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About gringobill

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  • Birthday August 5

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  • Location
    Amarillo, Tx
  • Interests
    Pickin guitar, traveling, cowboyin', mountain biking

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    cowboy gear, flower stamping, creating original patterns
  • Interested in learning about
    creating original designs

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  1. Thats a great looking rig! A really clean looking job! Bill
  2. I have used draw gauges for many years and never saw a plough gauge until four or five years ago on this forum. I've been in and hung around a lot of saddle shops and all I ever saw used for strap cutting was draw gauges . The "gold standard," was the old Osborne with the brass and rosewood bodies/handles and the old hands made using them look easy. I now have two plough gauges and find they work much better for me on heavy leather, like the Herman oak you mentioned. A good, sharp draw gauge will work but for me it is more difficult to keep a perfectly straight edge with very heavy leather. Also with a draw gauge if you are cutting strips off a full side I find that I need a very large table that will support the whole side and have the edge to be cut hanging off the edge. Being right handed what works for me with a draw gauge is holding/pulling with my left hand and holding the draw gauge in my right hand and walking backward as I cut. It also helps to clamp the end where you start to the table or bench. With the plough gauge I also use the large table but hold the strap being cut in my left and and push the tool with my right hand walking forward. The plough gauge just seems to be easier to push and keep everything lined up. Before I got the plough gauges I had better luck on really thick sides, scribing a straight line and cutting it freehand with one of my round knifes, pushing forward like with the plough gauge. With both draw gauges and plough gauges, getting good results is an acquired skill and it takes some figuring out and practice to get good with one. Like with all of the cutting tools we use for this craft,THE SHARPER THE BETTER!!!! I use standard blades in the draw gauges, sharpen them myself and take it out and strop it before and during use if necessary.For those just learning, you will be amazed how much easier your life will be if your tools extremely sharp and well stropped. Another advantage of a plough gauge is that the blade has a handle, similar to a round knife and it is easier to sharpen and strop than the smaller shorter draw gauge blades. Thats my $.02 worth on that! Wild Bill
  3. Barry King makes an edger specifically for especially tight inside curves. It is a bissonet edger with a really tight curve. I use one for edging some punched slots. The bigger the slots the better it works, 3/4-1" in length.
  4. Its hard to tell exactly from a photo but what you have been using appears to be normal veg tan the other two look like harness or bridle leather which has a much waxier finish, and is more water resistant than veg tan. You're right, the harness and bridle leather sure doesn't take water like normal veg tan and I'm not aware that anyone routinely tools those kinds of leather. If I understand correctly you're in Europe and if these are sample from a European tannery they may use different names for their products than we do in the states? If those samples are in fact harness or bridle leather they won't take finishes like dye the same way traditional beg tan does. I may be wrong but judging from the appearance in the photos and from what you say it sure looks like that is harness leather. Bill
  5. At the recent show in Wichita Falls, I stopped by Terry Knipshield's booth ( he goes by "Knip" on this board) and checked out his wares, specifically his blades for Plough gauges. To begin with they are beautiful to look at, they are show pieces as well as being an exceptionally well made tool. The thing screams "quality," when you look at it. I'm not sure what the wood in the handle is, cocobolo I think, but it is gorgeous. When it's mounted in a old Doxon plough gauge I have it's like a piece of art that I like having around just to look at! I ended up buying one and he asked me to let him know how it worked after I had tried it for awhile. So here I am! It works wonderfully, it came scary sharp and all I did/do was strop it a few licks, fit it in the plough gauge and start cutting. It is a terrific tool and will be around long after I'm gone. He may be the only person out there that is building new blades for plough gauges. I've never seen a new plough gauge, Dixon in the UK may still make new ones but I don't recall seeing any. I have a couple of plough gauges, both pretty old and well used and this new blade is a real upgrade to one of them. I prefer a plough gauge greatly over a draw gauge for cutting straps, particularly out of heavier leather, latigo or veg tan. I have much better luck getting a perfectly straight edge when cutting belt blanks off of a side of veg tan with a plough gauge. A disclaimer, I have no affiliation with Terry other than being a very satisfied customer. Bill
  6. Chuck Smith makes really good ones.
  7. I've got second the Goods Japan lacing punches. The blades are diamond shaped so they are angled. They come in many different stitch per inch sizes and number of prongs. They are ectremely well made and really sharp. Bill
  8. I've got the Hoover Press-n-Snap, it is a Vise Grip type and it has made all the difference in the world in setting line 24 snaps for me. I was using the drive punch type setters before and wasted a lot of snaps. I don't know if you are aware but those snaps come in at least 3 different lengths, I've been getting mine from Ohio Travel Bag. Their snaps are higher quality. Having the different lengths make a ton of difference. Prior to getting the different lengths, I was having to cut the shafts down using my Dremel with a cut off wheel, which is time consuming and a pain in the trailer hitch!
  9. Hansen's has a wide selection and competitive prices. Good folks!
  10. I have one of those tools and have used it some and don't particularly like it. IMHO it is kind of tricky to use. I have used it to bevel long straight cuts like borders on pieces. Because it is very narrow/thin it seems hard to control free hand. I have had the best luck using and metal ruler/straight edge as a guide.Getting and keeping the straight edge lined up with the cut in the leather is tricky. It's pretty easy to veer off out of the cut causing one to say some pretty ugly words! There are other push bevelers out there, like one that Barry King makes that have a wider face that look to me like they might be easier to control and I'd like to try one of those. Bill
  11. It would work fine, I would make the ends long enough to get the buckle up away from the other hardware and resonator if it has one, to keep from scratching it up.
  12. For many many years I used a rotating punch for the holes and trimmed the tip with a knife. I measured then marked the tip before I cut. I sure made a lot of belts using those methods and it worked fine. Since I have ramped up my processes in the last few years I use an oval drive punch (actually called a "belt punch,") to punch the holes. It's a small thing, but I think the oval holes give a belt a more finished look and I believe it makes it easier to buckle a ranger style buckle with a loose tongue. I use two sets of dividers to speed up the location of the holes. I also have some strap end punches for the tips. They make short work of that job. Having said that, you can make yourself some templates of different width belt's/straps and use those and a knife and it won't take much longer to do a very good job. There are some places that sell plastic templates for belt tips and billets, Grey Ghost Graphics being one. Bill
  13. I have a Cobra Class 4 for 2 years and the servo motor on it works perfectly. The pedal has quite a bit of travel and I total control of the speed, I can do one stitch at a time if I want/need to.
  14. I just watched your video and noticed the noise the motor is making, mine does not do that. It sounds like it is really winding up with very little pedal movement. Something sure seems to be out of adjustment. What speed do you have your motor set for? You may need to lower the max speed way down. I'm not where I can look at the speed on mine right now, but it's maximum speed is set pretty slow so I have more control. When I want to adjust my speed, I unthread the top of the machine so I can watch how fast the needle moves when I'm adjusting the speed. The only complaint have about this machine is IMHO adjusting the speed is kind of unhandy. The machine has to be running to adjust the speed up or down and for me to do that I have to get on my hands and knees and push the pedal with my left hand and adjust the speed control with my right. Obviously I can't see what's going on above very well. However since your wife will help you making it a two person job would simplify it a whole lot.
  15. That's odd that your machine is doing that. I have one that's coming up on two years old and it is not that touchy. I have to push the pedal down about 1/4 to 1/3 of it's stroke before the motor starts moving. I'm wondering if it has somthing to do with the length of the chain between the pedal and the lever, it may be too tight and needs some slack in it, Just a thought? My chain has quite a bit of slack in it and the motor is pretty controlable.
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