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. Landis Splitter - leather catching on knife

    It sounds like the mechanism for setting has a small issue. There is a pointer that fits into those serrations. That is what holds the position. May be either a weak spring or more likely the "pointer" may be rounded off. if it is then it won't get a good bite into the notches and will wander. Reshaping that point into a more chisel shape should fix it if that is the problem. Same think can happen on a Krebs pattern pull splitter with a "weak click". The other thing can be wear to the notches but that is pretty rare and yours look good in the picture.
  2. Basket stamping curves

    Jimmy, Yes I do If I am doing that rope border. For most other border stamps, I'd cut and bevel the lines and border stamp last.
  3. Where Can l Get a Good Maul?

    Bob Beard hasn't made mauls for a while, Wayne doesn't have email that I know of. Old school and good guy to talk to and deal with. Last price list I have here - 24 oz maul is $90. Phone number is (775) 738-4885. Ed LeBarre (BearMan) makes them still as far as I know. I have a phone number of (850) 624-9448.
  4. Where Can l Get a Good Maul?

    Here's an overview of what I currently have on my bench. Besides these I've had maul-masters, maul master II 's, the TLF one that the head never stayed tight, and rawhide Osbornes. This is what I'm down to and these are keepers. The four on the left are Jueschke's ranging from 12 to 48 oz. The middle two Jueschkes have miles on them. next is a Bearman (his first head material). The black one is by Bob Beard. Barry King (i've had more in other weights, this is what I have now), and a double ended rawhide wrapped stamping stick with a little history. They've all got places I prefer them. It is a matter of preferences as the colonel wrote above, I prefer the Jueschkes. The handles and balance work better for me. The initial cost on some might seem high. Divide out the number of hits over the next 10 years per dollar spent now and they all get pretty cheap then.
  5. Could someone be so kind to help source these alligator clasps?

    Walsall Hardware carries them to and can be a lot easier to order from than Weavers. Page 12 - #215 Loc-Jaw snaps - here is a link - Hardware Bulk.pdf?dl=0
  6. Landis Splitter - leather catching on knife

    It sounds like two issues and may not have anything to do with those corners. First off before I get cyber strung up and hung here, yes that blade looks to have poor sharpening done from the front view. Pictures and especially wide pictures can have some visual effects that make things worse at the ends than what they are. I don't judge much by front view pictures anymore, One from the top helps me a lot more. The bottom view of the blade - I think I could live with that blade, you never use those very corners of the blades anyway. If it is straight across except for the ends, I'd be good with that. Not ideal but for $100 you bought some wiggle room. Yes, the blade should be straight across, but there are a a couple thousand crank splitters doing a fine job with broken out or rounded corners. Incomplete splits usually happen for two reasons - dull blade or poor blade positioning. Most importantly It needs to be sharp. I am seeing what appears to be a rounded top bevel extending a good ways up from the edge. It should be flat to the edge with an ever so slight secondary bevel to help back the very edge. I go with a flat grind. I've seen more blades mucked up (with an "M") by some guy trying to hollow grind one without a clue. Most anyone can flat grind - slow power or stones/papers, etc. If it isn't sharp enough to pop through, you can bet it'll hang. It needs to be sharp sharp and your guy who does lawn mower blades and general sharpening isn't always the best choice. Somebody who does woodoworking blades would be the pick, but those folks aren't set up in every town. Second thing is blade positioning. On the bottom roller bearing blocks there are upright tabs. These are blade stops. Put the blade on the blade rest. insert the center bolt and two side clamps. Loosely tighten them to allow the blade to slide. slide the blade up so the edge kisses the stops. there are two backup screws that keep the blade from sliding back in use. tighten those against the back edge of the blade. then loosen them about 1/2 -3/4 turn. Now slide the blade back against them and the corners of the blades will be just off the blade stops on the bearing blocks. Tighten the center bolt and the clamps. That should be the position most of the time. This is a really common thing I see with poor splitting. There are minimal instructions for crank splitters and those stops and adjusting are not intuitive for most people. If your blade is backed off too much it matters a lot. A few tips and tricks- How do the corners chip out? Because the blade edge is dead against the stop and as the springs flex with different leather thicknesses going through then the float in the bottom roller and bearing blocks lets the stops ride up and down against the blade edge. OK so you have chipped out/rounded out corners, what now? It may be that if you push a blade with severely chipped out corners up against the stops, then the blade potentially may be too far forward and could catch the bottom roller if you have it set for a small clearance. That likely is not your problem because the splitter should completely split better than if set back further ("correctly"). For someone who deos have that problem, back things off more turns on the backup screws, So I have everything set correctly, my blade is sharp enough to circumcise gnats, roller to blade clearance is right, and I still don't get complete splits. What now? I have had one, know guys who had them, and know guys who wanted to fix a problem they didn't have, they just wanted to tweak. There are reasons for tweaking and I will just leave that there. For the rest you can take a perfect blade and no matter what, it just won't complete the split. Everytime! The blade stops are keeping the blade a bit too far back off the rollers. You can burn up a lot of test leather to reach that conclusion. To bring the blade closer to the rollers you intentionally take a little off those corners to get the edge closer. It may be a casting variance with some, fitting deal with parts, who knows? The one I had it one was on an American so I know the bearing blocks were not swapped out side to side. I took about 1/16" notches in each corner and dialed it in to split like a dream.
  7. Some tools

    I've seen these tools and these are really cool. That embossing carriage and set of wheels are about as complete as will ever be seen!
  8. I used a 20 ton shop press for several years. My dies were all smaller things - headstall pieces, bucking roll parts, latigo carriers, spur straps etc. I used a piece of cold roll steel set on the rails for the base, LDPE or clicker pad, leather, die, covered that with another piece of cold roll big enough to cover the die, and centered it under the ram. Crank it on down. After a few tries you will learn to hear and feel the die cut through the leather. back off the jack just enough to slide the top plate, die and leather out, reposition, and 3-4 cranks on mine and your were through the next piece. I got one of the Weaver bench top presses with an air over hydraulic jack. That is fat city! Press the button and it putt putt putts through and sort of stops on it's own once it goes through.
  9. Landis 30 Blade Sharpening

    Agree with Electrathon, a flat grind will be fine. I may still have one NOS Landis marked blade left and these were all flat ground. One thing to be careful of is WHO you have sharpen it. The guy who does mostly lawn mower blades may not be the best choice. The guy who does knives for the local chefs would be better. Some places start off with too heavy a grit and never get the grit marks ground out.A lighter grit is really all most blades need, follow through the finer grits and finish up with a couple compounds..Knife guys get it, Some of the sharpening shops don't. Explain to the people there what it is, what is does, and just how clean and sharp it needs to be. If you don't have a good feeling, don't leave it. There are a few guys on the forum here that professionally sharpen. I don't advertise sharpening but end up doing a bunch in spite of that. I charge $20 for a 6" splitter blade unless it is really mucked plus the return shipping in a small flat rate box for $8. If you want to send it this way I have an " end of the forecasted heat spell blade sharpening fest day" penciled in for end of next week. Supposed to get down under 100 here by then and I've got some blades of my own and few others to do.
  10. Groover tool question (new to leatherwork)

    I will politely sort of agree with Mike, I have a Tandy saddle groover, versagroover with a wood handle added on, and an Osborne compass groover, They all work - but the quality control on a Douglas versagroover tip is more consistent than Tandy. Some Tandy tips come ready to use and others are not. The bottom edge of the hole has to be at the leading edge of the bottom. If they are above that, you have no edge. If the leading bevel from the bottom of the tip up to the hole is too steep then you have to hold them at a lower angle and they can "chatter" along instead of cutting a nice ribbon. Grind the bottom down some will make a big difference. These tips can be fixed with a Dremel and/or a belt grinder but that is beyond the scope of most beginning leather workers. Another guy whose skill set with tools I admire had a good comment - "It ain't all in the Stohlman book, is it?" .
  11. Landis SS6 Splitter

    RhinezOr, My guess is if they are there it would be are under that cap on top but I'd wait until Monday and talk to the dealer or factory up there. My theory is that you really shouldn't be able to mess one up beyond redemption with a wrench and screwdriver but some dealers are funny that way. I mean that is how they were put together and adjusted by them and the end user having a little knowledge in that regard should be a bonus for the customer service/tech support guy. There has to be some way to adjust them. You are splitting thinner leather than their average buyer I'd bet and that probably means some adjusting. That one is a little different beast than the landis 30 or Americans. On the those the Do Not Disturb adjusting screws are right on top and available for any passing screwdriver and wrench. If yours under the top then It looks like a guy would have to remove the crank handle, then the gear cover, and finally undo the 4 hex head bolts to look under the hood. If the the top roller is fixed or not adjustable then the bottom roller would need to be brought up to close up some space between the two rollers. It also looks like the blade rest has slots the bolts go through and the blade itself can be adjusted up and down? That is a little different if so and I kind of like that idea. Although if they slip that could make a guy say bad words.
  12. Landis SS6 Splitter

    But then again, once you have one set up for what you do, you won't want to be without it. I had a guy a few hours away buy one for $50 because it wasn't working. We went over that way on a little day trip later on and within 5 minutes with a crescent wrench and screwdriver it was splitting great. They will do things that you can't on a pull splitter, wide pieces will crank through. Small pieces you could never get a grip on will crank through. You can crank out cigarette paper thicknesses. Once you understand the different adjustments then it is intuitive what you need to change if anything. My above instructions were more for the one that's been tinkered with and out of adjustment or taking one down and refurbishing. The biggest questions I get are usually from somebody who got one and needs to feed thinner leather. If everything else is working good on thicker leather, then a couple turns on the top adjusting screws, eyeball that the roller is level, and they are splitting that fine. If you decide you are going to make wallet backs from skirting and want to split in one pass, then you need a bigger gap between the blade and bottom roller. For the most part once you get one dialed in for the usual jobs you do, then you don't need to change anything again until you get pretty far out from that weight and amount of split. The springs allow for a decent range of thicknesses. It is when you go from a set up for 6 oz leather and you throw some 16 oz through (or vice versa) or you want to take off 8 oz in one pass instead of 2-3 oz at a time. That's when things get dicey. Knowing what to change in adjustments and then how to bring it back afterwards is the deal there.
  13. Landis SS6 Splitter

    My take for the 6" crank splitters in general, and based on my experience with Landis 30/American/Champion crank splitters and NOT necessarily this splitter although I'd wager very similar. I have sold several of these for several purposes, and find that each user needs to have some understanding of the settings and adjustments to make it work best for the job at hand. They were designed to split and/or level shoe sole material. Anything else is a secondary purpose. It can be done for sure, but the factory settings are generally for sole weight leather. Anything else and you may need to do some adjusting and probably disregard the gauge markings other than as a reference and not an actual expected thickness.. The top roller adjusts down, the bottom feed roller adjusts up. The amount of gap determines what they will feed the best. You have to have enough gap for the leather to feed but enough compression for the bottom roller to get a grip into the leather to push it through. Too much space between the rollers and they won't feed thinner leathers until you get down to thinner settings. With a narrower space the thin leather feeds but thicker leather are working against the compression springs and it cranks harder plus put a strain on the parts. The gap needs to be opened up for thicker leathers. How easy it is to adjust the rollers? The top roller is adjusted by turning the two set screws on top of the frame. (These would be the ones the usual Landis 30 instructions say NOT to adjust since they are factory set. Any common screwdriver and wrench will adjust them). These top adjustment screws also allow you to level up the top roller relative to the blade. The bottom roller is adjusted by jam nuts on a stud that goes through the frame into the bearing blocks for the bottom roller. Tighten the nuts to pull the roller down, loosen and the compression springs push the roller up. Each side is individually adjusted as well to level up the bottom roller with the blade. The next variable is related to how much you are splitting off. The blade on these is stationary and the bottom roller "floats". If you have a really small gap between the blade edge and bottom roller, The thinner splits come through easier but thicker splits are going to put excess tension on the bottom roller and be harder to crank and excess pressure on the frame. Thin leather and taking off a thin split with a large gap between the bottom roller and blade can equal wavy and uneven splits since the gap allows the piece to ride up and down. If you are taking "small bites" then a narrower gap is better. Large bites like cranking 16 oz through into 8 oz on one pass you need a bigger gap. The usual recommendation has been about the thickness of a credit card for general purposes. Another variable is the compression springs - one on each side pushing up the bottom roller. These springs allow some float in the bottom roller to provide compression as the leather feeds. It also allows some variability in leather thickness because of the flex in the springs. The spring tension is adjustable at the bottom by some turn screws. A looser tension might have more flex for variable leather thickness but not as much compression for the bottom roller to bite into denser leather. Tighter tension might not crank as easy to feed thicker leather but it will get a bite. The happy medium is attained by scrap leather, prayer or cussing, and a wrench. Then the tensions need to be pretty even side to side. Stronger compression on one side more than the other and the leather will tend to feed more to one side and not exit as straight. This gets really magnified and problematic when you crank a 5" width through a 6" hole. Again - scrap leather, prayer/cussing, and wrench. As an aside - Same feed and exit issue can happen with rollers that are not parallel to each other. Blade position is very well addressed in the online Landis 30 instructions. Push it to the stops on the bearing blocks, back off slightly on the back up screws then tighten down the blade screw and edge holders.. Top roller position, bottom roller positioning, gap between the blade and bottom roller, level side to side n everything, an even spring compression and blade position all work together to make these work smoothly. Then there is my bugaboo. On some of these you can have them set up exactly to what a person needs - feeds their expected weights, level, straight wide pieces and all is right with the world. Pack it, give to UPS or International Mail and the rollers are not level, one screw has backed off, one jam nut is half way down the stud, and it just got real. Like SolarLeatherMachines wrote - one that is right will dance around and do a great job. If you have a few common tools and understanding then they can be adjusted to dance again easy enough. There really is not a good mechanical service and adjustment manual available for them that I know of. Being as you just got it, I'd talk to the factory or dealer first. They can probably talk you through setting it up for your particular needs.
  14. Saddle History

    Likely it was Carson Thomas. He owned the shop at one time. If you want to know maybe way more than you are asking - here is a link to the some history of that old shop - . Some older pictures and as it is today. I am a little biased, the current owner is a heck of an artist and we have several of his etchings, including the one he did of that shop as it was. it is now a really nice museum and gallery.
  15. Farrow Buckles

    Elsa, Ron's Tools have new owners as of a month or so ago. I don't have any fresh contact info for them. One person that does is Aaron Heizer at Makers Leather Supply in Killeen Tx. Aaron is a dealer for their hand tools now but not sure about the stirrup buckles. If not he could refer you back to the new owners.