The Seventh Level of Horror


The Tourist
June 21, 2008, 05:34 PM
Everyone has things that frighten them beyond words. It can be "bumps in the night," loud noises, gore, suspense or even dirge music. The fact is, there are things in this world that terrorize us all.

For me, it's parcels that are about one pound in weight, and addressed to my knife company. It's never good. Within the wrapper is another tortured soul. A servant pushed beyond its design limits. A tool, descended from the feudal samurai, now lowered in rank to scrape footware.

I got back home today from a glorious spin on the Harley. The air was balmy, just a touch of that 'evening cool' to breathe, the roads quick and easy and numerous friends to see at the local dealer. In short, when I think about what it means to be a biker, I imagine days such as these.

But the mail had come, and there was a parcel addressed to "the company." I sliced open the seal and dumped out a tragic entity. For inside the package was a knife, crafted perhaps a month ago, and now in need of dire attention.

My heart froze like a coarse, black stone.

I carried the knife delicately to the freezer and placed it tenderly on a bed of fresh ice. Sleep well, little soldier. For you the horror is over, and the healing is about to begin.

This story will continue...

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June 21, 2008, 06:30 PM
The air was balmy

Yea I just went for a "spin" also on the Valk - except it's 106 so balmy is not how I'd describe it. But I got an MRI done and ate. OK, back to the knife.

People beat these so bad that they're ruined in a month?

The Tourist
June 21, 2008, 06:59 PM
People beat these so bad that they're ruined in a month?

This one is in to have the bevel straightened. The client is a THR member, so I'm pulling his leg.

But yes, a knife can be beaten or dulled, be 30 days old and in for refurbishing.

Now, I can not tell you the name of the client. As you know, my company has client confidentiality.

But I will tell you this, when I first get a package, I have to look over the piece, appraise it, and lay out a plan of repair. It might need a cleaning, but then, the client might want the patina left in place.

In short, I have to stop being the tinker and determine a schedule.

You might say that under those conditions, it is I who is the DeTerminator. However, confidentiality precludes me from saying anymore.:D

June 21, 2008, 07:41 PM
I went for a ride today also.

the rest of your post are way over my head???????

June 21, 2008, 07:50 PM
Wow, Chico!

The little soldier was knocking on your door already? I'm glad he's chillin' in a safe place!

Yes, it was I who sent over my Stubby to The Tourist. Myself a rookie at putting an edge to steel. Some of my attempts to sharpen have succeeded, but not this one. I admit defeat, and wave the white flag. And swear to think twice before even considering ANY attempt to sharpen this blade again. It is out of my league.

I need to destroy more cheap blades with my feable attempts to sharpen. This could be a fun thing! I've got a number of those throw-aways.

Today, my new Spyderco Sharpmaker came. It has two different angles, compared to my old '80's model that only had one that I'm giving back to my brother tomorrow.

Chico, work your magic! What you are able to do with it will be greatly appreciated, no matter what you decide (or determine) the best course of action is.

Later, bro!


P.S. Everyone should have a Stubby, if they have the means. Coolest little blade you'll hook onto you're pocket!

The Tourist
June 21, 2008, 09:35 PM
Oh, I think the little guy is going to be okay. I checked the knife a few minutes ago and it appears that it probably can take a few licks and tell me where we are.

Pictures to follow.

(Hey, Bikerdoc, where did you ride? They have pretty much opened up most of 94 and 39 in both directions. I just *gulp* bought some premium and went out for a putt. I hit Capital Harley about 1:00PM and had a few hotdogs. Pretty laid back day. Those 203 cams really make those 95 inches come alive! Great fun accelerating for on-ramps. Third gear is intense!)

The Tourist
June 22, 2008, 12:29 AM
Well, the bloodletting is over. If I did anything, it was a simple repair. It took a good buff, the edge cuts quite well. We now have to wait for a report from the owner.

Edit: The pictures make the edge look "milky." If fact, they shine like a mirror. The edge also slices a piece of newsprint in both directions of the page's bias.

June 22, 2008, 08:37 AM
I live on the carolina border, went down the coast to a little biker bar in
walnut Island called Barry's - he hosts Outer bank bike week every year. 2 diet dr peppers and a burger, a total of 120 miles and all is right with the world, except I still cant get a good edge on the rough rider

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
June 22, 2008, 11:45 AM
I give you "Exhibit P" in the "Is The Tourist insane?" trial. :p

J/K - Good post - what's your company and product lineup? You got a website? Good to see makers standing behind their products.

The Tourist
June 22, 2008, 12:12 PM
I give you "Exhibit P" in the "Is The Tourist insane?" trial.

You must be digging into the archives, because that issue was settled many years ago! :D

How can Bikerdoc and I go screaming down the highway *ahem* at all the legal posted speeds, with cagers' mirrors brushing our elbows, and junebugs bouncing off our leathers like errant hollowpoints? How can we laugh, much less relax and exhale? It's in the genes and in the jeans.

I smacked fourth and sped past a truck this weekend while humming sections of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. I shifted back into fifth and cleared the Kenworth's bumper at +88 MPH. I was very troubled--I had forgotten some of the lyrics. Oh, and the truck, old hat, I must of had four feet of clearance.

(Disclaimer alert! Bikers and tinkers embroider stories. The Kenworth had no bumper.)

But knives in the mail--or problematic pieces in general--trouble me. As stated, you'll never know what you'll find. I had two hoof knives once that necessitated rinsing off the manure before I could begin. At the sporting goods store I had a hunter wipe off fresh blood onto his pants.

But that's part of the biz. That hunter might have been a subsistance hunter feeding his family for the entire year from his larder. That farrier might be the only one who cares about that horse. A knife in the mail might be for a veteran, tangled in stop-loss and about to be deployed again.

Granted, this job had a glimmer of humor, and part of the high road is supporting your friends, even in jest. Other than cut himself, the DeTerminator might actually do some righteous work with his knife, like earn a living. I wouldn't take a bet on it, but it could happen...

June 22, 2008, 05:24 PM
I wouldn't take a bet on it, but it could happen...

Anything's possible, right? :D

The Tourist
June 22, 2008, 11:16 PM
I finally got a better picture of the finished knife and the bevel:

Smokey Joe
June 23, 2008, 01:45 PM
Tourist--Coupla dumb questions; sorry but I feel the need to ask:

1. You aparently make commercially available knives?

2. You got a website, or now a location in/around Mad-town? (I get there on occasion.) Last time I asked you didn't seem to.

3. How come you start a knife service job by freezing the knife. Sorry if this displays my ignorance; I'm neither a metallurgist nor a bladesmith, just a dumb admirer of the sharp edge. I'm better than average at hand sharpening, and that's about the extent of my expertise.

Anyhow, yr Stubby Razel looks like a stout, handy tool. Glad you were able to "recover" this one.

June 23, 2008, 08:47 PM

When it gets here, you can bet it's going in my pocket!

This is no closet queen. As long as The Tourist is on my side, and can heal my little soldier, he will be on active duty indefinitely!

This is really a gem to carry around and use. I can see where a leather sheath would be a better choice for a sheath. Gotta put up with the kydex for now.



P.S. Will keep you updated...

The Tourist
June 23, 2008, 09:31 PM
First things first. DeTerminator, your knife has been shipped. You should get it tomorrow, June 24th. If you have trouble opening the package, just shake it. The knife will cut itself out from the inside...

Smokey Joe, be glad to answer your questions. And yes, the Stubby is a valuable tool. I recommend them.

1). I do not make knives. I am a tinker. Tinkers avoid work, we even hate to say the word "work." If money was free, a tinker would actually hire someone to pick it up for him.

Back in the olden days when cities had walls and gates, a city elder was riding his horse homeward to his dwelling when he noticed a stranger sitting outside the perimeter. The stranger was clearly idle, not working, not seeking work, not even begging. The elder accosted him, demanding to know his business and intentions.

The stranger remarked, "Good sir, I am a minstrel, a traveler, a collector of valuable art. I am a balladeer, a thespian, a mercenary, a performer of ribald amusements. I am a leader of men, a follower of women...

"Say no more, knave," the city elder intoned, "You're a frakken knife sharpener..."

And so it has always been.

2). A website, merciful heavens! That would require working!

3). There are many theories on why a knife should be chilled before sharpening and polishing. Some opine that it it merely a custom of the trade. Hundreds of years ago, Norwegian cutlers used to bury their swords in frozen fjords as "a good sword seasons a winter." There is some argument by metallurgists as to the effect any cooling has on a thinned edge.

I do it for a different reason. If my fingers are chilled, the tumbler of tequila never warms.

June 23, 2008, 10:31 PM
That would be sad!

I'll get back to you on the status of my Stubby! Shaken' the package may result in injury!

Later, Chico!


June 24, 2008, 06:40 PM
My Stubby came marching home today!

The Tourist took it upon himself to restore the edge and perform his magic on the knife that I tangled with and lost the battle attempting to sharpen. He emerged a victor decisively, if I may say!

I really didn't know it was possible to get a blade this sharp. You can see yourself in the grind, it is that shiny. It exceeded my expectations, it is just that ridiculously sharp and pretty!

Touching a hair will split one. Sure, I know, they say the sharper they are, the easier it is to get it dull. Well, maybe, but I think that that "dull" will still be sharper than most people's sharp knives.

Kudo's to Chico!

A real talent, craftsman, artist, and philosopher. Thanks!



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