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About Russ

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  • Birthday 02/17/1966

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Cliff, NM
  • Interests
    Cowboy Mounted Shooting, saddle making, most any leathercraft.

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Mounted Shooting Rigs, Modern CCW Holsters
  • Interested in learning about
    Wallets and purses
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  1. I don't think I agree with this, from Weaver's (or any business) perspective. I don't think it's unreasonable for Weaver to want a certain volume of sales to a customer in order to qualify for a reduced price. Why should Weaver make less on their product just because someone is going to take that product and manufacture something else? Weaver can make up the less profit by selling wholesale IF the customer buys at some volume. Obviously Weaver has set that benchmark at $1200. FWIW, I also like doing business with Weaver, and I mostly get over $1200/year. I haven't this year because I bought in bulk last year. So I got the letter too. I wasn't offended, I see their point.
  2. See this topic:
  3. I'll jump in here. First, I own an Artisan so my experience with a Cobra is limited. But, I've taken three multi-day holster classes at the Prescott leather show the last three years and Cowboy provide all of the machines we used. They were brand new and set up to sew, but required fine tuning to get started. The way we did that was to just sew scraps of leather in the thickness that we were going to use for the holsters. We needed to adjust the top and bottom tensions to get the knots in the middle of the leather. Nice thing about using scraps is you can take the scraps apart to see exactly where the knots are located. I'd say 90% of the tension adjustments were made up top, 10% on the bottom. But both were needed to accomplish the goal. I don't know how the Cowboy arrives in regards to tensions, the Artisan was set up to my specs when shipped and all I had to do was tweak it just a tiny bit. The Cowboys needed more tweaking, but then this was at a trade show and those guys were very busy. They provided a lot of machines for classes. Most of us didn't use the roller guide. A few folks did when making long straight runs on the belts. I've had a roller guide but stopped using it a long time ago. I can just look at the foot and judge where the thread needs to go most of the time. We did not use the holster plate, although it was available to us. I use 207 and 277 thread for my holsters at home, depending on the look I want and style of holster/rig (western vs. modern). We used these two sizes in class. We even used 346 which I thought was too big. We had to play with the tensions with the 346 to get it to work, and using 277 in the bobbin didn't work for us. Using 277 top and 207 in the bottom worked ok, with tweaking. Using 277 or 207 in both places worked the best in our machines (we had two). As always, using the proper sized needle for the thread size is of utmost importance. I find the back and forth about which machine is best to be tiresome. I love my machine, and my experience with the Cowboys is they are also fine machines. Both have some learning curves, and most of your success will depend on your own patience and how good the customer service is from the place you bought the machine. If you buy from a dealer that is recommended here on, you won't go wrong. Just make tiny, tiny tweaks to the tension as you adjust. Try your best to only tweak one or the other at the same time. It's easy to get completely out of whack and have to start over. Once you get the hang of it, I guarantee it will be easy in the future. Patience. Russ
  4. Yikes, hadn't heard this news. Get well soon Barry, and keep your feet close to the ground where they belong.
  5. I would suggest that a comfortable cutting table is the height where you would place your hands flat on a surface in front of you while you are standing straight. So if you can find a table or a way to measure that, that would be a good height. Make sure you aren't leaning forward when you do your measurement. You WILL be leaning forward a little when you cut and do your layouts, but the standing straight method seems to work very well. This "measurement" was discussed at length at one of the classes at the Southwest Leather Show in Prescott (and in the bar at the reception after ) and the general consensus was this is a good method. And no, SantaFeMarie, your questions aren't unreasonable. Please don't let a combative answer spoil you on the site. It happens, unfortunately. Russ
  6. I've had to "fire" customers before, both from my leather working business and my wife's restaurant. I'm sure it was not something SLC took lightly. However, there comes a time when you have to accept you can't meet a customer's standards, and it's costing too much money to try. On the other hand, you've not been happy with their products on multiple occasions, I'd be looking for a different supplier anyway.
  7. I will defer to your opinion Joe, as I have a lot of respect for your posts and opinions. I spend less and less time on boards, forums, and commentary places on the internet as it's becoming a disgusting cesspool. That said, I'm tired of the attacks and criticisms that I read on this board too. I probably wouldn't notice David's posts because I skip 95% of the posts here anymore. At least the "ignore list" works ok on this forum. Not great, but pretty good.
  8. Yes. Two examples. 1. Me. I needed a saddle. I wasn't in any particular hurry, and was shopping around. I had transitioned from trail riding to mounted shooting, and was using borrowed equipment, which included saddle, tack, and gun rigs. I spent a year or so in the sport looking for equipment, saw the prices that the sellers were getting, and thought "I can do that." I spent another 6 months or so researching whether a viable business could be made just from the small shooters' nitch. As I got more serious, I developed a business plan to give me the idea of how much money to invest, potential ROI, time away from my full time job and, very importantly, potential liability to my personal assets. After that, I went to two classes: a saddle making class, and a holster making class. Both of them were taught by mounted shooters. Had I not had a ..... business plan .... I may have jumped into a saddle or holster class not specializing toward my business goal....which was to sell to mounted shooters. After going to the classes and closely questioning the instructors and other students, I purchased my first equipment (all of it basic hand tools) and leather. Thanks to my business plan which included going to the correct classes, I had a minimum cash outlay and sold my second saddle (my first one went to my wife, she uses it to shoot in today) and my fourth holster set (my first three stayed in the family, they could have easily been sold at about 70% of the cost of "name" rigs at the time). The business was up and running and frankly, the business plan had to be revised to account for the success. The mounted shooting gear business filled up my time. When I got within a year of retirement, I revisited my business plan and expanded it to include a 30' x 30' shop (no more working in the spare bedroom), and an expanded line of goods, CCW holsters, purses, and wallets. None of which I did without re-doing my business plan. Example 2: I have a friend who makes knives and sheaths. He enjoyed going to the mountain man festivals, and ended up at one of those Renaissance fairs (he was an actor, doing the bits in the streets for the spectators). He enjoyed looking at the knives and decided he could supplement his income with them. He showed me his business plan, which was very detailed, down to the last $. At the end of the business plan was: "At the 3rd quarter interval, profits from Phase I of the business will be reinvested in: proper schooling and education from a close personal friend who has a successful leatherworking business in the making of leather sheaths a) cost in to be ________ paid in full immediately, no liability to the ______________ business (my redactions. and I was the "leatherworker) materials and equipment necessary to complete said sheaths for sale. The following material will be needed: " My friend has now completely retired from the acting part of the fairs and just makes knives and sheaths full time, mostly knives. He has four employees. He sells cutlery to hardware stores and a few re-sellers who sell them. You may have his knives in your kitchen drawers. I could come up with several other examples but this post is already too long. If someone is sincerely interested in making a go of a business, they will make a business plan, I'd say, second. The first is after identifying a need in an area they have an interest. You don't really need the interest, IMO, but it makes life more enjoyable. The need is what's important, and can you fulfill it. If you put off the business plan, all you have is wasted money and time. You may have an interest, or a hobby, but that's not what DavidL was asking about. So many people in the "craft business" (I hate that term but it applies to leather business/hobbies) think they are the purest of the pure. "My skills, my skills" they exclaim. The look down on people that have an interest in making money. Or they trash someone selling on Etsy at a very reduced price to turnover their products to stay viable to continue their passion. It's rediculous. As for your personal attack on DavidL, that has no place on this board, although, sadly, it seems to be more common here. Russ
  9. Piddler, that is fantastic! Very happy to hear your great news.
  10. I understand why you are adverse to breaking things out piecemeal. I'd like to have a lot of those items and would probably pay a bit extra for them. Problem is, I have about 70% of the things you have pictured, and I don't need them nor want to pay for them just to resell. I suspect most established leatherworkers here have about the same. And anyone just starting out, $10k is probably too big of investment. Selling it all in one fell swoop is gonna be tough. Just my $0.02
  11. I agree that the products are good. Ive also been pleased with their templates in the past. However, something has changed. Problem is the customer service is lacking. It doesn't take long to call the customer, answer the phone, or respond to an email.
  12. Same thing here, except I mailed my template in late June. Two emails to her were answered, both stating she was starting on my template "next." That was August 5. No response since then.
  13. That's definitely what a top coat is supposed to prevent. Myself, I haven't had the same results. Maybe try the Eco-flo top finish, since they are the same product they may be more compatible for you. One things for sure, since Eco-flo dyes are water based, they are going to be very susceptible to water.
  14. Another unnecessary shot at Tandy. It's not Tandy's fault, or their product's fault, if a water resistant finish wasn't put on. Tandy will tell you to do that with their Eco-products. As a matter of fact, so will Fiebings. Tandy decided to put forth a more eco-friendly product. The felt there was a demand for it. If it doesn't meet your needs, pick up the Fiebings off the shelf. As for the original post, removing those water spots once the cover has been finished is gonna be really tough. Anything you use to mitigate the spots is also going to change the final look. Like Tree said, next time some super sheen or wax or other repellant.