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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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    Oakdale, CA

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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/
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. Very Handy indeed. I've got a harness maker anvil in the tool shop and two in the leather shop.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Welcome back Ryan, yep I remember you when this forum was just a pup!
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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