Featured Tippmann Customer:
Major Shop Equipment:
Tippmann Boss Sewing Machine
Adler Long Arm
“I’ve got more machines now than I can ever wear out.”
About Luke Hattley:
“When I retired from meat cutting 5 years ago, I told my wife I now have 30 years to do what I want to do.”
At 66 years old, he keeps busy with repair work and creating new items. “I’m in the right location for leather repair.” The closest leather repair business to him is about 35 miles away. While Luke operates a leather craft business, it isn’t all about the money. “When I sought out my vocation, leather crafting was at the bottom of the list.” He has seen some of the leather craft industry deteriorate, from production going overseas to shoe repair businesses closing up left and right. “In Memphis, 3 shoe repair shops have closed in the last year.” He feels that while people don’t need their shoes re-soled anymore, there is still a demand for high quality footwear. He makes shoes and moccasins on a custom basis, and enjoys doing it.
Luke uses his Tippmann Boss on a regular basis along with his powered machines. “There are some things it can’t do, and some things it can. I have been very happy with my machine. It took me about 2 weeks to talk my wife into letting me buy it. When I got the machine set up, I had some questions. I talked on the phone with Al (Tippmann Engineer), and he set me right. I really can’t complain about anything with the Tippmann Boss. It is a quality product, and it does exactly what it’s supposed to do. There are a couple things that I do with my Boss to help it sew right. I always put a smaller sized thread on the bobbin, which seems to help with the stitch. Sometimes I have a hard time sewing really hard veg tan leather, but all I need is some thread lubricant and it sews just fine. A buddy of mine bought a Boss a couple years ago, and I have helped him out when he had questions. Right now, he is building a saddle which has been done completely on a Boss.”
Luke made a custom stand for his Tippmann Boss. He started with a Singer 29-4 patch machine stand, and built a box that sits on the stand next to the box. The top of the box is flush with the needle plate on the Boss, so that he can rest his material on the box and keep it level while he stitches. “I looked at the flatbed attachment, but I had heard that it was inconvenient to change out your bobbin. So I built this box, which I can just lift out of the way when I don’t need it there.”
Luke sometimes gets some odd requests. Just the other day, he received a phone call from a guy who is restoring a 1900 Fire Engine. It has a leather cover for the steering column gear box, and Luke is making the replacement piece.
Luke also has a passion for motorcycles. “I’ve ridden motorcycles for a good part of my life, and that was one of the things I appreciated about Tippmann Products. They have old restored motorcycles placed in the office of the factory. It’s just my type of company. I grew up on a Cushman Scooter, and when I got a little older I was a cruising fool on my 1967 BSA Spitfire.”
“It’s not about the Dollar– It’s about a job well done and the satisfaction of doing a job well.”
– Luke Hattley