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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, I'm at $350 now on the ones with the 1-3/4" blade. They are getting a little more in demand and the supply is tightening up at least for me again. What I find is that unless somebody is doing shoe repair they are thinking they want a 3-in-1 and only realistically ever plan to use the skiver. The Landis 25 or American B is all they need and take up less bench space.
  2. Ken Nelson, You wouldn't believe his first one either. It was way better than most people's first. Nate - Great job on this one! Hope to see you in Prescott and crossing our fingers it happens.
  3. Here's my recommendations and preferences based on experience. Punching - I punch on either low density polyethylene or black rubber sole material (aka "Poundo Board"). Those surfaces allow the punch to partially bite into the board for a cleaner punch. Downside is that a knife edge can penetrate them and drag, and at some point you WILL twist a point off a round knife. Upside they are cheap and the low density is common at a lot of local stores. Great for punching, not for cutting on Knife cutting - High density polyethylene, UHMW, or puckboard. It is harder and the knife blade will skate over the material without significantly biting in. Makes a nice long lasting surface and most plastics shops carry it or can order it. I don't like the self healing mats for my round knife cutting. the blade can drag on the material. HDPE - a little harder to find, great to cut on, but brittle and punches will crack it. Roller knives - I like the HDPE, my wife likes the self-healing green mats. Flip a coin here.
  4. Most converted shed shops are pretty workable with some planning and size allowance. I'm with Ron on this. 12 feet wide for sure and 4 feet on each end of your table will be appreciated once you start filling it up and working.. With a 4 foot width off the cutting table that extra width will allow benches and storage against the walls with room to still move around it. My first shop was 10 feet wide and I had minimal room to get around a table. Two extra feet would have been way better. Also think about storage and with that small of a footprint you'll need areas under the benches for leather and supplies. Lighting - LEDS. Power - you can't put too many outlets in and I'd have a couple in the ceiling too. My two shed shops have LED strips in the ceiling plugged into switched outlets. In one shop there is a dropcord on a reel off the ceiling for power in the center of the room. Insulate and panel or plywood the inside walls to help keep it comfy and reduce dust buildup. I'd allow for extra windows like Ron's suggestion and think about an AC where you live. Electric space heaters can do for the mild winters but an installed AC unit makes it nice for the summers.
  5. I deal with a lot of rusty tools. Two things I deal with after cleaning up are either flash rust right away or rusting during storage. Used tools rarely rust for me. MY volume of tools is probably different than anyone here so I am looking at some of these products from a different viewpoint. I've used a lot of products - the vapor barrier things for drawers, Boeschield, Glidecoat, waxes, Flitz, several oils, and more ive forgotten. Some oils will darken the metal over time, some not as much. Some get gummy, some are light. Ballistol is a nice oil for me. Some of the stainless steel polishes seem to work well and change the color less. Boeschield is good but expensive and a bit fragile. Scratches in the surface will rust. Glidecoat works OK but messy. Flitz is good for a final polish and gives me about 6 months rust protection. I've used a few waxes and OK but not my #1. I really want to like Renaissance Wax. I think it is a good product but takes a lot of work. In my little unscientific test on raw barstock. It took around 5 coats to be protective for metal. I like it on wood and a few coats on a handle gives a nice finish. My bottom line is either Flitz or stainless steel polish on the metal. Tools with no moving parts like edgers and the like get Flitz, Tools with moving parts like stitch markers or pliers get stainless steel polish. Always subject to change if I find something more effective, cant get much simpler than what I'm doing now.
  6. Bruce, Here is what Im seeing right now. Since midJuly things changed dramatically for me. Before that domestics maybe a 1-3 days more across the board for all sizes. Small flat rates seem to be 1-3 days longer. Mediums take another 3-5 days. Large flat rates have taken much longer and I'm thinking with the times between scans and the sorting centers they go through - they are on trucks not planes. My priority packages coming in go through West Sac. First class goes through Richmond, CA. Last few large flat rates tracked through Richmond and were five day from the previous scan - about enough time to truck them cross country. My internationals are hit and miss the last month, but mostly hits. Canada was about a 10 days on the last one. Australia was 5 days. In March and April nothing was moving. Stuff had stuck in that logjam took up to two months but all got there. I've Germany and England I'm keeping an eye on this week.
  7. I've got a pretty well equipped shop for refurbishing and sharpening and cant think of a damn thing I have to spin it slow enough to be safe with any of these suggestions or risk damaging the temper in the edge. It is going to take some precision equipment to keep the bevel angle the same even if you could spin it. Pretty much all the stock removal to get the notches cleared needs to be done on the bevel side. You can take a bur off the flat side but remove any metal to speak of and you've got a gap to the feedwheel. .Shoe Systems Plus took over from Pilgrim Shoe who had a good stock of replacement blades. I don't know what Shoe Systems Plus has for blades now or what they charge, but that's who I'd be on the phone with first thing tomorrow.
  8. A guy came and sewed on mine a while back. He wasn't sure he wanted to drive 500 miles to look at one on Craigslist if wouldn't do what he needed. Ten minutes later he was on the phone to his wife to say he'd see her the next night and lit out north from here. He paid $1400 for it with 8 spools of thread and bunch of needles.
  9. How big a hurry are you in? I've got my five petals loaned out and he's about two months from being done.
  10. With the flat sides like that, I'd go for something nonslip. My first one was like that and I chased the first few around most of the time. I tacked on some self padded carpeting with the rubber side up and that helped. I doubled the front. It was OK. Second one I shaped the boards with an angle grinder and put some rock in it that way. It held the trees pretty well and used some closed cell seat foam - better. My last stand was Ron's. It was shaped and tightly padded with a suede covering. Best one.
  11. Experience with both and several other styles. A few things to consider. The wider blade does not necessarily mean you can split wider, you just have more blade width to use before you need to strop/hone/sharpen. Most people can pull a 3 inch width through of fairly firm leather, much past that and it gets a lot harder. The 86A is a newer style but basically a mediocre-to-works-OK adaptation of the Krebs splitter adjusting mechanism on a #86 frame. They will both level skive an end or level split a strap. If you pull with one hand and on the #84 push the handle forward with the other hand you can do a tapered skive or lap skive. You can do that on the #86A by moving the adjustment handle as you pull. Either way you are pulling with only one hand. I found the #84 was more consistent for me to lap skive than the Krebs or #86A.
  12. Turned out well, I've also made scallop cutters from veiners too.
  13. I sell them clean and sharp - here is a link - https://brucejohnsonleather.com/leather-tools-sale/leather-scalloping-and-pinking-punches-sale/
  14. I’ve been told that the ones with the Albany marking were earlier but no real basis. As long as they have the rosewood handles and some shaped ferrules they are original to HG Gomph. There are some newer knives marked Gomph that Ellis Barnes had made up. Modern handle design and nice enough knives - just not the originals. Several years ago I had a guy contact me. His wife was a descendant of Henry Gomph. He ordered Albany marked Gomph knives for each of his family and had them shadow boxed as Christmas gifts.
  15. On some batches of rivets the hole is the burr is a touch too large/shank is too small. They don't have enough grip to hold in place once you nip off the excess shank The burr falls off. Very aggravating and I've never found the cure. Some can blame a source but I've had it happen with a couple reputable suppliers too.
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