JT Hats
James grew up on an Ozarks farm where tools like axes and picks were still used in the daily routine and the blades of stockman's pocketknives served their original functions. Receiving his first pocketknife at age four he got it open by himself nearly a year later and spent his formative years wandering the woods with a succession of ever larger knives, a book of matches and a rifle.

A veteran of Vietnam, James also served in Alaska during a stint in the Army, receiving his first intensive culinary training by setting a record for extra KP at Ft. Richardson.

Settling in the Pacific Northwest after his discharge, James crewed on sailing yachts in local races, backpacked hundreds of miles of mountain trails in search of good trout fishing, and occasionally attended college.

His first serious job as a civilian resulted from answering a Seattle Post Intelligencer want ad requesting someone who could lift 120 pounds repeatedly and wasn't afraid of fire. James apprenticed to John Frazier -- the most knowledgeable traditional foundryman in North America at that time -- for the next six years.

Returning to the Ozarks James made his living by growing ginseng on a hand-terraced wooded hillside and selling handmade wood turnery, furniture, sculpture and architectural carvings. James harvested trees from his own land, processing logs into posts and beams and turnery billets with saws, axes, froes and planes. Since many tools he needed were no longer available, James built his own forge from a barbeque grill, a vacuum cleaner and a 55 gallon steel drum, found a chunk of railroad track for his first anvil, and taught himself blacksmithing -- creating his own knives and tools from scrap steel and sweat.

Changing economic pressures eventually forced James back to the restaurant industry in Branson, Missouri, and later to even more success as a maintenance engineer for one of Branson's largest condominium resorts. Finally escaping to Indiana, James now makes his living telling true stories as a freelance writer.



SOG Salute Folding Tactical Knife | Stainless Steel Black Blade FF-11, Pocket Clip

1 min read

SOG Salute Folding Tactical Knife SOG’s FF-11 Salute — which the company refers to as their first Fusion tactical folder — puts all the technical expertise of that innovative manufacturer to good use. The result is a high-tech knife that isn’t tough to understand, with a few unusually good features.

Full-length steel liners and machined slabs of durable and easily gripped G-10 composite make up the handle of this 4.2-ounce knife. With a folded length of about 4-1/2 inches, it fits the pocket neatly — enough knife to grip comfortably and not too much to carry¬†unobtrusively. The blade itself is a familiar Bowie-style dagger point with a false upper edge on the last third of the 3.62-inch Cr13MoV stainless steel blade. All the shiny parts have been toned down with tactical black non-reflective coating — essential for some people and never a bad idea for the rest of us.

The blade itself is the first really good idea in the FF-11. This simple design works well as a tactical backup knife, but for owners who need a good camp knife or utility blade instead, it’s just as efficient. If a clip point pocketknife is your usual blade, you’ll find the FF-11¬†familiar and handy. Locked back, it’s as solid as a light fixed blade.

Two other small things about this knife really stand out. SOG places the stainless steel pocket clip far down at the end of the handle for the most secure carrying system possible with a pocket clip folder. There’s no heavy chunk of handle sticking out the top of the pocket to catch brush or attention. The other nice idea is the adjustable thumb stud, which seats in a slot in the blade. Reposition it where you want for more leverage or for faster action.

Minor problems would have to include the several right-angled edges of the grip, which can’t be a good thing for extended use. Soldiers design knives like this one. Farmers design comfortable handles.

Find this SOG Salute Knife:

Find this knife on eBay:

[phpbay]SOG Salute Knife, 2[/phpbay]

JT Hats
James grew up on an Ozarks farm where tools like axes and picks were still used in the daily routine and the blades of stockman's pocketknives served their original functions. Receiving his first pocketknife at age four he got it open by himself nearly a year later and spent his formative years wandering the woods with a succession of ever larger knives, a book of matches and a rifle.

A veteran of Vietnam, James also served in Alaska during a stint in the Army, receiving his first intensive culinary training by setting a record for extra KP at Ft. Richardson.

Settling in the Pacific Northwest after his discharge, James crewed on sailing yachts in local races, backpacked hundreds of miles of mountain trails in search of good trout fishing, and occasionally attended college.

His first serious job as a civilian resulted from answering a Seattle Post Intelligencer want ad requesting someone who could lift 120 pounds repeatedly and wasn't afraid of fire. James apprenticed to John Frazier -- the most knowledgeable traditional foundryman in North America at that time -- for the next six years.

Returning to the Ozarks James made his living by growing ginseng on a hand-terraced wooded hillside and selling handmade wood turnery, furniture, sculpture and architectural carvings. James harvested trees from his own land, processing logs into posts and beams and turnery billets with saws, axes, froes and planes. Since many tools he needed were no longer available, James built his own forge from a barbeque grill, a vacuum cleaner and a 55 gallon steel drum, found a chunk of railroad track for his first anvil, and taught himself blacksmithing -- creating his own knives and tools from scrap steel and sweat.

Changing economic pressures eventually forced James back to the restaurant industry in Branson, Missouri, and later to even more success as a maintenance engineer for one of Branson's largest condominium resorts. Finally escaping to Indiana, James now makes his living telling true stories as a freelance writer.



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