I am re-taking some photos for the book as we work through the editing process. Seems like I learn something new every day about cameras. I was having issues with fuzzy images and finally discovered the fix. This is a really rare X-dagger similar to the one Fairbairn gave to Thomas Mason during the war. It has a broad "S" guard and is made from a clean blank of steel, not a bayonet. The sheath has a small knife on the side in a separate sheath. Both are stamped for John Paisley. The small knife is in my book on Covert knives of WW-II. The parent knife will be featured in the volume on full sized knives from Shanghai to the Second Pattern. Trust me, we are getting somewhere now. I may start a "Kickstarter" fund to help finance initial printing costs. This is the quality I am striving for, so that the book will be worth your purchasing it. Hang in there!
Close-up photo of the side of a thumb dagger once belonging to Johannes Happe. These initials are about a 1/8th inch tall!
Here is a snapshot of eight pages from my covert knives manuscript. It is 150+ pages long so far and practically wall to wall photos. There will be plenty of close-ups and some of the rarest knives you've ever seen. Have a great holiday.
This July 4th Pray for our nation and our President and administration. We are in the 3rd year of an ongoing coup d' etat and the worst crisis I have ever seen in my 70 years. We are being destroyed from within by the extreme far left "democratic" Socialist party and fascists like "antifa." Help keep America Great and let freedom ring out loud and clear over the rattling chains of socialism and communism. So much hate and criminality I cannot fathom it.
I am experimenting with some new lights for taking photographs. I am still figuring out the best positioning and intensity of the lights. But here is a knife you might like. Along with Fairbairns I have a strong attraction to big knives, choppers and Bowies. This Bowie has about a 10+ inch blade and was made by a skilled maker named Matt Lamey. I have a very nice collection of Lamey's knives which I have performed some test cutting and training with. Matt uses micarta (like in this knife) or nicely figured woods for handles. One of the things that sets off Matt's knives are the beautiful clay tempered hamons he creates on the blades. This hamon is actually fairly plain compared to some he has done. Terrific artistry. Maybe I'll post more photos of his work later.
The following Bowie is one I commissioned of a student who learned from Matt Lamey. Charlie Edmundsen made this to my specifications. He said it was the first Damascus knife he forged this big. I'd say he did a sweet job. It was also the first fighting style guard he had ever forged. It and the ferrule are also damascus, and formed to perfection for blade trapping. This photo was taken with my old lighting.
I hate it when I am looking for one type of knife and get side tracked by another. That is what happened as I was looking on ebay for WW-2 knives and found this Kukri. The condition of its blade and the completeness of the scabbard are what attracted me. Seldom do you find an older Kukri in this condition for a good price. I was the only one to bid on this knife for some odd reason. I think bidders were scared off by the $25 shipping from England. On me sales page I warn buyers that it costs $25 to ship overseas anymore. Anyway it may not be WW-2 vintage but it is a beautiful example.
Whoever owned this Kukri really took good care of it and kept the blade clean of rust and the edge free of chips and dings. The maker cut the fullers pretty straight and crisp. All in all I think it is a lovely weapon. So I will sort out my other Kukri and find one to sell to help pay for this one.
MANY NEW KNIVES HAVE BEEN ADDED TO THE FIGHTING KNIFE SALES PAGE. PLEASE CHECK IT OUT.
It physically sickened me when I flipped on the TV and saw Notre Dame in flames. My mind could not comprehend nor accept what I was looking at. Having just recently visited several cathedrals in the UK I had purchased books on how these incredible structures were built. I wanted to know everything I could about them. As an artist, a student of engineering, an ordained clergy, a lover of philosophy and architecture, all of my senses were assaulted from all directions at once. It was like seeing the Shuttle explode on launch, watching the collapse of the twin Trade Towers in NYC....... My heart immediately went out to the French people.
During one of the holiest weeks in Christendom we witness the near complete loss of a most holy monument, a nine century old testament to Man's love of God, and his gift to God. How could this happen, we ask ourselves. There is no such thing as coincidence. In less than twelve hours fire nearly consumed this jewel of Christianity that took men 200 years to build. Think about it, this was the work of five generation or more, laboring day in and out.
There are unexplored bits of evidence, unrevealed facts but no coincidences. Perhaps time will reveal the story of how the fire started. Then again political expediency may bury the truth. I hope that all Christian and other religious holy sites will not disregard this disaster and dismiss it as just an unfortunate event. As a Buddhist nun once advised me: "Be awake." Please take precautions, increase security, and be awake to things and people going on around you. Bless those who have already donated small amounts and fortunes to restore this incredible structure. Never take for granted that these things will be with us always. Cherish and protect them. Here are some photos of the Cathedral at York, UK that we visited last month. How can one possibly enter into a building like this and not be inspired?
This week the world of knife collectors became a poorer place. I lost a good friend from Canada, whose company I shall sorely miss. Pete Hooker was a true gentleman in the old-world sense, a type all too rare today. We met via my website and then formed a solid friendship between Pete and I and our wives. We would meet for a burger and brews at someplace midway between his home and ours. The ladies would talk of kids and other things but Pete and I always talked knives and sometimes politics.
I bought several knives from Pete and traded off most of my Randall knives to him in exchange for his X-Daggers and a few F-S knives. For both of us there was always another knife on the horizon. Pete I hope you find that grail knife somewhere along your travels. One day we’ll set down over a beer again and update each other on our latest finds. Go with God my friend.
While on vacation I had the opportunity to visit a museum with a nice section of it dedicated to the WW-2 Commandos and their training. I bought both video they had available and then wondered if they would play on American DVD players. When I got home I found to my great pleasure that yes they do work and the coverage was splendid. I only watched a part of one of them while we were at the museum because there was so much else to see.
It is a three (maybe four?) story building and there were other displays of Highland culture and about the Jacobite rebellion. We also bought a few books but I discovered I owned all of the ones on Commandos. No surprises there. But my blog is about paying back. The museum admission was free but my wife and I dropped in a 10 pound note besides our purchases. The people running the museum were lovely folks, helpful and dedicated to their work. Because of my love of the Commando and my own Highland heritage I want to help contribute something. Therefore
I decided to contact them about selling their DVDs as a way of sharing their knowledge of the actual training that took place very nearby at Inverailort and Achnacarry. This is real footage with a pair of actors providing commentary. The film is very well done and shows the arduous training the prospective commandos went through to earn their coveted green beret.
The grey cover DVD titled “Achnacarry 70 Years on” includes contemporary footage of archeological work at the training centers. It also includes interviews with some commando veterans and my friend Paul MacDonald. Now I know why when we entered the Museum the person at the desk asked “what brings you up here Paul?” The running time is about 45 minutes. Price is going to be $30 including shipping
The green color cover, titled The Commandos” is a bit shorter and includes the exact same 1940s film of the training. So if you are only interested in the WW-II film I would recommend this one. Price is $30 including shipping. Remember this one is only the WW-II footage with some bits of live footage of them at war.
What you will receive are quality videos from the museum they are not copies I have made. As I said the majority of the profits (minus my actual costs) will be returned to the museum as a donation. I know you will not be disappointed. They are incredible films and knowing your love for Commando Knives this is just frosting on the cake.
You can find out more about me on the "Stories" pages. My hobbies have included training in Japanese martial arts, Kenjutsu, many forms of knife fighting, long range rifles and tactical firearms. I have written several self published books on muzzle-loading firearms, knife-fighting and gas engines and compressors. I am working diligently on my 400+ page F-S book.