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About artificer13

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  • Location
    43*N 88*W
  • Interests
    Reading, drinking, philosophy, scuba diving, playing guitar, making things

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Sporrans and Sgian sheaths
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  1. My vote is for grey ghost as well. Jeff was extremely helpful and worked very fast. I've used mine for a solid year now and even with some VERY fine lettering and fairly hard leather I've had no loss of any sort.
  2. I'm in Wisconsin, so it's a bit of a drive just to come see it, and I doubt I could write-off a California vacation on my taxes.
  3. Most of what I make is one-offs (custom work). I primarily make sporrans right now (everything from standard regimental day bags to recreating Victorian horsehair and fur bags), but am branching off into steampunk harnesses, belts, holsters and 'respirator masks' My materials vary from kidskin on 6oz veg-tan, double 5oz chrome tan, up through (with some of these newer projects) 2 layers of 8-9oz harness or bridle leather. I doubt I'd go above the 7/16" limit on the cowboy. Right now I do everything by hand with waxed thread that probably runs 346. I like visual effect of the heavy thread. I don't think I'd ever use anything below 207, but I do like the Boss' capability to go lower.
  4. Tom, the Red Deer is more like the N. American Elk than a white tail deer. It may be the age of the hair, but it doesn't look like fox to me, it's lacking the very soft groundcoat (underfur) that I'd associate with fox. I suppose it could be muskrat, which is quite a traditional fur for sporrans as well. Regarding the badge, a clever lad can flex the front face of the cantle outward to make enough of a gap to fit a washer and cotter pin or other connecting system in without disassembling the whole piece. *see below I didn't notice the pin holes until you mentioned them. After re-examining the pictures, I'd place money on the cantle (or at least the trim) having been repaired or replaced. AND since the trim and it's understitch are the only connections between the cantle and the body of the sporran, it's entirely possible that the WHOLE piece has been cobbled together, cantle, badge, tassels, and body. Of course, it could just be that the trim had worn down over time and needed replacing. Either way, it's a very cool vintage piece, I wish we were geographically closer, I'd love to look at it in person.
  5. Thanks again, Wizcrafts. Well, I'm at the point of just buying new. I've basically narrowed it down to two machines, the Cowboy CB2500 (which I know can mark the back of soft leathers) and the Tippmann Boss. I don't do lined belts or things that require endless feet of stitching, so I'm not too concerned about hand powered operation. Now I just need to make a decision and scrape together the cash.
  6. Nice find Tom! From the photo (which can be misleading) I'd say the fur is probably Red Deer (the hunting of which is a traditional Scottish pass-time of the landed gentry). By the mid 1800's (Victorian times) the sporran had evolved from it's roots as a purse/pouch to something essentially ornamental. The sporrans of that time would either have a small envelope pocket on the back of the bag, similar to below Or would be exactly as you have there, just a panel. What I do find a little unusual is the "whip stitch" holding on the edge trim. It was far more common to see a linear stitch (as pictured above) which IS used on the rolled edge of the cantle top on yours. Material, age, and style-wise, I'd say it's authentic. That said, there is a recurring theme of re-purposing Scottish goods (thift) which might account for the re-badging of the sporran (or for the purposes of deception/sale, someone has re-badged it to make it a sporran with some HISTORY). I've not been able to find a picture of Edward VII in that particular sporran, but he is photographed in a decent number of other ones, so it's entirely possible it WAS one of his. Edit: I did mean to say that the tassle cords appear "off" for some reason. They look far too new for the rest of the piece. It may be that a repair was needed (but I'd expect a Royal repair to have been done better with less dangling excess left) or it may be that the tassels aren't original and this piece has been cobbled together from multiple sources- with the bag being ERA authentic, the tassels being authentic and the badge authentic, but it not being authentically royal.
  7. I'm in WI. Alright gang, sorry to keep hashing this out, but what do you think about a National 26-188 ? Is this the same as the Rex 26 (which popped up on a search here)? Again, I'm looking to (at best) stitch doubled up 6oz leather or a few layers of chrome tan. It's a table rather than a cylinder or post, but the price is awfully good, even once I add a servo and possibly the reducing gear.
  8. Bump up here. Any thoughts on the Singer 168? It seems like a good balance that would allow me to sew lighter bags while still allowing me to assemble some doubled 6oz leather straps/masks/gear. Am I correct? Reading Wiz's thread about "Which sewing machine for leather" it seems that the cowboy or techsew might be a bit too heavy for the lighter gauge chrome tanned leathers of bags/purses.
  9. I'm with Willbilly and the others. If you're JUST looking for a little cheaper pricing you can always buy memberships/purchasing plans etc. Even the most basic form of business (Sole Proprietorship) will take a fair bit of paperwork in most states. Unless you're buying tons of material or selling lots of product, you're better off doing the buyer's programs.
  10. Thanks again, I'll definitely have to make some calls. I did see a singer 168 post-machine today that I'd REALLY have to stretch to buy, and at the price their asking I could buy a new lower-end TechSew cylinder or a CB2500. There was also saw a Consew 255, which was LOADS more affordable, but then I'm back to a flatbed.
  11. Well, I'm pretty sure this guy is flaking on me. It's been a week and I've tried to call him several times and gotten no reply. SO, Does anyone have a good suggestion for a comparable machine to the Pfaff 145/545? The only other one I've been able to find locally is a 1245, but they want $1600 for it, and at this point I'd really like to keep it under $1000.
  12. The title says it all really. I'm looking for top grain pigskins or boarskins that aren't sueded and are thicker than lining weight. Anywhere between 2-6oz would be fine, veg-tan or chrome would be workable (although I'd prefer veg-tan). I've been searching the internet and can find jackets/purses so I KNOW it's out there somewhere, and occasionally find the odd piece on eBay, but am looking for a consistent source. Thanks in advance.
  13. I agree completely. Whatever that acrylic glop is bag makers are finishing their edges with, it's not meant for (what I would consider) long term use. My wife has a few commercial bags she's purchased over the last few years that have had those edges, and after a while they completely turn to garbage.
  14. Thanks all for the feedback so far. If I had the green to drop for a cylinder arm, I'd gladly do it. LOL. I checked it out today and it's not a 545, but a 145 H3 6/ 01 CLMPN. The machine does look pretty clean, but have definitely seen use. I didn't have a chance to operate the thing, as they were having power problems, but the guy I talked to said he was having problems with the lower bobbin missing/fouling stitches after a short run. If you chaps still think it's worth-while, I'll try and pop back round tomorrow (assuming the power is on again) and give it a test, although I know I'll need a servo motor and possibly a reducing pully. The price is also less by quite a bit than I'd originally thought. Thought?
  15. Hello all, I have the opportunity to pick up a Pfaff 545 in good condition for under $500US and I'm wondering whether it would work for me. I make sporrans and a few other soft-bags utilizing everything from kidskin up through about 9oz veg tan leather. Would a Pfaff 545 fit my bill? I frequently stitch through 9oz veg tan, or sometimes 5-6oz veg-tan faced with 4oz soft chrome tan, but need the ability to stitch light materials as well. I'm completely booked into December at my current work rate. I'm at the point where hand-work for the hidden soft bag sections is consuming a LOT of time, and a machine would be very helpful. I've been searching all the topics I can find here (thank you Wizcrafts) but didn't see machines described in their ability to switch from light to heavy (and I know some machines will just snarl up material that's too light). I don't think I'd ever end up using more than a double layer of 5-6oz veg-tan, so a SUPER-duty machine is total overkill for me. Any assistance or advice would be most appreciated.
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