Category Archives: Newsletter

kd-holster-iconK.D. Holsters

Featured Tippmann Customer

 

Company: 

K & D Holsters

 

Name:
Kevin Manley

Contact Info:
PO Box 4192
Plant City, FL 33563
Website: www.kdholsters.com
What does K & D Holsters do?

At K&D Holsters, we primarily offer high quality custom leather holsters and related accessories. These products are geared for conceal carry. We also offer a myriad of other products, to include: rifle slings, knife sheaths, cowboy action shooting accessories, belts, wallets, purses, checkbook covers, notebooks, clocks, dog leads, dog collars, guitar straps, archery accessories and some motorcycle accessories.

How did you first get started in leather crafting and how long has your current business been in operation?

I got started in leather crafting approximately 20 years ago. I had received a leathercraft multi-project kit from Tandy Leather as a Christmas gift, and included in the purchase of that kit was six lessons at the local store. K&D Holsters has been in operation for approximately 8 years now.

What led you to the Tippmann Line for your leather crafting needs?

As I got started with K&D Holsters, I quickly recognized the need for a sewing machine. I found the Tippmann BOSS machine and purchased that from one of the retailers and used it for approximately a year. I subsequently purchased the Tippmann 7-ton and 15-ton clickers.

Which Tippmann items do you currently use in creating your leather work?

I currently only use the Tippmann 15-ton clicker in the manufacturing of our products. This includes a vast number of dies manufactured by Tippmann from our drawings and patterns. We use them on a daily basis.

What types of machinery were you using prior to using the Tippmann?

The Tippmann machines were the first machines we used.

Would you recommend Tippmann equipment?

Without a doubt I would recommend Tippmann equipment for the hobbyist to small manufacturing. Tippmann backs up their equipment like no other and is always available over the phone.

 

 

greenmanGreen Man Leather

Featured Tippmann Customer

Company:
Green Man Leather

Name:
Stephen O’Ceallaigh

Contact Info:
10 Dufferin St, Caledon East
Ontario, Canada, L7C 1K
647-637-5229

 

What does Green Man Leather do?

Green Man Leather originally began making custom orders of knife sheaths and small pouches, I grew to making premium quality belts. I then branched out into conducting leather workshops for youth in social services and teach an old craft to a young clientele who benefit from a new life experience as well as looking sharp in their formal wear with their handmade product. I enjoy the belt making workshops as the youth have so much fun trying something new!

I am also coming out with a messenger bag line and well designing other bags. I was in need of a high quality embossing machine able to produce the results industrial standards gave. I wanted our belts to really stand out with their unique looking design. Green Man leather continued to receive emails asking for upscale options on the dress belts. When researching dress belts I noted the lower quality with respect to the grade of leather used; often people think they are buying a quality leather belt when the label states “Genuine leather,” but little do they know it simply mean there is leather somewhere in this product. I did not want to purchase motorized machinery which took up a lot of space. I found the Tippmann embosser to be a bench machine that did not take up a lot of space, was the best on the market and of good value. It has fantastic and built to last a long time and best of all a hand crank! I also started getting into horse tack. Having the embosser helps us sew straight on the creased lines.

How did you first get started in leather crafting?

I am a creative artist. I paint abstract and photograph whatever captures my eye. While living in England in 2003 I kept seeing unique leather goods in rare tanned colors with ornate stitching. I began to look online for a book on leather crafting. I found several books from the 1940s and the 1970s; two periods where leather working was considered popular and quality leather goods were in demand. It was hard to find those who were willing to teach, however. A lot of folks felt their designs would be stolen. So I took to teaching myself and went through a lot of leather perfecting my technique.

How long have you been running your current business?

Green Man Leather has entered its third year in business. The response has been overwhelming supportive. Those who come to us know I take pride in making our products and put a lot of creative energy into making that something special for our customers. I am a one-man operation an occasionally bring in an apprentice to assist while they learn. I have all of the industrial equipment to produce wholesale orders for retailers with quick production times and multi-buy discounts.

What are the primary ways in which you market your product?

The internet is our main tool to advertise. Word of mouth works quite well too as the client has already seen the product and knows the high quality they are receiving. I also advertise in local papers and in the “The Rider” magazine.

What led you to the Tippmann Embosser for your leather crafting equipment needs?

I grew tired of low quality hobby machinery which, worst of all, was not made in North America. I continued to hear Tippmann has the best on the market with no real competitors on quality. I also wanted to mechanize our production to begin to compete with larger companies at the same time, producing a Canadian made product of higher quality. So much money is spent on foreign products and foreign economies. I really wanted to support the Canadian and North American economies since that is where I make my home.

From a creative standpoint, I also wanted to come out with our exclusive Viking design belt line. Having the Tippmann Embosser enabled me to have designs created to fit unto the Embosser.

How long have you had your Tippmann Embosser?

1 year and would be lost without it!

 

What type of machine (s), if any, were you using prior to using the Tippmann?

I use the:

  • Italian r- 74 rotary hand crank hole puncher
  • British United Shoe Machinery Pearson Harness stitcher (No.6)
  • Italian Fav bell knife Skiver
  • German Adler 205-64 Cylinder arm sewer
  • German Junker and Ruh SD28 Sole Hand crank stitcher
  • Italian strap cutter.
  • Randall splitter
  • Book Presses.

 

What are some suggestions to others who have a small to mid range manufacturing project, who are in need of a leather embossing machine.

You stay small if you think small; you get big if you think big! Good machinery can be pricy but you get what you pay for. In this case, a high quality long lasting bench machine to add finesse and a touch of class to your products. Belts are not too difficult to make by hand but as soon as you want to make them in multiples or add intricate and unique designs you’re going to need the right equipment.

Do you see the competition growing in the market place for the type of custom work you are creating?

Yes I do. I receive a lot of emails asking for our “Best price.” I know there are many leather crafters out there who have similar aspirations to sell merchandise to the public. I stay true to our prices as our products are hand made. Something you cannot buy at a leading shopping centre. Though who shop at Green Man leather are often referred from other satisfied customers. I are not worried about competition.

 

Fly'n-OFly’n-O-Saddlery Ron A. Ostrom

Featured Tippmann Customer

Company:
Fly’n -O- Saddlery

Name:
Ron A. Ostrom

Contact Info:
258 Lane 10
Powell WY, 82435
What is your main product line?

My line consists of mainly 2 products. The first product line is Custom Saddles and the second is custom saddle trees. I do dabble a little bit in saddle bags, breast collars and pack saddles.

Where and under whom did you first study saddle making?

I first studied saddle making under Land Frazier in Powell Wyoming. I then met up with Master Tree and Saddle Maker Fred Harsant and continued the adventure into specialty saddles from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

By Working closely with Fred between 1997-2001 I furthered my knowledge of saddle building. Fred move back to Australia in 2001, but we continually stay in touch and share patterns and discuss ways to improve fit and design with horses around the world.

What are the main tools in your leather crafting shop?

All of the tools I used are hand made, nothing automated. All knives, edgers, punches are also hand made.

What was the most important factor in deciding to purchase a Boss Hand Stitcher to aid in your creations?

I liked the fact that the Boss is hand powered. This gives the user the ability to sew at their own pace, stitch by stitch. The more control you have over the machine, the less apt you are to make mistakes allowing you to complete a higher quality piece.

The Boss is a wonderful machine and serves a vital purpose in my saddle shop, where I have several pieces of equipment. I currently own 2 Boss Hand Stitchers. I purchased my first Boss in the late 1990’s and acquired my second Boss a few years later through a sewing contest in Sheridan Wyoming.

What is the process you follow when making a custom product for a customer?

I start by measuring the horse and the rider to build a saddle that will fit their animal and themselves as well as many other animals of similar size. I use all hand tools for carving the tree, laced with bull rawhide and then build the saddle with nearly all primitive hand tools. I use only natural products, such as wood, rawhide, leather, metal and wool when crafting the saddle.

Even though you have more work than time will allow, who do you belive to be your direct competition in the market place?

There are very few complete saddle makers in the business today. In my opinion, they are just as busy as I am, if not busier.

How did you get started in Leather?

I was approximately 8 Yrs old, living in Rock Springs, Wyoming when I joined the 4 H Program and competed in the Leather craft category which my father was actively involved with. My dad built his own saddles by hand, mostly for hobby. I really enjoyed working with my father, and soon realized that I shared his passion for leather crafting and saddle making.

I continued leather crafting during my younger years and right into college. During college, I competed on the rodeo team and made gear as well as repaired gear for myself and my teammates. These items included vests, saddles, riggins and other items.

What types of saddles do you specialize in building?

I build mostly late 1800’s half seats, A-Forks with high cantles.

When did you start your own saddle shop?

It was the late 1980’s My brother, my father and I were able to purchase Lane Fraziers saddle shop as he wanted the trade to continue and Lane was physically unable to build saddles. I was in the 10th grade and though $2,500 was a lot of money to me at the time, the business seemed to be a great bargain. This started our business and continued as we purchased several other shops over the years.

On average, how many saddles do you make per year?

The answer to this question has actually varied a great deal from year to year, but I would say that 1993 -2000 was the time period in which I was building the highest number of saddles at around 15 per year. Since then, I have reduced the number of saddles to 2-3 per year.

Since reducing the numbers of saddles to 2-3 per year, I have been able to concentrate more effort on one of my other true passions, teaching clinics on proper fit, trees, saddle construction and how it relates to proper riding.

What trade shows do you attend each year?

The only trade show, which I participate in, is Sheridan in Sheridan Wyoming.

How do you market yourself and your product line?

I have been very fortunate in that my line and quality have established a well-known reputation. I am several years out on orders and have plenty of work. I do not have to. My product line speaks for itself and I have been able to enjoy building saddles of my interests.

What are some basic tips you would give to an individual who is looking to get started in the leather crafting industry?

  • Start Small.
  • It is best to stay with non-mechanical tools as much as possible.
  • Quality, quality, quality is the most important thing to remember.
  • The slower, the more primitive, the better.
  • Most importantly, do the job right and it will last forever.

 

logo-michael-koleMichael Kole Custom Leather

 

Featured Tippmann Customer

Company:
Michael Kole Custom Leather

Name:
Michael Kole

Website: www.MichaelKole.com

Contact Info:
PO Box 2251
Cheyenne, WY 82003
Phone: 970-819-4465
Email: mchlkl@yahoo.com

 

Michael Kole’s Story:

Although I’ve designed numerous hand bags, brief cases, belts, even coasters and placemats, my primary line of work, however, involves production of weapon holsters. I’ve designed custom concealment, western and range carry holsters which are all specific to make, model and caliber. Today, my principal market place is being a regular vendor at regional gun shows almost every weekend.

 

Where my product is absolutely exact, I always have my Tippmann Boss at my side at each and every show to accommodate those who have a special tactical rail, laser, they are a South-paw or whatever situation. Patrons of the shows will stay and watch me custom build orders. The clickety-clack of the stitcher can be heard throughout the venues. While not all are interested in holsters, they are fascinated by the Boss. Often times people think this is a vintage antique and are quite surprised when I tell them it is current manufacturing. Listen folks, this is our factory, not a plastic Singer. I have given your phone number out numerous times.

 

I initially became involved in leather work at the age of 6 when my father dropped my off at Tony the Shoemaker’s to keep me out of my mother’s hair during the weekend. Dad thought I would be sweeping floors and polishing shoes, however, Tony had me grinding soles and nailing on heels.

 

I began selling my goods in the halls of my high school in the mid 60’s. At that time I decided to open my own ‘after school’ store, the Leather Shop, in Westwood, NJ, which became a hang out for all of my non-working buddies. My second store, Aleasion Fields East (translated “Burial Place of the Gods”, yes it was the 60’s) was opened in Point Pleasant, NJ when I was 19. I began selling handbags, brief cases and belts on a whole sale basis and sold my goods at craft shows in NJ. Later I worked as the designer for Mountain Leather in Park Ridge, NJ. As I worked up front in the store, unknown to me at the time, they were taking my designs and developing clicker dyes and sold product world wide. That was almost the end of my truly handcrafted leather trade. I have also worked in saddle shops in VT.

 

I later chose a career at sea as a ship master and captain. I carried a side arm every day and night. My duty style holsters went through many developmental changes in order to meet my high standards of safety, demanding performance and comfort. While not at sea, I was active in competition shooting and sold holsters and leather goods at area trade shows. All of my work at this point had been hand stitched. I realized that I had a fantastic design and viable retail product.

 

About 8 years ago in order to keep up with the market I realized I had to make changes in my manufacturing process. I then began researching stitching machines. I had seen a Tippmann Boss in the Tandy Leather catalogue and I would lay awake at night thinking how wonderful it would be to pull that handle down and have everything done in one full swoop. Then once I came to the reality that I must have a Boss I didn’t tell the truth about the price to the woman who used to live with me and purchased the Boss at risk of retaliation and or divorce. Believe me it was all well worth it. The machine is still running well and she ran away shortly thereafter.

 

To date my Tippmann Boss has successfully produced thousands of holsters, hand bags, back packs and various other items with only a handful hiccups that were immediately remedied by the outstanding customer service department and Ben in particular. He has stayed on the phone with me for hours until the problem was rectified or would send parts or even a full blown demo out overnight to keep me in business. We have since purchased a second machine due to the fact that volume has increased. I have made attempts to use electric or motorized machines but the accuracy is unpredictable. The Boss allows me the ability, when needed, to go a stitch at a time in many of the demanding patterns I’ve designed. Do you remember the story of “The Tortoise and the Hare”? The Boss is sure and true to its path. I can actually stitch 30 holsters in about 1-1/2 hours. I just today stitched 4 layers of 12oz latigo to make a custom hunting knife sheath. Not a problem whatsoever, it came out superbly. Photos are attached. The machine is also more than adequate and at home stitching heavy nylon webbing or Velcro®. And, even once my left thumb, in which the needle was not the initial problem, it was the removal of the well locked stitch that caused an issue. Yes, there are industrial hazards.

 

Watch the video carefully, read the manual, call Tippmann, order a Boss and expand your horizons. Thinking back about my years at sea, had I had this machine then, I could have repaired and built sails on the Tippmann. The horse on which the Boss is mounted is actually made from a solid oak door panel that I found in the trash at a lumber yard. Some of the other shots are of our gun show set up. I sincerely appreciate your consideration for recognition in your newsletter and cannot tell you how much I admire your customer service. I’m at a point in time that I can get on this thing. Let’s go forward with it.

Michael Kole

 

Impact picsImpact Picks

Featured Tippmann Customer

 

Company:
Task Machine

Name:

Dave Jeffery

Address:
Task Machine Inc.
1685 Selby Ave
St. Paul, Mn. 55104

Website:

www.impactpicks.com

 

What is your product?

We are a guitar pick manufacturer.  We make labels for our guitar picks line with it. Modified with a table that has linear slides, it makes it easy for us to load and unload the labels after cutting. A perfect clicker press for this operation. We cut out 8 labels at a time. The labels are made of 20# paper and laminated with a 5mil foil on each side before cutting. It doesn’t take up any space to speak of ,is easy to move and can be operated anywhere there is an air supply. I would like to add www.mathias-die.com as the vendor that has built the rule dies for me that run in the Tippmann Clicker 700. Joe Sampair is the most knowledgable man I know in the die cutting industry. They are an outstanding manufacturer of rule dies and other extended services in this industry and have helped me in designing the tools that best fit in my Tippmann Clicker.

Do you have any competitors in the market place? 

Not for this specific application. Or at least to my knowledge.

 

What were the most important features you were looking for in a die cutting press?

The press had to be very portable, air operated and powerful enough to cut out at least 8 labels at a time.

What led you to the Tippmann Clicker Press for your die cutting needs?

I was just searching the internet to see if a press like the Tippmann Clicker 700 existed.

Warmest Regards, Dave J. Task machine, Inc.

 

logo-razorenewJohn Mecham Razor Renew

Featured Tippmann Customer

Company:
Cosmic Bargains LLC

Name:
John Mecham

Address:
385, 2040 S. Alma School Rd.
Chandler, Arizona 85286

 

What is your product?

Razor renew is a product that will extend the life of your razor blade — disposable, and the more expensive ones that you just change out the razor blade head.

 

When do you sharpen your razor blade?

Anytime your razor is not giving you a sharp and smooth shave. Razor renew will extend your razor blade life 3 — 6 times longer.

 

How did you come up with the idea?

Several years ago I was looking for ways to save money. I had a brilliant idea! If I could learn to shave with a straight razor I could save over a $100 per year — I shave with one of the more expensive razor blades and I would go through one blade a week. Just the initial investment in a straight razor, strop and a stone and I would be free of the ridiculously highly priced razors.

I became an expert at sharpening up my straight razor with the strop. But the actual shaving with the straight razor did not go very well for my face. I was very disappointed that my excellent money saving idea had gone bad. But then I started thinking about the concept of the strop and how it sharpened the straight razor. One side of the strop sharpens and hones the straight razor blade and the other side smooth’\s the straight razor blade.

Could this concept be applied to a regular razor’\s blades?

After experimenting around with many a combination of different ideas and techniques I figured out how to make a strop that could sharpen, hone and smooth a regular razor blades by running the razor blades against the leather up and down both sides of the strop the opposite way you shave. After consulting with an excellent patent attorney I found out to my pleasant surprise that my idea was very original and that I had an excellent chance to get a patent. I am currently in patent pending with my product, and also am trademark pending with the name “Razor Renew”.

I am excited to have invented a product that will save everyone money who shaves with a razor blade. Basically this product sells it self, because no one that shaves with a razor blade can afford not to have this product. One simple, low priced purchase will give you years of savings.
Why a Tippmann Clicker?

Even though Razor Renew was very simple I wanted it look professional and last someone for years. That is when I started looking for an excellent die cutting press that could help me with this goal.

From the video on the website I just had a good feel for the Tippmann Clicker’\s. After calling and talking to Bob, Matt and Jim I knew that the Tippmann Clicker was not going to disappoint me and it did not. The entire staff has answered all my questions — and this green horn had several — and guided me in the right direction with the different dies that I needed for my product. All the different do’\s and don’\ts when pressing leather shapes etc…. They do not hesitate to refer you to other companies that do great work for other tasks that you need for your product. Like when I needed a de-bossed name on the leather handle of my product – Bob referred me to Owosso. This company was awesome just like he said it would be. Jim does an excellent job with design of all the dies — he had a lot of great ideas to make the process easy and understandable. And Matt has been a great source of information for me about the marketing side of things for my new product.

I purchased the smaller press. One of my short term goals is to sell at least 200 — 300 a week of my product, and with the clicker I can easily produce this much product. I am looking forward to the day when I trade in the small clicker for the bigger one.

Tippmann has the entire package: An excellent quality product, and service way beyond the initial sale that is totally customer oriented. Thanks for everything!

Note from Bob:

When John called asking about the Clicker, I asked him what he wanted to do with it.  He told me, and told him to put me down for one right away, even if he didn’t end up getting a Tippmann Clicker.  I thought that this was a great idea, especially with the way the economy is and it is a great way to save money.  I went to Matt (our marketing director) and told him about the Razor Renew because I knew he uses the Mach 3 razor blades like I do.  We got our Razor Renews 3 weeks ago and love them!  Matt and I are working on our recommendation letters right now, and I keep my Razor Renew on my desk and show it to anyone stopping by.  Thank you John for the great idea and a great product.

Bobs Signature

 

 

Bob Tippmann
Tippmann Industrial Products

 

To see how to use the Instructions for using the Razor Renew, click here.

 

 

 

mark-collins-iconMark Collins Leather

Featured Tippmann Customer

Name:
Mark S. Collins

Address:
Festus Missouri

Website: www.leathercraftsman.com

What does your company do with leather?

Actually I do not own a company based in the leather industry. I own and operate a web site dedicated to the leather industry and driven by my love of the old west, leather craft and family history. In today’s world with a large amount of imports including old west cheap replicas in the market place; the number of American craftsman producing hand made leather goods dwindle every year. My goal is to promote the spirit of the old west and the pride of hand made American leather goods.

 

My belief is based on a very rich family history in hand made leather goods. This started with a talented and adventurous great uncle that came from very simple means in Southeast Missouri. Walter Lee Newell started Newell’s Saddle Shop and Cowboy Store in 1935. In 1950 the world started changing and he was forced to close his shop, but his story continues today with reclaimed saddles and his life’s history. My web site is dedicated to Uncle Walter and anyone who is still trying to produce hand made leather goods.
How did you first get started in leather crafting?

My dad got me started with a Tandy kit when I was very young. He also had plenty of stories from my great uncles saddle shop.

 

What inspired you to create your website?

After finding my first Newell Saddle on eBay I started asking my dad (our family historian) a lot of questions about my great uncle and his saddle shop. Maybe it was fate or luck but dad and I found more saddles along with some original catalogs and magazine ads
.
At that point it was obvious that the story of Walter Lee Newell and his saddle shop had to be told. Family stories were told for years how Uncle Walter sold saddles to the stars of the silver screen. These stories were exciting but could not be published until we found proof. That proof came in the two catalogs that had the actual information in them.

In those catalogs there were pictures of Uncle Walter with Roy Rogers, Gabby Hayes, Sons of the Pioneers and many others. The 1944-1945 catalog has a picture on the back of it with Roy Rogers and Trigger endorsing the Newell Saddle. Here is that picture:

Below is another picture we have with Uncle Walter and Roy Rogers in front of the Newell shop:

You may notice in this picture that Uncle Walter also owned a music shop. Actually he was a man of many talents. Besides the western store and music shop he was also an avid photographer. At some point Uncle Walter did a weekly live music show on a local radio station in St. Louis called KMOX. That radio station is still on the air today.

I have deviated from the original story. Below is a picture with Gabby Hayes in the shop:

Picture 10 is Gabby Hayes, picture 8 is a picture of the Son’s of the Pioneers and picture 7 is Roy Rogers.

With this much proof it was time to turn up the web site and tell the world about Walter Lee Newell. So at that point http://www.theleathercraftsman.com was born.

Do you sell anything on your website?

The only item you may find for sale is an original Newell Saddle that is for sale by owner. Everything else on the site is informational only with links to current craftsman and leather related products.

Your uncle’s story is a whole interview in itself, but please explain how your family first got started in the leather crafting and saddle business, dating back to when you uncle first started his business.

Walter Lee Newell was born Nov. 8, 1904 in Bollinger County Missouri which is located in the Southeast part of the state and died July 2, 1993 in Los Angles CA. He was born in a community know as Sank Missouri which had a general store and a post office in the store. Walter was the first of seven children of Doc and Nora Wycoff-Newell. The Sank store was the typical store that catered to the community’s everyday needs. Next door to the store on the south side was a blacksmith shop operated by Francis Newell. John Newell operated a gristmill just north of the store and Doc owned and operated a saw mill near the store. Francis and John were both uncles of Walter. The Sank store was built in 1909 by Jasper Cooper who was married to Sarah Newell-Cooper sister of Francis, John and Doc. However time and conditions caused all of the Newell operations to close by 1930. Doc and Nora then purchased a general store in the community of Schlatitz Missouri after the Owner of the store passed away and the store was put up for sale. Schlatitz was also a small farming community located about two miles east of the Sank store.

With the closing of the Newell operations Walter moved to the St. Louis Missouri and opened a Music store and Photography Studios at 1627 South Broadway and a Cowboy store at 1629 South Broadway. Walter was also an experienced musician and did a weekly music show on KXOX radio in St. Louis.

In the Cowboy store Walter carried a full line of western boots made by Justin and Nocona, Dobbs “Ten Gallon” western hats and cowboy Levi’s. In addition to human wear he carried a full line of horse furnishings. In the early 1930’s he expanded his operation into making and repairing western saddles and opened a factory at 1906 South 7th Street in St. Louis. In a 1942 ad he claimed to be “The only exclusive cowboy store in St. Louis” In Walter’s 1944/45 catalog he states he made saddles for such well known people such as Roy Rogers and Gabby Hayes. Col Jim Eskew world famous Rodeo producer of Royer Rogers Rodeo says “It is my business to know saddles as well as horseflesh. I am a Newell saddle booster because Newell saddles can really “take” it”. When the United States entered WWII Walter’s shop flourished making many different item for support of our military. Leather was more widely used in that time where plastic is now used. The saddle factory was set up well to produce such things helmet liners, belts, straps and other military needs. After the war ended the call for working saddles fell way off and he turned to making trail ride saddle, parade and show saddles. In his 1948/49 catalog he still was making and keeping in stock working saddles but he had turn his attention to high end parade saddle and show saddles such as his Silver Dollar Saddle with one hundred real silver dollars decorating the saddle. This saddle was hand tooled in western floral design with Sterling silver Conchos. This saddle was custom made to order and started at $795.00 complete with Bridle, Martingale and a fancy Corona Blanket. However you could still purchase the all plain Roper saddle with top grade leather, full border embossed for $125.00. After the war Walter made an aluminum tree saddle with a one hundred year guarantee. Due to the changing trends in America Walter closed the saddle shop in late 1950 and moved to Manitou Springs CO. where he opened a western store selling western wear, new and used guns, and items for the tourist business.

Because of the construction of the Newell saddle many are still in use today as working saddles and trail ride saddles. Several of his custom ordered saddles and parade saddle are being restored to their former beauty and are prized by their owners.

 

The below statement is from a Newell catalog.

“We employ well trained skilled workman that have had years of experience in the saddle making business, and do our best at all times to put the best workmanship possible in all saddles. We use only the best grade of saddle skirting leather throughout. Our trees are all hand made by skilled workman. Our men are paid by the hour. We have no piece work in our shop assuring you better quality of workman.”

Walter L. Newell

What led you to the Tippmann Boss for your leather crafting equipment needs?

I purchased a Newell saddle that was in great need of repair (basket case). After evaluating the saddle I decided it could be salvaged but the undertaking would be more than I could handle with just hand tools. It was obvious that the saddle was originally sewed with a machine.

After spending a significant amount of time researching leather sewing machines on the Internet I kept coming back to the Tippmann. The machine had great reviews at an affordable price and was small enough to fit in my crafting room.

Even with all this great information I was still hesitant to make the purchase because I had never used a leather sewing machine. While out and about on a weekend I stopped at a saddle shop in Farmington Missouri. The owner (Mike) and I struck up a conversation about saddles. He was familiar with Newell saddles and had repaired a couple for customers.

I told Mike my dilemma of making a decision on a sewing machine to finish my restoration project. Mike offered to help me out and took me into the repair shop to show me his setup and sewing machine. There on his bench sat a Tippmann Boss. After seeing some of the items Mike had recently repaired and seeing the machine in action I went home and ordered a Boss. I have not regretted that decision since.

How long have you had your Boss?

I have had my Tippmann for over a year now.

 

What type of machine were you using before the Tippmann?

The Tippmann was in fact my first leather sewing machine.

 

Do you have any tips or tricks for using the Tippmann Boss?

Something I like to do on many of my projects is to make a stitched item look like it was hand stitched. I will sew it with my Boss but at the beginning and end I will leave enough thread to do a standard saddle stitch. This gives the project a hand sewn look but was accomplished on a machine.

Please tell us about the Newell Saddle that you restored.

When I decided to restore a Newell saddle I had no idea what I was doing. In the end I put more money into the saddle than it will ever be worth, but that was not the point. We live in a world were people are used to going to a store and purchasing an item. That item no matter what it may be is normally a throw away product. We no longer live in a world were products are made to last a lifetime. Or were in a world where people are required to learn how to fix something that their very survival depends on it.

I believe it is important to not forget were we come from and how to do basic tasks to fix broken equipment. That is one reason why I took on the saddle restore. I had no idea what I was doing but quickly found out that it was not rocket since. In fact the saddle was simplistic in its design and construction.

Here are a couple of pics of the saddle disassembled:

 

I did not know exactly what the saddle looked like new, but I had all the basics. It was obvious where the spots were and the size of the spots. I also had a rusted up concho so I had an idea of what that looked like. I also had a good idea from research that Newell Saddles were sometimes one off show saddles. So with this knowledge and my Boss I went to work. Below is the finished saddle:

 

It is obvious from the picture that most of the stitching on the saddle is new. All of the stitching was accomplished with my Boss. The stitch length adjustment came in very handy allowing me to hit the original holes in the leather.

This was an incredible experience that I will certainly repeat again. Without my Boss this project would have been impossible.

Since then I have used my Boss on other projects and always enjoy using it. Below is a holster I made for my favorite six-shooter:

 

 

jack-ussery-iconJack Ussery

 Featured Tippmann Customer

Name:
Jack Ussery

Address:
6234 Norchester
Corpus Christi, TX 78415

How did you first get started in leather crafting?

Leather Craft was a hobby I picked up when I was in my twenties while serving in the U.S. Navy. I served in the Navy for 30+ years and found this was a very relaxing hobby.

I will be 87 years old next birthday. At one time in my early years, I did sell some leather work, but I found the work was no longer a hobby and the work become less enjoyable. From that point, I never sold another piece, but rather gave the leather creations away to individuals who were my friends or people who I admire.
What led you to the Tippmann Boss for your leather crafting needs?

I was tired of sewing by hand. I needed a machine that would sew through thick materials such as leather and canvas. The Boss was an ideal machine in my eyes, due to the fact that it allows the user to sew one stitch at a time. I was also drawn to this machine because to its compact size and simple user-friendly design.

One particular item I use the Boss on, is leather directors chairs. When sewing by hand, it would take up to 3 days to do all of the sewing, required by one chair. By using the Boss, I have cut that down to 2-3 hours. The same type of time savings can be applied to the purses, wallets, holsters, etc. which I now create with the Boss.
What types of other machines, if any, are you using in conjunction with your Tippmann Boss?

I still have a Thompson, which is a nice machine. I use this primarily on my lighter weight materials.

What are some suggestions and general advice that you would give to others who were interested in getting started in the leather crafting industry as either a hobby or a profession?

The most important thing is to enjoy your work and take your time. Take pride in what you are creating. In today’s age of mass production, the one thing that tends to get overlooked it quality. When creating a piece, from start to finish, you have ability to control all facets of the quality of that piece.

Jack, you have done leather pieces for many well known individuals, would you mind listing a few?

I would like to include the entire list, but that might take up too much room. I will however list a few of the names, which I think many people will recognize.

 

  • First Lady Barbara Bush: purse and billfold
  • First Lady Nancy Reagan: purse
  • First Lady Laura Bush: purse
  • Governor Sara Palin: purse
  • Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison: purse
  • Governor Rick Perry: leather directors chair
  • Elmer Kelton (western author): directors chair
  • President George H.W. Bush: leather hunting pockets.

I have included several images of some of these creations, along with a few personalized thank you notes, expressing their gratitude for the pieces I had custom created for them.

 

little-bear-logoLittle Bear Holsters

Featured Tippmann Customer

Company:
Little Bear Holsters

Website:
www.littlebearholsters.com

Name:
Dave Galloway

Address:
1526 University Blvd West
Jacksonville, FL 32217

What is your specialty?

I make hand made holsters. They are not cookie cutters… they are made for the buyer. I do not stock holsters… My holsters are for mainly concealed carry and are given a lot of time and care to make.

 

What were you looking for in a sewing machine?

I wanted a leather sewing machine that was easy to use, held up to daily wear and tear and made nice, tight stitches. i am not concerned w/ exact stitch distance or perfect radius… I want something that is like my holsters: not pretty but practical and lasts.

 

What led you to the Tippmann Boss?

I talked to some saddle and boot makers in the Tacoma area. They said it would be a good start up.

Suggestions to others who have a small to mid range manufacturing project, who are in need of a leather sewing machine:

I think it is a great stitcher! I like it because it seems more hands-on and personal. I have pulled off some amazing things, I thought I would never do, with my Boss. The one thing to remember is TUNE IT! If there is an issue, the guys in the repair shop are great. I learned more about my machine from them than I did my video. They were clear and concise with information.
Thank you very much. I am pleased w/ your products and dont want to go anywhere else any time soon.
v/r
Dave

 

rimfire-logoRimfire Gunworks

Featured Tippmann Customer

Company:

Rimfire Gunworks

 

Name:

Jack Ott

 

Address:

P.O. Box 457

457 Old Mill Lane

Waleska, GA 30183

 

Phone: 770-479-7920

 

What is your specialty?

I am gunsmith who works on, repairs and creates custom leather pieces. My primary focus is on the creation of leather knife sheaths and re-enactment gear.  I make the Glock channel liner tool.  I’m proud to say that I do it well and have been successful at it.
My interest vary greatly, but my main concentrations are in the following areas:
• Carving and engraving leather
• Carving and engraving wood
• I also experiment quite a bit with carving and engraving in other types of materials.

My background is in machinery and equipment. I am very curious as to how
things work and how one piece of machinery compares to the next.

 

 

What were you looking for in a sewing machine?

I needed a machine which was foremost reliable, and allowed me to sew stitch by

stitch in order to maintain the precision quality and control that you would see if sewing by hand. The “BOSS” is a wonderful little machine and it works well in conjunction with my other powered equipment.  This machine allows me the versatility of being able to roll it out onto the patio and from place to place, due to the compact nature of the product.

 

What type of machine were you using before your Tippmann Boss?

I have many other types of equipment for sewing, cutting, etc.

 

Do you have any other items in the Tippmann Line?

I own the Tippmann Embosser, which I use for embossing and strap cutting.  This is a handy little machine and offers a great deal of versatility.

 

Custom leather crafting tips from Jack Ott:

• The most important thing in leather crafting is patience.
Make sure to take your time and go slow, to get the result
you are looking for. People are looking for one of kind, unique items, things
that you can’t find anywhere else.

• When sewing leather, make sure that your needles are free from burs.
Make sure to always clean your needle and the eye of the needle
before you begin sewing.

• Visualize what your final piece is going to look like, before you start the project.

• Try to price your product where people can afford them….You can build
the most wonderful doo dad in the world, but if people can’t afford it, it does
not do any good to build it and try to sell it.