Knife Restoration- The Line

There is a line, and it is black and white.

In our Knife Restoration Series, we are looking at the bringing old knives back to life.

Knives do break and need repaired, but today, I’m not talking about fixing a knife; no, I’m talking The Line.

Some see it clearly, to others it isn’t quite so clear, but all know it’s there.

“A knife needs fixed.  That’s when the “restore or not” question comes in.  I guess that’s the thing…..when you’re working on a knife, you know if you’re doing something to blur the issue of authenticity to future observers of that knife.  When you get to that line, you have to decide….”

Quote from an interview with a knife repairer

There is a line, and it is black and white.

Published in: on January 30, 2010 at 8:37 am  Comments (1)  
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Apple’s iPad: I love new toys to play knives on

Apple rolled out its newest revolutionary device today. This cutting-edge computer is called the iPad. I promise you will hear more about it- in fact, just watch the national news tonight, it will be on every station.

I watched their media event today announcing this creation via live streaming video since CNJ wasn’t invited.

You might know it already, but I am a huge Mac man and have been waiting on Apple’s iPad, and a few minutes ago a knife friend over at iKnifeCollector sent me one-

Apple's New iPad browsing iKnifeCollector

Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 5:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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MAILER-DAEMON is a sad thing when it comes to knife collectors

I was rummaging around my files today- my email files and folders. Frequently, I’ll go back and read through old emails from knife collectors.

Might sound odd, but I find the topics interesting, plus to see what knives we talked about. Sometimes the collector shared with me actual knives in their collection too.

Today I tried to contact a collector from an old email only to have the email bounce back as undeliverable.

It’s the ding of the Inbox seconds after pushing send, only to see the dreaded MAILER-DAEMONRemote host said: 550 MAILBOX NOT FOUND. I get sick to my stomach every time.

And in some cases, it means the collector has passed away.

It’s a sad thing. When it happens I sit there for a minute thinking about what might have happened to the collector only to then wonder about his knives.

Not all collectors have huge collections that force the family to have to decide what to do with them. No, in many cases, there may only be a few knives, so what happens then?

Today, I tried to reconnect with a gentleman who contacted me back in 2003 about his stag HSB toenail. I ran across his email and thought I’ll just see how he was doing. Then the much feared MAILER-DAEMON showed up almost instantly.

Then what do you do? Most of the time I don’t know anything more than a name, sometimes only a first name. It’s not like I can walk down the street and knock on his door either.

I can’t help but wonder what happened to the knife he told me about too. Unfortunately, I can’t assume the family recognized the knife as valuable and rare. I’m afraid to think it was given to little Spike to play with.

Published in: on January 26, 2010 at 5:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Man, I’m thankful for Pickers

You know what a Picker is? You Ol’ Timers do, but I can guarantee most of the young bucks don’t. I’d never heard of a Picker until recently.

First, I want to officially go on record in saying, I’m thankful for the pickers. They’re scattered all across our fruited plain. Their job- scurry through the yard sales looking for “things” of value to resale. Usually they broker to dealers, but now with the web, they can sell directly to collectors too.

This important occupation hasn’t always been looked upon favorably. In fact, here’ a definition straight from Zen in the Art of Yardselling

PickersA term that the yardsale community commonly uses to refer to [unscrupulous] people who turn a profit from reselling yardsale-bought goods. Pros resent being classified as pickers seeing as how it puts them in the same category as lawn gypsies.

You know me I’m all for capitalism. I’m glad someone is up at the crack of dawn sifting through boxes of junk. So what they make a dollar…..or thousands when they score a find.

Pickers have now even been elevated in stature- there’s a TV Show promoting this worthwhile activity called American Pickers.

Why are pickers on my mind today? Cause I’m the proud benefactor of a picker’s discovery.

Recently a gentleman in California contacted me. He is a friend of this particular picker- my hero- who had found a big old odd knife. The friend was helping research the knife and they found my Elephant Toenails website.

The friend wanted me to help give “some details” about it, as well as wanting to know if I’d be interested. Long story short, it was an elephant toenail, as you probably guessed. But it wasn’t just the run of the mill old toenail, instead it was of the Jumbo Swellcenter variety- my favorite.

Now my appreciation for this under-appreciated occupation is at an all-time high. Had this gentleman not recognized my knife as potentially having significance (to me anyway), it easily could have ended up being purchased for what it was originally intended- a hard-core work knife- thrown in a toolbox never to be seen again.

I know you knife collectors are nodding with me on this. I can hear your “Amen” all the way down here in the Heart of Dixie.

Now allow me to introduce my sentimental favorite Jumbo Swellcenter- the fruit of a picker’s labor:

Jumbo Swellcenter- C. Platts' Sons Cutlery Company of Eldred, Pa. 1900- 1905

Oh, I forgot to tell you the kicker- the Picker only paid $14.00 for it.

Kinda makes you want to pick a little, now doesn’t it?

SHOT Show 2010 is now history

The SHOT Show is a wrap. And its numbers are huge.

The four day event held last week at the Sands Expo & Convention Center was a success, as reported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.  The show is owned and sponsored by the NSSF, the firearms industry’s trade association.

The SHOT show is the world’s largest exposition of firearms, ammunition, outdoor and tactical apparel, optics, cutlery, camping and related products and services.

This event is important to the knife industry and the major knife companies exhibited. We’ll be getting their observations and forecast for this new year.

Interesting SHOT Show factoids-

  • 2010 Attendance- 58,444
  • Buyers- 31,280
  • Exhibitors- 1,633
  • International Exhibitors- 125
  • Media Attendance- 1,804
  • Show space- 700,000 square feet
  • First show- 1979

Tune in for NSSF President Steve Sanetti’s State of the Industry address-

“With sales and revenues in much of our industry at a decade-long high despite the worst recession in a generation, we have thrived. I have to say that the state of the industry in 2010 is about as strong as I’ve seen it.”

NSSF President Steve Sanetti

Published in: on January 23, 2010 at 12:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

On the lighter side: A wired old knife collector having a blast

I’m often asked, “Scott, just how do you do it? How do you keep all the knife related projects going?”

To begin with- I have fun doing all my knife-related projects. And yes, most of them do involve the web.

And it is true, as I find new technologies I’m going to do a test drive. At first, many of these tools are a little far out for most collectors. I know that. But it’s clear there are thousands of wired older collectors, plus younger collectors are using them already.

Twitter is one. Blogs were but are close to mainstream now….well, almost. Social Networking- facebook, MySpace, YouTube and iKnifeCollector members are continuing to mushroom in number.

As an aside, I’ve gotta share a funny email I received the other day from a fellow iKC member-

“Scott, You might want to look at getting a 5-point safety harness installed on your computer chair. So you won’t be blown away with all this new member registration.”

Jerry Smith – J. W. Smith & Sons Custom Knives

OK, so maybe only the early adopter collectors use these new web things, but really the point here is for me to come clean.

I don’t want folks to feel sorry for me about the number of things I have going.

I’ve wanted you to see me as an old knife collector sitting behind a wooden desk with my feet propped up as I peck away on my keyboard. Kind of fits with the image of an old knife collector, doesn’t it?

No, I don’t have a super-duper computer chair with straps. But the truth is I do have a get-up that handles extreme speed and keeps it all going very efficiently. I haven’t wanted to show you because I hate the knife collector-geek reputation.

Only so you won’t worry about me any longer- here is how I get it all done…I just don’t use a keyboard 🙂

Published in: on January 21, 2010 at 6:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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When size matters- now this is a blade!

Looking for an EDC you can use as a multi-purpose blade but want one that is easy to conceal? Then this baby ain’t it.

C.A.S. Hanwei, known for high-end samurai swords, celebrates its 25th anniversary with this massive Shinto sword held by Missy Hillian at the 2010 SHOT SHOW in Vegas.

Specs: Overall length:  39″- Blade length:  27″ Weight:  2lb 5oz

C.A.S. Hanwei Shinto Sword

Photo credit: Field & Stream: Phil Bourjaily;

Published in: on January 21, 2010 at 8:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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Knife News on Twitter

Cutlery News Journal is micro-blogging knife news on Twitter.

That’s right, we are tweeting. That’s Twitter talk for instant messaging knife news through this fascinating social network. I can hear many of you now, “Scott, you’re just a nerd.” Well, you know what, that is true, but guess what- I found lots of knife folks there already. And of the tens of millions of Twitterers, I couldn’t find anyone tweeting knife collector news.

Now there’s knife “stuff” being tweeted, but a lot of it is folks promoting their knife products, much like they do on facebook. But others are using Tweeter to communicate with their fan base and other interested followers. I found W. R. Case, A. G. Russell, SOG Knives, Spyderco and several other knife companies and makers there. Found iKnifeCollector there too 🙂

There are many news organizations using Twitter to send out bite-sized news with links to the full story. I say bite-sized because a message (or tweet) is limited to 140 characters, like the status updates on iKnifeCollector and facebook.

So, if you are already a Twitterer then come follow CutleryNewsJournal, but if you aren’t, then add Twitter to your radar, because you’re going to see and hear a lot about it over the next few years. Twitter is more than just a hip new fad thing; it is a major business tool. I’ll report on my knife industry and collector related findings as I go.

Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 4:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The best defense is a good offense. Knife Rights playing to win.

Knife Rights takes the field to win a National Knife Law state by state.

Talk about going on the offense. Following the recent success in preventing U. S. Custom’s attempt to outlaw assisted-opening knives last summer, Knife Rights is launching a national state knife law preemption campaign to protect pocket knife owners, knife collectors and the knife industry.

The initiative is rolling out in Arizona first and gained the support of Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Gray. Here are the details. It’s a bold and exciting beginning to enact knife preemption laws throughout the United States one play at a time.

Published in: on January 19, 2010 at 2:55 pm  Comments (2)  
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Blade Show West Cancelled for 2010

Blade Magazine cancels the Pacific Northwest knife event

F+W Media President, David Blansfield, cites economy for canceling this year’s show. Blade Magazine is owned by F+W Media.

“Given the state of the exhibitor economy at present we have decided not to produce Blade Show West in 2010, but we will produce the event in subsequent years when we’re confident exhibitors will be able to support it.”

David Blansfield President, F+W Media

The good news is their 700 exhibitor Atlanta Show, the world’s largest knife show, scheduled for June 4, 5 and 6th 2010 is not affected by this decision and is full steam ahead.