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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. You only give Amazon some additional access rights if you have THEM do the fulfillment; if you do it all yourself then they just charge you the simple fees for processing and whatever (which every one of the online outlets does now) and you move on. The advantage is that you have access to the same pool of customers as the normal Amazon platform because it all comes out in the searches for products. I spent many months on this one and have been researching their program since they first announced it; they just didn't have very many categories opened up for sellers but they have grown that exponentially now. You also don't have ANY listing fees and your listings don't expire, ever. Their fine print is actually the most straight forward one I have seen in quite awhile; even friendlier than the Etsy world. And, in case it was missed in the original post I made, this is for the Handmade section, not the general sellers section. The handmade section requires that YOU make the item and that it made entirely by hand. They prohibit the use of any pre-fabricated kits (so those who give Tandy and the other suppliers their money for pre-cut/packaged kits can stay on Etsy where they have cheapened the term of handmade) and will promptly ban any shop that violates that concept. I had to actually provide detailed descriptions of every step of my process and include imagery that supported the very process and you have to give them details. They also do not allow the marketing of anything that could infringe upon the trademark or copyright of another and anyone found to be in violation will be shut down and reported. The example referred to by YinTx is what you find all over eBay and several other outlets, to include Etsy (and it is loaded with it, just look around and pay close attention to what you are looking at) and Etsy now even refuses to assist their sellers who have reported another shop that has hijacked their products through the process of creating redirect links to another shop that collects payment yet never delivers a product. They pretty much wash their hands of any responsibility in several of the many things that they claim to support through their seller protection policy. That is the market that I want no further association with.
  2. I have pretty much decided to let my Etsy shop go in the coming weeks. I just got an invitation of the Handmade at Amazon team (they have finally opened up categories that actually apply to what we do) and I am in the process of getting things listed. And at Handmade at Amazon you can even set up your items for customization with a total of up to 10 options to choose from (if you need that many). Once I get it set and the listings up and going Etsy can kiss my "rear view mirror".
  3. No pics but it is just like tinting regular paint; just take your paste and put some in a container (I use paper plates) and add some dye, a little at a time, and then mix it together. Have some scrap leather around to do some small test areas until you get the look that you are shooting for. This is true control over the final look and the results are literally limitless.
  4. The biggest difference between the Antique paste and the antique stain is that the stain gives more of a dyed appearance, i.e. it is full coverage and deep penetrating so it looks just like it has been dyed. The paste version gives the leather a patina that still allows the full character of the leather to come through and if you are working with the technique of doing what is called resisted you can only achieve that unique 2-tone look with the paste. The paste is also flexible enough that you can actually create your own unique tones by blending the past and spirit/oil dyes together for some really spectacular colors and results. I have used the Fiebing's products for over 40 years and I stand by their quality and versatility. I have given everything else that has come along a chance to change my mind and have yet to find another product that offers the results and consistency of the Fiebing's line. I use them for everything and I even have wholesale and distribution pricing with them.
  5. Amen Boriqua and everyone else gets a big "you're welcome". I remember the days of when you could walk into a Tandy store and actually see the staff working on things and that was one of the biggest hooks for me at that age (I was 8 then, over 50 now) which resulted in me being where I am at now. I learned the tricks of the great leather workers of that time which many of us know the names of and I have spent every day of my life since that initial moment refining those skills and achieving the same level of expertise as they had. I have worked every aspect of this trade to include saddle making and it pains me to see how pathetic that the Tandy brand has become since changing into just another corporate minded profit house. I recently offended the manager from local store here when he told me that Tandy was the ultimate source around the globe for all things leathercraft and that any of the remaining sources would soon be gone. Guess it pissed him off when I told him that Tandy is actually seen in a very poor light by the real leather craftsmen and that we make it our mission in life to provide newcomers to this trade with proper direction and guidance on where to invest in their future within this craft and that Tandy is really not on the list, unless you just need something real quick. I have never seen a person his bleached white skin tone turn so red as he did at that moment and I actually thought for a moment that he was going to go into cardiac arrest. He lives and breathes the company line and is way too blind to see past his nose to find the truth about how poorly viewed his employer really is. As a simple note, if anyone is offended by my take on this company then good, you should be. Tandy is the last place on this planet that is concerned with helping leather crafters with growing this craft or obtaining quality materials and supplies to work with and grow their business; they are pure and simple just another big corporation that only cares about how much money they can drain from the pockets of their "customers", nothing more. Have a great day all and may your creativity and enjoyment of this craft continue for years to come.
  6. The days of having a staff that is truly knowledgeable in the products, and this applies to any retail environment, are gone. Although we always hear about how dedicated a company is to their customers and what they are doing to bring an even higher level of customer service and satisfaction, the reality is that they aren't doing a damn thing at all. Today is all about pure profit and used car sales tactics in every sales environment; knowledge and experience in an actual trade/product is frowned upon and goes against the very grain of selling as much as you can through the art of selling the bull. After all, the majority of their customer base is that newbie who has no clue what they are in need of or how to go about it so it is easy to get some sales from them as they don't know any better. This conversation has been had many times before about the lack of experience with the Tandy staff yet there have been some who have defended them to no end. I have posted it several times about how their classes are taught by a member of the staff who has no real experience with the product or the trade but they can follow the company provided curriculum and teach these newbies how to get by. I have also had several people say that it was not true and that their classes are always taught by someone who knows leather work. Guess what, about a month ago I stopped by the store in my area and watched one of the classes in session. It was taught by the store manager and he was reading from the book, step by step, to a class full of newbies. I know that he has no experience in the craft as we have had several conversations on that matter; he is also the one who first told me that Tandy intentionally hires people who don't know anything about the craft or the materials aside from they are taught during their training (which is also drawn from a corporate manual that is geared towards what they want you to say, not what you should say). Now we have even more information that has been gathered by first hand experience and it tells us that even though there have been some personnel changes at the top the base model is to continue the feeding the line of garbage that comes from the sales program and just make money. There is not a single product category/item that can be obtained from Tandy that can't be obtained from a wide range of sources and, more often than not, at a lower cost for a better quality product. Tandy is NOT the ultimate source for products and supplies and they are definitely not the all knowing source for knowledge, wisdom, and experience; we, the long-time craftsmen of this trade, are the one's who should be providing this guidance to the newcomers and this forum is a prime example of how true that really is. To all of you "newbies" out there who are just jumping in here, use these forums as your starting point and take serious note of the recommendations or guidance provided by those who provide their knowledge and experience for all to use. And above all, save yourself the trouble of ending up with the wrong materials and/or supplies by following the vast amount of recommendations for alternate sources to supply yourself. We could just as easily keep everything secret and hold out on you but that would not continue to foster the experiences gained and enjoyment of learning how to work with leather and become a creative monster like so many of us have. Rant closed.
  7. Obviously wasn't that big of an issue after all.
  8. Some images of what you are experiencing will help some of us formulate a response. A bit of information about exactly what materials and products you are using would help as well.
  9. AMEN!!!! Etsy has bamboozled the lot when it comes to promoting the handmade world and it is very true that the visits to the shops of the Etsians have dramatically decreased. I do want to bring one thing up and that is that anyone who truly makes a purely handmade item has created something that is vastly superior to anything that is machine made or mass produced and I don't care what the source of it is. I also am one who does not promote the concept of doing wholesale products for others to buy as in order to do it you would have to sell them at very low prices and the only way to get some of those prices that low is to use the cheapest materials you can find and we all know that cheap materials does not mean the price is cheap, the quality of the actual material is cheap and to say otherwise would be a lie. So, with that out there, if anyone thinks that the business is to make stuff cheap and sell wholesale to others without caring what they do with YOUR work, you might be in the wrong room right now because real craftsmen don't think that way. Starting to be way too many inexperienced "craftsmen" who are not really true to the trade of what we really do and that is a sad state of affairs. Makes you want to find another home because all you are doing here, if you are one of the true experienced craftsmen, is sell your soul to everyone else who just wants to cheapen the final product.
  10. This issue has been addressed within this community several times now and it does tend to be a common problem which you get with EVERY water-based stain/dye product. If you want a more thorough coverage and one that will last (water-based products wear off pretty quickly) then you need to transition to a spirit-based product line. It is true that if you dampen the leather slightly before applying a water-based product that you will see a more consistent coverage (and the manufacturers actually suggest this in their instructions for use) but it doesn't change the fact that water-based products do not penetrate very deep into the leather and you will find wear/rub-off spots in the short term. I made myself a wallet 6 months ago and used some of the Eco-Flo water stain for the color; I even applied it 3 times to ensure that I got a good penetration into the leather, didn't work out all that way and here is why: the Eco-Flo water stain products also include waxes and wax based conditioners in the formula which end up creating an initial seal on the leather which ends up keeping additional applications of the same product from having any further penetration into the leather, it just ends up sitting on top of the first application and you will eventually rub it off over time. The results on my wallet are that the color has rubbed off not only on the outside areas but also on the interior pocket sections and I now have about 60% of the overall surface area that has returned to the naked leather look. I tested this product in this fashion to see what the true durability with it would be and it is safe to say that it will not find a place in my offered options as it doesn't have any staying power. I would hate to give a customer an item that they ordered only to have them come running back to me a few months later yelling about how the color has come off and this very thing has been reported before by the many highly experienced craftsmen in this community. In my over 40 years of working with leather as a professional craftsman I have never seen anything "wear out" as fast as the Pro Water Stain line, and I have tested some stuff over that time.
  11. I too stop the bottom layer just before the tongue slot so that there is no risk of binding up when in use. Another very key point to make sure of is that when making a double layered belt out of the thicker leathers you are going to want to give the belt a little bit of roll (curve) so that the lining leather doesn't develop the look of bunching up. In other words, your lining layer will end up shorter than you start off with as you give the belt a little bit of curve along the entire length while securing the two layers together. I use a flexible contact cement with a little run down the center of each layer and then start at the tip end slowly setting the two layers together while rolling them over so slightly. When I am finished putting the two layers together I can lay it on its side on a table and it will look like the curvature of a bow. This not only allows the leather to remain free from bunching and stress, it also makes the belt more comfortable for the customer and drastically reduces the break in time. Good luck with your testing.
  12. I will send some to you via PM so as not to create a cluttered page here if that is okay.
  13. There is one version that is a natural veg-tan leather which you can carve on but it is very thin so you can't get much depth out of the design and you also have to be very careful when stamping as you can go right through it real easy. I make all of mine with 4/5 oz. for standard wallet backs or 3/4 oz. for my lightweight backs; I never go any thinner for the back as it is needs to be sturdy. All of my interiors are drawn from 2/3 oz. cowhide but on a rare occasion I might use a veg-tan version of a Mission Grain pigskin. I have never had any issues with sewing pigskin and I have been doing this for over 40 years; any issues that may be experienced are most likely due to not knowing the material or trying to make it do something that it isn't supposed. Good luck.
  14. If you go with lining leather for your interiors then you will want to use one of the pigskin lining leathers that are available. They are very thing yet very durable. Regarding the stiffness that you are running into I would recommend that you use a bit of Pure Neatsfoot oil on the veg-tan elements to give it a bit of a flexible feel. And, just for future knowledge, as the wallet is used more it will relax and become much less stiff, the stiffness is a typical trait but you have used the correct weights for your wallet. Remember, you are making a wallet that is intended to last a very long time for the customer; if they want thin and flimsy then WalMart has a ton of those foreign made wastes of money.
  15. We could hope for some change under the "New Management" but the change over took place long enough ago and there has still been no apparent shift in their way of doing business. I have long since written Tandy off as they lost their way long ago and are now too far gone to save. Besides, they don't have anything to offer me at my stage in this trade.