Auction #20 for Freethoughtblogs Legal Debts

This is to help defray FTB’s legal debts from Richard Carrier’s defamation lawsuit. Details and rules are below:

The Unfortunate Knife

Bidding is Closed! (The winner generously decided to donate the full amount of the winning bid: $100) Thank you!

I made this little slicer out of 1095 wire rope (“plow cable”) welded and hammer forged. It’s differentially tempered and mirror polished on the cutting edge, with a textured finish on the shinogi. The reverse side is hollow ground. It’s a weird and complicated little knife. The bolster is synthetic ivory of very high quality, and 3,000 year old bog oak.

BUT: it has a major flaw.

Sometimes when you weld up wire rope, you get areas that are a bit weaker because of oxidation build-up during the weld. This knife has one right on the most important part of the cutting edge. It looks like a small chip. See:

Normally, I’d have thrown it out during grinding, except I finished and mounted it, and the piece of steel waited until I was polishing the edge before it popped out. So I wound up with a finished knife suitable for something, except it’s not. It’s an object of shame and woe and I’d appreciate if you’d take it off my hands so I don’t have to look at it.

I could grind the edge back till the divot is gone but this is ridiculously hard steel and I can’t bring myself to grind up a mirror polish I spent hours on.

Bidding starts at: $1

You can bid in the comments, or bid by emailing me [link]. If you email, I will assume that you wish to remain anonymous and will post a comment in the bidding section that reads something like: “Anonymous bid in the amount of $___” I do not live glued to my email so it may take a while for an email bid to register.

Whoever bids the most for the Oak Bowl wins it for $1 more than the second highest bidder bid. For example, if I bid $75 and Joe bids $5 and I’m the highest bidder, that makes Joe the second highest bidder, and I win the thing for $10 – the bidding start price. This is a variation of the Ebay bidding algorithm and, while it is less effective at milking money from the bidders, it discourages people from feeling that they need to log in at the last minute and try to bid over someone else. At the time when bidding closes, whichever bid is the highest, whether it’s email or a comment, wins.

Since we don’t have an automated bidding system like Ebay, I’d like to discourage “auction sniping.” If you want the thing, bid what you’re willing to pay for it and just see what happens. If you simply must have it, bid $1million for it and if the second highest bidder had bid $50, it’s yours for $51.

If you do not win, you owe nothing!

The winner is expected to donate the agreed-upon amount to the defense fund and send me suitable proof (a screenshot or whatever) and give me a shipping address, at which point I’ll box it up and send it along! I will cover shipping unless you are on the moon. Bear in mind that international mail service is “all fucked up” right now because of COVID so it may take a month or more to get your loot if you are outside the US. It may take a month or more if you are inside the US, too.

How To Pay:

You can donate directly to FTB’s [paypal] which is my preference, or to the collective GoFundMe which divides the money between FTB, Skepticon, and other defendants in the lawsuit.


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