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About NVLeatherWorx

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  • Birthday 11/10/1964

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LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Belts, wallets, checkbook covers, purses/handbags, etc.
  1. Mistakes on pricing

    Especially when you take into consideration that you said he has changed his wants so many times. Once I quote a person a price, and that is based on the reality of materials and real labor time, that is the price that they will pay, for what they have originally asked for. If I have client decide that they want to change things then I politely let them know that there WILL be additional charges due to the fact that I now have to redesign the project, change what has already been done, and that any additional materials will be added to the change; to make sure that they understand how much of an impact that/those changes have on things I almost double the labor that will be required to make said changes because they are now requiring me to let other customers know that their orders will be taking longer than expected due to an in progress project that will require additional time to make. It is kind of like a "shaming" thing but if they really want it then fine, if not then they get what we originally agreed to and things stay on track. Besides, the extra labor charged for such changes is to basically cover any discounts that I now have to give to those who have to wait longer; somebody has to pay for the time here and I have to discount something because of someone else not being able to stick to their order that was agreed upon then they are on the hook for potential loss in revenue. I operate a business and my business has expenses and they will be covered.
  2. "Genuine" Leather

    If you really want to know how these are made then I can lay it out for you but suffice it to say that there is absolutely NO leather elements on these belts at all. Even though the thin top layer/cover feels, looks, and sometimes even smells like leather, it ain't and there is no changing that fact. I would hazard a guess that even the "dangler" is made from an artificial material. These types of belts are so cheap to buy that it makes it a bit tougher to try and get anyone to listen to you about the advantage of buying a belt that you make so I have several commercially produced belts, some leather but most not, that I have with me to every show and market that I attend and I have partially disassembled each one to show the buyer how they are made. I even have big designer names on my example rack and they are not made as finely as one would believe. Most of the time the example rack experience gets the point across and it is a great thing when you can finally see that "the lights are on and somebody is home" but there are also those who couldn't find the switch if you put their hand on it for them and these dimwits will continue to think that there is still value in replacing their belt that is made from recycled cereal boxes every few months.
  3. Photo Demo: Making a Biker Wallet

    Scroll up about two replies and you will see a link contained within the comment box.
  4. Beeswax

    I make my blend with Beeswax, Pure Neatfoot Oil, and Cocoa Butter; the portions are where the difference is and those I don't share too openly as we all have our own perspective of what feel we want. I must say that although my leather conditioner sets up very firm, once you get some heat on it (even from your finger) it turns into a smooth cream that you can easily apply where you need it. It also sets in a bit faster and can be buffed out a bit sooner than some other blends that I have made in the past. I don't go too low on the percentage of Beeswax because that is the ONLY water repelling ingredient that is in the mix and if it is too low you won't get any benefit from it being in the blend. I go no less than 25% on the Beeswax and I can sit at a show with a piece of scrap leather that I treat right in front of a customer and then put a hefty drop of water on it to show how it works. I have left that drop of water on the treated leather for up to 6 hours before you could see any potential change in the protection; this goes a very long way when a customer asks what the benefit of your conditioner is over that of others or store bought versions. Reality is that unless you leave your leather goods out in pouring rain or cover it with snow it will never be exposed to water as long as do on my demonstrations. And, during the demonstrations once you see any change in the surface, just wipe it off and let it set for about 30 minutes then add a light application and buff out for a beautiful unchanged look. There are those who use Olive Oil, and it is understandable why as it is a good conditioner, but as with all other vegetable/plant based oils it will go rancid and it will attract critters of the unwanted kind; bottom line is that is still a food product regardless of how it is refined. Some say the same about Cocoa Butter but even though you can eat it in its raw form (which is what I use in my blend) it isn't a food grade product that goes rancid and is one of the most widely used natural fats in the cosmetic industry; it is found in may facial creams, lip balm, soaps, etc. and is so widely used because it doesn't spoil like some other natural ingredients do that are used in these products.
  5. Hello from newbie

    Hello and welcome. Not to dissuade you any but might I suggest though that before you take on ANY projects that you learn how to work with leather, practice to refine some skills, and then start with the making of smaller items so that you can gain some experience? I say this because this craft is not as simple as it may seem by watching some YouTube video or reading some FREE PDF on how to work with leather, it is a true skilled trade and is one that takes many hours to even understand before you get to technique and other things; I have been working with leather for over 40 years yet there are still things that can be learned and these new things require time, patience, and practice before I can move on to the next new thing. Slowing down and actually learning how to properly work the leather and create the things that you want to make will turn you into a better craftsman who will be able to provide quality finished items to those whom you make them for; there is no "fast track" here with leather and the most important thing to have when entering this trade is a passion for it because you don't make millions with the end product. Again, welcome and hope that you will step back from any projects until you have some knowledge, practice, and time under your belt so that you can be a much more successful craftsman. You have come to the right place to learn all of this but it will only help you if you are serious about your intentions and truly want to learn how to be a good craftsman and maker of the finer things in life; we are here for you if you need us.
  6. Wallet craft time?

    Nice addition to what has already been said @JazzBass and you are correct. I started learning this craft when I was 8 years old (that is about 46 years ago) and I have spent the time since then on a continual learning spree while also working the craft and selling around the globe. It was not the idea to learn this craft for the money but it was to eventually be at a level where I could make money with it. Over these years I have pretty much learned, and worked, every aspect of this craft from the simple little things like key case, through handbags and fashion items all the way up to Saddle making so I have committed to my craft and I do love it very much. However, we have all seen newcomers come and go here in these forums because they obviously thought that you just pick this up one day and be a raging success even though the information has been openly shared about what it takes. In your case alone, you have opened yourself up within these forums with the intent on learning as much as you can from those who are willing to share and in return you have been able to share some of your experiences with others which is how this all comes together. I remember when @bikermutt07 first entered these forums and introduced himself; he had questions that were abundant and had already made some simple little mistakes in direction and thinking before he got here but once he started getting information and guidance he was in search of more and has taken what he has learned, put it to use, and has also become a great contributor of guidance, wisdom, and friendship. I have seen how your passion for what you are doing has shaped your presence here and I am glad to see how quickly you have enhanced your skills enough to be able to give back for those who are where, as you said, have all started out. And one of these days I will make it down to Vegas, got some family there, and maybe we can get to together and chat a bit in person. After all, I am only about 386 miles North of you.
  7. Wallet craft time?

    Production time is based on how much design detail you put into the intended product and how much time you will need to make each wallet as you have designed it. You control the whole process and that process will take more or less time based on our experience level. There is no fast and set rule on time as we all require a different amount. For example, there are wallet designs that I make starting at 2 hours for a plain Jane version with the same base design requiring up to 6 hours for an intricately carved and tooled version; the level of work and detail all have a factor into that. Now, with no actual experience or skill to put into the equation (as you have stated) these same wallets could require at least 4 (or more) hours as a basic version all the way up to 12 or more hours for the intricate version. Furthermore, the skill, experience and techniques required to all of these various tasks is not something that happens overnight or can just be applied on day one. These things require time and practice to get to a level where what you produce can be sold for a reasonable price; this price will be able to be increased as you get better but it should be said that until you have a grasp of the basics of design, cutting, finishing (dye, stain, seal, etc.), edge finishing, stitching/lacing, and everything else it takes to complete just one project, you will not be successful at trying to go down the road that you are heading towards at this time. Do not take this as a suggestion to not even try as that is not the case here. The suggestion, from myself as well as what @chrisash is getting at is to first learn all of the elements that go into making an item, practice them until you can produce repeatable results that look good, and then give it a go. If you do it the right way and take in any advice or guidance provided by those here who offer it, you can start working towards what you are trying to get to but you have to be patient. There isn't a single person within these forums or anywhere else on this planet who just had an idea, asked a couple questions, watched a video, and then went to work producing sellable items that made them money. Everyone has to start somewhere and you have come to the right place to get the help you need, as long as you are willing to listen to us and follow the guidance that we offer.
  8. There is a chance that the glue used may have had some part of this but the overall culprit here is a total lack of maintenance and care on the seat, @nrk has pointed out. Anytime that leather is wet it needs to be dried completely and then conditioned to replenish oils so that it maintains its strength. Leather also loses these oils when it is exposed to heavy sunlight which dries out these oils. And, if you don't use a leather item frequently, sometimes even daily, it will not absorb any of the natural oils from skin or other contact and will dry out. Cracking like this is the result of being drier than a scorching Summer day in Death Valley, and I can tell you from experience that is a type of dry that you do not want to experience for yourself. The cracking issue that is associated with the carved and tooled image is again the result of inadequate conditioning and it was also most likely a bit older piece of leather that had been sitting around for awhile.
  9. I actually make my own blend using Pure Neatsfoot Oil (byproduct from the cow), Filtered Organic Beeswax, and Pure Raw Cacao Butter to create my own concoction that I use on every piece I make and also sell. The trick is in the ratios and that is where each one of us who makes our own blends kind of keep the recipe close to the vest. I have another local leather craftsman that buys a tin of it every few months to use for his Mustache wax (one hell of a handlebar mustache going on this one).
  10. Springfield has some good leather, just watch the "Bargain Basement" pricing, I also get some of my leather from The Hide House (www.hidehouse.com); they have a very clean European import veg-tan that comes from a very quality and well known pit tannery that is also not overly expensive.
  11. good snaps (and bad snaps)

    You should have 1/8" to 3/16" through the leather to ensure ample security when you set it. Same goes for rivets.
  12. Good eye @battlemunky there are quite a few insect bites which cause these little welts and spots; you don't see them as easily when the leather is still all natural but they sure do come out once you add some color to it. This leather is of a very low grade/quality, looks like it is Tandy's Craftsman Oak because you get this with every one of the hides of that particular product line. Cheap priced leather is typically cheap quality leather so if you are really looking to put out works and products that have a clean professional look to them you need to stay away from the cheap stuff.
  13. What kind of finish coat was used?

    It could indeed be Super Shene, Resolene, or even Clear-Lac (lacquer based) top finish. I use all of these based on what the overall final appearance is intended to be. The glossiest of them is the Clear-Lac.
  14. What kind of finish coat was used?

    I would hazard a guess based on the image that the detailed color elements are indeed acrylic/Cova Color and that the main portion is a deep Antique of some kind that has been applied over a resist to give the shading around the main art element (the Skull). But, that is just a guess. Of course, it is an Educated guess because that is how I do it now and have done for some good many years. Doesn't mean that is what was done here though. Nice wallet.
  15. @Ragingstallion called it quickly. Another thing to be aware of is the Craftsman Oak is the lowest grade of leather that you will find anywhere and it is not worth trying to ever get anything out of it that you plan on showing off because it isn't for that level of work. The price is very enticing to many leather workers, especially newcomers, but it does not produce positive results as you have already learned. Truth be told, none of the Tandy leathers are for any solid quality items but at the with the Oak Leaf line you can get something at least looks good. Just take a piece of each one of your leather and look at how the grain structure and the surface look. You will notice that there are most likely several flaws that are visible on the surface of the Craftsman Oak leather while the other one may look much cleaner without all of the bumps, scars, etc.; this is something to keep in mind every time you purchase leather so that you can make sure that you are only getting clean leather that will net the look that you want. On that note though, welcome aboard to the world of leather. Yes, it is addictive and it only gets worse.