Showing posts with label Blade Show. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blade Show. Show all posts

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Blade Show Day 3


There’s a few customers with energy and the counter people are doing the best they can, but it’s day 3 of the Blade Show.  When I’m done I simply walk out the door.  The vendors have to start packing up at 3:01 and it takes a while.  I expect some will be there at 6 tonight.  The life of a traveling sales staff isn’t easy.

I stopped by one of my favorite manufacturers, Shadow Tech.  They have creative new ideas.  Yes, I know I said the Blade Show is row after row of sameness.  But there are innovations.  ST has a small fixed blade neck knife with replacement blades.  No, not replaceable in terms of sharpness, but in terms of blade design.  I got a blade that reminds me of a sharpened eagle claw.  But if I decide I need a different blade, I can purchase one for an amount less than the knife (prices are still being figured out).  The blade is held in place by four Allen screws and some internal geometry.  This is a very clever idea.  The blades are S30V and are about an inch and a quarter long.

neck knife, ST


I stopped off to talk with Mickey Yurco.  Mickey has some of the most interesting ideas on blades and how to carry.  Boker Knife is picking up a second of his designs and I believe they will be using Ultclips.  These are metal spring clip that can anchor a knife sheath inside your pocket.  It’s very clever design.  You can carry an IWB holster or knife sheath without having a belt by clipping a Ulticlip to the fabric of your pants.  Great for women who often go beltless.  I think you’ll see a lot of these in the future.

Uticlip


I never wanted a Pro-Tech Godson.  It seemed too small, a derivative of the classic Godfather auto.  That all changed with the Godson Steampunk.  The copper steampunk art work is designed by Bruce Shaw.  The copper artwork looks great set into the anodized black body of the knife.   ProTech made just 200 of these you better hurry if you need or just want one!

steam punk



I took a few moments and mounted the glass breaker and seat belt cutter I bought yesterday in my car.  It looks good and we didn’t even notice it driving.  I don’t think I’ll ever need it (I hope), but that’s what I say about concealed carry.  If I need it, I’ll have it in place.

Seatbelt cutter


I picked up a few items I need for turning my Spyderco Mule into a working knife.  Jantz is one of the places to go for just about anything you need to make knives.  We’ll see what happens.

Speaking of Spyderco, well, there’s just too much to talk about.  Joyce is always generous to a fault, so I always get some help there.  I am astonished at the interesting designs they are willing to take a chance on.  I’ll have a separate column on them.

I also stopped at Case Knife.  They are making more tactical looking knives and have several collaborations going on.  The Winkler fixed blade they have is sweet.  They are also introducing an assisted opener.

Let me just go off on a tangent.  Quality costs.  So does performance.  If you want a knife that will last 3 years and then needs to be thrown away, you can find them.  Many of us can’t use the full potential of the knives we buy and they become portable temporary collections.  The knife takes a little wear and ends up in rusty tackle box or under a car seat forgotten about.  Cheap knives are everywhere.

If you want performance and an innovative design, expect to pay.  You’ll find knife makers who have a passion for knives.  They want to make the best knife they can for the price they ask.  Joe Caswell is one.  He wants to make the best knife he can.  I found South African Arno Bernard cutting out life size paper models of two folding knives he wants to work on.  He’ll use those models to buy supplies to make prototypes.  Like his fixed blades they will not be inexpensive, but the quality will be there.  He too has a passion for knives.

And it isn’t just designers.  Look at Shadow Tech and Spyderco as just two companies.  They are constantly pushing designs and quality.  They use good steels and constantly strive for improvement.  And it isn’t just US manufacturers.  The Chinese company, WE, does both consignment manufacturing as well as manufacturing under their name.  Look at their knives.  The quality speaks to you.  Every year I see improvement.  They may have trouble with English (they speak English better than I could ever learn Mandarin) but you can see the passion for knives.

Counterfeits remain a problem.  Counterfeit knives, tools, bolts and even food all come into the country and displace quality products because of greed.  If you’re buying solely on price and not concerned about quality and performance, you’re part of the problem.  I’d like to say I hope your sex organs shrivel up and fall off, but I decided it would be better if your little finger died and broke away.  At least then we could recognize you.  There always a chance your sex organs will follow suit.


Read Day 1

Read Day 2

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Blade Show Day 2



It’s hard to summarize.  There are so many vendors and people that everything jams together and blurs into grayness by the end of the day.  Still, I don’t want to miss any of it.

News:  Blade Magazine and the Blade Show are rumored to have been sold.  It’s reported that Gun Digest, owned by Caribou Media, has plunked down the dollars.  I do know that the Blade Show is scheduled to be back at the Cobb Galleria (Atlanta) in 2019.  We’ll see about the rest.




Autoknife

 I purchased a Microtech OTF only because I couldn’t see not having one.  The knife, like many is really more of a barbecue knife that you show off to your friends.  Yes, you can use it; it will cut, stab and kill but most of us will leave it in the safe.  The problem is for most uses, you’ll have the blade orientated up/down which puts the button under your thumb.  Press the button at the wrong time and the blade disappears.  Oops!



box opener
Richmade Knife 3D box opener
Richmade Knives had a clever utility/box cutter they were giving out.  It was made with a 3D printer and is very clever.  The razor blade folds into the body and it has space for two spare blades.  I wouldn’t use it if you paid me.  I have visions of it coming apart and cutting the heck out of myself.



 Do you carry an emergency escape knife in your car?  You know, something with a glass breaker and a seat belt cutter?  I’m always reading about people in Florida who drive into a flooded canal and drown.  I carry one in the side pocket of the driver door, but I know in an accident it will pop out and end up somewhere the coroner will find later.  I bought a little unit that straps around the sun visor. It has a glass breaker and seatbelt cutter.  Best of all it stays where I put it.




I spent an hour with Joe Caswell.  He’s building the coolest knife I’ve ever seen.  Right now it’s a karambit, but future models will have a more traditional blade.  He was at Blade to talk with a manufacturer who want to mass produce them.  The name is a secret and he’s not about to screw that up.  His percentage from the knife and derivatives could be, in his words, “substantial.”

Folding Karambit
Closed.....


Joe Caswell
Opening......

Folding Karambit
and Bingo!!  Open

Here’s a few more pictures.
Space Fighter  Very Nice

Jenn from Alabama Damascus and Oscar the rat   Only slightly strange.


the Blade Show



Wayne Hensley  One of the Grand Old Men of the knife community.  I have a Subhilt fighter he made for WRCA knife  collectors.










In progress knife from Art Knife.  The handle will be ruby red.  If you have to ask how much, well you can't afford it.


I really love Steam Punk knives.
I don't know who made it, but Knife Legends has it.  They buy and sell investment grade folders ans fixed blades.


Lost knives
Saw this sign on 2 tables (at $650 a pop!)
Not everything about the Blade Show is unicorns and rainbows.  They may get their money back, but they still had to pay for the tables and how can you account for lost customers and lost opportunities.

Tomorrow is my final chance to find gold, it's Day 3.

Read Day 1

Read Day 3















end




Friday, June 1, 2018

Blade Show 2018 Day 1


The first day of the Blade Show opened with a demo of how to FUBAR knife collectors.

Blade Magazine reduced the hours the VIPs could attend by offering a Super-VIP ticket for $40 which got them in at noon.  The VIPs got in at 1:00 and the great unwashed (paying public) at 2:00.

Registration refused to process anyone’s VIP pass any earlier than 10 AM. Processing consist of taking the VIP pass and $20 from you and giving you a paper badge.  The staff, while polite, wasn’t interested in answering any questions or assisting you.  In fact all the commands and instructions by the staff were to make it easier for them.  They made the whole experience kind of like sleeping with a hooker who just lays there and keeps looking at her watch asking “Are you done?”

We got our VIP passes and were then marched back into another line and told we had to first enter the small, newly added room before we could go to the main room where the Super VIPs were.  This room was largely new knife makers and sellers.

By the time I got into the main room, the Pro-Tech knives I wanted were sold.  I was also very disappointed by the Pro-Tech staff.  Did they bring so few knives that everything popular was sold out by 3:00 on the first day?

We did find a great neck knife for my wife.  The seller just started last January and just made these knives.  He hadn’t even established an account with Square.  Square lets the small business man accept plastic at a very reasonable rate.  So we stood there waiting for him to establish an account.  I suspect he’ll sell out fast.  The neck knives and his jewelry were great.

Blade Show, 2018
Carbon Fiber Handle 

Another example of Jason's work.


I bought a Damascus steel fixed blade from Shadow Tech several years ago.  It came with a very nice kydex sheath.  Unfortunately the texture of the Damascus files the plastic and imbeds it in the open grain of the metal.  I want to carry that knife, so I needed leather sheath.  Of course the Blade Show has them and I found a nice one in black with just the right amount of texturing.

Blade Show, 2018



I stopped by Spyderco and bought a mule.  Fortunately it fits in a small box and doesn’t require anything but a handle and a sheath.  Spyderco makes standard blade configurations with different steels which are tested to give them a better understanding of steel performance.  They had several different steels available and I selected LC200N, a high nitrogen tool steel.  By high nitrogen they mean 0.5%

I spent a little time watching a fellow grind an edge into a blade, creating a shower of sparks.  Another fellow was engraving a knife and I find that amazing.  You cut steel into attractive patterns by hand, using a magnifying glass and steel tools.



Blade Show 2018
Weeee!  Sparks!

Blade Show, 2018




Work Sharp had a demo table set up and I stopped to get corrective advice on the system I bought last year.  I don’t have trouble using the coarse and medium belts, but for some reason the fine always gives me trouble.  I think I’m pressing knife too hard into the abrasive band and changing the angle.  They were very helpful.

The Blade Show is huge.  Unfortunately it is so cruel to the attendees.  There aren’t places to sit, and food facilities are sparse to lean.  I don’t mind paying higher prices, but waiting in line for an hour to get a sandwich seems dumb.  Restrooms are always crowded and often are locked(!), so they, in my opinion, don’t have to be cleaned.

And I’m not sure if this is the place to see new creative knives.  Sheaths, yes; handles, yes; even new steels, but if you’re looking for a new blade shape you’ll find table after table of drop points, bowies and daggers.


People at the show
It isn't just knives.


Let’s see what Day 2 presents.


Read Day 2 

Read Day 3

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Blade Sunday and a Random Walk



Blade Show Sunday is the finish line.  Most of the pressure is off, sales made, promises swapped, and bargains available, if you can recognize a bargain.  

It’s a good time to talk to vendors about knives and the industry.  I stopped at Spyderco to talk with Joyce.  Long ago Joyce sent me a congratulations note on my first article which was about Spyderco’s Bob Lum with the anodized green handle.  We think of her as a friend.

Spyderco is one of my favorite companies, along with Shadow Tech, Benchmade and Böker. 

So what new is with Spyderco?  The answer is lots.

Remember the H1 steel.  Rust proof in salt water.  I ran my own test by slathering a salt paste on the blade and keeping it in a moist warm environment overnight.  No rust.  H1 steel has some hardenable issues but the steel can be worked hardened.  Every time you sharpen it, the edge gets a little harder.  Now they are using LC200N as is many other blade makers.  Oh, yes, did I mention they have altered the Caribbean Salt so it has the 4-position clip?

LC200N is low carbon, high chromium with enough nitrogen to give you RC values of 60.  This should be a very rust resistant steel.  They are releasing it mid-year as their Caribbean series, a yellow and black alternating striped handled knife with a flat grind blade.  It will be Endura size, but way cooler.

The Military with Spyderco’s patented top compression lock is very popular, but big.  So several years ago they released the Para Military, but even that was large.  So get ready for Para 3.  It’s about Delica size but with the same wide flat ground blade.

For mid-season they are introducing 30 new products.  Add that to their already expansive product line and you have a shop keeper’s nightmare.  Which do you stock?  How many of which?  Which one or two are just there to draw customers over to the counter, but aren’t expected to sell?

I got a silent agreement that Spyderco has too many SKUs for most vendors.  I found out that every year they have an SKU meeting and they decide which SKU will go to make room for new ones.  People get passionate about this.  “Which child will you kick out to bring in a new one?” They ask.  I’m glad I don’t have to make these decisions.

Sharpening is always controversial and the show has many systems ranging from simple Arkansas stones to sharpening systems that suggest a degree in engineering is required.  As steel blades increase in hardness more sophistical materials are needed.  Cubic boron nitride?  Industrial sintered diamond? Recrystallized unobtanium?  These are the sharpening material of today and tomorrow.  But these are still challenged by the water stones of Japan, the fossil clay of Italy and the slabs of soapstone.

Google search for edges.  How many will you find?  Flat grind, secondary bevel, hollow, apple seed, chisel, chisel with back bevel?  Now let’s consider angle. The smaller the angle the sharper it is.  It’s also more delicate.  A stout angle may work fine on an axe, but not so good for filleting trout for dinner.  Most of us expect to have to resharpen a shallow angle more often regardless of the super steel or secret heat treatment.

Angle leads us to blade thickness.  You can find Tou-tube videos of people attempting to chop through a branch with a blade only a 16th of an inch thick and people attempting to carve tinder with what can only be described as an edged car leaf spring.  Somewhere in the middle are the compromisers trying to create one edge with two different profiles.  They attempt to make the front half of the blade eye surgery sharp and the back edge coconut cracking dull.  Most of the time, they fail.  I would suggest setting your edge geometry and sharpness to your average cutting expectations.



And you know what?  It’s all wonderful.  Let me suggest that through exploring edges, sharpening and sharpening, whatever your final edge is you will create new appreciation for the humble knife.

  Enjoy. 

Here's a few more images from the Blade Show:





You can always find raw material to make the knife you want!



I wish I had bought a few of the screw pins used to hold handles together!






Buck Club 75th anniversary
It's Buck's 75th anniversary and the Buck clubs went all out!


Fireworks and Grinding
 Let's end with fireworks!







Saturday, June 3, 2017

Blade Show Day 2


Has the Blade Show become a victim of its own success?

Saturday is always a bad day.  Any knife fancier within 4 hours of driving can work a full week and drive here on Saturday and make it home for church and family brunch on Sunday.  Saturday is a packed day.  Despite the convention’s efforts, you’ll find a number of people walking and selling.  No surprise there, with tables costing over $500 you have to sell a lot of knives to break even.  So, you find people selling to tables.

The exhibition hall is packed and the only redeeming grace is to remember sardines don’t die in the can, they die in the open sea.  Air conditioning struggles to keep up but with 90+ temperatures outside and hundreds and hundreds of people inside it can’t keep up.

Blade is the knife show by which all others are measured.  The show’s location needs a rich environment to support it.  There may be bigger venues in the cornfields in Kansas, but it will never have the support Atlanta has.

Blade Show
The contestants warning up
Is there an association of Balisong Flippers?  Beats me, but Blade hosted the first national competition.  They used live edges and flip free style, but the MC warned that kicking the knife with your knee was outlawed at this event.  The flippers were set up in the back parking lot where the cutting would take place and it was single elimination.  Three judges, well known by the crowd, selected the winners of the each round. You can tell they were expecting a lot of dropped knives.  Each competitor stood over a sheet of cardboard.  I didn’t stay for the entire competition.  It just seemed too silly to me.  Every completion heat I saw, the loser dropped his knife at least once if not more.  I have to wonder if some of the flippers will create moves so unique that in the future the move will be named after them, like the ice skating Hamill Camel.

bones at Blade
Giraffe Skull, what else could I say
One of the knife supply houses had a skull of a giraffe on display.  It appears that giraffes can become a nuisance animal requiring culling.  The meat is sold and made into sausage (I can’t believe there aren’t a few steaks involved!), so the supply house buys camel leg bones for knife handles and just for giggles asked if they could get a skull.  The joke was on him.

It took a lot of boiling and bleaching, but the complete skull is available and on sale.  For $500 bucks it can be yours.  I wanted it for over the TV cabinet, but wiser heads prevailed.  A word of warning, it’s a lot bigger than you might think it is.

From Nepal, a fighting knife
A different EDC
I bought a mini-khukuri.  The seller has them made in Nepal by Gurkhas.  They use truck leaf springs and its steel needs to be taken care of or it will tarnish.  I have a full size one made in India and this will make a nice addition.


Buck display at Blade 2017


It’s Buck’s 75th anniversary and Buck collectors are pulling out the stops.  In the public area of the hall they have about a row of double sided tables as long as city block set up.  You’ll find everything from complete run of Bucks to experimental prototypes and exotic one of a kind buck knives.  Each display is different, some cruder than others but all a testimony to Buck knives.

Blade Show
Mantis neck knife or upside down stargate
We bought new neck knives at Mantis Knives.  It’s hard to describe Mantis.  They make some really silly knives, but they are so freshly original you can’t dismiss them.  Our neck knives look like an “O” with a T coming out of them.  Put your finger into the ring and pull, a curved blade emerges from the metal ring.  Frankly, the blade looks too flimsy and curved for fighting or cutting.

It might be time to skip the Blade Show.  You will not find too many of the unique knives and blades seen on Forged in Fire.  What you’ll see are the typical, safe designs: drop points, Bowie, spear, Hawksbill and Wharncliffe blades.   The steels are the usual suspects: high carbon, D2 and the stainless families.  I was impressed that I found one smith with forged titanium blades.

Prices remain high but bargains can be found if you work at it.


Here's a few more pictures.



Blade Show
Another high carbon steel blade to worry about


Blade Show
More knives!

Tomorrow’s the last day.  I have an appointment and one or two items and it’s off we go.



Friday, June 2, 2017

Blade Show Opens!

Lil Lum Nishijin
A Blade Show Special from Spyderco, BOGO!
The first day of the Blade Show finished and was punctuated with plenty of excited people and sore feet.

As good as the show is, registration is just as terrible.  You can’t register and pick-up your pass Thursday night, despite the fact registration is open for the vendors.  The VIP passes can be bought only Friday morning at 10:00 despite the fact people lined up at 7.  The when you get to the registration window the equipment and personnel don’t work.  In fairness, the staff is desperately trying to stem the human tide of impatient people and haven’t been trained very well.  After you get your pass you have another line to stand in until the official opening at noon.  You’ll soon find the floor is your friend.

The doors open at about 12:05, because none of the security personal have the authority to open the doors and the moron with the authority can’t tell time!  At least it seems that way to me.


knives, Blade Show
A.G. Russell

My first stop was A.G. Russel.  A.G. wanted to chew me out about my Folding Gents Hunter article in the June issue of Knife Magazine.  It seems A.G. can flick the blade open with quick wrist motion.  Well, so can I, but every knife class I’ve attended where people open their knife that way, sent their knife flying across the room.  Still, he and his wife Goldie were very nice to me.  I later found out of the other 3 articles about the FGH, he liked the one in Knife Magazine the best.

I stopped off at Aku Strike Knives to look at their trainers.  Dwane Horvath has developed a training knife that emits a sound and flashes a red or green light when a solid contact is made.  

Trainer Blade Show
Aku Strike's new knife fighting trainer


While these can be dangerous (get jabbed in the gut with 4 inches of hard plastic and you’ll know what I mean), they add a new dimension to training.  The knife’s sounds and light is only activated when the blade is pushed back or upward to simulation a stab or cut.  Keep your eyes open for this.  It will add a new level to your training.

Blade Show
Seems like a good way to set your kilt on fire!

I always like to watch the demos on knife grinding.  I think it’s the sparks.  It’s also interesting to watch all the other people.  I try not to be too obvious about it, after all someone might be watching me!


Here’s a few photos.

Blade Show
Some of Cutco's knives




1Blade Show
Browning's Kukri  A real different look for Browning.



































Monday, July 4, 2016

Re-sharpening

masking tape tricks
You can barely see the serrated steel edge, the rest is protected by the masking tape
I don’t normally cover the side of a knife with tape to protect it from touching the sharpening stone.

This is a little different case.  It belonged to my mother-in-law who no longer needs it and my wife isn’t sure where it’s going.  She has one and is quite happy with it.  Most of the relatives have one.  Yeah, we gave them as Christmas presents.  She may want to sell it as a used knife. 

I don’t have any problem selling used knives, especially one I know its history of use and abuse.  This bread knife needed a little touch up, and I wanted to ensure a nice appearance. 

Most serrated knives are a chisel grind.  The serrations are cut into one side only.  Sometimes you’ll find only a tiny bevel to remove the wire edge.  When you sharpen a serrated knife you end up with a wire edge along the straight side.

This is easily removed by drawing the knife flat over a fine stone, if you don’t mind the surface scratches.  Enter stage right, masking tape on the blade right above the top of the curve forming the serration.

Since I use a Spyderco Sharpmaker, removing the wire edge calls for me just lifting the blade from flat on the edge of the fine stone a degree or two and back stropping.

I got a nice resharpened edge and protected the finish.  I recommend this to anyone who needs to resharpen a dressier knife.

More 2016 Blade Show news:
By now most of everyone should know Spyderco is one of my favorite knives.  They were the first ones I carried.  The one my wife first carried.  I published my first article about a Spyderco.  Not only that, but I think for the money they are great knives.

I understand Spyderco is coming out with an all new line of kitchen knives.  New steel and new handles, it sounds pretty radical.  My friend at Spyderco tells me she is thinning out her kitchen drawers to make room for the new knives.

Also spied in their prototype display were two throwing knives.  I’ve never seen throwing knives at Spyderco.  I suspect, if throwers come to be, we will not see them until January at the 2017 SHOT Show.  2016 is half over and they and everyone else is still delivering and promoting the new 2016 product.  Most of the magazines already have articles lined up for the rest of the year.  To introduce something so radically new might be missed completely by busy editors and layout demands.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Day 2 blade 2016

The calendar retired people use works remarkably well at the Blade Show.  There is only yesterday, today and tomorrow.  By the end of the second day you’ve seen just about everything and plunked down your hard earned cash, at least I hope you have.  There will be no bargains on Sunday, Day 3.
Esnyx paid $500 to have an empty table for half the show.

By noon Saturday Busse was down to 2 knives and 1 tomahawk.  Microtech has only the knives nobody wants and many of the custom knife makers have sold all their knives. 

 Some manufacturers don’t sell at this show.  Neither Spyderco nor CRKT sell, partially to prevent their retailers from taking it on the chin, partially to reduce the shipping problems.  There are some nice discounts from vendors.  It’s also a lot to pack, ship and return to the main warehouse.  Benchmade does it, but then they only sell to brick and mortar stores.

Empty counter
Busse and empty counter by noon on day 2


Shipping has its own risk.  I overheard Emerson Knives ‘lost’ all their custom knives they auction off.  They just disappeared in transit.  Of course it doesn’t take much to look at the label and read Emerson Knives Co. and Blade Show and realize there’s a lot of easy-to-convert loot in that box.
James Knife, a relatively new company with very modern and clean lines, reported that two of their knives disappeared during shipping.

At some point, after the 150th table, you realize that for most knife blades (let’s exclude the art and fantasy knives) form and function are bound into a tight circle.  There can only be so many variations of a blade.  You’ll soon find yourself only noticing the handles.  Here the range of materials, finish, shape and combinations give the artist more latitude.  Don’t believe me?  Entire displays are devoted to just dyed wood.  But there is a cure for this.  Visit Mickey Yurco’s table.  He has a table of innovative blades and impact tools that is actually joyful to look at.  He’s always one of my favorite stops.
Sandy Brady, the scrimshaw artist, had her work on display.  She had several CRKT turtles (now discontinued) in which she replaced the original plastic shell with scrimshaw ivory.  They are just wonderful.  She’s also very active in the effort to prevent the ivory ban.  It’s not that she hates elephants, it just very little of illegally poached ivory finds its way to our country.  Most ends up in China and other Far East countries.  Banning ivory from animals that died between 1980 and 40000BC has no impact on today’s conservation efforts.

Micky always has a fun table!

engraved scrimshaw
Sandy's wonderful artwork


I bought a few things as did my wife.  I’ll have pictures later. There is an old parable about packing.  It says lay all your clothes and money out on the bed before packing for vacation.  Leave half the clothes and double the money.  It is so true at the Blade Show.  While there are few bargains, they aren’t cheap.  I purchased a handmade auto.  The handle is specially laid-up carbon fiber.  The maker uses a double strength steel coil spring for positive opening.  All the load bearing points are stainless steel imbedded in the carbon fiber.  The opening button is oversized and requires a spring loaded safety to be retracted before it functions.  Each knife is numbered with its own unique serial number.  Most of these knives are made for two government contracts, the FBI being one.  I suspect the eight he had to sell were contract overruns and he offered a great deal.  Still they were not cheap!

The aisles were filled with people, and it seemed attendance was up.  This year the new products were labeled ‘no photos.’  The new product area is where companies display some of their newest products which they hope will be award-winning world beaters.  I guess Blade got tired of having bloggers releasing images before they could.

I went to hear Murray Carter talk about sharpening knives.  He’s an interesting person.  He claims to have sharpened 125,000 knives all by hand.  He uses two water stones for basic sharpening, a course and a fine. 
Hand sharpening
Murray and his elaborate sharpening system, a bucket, board, towel and a stone with two grits

With these two stones using a seven step method he gets razor sharp knives.  He believes that all knife blades should be thinned and the only acceptable grind is a flat grind.  Grind angle?  Don’t make him laugh.  The best angle is the angle that works the best for your purpose.  Since it only takes him a few minutes to resharpen, he’ll try one angle then another and see which works best.  Sort of suggests having a pocket full of knives with different purposes written on each.  He’s very pragmatic about sharpening, but he has the reputation for it.

I stopped at ZT.  They make amazing factory knives.  I picked up one which has both a flipper and a thumb stud.  The flipper worked fine, but using the stud I couldn’t get the blade to move.  Now, I don’t know why the thumb stud is present, as it doesn’t work.  Maybe, at least in my imagination, there is a legal reason.  “Yes, your Honor/Officer/Boss, it has a flipper that lets you open it lightning fast, but it also has a thumb stud so this knife cannot be an auto/dangerous ordinance/ballistic/forbidden by the Geneva code of ‘civilized’ warfare.”

ZTs!
So I asked one of the sales reps about why it doesn’t open with the stud.  He seized the knife out of my hand, muttered some words indicating I didn’t know if my ears were bored or punched and dug his thumb deep into the space between the stub and frame.  With a mighty effort that turned the knuckle of his thumb white and caused me to move out of the way of the debris that would surely result from his exploding joint, he couldn’t could get the knife to pop open either.  And with finger speed and dexterity that would only be seen with the top tier of prestidigitators, he managed to roll his thumb over onto the flipper and pop the blade open.  He muttered a few words about grit and discovered something else somewhere else that needed his immediate attention.

The knives at the Blade Show are amazing, but it’s the interpersonal interactions that are so much fun!
Here’s a few photos!


Blade show 2016



Big time Buck collector!



Knives from Painted Horse