Showing posts with label Yurco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yurco. Show all posts

Monday, May 22, 2017

Small Cuts

The WRCA Knife Expo ends with a whimper yesterday.  Sundays are usually slow days as the foot traffic is very low.  It’s also an excellent day to bargain.  Sellers want to earn a little money, even if it’s just enough to buy gas, so they can be haggled with.

I got a deal on an old Benchmade Panther.  It’s old, from the 1990s and it’s ugly.  I’ve got to do a little research but I think there’s at least a blog in it, maybe more.

On Saturday I stopped by Mickey Yurco’s table.  Mickey is a remarkably creative edge maker and martial artist.  He also has a quirky sense of humor and stage presence that makes stopping at his table always interesting.

Ask him to demonstrate one of the few knots used in the fighting arts.  It’s called the dragon knot.  You’ll be surprised.

Yurco Hatchet, the sheath has a quick draw function

I’ve previously bought several of his knives and hatchets and have been very pleased.  I understand Boker has picked up two more of his designs.  Congratulations, Mickey!

Mickey's first Boker collaboration, the knife that is.  The meat was dinner. 

I just got one of his single edge razor blades.  It’s ground from titanium and is about 3cm long by 2.3cm wide and about 0.15cm thick. 

Mickey Yurco
This is a closer shave than I ever want!

Mickey gave it a small lanyard and put a round patch of skateboard tape on one side.  The blade is a chisel grind.  Titanium isn’t the best metal for edge retention, but it is non-magnetic and its small size lets you carry it in your wallet as a true last resort weapon.  It’s designed for grappling where you’re going to make pressure cuts and not slices, stabs or chops.  Of course, all the targets are soft tissue.

holding Mickey's razor
Contact Mickey for your own interesting knife!

I bought it because it’s cool!  Also, it suggests to me the OSS lapel knives from WWII.  Somewhere I have an “original” Blackjack plastic OSS lapel dagger. 

There’s plenty of room for creative knife ideas!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Kydex and More

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.

kydex belt clip on knife sheath
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.
Empty Friday morning
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. 

Battle horse neck knife
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. 

My new Mickey Yurco knife
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 .

Stay sharp!

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.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


I’ve started working on a new writing project involving Boker’s Yurco.  It’s a nice self-defense knife and I like the its lines and feel.  An additional plus is I’ve met Mickey Yurco.  He's a member of a local knife club, so I think that will add another dimension to the article.

It’s a phobia of mine.  I always photograph the knife first.  Then I evaluate it, cut with it, carry it, sharpen it and test it.  This way if the blade or handle picks up scratches, discolorations, or other damage, I’ve got good images for the article.

Taking the photos isn’t always fun.  I don’t have a dedicated photographic studio so using guidelines from Knife World and ideas from Eric Eggly’s DVD, I cobbled together my studio.

Photographing a knife at my studio
It’s sort of the photographer’s perspective of Bismarck’s comments on making laws and sausages.

It isn’t pretty and I hate spending all the required time setting up, ironing backdrops, trying to find wedges to stick under the knives to get the angles I want and then cleaning up.  But it does work.


Innovation Theory of Knives

I subscribe to the 'Tupperware theory'* of knives. That is, descriptions and names of knives are made by manufacturers.  Knife use is defined by the purchaser.  Just because it’s called some type of knife doesn’t mean it can’t be used for other purposes.

I once pitched an idea for an article to an editor.  He indicated since it was a bushcraft knife the article had to be about using the knife to make snares, fires and other survival activities.  I wanted to talk about how the knife worked on a daily basis.  Did it create hot spots and blisters after a few hours of cutting?  How did it resharpen or clean up after cutting meat for dinner?  And could I use it for self-defense?  We never did come to terms.

Some knives are constructed in such a manner they can only be used for a limited task.  TOP’s California Cobra is a great example of that.  

A hand full of Cobra from TOPs
Other than angry, what else could you say?
Sure you could open a letter with it, and maybe make a fire stick with it, but the best description of it came from a customer of mine.  “It’s an angry looking knife.”

So I guess it should come as no surprise that my wife found that cutting her roll-up Christmas cookies was a dream using her ceramic food preparation knife.  

A Stone river ceramic knife
Stone River ceramic knife.  Note: she's using a plastic cutting board.  Always use a plastic or wood cutting surface with a ceramic knife ~ if you want to keep an edge.

Previously she had confined it to slicing vegetables, thin enough to read a newspaper through. 
Who would have thunk it?

*My wife learned years ago that just because Tupperware calls it a 'bread keeper,' that doesn’t mean it will not work for ice cream, cookies, etc.