Matt S

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  1. British United/John O Flaterhty machine

    What Constabulary said -- the beast is not like a modern, high-speed machine and a light oil tends to pour out pretty fast. 10w40 works great, since I have it already sitting on the shelf. Sometimes I reach for the Youngs 303 mostly for the smell... perhaps Constabulary does a similar thing with Ballistol? ;-)
  2. Pearson #6 shuttle removal

    Open the shuttle cover plate and turn the handle until the shuttle is at its maximum travel to the left. Press the pointy end until the blunt end points up a bit, then pull it out. The bobbin is retained in the shuttle with a little catch at the blunt end.
  3. Alas no, I haven't got the space for that. Looks grand though. I found a vintage 7.5" crank splitter which works for most of my purposes, and the price was acceptable. Would love to hear others' opinions of that big Cowboy 8020 though!
  4. I have the Cowboy 800 splitter. Technically it's a lap skiver, which is all I use it for now that I have a crank splitter. However if like me you are blessed with more determination than brains it is possible to split 4" straps with one. I think now there is a version with a locking wheel but mine doesn't, I just added a screw on the end of the handle and kept adding weight plates until the roller held firm against the limit screw. Then a wide-mouth pair of mole grips, boot firmly against the bench and a quick swig of beer tea and thing would come through, so long as the blade was in good nick. Of course, as fivewayswelshcobs says, your Osborne can probably be brazed. Got any pics?
  5. Dye loss

    Once you've burnished with water burnish again with a thin solution of gum tragacanth, gum Arabic, pearl/hide glue or PVA glue. Then one it's dry buff with beeswax.
  6. British United/John O Flaterhty machine

    I agree with Cosntabulary, it's a BUSM #6. There is a PDF copy of the manual available on this site. Check it out, you need to double back through the thread check plates when threading the machine up. The red is from a miner's paint can ;-) I don't know how this would have been used to repair boots, the BUSM6 is a machine primarily designed for making and fixing heavy horse harness. I suppose it could have been used for stitching on new soles but there were smaller, more affordable solutions at the time like the Junker Ruh 28. Looks like it originally had a bottom-waxing pot, but it's not unusual that this is missing. The top wax pot is also missing, but that's only a problem if you are using linen thread rather than nylon or polyester. Remember to oil all the little oil holes each time you use it. I like to keep the cam tracks and all other sliding parts well greased too.
  7. Well that's about a sqft of what looks like 3mm buff back veg tan leather. I don't have a splash riveter, which takes the price of dies up a bit (gotta put the punch tubes in). Cheapest veg tan I'm willing to put my name on is £3.50/foot. Let's say 10% quantity discount on 500sqft. Looks like an efficient shape so allow a 15% wastage which takes it to £3.62 of leather per unit. Allow 50p per unit for thread and rivets (I only use solid brass). £4.12 materials per item. No big clicker of my own so I'd have to rent one. Guessing about a week's work (one man band) to assemble 500 so add five day's labour. Even if I pay myself minimum wage that's another 50p per item. Markup to cover various other overheads say 40% (considering quantity discount) takes it to £6.46 I would charge a one of originating fee to cover the dies and die design so I wouldn't have to factor that cost in. Already we're at £ 3,232 but that's a bit of a pie in the sky figure, I've never done any large qualities like this, and I've only calculated paying myself minimum wage. Furthermore I would recommend against the unfinished veg tan, and the raw materials would go up.
  8. Safety Beveller (skirver)

    They are not always available or cheap. In the UK for instance they are more expensive than the 'real' ones. I use a Swann Morton 10a scalpel blade on a no3 handle. Strop or replace the blade as soon as it starts dulling. It took a lot of leather and a lot of four-letter words to learn how to skive and I tried a few different knives. This is very handy, fast and economical.
  9. Thanks for this comparison, Gary. I'm looking for something to improve on the Edgekote -- i find it's too shiny, doesn't fill very well and takes an age to dry thoroughly. I have a small bottle of Fenice on the way and Norsol, a brand I have only recently come across. I will compare them with Edgekote and post the results.
  10. Cylinder sewing machine

    Looks like a Pfaff 335 clone. The 335 type is very popular with makes of bags and purses.
  11. I think Sedgwicks dressing is dubbin, which varies but is usually roughly equal parts tallow, oil and wax. I've never used Sedgwicks dressing but dubbin would certainly be too soft to fill the edges, though it makes a great maintenance dressing. Yes I used diluted PVA as a burnishing solution, but only for the final burnish. I find that once it dries that's it, so it has to be done pronto. I like and have used gum arabic solution before, which goes beautifully shiny very quickly even by hand, but find it isn't very water resistant. Shellac (dissolved in alcohol) works well too, but I have found it is best suited to applications that will not flex at all, such as shoe heels. I haven't got round to trying pearl glue yet since I'm happy with PVA and my girlfriend can't stand the smell of hide glue. I apply beeswax after final burnish.
  12. Tallow is the rendered fat from beef or lamb. I use lamb because it's what I had already. Also I find that watered-down PVA glue is longer lasting than anything else I've tried so far. However because once it dries it is insoluble you only have one shot at the burnishing. My method for burnishing bridle is detailed here:
  13. Interesting very good quality clicker die

    That is a forged press knife. They are much more expensive than the steel rule dies we are more used to but supposedly last much longer.
  14. There are some designs for the classic Buck knives in Al Stohlman's first case making book. More significantly there are techniques on how to develop one's own patterns for any knife and any purpose.
  15. Adler also made a variant on the 105 (105-25MO?) designed for these jobs. It's a single needle with differential feed (the walking foot and feed dog can be adjusted to feed at different rates) to either make a smooth or ruffled moccasin toe. I've seen a few of these come up on eBay UK. I think they can be adjusted to do 'normal' jobs suited to a 105 so it could be a very useful machine, but I don't think they have reverse.