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About whitakermk

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  • Interests
    crafts, fishing, outdoor life, camping, grilling.

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Holsters, crafty stuff, vintage style items as well.
  • Interested in learning about
    leather craft, small stuff.
  • How did you find leatherworker.net?
    web search

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  1. Awesome - thanks for the info those clarifications on capabilities helps me a BUNCH! After sewing here at the shop at work on the Cobra Class 4's - I'll never sew without a servo or reducer again! But the Cobra's at work are overkill for what I make at my shop at home and the old vintage singer treadle and hand cranked 66 cover my light stuff. Thanks again!
  2. Hi Tom, thanks for the links but I've already read the links you posted by doing a search of the forum. The first one goes over presser foot and oiling adjustments - if I read it correctly. The second one brings up several machines it is a clone of but also dives into different thread sizes and thickness for the various machines but does not really cover the exact specs of the Brother LS3 C51-050B specifically. And - as mentioned often on this forum - there are always slight differences between a model and its clones, even if from the same factory. I guess that depends on the dealer. I was hoping somebody here has real life experience with this machine so I could get some first hand information rather than going down the rabbit hole of what similar machines can and can-not do. Which... I actually love about this forum - kind of like looking on you tube for leather tips and ending up with tips on playing a guitar or lures for bass fishing! The good news is, since I can't find any first hand experience - I've given it a hard pass. Thanks - Kent
  3. Ran across a Brother LS3 C51-050B used around a $1000 bucks. I am looking for something to sew through 2-3 layers of 6/7 or 7/8 ounce vegtan - heavy duty guitar straps. As well as lighter leather weight projects such as leather totes, purses, wallets etc. Would also use for stitching around belt slots in belt slide knife sheaths, clip holders, belt slot on my slide holsters. I hand stitch my western style holsters. But I really need to add a cylinder arm to my shop in addition to my flatbeds. No budget for a Cobra. Thanks - Kent
  4. Ultimind, how did your larger bobbin hunt work out. I may be going down that same route. Thanks - Kent
  5. I'm in Chattanooga - just sent you a message - Kent
  6. I think $30 is way too low once you have your method down and you can accurately estimate the number of hours needed to produce one front. If it takes three hours to make one then you are making $10 an hour without taking in any cost for leather or paint etc. So, lets say you are making $8 an hour at $30 each. I work at American Saddlery/Big Horn Saddlery/ShoTan leather in Chattanooga Tennessee and we have a few clients that buy leather for this exact purpose. Their fronts are amazingly detailed - works of art - and start at around $100 bucks. Side note - I'm a former RESCUE/Marine Rescue guy now retired - EMS people love quality work and pay for it. Nothing wrong with giving a buddy a deal - but do not sell your self short. Count your hours, material costs, how much your time is worth.
  7. Congrats! Marked improvement from the first to the second one. Hang that first one up in your shop and place a new piece next to it in a month or two. You will be amazed on your progress - even in a few weeks. First - you need additional tools - Tandy, Weaver Leather, Springfield, and many more - some or most here on the forum. You can buy one of the 10-16 piece sets on ebay or amazon for next to nothing to get you started but they are cheap and the handles will bend over time so expect to replace them after a couple of months of hard tooling. The good news is you'll know what tools you prefer and be order the replacement ones from the better stores I listed first. After a while you'll have a good collection of ones you use for stamping almost daily - about 5 or so. Then about 10 you use regularly, then about 10 that come in handy once a month. And then the ones I bought for some reason or for a one off job. It's OK to buy the cheap stuff online to practice with and learn before deciding what you need and then investing and upgrading to better tools. The flipside of that is your swivel knife and any cutting tools/shears/knives. Buy on the good side there and keep sharp. Second - Youtube is a great place to get tips on stamping and carving. Grab some scrap and practice. Mess up and have fun on stuff you can toss in the garbage without guilt and without messing up something that's for sale or for an order. Watch some of the classic videos on leather carving from high-end saddle makers and leather workers. Third - Feel free to ask questions on the forum - this place is filled with crusty old farts like me with tons of info. And this is one of the few forums where people will actually admit not knowing something and then pointing you in the right direction or to a member that can answer your questions. Last - Have fun - this is a great hobby and business. - Kent
  8. What did you use to seal your leather before pouring the resin? All I did was do what I normally do - rub with Aussie conditioner, waited, sealed with Resolene, waited and then poured.
  9. Mine was Bondo brand resin and hardener. Auto and Boat resin - If I can't get better results with tinkering around this week I'll buy some craft/hobby casting resin for sure. Thanks for the tip about your success with the embossing plate you made - makes me want to keep playing around with it.
  10. I've seen some of his Etsy stamps - looks like some good work!
  11. Funny you should mention that! I tried it using some left over resin from working on my boat while watching some Indy 500 laps today - the results were... ok - not worth using on a item for sale or anything. I like the plate idea. And it did remove the release spray and some of the leather top grain but I did the test on some tooling stuff I was practicing on. I'm going to keep tinkering with that idea. The main issue was the resin plate I made seemed tacky after each press test. It pulls on the leather a bit. But I clean it, dry it, and it's not tacky - but when I press again - the leather (wet like I normally do with pressing or tooling) sticks to the plate. I think that may be an issue with my resin and hardener ratio. But I am going to keep playing with making my own. I have a huge can of resin left over from the boat work so I might as well play around with it!
  12. Hey RockyAussie - sorry, I thought it was a straight forward question. Here's some more info. I'm asking for both my home shop and my work shop. I have table top and full size presses that I use when working on my own stuff at the house shop and the big ones at the saddle shop. I'm talking about clickers and presses for making upwards of 20-30 saddles a week. Toaster size to the size of a walk in closet. And yes, tooling would of course be deeper for making press plates in order to pick up the detail of hand tooling. The old ones (press plates) we used 30 to 40 years ago were made of brass. Then, the newer ones, about 20 years ago, are made of resin. Sizes range from a couple of inches to a full size saddle back housing, holster, etc. The largest used at work could be 2 feet long while the smallest could be the size of a deck of cards. Here's the issue - the people that made our press plates for the saddle shop are dead and the companies we used are shuttered. The last time plates were made was over three decades ago. We've tried using vector graphics (black and white line drawings via illustrator, adobe, etc) for scanned patterns for 3D printing and laser engraved press plates but have found them to be too generic and lacking the "Feel" of the tooling done on real leather. In other words, a BW graphic for having a oval makers mark or basic leather embossing stamp for a hobby crafter is not what I am asking about. I have providers for that. I buy those all of the time. I'm asking about someone that I can send a hand carved and hand tooled piece of leather to in order to have an exact copy made in order to reuse as an embossing plate. Now that my arm is healing, but weak, it opened the door to finding a provider for me and my small stuff and possibly for using at work for other items. I've attached a press/embossing plate picture of one of our plates that's about 30 years old. It was made from hand stamping from a piece of leather from a maker in our shop. I would attach some smaller and larger examples but my attachment size is limited. Thanks! Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  13. I broke my arm earlier in the summer and tooling and stamping is still a bit rough holding the Maul. Carving is really a chore! I was wondering if anyone knows a company that can take one of my tooled items and make a press plate/embossing plate out of it?
  14. For me, it's ease of use, ultimate control, affordability, and vintage. I have a couple of old Singer sewing machines - one is a Singer 66 which is perfect for everything from guitar straps, wallets, purses, and a ton of other stuff. The Hand crank works wonders at slow turns etc. I also use them for stitching around belt slots is some of my holsters. My Holsters and Sheaths are hand-stitched by the way in case you are wondering. The 66 has a hand crank and I can swap out a small motor if needed - like when I have an order for ten guitar straps or something. Plus the other Singer is a treadle machine and it punches through some really thick stuff! I bought one of those Chinese shoe patchers (also hand-cranked) to play with and it's fun, it works - but I limit it to repairing old saddle and tack items where I'm just looking for a thicker thread and more punching power. In these cases, the tack is pretty old or weathered and the customer does not care about "teeth" marks etc. They just want their headstall lining stitched back or something. Following the tornadoes that hit Chattanooga on Easter this year I was without power for about a week. We had damage to the shop with some water coming in. I still managed to get out a whole bunch of orders by using my hand-cranked machines. What slowed my wife and I down was clearing the yard, repairing some fences, the shop roof, and helping neighbors etc. Lastly, my shop is limited on outlets at the time and during the summer months I'd rather have AC - if I get too many things going I pop breakers. That's the project for this fall - updating electricity to my outbuilding!!
  15. Hey Tom, I did - never got a response so I went back and checked. Can't tell if it went through or not so I resent it. Thanks! - Kent
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