Featured Tippmann Customer
How did you get into leathercrafting?
Like many others I suppose. I started “dabbling” in it, while in Boy Scouting. Assisting at the leather crafting area of the summer camp programs. Did not really get serious about it until I had to retire due to health issues and disabilities from Agent Orange Exposure during the Vietnam War. (1968). I took a tooling class at Oregon Leather, in Eugene, Oregon. Just a simple basic class on how to get started in tooling leather. They gave as a Tandy Basic (Really Basic) tool kit as part of the class. I was hooked from the first cut with my swivel knife.
I still consider my self just a few pegs ahead of that basic class, as I learn something new every day. I really liked to hand sew my projects, liking the slow pace of the stitching. Usually when I make a mistake, it is due to rushing a project along. The hand sewing slowed me down. But earlier this year, my Neuropathies in my fingers causing numbness, took away the necessary feeling to handle sewing with needle and thread so I started to look into sewing machines for leather. A friend gave me a Chinese knock off of a Juki commercial sewing machine, but I found out I could not handle the high speed sewing it was designed for.
I remembered an ad for the Tippmann Sewing Machine and ordered one right away. I found it to be a perfect solution to my needs. Simple to set up, maneuver leather through the machine, and has the sturdiness to handle what ever I need it for. My leather crafting has developed into a personal ministry for serving the Lord. He has been my guidance and teacher as my skills (Art) has moved along. I love making things for people and getting the chance to talk to others about the Lord. I give away a good portion of the things I make to organizations for raffles prizes and fundraisers. I ride motorcycles, so a lot of what I make is geared to that group. Riding with the Christian Motorcyclist Association give me plenty of items to make or customized requests.
From simple stamped or tooled belts,. saddle bags, tool bags, tank and fender bibs, chaps, vests, holsters, gun belts, rifle slings, Gun cases, etc; just about anything I can think up. What Items I do sell, I only charge the costs of the materials. I dont need to make a living at this, I just love getting a smile from someone who gets a bargain from what God tells me to do for others.
How long have you had your BOSS?
I have had my machine about 5 months now, and really do love it. It makes putting together projects much easier. I especially like being able to set the pace of the sewing myself. The machine is very easy to use and maintain. Threads easy, the bobbins are easy to load with the drill attachment. It is easy to control the tensions, and stitch lengths. It is not hard to transport. I take it with me to do repairs and such at the rallies I go to, if I am setting up a booth. I sew patches and make repairs at no cost for the events I take it to. I built a sewing “Horse” to attach the machine to when traveling with it.
Anyone getting into leather crafts, would find the cost of the machine well worth the price. It saves time and wear and tear on the hands and fingers. (And I like the way pulling the handle, reminds me of the handles on a slot machine). So if you havent yet considered a Tippmann, you should, it is a great tool!
In the beginning it is VERY easy to get rushed, so you can see the finished piece right away. SLOW down so not to make many mistakes, or mistakes that cannot be reversed… Unless your in this for a living you shouldnt really have too many deadlines.
What are your plans for the future?
Just to keep on enjoying my leather crafting as a ministry to our Lord, and let him do the rest..