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About Me

Found 7 results

  1. I have been looking for a USA manufacturer of belt buckles for some time. There are a few suppliers out there, but very few and hard to find. I'm in the process of getting some quotes and samples from Philip Machine and trying to gauge how much interest there might be in reselling a good share of whatever I buy. I spoke with a gentleman on the phone there today and they typically require a minimum order of around 500 units for solid brass, which can be broken down into multiple finishes, such as brass, nickel plate, antiqued, etc. I have not gotten a proper quote back yet, but I believe they would be somewhere in the $2 range per buckle. I would likely add some markup depending on how much shipping turned into and how long I though I'd be sitting on them. I'm certainly not looking to get rich on this deal, but I do believe in getting paid a little something for taking on the work and the risk... 500 buckles is probably ten years' worth for my operation. If there's enough interest in other folks buying quality USA-made buckles I would list them on my Etsy store as a regular item. I'd love to be able to get quality US items on the market to folks that will use them. So, any thoughts? Anyone? I know other folks are interested in finding domestic suppliers, so it seems like this should be doable. I'm not really interested in trying to do a group buy or form some loose coalition, as those things just seem to stall or fall apart. You can check out Philip Machine at: http://www.philipmachine.com/ If interested take a look at their buckles and see if they might fit your needs. Let me know if you have any interest and what type/size/finish of buckles would work for you. I'll post updates as I get firmer costs and feasibility, or if they come through with samples. I'll also post this in another forum or two where folks might look for this info. And if it turns into a total bust I'll let you know it's dead. Better yet, if someone has already found the secret to buying high quality USA made buckles in small quantities at good prices let me know that too!! Otherwise I think I'll be headed down the Philip path one way or another. Thanks! P.S. - Before some helpful soul points me to one of the thousand sources for quality imported hardware: "Thank you," but finding a good US manufacturer is really the point here. I know there are some very good sources for imported hardware (and I've used several of them,) but it's important to my brand development, and to me personally, to try to keep my suppliers American. It's a shame that it's gotten so hard, but it is possible.
  2. Howdy folks; New member here, first post. My name is Harvey Haines, I'm from Connecticut, and I've always wanted to try my hand at leatherwork. I'll be taking a hiatus and moving to Minneapolis in October, but for now I run a small glass and steel fabrication company. My current project is crafting banjo and guitar stands, an important feature of which is the intended use of heavy leather as padding at all contact points. It would be best to use leather from the U.S., but I'd go for an English leather if necessary. I've been thinking about getting Buffalo leather instead of cow, but I'm not knowledgable enough in availability, origins of materials, merits of different animals, etc. So, I figure I'll ask the experts here! The framework of each stand will be welded steel, with the leather being bolted on and largely stationary. However, the neck support will be, on at least one model, a 2" or 3" leather strap spanning the 4" or 5" gap between two pieces of steel. Rust, antique, or reddish-brown leather would offer a lovely color contrast against my steel frames, but I'm open to any good earth tones. My questions are these: Where can I reliably get American Buffalo leather in 8-10 oz? Is there a place to purchase S.B. Foot leather online and in small quantities? (My first big commission came from Red Wing Shoes, I've got a soft spot for the company.) Does anyone have an idea about the abrasion resistance of leathers? I've read that Chrome tanned leather has higher tolerances, but I'd like to stick with veg-tanned. Am I being too sentimental about the old-timey nonsense? Most of the cuts will be with a strap cutter, but I'll need to notch each piece of leather a few times. What would the optimum tool be for cutting a few 1"-2" straight lines? Head Knife? Shears? Alright, done babbling for now. I appreciate the help folks! Harvey
  3. So I've been on a quest to use materials and components made in the USA for my projects. It's a point of pride for me, and also a selling point when talking to people about my items. I've been fairly happy with Hermann Oak veg tan, and I've been very happy with Maine Thread's polycord, so those areas are sorted. Finding quality metal hardware has been a real pain, however. I have a Gold Star press, so I wanted snaps and rivets that fit my existing dies. I have a strong dislike for plated steel, as a lot of my things go outside and will eventually rust here in perpetually soggy Western Oregon. I finally found Dot Fasteners and Rome Fastener Sales. Dot never got back to me regarding samples or country of origin. I called Rome and talked to Georgia, who sent me sample snaps and rapid rivet samples almost immediately. No charge for a handful of each to check on my press. So far so good! The samples appeared to be high quality and did indeed work with my dies, although I had to slightly file down the ligne 20 snap socket die. Here's where things got strange/frustrating. I emailed the sales email address asking for a quote (there are NO prices anywhere on their website) and got no response. I emailed Georgia, copying sales, asking the same info and got no response. About a month later I called back and was transferred to Robert who apologized and took down all the part numbers and my email to send me a quote. I got nothing. A few weeks later I called again and got Francine, who again took the part numbers and promised to email or call that day or the next with the quote. She called me back a couple hours later with a detailed quote for all the items, which was great. They have a $125 minimum on the full order, no minimums on individual items, and I should email my order with part numbers and quantities to Robert, which I did. I got no response or confirmation and had about totally given up on them, but about a week later Francine called to get my payment info (credit card) and said my order was shipping. I told my wife, "I've never had to work so hard to give a company my money!" Several days later my order arrived (complete and correct, you can bet I checked it...) and I'm pretty pleased with the quality. I ordered ligne 20 & 24 snaps, some small rapid rivets, and some snap hooks all in both solid brass and nickel over brass. Ligne 20 brass and nickel over brass. Ligne 24 brass and nickel over brass. As for a recommendation, I don't quite know what to say. So, here are the bullet points for you to decide if you want to try them... Service: Obviously getting pricing and ordering is not as easy as it should be. I don't know if my experience was standard, or if I just had some especially bad luck. They were also out of stock on several less common items (nothing that was critical for me to get) and, again, I don't know if that's a normal thing. Quality: Good, but also a couple of odd inconsistencies. The nickel L20 sockets are stamped "ROME * USA", while the brass ones are stamped "ROME * MILFORD". The nickel L20 eyelets are stamped "ROME * USA" very clearly, while the brass ones are stamped "ROME * ROME" very lightly. I like having them marked, but it's odd that they don't all match. The L24 parts have no markings. The brass parts all appear to have a clear coat protectant on them, which only time will tell if it holds up. The brass is not polished looking, like a plated finish would be. That's fine with me, but some might object. Selection: Very good. Lots of variations on snap cap or eyelet lengths, lots of rivet cap sizes and post lengths. Really more combinations that I think you can find anywhere else I've seen. They also have a lot of base metal and finishes available. I wonder how hard it would be to order more exotic combinations, given my difficulty in placing a very standard order. Price: Not bad. More than crappy Chinese steel, certainly, but not terrible. Solid brass small rapid rivets are about $0.25 each. Solid brass L20 snaps are roughly $.29 each. They do charge a few cents more for the nickel plated brass, and I imagine other metals/finishes are priced accordingly. They do offer brass or nickel plated steel for a fair bit less, although I didn't get prices. Again, not exactly cheap, but I think fair for quality brass made in the US of A. Long review, but I know others are interested in finding quality and/or domestic suppliers. I'll definitely give Rome my business when I'm due for my next resupply and hope that the service issues were an anomaly.
  4. ClaireAshton

    Limey Gets Whiney

    AND BEFORE YOU START I'LL DOUBLE POST IF IT MAKES ME FEEL BETTER! I just got ripped off. I just got scammed. I ordered a Firewind or Freshwind Circle thingy from USA. Not cheap, but stuff from the States tends to be well made and well designed. The postage was not cheap either. So i get a card in the post saying my parcel is ready to be collected at the Post Office Sorting Office (not a post office, more the sorting centre) and don't forget ID such as credit or debit card and remember even though you need one of these as ID you can't pay using one it has to be cash. So I pick up my little package. I pay £3.20 VAT ($5 or $6 Sales Tax) and , wait for it, a £8 handling charge! ($15!) That is why next time I shall be asking for someone over there to get one for me and send it to me using the strict cost as the customs declaration so I don't get stuck allways. In this country, UK, there is a TV programme called Grumpy Old Men and one called Grumpy Old Women. After today I would walk either audition....... Whinge, Whinge.......
  5. madeinportland

    Quality Pebbled Leather

    I'm looking for a supplier of quality pebbled or tumbled leather Black 4-5oz vegetable tanned must be able to stamp leather country of origin: USA preferred, but also possible Italy or Japan THANKS!
  6. Hello all, I have been working with some very nice leathers over the years, and now I am working some exotics into my line. Does anyone have a source for high quality alligator or crocodile in the US? Looking for a variety of colors particularly browns and tans. I don't mind buying from overseas, but I would much rather buy from the US. Price is not as big a concern as the quality and colors available. I am willing to pay a little more if the product is high quality. Any help or leads would be greatly appreciated! Cheers and thanks in advance, David