Cutlery October ’07 Newsletter
as much as $90 on a gift to a special friend or family member… Save
even more if you choose… Check
out this month’s “exchange in abundance” offer.
My goodness, where did summer go? I hope that you
all have plenty of fall activities that you look forward to. For
many of you, fall means large game hunting, and that means that
right about now you are getting those hunting knives out and checking
to see if they are up for the cutting tasks ahead of them. From
the flurry of Carter Sharpening DVD sales recently, I’m sure that
several of you are well prepared for anything that comes your (blade’s)
writing this newsletter in the Atlanta Airport, while waiting to
board my plane back to Portland, Oregon. I just spent a very memorable
four days with world famous hunter and writer W. Hovey Smith, author
of Crossbow Hunting and Practical Bowfishing as well as over 200
published articles, at his home in south-eastern Georgia.
I learned about black powder muzzle loading firearms, and hunting
whitetail deer with them. We prepped and test-fired the full spectrum
of black powder arms including modern in-line rifles, Hawkin’s rifles
(circa 1840’s), a percussion cap single shot .50 caliber pistol
and a replica of a 400 year old Japanese
matchlock. Despite all being muzzle-loading arms, each varied
significantly from each other. The modern in-line rifles use pyrodex
pellets, modern bullets and modern shotgun primers. The Hawkin’s
rifle and pistol used 85 grains of FFFG black powder, a felt wad
and cast lead conical bullets and primed with a percussion cap.
The Japanese matchlock was the most exciting of all with a heavier–than-get-out
smoothbore barrel, 85 grains of FFFG powder, a patched round lead
ball and primed with super fine FFFFG gunpowder in a flash pan.
Getting the match cord lit and in the right position so that it
would ignite the powder in the pan rather than just snuff out, or
not have a spark land in the open flash pan when you didn’t want
to fire the gun was a special challenge. I was concerned about the
recoil due to the lack of a shoulder stock. I imagined a broken
check bone and a bloody nose when I positioned my trigger finger
to light her off, but was pleasantly surprised that recoil was quite
manageable due to the weight of the extra long barrel. Having lived
for ten years on the 120 year old historic battlefield Tabaruzaka
in Ueki City, Japan, where the last Samurai rebellion was fought
(Topic of Tom Cruise movie “The Last Samurai”), I felt a connection
to the Japanese samurai soldiers of past who used these matchlocks
to fight the modern equipped government troops.
I proved to be a better target shooter of these firearms
than a hunter. Despite sighting fourteen deer in three days, I’m
returning home empty-handed. I hunted using the Hawkins rifle
which was the most accurate of the lot. This rifle has a unique
feature called a “set trigger” which allows the option of presetting
the trigger so that only a few ounces of pressure are necessary
to fire the rifle. My host, Hovey Smith continually warned me that
a common mistake when hunting with such a sensitive trigger is to
get so excited that one prematurely shoots the gun before one intends
to. On the last day of hunting, a nice size buck came trotting
by my tree stand. I was ready for him and cocked the hammer and
set the trigger as he approached. I stood to swing on him, take
aim and carefully make the killing shot, but instead, stood, took
a shooting grip and “BANG”. The bullet went safely into the
ground thirty feet in front of the deer. The buck sauntered
away in no great hurry, almost sensing that there was not going
to be a second shot forthcoming from the single shot rifle. Man,
I was furious at myself for being so self confident with an unfamiliar
gun. As one old friend used to say “One needn’t kill to have
hunted”. That may be true, but bagging one of those deer will be
the goal of my next such hunting trip. I had a great holiday for
the first time in two and a half years, and am now ‘psyched’ to
get back to the very important task of completing the winter batch
of knives which will be for sale beginning in December.
Bladesmithing classes continue to be a resounding success,
the most recent was a one day “ 100, Introduction To Japanese
Bladesmithing” class (Oct. 6th). The class was
full with six participants, some who traveled as far south
as San Diego, or drove for more than 5 hours to attend.
demonstrations and lectures of the day went smooth as silk,
the knife we made was auctioned off at close to twice the
retail price. The winner got the unique privilege of having
his initials stamped into the blade, making it a truly one-of-a-kind
piece. Read the comments and testimonials below, as
well as see a slide show and video on our WEB site at
next school, starting next Monday October 22nd
to 26th, is a “500,
Original Intensive course covering 100, 101, 201 and 301”
for an exclusive limited group
who missed out on last July’s class. Look
to a report on that
class in the next newsletter.
great insight into how a master craftsman approaches his art.
I have a greater appreciation of what an artist goes though
to excel at his craft."
-Paul Begovich, Theatrical Technical Director
have been interested in Japanese and Western World history
and edged weapons. Over the years I
have accumulated a patchwork of
knowledge and interesting facts.
In Murray's one day
course 'Introduction to Japanese Bladesmithing' he managed
to take my scattered knowledge and forge it into a cohesive
block, lifting a vale of fog that had existed. He basically
added mortar to the blocks of knowledge I had, and added more
blocks. He expanded my universe and intensified my interest
in what I was already interested in."
-Bruce Fried, Vietnam Veteran, retired
most advanced and easily appreciated material on knives I
have ever seen. Excellent instruction, good pacing and
-Hohn Rapinchak, Coffee Importer
want to express my appreciation to all who have responded to my
special offers, so far. It is truly exciting to send out a
newsletter with an amazing offer to my valued customers and friends,
and have the phone literally ring off the hook for the next few
days. For example, my free bladesmithing course offer sold out
in two hours and more than 20% of my customers ordered my sharpening
DVD’s at the incredible one time only low price of $45. So
what can I offer you this month… let me think…
month’s amazing offer…
as much as $90 on one knife!!
much more on a cash gift certificate!!
I’ve got it… an incredible exchange in abundance for you, my most
valued customers. Buy a gift certificate, for a friend or
family member, for a standard kitchen knife order (SFGZ, SFGZ-RH
or HG series) or a standard neck knife order and receive a 25% discount.
For example, buy a $360 blue super steel neck knife for only $270,
and you save $90. You can also buy a cash gift
certificate and receive the same 25% discount, so a $500 certificate
will save you $125. Certificates are available in
denominations of your choice, the larger the certificate the more
you save. Basically, I’m able to forward you this incredible
savings by selling my knives at dealer’s prices. I can no
longer sell to dealers because I just can’t keep up with the growing
demand for my knives. With this offer, I’m not losing anything,
but I am able to offer you great savings. What a
great Christmas present this will make for the person who has everything
BUT a Carter knife! These unique certificates will
be written and signed by me, with any personal message you desire,
and will have no expiry date. What a great offer! This
is so good I better put a deadline on it. Offer ends 10 pm
PST, Oct. 31st. Please, no calls after 10pm; sleeping
Model Knife News
have been consulting with my good friend and Chinese martial arts
expert Serge Augier of Paris, France and
www.whitecraneinstitute.com, on the design of the ultimate city
defensive/fighting knife (it goes without saying, for the righteous
use of defense only). The design parameters of this knife
was it had to be long enough to be effective against an aggressor
(or wild animal) and yet be light and short enough for daily carry.
Overall strength, ease of maintenance and sharpness were also
very important. Accessibility under stress while fully concealable
presented an interesting challenge. Well, I believe we have
a knife that meets all of those criteria, exceptionally so. I’m
calling it the “Whitecrane” after Serge’s school. I’ll have
a limited number (6-8 knives) available for sale around Christmas.
I’ll get a picture up on our website soon. If you want to
secure one of the few I will have, call me ASAP (503-816-6556).
Check out what these guys said about the prototypes.
over 25 years I’ve used hand forged knives by Dan D., Moran, Randall
and Ruana. Of Murray Carter’s Forged Tactical Utility ‘Whitecrane
Model’ I can honestly say the following: this is the
best balanced knife I’ve used in years; big enough to be effective,
small enough to be useful. It combines the best features
of stainless and high carbon steels. It easily sharpens
to a ‘wicked’ edge. This knife is my new ‘go to’ knife for
extended time in the field.”
Deserving Public Recognition
this section of each newsletter, I would like to take the opportunity
to publicly thank or recognize a person for their outstanding contribution
to Carter Cutlery. Perhaps of interest is the Japanese written
character for person (spoken as “hito”) showing one person leaning
on another (imagine an up-side-down small case ‘y’). The implication
of this is that no man is able to succeed entirely on his own.
For his continued patronage, positive feedback and
necessary critiques of my knives and sharpening DVD’s, support spanning
more than 10 years, his warm and friendly visits to my display table
at shows when he himself is busier than me, I would like to recognize
Dick, Editor–in-chief Tactical Knives Magazine. www.tacticalknives.com
special hand forged knife and certificate signed by me will be presented
to Mr. Dick as a token of my appreciation. Steve Dick’s most
recent feedback of my latest DVD can be seen in the Jan 2008 issue
of Tactical Knives magazine.
promised, a self introduction from Tim;
Carter Cutlery Fans,
Carter Cutlery’s new Administrative assistant
My name is Tim and I would like to take a moment to introduce myself
and to thank Murray for his kind words in last month's newsletter.
I will be working with Murray in Vernonia to help free up more of
his time to focus on knife making. In the last newsletter
Murray mentioned a few things about me that I would like to
expand on so you all have a better idea of who you may be talking
to when you call Carter Cutlery.
It is true that I have a broad based career path that started in
the medical field and has led to geotechnical and structural engineering.
I'm currently a state licensed building inspector working
for a private engineering company in Palm Beach County Florida.
It's true that I did a hitch in the Air Force, I hope you
ground pounders out there don't hold it against me! I grew
up in the New Orleans area and although my wife considers me a gourmet
chef, I have not been to culinary arts school. I do however,
enjoy cooking and use Murray's kitchen knives every day. As
far as knife experience goes I am an avid knife collector and attend
several knife shows a year. I am also an Honorary Knife Makers
Guild Member. As a lifelong outdoorsman I've used countless
knives over the past thirty years for every conceivable hunting
and fishing need.
In 2001 I met Murray at the Blade Show in Atlanta. I
bought a kitchen knife from him on Saturday and spent several
hours in the hotel room that night studying that knife. On
Sunday I went back to his table to buy a small hunting knife
from him but did not have enough cash left to close the deal. I
asked him to hold the knife for me while I went to the A.T.M.
machine. By the time I made it to the A.T.M. machine it was
out of cash as well. I went back to Murray's table and explained
what happened and figured I would have to pass on the knife. He
looked me straight in the eye, handed me the knife and said, "Just
send me a check in Japan." At that point I knew I would
be a lifelong Carter Cutlery customer. It wasn't long before
most of my family were using Murray's kitchen cutlery. My
brother in Alaska swears by Carter knives for skinning Musk Ox.
In August I was standing in my garage reading my mail when I came
across Murray's newsletter. When I read the part
about the bladesmithing course my heart skipped a beat. When
I got to the part about the administrative assistant to help with
the company I was awe struck. I had to go over it several
times to be sure of what I was reading! I knew right there
in my garage that I had to call. My wife stepped out to see
what I was up to. I put on my best poker face, handed her
the newsletter, and started to take off my work boots. After
a few moments I glanced up at her to gauge her reaction, she looked
down at me and said, "You should probably call him."
I checked my pulse, walked to my back patio and called Murray.
That phone call led to several others and I ended up sending Murray
a resume and copies of my professional business license and other
personal info. I think he was a little skeptical about my
intention to possibly leave my current career and move three thousand
miles to help him expand his business in Vernonia. After my
wife and I spent several days with Murray and his lovely family
I think I was able to convince him of a couple of things. I
would not have responded to an offer like this from any other knife
maker but him. I'm convinced that I am the kind of person
he needs on board to make sure his clients receive customer service
that is on par with the quality of work he produces. I know
Murray wants customer service and customer satisfaction to be of
the highest order. It is my sincerest intent to see that these ideals are
met. I hope you all find my attitude professional and my manner
discreet. I welcome comment on any issue in an effort
to constantly improve on my ability to meet your needs. I'm
very excited to be joining Carter Cutlery and I'm looking forward
to working with you all.
that wraps up another newsletter. Email me or call me if you have
any comments or questions. Also, let me know if there are other
topics you’d like to see covered in this monthly newsletter.
Bless and Stay Sharp Ladies and Gentlemen,