Tuesday, June 18, 2019
It’s hard to underestimate the interest in automatic knives or as James Dean might have called them, switch blades. There is a move afoot to legalize automatic knives with some success. You can thank American Knife and Tool Institute for their hard work on our behalf.
Several states have taken the modern and enlightened view that criminal acts should be linked to the doer, not the tool. In these states automatic knives are legal. Some states like California have blade length restrictions. My home state believes evil spirits live in inanimate objects and take control of the user to do evil. And we keep electing these guys and gals.
The feds have a law referred to as the Federal Switchblade Act. AKTI explains this law regulates manufacturing and shipping of automatic knives crossing state lines. It has NO application to individual consumers, or merchants who sell knives. It has NO application to laws WITHIN a state.
That my soapbox for the today’s blog.
I recently purchased a Peter Kellett custom TR-3 from Pro-Tech. Pro-Tech’s name for the base knife is TR-3, or Tactical Response III. It’s a sweet knife.
The blade is 3.25 inches of S35VN steel with a DLC finish. S35VN is produced by Crucible Industries as part of a collaboration of Dick Barber of Crucible Industries and knifemaker Chris Reeve. It is a martensitic stainless steel with improved toughness over CPM S30V. It is also easier to machine and polish than CPM S30V. The steel forms niobium carbides along with vanadium and chromium carbides. Because niobium carbides are harder than the vanadium and chromium carbides, S35VN is about 15-20% tougher than CPM S30V without any loss of wear resistance. The powder metal helps assure a uniform distribution of grain size and places the carbides at the grain boundaries which contribute to its strength. CPM S35VN’s improved toughness gives it better resistance to edge chipping and retention over conventional high chromium steels such as 440C and D2.
While not new on the scene, S35VN is one of the super steels making an impact on knife makers worldwide.
The 4.5 inch aluminum handle is anodized by artist Peter Kellett. Peter is also known for his work customizing Fender guitars. Yes, that is an alligator and it is purple. Well, it is an art knife as the mother of pearl release button confirms.
Pro-Tech’s Dave Wattenberg tells me Pro-Tech’s two biggest sellers are the TR-3 and the Godson. Both of which are held in high regard by members of the legal community and military. The clip is not-reversible on the TR-3 and holds the knife tip-up on right side. There is no safety. Since I carry knives in my right front pocket, pushed back to the seam, the blade is snugged up securely. I’m not worried about it opening.
I asked about care and Dave said the flat wire coil spring doesn’t take a set and the knife can be stored closed. He also advised using a little high quality oil like BreakFree CLP.
If you need or just want an automatic knife, let me suggest Pro-Tech. http://www.protechknives.com/
You can find your EDC tool and you can find art that stuns the observer and makes you hold your breath in its presence. Your choice.
Monday, May 13, 2019
My father used to carve wooden knives, mostly daggers. He’d start with a square rod of scrap pine and carve a handle with grooves, holes, partial spheres and a V-shaped edge he called a blade. It was just a way for him and me to whittle away an hour. I’m sure I was better at making shavings than anything resembling a knife.
But I never forgot carved wooden knives.
At the Lehigh Valley Knife Show I ran into Dean the owner of “The Last Table” who is making wooden knives. Specifically folding lock back knives.
|Here's the details, you just need to add skill and years of practice.|
Following his retirement three years ago, Dean has been a serious work worker producing furniture you want to own. He showed me a logo he first carved into a dry bar for a customer and then took it up a notch by flaming it with gunpowder. Talk about “Edgy”!
Last year Dean gave some thought to wooden knives and started experimenting. When you open his folders the lock, driven by a wooden spring, clicks into place locking the knife open.
|Is this cool or not? It is!!|
The spine lock is depressed against the same wood spring to unlock the knife and the blade snaps tightly into the bolsters. It sounds like a Buck 110 opening and closing.
There is no metal used in the knife, just wood and wooden pins. I got a really nice one made of burly maple that I think is super.
|The selection of interesting woods is amazing The top marble wood is very interesting as is the second osage orange.|
We were talking and Dean showed me an experimental wood Ka-Bar style knife he had made. The handle is composed of two different woods and the blade is stained dark. Look at the handle butt and you can see the partial tang a classic Ka-Bar has.
|One of the few Ka-Bars that can float in water, but it's too nice to do that.!|
Dean’s working on a website, but it’s not quite there. It will be OH Wooden Lock-back Knives. The OH stands for Open Heart and not Ohio. Trust me. You can see the heart he puts into these knives. The name works.
I told Dean I thought mixing different woods for blades and bolsters would be attractive. I can see even different woods stacked to form the bolsters. Of course, it’s easy for me to make suggestions when I don’t have to execute the design.
I understand a Floridian has made a large purchase and I suspect we’ll see these at the upcoming Blade Show. I’ll be looking for them.
You can contact Dean at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in having custom work done. I recognize quality wood work when I see it. This is the real thing!
Monday, February 10, 2014
|The Winter Olympic Games at Sochi, Russia 2014|
I don’t enjoy some of the Olympic winter games. Team ice dancing, snowboarding or free-style snowshoeing hold no interest to me. (There is no free-style snowshoeing.)
I find downhill skiing, luge, and even curling to be much more interesting.
What? You’d rather watch people sweep the ice to get better glide from a large metal puck, than beautiful women and handsome men gracefully moving over ice while performing feats of strength and impeccable timing?
Yes, I would. I’d rather watch a Biathlon or even plain cross-country skiing events than snowboarding.
It’s because many of the winter Olympic events aren’t sports.
Here’s my list:
- Alpine Skiing
- Ice Hockey
- Cross Country Skiing
- Nordic Combined
- Short Track Speed Skating
- Ski Jumping
- Speed skating
- Freestyle Skiing
- Figure skating
What makes the difference?
Am I one of those guys that figures a sport has to have a ball? The only thing close to a ball in my list above is curling and that’s like ice bowling with brooms.
Do I need speed? The rush of air past my face from hurling down a mountain or do I need a chase like in speed skating? No, that’s not it either.
Let’s sharpen the edge of this monologue and cut to the core. Sports don’t have style points.
It’s that simple. Pick any conventional sport: baseball, soccer, American football, golf. It doesn’t matter if it’s a team event or a single person. The winner is determined by total points. In golf low score wins; in bull's-eye shooting it’s high score. The scoring is direct and measurable. There are no style points.
|Do you gain or lose points because the arms are bent differently?|
Style points? What do you think is happening when the judges award scores on whether they thought your toes were pointed sufficiently or deduct points because your back was arched too much? Those are style points.
Yes, I believe figure skaters and freestyle snowboarders are athletes.
There’s no question about that. I’m not sure you could claim the two middle people on a 4-man bob-sled team are athletes. Seems to me all they need to know is how to quickly fold their bodies around the other team mates and have a low center of gravity. I don’t see them or curlers out doing 10-mile runs or bench presses to stay in shape. But I could be wrong on that.
You don’t have to have a league or a stadium/arena to have a sport. You don’t have to have followers. You do have to have measurable results, not opinions.
I used to fence with a foil. Who the heck follows fencing now a days? I would if it was on TV.
You had five judges to score hits or touches as they say. The competitors were supposed to own up to feeling a touch. What made that subjective activity a sport was three touches won the match. Nobody got style points for a loud appel, a flamboyant balstra, or graceful riposte. You got points and won by countering your opponent’s defense and offense and scoring three touches in the target zone before they did.
Then what are these events if not sports?
They are performance art.
It’s not the costumes, the music or rehearsals. It’s the scoring. Anytime you have judges tell you the timing of the performers was off, or a leg wasn’t fully extended, or the 360 revolution was too high, you have an art form.
You want further proof? I've got it.
Anytime you have compulsory movements, you have an art. I’ve never been to a martial arts event where the contestants were required to do a front leg sweep or reverse punch. You did that stuff for determining rank/belts, but competition was always decided on points scored by hits.
Could the Swan Lake ballet be a sport? By the Olympic standards, yes. You have a limited time to perform, there are compulsory moves, and the performers have a variety of costumes and are evaluated on style points. The performers are beyond a doubt athletes.
|Tremendous performance, but did they get all the style points possible or are her legs crossed too high, his hand too closed? And how do you compare that to last year's performance in front of different judges?|
But truly, would you consider Swan Lake a sport?