Featured Tippmann Customer
6026 46th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98136
How did you first get started in leather crafting?
I was making a lot of SW Indian style jewelry with silver and turquoise and my daughter asked if I could put a piece of turquoise on a leather cuff. I said “sure, no problem, I just need to learn how to work with leather”. So I went to the local Tandy store each Saturday morning for two hours for 6 weeks and learned the basics on working with leather. Then I joined the Puget Sound Leather Artisans Co-op and met several people that were interested in helping me. I signed up for classes whenever a visiting leather artisan came to town like Chan Geer for instance. Then I met a saddle maker Carol Gessell from Black Horse Leather, and she really helped me progress in my leather skills.
What are some of your stories on leather crafting?
I’m a knife maker, engraver, silversmith and leather worker and I love leather work the most. Although I’ve started selling items on Etsy, I get the most sales from my web site. I make a lot of leather placemats, bracelets and Bell Jar drinking cup wraps (huggies) and lots of custom items.
I was teaching welding at our local community college and an instructor in the design department had me make a leather case for a device that he had to wear on his belt all; the time. I guess he had back surgery and to help with the chronic pain they embedded this device that sent current to a group of nerves to block the pain. The case that came with the device fell apart because it was cheaply made and could not hold up to the abuse of daily wear. He had to replace the device once already for $3000 so he needed a heavy duty one made that wasn’t obtrusive or uncomfortable to wear. I made a copy of the device so I could wet form a holder for it and I used my Tippmann to sew it together. He thanks me for it every time I see him.
Most of my leather work is on custom knife sheaths. I have to go through several layers of leather on every sheath. I have maxed out the capacity of my Tippmann more than once and it keeps on going. Very reliable! I could not do this kind of work with any other machine that I have looked at so far.
How long have you had a Tippmann Machine?
I bought my machine during the Christmas holidays about 4 years ago. One of the smartest purchases I have made; I love this machine! I was wearing my fingers out hand stitching everything I made and my profit margins were slim because of the time it was taking me. Now, I can go as slow or as fast as I need to.
I work with many different thicknesses of leather and at times, many different layers of leather. This machine does it all!
What made you decide to purchase the BOSS?
It had been recommended by a couple of leather workers I had met in the Puget Sound Leather Artisans Co-op. Also, the price was exactly what I could afford and I liked that it was not driven by electricity so I could really vary my speed and be able to think about what I was doing.
Do you recommend any accessories?
I think I have purchased all of the different presser foot attachments, several styles of needles and threads.
Make sure the tension is adjusted correctly for the thickness of leather you’re sewing so the seam looks nice on both sides. It took me a while to figure that one out. Also, make sure you cycle the handle all the way and don’t get going so fast that you forget!
What are your plans for the future?
We set up a site on Etsy.com and we show a little of everything that I make. I’m hoping that this becomes a great way to enhance my sales and drive a little more traffic to my own web site.
I’m interested in learning holster making. Since I am an engraver, (and I am the only engraver in the country that I have been able to determine that engraves the Sheridan style in metal) I engrave a lot of guns for Cowboy enthusiasts. I tool my knife sheaths to match the knife engraving, so I would like to make holsters and tool them to match the engraving on the guns
Take a look at his leather crafting skills in from the following pictures of hand-crafting:
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Have you been wondering how the Cobbler’s Bench is assembled?
Watch the video here to find out!
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A HUGE THANK YOU
To all who participated in our FIRST-EVER Cyber Monday Sale. The sale was an overwhelming success, and we plan to make the Cyber Monday Sale an annual sale!