I no longer own any custom folder, they were a major disappointment (especially Darrel Ralph's EDC). Generally speaking, high end factory knives got so good, that I see no reason for custom knives any more.
I'll need to go snap some pictures of the knives I have. What is interesting, is that I have the same Cattaraugus Quartermaster knife that Ed does, and in similar condition to the one in the picture. It takes a superb edge. When my family bough our first piece of property in 1995 (we came to the States in 1991) we spent some time fixing the house up. When my brother and I crawled around the attic fixing the AC ducts we stumbled onto a sheathed knife that was covered with enough dust and cobwebs to have been there for decades. Considering the fact that the house was built in mid-50s and that the climate in that area is quite hot and dry, the knife remained in perfect condition.
Rumor has it that these knives were all made from the same batch of unusually good quality high carbon steel that was nicely heat treated. Best I can tell, the steel was what is today known as 1095. It starts out as nice small-grain steel and I suspect that in the ~65 years since these have been made, grain structure slowly got even better. I know that mine takes a crazy aggressive edge and holds it superbly. These are not particularly rare knive: Cattauragus made a touch less than a million of them, but I do not see them around all that much.
My parents still live in that house we bought in the mid-nineties, and we have no intention of selling it. I fully expect to keep the knife at least as long as the house. In an odd sort of way both the knife and the house are our first American heirlooms and symbolize the American dream to those of us who still believe in it.
Edited by koshkin - November/17/2010 at 18:10