 normal, leisurely paces over relatively even ground.   If I know a portage is 80 rods and I want to keep track of where I’m at,  it’s pretty easy to do.  Time how many rods you can cover in a minute based on the terrain and you can come close to pinpointing where and how long the portage will take.

Now, I know none of this critical information in the last couple of paragraphs has a damned thing to do with knives…..BUT, I did have a knife with me on all of the aforementioned situations so that counts for something.

This is worrisome.  It’s not even the dead of winter and I’m starting to ramble.  Could be a tough winter folks, bear with me!!!

GEC Bull Moose, Trestle Pine Delay, Queen EDC Knives

It’s been an interesting week so let’s jump right into it!  First is the arrival of the GEC Bull Moose.  I like it.  At 4″ OAL closed it’s a good size for a serious ‘working’ EDC knife.  The first one is a Tidioute with Green Jigged Bone handles and it looks great and feels great in your hand.

811217 Tidioute Bull Moose

The last of the 351217 Churchill’s also arrived.  I was really surprised to see the short run Green Banana come through with the ‘banana’ shield.  GEC ran the “Tango” a few years ago with the Guitar shield which was interesting.

35 Churchill Green Banana

I should have shot a picture of the label on the tube with the monkey peeling a banana, but the banana shield…..not sure what I think of that.  You have to admit it is unique!

An interesting note is the new tang stamp “CKC” which replaces the traditional “TIW” (Tidioute Iron Works).  It’s meant to stand for “Carbon Keeps Cutting”.

New Tang Stamp

I had a phone call yesterday and two emails so far asking about the Queen EDC knives showing up on Ebay.  The blades have been etched EDC and it sounds like they have various cosmetic issues.  Until yesterday I wasn’t aware of them and it appears they’re not being sold through dealers.  About all I know is Queen has put up a disclaimer on their website regarding any warranty on them.

The last item deals with the Trestle Pine Gunflint.  I was promised and assured these would arrive no later then the 1st of November.  Yesterday I found out they’ll START shipping the second week of November.  The Topper was almost two months late so I guess 2 weeks late is an improvement!!!

But the real downer greeted me this morning with our first measurable snow.   Last night we had 40+mph winds, temps in the 20’s and icy roads.  It’s way too early for this kind of weather!

First Snow

 

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

Weekly Update New Arrivals 9.8.17

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.

Calf Pen

I’m not a huge fan of the ‘one arm’ opening blades, but the linerlock on the Wharncliffe makes up for it.

Next are some Schatt & Morgan #44 Folding Hunters.  The handle options include Golden Maple, Marvel Wood and Rams Horn.  The Rams Horn handles are outstanding.

Schatt & Morgan #44 Folding Hunter Rams Horn

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.

S&M #66 Turkish Muskrats

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.

Burnt 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.

Schatt & Morgan #3 EXP Stag

There will be more of the GEC’s coming through next week and no doubt Queen will have a few additions as well.

Trestle Pine Prototypes, S&M Specials and GEC Production

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.

Trestle Pine Topper Prototype

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.

Trestle Pine Topper

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.

S&M 99 Burnt Stag CPM154 Drop Point

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.

Weekly Update 7.14.17 ~ Damascus #3 EXP

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

Schatt & Morgan Stag #3 EXP Damascus
#3 EXP Damascus Worm Groove Bone

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.

Different Damascus Patterns

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.

Hmmmm….

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.

Plain or FireSteel Sheaths

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!!!