Custom knife maker Douglas Esposito of Attention to Detail Mercantile (Attn2Detail Mercantile) in Manassas, Va. is this week’s featured guest. A former U.S. Marine, he makes knives and teaches Jujitsu in his own martial arts studio.
He talks about making his first knife — roughly a year and a half ago — his concept of knives, aesthetics versus usability, the recent “Monkey Muster” knife event and much more!
Also this week, the guys chat with Larry Clifford, show organizer of the Northeast Cutlery Collectors Association (NCCA) 37th Annual Extravaganza Knife Show, April 27-28 in Groton, Connecticut.
If you have any questions or comments, please call the listener line at 724-466-4487 or email email@example.com.
Links / Resources Mentioned
- Attention to Detail Mercantile (Attn2DetailMercantile) Website , Instagram and Facebook
- Northeast Cutlery Collectors Association (NCCA) Website and 2019 Extravaganza Knife Show
Custom Knife Maker Douglas Esposito of Attention to Detail Mercantile The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 25)
0:00 - 05:03
I'll make stuff, and I'll be like that is so cool people are going to totally dig that. And then it sits they don't date and the thing that I'm like. Yeah. That's okay. That's cool. Boom. It goes like, it's the first thing to go. It's just crazy. You know, I've talked to other night makers are the same way, you know, that. But you have to listen to the market, you know. So you try something you test it in business and the test fails, then you move onto the next thing. And it's the same thing in life. Make you have to be willing to listen to what the market likes, you know, if the market wants carbon fiber, you do more carbon fiber than the market wants more Fuller's will guess what get on the mill do more Fuller's, you're making Fuller's, buddy. Yeah. Exactly. Welcome to the knights junkie podcast. Your weekly dose of knife. News and information about knives and knife collecting, here's your hosts Jim person and Bob the knife junkie DeMarco. Hello, everybody. Welcome to the knife junkie podcast. I'm Jim person. And I'm Bob DeMarco from the night junkie dot com. Welcome welcome to another great episode lined up for you to interviews on this show, a knife maker and a knife show to talk about but a do want to remind you first before we dive and all that that today's podcast is brought to you by audible, get a free audiobook download and a thirty day free trial. Just simply go to audible trial dot com slash knife junkie over one hundred eighty thousand titles to choose from for your iphone, your Android, kindle, or your MP three player. Again. Go to audible trial dot com slash knife junkie and Bob, good info. Again this week coming up on the knife junkie guest. That's right. We have Douglas Esposito of attention to detail mercantile. He's a new knife maker out of Manassas Virginia that has been just I don't know his skill levels. Have just jumped off the church since I've started paying. Attention to them. It's been about a year, and it was really great to talk to him. And and kind of get a peek into a new knife makers trajectory. Yeah. And some really gorgeous knives was looking at him on the website. Well, it was listening to your interview and just just aesthetically beautiful eye-catching designs that type of thing, no doubt. And I outlined to him which combination of materials, I think would be best to have in one of his knives. And hopefully, he got the hint hint hint hint, wink, week, maybe a knife junkie exclusive coming out of that. But he's living your dream, right? Martial arts studio with a knife making shop in the back. Leonard wanted to put his sharper point down at Jim. Yes, he is is indeed also coming up on this episode. We're gonna promote an upcoming knife show, April twenty seven and twenty eight a knife event up in Groton, Connecticut, and we'll spill all the details now about that coming up, but I I do want to kind of plug the YouTube channel ever so close to a thousand subscribers and really. We would like to ask a favor for our listeners right now. If you're if you're not subscribed to the knife junkie YouTube channel, please do so love to get across that thousand subscriber. Mark here pretty soon. That's right. I put up a knife review videos and just sometimes just what's in my pocket kinda quick videos. But also YouTube is a fantastic place to listen to podcasts. If if that's what you have close at hand. So don't forget you can listen to this knife junkie podcast right there on YouTube as well. Absolutely. And feel subscribe and be sure to click that little bell icon. You'll be notified anytime. Bob post a video or whenever the the podcast goes live on YouTube. But I knew I watch air quote YouTube a lot without even having the screen on just using it. As an audible player if you will so go to the knife, junkie dot com slash y t subscribe, a stands for YouTube. Obviously, the knife junkie dot com slash y t subscribe. And be sure to subscribe to the knife junkie dot com. Youtube and Bob once we hit that thousand subscriber Mark a little something special may become an up. Yeah. I have an idea for one or two knives that we will be given away. I'm just honing in on which one it should be. But only to subscribers. Yes, exactly only only two people who subscribe who have been subscribed or who are new subscribers. Our point is to come become part of the family here in the see with the payoff is the knife, junkie dot com slash white t subscribe, stay tuned will learn about the NC CA's annual extravagance a knife show coming up, but first next said interview with Douglas Exposito ever visit the knives on the line in the hopes of satisfied your need to possess them in the real world. Then you have a problem you or a knife junkie on this episode of the knife junkie podcast. I'm speaking with Douglas Esposito of attention to detail mercantile accustomed handmade knife outfit new to the industry, but. Making a fast impression Douglas is a former marine of Brazilian Jiu. Jitsu black belt and entrepreneur and has been no knife maker for less than a year.
05:03 - 10:06
But you won't believe me when you get a load of the eighty two d mercantile Instagram page, his grinds are immaculate and his recent compound grinds are the equivalent to bragging in the medium of steel. There's a lot more to talk about at a let him tell you all about it. Douglas, welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. And I don't feel like can live up to your your intro. That was pretty impressive. I was just trying to write something cool. Thanks for the place. Former marine thank you for your service. It's always humbling to speak to someone who who served and so I thank you for that. So Douglas you make knives by day and teach Brazilian jujitsu at night in your own school. Have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit, or are you living the dream here? Well, if working seventeen hours a day, and you know, kind of making your own hours, but your hours longer than everybody else is the dream that. Yeah, sure, let's go with that. Well, they say entrepreneurs work eighty hours a week. So they don't have to work forty hours a week. But it's worth. Oh, yeah. And as a martial artists myself and someone who has dabbled in knife making in his most certainly just an enthusiast the idea of spending your day in that way. It seems like the hours almost wouldn't matter though. I'm sure it's physically exhausting amused long. Our so, you know, people say that when you love what you do you don't work a day. And blah, blah, blah. But you still work. But you know, if if you don't do it, nobody else's Ghana. So you got get the stuff done. So what was your experience in the Marine Corps? Where did you serve a house named Patry injury guy and did some deployments with the two one one four and then to four so west coast guy, and then my last couple of years were out hidden Quantico, which is why ended up out in Virginia. Okay. Okay. So you did some some instructor training some close combat instructor training. Yup. What what kind of stuff is that is that that's all hand to hand combat while you've had some some rain core instructor trainers on your show. But it's it's first foremost, it's a weapons based system and then. And then you know, obviously the the bodies weapon the minds of weapon. So there's bayonet knife stick, you know, hand to hand ground fighting striking improvise weapons all that kind of stuff. So runs the whole gamut of of combat in the you know, other than other than calling for fire in shooting. It's a everything inside of that. So here you are years later. You're a black belt in Brazilian Jiu. Jitsu several times over I'm assuming from pictures. I've seen how long have you been doing Brazilian? Martial arts Brazilian jujitsu end. Tell me a little bit about your school. Sure. So I've been more shorts as about ten I'm fifty now. So that's about that forty years. I've done, you know, crowded and Thai boxing jujitsu and wrestling and all that kind of stuff the Brazilian jujitsu after the UFC if you were going to be complete martial artist really couldn't avoid doing jujitsu. So you know, I. You know, I informally Brazilian jujitsu for a lot of years. And then when I was finally able to link up with people that you know, were ranked actually were had a a lineage than I was able to pursue that. But you know, been doing we've been doing ground fighting saying up finding forever. But the having the system of Brazilian jujitsu and things like that was really nice addition in I'm lucky to have had the coaches in the experience the half with that. So you have a school yourself. I do I've got a school in Manassas in got a couple of affiliate schools in the area in one out in Yuma. Which are my black belt Trump. That's amazing. So you you're teaching you're making knives. We were you always into knives in an how'd you get into making them? Well, so I I've been around the knife community for a long time because I've been in the tax Glenn gun community for a long time. I had a job when I got out of the Marine Corps. As a contractor in part of my job was to go to the shows and see what kind of new gear was out there and bringing. That's awesome. It sounds that. But when you have to go to six or seven a year, and then you're running ranges in bringing stuff. It wasn't bad. It it was a good job. But there's only so much. There's only so much. They're going to do with the information that you bring back in. So there came a time where it was like, you know, what I needed to go. Do this other stuff, and it was a good good good time to break. But like I said have been around been around the industry, and I've known people in the industry for twenty years twenty five years in I know guys have been doing this for thirty twenty five twenty years making a good living at it. And we've just been friends and with some of my businesses, I have to it's obviously cheaper. If I do the build out for whether it's a gym or something else. So I was doing a lot of like woodworking, welding a running electricity in wiring things and things like that.
10:06 - 15:06
But I hadn't done any haven't worked with steel. I was like, wow, got friends that are, you know, knife maker. So why? I just give this a try, and I'm enjoying all the other stuff that I've been doing. And but then I started to get really into it. And then having the people that I can reach out to and most of it's just me figure in the stuff out my shop. But when I run into law on just wasting more material anything good with I can I got people that I can reach out to their gracious enough to to share with me because we're friends, and the, you know, sometimes it's like everybody knows that in. I just don't, but and then other times it's like, hey, man, took me twenty five years to figure south so please he'll tell anybody. But yeah, you know, here's here's this or that. It's it's it's really nice to have that. And when when I first started, and it's just been over a year now while it's been it's been about a year and a half since I, you know, ground, my I I wouldn't even call it a knife. You know, this this horrible piece of metal in my garage. And at look back at that stuff. I'm like, oh my gosh. Is this? This is horrible. But I showed it to some of my buddies, and they were done my friends. So they're they're not going to be nice sudden day weren't they were very like. Look, this sucks. This sucks. But there's something going on here. You know? So it was nice to you know, they're not going to blow sunshine at my. But in staff, so it was nice to get some good feedback. Of course, now that I look back on that stuff. And I'm like, oh my gosh. Why did they? They were so kind, you know. They saw potential all the potential for sure will you're lucky because while it's not luck. But you don't have to look back that far to see that first piece. But I watch you on Instagram all the time. I'm checking out your pictures in. And I it seems like you got very good very quickly. So that to me means you must have some late and talent in there that you didn't know about until you actually turned on the grinder well talent part, maybe. But a lot of guys when they first start getting into something. It's it's very part time. It's a couple hours here coupla hours, their I'm I'm a little bit obsessive compulsive may be or whatever you wanna call addictive personality. Whatever it is. So a lot of times people like getting good fast. And it's like, yeah. But the hours like there's weeks, I do eighty hours in the shop. You know, there's a show coming up or something's going on. There's eighty hours in the shop just like that bright and people to see the week. Yeah. Yeah. They they talk about for mastery ten thousand hours while I would I would argue that it's longer for a lot of things, and I miss a lot of stuff up. You know? It's like I make a lot of mistakes, you know, Bob loveless. I don't know. He did sit to me. But I've heard the quote where you know, if you wanna get good at making knives, you're gonna have to make it a bucket of really crappy knives. I ride or something along those lines. Right. You know, and I've made like two or three buckets crapping got boxes, whereas others, total crap. And I throw it in the box, you know. And then then I go back and look at them like, yeah. This was all my gosh. This is horrible. So it's there's a lot of reps of had people be like many just wanna work on one night starved getting ticket. All the way through the end will I don't make mistakes fast enough. If I do it that way. So I'm doing at least four nights at a time in the same style. So that I get I get reps. I'm big on reps repetitions and practice, whether it's ju jitsu or shooting or whatever you're doing. If you're gonna get. Good at something. You got have a lot of reps. So that's that. You know, you got to fail fast make a lot of mistakes. And so a been able to do that. And that's that's that's helped a lot. And I still have. I mean, you know, I look I feel like solid area where I'm just like just starting to see like being able to know enough about it to appreciate true greatness. You know, like your realize you're nowhere near that. But you can appreciate that. It's kind of like the more work. You do in the more. You see how difficult it is to achieve true mastery. The more you appreciate a master masters. Make things look easy before we go any further actually, describe your knives to people who might not be familiar at the moment. So my concept is so you know, I did the time in the military, and so people are being online tactical intact cool in all this other stuff. But I I don't I don't deploy anymore. I don't dig can't holes dig mouse holes. I don't you know, I don't even know in Mauri anymore if I can avoid it. But I I have that. I have that. Use ethic. Right. Where it's like, I don't wanna have to worry about the finisher. You know, if I need to use a knife or something that you know, that includes a screwdriver or pry, or whatever I need to do. I wanna be able to use it that way people are putting their pearls. Right. Well, I I don't make it to not be used that want to be used in.
15:07 - 20:04
But at the same time, I you know, I like a little style like, you know, little bit of flares. Not the right word. But you know, like, so the concept is a heart used gentleman's knife. People always talk about hard use in people will talk about gentleman's knives. But I kinda wanted to bring those together. And that's where where I've been going in as a as truly, you know, almost an apprentice or total beginner at this on focusing on, you know, some of the class the classics are classics for a reason, you know, so the the basic leave for spear point fighter, the tanto end the Bowie but with. Within those. There's so many variations are so many different things that you can do. And when you add compound Ron's different angles watchmakers, call on complications. Right. The more the more aspects you have a watch complication so with a knife. You can add all of those things in may kind of cool you describe it as a gentleman's hard use knives. That's to me the perfect description right now, they're all fixed blades, and they range at least for my observation. Small medium large, basically, a medium to me looks like the most ADC -able. I don't like a fixed blade. That's too small and the large one just looks nice to put on your hip. You've used a lot of different handle materials that are very appealing to me. And you've started to deal see your blades on the Flatts. I've noticed a lot. So I have come up with a perfect combination. At the guy told you this would be down right as the it's the double edged bayonet Graham. Handed fighter ground fighter with deal. See on the flats and you've been using a little bit of the tortoiseshell and to me nothing says gentleman's knife like a tortoise shell. So in all seriousness. I think those things are the that combination of materials and grinds in styles really do lend to that to what you're describing. And I know you've been using three V steel, which is a very robust fixed blade steel, which must be a hell of a time to grind, by the way. But if knives our tools, and and I'm not saying that you're approaching it strictly from tool aspects that you are definitely an artist or or approach it with an artistic touch how much consideration should aesthetics take. When when designing these things. Yeah. So, you know, I have maybe we call mentors and friends that go way past what I do and then mentors and friends that are like, well, that's not really my style. But, you know, don't get to flashy there that kind of stuff. You know, I think there's I think there's a lot of room for it in today's day and age, and especially in the space that I'm looking for in. I think is long as the aesthetics don't get in the way of the usability. There was things that I see people doing man, I would just never do that. Because it affects any any number of things. I I to stay positive in. It's not it's not a negative against anybody. What they're doing. But it just is not something that I want to do because it would affect usability in and stability in structure and things like that. And you could probably are us some of the stuff that I do might possibly, you know in a super super hard new situation. But one of the things I really enjoy when somebody contacts me and said, hey, I want to do that one a knife an assault. My first thing what he did use it for you know. So if you're using it for bore hunting, we're going to do different things than if you're using it for hey, it's just a needy. See I wanna be a little boxes with it. And all that not a sliced sausage when? Picnic and there's nothing like there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. And to know that. And what else we actually used some people they use for, you know, hey, I'm gonna kill the boar in the in the boron. My dog's gonna hold it down. And I'm going to on the show to end its life with it. So it's a tool and what he using it for, you know, and sometimes people be like, I really like this. I'll be like what using it for? It'll be like assets not really the Lal you want. Why don't we do this? The geometry is going to be better the grip handle like you actually want a bigger night for a smaller knife, or whatever. So so far who's your customer? What what are they using their knives for if you hear back from them? Fishing, hunting every day stuff. I Skinner that like I haven't even had a Skinner on the website has when I make my buddies in people that I know that our hunters they snapped him up, and I get orders forms of make four or five, but they're all souls. So I don't get a chance to put him up on the website or even really get them to dealers. I haven't had a at one dealers I need to make more of them. But, you know, hand making every single one, you know, hand profiling hand drilling hand everything's, you know, slows on the process at some point. I should probably just get a sheet of Skinner's water dreaded and go from there.
20:04 - 25:00
But I just haven't got to that point yet. So you know, that that's that's that's cool for me. Like, I I really dig it. The people are, you know, I get pictures back of people, you know, taken down taken down a buck that Bhagat with it or or or hunting hogs get picture MAC. And it's like, that's that's awesome that they're getting out there. And they're getting you. It's gonna be very very gratifying and not only to be able to create the thing. But to see it in use further than what I would most likely use it for which is to carry it around have it in hold it in love it in collected. I think your stuff is very collectible in that you have a, you know, you don't have like tops knives, endless range of knives. You make yet, but within your four or five model, you know. Outlined the general types, you have variations within that that someone who gets into the your designs could could just keep finding a new excuse. Well, this one I need without the deal. You know? Yeah. We'll so so far I haven't made any to knives while I take that back. I take that back. I'll tell you. This is a funny funny story, I haven't made any two knives for that. I've just made exactly the same. I had a buddy that bought two knives. He wanted to Skinner's for his daughter's physi- on they were matching. And then I had one of my coaches, he said, hey, I I really like a Skinner for me in my brother. I said, okay. Cool. Do you want me to do different grips or, you know, different handles, or whatever, you know? He does make them just the same. And I was I was just about to say I said is that so yet, and he goes, yeah. That's all I can steal his when I lose mine. I said, that's brotherhood, right? There. Yeah. Exactly the same. So I can steal his his mind. I'm blaming for losing his own. So that's those are the only two that made exactly the same. And you know, I'm I'm exploring in in having fawn like you said working with different materials. So at this point on just a, you know, even if they're similar they're they're different might be similar, Brian, but in different handles or or without so, you know, like I said I do between two six of the same night. But they're all going to be a little bit different grind it yet. Put a fuller in this one. Maybe do vol sage on that when we com Hong run on that one. But just kinda see seeing how they work with the different thicknesses a steel in the different blade profiles. And all that. So your recent compound grinds what inspired those end what's utility to? They have. That's maybe different from a straight grind. Sure. So let's talk about the utility the Tilleke of it is the U of the hot. Grind on the belly. So you're able to have a really nice slicing edge there and take away a lot of the mass. And and just really have a nice edge. That's sharpen will enrich sharpen a bowl in can because people use the belly of the blade mostly the the slice chop and things like that. But sometimes when you're working with thinner stock that really thins out point gives you a very thin point. So the compound Brian you the ones that I've done they have the flat Ryan on the front which gives you more material up front in the in the point. So, you know, God bless you at your stat oil cans, or whatever you don't. It you got more more support of there. So that's the concept of it in the future do more testing, and you know, a post videos, you know, I mean, everybody loves the testing videos oil, you do do a little bit more of that. In fact, when I messed something up like post, heat treat, I'm like up. There's a test knife on put it over there. And I got I got a little little stash when I start testing stuff where I'm gonna like, okay. I I'm not worried about messing this one up. So I'll be able to really get into it with this piece and then as far as my inspiration. I I've known guys like Mick strider and Steve Ryan for really longtime, obviously, you know, in and Steve been doing the compound Ryan's for years and years in years and years, you can't look at their stuff and not see that in an and I I sent him when I do wanna the first few. I did that they were the first guys. Let tax it out set a picture on like, hey, thanks for the inspiration. Here's the thing in Iraq. Eight minutes. Let's look cool. When you know. Hey, try this next time. And you know, like, I said one of the best things about this community is you know, ninety percent of the people are just really really cool about this. When they see you getting into it in and dig into it. They're going to be very forthcoming with with him fallen still do the work. You know? Yeah. It's like anything else. You the information in today's day and age with YouTube, and all of a sudden the information isn't the barrier to entry. It's putting in ours. It's putting in the time. So you know, like I said, I'm not known those guys a lot other guys in instinct for a long long time.
25:00 - 30:15
There's other guys have done Kompong rise. But you know, those two guys I spent time with in admired there were prolong time. I've seen them do the stuff, you know, we talk, and and so when I'm able to to to do that share that with him in Alex great, keep work is that that's huge. You know, that means a lot to me. It's yet warning. And you know, they've been there. Whatever situation, you you. Find yourself in. Right now, while you're doing a compound grind, you know. Those guys have been there before and probably have some good advice for you. Maybe it's just that little tweak that changes your whole trajectory. And I told I told both of them in other knife makers that I know when you're when you're in the in the shop, there's only so many different ways steal can meet the the bell. And there's only so many things you can do. And so when you think you I'll be doing something, oh, this is cool. And I haven't seen many I've seen it before. But I didn't know the effects on the steel or whatever. But I'll do something that's really cool. Now, I know a thousand people have done it before I'm not the first person to figure this out. But nobody was like, hey, do this. So it's like all expertly cool. So you have that light that that discovery for yourself men is like that's cool. But it's not like a half an ego where I'm like, oh, I totally because it's been done hundred thousand times before, but you know, every time I think I'm like man, that's really cool better. Not. Better. Not and then I'll be looking through Instagram, and I'll see something, you know, somebody will post something like, hey, here's this knife from you know, seventeen years ago. It's like, yeah. I yeah. You you're some. So it's it's Hongling. It's it's it's it's ongoing as well. It's nice. So when you're when you're grinding a regular blade symmetry. I would imagine is already a challenge, you know, from one side to the other especially when you bring in a sweat or a whole top Bevill. But how is that multiplied when you start messing around with a with a compound grind? In other words, is the is it harder to achieve that symmetry. Oh, sure. Sure. Sure. Yeah. I mean, again, it's like every time you add a complication. It's you know, you got you got hurt people call it facets, but just from watchmaking I like the I like the complication I don't know if people have applied that to a watch before. But I mean to a knife before, but I'm stealing it from the watchmaking. I'm applying it to the knife making. But anytime you do that there's a whole nother. You know, there's a whole nother geometry that you have to make match on two sides of four sides, and you have to make match at both ends. So that it's symmetrical from the front and the side in the body. Bottom the blade matches up. So sure it's it's a it's always it's a challenge. It's technically they called the nightmare. Grind. Right. I don't know. Maybe. So I mentioned in the beginning. You're an entrepreneur that's obvious from your your gyms and your your knife making career. That's taken off is this a good business. For an entrepreneur is a good industry for no. It's it's a horrible business. But it's a it's a very rewarding a hobby. It's just it's like any other business that have gotten into off AOL just you talked to any entrepreneur that's been at it for a while. And they failed at more things than they succeeded at and you know, if you don't really have a passion for it. It's very difficult to get through the time in the input the energy into that. You're going to need to get to where you need to be. So most of the things that you're passionate about there's a thousand other people ten thousand other people hundred thousand other people that are passionate about it. And when you're passionate about it's also hard to be business have a business mind about it. You know, I read a book longtime ago on martial-arts fools, when you know that people open up more short school with a black belt mind, like they're like, well, I'm a black belt. This is what I would like well ninety nine point nine nine nine nine nine hundred percent of the people that walk. In Jim, they're not black belts. They'll for totally different experience a looking for a totally different thing. So you have to look at what from a business standpoint what the customer is looking for right? The market will drive what it wants. And so, you know, that's that's something that I've learned over and over again when you think that you're gonna you're going to school the market, and you're gonna you know, educate the market and bring them up all that. Now, your cost the customer acquisition goes up. There's there's a million other things that happened. So you really have to pay attention to what the market wants, you know, and I'm certainly no no stranger that. You know, when I see what's the I'll make stuff, and I'll be like that is so cool people are gonna totally dig that. And then it sits they don't date and the thing that I'm like. Yeah. That's okay. That's cool. Boom. It goes like, it's the first thing to go. It's just crazy. You know, I've talked to other night makers, and they're the same way, you know, that, but you have to listen to the market, you know, so you. Try something you test it in business and the test fails than you move onto the next thing as the same thing knife making you have to be willing to listen to what the market likes, you know, if if the market wants carbon fiber, you do more carbon fiber than the market wants more Fuller's will guess what get on the mill and do more Fuller's you're making Fuller's, buddy.
30:15 - 35:14
Yeah. Exactly, it it seems like that there could be a lot of challenges to being a one man shop. But it seems like that particular point could be an advantage to being a one man shop you couldn't react more nimbly in quickly to market demands. And the changing tastes of the fickle public. You don't have to retool an entire factory and get a whole bunch of people on board with the new product line. Sure. Yes. So what what are some of the challenges? There. Don't get me. Started on the business edge of it will need to do a whole nother. Like, if you wanna talk about the business educated into a totally nother totally nother thing different place. We'll tell me about the monkey muster. What what exactly is that? And tell me about your experience there. Sure. So. Brady over monkey. He's he was my his my first dealer. I've known Brady for a long time because he's other friends of mine dealer, and he was in the navy. I was in the Marine Corps. So when we met we kinda of that military background in in common. And we're talking before the show in his first monkey muster was seven years ago. And I went because I just happened to be in southern California at the time for work and a couple of my buddies. We're going to so I was like, yeah. Sure. It's the weekend. You know, it was like I was working in San Diego for the week. And then I was going to be working the next week there. It was like all. Yeah. Let's go for the weekend drive out with you. So he drove out. We had a good time. It's a nice show. That's not like other knife shows. What's really cool for the knife maker is that they you know, Tommy is Tommy late them's out there. And he's awesome. With it in the whole staff is amazing. They take all your stuff, and they put it out for sale. There's there's a I'm not even doing this Justice. So at the top end of this. The Fisher house official house foundation. They do an auction where you basically your your ticket into. It is a maker is to donate a piece of Fisher House auction, and so they auctioned off on Instagram and people bid and all of the one hundred percent of the proceeds go to Fisher House. If you're not familiar with Fisher house, they provide a place for service members families to come and spend time when the service members hospitalized. So if you're in Walter Reed for a year recovering from the blown up Shaw, or whatever it is. You know, your family still lives in Oklahoma. But in order for them to come out either need to sell the house or do something. So that they can come out and spend time with you. And so what Fisher House does give people a place to stay? It's kinda like the Ronald McDonald house and all that comes. So certainly a something I could get behind and support. So that's the top level. And then they also do just like any other night shelters lotteries for those makers who are so in demand that. People enter the lottery to buy peace. And so those were there, and then also all of the guys that monkey must or that a monkey edge is a dealer for they have their display cases in all the stuff is there. So people are able to come in. And, you know, looking play cases do all this stuff in have a great time in the food and the drinker frame, and it's a good time. So it's it's a it's not as big as a blade show or Molise other things, but everybody there's Wade nights way into the the, you know, collecting in the higher end pieces, and and they're also having some free booze and food. So it's a good will from all the Instagram post. It looked like lollapalooza for knives like a blast. That's all right. So what are you aiming at with attention to detail mercantile where where do you wanna see the company? How do you wanna see the company grow on? That's a real good question. I would like to keep it fairly small on not looking to get to over my head with this stuff. I like having a hands on approach with every piece. I like all of all of my other businesses that have been successful not the ones that failed at. But the ones that I've been successful at there's a personal aspect. There's a personal connection. So that's part of the reason that I love doing costumes, you know, people like, hey, I wanna do knife. Okay. What what use it for? Okay. We'll you know in in making something specific for the task. But you also form a connection with that person. And that's that's really cool in going to the shows. That's another reason that I go to all the shows that I go to because you meet people and you're like, oh, man. Yeah. We're on. You know, we follow each other on Instagram. That's cool while here's you know. It's it's really nice to put a face with the with the I g handle or whatever it is. Right. And have that personal connection with with what you're making in? I don't wanna lose that. I don't wanna get to the point where I lose that end. You know were were trying to get folders done for blade show. I'm not. Gonna promise anything I've been prototyping in. You know, I will get the profiles of the titanium the steel water jet it because it's just no way every one out by hand, especially titanium in little shop like me and my shops thirteen by twenty seven or something like that right at after charge.
35:14 - 40:01
You know, four thousand dollars a knife just for the belts. Greg all the Titanic. You know, but but just having them profiled in drill. Dow so that everything's flat in parallel. There's still so much fun stuff in so many details in so many cool things that I'll be due to those. And I'm really looking forward to that hand grime being I do all the heat treat everything that we do we do in house. And so just to go back not to not be a stickler spend too much time on detail. It's I do all black oxide right now. Not anybody else. See on the deal. See is it's expensive. And you have to do a big batch to make it worth it. So I'm not against it. I think it's amazing coating just at the black oxide, I can do myself. And so every everything we do in house right now. So even the Karanbits drill out that whole, you know, champ for it dried out all that steel. So it's it's it's a lot. But it's very it's very rewarding. I'm learning so much in having such a great time. And like I said being able to connect with people in share share that stuff in. It's a tool that is gonna last pass when they are they take care of it. They can have to kids they're they're they're the grandkids. And so on and so forth willing to a museum. What do you see? It's the swords. He enters the sheep, you know, in that stuff was iron and bronze and all this other stuff, the nosy PM great stuff that we're using. Now, it's gonna last ten thousand years of more, you know? So it's it's it's pretty cool to be able to share that with people in have that connection will how. Can people find your knives? How can people get in touch with you? And by buy your stuff. Sure. They can I am not a big. So in business, you Hugh need Kate with people how they wanna communicate. So if you send me a smoke signal off figure out a way to send a smoke signal. But you know, we we do DM's on I g we do messages on Facebook. The emails are easy to keep track of a attention numeric to detail mercantile at g mail or they can go to the website, if you put attention to detail knives or any of that kind of stuff in there. It will come up, and then they can contact us on their, you know, got I've only got a couple of dealers, and I I plan on keeping it small, and again people that are interested in the interested in the story in having that personal connection those the people that I'm working with. So they got stuff on e- knives. Clay has have over there. And then Brady has myself and look man, there's a ton of other great dealers. I'm not trying to slight. Any dealers? These are just the guys that I know in have known for a long time when they were like, oh, you're making much. Let me know when you're ready to sell stuff, you know, they they were right there. And then there's a there's a really cool gun store. Locally to me. It's called the end arsenal. And Mike has that stuff up? There. You probably know about them were fairly were fairly history. Neighbors and they've got some really cool stuff up there. So Mike's carrying some pieces of there as well. Which is super cool. That is great keep it personal and in the knives. Like you said they'll just keep going down the generations. She leaving your Mark on history, sir. Hopefully, it will be a positive one. But I want to thank you for coming on the knife junkie podcast. I really appreciate it. Everyone who's listening checkout attention to detail mercantile. I especially on Instagram because a lot of beautiful pictures going up there all the time and check out Douglas Esposito's. Find Douglas thank you again for coming on the show and hope to talk to you soon. Bob, thanks for having me on it, really appreciate it. You know, you're a knife junkie, if you love your knives more than your kids. We're back on the knife junkie podcast. Jim the knife newbie person along with Bob the knife junkie DeMarco and Bob another fairly new knife maker that you had the chance to interview just like last week show when you talk to Jim skeleton, Douglas Esposito has not been making knives that long, but man is making a presence in turning out some great looking knives. The speaking with him, and then also as you mentioned Jim Skelton week before and just sort of paying attention to their other work has evolved. I gotta say these these guys both worked very very hard. But a lot of time in and also found mentors to teach them, you know, the ins and outs of various aspects of knife making. And I think that combination has sort of mentor ship and just lots of sweat going into that is is how you get to be making great looking knives. So quickly. Yeah. Both of them seemingly as the old story says came out of nowhere kind of overnight success, but truly had only been. Making nice for what year two years that can. Thanks. So not like somebody that's been doing it for twenty or thirty years.
40:01 - 45:05
I guess work hard and find people that can help you and get back in that shed. So have you gotten back in the shed and start making your knives yet? I have not that's coming next weekend after vacation. All right. Well, speaking of knife makers knife collectors and knife junkies. We have the pleasure now talking with Larry Clifford. He's the show coordinator and a board member of the northeast cutlery collectors association, it's the NC see as thirty seventh annual extravaganza knife show, and that's coming up Saturday and Sunday, April twenty seven and twenty eight and Larry thanks for being on the knife junkie podcast. Hey, thanks for having me in C C a northeast cutlery collectors association. Let's first talk a little bit about the club. And give you a chance to talk about what you guys and gals do in the NCAA. Well, as you mentioned, this is our thirty seventh annual show. So we've been around for quite a while. I've been in the club for about thirteen or fourteen years and a member of the board of directors for about ten years and happened to be the show coordinator for our annual today show, the mystic Marya that say pretty strong nightclub, you know, situated in the northeast primarily, but we have members all over the US. I think we even have a couple of international members. But I think we're about five hundred strong and growing every year. The the shows are quite well attended particularly the mystic show because of the, you know, the caliber of show that it has become in the northeast here. It's just a great show. Right. What what makes it that that high calibers, the exhibitors that you have is the displays what tell me a little bit about that mainly the exhibitors because we get such a variety of you know, we have quite a few top name makers lots of up and coming knife makers, plus a large quantity of knife collectors and dealers of. Tc knives of all types from all over. So you never know what's gonna show up there. And it's it's always quite impressive. We do get some pretty good displays to last year. The highlight was a massive trade display in. We do even have a direct descendant of the family Bill Schrader directly Senator George trade who put together with a few friends, a massive SRI display was just incredible. Well, and you mentioned some of the exhibitors, I think you're you're also an exhibitor that I see that. Right. I am an exhibit. He SIM I've been collecting for about thirty years and became a dealer so to speak about fifteen years ago, and it kinda takes over self right, right? What is it about knives? That got you interested in it just always had a head of passion for him as a kid growing up. Always had a knife in my pocket. And actually my wife got me started collecting about thirty years ago. Bought my first, collectible tight knife, and it took off from there blame it on her. Right. I do. That's right. Give our listeners. Larry the kind of the logistics of the NC see as thirty seventh annual show gin. We kind of mentioned the date but dates times cost again kind of locations, and he special things like that as well as any tables for exhibitors left, and what they should do to maybe get in the show of possible. Well, I'm actually sold out of table gray. We do we do sell out this show every year. I can start. I have a started a waiting list. There's always a chance somebody cancels. It's only a couple of weeks to go. So no guarantees there. But so, yeah, it's on the twenty seventh and twenty eighth of this month. We have set up for the dealers on Friday evening from six ten pm lifetime club members can get in during setup to look around. And we do get a bunch of those guys coming in for the for the early deals. We open at seven AM for vendors on Saturday. And then we open at nine AM for the public and it runs till? Five pm, Saturday Saturday evening, we have a knife auction and the public is invited to that. You can bring stuff into cell. It's a lot of fun. He never never know. What's gonna show up to the auction that usually lasts a couple hours than open again at nine AM Sunday morning and run till three pm at two pm on Sunday. We have a our custom knife raffle with knives that have been donated either by knife makers or dealers and this year, we have approximately thirteen or fourteen knives donations, and you never know what's going to be in that group. But it's it's always very very nice custom knives. So for a for five dollar raffle ticket you could win eight quite a substantial night and the cost to attend the show. Oh, it's a seven bucks an seven per day yet seven per day kids under twelve free. Okay. All right. And where can folks get more information directions that kind of stuff is on your web? Site. All the information is on our website. That can also contact me directly. My my contact info there also in that's at WWW dot N, C, C, A dot info.
45:06 - 47:39
All right, NC, C, A dot info were talking with Larry Clifford. He's the show coordinator of the NC see as thirty seventh annual extravaganza knife show again that Saturday and Sunday, April twenty seven twenty eight that's at the mystic Marriott in Groton, Connecticut. Larry, thanks for being on the knife junkie podcast. I'll give you the final word anything. You want to say about the show or anything? We haven't haven't talked about yet to try to encourage folks to attend just wanted to point out. We do have a total of seventy one vendors this year, we have a hundred three tables, and I cannot fit anymore tables in the room rise. We would grow the show even more. But it's a great great show. We have makers from all over all of the US, and the popularity of the show is growing because of the. Again, because of the caliber of people that attend right? So I encourage everyone to come out sounds like a plan. Larry, thanks for being on the podcast. Thank you for your types. Will I'm Bob, unfortunately, I think you're going to be on vacation, buddy. We can't make a quick road trip to Connecticut. Now, I know next most definitely there's always something coming up that is going to do it. Bob for the knife junkie podcast this week, a give the the final word on the podcast to Bob the knife junkie DeMarco. I haven't say well, just as we heard this knife show and also with Douglas Esposito attention to detail mercantile. There are a lot of a lot of places to look to find unique opportunities to buy knives collect knives. Get your hands on a custom knife. And you know, you find a rising star you could be on the upward ascent of the value of of collecting a new makers knives. So I say just do your investigation go to shows, and you know, do your investigations online. Find some good custom knives and find. Something that you like that that appeals to you. Absolutely. Thanks for listening to the ninth junkie podcast. If you enjoyed the show, please rate review with review, the podcast dot com for show notes for today's episode additional resources and to listen to past episodes. Visit our website the night junkie dot com. You can also watch our latest videos on YouTube at the Nike dot com slash YouTube. Checkouts some great night photos on the knife, junkie dot com slash Instagram. And join our Facebook group, but the knife junkie dot com slash Facebook. And if you have a question or comment emailed them to Bob that the knife jokey dot com or call our twenty four seven listener line at seven two four four six six four four seven. Can you? Hear your comment or question answered on upcoming episode of the knife junkie podcast.
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