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About NVLeatherWorx

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    Leatherworker.net Regular
  • Birthday 11/10/1964

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    Shooting, golf, fishing, camping, traveling, avid Cruise patron, just plain relaxing now that I am not in Combat anymore.

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Belts, wallets, checkbook covers, purses/handbags, etc.
  • Interested in learning about
    Not much left to learn but always open to anything new that comes along.
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  1. The Buckle Guy also sells the Giardini paints (www.buckleguy.com) and the smaller containers that are branded with the Buckle Guy name are made for them by Giardini. Give it a look and see what he can offer you.
  2. They aren't charging for the normality of the product it is the work that goes into it. And I would be interested in knowing where you are seeing a quality from a mass-produced item that is similar or, even equal according to you, to that of an Artisan made item. I have been around the world many times and have NEVER come across a true handmade item that was ever similar in appearance or quality to that of the mass-produced crap that some makers think they need to compete against. You either know what your doing and do it very well or you are just another shingle hanger that calls themselves a craftsman.
  3. The biggest difference between the standard spirit dyes and the Pro dyes is the pigment blends and the extra buck or so per bottle is well worth every penny. With the regular spirit dyes the potential for rub-off is not as bad as the dye dries much faster; unfortunately though you will see an off-color sheen on every color as a result of this faster drying which you don't get with the Pro series of dyes. Just like everything else we work with, if you want a quality result then you need to spend the extra money for quality materials and supplies; otherwise, you are just making okay stuff.
  4. Amen to that one. But you should see the look on their face when they ask me if I can replace the straps on that LV purse because they have cracked (yup, fake as all hell and not a piece of real leather on them). I charge them fairly, but appropriately, and then continue to answer their questions regarding the quality of the rest of the bag. I do this at least 7 times per month and have been doing this for the past 7 years now when the word got out that I can replace the straps with high-quality leather that looks exactly like the original ones. Haven't spent a dime advertising this though but my name has been shared multiple times somehow.
  5. In your case it would be best to send a potential client a PayPal Invoice (you need to have a PayPal Business Account though) and they can pay it online. Always get at least 50% deposit on ALL custom items and if the item is going to be personalized (name, initials, special saying) get 100% up front before you even cut leather. Regarding the price you still need to think like a business and not just a hobbyist. Businesses operate with the purpose of making a profit so that they can continue to make things to sell; hobbyists just make stuff and then slap a price on it that barely covers materials which results in customers thinking that businesses are just over-charging them. I operate a business and my pricing reflects my time, materials, overhead, and also my experience and knowledge which has been gained over the past 40 plus years of doing this as a profession. Don't cater to the price point that a customer is willing to pay as they do not know what it takes to make an item and we don't get our supplies from Walmart or on Rollback pricing programs. You are the Maker and Artist so you set the price based on the formula that works for you. There are several threads within these forums that cover this topic so all you have to do is conduct a simple search for the topic and then get ready to read various viewpoints and methods; find the one that fits YOU as the creator.
  6. If you are using the steel double cap rivets from Tandy then the strength is of no question as they are very durable and strong as long as they are used properly. On the item page for the rivets you will find what the actual measurements of the cap widths and post lengths are for each size so all you have to do is calculate how thick all of the leather being secured is and then match the correct rivet size to cover it. It is very easy to figure out. Even the solid brass rivets are capable of holding up to what you are trying to accomplish.
  7. Get rid of Acetone all together as it is NOT intended to be used on leather. If your leather is one of the Chrome tanned varieties then you are already on the wrong track of trying to dye it any other color than what it was tanned as and you WILL have issues with trying to change the color using traditional leather crafting techniques. NEVER use Resolene (or any other water-based acrylic) on footwear, it isn't intended to be used in this manner and it offers nothing as far as protection in this case. It appears that these loafers are commercially produced and not handmade by you which means that you are fighting whatever the maker/manufacturer used to make these things and unless you have complete knowledge of what was used and how they were made along with many years of learning and experience working with leather you are just going to make things worse than they already are. No intention of trying to drive you away but you just can't pick up a few books, watch a couple of video's, buy a few supplies, and change the work of someone else. Those of us who offer our advice oftentimes have spent many, many years learning out trade and we don't speak from the "hobbiest" or DIY side of things, we speak from experience that we have gained over the years of doing this as a profession. There are just as many manufacturers who have no clue what they are doing but they make their millions anyway and all by selling to the uninformed and inexperienced consumer. Being as the loafers are of a commercial production I can guarantee that they are in fact Chrome tanned lambskin that has been treated with a range of additional chemicals that creating your issue. Unfortunately, there is no turning back from what has been done now and the best thing that you could do would be to dye them again in hopes that you can get the blotched areas blended in with the rest and then just finish with an oil (Mink Oil is not as great as it is advertised to be); pigfat is the best conditioner for leather footwear and it offers much better weatherproofing results (many years of experience using this method while stationed in the Alpine region of Southern Germany with the U.S. Army, never had wet feet while doing this).
  8. I believe I have seen that very warning posted on all Hotel/Motel room doors; it is followed up by a disclaimer that the owner of the property cannot be held liable for any conscious thought or clarity of reality that may result from a restful sleep.
  9. Another thing to consider is, if it applies of course, is to not dye the flesh side as it will hold more residue than the grain side will.
  10. But it also opens up the question as to what Tandy has as a plan going forward. For example, they have a large majority of their leathers listed as Close-Out and the same goes for their tools. On the tools side of things it looks like they are keeping the low-quality stuff and blowing out the Craftool Pro tools (they are steel for crying out loud and not that garbage that the regular tools are made from). They currently have more on Clearance/Close-Out than they do on their "keeper" list so what is their plan to provide better without the extra bull when they won't have anything left? Even if they were to reduce their footprint by closing stores they still have to maintain an inventory of the materials and goods that all level of craftsman need to supply an online oriented operation and right now it isn't on their list (or more accurately their website) so maybe there is some more information coming down the line for us.
  11. So, with Tandy having restructured their pricing this week and now having gone much lower than they have been in a very long time, I was wondering what anyone else has been thinking about this and what the reasoning could be. I personally think that they were seeing a drop in their market share and came to the conclusion that their pricing was a bit high when compared to others who supply their crafter market. However, I don't think that they have looked at the quality aspect of what they supply versus what the majority of us purchase and that they are only going to continue lose more share from this price drop. I was looking at their leather and found that they have dropped their pricing by a huge percentage in hopes of moving more product but their leather is not of a great quality for the serious leather worker nor for any business operator who puts quality ahead of low costs. I quit using Tandy leather decades ago when they decided to start exporting their skins to be tanned and then importing them back into the U.S. for retail sale; quality went to crap and it hasn't improved a bit since. On the flip side, they may be getting ready to return to the business tactic of providing quality and value again as they once did many years ago, that would be nice. It would also be nice if you could walk into a Tandy store every now and then and be able to speak with a staffer who actually knows how to work with leather instead of just spitting out the textbook babble that they are all taught when going through training, I miss those days. Chime in if you want and I know that there are some here in this community who actually work for Tandy so, if you can, shed some light on what is happening. It is a sure bet that Tandy is responsible for the vast majority of us who have taken up this trade, whether as a hobby or as a business, and it would not be a bad thing to see the company return to its roots.
  12. Regardless of who is adding the VAT or what some may think a business operator on Etsy (or anywhere else for that matter) should do to set their shop us it all comes down to one thing and that is: the operator of a business has the sole right to determine HOW they are going to operate, WHAT system they will operate on, and the METHOD of how they are going to list their items and other such information. It is not for any one of us to tell another how to run their business and the issue of VAT or any other foreign taxes are often determined by the host of the shop (in this case Etsy) and not always the shop owner. Being as Etsy does what they do in their model I do not sell to International customers and that is because of the way Etsy pushes their weight around the globe. I also don't do it because the International customer always has a gripe about the cost of shipping and the customs/import duties that always go with such purchases and those too are beyond my control so, to keep myself out of having to listen to the constant whining about the things that I have nothing to do with I steer clear of the whole "global economy" thing and keep it local. If Etsy wan't to put the VAT thing in your face just because a U.S. seller has decided to give the overseas customer an option to buy their item then you should address the issue with Etsy and not the seller. Etsy will collect VAT on such sales and they do report and make payment to the appropriate tax agency as outlined in their rules. In fact, they are now on a crusade here in the U.S. to start collecting sales taxes on all sales to States that have entered into the Online Sales Tax movement that is ongoing here. Kind of works out great when you think about the fact that as a seller you will no longer have to register yourself and pay the fees for a tax permit in those States because Etsy is doing it for you. Best thing here is to let Wayne do his business as he sees fit and for everyone else to do the same with theirs based on the region in which they are located and the laws that apply and to just be supportive of each other.
  13. I do very little skiving so as not to make the leather too thin but only along the areas that I will have multiple layers on top of each other. I use the T-slot method for my pockets so that I am not building a thick edge. Depending on where you are located, there is a supplier in Napa, CA (www.hidehouse.com) that has calf and I believe that they have some thicker stuff than what you traditionally find. I have a bit of calf, lamb, and goat here in my shop that I use on specific items but most of my stuff is from veg-tan cowhide as the durability is great. I have used some Roo but not much, it is very strong though and I use Roo lace over calf because of this.
  14. You can also just do what most of us do and use 3 to 4 oz. veg-tan cowhide as it is quite nice for wallets as well. I make mine with 3 to 4 oz. for the backs (exterior) if it is not being stamped/carved & tooled or I use 4 to 5 oz. if it is being stamped/carved & tooled; for all of the interior pieces I use 2 to 3 oz. veg-tan cowhide. All of my leather is from Hermann Oak and it is all very tough yet soft and pliable and with these thicknesses the wallets are never bulky.
  15. I go with the T-slot style and have done so for quite some time. To help keep the thickness down I have always used the "wedge" style for the pocket (tapers to narrow at the bottom from the T-slot top) and always use 2 to 3 oz. leather; keeps things nice and as thin as possible. Every once in awhile though I will get someone who wants slit pockets and for that reason I still keep some rolls of ribbon on hand to cover the request (I have 2 sizes so I can cover vertical and horizontal alignment).
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