Name: Dana O’Brien
Company Name: Classic Tactical
Location: 14659 Sapphire Lane
Ramsey, MN 55303
Website: https://www.facebook.com/ClassicTactical?ref=hl facebook business page
How did you first get started in leather crafting?
I have always been a fan of leather outdoors and hunting products. Something about the longevity of a well crafted leather item always interested me over new materials like nylon and gortex. Most of these items are not as cheap as their synthetic counterparts, so I decided to make some of them for myself. I put together a holster and a few other items, stitched by hand, and once I saw the final outcome I was hooked!
What are some of your stories on leather crafting?
Some of the items I make could be considered heirloom quality. If something is made well it can last many generations. Gifts made by and give to family members make the best heirlooms in my opinion. One of my younger brothers and I hunt ducks together in the fall, and a good tobacco pipe is a necessary piece of equipment. Last year my brother purchased a very nice pipe from one of our pipe dealer friends. He was concerned that it would get damaged in his hunting bag and had it inside of a glove. I decided that I would make him a case for his pipe as a gift. Once it was done, it turned out to be my nicest piece to date and I was proud to give it to him. That particular case is what got me into design and sale of leather items. Everyone who saw it was so impressed they kept telling me I should sell them, and now I do!
How long have you had (a) Tippmann machine(s)?
I have had my Boss for less than a year. Before that it was all overstitch wheels and hand sewing.
What made you decide to purchase the Boss?
Saving time was a big part of why I got a BOSS. But almost as important as that was the appearance and consistency of the stitches on my work. I like the fact that is is non-electrical. When all else fails, I can still sew leather. I also love the fact that I control each stitch, making sure that my seams are neat and contained in the groves on the leather. After researching leather sewing machines, the price point of the BOSS helped me to decide on a Tippman, as well as many recommendations on various leather working forums stating it was a great machine for small businesses and greenhorn leather workers.
Do you recommend any accessories?
I would recommend the light accessory. Sometimes, especially with the center presser foot it can be difficult to see where your needle is positioned without enough light. I plan on getting my hands on the stirrup attachment soon, it looks like it will help keep my stitches true on certain holster patterns I make.
Secure it to a stable surface. The instructions tell you this 78 times, and they are not kidding. It won’t work right if you don’t. Also, get some good silicone grease and a flux brush from a home improvement store. Keeping the BOSS well lubricated is key.
What are your plans for the future?
At this point I plan on doing custom projects on a made-to-order basis. I am also looking to start making some larger items like saddle bags and long gun cases.