Andrew Chee

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About Andrew Chee

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    Leatherworker

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    Bay Area, CA

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  1. The machine that I purchased from Steve was a Consew. It was a trade-in that he had. There's basically two kinds of bell knife skivers. Bottom feed only and top and bottom feed. The latter allows you to skive really heavy leather. They aren't as precise when you get down to the really thin stuff though. The main reason being there's a wheel on top that turns so it's not as precise as a stationary bar. As for your learning curve question, it's really not that hard at all. It's pretty easy. There's some things to keep in mind depending on whether you skiving thick or thin stuff or soft or firm but it's really not that hard at all. As for your question about doing multiple runs to thin an entire piece of leather. While yes that's doable by doing multiple runs, the results are not perfects. You may end up with some ridges and thicker spots because the knife, feed wheel, and presser feet are never exactly parallel. With that said, it's still doable. The results just aren't perfect. Hope this helps. Andrew
  2. I got mine used from cobra Steve. Look around and your u can find them used for a decent price. They aren't that complicated but there's definitely a learning curve. I can answer any specific questions you have about use. Andrew
  3. Chrome tan isn't necessarily better or worse than veg tan leather. Chrome tan can be cheaper because it is faster than veg tan. But that is just one part of the cost for tanning leather. High end leather uses better raw materials and does more work in finishing the leather. With that said, straight chrome tan leather does not tend to patina in the way that veg tan leather does. The vegetable tannins in the veg tan leather is what gives that patina that you're talking about. So if your criteria is the ability to patina then veg tan is definitely "better". Chrome tan leather tends to be softer right off the bat with a lot of different finishes and looks that can be achieved. This is one of the main reasons that high end manufacturers use it. They are looking for different qualities than age and patina. So while these leathers are very nice, you should look somewhere else if aging and patina are what you're looking for. Andrew
  4. I've owned one. Good splitter. Only thing to keep in mind is that if you want to split to below like 3oz, you should look into a band knife splitter. Nothing wrong with the Cobra but a stationary knife splitter isn't very good at splitting down thin. Andrew
  5. In the wallets I make I use 5oz for the outer panel and 2oz for the inner slots. Any more than that (and depending on how you do your layers) it will get mighty thick fast. Let's say you use the leather thickness I mention, that would be 9-11oz thickness per side so a total of about 20oz thickness just in the leather. That's almost 1/3" without even putting anything in it. Andrew
  6. Don't run 207 on the 335. I run 138 on mine and it doesn't even like that very much. I doubt it will handle 207. Check out kwok hing. They have a lot of feet and parts for the 335 and are pretty cheap. As for binders though, what I've found is that they are very specific to the materials used. I have a bunch of binders from KH and have found that none of them work well.. Andrew
  7. When I spoke with Hardtke, they told me that they don't like selling the Shinki shells just by themselves. They'd only sell it if you bought other stuff from them. Not sure why that was but that's what they said. going forward I'd probably just stick with Claytons shells or Horween when available since they were nicer than Shinki and Claytons is more readily available. Andrew
  8. Are you making an external gusset bag or a turned bag (sewn inside out and then turned right side out)? If you're making a turned bag, then neither leather may be that great. W&C Harness, when new creases very noticeably when bent. As it gets beaten up and used it looks nice. But when new, the bends don't look that great (if you're looking to sell the thing and want a very smooth look). One thing you can do is tumble the hell out of the leather and it will soften up considerably and look more uniform. ' As for the Italian leather, it's from a tannery called Tempesti. It's hard to say what it's like. In general, the Italian veg tans are softer tempered than American veg tans. Primarily cause they are tanned for different purposes (leather goods vs. horse tack). It's just something you have to try out for yourself. Andrew
  9. For chrome tanned leathers you are basically left with either painting the edges (and then possibly sealing with heated edge creaser) or folding the edges over. Andrew
  10. Cool. Didn't know that. I have to say that the Claytons leathers are quite firm so that's why I thought oak bark tannage. Andrew
  11. I can only speak to W&C Harness and bridle leather at 5-6oz as well as Claytons bridle at about 5-6oz. I haven't used the other ones. Clayton's bridle is the firmest/stiffest of the leathers. I think (and correct me if I'm wrong) that Clayton's bridles leathers are oak bark tanned and that might contribute to the firmness of the leather. W&C Harness and Bridle are softer. Harness is actually softer because they use more oils/waxes than on the bridles so as it wears in it gets softer than the bridle. I think that if you want leather that won't be bent a lot (like an external gusset briefcase) then bridle leather works nicely. If you have things that bend and twist a lot then harness wears better. That's just my opinion though. Honestly it just all depends on what you like. I like Harness over bridle because of the particular qualities of darkening and the softer hand but others might like the firmer, smoother feel of bridle. I've recently started using a lot of Italian veg tans that I think are even nicer. Not necessarily in quality of the skins but in the affect that the leather has and what I'm looking for. Andrew
  12. Where are you located? Andrew
  13. Very nice. I had a local machinist make me something similar because I couldn't find anything that worked. I totally would have bought this had you been selling these when i was looking. You should sell them. Andrew
  14. The truth is, there's a lot of variability in leathers. Bridle leather from different tanneries are very different. Everyone has a different formula for what they call bridle. I think what Art said about bridle sounding better than harness is kinda insightful. Really you have to try it out and see which one works for you. I prefer using W&C harness over the real English bridle stuff. W&C harness has some nice properties. It darkens wuite a bit when burnished. It edges well. I like it a lot. You just have to try it out and see which type of leather you like better. Andrew