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About NVLeatherWorx

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  • Birthday 11/10/1964

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Belts, wallets, checkbook covers, purses/handbags, etc.
  1. JLS nailed it with the thicknesses but if it is being carved or stamped then you should go with the 4/5 oz. but cut it from the belly for the extra soft feel (if you are cutting from the hide of course).
  2. The European Single Bends are not too bad at all and the Oak-Leaf veg-tan (sides and/or shoulders) are okay as well. Biggest issue that you may run across is during the dye/stain process which may give you some uneven take-up on the initial application; I typically end up giving these leathers at least 2 applications of my dyes/stains/Antiques to get an even look. I too use HO for everything unless I need a quick pick leather that is not as critical based on the details of the project/order at hand. I source my HO from The Hide House in Napa, CA and get it for about $7.95/sft; the Oak-Leaf and European Bends are typically much more than that (even at the business/wholesale rate that I get with Tandy) unless you can get them on a special buy. All of my supplies are purchased at wholesale (even from Fiebing's); helps to keep business expenses/costs down so I can actually try and make a little profit from the endeavor.
  3. And those funny little sponge tipped swabs that women use for eye shadow do a great job as well; you can buy those by the ton through Amazon or even get a large package of them at any store in the Cosmetics section. I have been using those for years.
  4. Oh, the Engineering math! Make it stop! I remember those equations from days as an Army Engineer (and later my Masters program) and I always use them when working out design issues on the table. I too do all of my design work on paper with the basic "hand tools" of the trade. Once I have a finished design it then gets transferred to cardboard (using the same hand-drawn methods) which is used to create a mock-up of the intended finished item. If all looks as it should then the next step is to actually cut the leather and make the real deal happen. I often get told that my process takes way too much time and energy that I could save a large amount of if I just went with a computer design program and I always have a reply: "there is no computer design program alive that can replace the results obtained by putting my design style and flow into a functional finished product; custom designs are an extension of our personality and each one portrays a different piece of that personality; a computer only gives you lines without a soul." That pretty much shuts them up and has them scratching their heads. It is true that in today's society the "personal values" (couldn't find anything better) of the common employee are not just lacking, they are non-existent as they have been told their entire life that they are special and/or unique and that they are entitled to whatever they want or can dream of. I have been around for a few years and yet to have any of my dreams (literally) come true but I have achieved several things that I have desired over this time and it was all from hard work; nobody gave me a thing that wasn't worked for and earned. It would be nice if some of the younger generation would wake up and actually want to learn from some of us Old School thinkers and doers but I don't think that they are capable of doing anything other than walk around with their heads in their 5th point of contact thinking that they are entitled to the world that we, and those before us, have created for them. Soap box dusted off now.
  5. I too get my stamps/marks from Grey Ghost Graphics and I can honestly say that they give a cleaner, and deeper, impression than ANY metal stamp or acrylic plate and I use the full sized version that requires you to use your mallet and whack the you know what out of it. I highly recommend Grey Ghost for your makers marks/stamps.
  6. Give a look at the Leathercraft Library (belongs to Tandy and is only online) and you can actually download a simple PDF file from them (for free I believe it still is) about how to use their Eco-Flo product lines to achieve all kinds of finishes and techniques. The method that you are looking with the multi-toned elements is called "resisting" and it is a multi-step process. This technique, and several other of the most popular and artistically attractive ones, are covered within that book. You can use the basic instructions to work with any products as long as you know how the product is intended to be used in its normal state. There is much available throughout these forums as well. Good luck, and don't hesitate to ask for help if need be.
  7. You are quite welcome. I know what you mean about the design time but I have it down to about 30 minutes (start to finish) for a new wallet design and I keep all of my designs as a hard copy once the first one has been made. I even have permanent templates for some of the more frequently requested items and that cuts a bunch of time out of the equation. I have never, nor will I ever, used eBay as it is really not a marketplace for anything of true quality, regardless of whether it made by a hobbyist or a business professional and the bulk of the items I find there, and Etsy has this issue as well, are mass produced junk that has either been purchased from a foreign country for resale or is actually directly sold from a foreign country. Once in awhile I do find a U.S. based maker with some skill but not very often. Keep up your good work, nice looking holsters on your Etsy page. Hope to see some new stuff coming from you and if you ever just want to chat, you know where to find me.
  8. That would depend on what region you are in and what the demographics are for your selling areas. In my area I can get a wide range of requests from clients which includes the need to have a zippered (or even snapped) coin pouch or large zippered currency pocket. There is no one answer to your question; it is simply a matter of what is being asked for. I have a few different versions of the wallets that I make with some of them including a snapped/zippered pocket/pouch (variants depend on product line) so that my clients (or the potential ones) can see that I do offer such things and they can actually see how it is made and works. The only thing that I could recommend is that you at least mention that you can add such a feature in your listings but that it does cost extra to do so because of the extra materials and time required to make it happen. If you get a client that is interested in such an item then make a mock-up of the item with the desired variant and send them a picture of it. That way they can see (in general terms) how it will look so that they can confirm their wants or revert their order to your standard version. I make a mock-up of each specialty request like this and shoot them a picture along with some details about the final design and features. I make them out of paper and use simple tape to act as my "stitching"; it has been successful for me so far. Noticed that you are listing your items on Etsy, hope it is working for you. However, the more options/variants that you offer the more detailed of a platform that you will need so that you can create a listing with everything you want to offer the customer. I only list my ready-to-ship stuff on Etsy at this point and have taken my custom items to the Handmade at Amazon platform. I can have up to 10 customization options to offer with unlimited options within each category; and every one of them allows for a price adjustment if necessary. Etsy will never be able to offer this to their clients and they have told me repeatedly that it isn't on their radar for consideration any time soon if at all. Have a great weekend.
  9. I use them on a consistent basis and have seen improvement over what it was a year ago. A year ago you could place an online order on Monday and it may not even ship out of SLC until the following Monday; now I can place one on Sunday, it will be fulfilled on Monday and submitted for shipment, and it will arrive at my door no later than Friday (and that is if it goes UPS, USPS is within 2 days and I live in the middle of the desert in Nevada). There have been some issues in the past but, as mentioned elsewhere, that is not uncommon within business. I have also experienced their desire to make things right by contacting them when something was wrong and we got it worked out with no issue. In fact, there have been times when I have been offered additional items to make up for the mistake; their customer service (when given the chance) will fix the issue and make it right, very right.
  10. I am not aware of a cleaner that will leave it the darkened state but who knows, there may be something out there on the market or in someone's closet. It sounds like the "concoction" you are talking about might be a blend of lemon juice, white vinegar, and some distilled water. There are so many recipe's out there for stuff you can't keep them straight anymore. If you use anything alcohol based then you might want to consider the highest percentage available that you can find. There is a product on the market that might help you at least cut through the stuff that you want to remove so the leather can absorb some dye and it is called Deglazer and it is made by Fiebing's (also available at Tandy, Springfield Leather, and most of the other online leather supply places) but it can be really harsh on the leather and will just about bleach it if the project is tough. Works like a champ but most are afraid of it. I would recommend that whatever you do, whether it be on a cushion or the sofa itself that you try the process on an area of the sofa that is hidden away from common view to see how it works. Seeing a small test result of your plan and the results will help you adjust what needs to be done for the final steps and also allows you to modify the product(s) used to do the job without missing the mark on the whole thing. Good luck with your project.
  11. Amazon Handmade has a fee structure of around 12% but you should already be factoring all of of your expenses/costs (including fees, etc.) into your sell price. Common business models insist upon making sure that you establish your "bottom line" price (the bare minimum that you will accept to ensure profitability and business growth while covering wages, etc.) and then mark it up by the fees and other residual items (such as shipping if you list it as "free shipping"; you don't really give it away). Once you have it all marked up, that is your official list price for anything. This method allows to actually receive what you should as revenue while covering for all other expenses/costs. The Handmade outlet also allows you to create listings for custom made items so you don't have to have a huge array of finished products that have to ship out as soon as someone hits the payment button.
  12. The green Fiebing's dye is really just a plain green but it does take on a more Kelly green look on the swatches as you pointed out. I can tell you from experience that when it dries (the first application) it is a pretty vibrant green and it gets darker with each following application. You can also tinker with blending the oil dyes and some of the antique paste products to generate alternate hues of the base dye colors for that unique look. However, with all of that said, you would probably not want to attempt this task in the first place as there is no guarantee that your sofa could even accept the dyes and/or stains as it most likely not a type of leather that will readily allow color penetration and it is most definitely treated and sealed as a protective measure and attempting to remove that treatment could damage the leather beyond repair or functional use. Typically, the leathers used for upholstery are a "one and done" thing and can not be refinished to meet the original color scheme. You can clean them and condition them (although it is questionable as to how much conditioning really happens when you do so) but that is about the extent of where you can go with it. I get this question all of the time and always after the person has attempted a "suggested" fix for their dilemma only to have results that totally missed the mark on what was being attempted and now they want a solid fix; tough to tell them that they are basically stuck with that "used vintage" look but this type of leather does not work the same way as the type we use to make the things we do (vegetable-tanned cowhide). Sorry the news isn't more positive but the risk of causing serious damage to your sofa is too great. However, the decision is still yours if you want to attempt such a thing. Good luck.
  13. You might be on to something there billybopp.
  14. Aside from those in a zoo I don't believe that we actually raise them as we don't really have the correct environment for them to thrive. Besides, I wouldn't recommend the leather for use as it is not a great quality and I speak from experience having spent time in countries where they do actually have the creature roaming the lands. It is just not a good material and should not be given the distinction of leather.
  15. For anyone who wishes to keep trying to the Eco-Flo Waterstain products here is a very important hint: apply it to damp leather and use a damp sponge (which is what the manufacturer suggests to do anyway) and you should have better results. Also, do not seal it or condition it with anything other than nasty smelling Professional Cream Conditioner as you will have a negative result from the rest of the products for that purpose. The waterstains have several issues and they have cause more users, semi-experienced and new alike, heartache and migraines trying to wrap their heads around how to fix an issue that arises. As mentioned above, some have stopped using the product because it has created major cracking issues and I can vouch for those as I had experienced the same issues when I did some product testing for that line. The cracking was just one of the issues and every one of them can cause you to lose money in wasted materials. I personally do not recommend them for purchase or use but everyone has to make their own decisions when it comes to spending their money. Most of stick with the tried and true brands and products that have been around since the start of this industry and we have seen products and brands come and go while the originals still go strong without ever trying to "compete" with the new kid on the block. Just keep in mind that if you do give this product a try and find yourself regretting it, there have already been plenty of people who have covered the issues and provided comment and recommendations so there is no reason why you should expect anything different just because it is you who took the plunge. Good tooling to all.