Share the joy of collecting knives

Knife collecting is fun.

I think we’d all agree to that, right? But do you know what is equally as much fun? It’s what I’m going to call- Sharing the joy.

Sure, we all love tracking down new, in my case new old, knives to buy and all that is a part of that, but if you want to experience a different level of fun, then help a new collector.

What got me off on this today? This did-

Good morning Scott. Thanks for your reply.

I am pretty much a novice with elephant toenails, but am very captivated by the big funky old time nostalgia look and size. Most of the knives I have collected so far are bowies and conventional slipjoints. I have not ventured into the ancient past yet.

Any advice for starters?

If you know me at all, this was all she wrote. Katy bar the door. Advice, oh my, where do I even begin.

When collectors seek advice the responsibility we have to guide them is tremendous. Think about it. And, I bet if you had to do a quick list of the top 5 recommendations you could do that as fast as you could write, right? I couldn’t type fast enough.

What I found as I offered my suggestions was I enjoyed sharing the joy- helping this collector explore the world of elephant toenails.

So, this collector wanting some advice is what promoted today’s post here.

Want to experience a different level of fun? Then share the joy!

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Published in: on February 27, 2010 at 9:33 am  Comments (2)  
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To-Do’s: The Tyranny of the Urgent and then the knife things

Tyranny of the Urgent- the things that require immediate attention. Might be important or might not be. But one thing they are is urgent.

Most of us suffer from the Tyranny of the Urgent, especially on the first day back at work after the holidays. Well, today was that day for me.

My day was full of things I had to get done- appointments to schedule, calls to make, paperwork to do, expenses to turn in….all seemed to be urgent.

In one respect, the last three weeks of work was all pushed forward to today. Before the holidays, I worked really hard to “clear my desk” so I could relax and take off, and then I get back and I’m already behind. Isn’t that the way it is?

I got to the office and started methodically working down my “To- Do” list. I was making significant progress getting the urgent done in order to get to the important.

Urgent doesn’t necessarily mean important.

Once I got the most urgent done, then I was able to do the next item on my “first day back to work” list and this task was important- I mean really important.

I had to go get a cashiers check and get it in the mail.

You know why this particular “To-Do” was so important, don’t you?  I had to pay for the knife I came to terms on over the holidays. 🙂

Hi-resolution pictures transmitted, price discussions ensued and the deal consummated- all electronically, and from 2500 miles away. I love technology.

Now you know why this task was so important- the sooner I got the money sent, the quicker I get my new old knife. Priorities, Priorities.

Published in: on January 4, 2010 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Knife Collector’s Christmas Dilemma

Christmas isn’t about getting presents, we all know that and yet, receiving gifts is still very much a part of it.

You may be getting a knife for Christmas. That’s the good news. The bad news is most of our family members don’t know a Spyderco from a C. Platts.

“What’s the big deal?” you ask. Well, we knife collectors have honed our knife collection down to either a specific type knife, handle material, make or era. While we like knives, we’ve kind of gotten particular.

So what do you do when someone is going to buy you a knife for Christmas?

In our family, we used to ask each other what they wanted so we didn’t buy them something they’d just use at next year’s Dirty Santa party. Asking each other in advance is a good way to get what the other person wants.

But what if you collect knives that can’t be purchased at Smoky Mountain? What are you then to do?

I’ll tell you how it works at my house. We buy our own presents, well my wife and I do anyway. Yeah, each of us will buy the other person something, but we buy our own “big” gift and then it is given to us by the other person…we just buy it for them to give to us.

But when you buy yourself a knife and it represents the present from your wife or kids, then you better watch out. This is exactly what happened to me last year.

The Knife Collector’s Christmas Dilemma

Last year I bought me an old stag Case Brothers toenail. I really didn’t buy it for Christmas, per se, instead it came my way right before Christmas, so instead of buying it and then sticking it in my collection, I decided to use it as the gift from my family to me.

Looking back, I’d been better off putting it in my knife display, then gone and bought me a Buck knife as my Christmas gift instead, because when it came my time to open my present, I knew exactly what my wife was going to say. I just knew it. But I only thought about this dilemma after I’d wrapped it and stuck it under our tree. Too late to do anything about it then.

Sure enough. Round the family we went. The way it works is the person opening the gift must announce who gave it to him/her and then hold it up for all to see. Well, it came my time and I realized I shouldn’t have made this knife a gift.

As I opened it, I announced it was from the family. Then I held it up and quickly looked to my daughter to my right and said, “Your turn.”  Then it came. That dreaded question. No sooner had I held it up when my wife said-

“Oh, that’s nice. How much was it?”

Take the advice of an old knife collector and when you want a knife to add to your collection, buy it and stick it in your display. I know the temptation is strong to make it part of Christmas, but don’t do it. You can rationalize it by saying you are going to spend money on a gift anyway, so why not get a knife for your collection at the same time, and I know that. Just don’t do it. It is not a good way to start off Christmas Day. Trust me.

Speaking of buying knives and getting into hot water, one day I’ll tell you the story about buying the A. B. Haines Elephant Toenail Collection. It’s been going on 10 years now, I guess it’s time to see the humor in it.

Published in: on December 15, 2009 at 7:53 am  Leave a Comment  
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The knife that helped build early America

EleToeLogofinal-2Every collector has a favorite.

Whether it is a single knife, brand or pattern, we all have a favorite. If you don’t know by now, mine is a pattern- I’m what is called a pattern collector. This simply means I try to acquire all the different variations and brands of this one knife pattern.

My favorite is the vintage pattern commonly called the Elephant Toenail (although it’s had many nicknames over the years, as you will see).

The Toenail was instrumental in helping build America in its early days. It isn’t the oldest knife made here, but was probably the hardest used work knife produced by the early American cutlery companies. It’s amazing any of them survived.

Over the last few days I’ve been playing knives on my Mac and put together a short little presentation about this old knife. Thought you might like it too. 🙂

Best answer for guy looking to start relationship with gal next door

Knocking_On_the_DoorOver at EliteFitness forum some guy created a post about needing advice. The name of his post was-

All I want out of life is to marry my next door neighbor.

You know how it goes- everybody and his brother comes and replies by giving advice on what this guy needs to do and how to do it, in order to establish a meaningful relationship with this woman.

The suggestions were all over the board from dead serious to crazy sick, but the best one came after someone suggested he invite her over to watch a movie.

Then Bruce9241 provided the best answer of them all-

“Dude don’t ask her to come over and watch a movie. That’s creepy. Ask her to come over and look at your knife collection.”

Bruce9241 is our kinda guy- gotta give him an honorary membership to iKnifeCollector 🙂

Image source: http://www.4to40.com/poems/index.asp?id=154

Published in: on November 7, 2009 at 8:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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H Boker Factory Collection

20091023_2918To complement the recent feature article on Boker knives and the firm’s history in Knife World Magazine, here is the rare H. Boker Factory Collection displayed at Smoky Mountain Knife Works in Sevierville, TN owned by Kevin Pipes.

20091023_2929Even if you aren’t a fan of the Boker brand, if you like older knives, and pristine mint condition knives- with fantastic etches, then you’ll appreciate this collection.

Knife collectors have to be very careful

arrestUnfortunately today, knife collectors can be profiled as militants or worse- criminals. While this may not initially sound like a problem, when it is the law enforcement doing the profiling, significant additional evidence and alibis may be needed to get off a rap.

meandcollectionwithoutfaceWe know there are many different types of knife collections and some are easier to label as weapons than others (from our perspective), but regardless, there are an awful lot of collectors who at minimum have a half-dozen Case knives sitting around the house. When it comes to legal investigations a knife collection is a knife collection. They don’t care if the knives are peanuts, seahorses or elephant toenails– new or antique. A blade is a blade. And we already know knives are perceived by many as weapons and anyone who “stockpiles” weapons will eventually use them, or so they think.

jailI learned of a man who was convicted of murder (he was only 15 at the time of his arrest) and one of the pieces of evidence used to convict him was his knife collection. It turns out after serving 8 years in jail his conviction was overturned, but my gracious think about it- he lost 8 years of his life for something he later was found unguilty (if I may use that word) for!

So, what’s the solution? We must keep all appearances of being a “bad guy” as far away from us as possible. Think about it- we proudly display our collections in our home or office; folks know we are card-carrying knife collectors (they know this cause we can’t help but talk about knives- after all, we are passionate about our hobby); we spend time traveling great distances to knife shows; we subscribe to Knife World, Tactical Knives or Knives Illustrated (Is CNJ bookmarked on your computer? Then there you go); on and on I could go.

From the outside looking in, you can see how we could be profiled as having the propensity to use knives in a crime and our collections easily spun as stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. We must be careful! People’s perceptions are their reality.

Published in: on September 30, 2009 at 12:01 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Universe of Collectibles

galaxyIt’s easy for knife collectors to see the knife world as all there is.

We can get so zoomed in on our hobby, industry, associations, economic trends that could impact our values, show attendance, old and new collectors, the next generation, counterfeits, etc…..that it is easy to forget knife collecting is but one galaxy in the entire universe of collectibles.

There are thousands of other “worlds” inside the universe of collectibles.

We all know about the famous artwork collected. We drool over the cars bought and sold at Barrett Jackson each year –one day I would love to own an original Shelby GT500, incidentally.

Then you have fishing lures, duck decoys, beer cars, antique toy metal banks (one collection just sold for $400,000), coins, paper money, flags, guns, stamps, wine, manuscripts, star wars ornaments (my wife has one of these going), and even “old” computers (even Apple Computers!) are among items being collected, just to name a very few.

Each collectible world is continually buzzing with buying and selling every day. And it blows me away to try to get my mind around the entire universe of collectibles -in terms of dollars involved, types of items collected, energy and time spent, and the number of collectors and their demographics.

Published in: on January 9, 2009 at 6:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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