This will be my centerpiece for the Maple Leaf Festival this year. I did the design and carving, and Baldwin Motorbike Saddles did the foam and upholstery work. Its on a steel Mustang solo pan for a 2000-2006 Softail. It has high quality foam and a gel insert as well. I am happy with the way this came out, and hope it sells quickly so I can make another one.
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
One of the things I learned quickly with leatherwork is that you need sharp knives. I thought I knew how to sharpen a knife before, but I was wrong. The last step in getting a knife scary sharp is to polish the steel with a strop. The strop I had been using was a four inch long scrap of unfinished 2×4 with a piece of 14oz saddle skirting nailed to it. Over the last few years I have worked quite a bit of jeweler’s rouge into it, so it worked pretty well. It just wasn’t pretty.
Earlier this week, my friend Mike Black approached me about needing a strop. He is an incredible craftsman who makes mandolins. Check out http://www.threebeansalad.net/Mandolins.html or http://www.facebook.com/Mike.Black.Mandolins for some of his work. I offered to make him a nice horse hide strop, and realized he might have some nice looking wood in his scrap bin. He supplied two strips of maple, and I added the leather and rouge. These are horse leather, which is harder and more durable than cowhide. I burnished the edges and cemented them to the wood.
To make a strop, you need a piece of leather on a solid surface. With the horsehide glued to the maple strip that was covered. The next step is working a polishing compound into the leather. I crushed red rouge, and put it into denatured alcohol. I then brushed this on to the leather. As the alcohol dissolved, the rouge was on the surface of the leather, and just under it. I worked it in more by stropping my knives.
I am happy to report that they work really well, and my head knife and swivel knives are nicely polished right now. This strop actually looks nice, and does a good job. Not sure if there is enough interest in making some of these for sale, but I might try it to see.
Today I received wallet chains from Hawkwolf’s Armory and Accoutrements. www.Hawkwolfs.com These are chain mail style chains. I hadn’t been able to find nice wallet chains for the biker wallets I am making. Problem solved. There are four different types, and will be available on all of my biker or trucker style custom leather wallets.
It’s been a busy few months. My wife and I have relocated from Lawrence to Baldwin City, Kansas in August. In October, I had a space in the Maple Leaf Festival, http://mapleleaffestival.com/. That was a blast, and the first big show I have done. I met a lot of great people.
I opened a store on Etsy, http://www.etsy.com/shop/DrygulchLeatherworks. I will slowly be adding inventory there, and linking to it from this shop.
The remainder of my inventory is currently on consignment at American Leatherworks, in Leavenworth, Kansas. http://www.americanleatherworks.com/ They have quite a bit of other stuff, including duty gear as well.
I have also been working on custom orders, including a motorcycle seat, custom cuff, and wallets. I am currently working on a bunch of wallets, to offer on this site and Etsy.