Dear Friends, Patrons, Brothers and Sisters,
We have a rather familiar and friendly beginning to this month’s newsletter. It is again that time of year when we slow down the regular pace of life a bit in order that we may remember what it is that we should be thankful for. We can also take joy in wishing all those we know our warmest and kindest regards. Despite what the world is trying to do to this country’s rich Christmas tradition, for instance downplaying the spiritual importance and emphasizing the commercial aspects, we can truly enjoy the Christmas season by refusing to be caught up in the world’s expectations! So let’s slow down and reach out to all those people we’ve been thinking about for so long.
Knifemaking business is going extremely well…
Look for new knives available in the shopping cart December 15th
My new assistant Tim has been doing a great job of helping ease the burden of office administration. All is going according to plan; better and faster customer service, and I have been able to spend full days out in the forge getting your knives made. I’m in the process of heat-treating a little more than 200 blades this week, and then I’ll be as busy as a bee getting those knives sharpened and finished. For those of you who have been waiting patiently for several months (and a few for as long as a year), you’ll be receiving your knives fairly soon. Some will go out before others, but the very last of them should make it to the post office before the middle of January. Let me thank you again for putting your trust and confidence in me, and I pledge to complete each knife to the very best of my ability. I will never rush the completion of a knife if it means to compromise the quality.
One Day Knife Forging Blast
Two weeks ago I had the distinct pleasure of performing a private one day demonstration for a very special couple. For those of you who have seen my recent DVD production “Cater Cutlery Shop Tour” you may recognize the name Katelyn Pontier. You may remember her in the credits because she is the one who edited and produced it. She is a talented and adventurous young lady who bartered her design work on the DVD for a days experience in the Japanese Bladesmith shop. Since commencing on our DVD, she has gotten engaged to a fine young gentleman, so the two of them came out for the day. They were joined by her younger sister.
In the 8 hours that they were here, we were able to start three knives from scratch and complete them. We made a “His” and “Hers” matching pair of neck knives, and a SFGZ 5.5 sun Funayuki Bocho to equip their new home after they get married. It was a great day and the knifemaking proceeded like clockwork. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when that happens; after all, I have made more than 15,000 knives in the past 20 years! (It still elates me though when things go so smoothly!)
“ I basically knew the process of making a knife from what Mr. Carter taught me while making the DVD. However, after spending the day watching him make a neck-knife I must say I will never look at a knife the same again. I freely confess in my mind I over-simplified what is required for an unrefined piece of steel to be shaped into a useful and durable tool. Just being there gave much occasion for learning, let alone all that Mr. Carter explained as he performed each step. There is so much heart, not only work, that has to go into every blade. I expected forging, grinding, polishing and sharpening, but found so much more. There are plenty of other steps which I hadn’t guessed the importance of, like applying red mud, or the seemingly endless sanding of the handle to ensure a natural grip. Minute attention must be given to every detail for the final product to have not only the quality, and also the beauty of a knife more than a tool, a piece of art. I enjoyed every minute of the experience, and appreciate his skill all the more.”
-- God bless! Katelyn Pontier, Wife to be
I felt quite privileged to spend a whole day in Murray’s shop and to watch three of his knives created from start to finish. Few people will ever have such an experience in their lifetime! Murray’s attention to detail is what impressed me most throughout the day. Each step in the knife-making process (and there are many!) is performed with great care and precision. I was impressed by the great deal of knowledge and experience that Murray has as well. He explained each step as we watched him work. I was amazed at his knowledge of the qualities of different steels, the advantages of forging, the intricate process of heat trea ting to create the perfect hardness, and the perfect weight, shape, and design that creates a knife that is a pleasure to use. My knife is not only a tool, but also a piece of art. Only by watching Murray work (and even trying a few of these steps myself, under his guidance), could I truly appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into each knife. Murray cuts no corners to speed up his production; each knife is uniquely forged, handled, and shaped by his own hands. The individual attention and care that goes into each blade, and the knowledge, skill, and experience that Murray pours into his work is something almost completely lost in today’s world! Thanks for a wonderful day!
-- Daniel Forster, Husband to be
Let’s all wish Katelyn and Daniel God’s blessings as they set off on one of life’s greatest adventures; the Holy matrimony of marriage.
Make your own neck knife…
Next Japanese Bladesmithing Class, 101, February 23rd and 24th, 2008
Three seats sold in only two days! Only one seat left !!
Hurry up and register through our shopping cart at
www.cartercutlery.com before it’s too late…
Speaking of Bladesmithing Classes, after sending my November newsletter a few weeks ago, I received an overwhelming response to the upcoming class; 101 Forging and Completion of a Personal Neck Knife. I filled three of the four spots in just two days! What’s even more exciting is WHO registered to attend. I can’t reveal their names, but two of these guys are literally world famous people, both at the top of their respective careers! One of these guys you all have heard of, and the other, you will probably never hear of. He is famous amongst a very select group of security professionals. This is going to be one absolutely incredible class. If you want to be the lucky person to take the last spot, call quickly…this letter is going out to 2000 other people who will wish they could be the ones attending! Call now at 503-429-0447 or 503-816-6556 or write to: Murray@cartercutlery.com. See the website http://cartercutlery.com/Courses.cfm for course details.
The Importance of ALWAYS being Prepared
Although I wasn’t a boy scout in my youth, I did spend some time in the Canadian Armed forces while still a teenager. I had some very exciting experiences; kayaking down river rapids, camping on Glaciers for extended periods of time, rock climbing inverse cliffs and jumping out of perfectly good C130 Hercules airplanes at 1250feet! I wanna be an Airborne Ranger, Livin’ a life of…. I was also making 500 mile trips via hiking and hitch-hiking when I was 14 years old.
All of that is to say “By now the concept of ‘being prepared’ should be second nature to me.” In general I am better prepared than most people are, by carrying a host of ‘emergency’ equipment with me everywhere I go. Some of you would probably like to know all the things I carry daily, but we’ll address that in a future piece. Well I’d like to share a secret of ‘preparedness’ with you….Murphy is alive and well!!! Yesterday I happened to be driving home in the dark during a freak snowstorm, when suddenly the car coming towards me started to drift sideways, overcorrect, slide into the ditch and flip over up-side-down and backwards. I calmly pulled off as far on the shoulder of the road as I could, put on my four-way flashers and got out of my F150 truck to help the driver (and passengers?) inside. The overturned car’s tires were still spinning and its headlights were still shining. As I crossed in front of the wrecked vehicle to approach the exposed passenger side door, the headlights temporarily blinded me. I stumbled into the ditch and felt my way around the wreck. Realizing I needed some artificial light, I reached for my trusty Surefire flashlight, only to find it missing. “What the…!?” Then it hit me, it was on my desk at home, having used it an hour before to look for something dropped behind my desk. Shame on me, I didn’t put it back in my pocket. I started to go into shock! No, just kidding.
I was able to assist the driver open the door (it was locked) and help him out; the interior light coming on just in time to save the day. There were no passengers and thanks to the seatbelt, the driver came out unscathed but quite shaken up. Not as shaken up as I was though (speculation) for being caught unprepared. I foresee a few nightmares ahead…
Seriously though, I thank God that the driver was alright, and was able to go home to his family in one piece. This year I’ve had my fair share of being the first on the scene at tragic accidents. No more accidents for Murray please. (Or at least, let me be prepared).
I hope this story will remind all of us who drive to keep the speed at least 5 mph slower than we want to go. My motto: “Better Late Than Never”!
Be a Pro in front of the Christmas Turkey
Did your Dad or Granddad stand at the head of the table, in front of the steaming turkey steeling his carving knife before carving? Do you remember the unique sound the knife made when it rhythmically contacted the steel “shwing, shwing, shwing”? What a great show for the family and guests! The good old days when the man of the family was still the hero, and could mesmerize all in attendance with a couple simple pieces of steel in his hands! Perfect silence, except for the ringing sound of hardened steel against steel.
International Pro Series Damascus Steel Gyuto,
Well, sorry to rain on the party, but although the above describes a good show, it is NOT a recipe for making sharp knives. The goal is to ‘butcher’ the turkey, not the edge of the knife. Let’s examine what’s happening, and then make some suggestions for how to do this performance in style and for effect.
available on-line through our Shopping cart.
A butcher’s steel, is by design, a tool to burnish the primary edge of a carving knife. The word “burnish” makes the assumption that the blade already has an edge established according to the “three finger test of edge sharpness”. (See the “Introduction to Knife Sharpening” DVD). If the blade has an edge that you can slide your fingers up and down upon safely, then steeling the knife will be wasted effort. What you need to do in preparation for this momentous event is spend about 15 minutes on the Japanese wet stones. Start by thinning down the secondary edge, and then move on to establish a new primary edge. Now you are ready for “Showtime”.At the table, place the butcher steel in your support hand like you would hold a lit candle and the carving knife in your strong hand. Commence steeling the knife by starting with the tip of the knife making (gentle) contact near the safety guard and the edge of the blade towards your support hand. Move the blade away from you and up at the same time, thereby “stropping” the blade against the steel. Alternate sides, and keep the angle very shallow, or you’ll undo all the hard work you did with the sharpening stone. Remember that the edge is already established and what you are attempting to do is just ‘show off’. Go slowly, letting the sound of steel against steel be the highlight. If you try to impress with speed, you might stab your hand at the beginning of another pass. Not cool.Steel the knife in this manner 5~6 times each side, check the edge using the three finger technique, and then let out a whistle in self approval. Enjoy carving fine, thin slices of Turkey meat until someone from your audience requests “thicker, please!” Halfway through the job, carefully wipe off the juice from the blade and steel the knife two more times on each side. Now they will really be watching you work the magic. If anyone in the group asks “Did you learn that from Murray Carter?” then you and that person can come for a free bladesmithing class! By the way, using a butcher steel on a Carter knife is not recommended because of the hardness and edge design. Make a fashion statement at the dinner table; substitute a sharpening stone for the butcher’s steel!
Great news and another incredible offer…
A Christmas present to help you “Be Sharp, Stay Sharp”
We have a shipment of Japanese top quality sharpening stones arriving from Japan next week. These are the same stones I use and have been selling for 15 years. Many of you know that we were sold out of the fine grit (#6000). We also will have bottles of the non-toxic, odorless and natural Japanese blade oil for sale. For the next two weeks I’m going to make you an unbelievable “exchange in abundance” offer! If you take advantage of this incredible offer, you will never be caught with a dull knife again! This offer ends December 25+th.
- Buy one sharpening stone, either the #1000 grit or #6000grit for $45 (regular $50) and save $5.
- Buy the two stone set for only $88 (reg. $100) and save $12.
- Buy the stone set and either “Intro” or “Advanced” sharpening DVD for $112 (reg. $135) and save $21
- Buy the stone set and DVD set for only $132 (reg.$160) and save $28.
- Buy the stone set, DVD set and a bottle of blade oil for only $145 (reg. $180) and save $35.
Standard shipping fees apply.
Order on-line through our shopping cart at www.cartercutlery.com
or call at 503-429-0447 or 503-816-6556 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If paying on-line with Visa or Mastercard use Paypal.
You don’t need to have a Paypal account for that.
To wrap up this months’ newsletter, I will reproduce an essay written by another personal hero of mine, Gabe Suarez. You can find out more about him and his unique mission work at www.suarezinternational.com
I’ll sign off here, wishing you all the best blessings for the rest of 2007.
THE CHRISTIAN WARRIOR
Suarez International is dedicated to His service, and this section exists to glorify His name and to provide encouragement to our brothers-in-arms that serve Him as Christian Warriors. We believe that God gave us courage and called us to the profession of arms, and that it is His will that we be strong and dangerous in the face of evil and the sons of perdition that walk this earth.
A lesson on Christmas before the anti-America crowd starts in again. First and foremost - Christmas is a birthday party. It has nothing to do with decorated conifers or out-of-shape old men in red suits. It is the birthday of Our Savior - The King Jesus.
Today secular Christmas is about many other things and if anything is said about Jesus Christ at all, it is done in hushed whispers lest we offend someone of a "different" belief. Screw them. MERRY CHRISTMAS HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!!
You don't like it, get the &%$#@ out of my country.
Insensitive and intolerant?
You bet. So sue me.
The only other time we see the Lord depicted at these times is as the infant in Mary's arms. You know the image. He is surrounded by cattle, Sheppard’s, and Joseph and Mary... and of course the three kings.
"Holy infant so tender and mild"...or so goes the song.
It usually engenders the same reaction some would have to a box full of puppies or a bag of kittens. You can almost hear the collective "Awwwwww" of the koom-baya warm fuzzy crowd.
There was much more to this birth that night. One wonders if those present grasped its significance. We give gifts today partly out of the mindless tradition of excessive spending (and as a capitalist, I am very happy about that), but also to emulate the gift Jesus gave us. The greatest gift of all... His life for ours.
And that is not all.
It was also a call to do likewise.
A call to follow.
"Deny yourself - pick up your cross - and follow me".
This is no small thing, and not easily done by pew potatoes on cold Christmas Morning or by Pseudo-Christian Pumpkin Boy "nice guys" smiling in their Sunday ties. Not a small thing...and not an easy thing. A Christian life is not a life of idle ease, it is a life of combat.
I recall my days in SWAT. You were not picked out of the blue...you asked to join and then prove you were up to the task. And by doing this, you acknowledged that you were fine with the extra work, the long hours, personal interruptions via pager, and of course...the danger.
Specially the danger.
But you never worried about that much because you had a half dozen homicidal steroid abusing freaks of nature backing you up with German machineguns.
The Christian life is like that in a way except that Christ asks you to join Him. He doesn't paint it rosy like some of the all-inclusive, egalitarian, koom-baya pastors of today who are ruled by the quest of filling the pews...and the money box. Quite to the contrary, Christ tells you up front about the extra work, the long hours, personal interruptions (although rarely via pager), and of course...the danger.
But you will have the Lord God of Hosts covering your six.
"Deny yourself - pick up your cross - and follow me".
Here is the mission -
Deny yourself. A Christian puts his brothers and sisters first...even onto death.
Pick up your cross. The cross was Christ's mission. A dangerous deadly mission, unlikely to have any survivors, but He was well up to the task.
What is your mission? Do you accept it, or are you a chicken boy hiding safe and warm in your Christmas bed? Are you man enough to follow the king of kings??
Pick it up and move out!
Following Christ is something many talk about today. They give descriptions of every modern secular Christian feel-good virtue ever thought of by an emasculated nice guy convention. Following Christ means trying your utmost to be like Him. But be like the real Christ, not the domesticated Christ described as "tender and mild" that the secular feel-good pseudo-Christians passingly refer to as they move past the obligatory prayer before gorging themselves on food. I am talking about Christ the in-your-face upstart revolutionary that still makes so many people uneasy to this day.
Jesus challenges us today! He challenges us to do likewise. And to be likewise. And man, how we could change the world if we did!
Can you imagine the kind of nation we would have if men really tried to be like Christ?!
If only a few men did that?!
Pick it up and move out!
"Holy infant so tender and mild?”
Little did they know.