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bruce johnson

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About bruce johnson

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    Saddlery & Tack Moderator
  • Birthday 06/15/1960

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    http://www.brucejohnsonleather.com
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    Oakdale, CA

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  1. Ken, It probably was me and shared to me by an old guy 20+ years ago. . A freehand stitch groover/patent leather tool/gum tool (whatever you choose to call it is the trick. It will cut the top of the stitches off or severely weaken them so the liner pulls right off and takes most of the stitches with it. Shameless plug - I sell that tool
  2. The only splitter documentation I know of for a crank splitter is for the Landis 30, and it is pretty sparse on detailed useable breakdown/reassembly information. The top lever for the adjustment on the Champion appears to be broken off. Is that correct? If so, those parts don't exist except off another splitter. That is the weak link part for Champions and Americans. Champions are much less common at least for me than American or Landis, so spare Champion parts just aren't under the rocks I know of. It could be made, but would take a pretty good machinist. As far as adjusting the blade, same as the Landis or American - slide forward into the stops, back off a touch so the blades don't rub on the stops, and tighten everything.
  3. It looks like a lot of parts are missing. Much like other machines, sourcing and buying a lot of parts usually ends up costing more than buying an intact or or new one.
  4. I don't want to rain on the parade, but that knife probably won't be what you want. I get several a year like that. Good chance with all that pitting you may arrest the ongoing corrosion but the steel may be pretty crumbly. That broken tip is pretty big and no small feat to grind a new shape without taking out any temper that may be left in it. By the time you get to thinning the edge there may not be much left. CS Osborne Newark marked knives are not particularly rare and I just don't see any work on this one to be time well spent.
  5. Here's my take and I guess the devils advocate in this thread. This is a general post of my experience and philosphy and not intended to be pointed just at your thread here. We can bet every successful business big or small knows their cost of materials, time for each step, and overhead. They don't build a car and then say, "this one is worth , umm, oh maybe $25,000?". Before the tool deal I started as a leather hobbyist , moved to a small "fun" business and eventually got into a "do or die - have to make money" business situation at one time for some medical debt. I got into formulas late and I'll throw it out that it was way too late. They don't have to be complicated but with regard to steps, get an idea of your time involved in getting out the leather, cutting, and putting away. Time spent stamping and a clock is your friend here - you will get faster and smoother but time yourself for stamping a project. Bigger stamps are faster than smaller stamps. I knew how many sq ft/hr I could do with each, how long a floral corner took, and that all factored in. Time spent sewing - for me on the Boss - 10"/minute, on the Adler or Ferdco - 24"/min. Time spent slicking and finishing. Stuff like that. Once you get some rates it makes estimating future projects a lot closer. Figure in incidentals and figure in future tool purchases. Add up time and costs with a fudge factor and then profit. Profit is not a dirty word. The real kicker now is your rate, what do you charge? Some people are happy working for beer money and some people are paying a second mortgage, nice vacation with the family, or making a living. You have to decide where you need to be. Is it worth $10/hour to sit in your shop all weekend and not spend family time? Do you need to make $500/weekend to help pay down the second? Do you want more Jueschke stamps, a powered sewing machine, or something else eventually for the business/hobby. Unlike fishing or golf, this pastime can pay off if you let it. I never sold the first trout to pay for the fishing boat. I have sold rope cans to keep from bankruptcy though. Once you figure a shop rate and do the math - then you can decide your market. But...you have to be honest with your skill level and speed early on. Pete Gorrell told me this one time and I'm going to paraphrase it to get it right. "Don't sell a $5000 saddle for $3000, and don't sell a $3000 saddle for $5000. Give the customer what they paid for". Are you outpricing everyone locally? Not a problem if you aren't looking locally. It is a problem for people setting up at street fairs or word of mouth at work,. If you are eventually selling through the internet, doesn't matter. Are you planning to sell 100 or 10? all things to consider. I sold several hundred rope cans and probably 5 of them in a three county radius. I was surrounded by good saddlemakers who made $5000 tooled saddles. I built $3200 roughouts and $3500 partial basket stampeds because they didn't price them to "want to" build them. Saddles for me were all local market. There's room for different price points and different target markets.
  6. I was there two years ago for the last one. That was supposed to be the last ones Weaver were hosting at their location. The next ones were supposed to be in Mt Hope at an auction facility. Didn't happen last year and not sure it'll take off again.
  7. Weaver Leather hosted it.
  8. Clyde Cutlery made them and rebranded them for Shapleigh. Usually a shallow etched marking that doesn't survive all that well but a distinctive handle shape. The Clydes have an oval mark, the Shapleighs have a diamond shaped logo. I've had a lot of them and here's my thoughts. The steel is not all that hard and they are forgiving to sharpen. If you mess up an angle, you don't spend all day fixing it. They will get a sharp edge and hold it pretty well. They require more stropping in use than one of the $200+ plus knives but are worth the price point they usually sell at. Several years ago I had a shop buy every Clyde or Shapleigh I could find for their workers. The shop's idea was they could buy 3 of these for the price of one premium knife. If somebody dropped one they could grab another. If one went out the door in a lunchpail they weren't out a bunch either.
  9. Osborne made a budget priced knife with a round handle, not the typical oval cross section. Nickle ferrule on some of them I recall. I don't have any left here to check.
  10. Scootch, You are so right that Wayne Jueschke makes some great tools as you have found. You also found out that Wayne is a great guy to do business with but has essentially minimal to no online presence and only takes payment by check. I have been selling Wayne's mauls and string cutters for several months through my website. We recently started selling some of his stamps as well. Same price as Wayne but the ability to see impressions on-line and pay by PayPal or card. We have a small representation of his stamps to start with and are adding more as it progresses. Some are sold out currently but there are more and others in the mail as of today. Here is a link to my webpage with Wayne''s tools - https://brucejohnsonleather.com/leather-tools-sale/wayne-jueschke-mauls-and-tools/
  11. Janet, Three strikes in a row here. I wouldn't do it. I'd tell them to be happy it got them this far but anymore money into this one would be better spent towards another saddle. - Bruce
  12. I've had a couple versions including Duane's. His is smoother to me than a previous one. I had an injury several years ago and pile of orders. I borrowed one of the old Tandy swivel tip cutters which works on the same principle. It saved me, but was glad to get back to a regular swivel knife. The rotating blades are more like leaving tracks with back trailer tires than the front edge of the blade. You have to learn to make wider swings to get the same effect with a traditional knife. I found for really tight work, that was a plus. I can do a lot cleaner 1/8" circle with a pivoting blade than a traditional swivel knife. I never did a lot of that really tight work but that was a minor advantage. People with normal hand strength and no limitations, traditional gives you more choices in my experience. If you have a dislocated thumb in a splint - I'd have killed for Duane Watts back then.
  13. Very Handy indeed. I've got a harness maker anvil in the tool shop and two in the leather shop.
  14. I am assuming you are referring to ownership marks rather than the original maker marks. If not ignore what I am writing, if so - read on. Ownership marks are pretty common on the time frame you are describing. These workers generally provided their own tools, worked in shops or factories alongside other guys with the same tools, and needed to keep them identifiable. Personally I like ownership marks, that guy liked his tools well enough to get them back at the end of the day. names or hashmarks don't bother me at all. I have generally not had much pushback from customers buying old tools with ownership marks. There are a very few collectors I deal with who prefer they don't but those guys are counted on one hand. I'm going to say that a huge majority of these old tools and the markings cant be traced to a specific worker. The Gomphs, HF Osbornes, Sauerbiers, and old CS Osborne tools were owned by workaday kind of guys whose names are not generally famous. Much like tracing a wrench to a specific guy who worked on the line at Ford in 1955, provenance is hard. If you have provenance on yours it won't hurt the value and can only help it. What is cool? When I have a few tools that are marked the same. Five years later and three states away I buy tools and here are more with the same owner's marking in that bunch.
  15. What you are looking for are going to be commonly called "heel shaves". They do have a curved bottom and size range of 0-8 or 9. Exactly which ones to use are subject to discussion but commonly 3/5/6 seem to be used a little more. That said, even dyed in the wool saddlemakers who would use nothing else have mostly switched over to razor blade skivers. The heel shaves are getting harder to find, even harder with a decent blade, and take work to keep them really sharp. You hit a tack and spend an hour redoing the edge. Hit a tack with razor blade skiver and you swap blades and get back to work. I stopped looking for them a couple years ago, they just weren't moving through. I batched up all I had and sold them in one lot at the Prescott show last year.
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