bruce johnson

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About bruce johnson

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    Saddlery & Tack Moderator
  • Birthday 06/15/1960

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    Oakdale, CA

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  1. Nope, the real thing. It is just a version of the various marks they used. The round handle was a lower priced version knife than the oval rosewood handle knives they made. Not sure when they switched from the rosewood round handles to the painted handles.
  2. OK, Old news but at this point still somewhat pertinent. What I found out from them before the Dixon meltdown was that the different maker stamps may not mean much. There was a lineage of continual family ownership until the end, but the maker stamps sometimes got recycled. They would use one, dig out another one and use that for a while, then another, and go back to an earlier version and bring that one back for a while. Regarding the closure, It was a family business and things within the recent family fell apart and so went the business. Sad when one of the longest family run businesses in England and at one time best regarded leather tool makers in the world closed shop. The later tools were not the standards or patterns of the earlier ones, but they are sure not the only maker that went that way in this business.
  3. From the picture and what I can see, it looks to be a band knife splitter. If you want some sticker shock just price one. They can be really handy for splitting softer leather, wider leather, etc but they aren't on every street corner. If they run and are priced right usually somebody has already picked them up. Once in a while they do show up though.
  4. Wayne Christensen at Standing Bears in Reseda. He has a leather supply shop, gives classes on several levels, and great guy
  5. The anvils are a friction fit. Drill the stem from the bottom side and you can drive them out out easier.
  6. For what you are doing, the #86, a Chase pattern, or any of the locking handle will do the job. Had a little health hiccup and working on sharp blades with vertigo was not a good plan. Back after it now but I only have about half the splitters done I'd like to and packing for the Prescott show this weekend. I've got a lot in the works of #86s in various widths, Chase splitters in 8 and 10 inch widths, and maybe one locking handle splitter. They will have to be after the show now. Another 2 weeks and I should be good.
  7. Matt, The leather venders will mostly all be there but they only have so much booth space. They can't bring it all. If they have show specials that are decent, you will see people packing out rolls at 9:15 and then come back. If you are looking to compare and order to ship they will have samples and sides. They will usually have stacks of the common leathers like tooling, skirting, and latigo for the duration of the show. A few sellers of exotics and specialty leathers too. The show itself is a great experience.
  8. My personal favorite for edgers are the Gomph round bottom edgers, Easy to sharpen because of the design and have a tremendously long life. They cut a rounded profile. The "fine edge" edgers are fairly similar. I also like bisonette edgers but trickier to maintain and shorter life. The key to any edger is a good edge to start with and stropping as needed. I've got a tutorial on my website regarding edge beveler sharpening and maintenance - To answer a few questions above. The last couple months have been tied up with family issues and I just haven't had enough time to get as many tools cleaned up and refurbished for the website. I've got a good backstock, just not enough shoptime to get them all ready until recently. We are going to the Southwest Leather Show in Prescott in a couple weeks so the focus has been to get tools ready for that. I'll be "restocked" on the website after we get back. As far as sourcing, some of my tools come from estate sets, shop retirements, or tool auctions and swap meets. A few from Ebay, and some from other leather workers who want to trade.
  9. I have a prototype for the 2 cutter Bluegrass edger. Came in a shop retirement set and he said that he was given it to try at a Harness Makers Get-Together some years before. I had it for sale at the Prescott Show last year. First guy that looked at it asked me why I was selling it - he thought it was a better design than the later versions and no gig needed. As soon as he left I stuck it under the table after Ms Rundi asked me why i WAS selling it anyway. I'll get a picture tomorrow.
  10. My past experiences - The Douglas ones are going to come sharp and most likely to be ready to use. It is tie between Weaver and CS Osborne new ones. Some are going to be good, some are going to have burs and some are going to be dull as a hoe. None are apt to be duds, they just need some attention first with round rods and fine wet-dry sandpaper. Sizes - I liked 1-3/4 and 1-1/2 mostly, with the occasional need for 1-1/4.
  11. That sounds pretty close if not the common size for the older 8" Osborne #84 splitters. The new blades vary a bit vs the old blades. I would contact CS Osborne and see if they can give you the specs on their replacement blades.
  12. I will take this if it isn't already sold. Please contact me for payment information. phone (209) 505-3621 or message me through the PM system here. Thank you, - Bruce
  13. A differing point of view from the flip side. This is coming from a guy who was happy as a clam at high tide with a LTO on a sewing machine. A long time ago in a galaxy far far away new sewing machines used to cost twice as much as they do now. Feet and accessories were not a gimme deal either, and a wise man named Art gave me the advice to buy every foot and plate you think you'll need. At the same time get all the other ones you don't know you need yet when you buy your machine because they don't get cheaper afterwards. I called the friendly folks at Ferdco, who I had bought a used machine from previously and set up a new Pro 2000 with the accessories on a $6300+ LTO through their arranged lease company. Some people know my story, but due to some medical debt then I personally couldn't have qualified to finance a pack of needles. As a business with books showing income, I qualified for LTO easily. Fast forward, for 5 years I got to deduct the full annual cost of the lease against my business income. Two basket stamped belts a month paid for the machine. At the end I paid $1, did the happy dance, and own it. If I had financed it I could have only deducted the interest and first five years of depreciation during that same time with a regular loan. Another factor - insurance. It was also a lot easier and cost less to get specific coverage insurance on the machine through the lease company than a rider on my own insurance. As the tax advisor in a small business development/management program explained to us - businesses generally lease, people generally finance.
  14. I had a bell knife (not a Consew) with a steel feed wheel with milled lines. It was like the feed roller on a crank splitter. It fed a variety of leathers from firm skirting to very soft chrome tans better than the stone wheels. I don't recall ever having the sticking problem with the steel wheel like I did occasionally with the stone wheel.