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SHOT Show and Conference in Las Vegas

Dan's Whetstone Company
Dan's Whetstone CompanyCarline Lew

The SHOT Show, shortened for the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show, is going on now, January 14 - 17, 2014, or through Friday at the Sands Expo Center, Las Vegas.

This is a show for trade and industry, and not open to the public. There are more than 1600 exhibitors, and thousands of buyers attending this show, from all over the world. It is the largest of its kind, with 360,000 feet, and three levels of of exhibit space being utilized. The big boys, as well as innovative contenders worth giving a high five to, and family owned business operators, are there with a wide range of products hand crafted for sports men, security, law enforcement, and even girls! They have firearms, scopes, night vision, security systems, POS systems, tree stands, decoys, knives, tents, packs, trucks, body armour, chests, carts, flash lights, everything under the sun you might want for your gift shop, store, display cases, outdoors or security business.

One of the unique businesses interviewed was Dan's Whetstone Company, out of Pearcy, Arkansas. His company is a regular of the show, and his family has been operating this unique business of hand crafted whetstones since 1976.

Dan Kirschman, in his 70's now, was raised in a small Colorado town, and graduated from the Colorado School of Mines as a mining engineer. As a mining engineer, he and his family were moved around and lived in parts of Nevada once, Montana and other Midwest locations, before becoming settled in Arkansas. There, looking for a place to live, with his wife and three children, he was doing business with a real estate agent, whose husband was on the other end of the building, operating a whetstone company. Dan fell in love with the little business, and began taking the whetstones all over the world with him as he did his work as a mining engineer, created a world wide market by doing so, and acquiring the company. The company, starting from a basement in a house, puts the family to work with grand kids helping out in the summer, is now employing 45 people. A definite contribution to the job force in his local community.

Initially, Dan had to buy the raw material, from a quarry in Arkansas. The stone is a unique, premium quality material, novaculite, the likes of which is found only in that quarry in Arkansas. Eventually, he was able to acquire the quarry, and find other technical uses for the stone, such as drilling equipment, diamond polishing, x-rays, even space programs have a use for it. Indians, historically, used the stone by heating it up to a glass like substance, created arrow heads, knife blades, and spear heads out of it. Each stone is dedicated to quality, cut by hand. Dan's son Sterlen, inspects the quality of each of over a million stones per year that go out, himself.

Dan did not just stop with whetstones. During his travels, he also took notice of other materials, and found a beautiful sandstone in Colorado, which he purchases and turns into house hold works of art. An example of this are his coasters, imprinted with wildlife scenes done by Western and Wildlife Artist, Tom Lucas, out of the quaint, happy, mountain town of Lander Wyoming ( gallery website at www.tomlucas.us ).

These whetstones, are very high quality, individually hand crafted, and are great additions to a sporting goods store, gift shop, western outfitters, display cases in local businesses, knife cases, and a regular Joe could even request a few for gift giving. These are items something any true sportsman would love. You can request a DVD, order, or check out Dan's Whetstone Company, by going online to www.danswhetstone.com, calling 501-767-1616, or writing to Dan's Whetstone Company at 418 Hilltop Road, Pearcy, AR 71964.

Another small outfit, Tacglue Company, had another awesome couple of products at the show worth mentioning, also. Tacglue, tactical adheshive, one of the products offered, is the most amazing stuff, way better than super glue. Seriously impressing, this adhesive can repair anything, even a rubber hose... multiple times! Amazing, and a must have for any emergency, repair or craft. Another product, Wraptor Tape, is a self adhering tape, with holding temperatures of 500 degrees F, water proof, long lasting, and can fix things like the hole in your drip system, hole in your radiator hose, tape your pool tools together, is equally amazing, and worth checking into. Of course, this company has other products that it sells but these are amazing, inexpensive products that are a must have in any emergency kit. Tacglue, at www.tacglue.com or call 888-886-7422.

Of course, the SHOT Show is huge, and these are just a couple of the wonderful things we found there. There is much, much more. Get your business in on it, and visit www.shotshow.org.