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Old 11-04-2002, 07:37 PM
Jerry Oksman's Avatar
Jerry Oksman Jerry Oksman is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Bronxville, NY
Posts: 432
Ramblings on the 2002 New York Custom Knife Show Part 1

New York Custom Knife Show Review

Weeeelllll, here goes.

This years shows was held over at the New Yorker hotel and for the most part I think that everyone I talked to is glad that it won't be held there again. This venue, instead of a single large ballroom as we have been accustomed to, was held in 2 rooms diagonal apart from each other. Many people didn't even realize that there was another room at first. The smaller of the two rooms also had temperature issues (it was hot) and columns that were in many cases uncomfortably placed nearly on top of display tables. Fortunately the owners of the show have sold it to the people who run the March New York Show (East Coast Custom Knife Show) This show will be held next year at the Hotel Pennsylvania across the street from Madison Square Garden in NY. The show is going back to the 3 day format next year Nov. 7, 8 & 9 2003 (Fri 12-8, sat 9-6, sun 9-3).

OK, on to the show. As usual, I sat (very rarely) over at Darrel Ralph's table. Thanks for having me Darrel. Darrel managed to sell out in about an hour, which is why I didn't have to sit there too long. Darrel had a selection of his Aftermath, Madd Maxx Static and balisong models. It's amazing how easy it is to open those big 5 1/2" blades. The Bali's were a pleasure to toss, after you got used to the extreme light handles made from titanium. Joining me at Darrel's table was Steve Korn former photo moderator at Custom Knife Directory (CKD) forums and genuine pain in the you know what. (See Steve that's what you get for picking on me all weekend).

On our left was Gene Baskett a knifemaker from Kentucky. Gene, I think is known for making folders with colt 1911 style handles. He also had quite a few Damascus, ivory and scrimshaw art pieces. I picked up a knife that I had wanted at last years show, but had procrastinated long enough to lose to another buyer. This year I grabbed it pretty quick. It's a slightly upscale utility type liner lock folder with a 3" drop point blade of 440C. I say it's a drop point but the drop is very minimal and it has lots of belly to the blade. Round this off with titanium (Ti) liners and desert ironwood slabs. Desert ironwood is also inlayed into the thumbstud and there is file work everywhere. I want to call the filework vines and thorns with extra thorns. The thorns were doubled up in places. It's a really good looking knife. If I can get a scan or photo I'll try to post it.

Behind us was Pat and Wes Crawford who where doing a booming business. Next to the Crawfords was Joe Kious ( If anyone has read my reviews of NY shows gone by they know that Joe is the guy who got me started on Aberlour scotch. This year I surprised him with some Aberlour A'bunadh which is a slightly rarer cask strength scotch from the Aberlour distillery. I tend to be pretty free with the stuff and I think that all who had it enjoyed it.

So I started my wandering around ... I had just managed to get to Allen Elishewitz's table (Hi Valerie) when I was accosted by Larry Connelly of Knifeart Larry was looking to buy the latest and greatest for his website. Larry, I miss you too, but don't hug me when I have a scotch in my hand. Of course I was looking at a knife at Allen's table and Larry bought it before I could say a word. Oh, well you snooze, you lose. I don't blame Larry or Allen, of course, the beauty of becoming a regular in the knife community is that you get to know all these great people and becoming a part of the community. While Larry was buying I was talking to someone else who had come over. I was telling Joe Kious that when I first went to knife show's it was to learn about and handle amazing knives. I no longer go to the show's for that (well maybe a little) now I go to get reacquainted with old friends, and to make new ones.

Next I was over with Wally Hayes and the guys of Battlegear . Wally as you probably know is a well known knifemaker to the Canadian SpecOps community. He and a few of his friends have put together a company called Battlegear to get more and better designed equipment out to the military and LEO people out there who could use it. There will be some limited run (custom stuff) and some more production oriented gear (to lower costs). They already have some military contracts so I don't know how soon these items will be available to the general public. David Dempsey , Michael Janich (Yes, that one, the martial arts guru, knife designer and writer), Brent Beshara, Rob Douglas and Jason (Sorry man I didn't catch your last name). All of these guys are Military or ex-military and know what someone in the field might want or need. They're also a pretty fun bunch to hang around with.

As usual for a NY show the South African Makers where out in force. Theuns Prinsloo (, Lourens Prinsloo (no relation) and Arno Bernard had their impeccable folders on display. William Burger had the most amazing carving sets. Chris Reeve (former South African) had his one-piece and Sebenzas out. The Sebenzas all sporting new parts on the handle slabs. In particular I noticed one that had the NY skyline all in black with the World Trade Center towers done in a light blue.

cont. .....

Jerry Oksman

~ Cogito Cogito Ergo Cogito Sum ~
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