General Update

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Registered Member
Aug 20, 2011
I'm starting a new thread, this one got too long for the first post. Check the new thread, General Update #2 --BME, 4/1/2017

[UPDATE 3/31/2017 1847]I'm working on getting the rest of the refunds that have already been emailed to me. Most of the emails were originally, "hey, it's so-and-so an I want a refund." So, I went to the spreadsheet, searched for the name and then processed the refund. However, some of you guys ordered more than one knife. So, I didn't see the other parts of the orders because I only searched for the first record. I'm working on them tonight and tomorrow. Everyone should be good to go by tomorrow.

The new shop is starting work right away. He already had a steel order in and he added the 20CV to that order, so it should have been on its way this week. Numbers will be finalized on my end this weekend and will be at his shop on Monday.

I appreciate the ones of you that are staying in. If Mike doesn't send the refund right away (trying to give him the benefit of the doubt here) I can cover the $10,000 from savings short term, but man I really hope I don't have to. This run is going to be close. We're right on the edge of having too many people pull out. Please, if you don't absolutely need a refund, don't ask for one. I am running close to saying no more refunds.

I am interviewing new sheath makers as I don't want to use "Mike's guy." Not that I think he would be a bad choice, but maybe I'm just gun shy.

Ok, that's all for now. I will try to call the new shop on Monday or Tuesday to follow-up and get an idea of a schedule. I hope this goes this time. It's getting harder and harder to be optimistic.

[UPDATE 3/28/2017 0847]Got a hold of Mike. He's sending a refund check. I got some numbers from another shop and I think they are going to work. I have to sit down today and tomorrow and tally up all the numbers. I've been told 8 weeks from the new shop, and that is if we start right away. Like I said, I'm going to send him over the actual number so we can get a purchase order drawn up. No more handshake deals. I've learned a lot from all of this, but most of all that I need to trust and verify. The second part of that is pretty important. More later as things develop.

[UPDATE 3/21/2017 1013]I'm calling Mike today and getting the $10,000 deposit back. This is fucking ridiculous. I was told, "No problem, get your money back from Travis and we'll start making them on the same deposit amount. You'll go to the front of the line and we'll get them done in 6-8 weeks." Obviously that was complete bull shit. I don't know where to start.

I pass on to you guys what I'm told by Mike, who is 11 hours away. I thought I could trust someone who has a multi-million dollar company, but I am being fed what appears to be a line of bull. Bark River subcontracted the Companions out to a machine shop in Escanaba. I didn't know they were going to do this or I would have went to the shop directly instead of paying them to be a middle man. There is an ongoing battle between the machine shop and Bark River regarding payment for parts and invoices. I'm hearing both sides and I believe the machine shop owner more than I believe Mike. As of right now, no one is even working on the knives. All production is suspended.

I have been told that the Companions have never gotten above middle of the weekly list of stuff to work on. So all of those updates that I passed along, the updates I was given directly from the horse's mouth, have they been false? I don't know. There is so much BS flying from up north that I don't know what to believe. I have a picture that is the knife blanks cut out sitting in a box. I have been told that the knives were being ground. I haven't seen pictures of any ground knives.

I know that Bark River is big enough to stomp me into the dirt if they want to. I'm not interested in a pissing match. A pissing match or worse is a distinct possibility. Mike, if you read this, I just want my deposit back. That's it. Nothing else.

My reluctance of posting updates stems from not knowing exactly what to do and not wanting to piss someone off that could destroy me. I decided to post this now because frankly, I have no other options. I have no knives, I have no company without knives. Mike tells me, and I'm paraphrasing (but not loosely), the guys that leave will come back, don't worry about it, the customers will come back when the knives are done. I'm not interested in running a company like that.

When I did the Indiegogo run, IGG took a certain percentage of the money made. When anyone has paid with PayPal, obviously PayPal takes their cut. When IGG transferred the money to PayPal, PayPal took another cut. This means every refund I process costs me around 10%. Regardless, I will still process refunds. I haven't been very good about getting them out in a timely manner, mostly because I just suck at paperwork. Tomorrow, I will be combing through email and processing all refunds requested that haven't been done.

I called Bark River a couple hours ago. Mike was unable to come to the phone. I left a message for him to call me back. If he calls back while I'm on a call (I'm on the ambulance today) then I will try to call him back asap. If I can't get him, I will call tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day. I'm going to ask for my deposit back. We will find someone else to make the knives. As of right now, Mike doesn't know any of this, unless he reads it before I call him.

That's all I have. Also, apparently I don't get updates for this thread?? I got an email asking me to answer some of the questions that have been asked. I didn't know anyone asked any questions. I'll go through them.

[UPDATE 3/8/2017 1925] No one is getting burned on the crowd funding campaign. There is nothing to update other than I'm getting pissed at the cluster fuck that this has become. Mike Stewart at Bark River would like me to tell you all that they had some snafus and that they are bringing everything in house and that it's going to take a few more weeks to get up and running.

Here's what I'm going to say. In August I was told 6-8 weeks. The end of January I was told the end of February. The end of the first week of March I was told "a few more weeks before we start on them." What do I do guys? I can't put a gun to anyone's head, and obviously I wouldn't if I could. All these delays just make me look bad and make everyone angry.

There are things behind the scenes with suppliers, etc. that I am not allowed to discuss on open forums. I'm not purposefully hiding things or keeping you all in the dark, but some things I can't discuss.

I know it's been a long time. I'm ready to get this done and move on to the next thing, believe me.

On a personal note, my divorce is finally done after 19 months. Now we get to battle over kids' schedules. But at least I'm divorced now.

[UPDATE 02/13/2017 1112] Late update. Family legal stuff has taken a significant amount of my time the past week and I completely forgot. There was no update regardless, as I just talked to Bark River this past week. I have spoken to Jim Stewart a couple times the past week and we are on schedule so far. They are sourcing the handle and liner material and will be cutting on it soon. Mike just told me that he doesn't think the mammoth ivory will hold up to machining, so I will be sending out an email to the two or three people that ordered mammoth ivory and figuring out what to do. I was bummed because I wanted one in MI too! That's what I know. Let's all hope the next update will be finished knives!

[UPDATE 01/21/2017 2054] As promised, another update! I spoke to Mike yesterday and he told me I could tell you all to expect the knives to be finished the end of February. Obviously, I am not able to promise anything as there is so much outside of my control, but I'm extremely hopeful.

I will be traveling to Escanaba towards the end of February to discuss Evans Knife and Tool's future in 2017. There is some stuff brewing that I can't discuss yet that should help with my supply issues. I will definitely be updating everyone on those developments as soon as possible. I and Kelley both are making changes to the business to make it more streamlined and more "business-like," for lack of a better term. By the end of 2017, EKT should be a lean, mean, knife making machine.

I will post another update on February 4. Let's all hope/pray/sacrifice small rodents that the knives have significant progress by then.

[UPDATE 01/07/2017 1803] It's been a month since the last update. I don't have much to update. I talked to Mike Stewart yesterday. Apparently he is having some issues with his own vendors, which is something I can't control. My lack of communication is not to be construed as a lack of giving a shit. If I have no information, I assume posting an update of "No information" is not much help. I think about this stuff for hours a day, but there aren't isn't anything I can say. Basically, I don't know what to do. I wish now that I hadn't started this project, but there isn't anything to do but keep moving forward with it. Nothing has gone according to plan, nothing has happened like I was told it would happen. I'm frustrated and just plain pissed off, as I'm sure most of you are.

We have to move to another sheath maker for the Companions. I can't say why without Ronnie's permission. Ronnie if you read this, feel free to comment. Reid Hyken will be making the sheaths. Reid makes sheaths for Bark River, Benchmade, and others.

I'm not overly good at returning emails, although I do see them and take appropriate action if needed.

I'm going up to Escanaba in the next 6-8 weeks. I don't have a definitive date yet, but I'll post here when I do.

That's it, there's nothing else to report. I am going to start posting every two weeks, regardless if nothing has changed. The next update will be 1/21.

[UPDATE 12/8/2016 1246] I spoke to Mike Stewart about a few days ago. As of then, the knives were in the process of being machined. That's all the information he had. The machine shop that is doing the Companions is the same shop Mike uses for Bark River, in fact some of Bark River's knives are there now being worked on. I know this whole process is taking WAY longer than I had ever anticipated. I have complete faith in the guys that they are going to come through and deliver a killer knife. These aren't fly by night operations here, they are respected members of the manufacturing community. Hell, Metallinus Synergy does parts for aerospace, including the F-22 fighter. When I get done typing this I'm going to email Kevin Fournier directly and see if I can get a little more comprehensive answer on our timeline.

[UPDATE 11/8/2016 1328] The knives have been waterjet out of plate and are at the machine shop being ground and the spines are being rounded. After grinding comes heat treat. I just hung up the phone with Mike five minutes ago, so we have the latest information. Once the machining and heat treat are done they will go to Bark River for handles. I'm sorry I don't have more of a timeline guys, but I'm extremely hesitant to give any solid dates as Evans Knife and Tool hasn't made any of our deadlines yet. However, we are making progress. No more preorders, ever, ever, ever again. I hate not having any control over sales timelines. It is a huge vote of confidence when you guys purcahse one of my Companions and I want honor your decision.

[UPDATE 10/27/2016 1031] I talked to Mike yesterday to get an update on how the blades were coming. I was told that the steel didn't arrive like we thought it would, but that it should arrive today. Today I got a FaceBook messenger message from Mike that said the following, "We are cutting blades right now- the steel shoed up at 8AM to New Jersey Water Jet. We stopped the job Larry is running and put yours right up." So, there is that. The knives are being cut as I type this. We're rolling folks!

[UPDATE 10/20/16 2010] I spoke to Mike Stewart at BRK yesterday morning. He advised the shipment of steel from Niagra that was due today would have the CPM20CV for the Companions. This is what we've been waiting on and what has been holding up production. I believe this will be the last time I use CPM20CV. I like the steel, but it is a PAIN to get. It held us up when we were working with Precision Plus and it held us up with Bark River. I'm moving to Elmax for the next runs.

[ORIGINAL POST 10/6/2016 1119] Hi guys. I don't have a bunch of updates, but I have a few.

First an apology. I have been extremely slow getting back to emails and posts in the last month. I have been working about 84-90 hours a week at my full time job and between work, sleep, and kids have really neglected my other duties. My health, especially my mental health, has suffered greatly. I was as close to complete breakdown as I have been my entire career. I gave up all of my overtime for the month of October and I think probably at least until the end of the year. This will take be back down to 56 hours a week, which will allow me to focus on my health, and my businesses. I will be back to designing the new run of the Companion Field, Companion X, Mini Companion, and Companion Folder for next year.

Now for the knife update. I have been calling Mike Stewart once a week for an update. There is no reason to call more than that, as it doesn't accomplish anything, rather it just annoys everyone. I talked to Mike on Tuesday of this week. He told me, "We are waiting on steel to be delivered from the mill." Obviously, if they don't have steel, BRKT can't do anything. He assured me that we would be bumped to the top of the list once the steel was delivered. He acknowledged how frustrating and how nerve-wracking this is for everyone, given that he is the second person we have contracted to make the Companions. He is doing everything he can do, and honestly as much as I hate it, there is nothing to do right now but be patient and wait it out. I will continue to call once a week for an update.

I will be monitoring this thread and will try to answer questions and comments at least daily.

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Sep 23, 2016
If your health is down the tubes then you won't be able to take care of your family and others, so health is always should be number one priority. Thanks for the update much appreciated!

Hale Storm

Kydex Whisperer
Gold Member
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Sep 18, 2013
Thanks for the update my friend. I agree with vvs75. Health first. Thanks for the update. It's refreshing to see an honest approach to a delay.

I've been dealing with another company and they are in delay hell. Shouldn't be a problem but they've been there for two years now and it's getting worse. Not to mention they won't address real issues honestly and have taken a 'head in the sand' approach to an ever widening (and lost) customer base that is moving on.

Thanks for the honesty Brian. Really.
Jun 16, 2003
I went through a "trying to be Superman" period. Then came the weird dreams and hair falling out. I finally figured it out, told the boss I could no longer work 80/wk, saved my health and marriage.

Hope it all comes around for you.
Nov 17, 2014
i second that health first ive been there 80 hours a week for months on end the moneys great but its not worth it when everything else in your life goes to hell.
Nov 12, 2015
Gotta put yourself first, if your broken then how can we expect anything?!!

On a side note is there a place I can reserve a companion or is it a wait until they are made jobby?

Dec 9, 2013
Take care of yourself first man for sure. Thanks for the honest post. I can't wait for my Companion!
Jun 10, 2016
That was a great update, have you been able to get the R and R that you so badly needed? I am glad to hear that the steel has come in. Has Mike said anything about how the production is going?
Apr 2, 2009
Geez, ordered in march and it doesn't look like it will be done before christmass.
This is my last Kickstarter/Indiegogo ever.
Nov 29, 2010
Patiently looking forward to getting that final product in hand. Best wishes man.
Oct 19, 2016
hey i was wondering if I'd be able to buy one even if i didnt hop on the indigogo campaign ?
Aug 18, 2016
Hope you get well/better soon; 56h per week is still a whole fucking lot. thanks for the update

Gesendet von meinem ONEPLUS A3003 mit Tapatalk
Feb 24, 2013
Appreciate the update. There's nothing more worrisome than when a seller stops talking, and you've been doing a good job keeping us informed. Looking forward to getting the knife in hand whenever it's ready. You can't rush perfection. ;)


Gold Member
Mar 31, 2016
I hope your feeling better Brian. Also I have a question. I realize that this is a kick starter project and the people posting here are ones that have payed already. But im wondering will there be any more of this knife made beyond that number? Or Is it sold out? Thanks


Gold Member
Nov 21, 2005
Brian, you have been aboard through this whole kickstarter program and keep up informed the whole way. I 'm sure you will get them out when they are ready. Take care of yourself first all else will come in time.
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