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  • Location
    Pembrokeshire, Cymru, UK.
  • Interests
    Historical re-enactment, chariots, photography and video making.

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    30+ years making quality historical replicas and bespoke fantasy originals.
  • Interested in learning about
    You stop learning? Oh no . . you're ALWAYS learning.
  • How did you find leatherworker.net?
    Internet searches concerning sewing machines.

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  1. Thank you Sheila Jeanne! Not many have noticed it, many may not have understood the ethic. In today's world I suspect that engineers are constantly fighting "development managers" and accountants who want new design's kept as secret as possible . . . and that goes against the grain of a true engineer who welcomes discussion and the involvement of others as they know that is how genuine progress is made. Sadly, then, a dying breed.
  2. You forget at first that the foot pedal, being connected to the big hand wheel by a leather belt, can make it go both ways . . . it's little skill that very little sewing time teaches you by you being amazed your foot going just "one way" can make the needle go "two ways" The example of the 29K we owned had a revolving presser foot turned by two big "wing nut" flanges? This meant we usually only ever used the flywheel one way and used the presser foot to change direction. These are shown in the great photo at the start of this thread . . so those that have never used a 29K that is what those two "ears" do.
  3. Aaagh, a ubiquitous 29K, the very first sewing machine I sat in front of and how well it taught me . . especially as mine was a foot pedal driven example. Using it was genuinely therapeutic. Like as been said, if it works then it works, they're simplicity in themselves and genuinely capable of a lot more than most think them capable of. We used ours to make heavy canvas tens and shelters for battle re-enactment. Their Achilles Heel is the constant need to stop and load a new bobbin . . . buy and load as many as you can so that your day's work isn't interrupted too much. Though I've never seen this fault mentioned elsewhere what stopped us using ours, and upgrading to a 205-370, was that a previously busy life seem to have worn the castings for the gudgeon pins for the "swing arm" and the stub at the wheel end and - we were told - this may have been causing the odd missed stitch? In all other respects it worked perfectly but, if you're making commercial gear, it isn't a fault you feel that your customers should live with. Our 205-370 is fitted with a good electronic motor so it is somewhat of a "gentle giant" to use . . . but I still miss using the 29K with a foot pedal.
  4. NOTE : The FROBANA above is presently not on eBay as a Buyer has paid a deposit and the item is awaiting collect and balance paid at same time . . . it is therefore not available unless the Buyer changes their mind.
  5. I'm not sure if there is a category somewhere that you can mention items for sale, apologies if this should be somewhere else. Likewise with almost all forum members being in North America my item for sale may not be suitable? I've owned a GENUINE Frobana "bent needle stitcher", or to give it it's other typical title, "Side Sole Stitcher" on it's highly useful pedestal base since about 1994. I've never used it for shoe-making rather used it's ability to stitch two pieces of very heavy material together by sewing down the sides, eg : heavy straps or belts. It was originally fitted with it's motor but the retiring cobbler I bought it from had to remove that and the belts as the "Health and Safety Inspector" - probably a "jobs worth" as we call them - was concerned the operator would get chewed up by them as they had no guards. The cobbler was happy continuing the use the machine by hand-crank and this is where it's genuine base makes that much, much easier. Later on I sources a heavy 230 volt single phase motor with stepping pulleys and independent clutch and was only going to add this into the base . . . but we all have projects we never got around to finishing, don't we? Time has caught up with me and now I get to retire too so I've been selling off that machinery that I reckon I'll not ever use again. Just sold my Singer 136w104 Post stitcher on a lovely genuine Singer cast iron base but retro-fitted with modern motor. I have my Frobana listed on eBay (UK) if anyone is interested? Item number : 274486486197 I am able to securely pack these items and strap to a pallet so, just maybe, long distance carriage is feasible? Twelve larger pix on eBay but a smaller posted here . . any questions send away! Roger
  6. Though Tandy has been a popular chioce for newbies to leather-working here in the UK I do feel that the absence of competition to them, together with the unattainable mouth watering offerings from North American retail/wholesale outlets, has meant that we are a resolute and inventive bunch of crafts-persons here in the UK . . I'm sure we would rate highly in any International competition for the most unlikely source of leather-working accoutrements adapted and used.
  7. We have this exact machine here in the UK usually sold under the "Wimsew" name, it's VERY popular with private cobblers but perhaps the biggest "thumbs up" comes from the fact that one of the largest franchises for shoe repair outlets has one of these as part of their standard kit for the shop set up? An indication of just how reliable it must be is that it's almost always seen on the worktop WITHOUT a motor . . the cobbler uses it by hand crank. Still miss my Singer 29K72 on it's foot treadle stand . . using her was pure therapy . . so relaxing.
  8. We think you're right . . this particular design must have been bred from a 205-370 and a 29K72! Able to do something that neither of those two stalwarts wouldn't really be able to manage . . almost. This unit reminds us how much shoe manufacture has changed since our Frobana "Side Sole Stitcher" was made sometime in the late 1950's, that's a great slow speed machine for stitching in an almost blind spot but it's "linear" in how you use it and with a throat of barely more than 1" depth if you're not make shoe uppers then it's main category would be belt manufacture . . or, as we do, for heavyweight "kinky" impact toys. Ouch!!!
  9. With my partner we visited the Walsall Leather Museum very recently and talked to the staff there. They're confident that, for the foreseeable future, they will remain where they are. Fingers crossed.
  10. I too have found today that I'm still getting the old emails which, some being at least several weeks old, need me to hunt in my In-box to find them and delete them . . but even when an error is corrected within ANYTHING with computers it can take a while to settle down . . just look at the effect some of Microsoft's W10 upgrades have had. Thank you Johanna.
  11. . . . but we all take into account that "the price alone" DOES include the service we have paid for and, where on order doesn't fulfil our expectations, we're likely to buy elsewhere. Like I said @JimTimber there isn't anything intrinsically wrong with your argument but it's not going to hold water with many sole traders working on their own and trying to tie down all aspects of their business by themselves? Maybe too I'm fortunate to be in the UK? The number of companies working in the leather production and marketing world within British shores can be, in truth, barely numbered by your fingers and almost all are highly motivated to ensuring that their customers, who are now mainly sole traders, are happy enough to return and spend more money.
  12. Yes . . what the hell changed that all of a sudden I keep getting emails for notifications that I read and deleted several weeks ago! Every day now I have Thunderbird go and get "new emails" and then spend ages scrolling up to find the "new" emails to delete!!! If all those gloves had been made by hand you'd say "impressive" but does anyone think they are? Exactly. Admin? Use some sense please?
  13. I'm enjoying the history of this forum thread for within it is an inestimable total of decades of leather working experience. Thank you @bikermutt07 for a superb idea. In my own case my first ever project is long gone but just under roughly fifty years ago I made a simple wrist support in leather, it was tan leather and the two rectangular pieces were bound together face outwards by lacing around the edges through punched holes. It was secured by large pop-studs. I can neither remember where I got the materials from or the tools either, nor why I chose to make this item this way. I do remember that in my late teens I broke my right wrist badly playing ice-hockey and for many years cold or damp weather made it ache. I reckon that was the reason why I made some kind of support. Your thread @bikermutt07 has reminded me of that first simple piece and, when I think of the complicated articles I've made over the years especially for museum displays, I have to stop and say . . wow, what a ride that has been. Yet it all started with what was certainly a very poorly made amateurish piece. Very much the case of . . "from an acorn an oak will grow". Thank you for the reminder.
  14. Here in the UK we have only a few sellers who have this volume or wholesale sales only mentality, yes @JimTimber you are correct, nobody is forced to undersell themselves but, equally, nobody should be forced by buy and/or pay more that they have either and having "minimum order values" is NOT the same as rewarding higher sales purchases with a discount structure. Any seller using "minimum order values" is saying to any potential customer you need to jump over this high-bar before they'll even speak to you. No matter how you look at it it'll always be "salt in an open wound". We leather craftspeople are finicky people, we're very "tactile" about our craft, it's not like we're making nuts and bolt's, is it? So when somebody helps us achieve a project we're most likely to remember that and, for as long as the service remains the same, highly unlikely to look elsewhere . . something those who set "high bars" seem to forget.
  15. I'm seriously liking your work here as I appreciate those who "think outside the box" and who will stay at something till they solve the issue . . much genuine respect from one who comes from an engineering family.
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