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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. On the bonded leather topic, I offer a more recent name for that line of garbage; I have noticed that you will now find just about everything that is "bonded" to be embossed with the term "Manmade Leather" which is even more confusing to a customer. We all know that the process of turning a skin into leather is handled by the human hand so one could understand how calling it manmade would not be too much of a stretch. Now, throw in all of your garbage, some fabrics, some resins/glues, and then heat it until it is a "crap" oatmeal and pour it out onto a cooling table and then add a few hundred pounds of pressure to create this "beautiful"(?) sheet of "manmade" leather. I always get a question about whether or not there is a difference between real leather and this manufactured garbage so I always break it down for them how this stuff is made. I finish off by telling them that the most important difference is that the leather I use actually is leather and not some compilation of someone's dream of saving the world.
  2. If the item that has been riveted is done correctly and used as it is intended to be then the rivets should last for a long time. We all know that there are some people who think that durability means that you can do stuff with it that you shouldn't be doing and when it goes wrong it is a faulty piece of merchandise and their own stupidity. I too am one who prefers the solid brass rivets based on how they hold up to the elements versus steel rivets and I only use the double capped style based on the overall aesthetics of appearance. These types of rivets are just as durable as any tubular or copper and burr styles and no one provides more holding strength that the other really; it really is more a matter of preference than anything else. For my rivets I use Buckle Guy because they are Low Lead Solid Brass (just about everything he carries is that grade) and they have been very reliable for me so far; haven't even had any issues with setting them (as has been the case with some other suppliers and their nickel and steel versions). If you use solid brass then you won't see any issues with corrosion as brass ages and patinas just like copper but it cleans up easier than copper and doesn't pit as easily either. I have customers that purchased a belt back in the late 70's that was made with rivets to secure the buckle (I only use screws now) and they are still holding; they look like they have been through hell but they are still holding and that says something in my book.
  3. First, this is a common issue with water based products and it has been addressed repeatedly within these forums. Second, never ever force dry any finish or otherwise; it prevents the product from curing properly and will lead to even bigger issues. If you are going to get serious about leather work then you need to be patient as that is the only way that you actually get better and your finished products improve as well. The Antique Paste, which is from Fiebing's, is the original Antique product that has been around for years and has proven track record. However, as with any other finish or sealer, let it dry and cure for at least 24 hours before you move on to the next step; this applies to ANY type of color finish or top coat.
  4. I once was a Saddlemaker and it was a good time. But, as with everything, once something starts becoming mass-produced, the value of your skills begins to fade and the concern for quality (on the consumers part) becomes all about the price. At least I had several years of doing the "normal" leather stuff to fall back on. I can honestly say that I have done an awful lot in my more than 40 years working with leather and I have some fond memories of some of the things I made, and enjoyed making them too.
  5. You can get a good feel for how well the leather is retaining its conditioning by looking at whether or not there is any obvious cracking and/or dry feeling areas, if small cracks start to appear when you bend the leather, and also how stiff it is; even belt/strap leather should have some suppleness to it when you move it around. If you have any one (or all) of these issues then you can pretty much guarantee that the leather has not been conditioned/cared for as it should be or that it has been subjected to excessive heat or misused. Make some mental notes on your next piece before sending it out to a customer and take good note of how soft and flexible it feels then compare that to a fresh piece of the same leather that hasn't been conditioned yet. Even better, compare that feel to a piece that has been cased for stamping/carving and then has dried, you will notice a big difference in what is conditioned and what is not.
  6. The acrylic finishes will eventually wear off over time so that is why I have started using my blend as it doesn't wear off easily; in fact, it takes quite some time before you would have to treat it again, unless it got soaked of course. You can actually apply oil over the top of the Resolene and it will soak through into the leather, it just takes a bit longer when the sealer is fresh. In my experience, after about 6 months of solid use, the Resolene has thinned enough that the leather would be more receptive to absorbing more oils, which it does naturally anyway through normal use. I would never suggest to any of my clients that they should then apply a sealer after conditioning because that would just toss them for a loop and end up with some issues that may not be able to be reversed.
  7. You need to explain to them how to take care of their leather goods in as simple, yet thorough, way possible. I tell each of my clients that their leather item is going to change color over time as that is natural and I also explain to them that when an item gets wet that it needs to dry completely, and naturally (no forced heat/drying) before you can recondition it. I tell them that they need to recondition it with Pure Neatsfoot Oil to keep it soft and flexible and that they should do this once every year if possible. I make it very clear that they are to apply a thin treatment of the oil and not saturate the leather as it will become spongy and stretch out. I also educate them on the actual use for saddle soap as being that of a cleaner and not a conditioner (as so many mistakenly believe it is) and that the chemicals contained within saddle soap (and other over the counter leather cleaners) are actually harmful to the leather over time. Just recently I created my own blend of Pure Neatsfoot Oil and Beeswax that not only gives the leather the perfect amount of oil, it also is water repellent from the beeswax having sealed the grain. I offer each new customer a small .5 oz. tin of my conditioner with the purchase of a new leather item (larger items primarily) and also offer it for sale to anyone who wishes to give their leather some real care and not that which comes from a bottle of the "latest greatest" thing on TV. Education is really the only way to try and get it through to them but the reality is that they are going to continue to do what they do and I also have answer for that one. As part of my lifetime guarantee I make it clear that this applies as long as the item is used as it is intended to be used and that is properly cared for and maintained with proper conditioners; any use of a chemical based compound or product will void such guarantee. That typically opens up the door for the question, "how should I care for it and what should I use?" which is when I go into the details and acceptable products.
  8. If it were me, I would start by thinning out some blue dye and test it on a piece of scrap leather until I get the shade that I am looking for. The other alternative is to find a leather supplier that has colored skins that can give you what you are looking for. Not knowing what your project is or what type of leather you need, I would suggest that you check out the Hide House of Napa, CA. They are a major supplier to the fashion leather industry and will most likely have exactly what you are looking for.
  9. It may actually be a Canada thing because I have been told by the manager of the store in my area that "you don't need to know how to work with the products, you just need to know how to sell them" and he told me that is the way they are trained. Regarding the wholesale programs, I just contact each potential supplier and ask them if they have such a program and what the pricing and requirements are. If they have one then I get everything they have to offer (documentation wise) and start working up my orders so that I can keep myself supplied and have some extra to sell to those who are looking for more of a selection.
  10. And this is a rare thing indeed. Sounds like the people you deal with in your store actually work with leather a little; typically not the case anymore though. I don't even get my Fiebing's from Tandy, I have a wholesale account with Fiebing's and order direct which also allows me to sell to private individuals as long as I follow their pricing guidelines. Makes it worth my time and even Tandy can't match their lowest price.
  11. Regardless of which Fiebing's dye you use it will not leave your leather dry or cracking if you use it properly and also condition as you should. This is another tactic that the Tandy mindset is using to try and push newcomers to this trade away from quality products and to suck them into their Eco-Flo world. Anyone who frequents a Tandy store can tell that Fiebing's isn't in their store because THEY want it there (shelf inventory is basic and minimal at best), it is there because the Eco-Flo is a much less attractive and reliable product and WE want Fiebing's.
  12. You put the post through the hole in the bottom of the bag (punched to match the post diameter) and then fold the prongs outwards from the center of the post to hold the foot in place. The interior of the bag bottom then needs to be lined to protect against any damage to the customers contents or themselves from the prongs.
  13. Jiffy rivets are the mainstay of Tandy so you would want to refrain from getting them. I use double capped solid brass rivets on all of my works and I get them from The Buckle Guy. He also has double capped rivets with some character (different shaped caps) and a good selection of sizing options.
  14. Anytime I use lacquer as the resist I then use that same product as my final coat over the top. That keeps my finish the same as my "base" (so to speak) and I never had an issue with it before. In fact, there was a time when we only used lacquer as the top finish as there weren't any of these other products. Once the water-based products started hitting the market is when all of the issues with finishes started happening. I do the same with Resolene; if I use it as a resist then I use it as the final finish so as to not create an incompatibility issue. I am quite sure that you actually did get that info from one of of the many experienced leatherworkers here as I have run across some YouTube videos that lay out various techniques but these should all be taken in very cautiously as these experienced leatherworkers haven't necessarily been doing this as long as some of us others so the level of experience is relatively relative here. I have been doing this for over 40 years and would never even think to do a large number of the things that are suggested or passed on as they don't make sense to me; I learned this trade from the Old School Masters back in the day and what they have taught me has held true and solid over these years without issue or question. Some may call me a traditionalist or a purist but if it ain't broke there ain't nothing to fix and why tinker with what has been working without issue for the past 100 years (or even more)? I call it mastering your craft and knowing your trade.
  15. Could the layer that peeled off be the Resolene? Applying a water-based acrylic over a layer of lacquer seems to me to be counterproductive as the lacquer is a finish just as the Resolene is a finish. I have never used anything else OVER a lacquer finish and have never had any issues with the lacquer failing and peeling.