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About JerseyFirefighter

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  1. Where I get my leather

    And here I was flying high buying over 400 sq ft per order Thank you for the insight. It's interesting to see a larger outfit utilize more resourceful means to grab great leather cheap and make use of it even if it is considered scrap to others.
  2. Painting 3D alphabet stamps two color Scheme?

    Ebay mostly. My original supplier for bottles disappeared, but I have enough to where I have all of my colors covered, and the needle tips of varying gauges are widely available for replacement.
  3. Painting 3D alphabet stamps two color Scheme?

    When I used to paint my straps by brush I would do the outline, then brush the letter fill in second. Any bleeds into the embossment can be touched up later. I have since switched to needle tip bottle applicators and have found them to work 100x better than hand brushing.
  4. Knip knives!

    Im curious as to the price range his knives range. I'd hate to waste his time if they are a little out of my reach, but his knives keep popping up in my feeds and now my interest is piqued. Aha! I finally noticed the prices are on the pop up when you click on the pics.
  5. Painting Small Letters

    That would not work with outlining paint. It works with dyeing and leaving darker outlines. As you wipe away flexible acrylic it smears everywhere and absorbs near instantly into the fibers of the leather. The only luck I have had personally with removing paint on leather is to wipe clean with a wet paper towel in the event of a big *oops* where the point would be to wipe the paint clean. The OP was looking on the best ways to fill in the letters without leaking into the embossment (outlines) of the letters. I'd say i've painted somewhere between 10-20k characters in the past few years.. Repetition will always create a better technique. My biggest pain has always been air bubbles. A good propane torch also cures those woes as well.
  6. Painting Small Letters

    Ebay. some bottles come with needle tips... I have found that buying bottles that have removeable tips are best. Buy a few assorted needle tip sizes too. Use 1/2" long needles. 1" put your wrist in a weird position to paint.
  7. Painting Small Letters

    My man.... I would switch to needle tip bottle applicators around the 20 gauge needle size. If you have some run off into the embossing of the leather, a little bit of black paint will blend in on black straps. Other colors you might be SOL. I try to be 10x more careful painting other lighter colored projects. BTW needle tip applicators run from 18 gauge to 25 gauge depending on the amount of detail you want to do with them.
  8. Alphabet stamping on a Firefighter Shield

    They always tend to screw shit up don't they? We have the kind of brass that are oblivious to stuff like that, until someone runs their mouth and then everyone gets screwed.
  9. When to put machine in reverse?

    I have always thrown it in reverse after the needle travels upwards and before it leaves the leather like Northmount had mentioned.
  10. Starting up/ Expansion - how did you do it? (E-myth)

    Having hired help is all relatively new to me. I knew from the onset that the help would be mostly dedicated to completing menial tasks (for which I have a boatload) and organization. Keeping my smallish area somewhat composed has helped my mental state. Cluttered workspaces are bothersome to me and create stress. I could never just stop producing at the end of the day and transition into putting everything back where it belonged so this was a top priority. What I also and currently do is once the small stuff is out of the way for my helper, I take time to teach him a new skill. It makes his job more interesting, and allows me to set him up for being more involved in the process in the future. My help is an old coworker and fellow firefighter. I looked for someone who had a genuine interest in the process, and the availability to be comfortable to either work once a week, or not for that matter. He was apprehensive at first since this part time job was a 35-40 min drive, but he instantly took to the allure of creating a finished product from raw materials. Bonus points if your employee is so intrigued by the work that he/she is coming up with new ideas, or making potential business contacts while they're not working on your dime. He also has ties in the local K9 Search and Rescue teams. I am working on a few different hunting/tracking leads and designs that I hope he can make himself as his skill set improves. To me one of the sillier but crucial hangups for me was to hire someone I knew. I enjoy conversation, so if i'm going to be spending a day in the shop with another person, i'm going to want to share common interests to shoot the stuff all day. As for planning financially for the expansion? I have been making a steady profit for quite some time despite sinking almost all of it back into the business. For the workload I had and all of the other office work involved on the back end of running a business I felt that the trade off of profit was worth the relief of stress of falling behind and not hitting deadlines. I feel the one thing I can improve on is having a written out list rather than a mental list for tasks. He has repeatedly finished what I had set out for him to accomplish and have me stopping my own work to set him up with something else.
  11. Fire department radio pouch

    Looks great! Judging by the stamp it is likely awlivers. If memory serves he/she is an ebay dealer for Studio-N here on the forum. My opinion is that the radio holster pattern development is the greatest hurdle a fire leather business must overcome. Everything else is just learning by repetition.
  12. Tricks of the triad for storage

    Indeed they do! I employed the help during set up day. They routinely come in and ask to sweep the shop which is greatly appreciated. Sometimes they saddle up to the bench with a scrap or two and grab some smaller stamps and pound away. It's fun to watch them get even their toes wet learning something with their old man.
  13. Tricks of the triad for storage

    Every now and then I get a few moments (and some help) to clean up the shop. Sometimes it helps to have a dedicated cleaning day. I usually try to do a very good straightening up after one or two batches of orders. Two things that have helped a lot is that all the big stuff is on wheels and can be moved, and this hardware organizer I bought. It has 192 removable bins and keeps me from having the smaller organizers all over the place. One half has strap hardware, and the other side has dog collar hardware. Downside is that it was pretty pricey.
  14. 40W Chinese Laser - Engrave and Cut Leather - Discuss

    Funny that this popped up today in my feed as I missed it when it was posted. I happen to be purchasing a laser engraver today. It's going to cost a wee bit more than that setup but i'm anxious (and a bit nervous) to see what I can do with it. My intentions were it to serve as a "ghost employee". Loading projects up, hitting send to printer and me going back to doing leather work while it's engraving something else. I have a spot picked out and all but a vent cut to exhaust the fumes. Please take ventilation into consideration if you end up engraving any plastics or metals. Leather stinks when it's burnt, but all the other stuff emits nasty stuff when engraved. Best of luck!
  15. The tapering is a cool touch to stand out from the tumbler holder crowd. Great idea!