Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

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SpyderNut
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Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby SpyderNut » Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:49 pm

Found this cool write-up on Sal and Spyderco. Thought you all might enjoy it too:

https://www.recoilweb.com/zeroed-in-sal ... 9j1ClPi7RA
:spyder: Michael Reinhold

"...as I said before, 'the edge is a wondrous thing', [but] in all of it's qualities, it is still a ghost." - sal

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Re: Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby JuPaul » Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:56 pm

Such a cool story. Thanks for sharing!
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Re: Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby TkoK83Spy » Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:04 pm

I know what I'll be reading with my morning coffee. Appreciate the heads up!
Currently have 18 :spyder:'s in 11 different steels. Constantly adding and purging!

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Re: Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby JacksonKnives » Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:14 pm

Seeing a picture of those ground-down keys was a real treat. (Pocket dump picture near the end.) Thanks for posting this, Michael!
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Re: Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby Bill1170 » Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:52 pm

JacksonKnives wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:14 pm
Seeing a picture of those ground-down keys was a real treat. (Pocket dump picture near the end.) Thanks for posting this, Michael!
Indeed! I’ve done the same to the over-large heads of keys, for the same reason as Sal: reduce size and mass. Sometimes I file the faces of the heads flat so I can label them with an engraver.

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emanuel
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Re: Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby emanuel » Fri Mar 13, 2020 4:36 am

"Son, what do you want to be when you grow up?
"I wanna be like Sal Glesser dad"

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Re: Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby curlyhairedboy » Fri Mar 13, 2020 4:49 am

What a wonderful profile!
EDC Rotation: PITS, Shaman, CF S90v Shaman, Ikuchi, Amalgam, CruCarta Shaman, Lil Native, Sage 5 LW, Ouroboros, 4V Shaman, Watu
Always in Pocket: Hawkbill Dragonfly 2 H1
Special and Sentimental: Southard, Smallfly G10, Squarehead LW, Calendar Para 3 LW, 40th Anniversary Native
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Re: Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby Sonorum » Fri Mar 13, 2020 5:54 am

That was a great article! I'm curious, since Sal says he was a "sports car junkie", is he known to have any fun cars now? Just a thought that crossed my mind!
Loads of spydies, and a few others as well

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Re: Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby soc_monki » Fri Mar 13, 2020 5:57 am

I think Sal said he drives a 2000 something Acura.
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BBS Paramilitary 2, Amalgam, Native Chief
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Re: Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby wrdwrght » Fri Mar 13, 2020 8:43 am

Nice read. Sal simply restores my faith in humanity.
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Re: Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby jdw » Fri Mar 13, 2020 8:45 am

He seems to be a really nice person and all round good guy. He's one of the reasons that I am a Spydie fan for life.
Do right always. It will give you satisfaction in life.
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Re: Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby The Meat man » Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:21 am

Great article!
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Re: Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby kennethsime » Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:28 am

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.
This is one of the most important lessons my dad taught me as a kid. Cool to see it coming from my favorite knife maker as well.
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Re: Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby redhawk44357 » Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:31 pm

Very interesting story, thanks for sharing.

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Re: Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby RamZar » Fri Mar 13, 2020 4:07 pm

Great article! Some observations and questions for Sal.

Spyderco left Northern California in 1978. Wasn't Benchmade also in NorCal at the same time? Why Colorado and not Oregon?

First time I read that Sal has a daughter. Always thought Eric was an only child.

Interesting regarding Spyder Sports Cars which were roadsters (2 seat convertibles). Reminds me of James Dean and his Porsche Spyder.

Image

Seems like 1981 was THE momentous year for Spyderco with the hole opener and pocket clip!

I like how the Spydie Hole doesn't get in the way or shorten the blade's cutting edge. What I don't like is where the hole has a BIG hump. I know it's supposed to be "function over beauty" but it makes some knives extremely "fugly" like the Jot Singh Khalsa.

Image

“We do make some pretty knives, because we have collectors out there and they like for us to create the pretty knives. We use collaborators so we can get variety and eye appeal. But in the end, most of my knives are about function.”

I love the aesthetics and function of the Chaparral Stepped Titanium.

Image

It says that in the early days, Spydercos were sold through a few agents that Sal called “Road Warriors”. Any of those agents still around perhaps as dealers?

Sal mentioned that he learned how to shave with a straight razor. Ever thought of making straight razors?

"Our new reveal process is to wait until we have knives on the shelf, ready to ship, before we tell people they exist." -- I guess it's a work in progress because some knives take more than 120 days to show up at dealers.

Having both Chinese-made Spyderco knives and Byrd knives made in China seems redundant now?!

On the QC front, how do the number of rejects from Golden compare to the foreign factories?

It’s great that in terms of awards, Sal is most proud of Spyderco being one of the best companies to work for.

With over 100 patents and trademarks what are some of the most recent ones?

Does Spyderco still pay royalty to Emerson even though it’s just a trademark now and not a patent? The Benchmade Axis patent also ran out a year or so ago. Any plans on an Axis lock Spyderco (of course you can’t call it Axis due to the trademark) as a Sage?

What brand was the “little two-bladed pin knife” that your Dad gave you? Ever thought of creating something similar as homage to your Dad and the knife?

Totally agree with Sal’s favorite quotes:
  • Persistence is king.
  • If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.
  • There is no substitute for performance.
  • I welcome dialog, as long as it remains cordial, constructive and is conducted in a civilized manner. - Titanic: Blood & Steel
  • You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. - Abraham Lincoln

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sal
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Re: Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby sal » Fri Mar 13, 2020 4:50 pm

RamZar wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 4:07 pm
Great article! Some observations and questions for Sal.

Hi Ramzar

Spyderco left Northern California in 1978. Wasn't Benchmade also in NorCal at the same time? Why Colorado and not Oregon?

New York to Southern Cal in '55. So Cal to Northern Cal in '69. Left No Cal in '75. Settled in CO in late '78. Benchmade was n So Cal until early '80's, then moved to Oregon. We were already in CO when Benchmade moved to Oregon.

First time I read that Sal has a daughter. Always thought Eric was an only child.

Christina traveled with us until we settled in CO because she had to begin school. She worked at Spyderco for years and now runs SheathPro making sheaths.

Interesting regarding Spyder Sports Cars which were roadsters (2 seat convertibles). Reminds me of James Dean and his Porsche Spyder.

I raced sports cars and motorcyles in all of the canyons from the valley to the beach. Mulholland Drive was a common run for many of the sports car and motorcycle junky's like James Dean.

Image

Seems like 1981 was THE momentous year for Spyderco with the hole opener and pocket clip!

'78 intro'd the Sharpmaker, '81 intro'd folding knives.

I like how the Spydie Hole doesn't get in the way or shorten the blade's cutting edge. What I don't like is where the hole has a BIG hump. I know it's supposed to be "function over beauty" but it makes some knives extremely "fugly" like the Jot Singh Khalsa.

Think function. The large hump on the Kahlsa was a guard. less eye, more brain. ;)

Image

“We do make some pretty knives, because we have collectors out there and they like for us to create the pretty knives. We use collaborators so we can get variety and eye appeal. But in the end, most of my knives are about function.”

I love the aesthetics and function of the Chaparral Stepped Titanium.

Thanx.

Image

It says that in the early days, Spydercos were sold through a few agents that Sal called “Road Warriors”. Any of those agents still around perhaps as dealers?

None now.

Sal mentioned that he learned how to shave with a straight razor. Ever thought of making straight razors?

We're working on a Straight razor design with Dr. Mike Blue. Howard Clark, Mike and Ed Schempp are my mentors for heat treat.

"Our new reveal process is to wait until we have knives on the shelf, ready to ship, before we tell people they exist." -- I guess it's a work in progress because some knives take more than 120 days to show up at dealers.

Planning for so many models made in so many places is challenging.

Having both Chinese-made Spyderco knives and Byrd knives made in China seems redundant now?!

Originally byrd was to be the Chinese made brand. Then were pretty much forced to make a Spyderco in China to compete with the Vex. We'll see what the future brings.

On the QC front, how do the number of rejects from Golden compare to the foreign factories?

About the same. Most are sold as seconds in our annual sale. Rejects due to function or safety are trashed.

It’s great that in terms of awards, Sal is most proud of Spyderco being one of the best companies to work for.

It's a difficult award to win. But it's why we have such an exceptional staff.

With over 100 patents and trademarks what are some of the most recent ones?

Trademarks on Eric's and my "tags". Utility patent on the Roto Wedge lock.

Does Spyderco still pay royalty to Emerson even though it’s just a trademark now and not a patent? The Benchmade Axis patent also ran out a year or so ago. Any plans on an Axis lock Spyderco (of course you can’t call it Axis due to the trademark) as a Sage?

We pay Ernie because Eric felt it was the honorable thing to do. Still haven't decided on the Axis. We feel that is Benchmade's thing and we wouldn't want to make one without their blessing.

What brand was the “little two-bladed pin knife” that your Dad gave you? Ever thought of creating something similar as homage to your Dad and the knife?

It was a small brass handled folder with two blades about 1-1/2" long issued to him in the Air Force. A reproduction is an interesting idea.

Totally agree with Sal’s favorite quotes:
  • Persistence is king.
  • If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.
  • There is no substitute for performance.

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Re: Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby RamZar » Fri Mar 13, 2020 5:19 pm

Thank you Sal for your detailed and informative responses.

Here’s a bit on James Dean: “Actor James Dean bought a Porsche 356 Speedster from Competition Motors, then drove it back and forth on Mulholland between his home in the San Fernando Valley and his studio in Hollywood. He entered the car in an SCCA race at the airport in Palm Springs and won his class the first time out. It all came from driving on Mulholland, he said.”

A lot of the racing is now at Mulholland Highway in the Santa Monica Mountains above Malibu. You may recall “The Rock Store” restaurant there which opened in 1963 and is still there. More of a biker hangout now. Car and bike nut Jay Leno goes there.

Image
  • I welcome dialog, as long as it remains cordial, constructive and is conducted in a civilized manner. - Titanic: Blood & Steel
  • You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. - Abraham Lincoln

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sal
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Re: Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby sal » Fri Mar 13, 2020 5:31 pm

Hi Ramzar,

Dean's last car was a 550RS Spyder. The one he died in. It was the concept that Porsche eventually used for the Boxster. I put in a order for a Boxster for my wife when they first announced the concept car. Even before they decided to build it. Now my daughter is driving it. My last sports car was a Lotus Elise, which Eric now drives. My current sports car is a '07 Honda Sport 2000.

I started with motorcyles in '63. all "crotch rockets". (Yamaha, Ducati, Bultaco, Honda) My last one was a Honda VTR 1000. Had to sell it when I turned 65. Pressure from Gail and my doctor, so I went back into sports cars. Something about speed. :o

We live on a twisty mountain road 30 miles long. Both Eric and his family and Gail and I. About a half mile from each other.

sal

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RamZar
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Re: Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby RamZar » Fri Mar 13, 2020 6:01 pm

Speed is a rush in serpentine roads!

Instead of the Honda S2000 I got the 2004 Mazda RX8 with 6-speed manual transmission. Before that it was 1998 BMW 540i Sport with 6-speed manual transmission. Before that it was 1992 Nissan 300ZX with 6-speed manual transmission. Last car purchased was 2004 BMW M3 with 6-speed manual transmission. There’s something about stick shift. I still have the two BMWs.
  • I welcome dialog, as long as it remains cordial, constructive and is conducted in a civilized manner. - Titanic: Blood & Steel
  • You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. - Abraham Lincoln

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Re: Zeroed In: Sal Glesser

Postby Spydersense » Fri Mar 13, 2020 6:03 pm

Great story and insights!
Time for another :spyder:!

-Matt


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