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About Tugadude

  • Rank
    Leatherworker.net Regular

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  • Gender
  • Location
    St. Louis, MO
  • Interests
    Leathercraft, vintage bicycles and my family.

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
  • Interested in learning about
    To improve my skills and respect the craft
  • How did you find leatherworker.net?
    Surfing for examples of leatherwork

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  1. If you are concerned about the cover being so stiff it won't close and remain closed, the answer is to cut a v-groove into the leather where you want it to bend. That can be one place, or any number of lines where you want to encourage it to bend/fold more easily. https://www.springfieldleather.com/Gouge-Adjustable-V-Metal-SLC
  2. Do you like the size of the case? If so, you could cut the innards out and just make a leather outer shell. The thing about elastic is that it will obviously break down over time. Some lasts a long time, but sometimes not so much. I'd probably risk it. If you do end up using a zipper, there are some very nice ones available with polished teeth. I would invest in the best if this is something you want to be an heirloom quality piece.
  3. Great work and an even greater story. Good on you!
  4. Wouldn’t lead be easy to saw, being so malleable? Big pieces can be cut with hand tools.
  5. Some really good suggestions here. After I finally understood what is supposed to be happening with the threads it made a world of difference. Before, I used to have a nice line of stitching and then one dropped stitch or "klunker" I call it, where it does the opposite of what it is supposed to do. I began pulling the first thread down and towards me, freeing up the upper portion of the hole. After that, no more issues, none. So I recommend people take a good hard look at the way the threads behave as they pass through the leather. It matters.
  6. I've done a number of watch bands and I have to say they can be difficult. To me, the issue is there is so much work in such a relatively small article that there is nowhere to hide poor execution. Every stitch better be spot-on or it stands out like a sore thumb. So they are challenging to say the least. The other think I've noticed is that it seems to be more difficult to maintain a straight and even line of stitching on heavily textured leather. That is especially noticeable when you use a contrasting color thread. But I have to say there is a feeling of accomplishment when you put it all together.
  7. That's a great story. So when the person (hopefully) is released to the public again they have a means of income. Talk about a win-win.
  8. Actually there are legal (in the U.S.) restrictions in how you can represent products containing leather. For example, someone brought up reconstituted leather. Here's what the rules say you can and cannot do: Ground, pulverized, shredded, reconstituted, or bonded leather. A material in an industry product that contains ground, pulverized, shredded, reconstituted, or bonded leather and thus is not wholly the hide of an animal should not be represented, directly or by implication, as being leather. This provision does not preclude an accurate representation as to the ground, pulverized, shredded, reconstituted, or bonded leather content of the material. However, if the material appears to be leather, it should be accompanied by either: (1) An adequate disclosure as described by paragraph (a) of this section; or (2) If the terms “ground leather,” “pulverized leather,” “shredded leather,” “reconstituted leather,” or “bonded leather” are used, a disclosure of the percentage of leather fibers and the percentage of non-leather substances contained in the material. For example: An industry product made of a composition material consisting of 60% shredded leather fibers may be described as: Bonded Leather Containing 60% Leather Fibers and 40% Non-leather Substances. You can read more at the following link: https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-16/part-24 Here is a pretty good explanation of the available types of leather. This is handy for reference. You can use it to point out when folks misrepresent what they are offering. https://www.libertyleathergoods.com/types-of-leather/
  9. Well I think it is outstanding. So many skills come together…impressive.
  10. Chuck, I'm interested in how you made the brass top. Not that I'll ever make one, just curious. I love the look and the fact the teflon is repurposed from a cutting board is outstanding.
  11. This is just one of the reasons this is a great community!
  12. A lot to chew on here. Lots of interesting comments and suggestions. Although I haven't sold my leather goods, I've been involved in sales for the last 36 years on both the distributor and manufacturer level. Setting prices is and has been a source of frustration the entire time. There will always be bottom feeders, and you must resist the temptation to engage with them and their short-sighted strategies. What I've found to be helpful is educating the consumer. There used to be a retailer in my city that actually used the phrase "an educated consumer is our best customer" in their advertising. I agree wholeheartedly and therefore it is partially my job to educate. The consumer will also learn from other sources and good old "trial-and-error" experience. And the old cliché, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” is absolutely true. So differentiate. Explain why yours is better than theirs. But make sure it actually is! Nothing is worse than finding out the competition is better than you thought, and so you have to do your own homework. Some obvious things to focus on would be: 1. Your skill and dedication to quality, double-checking each and every item before offering it for sale. 2. Warranty. Standing behind your product and legitimate issues that arise during usage. This is obviously fraught with risk and there are limits. Or should be! 3. Better materials. Again, make sure they are before claiming they are. But if you use a demonstrably better quality of leather, then it comes at a price. 4. Ability to customize. Some mass merchants also customize, but they certainly have greater restrictions and/or limitations. It is up to you to decide how much to pursue bespoke products or if to do so at all. 5. Handling. Does the competitor acknowledge orders? Or are customers left to wonder whether the order was received or not? Do they follow-up with estimated delivery dates? Do they inform you that the item has shipped? If not, then those might be ways you can differentiate yourself and your company. Being available to answer questions about the product might be another way. That's a balancing act though. More time on the computer is less on the bench. Those are some of the things that immediately come to mind. There's other ways to differentiate such as delivery options. Some manufacturers have very little in the way of options. Perhaps that is something that can help you persuade customers to side with you, especially when combined with your other advantages.
  13. Very nice! And you managed to combine three of my favorite things.
  14. No idea, but I will say that it is much easier to cut from a piece of leather that isn't curling upwards. And since every time I cut from leather it is grain side up, the bend facilitates that or at least doesn't hinder it.
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