Last weekend was the Annual Mystic Connecticut Show for the Northeast Cutlery Collector Association. It was a modest sized show, and as my local show, I thought it would be fun to go. I went with my father-in-law and his brother (my uncle-in-law). It was a great deal of fun and I got to see some really cool pieces of gear. I tried, best as I could, to stick to my plan, articulated here. As you will see over the course of this post, I failed. Oh well. Also, sorry about the shitty lighting. This was in a ballroom with no windows. Also, there were a ton of other makers and dealers there that I did not get to take pictures of, and I am sorry I didn't. This is just a sliver of what was there.
As usual the best part of the show was chatting with folks. I caught up with some makers I had purchased stuff from before and met some new folks.
Chuck had a bunch of folders out all of which had something cool or unique about them. He mentioned that he was working on a sculpted pocket clip (see picture below), which is all the rage thanks to Jim Skelton and he had at least one to show me and it was quite good. He also had a few thicker folders. Here is a flipper using almost the exact same materials as my Small Pathfinder:
Like all of Chuck's work, it was smooth and fired like a rocket. The overall look of the knife reminded me a bit of Michael Burch's work, with harder angles. I really liked this knife a lot and had I not already owned something very similar I would have bought it on the spot. And this was the first knife I saw at the show. That was a bad portent regarding my ability to stick to my plan.
Paul Farina (Paul needs a working website)
Paul is famous. Not internet famous, but real, I-have-been-on-TV famous. He played himself on an episode of Blade Brothers, the short lived, but fun reality show about the Begg brothers making knives (rumor has it A&E might pick up the show, let's hope so). Paul doesn't make knives but as a knife purveyor, he had some of the best blades on the planet. I have seen Paul's stuff quite a few times and he always has some ridiculous top-shelf gear. The Mystic Show was no exception:
That's probably about $100,000 in knives maybe more. In the case on the left hand side, in the right hand row, second from the top is a Tim Gaylean flipper. I have been critical of flippers before, but this one is on a different level. There is no knife, no flipper, I have ever seen or held that worked as well as this one did. It fired so quickly and quietly, I thought for a second Gaylean had solved the fundamental problem behind a perpetual motion machine. There was absolutely no friction whatsoever. The price tag on the blade was $4,000, but give its unique feel the price is understandable (too high for me, but understandable).
Kevin was a new maker for me. He had a wide variety of custom fixed blades and they were of the highest quality. The seams were glass smooth and the rivets were completely flush. He had a wide and interesting selection of blade steels and handle materials. He had a ton of great blades, but this one was my favorite:
Again, I was tempted (are you noticing a theme), but I hadn't made my first loop so I decided to hold off. If you are looking for a nice kitchen knife for either mother's or father's day, Kevin had some outstanding pieces at reasonable prices.
Jonathan is 18 years old and he and his Dad make a line of fixed blades. I saw them at a previous NCCA event and I promised myself that I would buy on of their blades at the next show. Here were some of the smaller fixed blades they had laid out:
One of these would be mine before the end of the day. Its hard for a Dad to resist a knife made by a father/son team.
One really cool part of a knife show is the fact that you will find tons of out of production knives that seem to evade the reach of eBay and the forums. Here is a small corner of one display case with three really cool OOP Spydercos:
That's a good line up for the collector.
Steve Karroll Knives
Steve had quite a few blades, a handful of folders and about a dozen sweet kiridashis. Here is his table:
My uncle was very close to buying his first custom folder, the one second from the left. Had I not already owned two Karroll knives, I might have bought the one in the center. Again, I had to hold fast to the plan. One of those knives really caught my attention. Here it is up close:
The big deal, aside from Steve's amazing nightmare grind, is the blade steel--3V. The steel junkie in me is feeling the pull of 3V. It will probably be the steel on my next blade.
We walked around some more and I stumbled across a beautiful Bob Dozier DK-FH Ti. These aren't knives you see everyday and they have a lot in common with the Sebenza, I knife I still love. It wasn't on the list, so I moved on...or tried to. I did a lap, and then another and I asked the guy selling the Dozier to set it aside for me. It had a three inch blade, which was in my wheelhouse and a gorgeous grind. But it wasn't on the list.
After my third lap, all of us decided to breakdown. My uncle went first and bought a Spyderco Native 5 with G10 handles. That broke the seal because I then bought a JMF knife (as did my uncle), then my father in law went back and scooped up that Gen 1 Dragonfly. The pressure was on and the price was right, so I went back and got the Dozier. We took a break and got some Subway near the ocean. After eating a bit we went back and I bought a Super Blue Dragonfly 2, sold a knife for cash, and then my uncle bought a Paramilitary 2. My father-in-law found a $5 bin and bought some workhorse traditional folders that something tells me he will distribute to his grandsons sooner rather than later.
Here is my haul from the very fun show:
Dozier DK-HF Ti:
JMF Drop Point Neck Knife:
Spyderco Dragonfly 2 in Super Blue:
Here are all of the photos from the show (with a cool Reese Bose in there).
Finally, here is my father-in-law with the scariest, bad assest knife at the show:
Because who doesn't need a turquoise inlay on a 5 inch hawkbill?
Thanks to everyone I met and to my uncle and father-in-law for going with me, for breakfast and lunch, as well as good conversation on the ride there and back.