|Are they silver? Are they actually 99.999% silver? Dot they really weight what they're stamped?|
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
I ran into a fellow who had a very interesting Bark River fixed blade knife. It had a well-oiled wooden handle and a 12-14 inch blade. The tip of the blade was pointless, similar to that of a butter knife. He was selling but the $250 price was out of my range. I thought of telling him I’d stand tall at $100, but decided not to.
Talking to other dealers I found out he had just bought the knife from them the week before. It was obvious he was trying to flip the knife. I hope he has fun, but I had the idea that the last person on that money pyramid would be stuck holding the knife for years before the price caught up. And it wasn’t going to be me. Still it only takes one customer who desperately needs that knife for his collection.
You can't always get what your want
I also ran into a fellow searching for a Kershaw Leek made with S30V steel. The original ones were made that way, but now that they are available in Wal-Mart the best you might do is 420HC or 14C28V. In truth 14C28N sounds like it could be a quality steel, if heat treated and tempered properly.
The problem is, Wal-Mart has a well-deserved reputation for pushing manufacturers to use shortcuts and cheaper materials. One only has to remember what happened to Rubbermaid.
I wouldn’t trust any knife I could buy at Wal-Mart for anything serious. There are too many cheap counterfeits being brought into the country and who know where they end up.
I’ve been selling knives for years and I ran into something I haven’t ever seen. Anywhere.
I take credit cards. More and more people are using credit for everything from buying a cup of joe at McDonalds to a new car. So a man walks up to the table and wants to know if I take “real” money. I thought that was a satirical comment on credit and he was referring to greenbacks, bucks, dead presidents.
He wasn’t. He wanted to trade one ounce silver bars for a knife. I backed out of that as fast as possible. Look, last Saturday an ounce of silver was selling for around $18.35. Today it’s in the upper $17. Who knows what it will be tomorrow. I would have low balled him at say $15 an ounce and I’d still have his problem of selling the silver. I can’t go to the bank and deposit silver. I would have to sell it at the going rate or try to barter it away like he was trying to do.
It’s an impossible system. Even when we were on the gold standard, a gold coin had a fixed value. Besides, how did I know it was 99.999% sliver and an honest one ounce weight?
Maybe if society collapsed and we were all bartering .22 rim fires for bread, we’d all have scales and would barter in silver.
But you know what? If it was the day after the apocalypse, I’d rather have steel knives than silver.
Monday, November 7, 2016
I spend some time working with kydex. There always seems to be a knife or two that needs a sheath. I have a very nice BK/Ka-Bar neck knife that has a sheath, but always seems too big to wear around my neck. I realize most kydex fabricators buy features like belt loops and such. I wanted to make on from scratch.
The first one (this implies I made two) look pretty good, but I wanted to fiddle around with giving it a polished edge and I thought a little heat would glaze the tool marks on the cut and sanded surfaces. A heat gun worked well for that and for deforming the delicate loops I had cut in the kydex to give access to the Chicago screws. Well, if I can make one I can make another. I found that isn’t exactly the case. The second time through I started looking for shortcuts. It worked and I’m happy to have converted that neck knife to a belt knife.
|My belt clip on the pre-molded sheath|
Over the summer I picked up a 511 neck knife that needed a sheath. I decided to go with a taco fold sheath and it worked quite nice. I used a set of french curves to help me draw lines on the molded kydex. Once I had the shape I wanted drawn on the kydex, I sat down with the band saw and cut out the pattern just outside the pencil marks. From there a fine sanding belt and even finer hand sanding and I got a nice shape. Unfortunately the 511 neck knife has asymmetric grooves in the handle and I’ve not been able to figure out a nice cord wrap to add a little needed grip friction.
|The kydex sheath changes a $10 knife to a winner!|
The Ohio Classic Knife show was last weekend Nov 4 and 5 in Cambridge, Ohio. The show starts at noon on Friday, but I’m not sure why. Everyone knows that Sundays are terrible days for shows, so I suspect promoters shift the show dates to Friday and Saturday in the hope of catching more traffic for the vendors.
It’s really about the attendance. Every salesman knows that at the root, it’s about numbers. More people mean more buyers. More buyers mean more chances to sell. You can figure out the rest.
Friday afternoons are pretty empty hours. You pray that retirees, people who have taken Friday off or have Friday off will come and shop. You hope the after work crowd will forgot drinky-poos with friends, dinner with family, or just being done with work and come out and shop. That doesn’t always happen. So despite it being early in the show and having the best selection, they are nervous to make a sale and vulnerable to negotiating. At least that’s my current theory as seen from both sides of the aisle, as seller and purchaser.
|Low attendance one hour after opening on Friday.|
I bought a nice little neck knife from Battle Horse. What could be more masculine than wearing a knife around your neck? Even a small knife at that! It’s in kydex and the sheath utilizes a sliding lock to insure the knife doesn’t fall out. I like it a lot. It could become the nucleus of my Mr. T starter kit.
|I'm just crazy about neck knives, go figure.|
Mickey Yurco sold me a gorgeous knife with an orange and black scale handles attached to a nice D-2 steel blade. With his numbering system I know it’s his 3407th knife made. That is very cool, too! The knife came with a very nice leather sheath. Mickey does his own leather work and recently purchased a pattern hammer which allows him to literary hammer a textured pattern into leather.
|It's a nice little utility knife and after seeing Mickey work a knife, you don't need 16 inches to steel to be deadly.|
Mickey and I talked about knife fighting. Well actually, he talked and I tried to learn. Mickey is one of these high speed guys with deep understanding of defense and offense with a knife. After a few seconds with him, you can easily imagine how deadly a knife in the hands of someone trained can be.
I also ran into John and Dave from Shadow Tech at the show. I got to see images of their new prototype folding knife. It doesn’t have a name yet and it should be ready for the SHOT Show in Las Vegas Jan 17 -20 2017. (God knows how much I miss that show!) But if it’s not ready, you’ll see it at BLADE 2017 .