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About Squilchuck

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    Wenatchee, WA

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  1. Those mails are currently on sale? The black one looks ok, but is half the weight of the others. Would be good for stamping, but heavier nice for punching and cutting. There are existing discussion threads on maul weight. I'd guess either are decent. You can get high quality mauls from Barry King for a bit less than the TLF white mauls. Buy your stamps from Barry too. I used Craftool stamps when I started because of price, and was shocked someone would pay $35 for a stamp! But once you use a quality stamp like BK's you will not go back. Check out a current thread on stamping tools. The example Bruce Johnson shows tells it all. You invest a lot of labor goes into stamping so invest in a quality stamp to get professional results that stand out. The same can be said for using quality leather like Herman Oak. --John
  2. Looking for anvil/steel plate

    I have a small anvil from Harbor Freight, I think. I mainly use a metal plate bought at Lowes hardware. --John
  3. Can you restore old, dry and weak leather?

    Most Lexol products can be bought at ranch supply stores in the horse section. Try one of their cleaners or plain saddle soap. Neatsfoot oil is my choice for conditioning, but I also like Feibings 4-way care spray. The Al Stohlman 3-book series on case making, available at Tandy, will tell you everything you need to know In detail about making custom cases and lots of basic leather working techniques. Volume 1 covers making custom knife sheaths. Have fun! --John PS I got started w a Tandy starter kit and think it a good way to get started wo having to start from zero re tools and techniques. The kits and books are often on sale. Watch Tandy website
  4. cobra 26 vs techsew 2750

    I have a Cobra 4 and have gotten excellent service from Steve, and other staff as well, over the phone and at the Pendleton show. The machine has been solid too after 4 years of use. --John
  5. Removing oil stain on tooled veg tan

    Dragonfly, did you ever fix this piece - draw the oil out? I thought I had earlier seen a photo of the restored piece, but can't find anything. -John
  6. I re-fleeced a saddle for someone, and she later came back to tell me that the stirrups ride further back (an inch or two) than before the work. I couldn't think of a mechanical reason how that would result from re-fleecing. I asked her if she was riding properly with heels down, and she told me indignantly that she had been riding since she was 13 yr old (now 65)! An inspection of the stirrup leathers showed them unmoved and in the proper slot built into the tree and saddle. My guess is that the new fleece subtly changed the rider's position, perhaps raising the front a bit and moving her back in the saddle? That might go away after the fleece compacts. Any ideas on why re-fleecing would change the rider's stirrup position backward? --John
  7. Jig for getting rigging straight

    Jeremiah Watt in his video also has an easy procedure for setting the rigging. I highly recommend his video to watch in whole, then again as you do particular parts. The Harry Adams book is helpful too, especially about making patterns. The Stohlman book is excellent, but some of his procedures, like the rigging jig, can be done more easily. I've made three saddles. The first was Stohlman's #1 saddle made as written. Next was a mix from the above sources. Last one I veered toward Watt's methods, especially cutting and fitting parts. I always go back to Stohlman for his detail and comprehensive treatment of different styles. -John
  8. Felt instead of sheepskin to line saddles

    Tucker saddles have used felt instead of sheepskin and I think they still have felt skirt lining. I've never used one nor known anyone with one, so not sure how well they hold up or function. --John
  9. Painting Small Letters

    How well do needle-tip applicators work with Feibings dye for coloring letters? --John
  10. Accounting for leather stretch

    Another thing occurred to me. Some parts of the hide stretch more than others, e.g. belly leather. Butt and back stretch least. --John
  11. Accounting for leather stretch

    Most veg tanned leather will stretch a bit or loosen with heavy use. I've inserted a piece of leather in formed knife sheaths, with a bit of glue or double-sided tape to hold, to tighten up the space. The owner had oiled the hell out of it and the leather softened. --John
  12. Saddle Making Help Needed

    Do yourself a huge favor and spring for Hermann Oak leather. I used cheaper leather to save money when I started, but soon found that using the best leather saves time and frustration - it looks, carves, colors, cuts, and molds the best. You'll put a lot of time into making the saddle, so spending a few dollars more on good leather will give you a saddle to be proud of! I buy from Montana Leather or Hide House. -- John
  13. Skiver/Splitter

    Like Bikermutt I have Weaver Heritage splitter. Very sharp out of the box and works great. I use it all the time. --John
  14. Sheepskin Side

    If you call the closest store they'll go measure the ones you want. Otherwise, hard to say without knowing the exact product and square footage. --John.
  15. Check out these Mongolian saddles and trees. Photos come from a range conservationist friend who has spent lots of time working and riding in Mongolia with herding nomads. No local saddle for him - he has mostly ridden older Bona Allen saddles and now rides the shown western saddle custom made for him by Shooting Star Saddlery, MT. --John