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About oltoot

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  • Birthday 03/29/1943

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  1. Without examining the rest of the saddle and comparing with period catalogues it is impossible to say if it was entirely custom made or just a personalized standard model
  2. FYI Little trick for spacing daisy type stamps: I have picked up several pieces in different spacings of clear plastic rug runners. Pressing the selected piece down on slightly damp leather leaves little marks from the cleats. Shopping at home supply places has yielded a collection of various patterns
  3. FYI: I stuff mine with woolskin trimmings from skirt linings, stuff it in wet with a hammer handle then fan dry it. Tanned wool is an unusual material in that it shrinks when wet and swells as it dries
  4. Weight is one reason, a slick fork with rolls will come in a couple pounds lighter than a swell fork and in the very beginning, slick forks were usually a little kinder to the horses and thus preferred by the owners
  5. My old trick: Find a loose, unadhered spot somewhere in the middle and tear the lining off and outward; when you get to the stitching you can cut more easily from the inside with a sharp pointed knife and then pick stitches. I have tried various tricks to pull the top thread or bobbin thread (will depend on how the maker's machine was adjusted) but have found that trying to start there will often prolong the exercise while just waiting to see and then going with the flow works better. If the old lining is already torn, use it.
  6. You didn't ask about needle and awl vs single needle. BSS alluded to it but didn't go into depth. If I were you (which I am not being old and wore out instead of young and still finding a groove) I would put the following at the top of my list but I would not wait forever if my needs were more urgent): A #3 Landis still on a treadle stand that has never been motorized. Your budget may be the driving force and the amount of time you have to learn may lead you to one of the 441 clone dealers. You can outdo your hand stitching with any properly adjusted stitcher. If you go with a 441 clone, pick a dealer, not just a seller. This will be the exception to the rules about $$. A few extra for service and coaching will be well spent if they turn out to be needed. Good luck to you and remember that no matter what machine you pick you will still need to handsew (or hand finish) some parts. Buena suerte
  7. I always wanted to (or felt I needed to) use just a little bit heavier leather than Al Stohlman prescribed and this would make a pattern just a little too small and as for left handed, just turn the right handed pattern over and voila!
  8. My approach: first build a core of PVC, there are many sizes and weights available, then shape with colored duct tape or something similar, then cover with Kangaroo lace or rawhide, my knot of preference is a pineapple raised however many times it takes to cover the core nicely. Scarves vary in bulk depending on size and fabric. I have ~ 40 of various colors and fabrics to match each one of my shirts. I regularly use 4 different slides, 2 rawhide and 2 kangaroo. I give slides as presents since I wouldn't pay what I would have to charge if I sold them. Just my 2 cents
  9. Learn to use a draw gauge and when you do, you'll never look back. Like all tools, learn to sharpen and then, not the only way, just my way, select blades with a sharp point and punch in to the beginning of the strap leaving ~ 1/2 inch attached to make handling the strap easier then cut it loose after finishing.
  10. The only way to guarantee never to break another awl blade is to quit sewing. After awhile you will become a connesueir of certain types of awl blade construction and still will have to deal with a broken one once in awhile. Learning to aim first and follow through without adjusting mid stroke to try to get it to come out straight will come with time.
  11. Sonny Felkins, Quality Mfg., Monticello, Utah
  12. Myself, I have settled on 3/8 thick, hollow ground, straight for the vast majority of work. Blade control accommodates varying tasks better than trying to switch blades, IMHO
  13. I'm late, I know, but here is what I came to while I was saving for a needle and awl stitcher (and putting in a pitch for a new UL, it is still going strong after 40+ years and 100's of sheepskins sewed with ease). Glue sheepskin down (I use Barges) then trim off to about 1/4 from edge, if you have large scissors you can pre trim the fleece at an angle thus reducing the amount you will have to deal with, then as you go, wet the fleece thoroughly about 1" from edge with a sponge, you will find that you can part the fleece from the awl tip as it pokes through and keep it parted long enough to pass by. When done just squeeze out the water and let it dry before trimming to edge.
  14. All good responses. Know your leather. If you were paying for #1 backs, you would have the right to expect "ssmooth" flesh sides, if Tannery Run sides then you would expect to find some flanky spots