Tuesday, April 29, 2014

WRCA Knife Show

The 2014 Warther Memorial Knife Show is over.  It was held at Breitenbach Winery in the lovely Breitenbach Tool Shed.

WRCA knife show
The Tool Shed

I couldn’t squeeze the show in as a vendor, but I did drop in on Sunday.  I had several interesting conversations and found a few things I couldn’t live without.

If you work with ivory, collect ivory and even own ivory you should be concerned about President Obama’s Executive Order banning ivory.

No, I’m not anti-elephant.  African elephant ivory has been prohibited from import since the early 80s.  Most of the illegal ivory trade is currently driven by the Far East and laws controlling this practice aren’t enforced by their governments.

This Executive Order bans ivory from animals killed before the ban.  Oh, you can sell pre-ban, if you have the paperwork proving it’s pre-ban.  You saved that bill of sale from the 80s, didn’t you?

There’s exceptions for fossil ivory, mastodon ivory, walrus and others, but the responsibility is on you to prove it as well as documentation of the port it entered the country.  You got that as well, right?  And forget about DNA.  No matter what you saw on CSI, ivory has no DNA.

The scariest part of this is the adoption of assumed guilt until proven innocent.  The enforcement agent can simply suspect you’re guilty and seize your property and arrest you.  You then have to prove your innocence.  That’s just plain wrong. 

I see this as just another step demonstrating the government’s drive to neuter our rights.  Today it's ivory, tomorrow it might be guns, then books and the realization you live at the pleasure of the government.

Enough politics, but I’ve got to say, I’m glad I’m old. 

Did I find any treasures at the show?

Knife show inside Tool shed
The Shed is also used to store wine.

I picked up a hatchet from Mickey Yurco.  It’s a small hatchet just over 7 inches long with an OD green and black striped micarta handle.  The blade is curved and sub-three inches in length and made from 440C steel. 

My new Yurco hatchet
It's small, but it's aimed at the emergency bug-out bag.

440C is the best of the 440 steel series and represents a middle grade of steel in the knife community.  It’s a good steel, rust resistant, durable and can be resharpened without special equipment.  It’s a good choice for a bug-out bag which is what Mickey had in mind.  One thing to remember, 440C is magnetic and will affect compass readings.  Just a word to the wise.

The hatchet comes with a Kydex sheath.  I like Kydex for its durability, but this sheath is a little hard to remove. 

the Kydex cover on the yurco hatchet
The cover fits tight, not a bad thing, but I have to jerk it out of the the sheath, so don't stand too close! 

Maybe a summer Kydex sheath making project will solve my problem. 

I also picked up an older doctor’s knife made for W. Bingham Co in Cleveland Ohio.  The knife was, my internet search tells me, made by Ulster Knife Company.  That may explain why both the main and secondary blade are stamped. 

I admit it took me a while to convince myself it was a doctor’s knife.  It’s doesn’t have the spatula and the handle has an offset more typical of a gun stock pattern.  Still the blade shape and the pill crusher end convinced me.

doctor knife with two blades
The handle is more of a black with dark green highlights.  Do you see the little curve in the handle?

The handle has a faded green and black motif to it, so it must have the effect of nice weather and grassy fields that had me thinking about green and black.

Both the hatchet and knife are sweet!

How was the show?

I’m told Saturday had 280 attendees.  I left around 1pm on Sunday.  It was pretty bleak then but several vendors reported that while the count was down, sales were strong.

Even though my wife and I had driven to the winery earlier in the year, we still had trouble finding it.  The signage was poor and as you drove up the empty, winding gravel road you got the feeling as one retired LEO suggested, you were being set up for a robbery and car-jacking. 

Tucked away in Dover, the knife show was a destination.  Most of the Amish community is shut down on Sunday and Dover was no exception.  The winery was closed and if you were looking for a restaurant, well you better head to Canton Ohio. 

If you didn’t know about the show you wouldn't see anything to suggest it existed.  Nothing could be seen on Interstate-77, so the show didn’t have any impulse attendees.

I will say, if WRCA doesn’t do something, I predict there will be no Dale Warther Memorial Knife show in less than ten years.