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July 2013

The Leather Retailers’ and Manufacturers’ Journal

building for the future

Wickett & Craig Tex Shoemaker & Sons Inc.

Advice from the Bench


Saddle, Harness & Allied Trades Association

insidE: Laugh Lines • Hide Report

Goods & Services | Harness Variety & Function | Boot & Shoe News Classifieds

Since 1984

Shop Talk!


July 2013 |


The Leather Retailers’ and Manufacturers’ Journal

Table of Contents


Laugh Lines..........................................................................6 SHATA.....................................................................................9 Hide Report........................................................................16 Goods & Services..............................................................19 Advice from the Bench...................................................23


Harness Variety, Part One..............................................36

Deadline for advertising copy is the 5th of the month prior to the month of publication. Invoices are due upon receipt. SHATA members who display the SHATA logo in their advertisement receive a 5% discount on display ads. 6 or 12-month prepaid advertising contracts receive a 5% discount. Discounts may not be combined (advertisers may receive either a SHATA discount or a prepaid contract discount).

Boot & Shoe News............................................................48

Classified Ads

Tex Shoemaker..................................................................25 Wickett & Craig..................................................................30

Classifieds............................................................................58 Cartoon................................................................................61

Cover photo: Cowboy on horse, Bean Day rodeo, Wagon Mound, Mew Mexico. Lee, Russell, 1903-1986, photographer. Library of Congress Shop Talk! is published monthly (ISSN 1547-0121) by Proleptic, Inc. Subscription rates are $36 annually, $39 (US) for Canada and Mexico, and $54 (US) for all other countries. Shop Talk! is the official monthly publication of the Saddle, Harness, and Allied Trades Association (SHATA). SHATA members receive a $4 discount on annual subscriptions. For more information on subscriptions, advertising rates, or SHATA membership, contact:

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Reduce - Reuse - Recycle


Shop Talk Leather Magazine

P.O. Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816 Ph (828) 505-8474 Fax (828) 505-8476

Visit us at

Recycling old magazines, catalogs, and newspapers is one of the easiest ways to help the environment. To increase the supply of recoverable wood fiber and to reduce the demand on regional landfills, Shop Talk! urges its readers to support recycling efforts in their communities. Shop Talk! is printed only with inks made from vegetable oil.

Shop Talk!

published by Proleptic, Inc. P.O. Box 17817 Asheville, NC 28816 email:

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July 2013 |


Laugh Lines Notable Quotes

“This nation will remain the land of the free only as long as it is the home of the brave” —Elmer Davis “America is much more than a geographical fact. It is a political and moral fact—the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality.” —Adlai Stevenson “If our country is worth dying for in time of war let us resolve that it is truly worth living for in time of peace.” —Hamilton Fish “My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!” —Thomas Jefferson “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” —Bill Clinton “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” —Abraham Lincoln “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” —Thomas Paine

Patriotic Jokes & Riddles

Q: Teacher: “Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?” A: Student: “On the bottom!” Q: What did King George think of the American colonists? A: He thought they were revolting! Q: What quacks, has webbed feet, and betrays his country? A: Beneduck Arnold! Q: What has four legs, a shiny nose, and fought for England? A: Rudolph the Redcoat Reindeer.

Q: What happened as a result of the Stamp Act? A: The Americans licked the British. Q: Why did Paul Revere ride his horse from Boston to Lexington? A: Because the horse was too heavy to carry! Q: What do you call a parade of German mercenaries? A: A Hessian procession. Q: What did one flag say to the other flag? A: Nothing—it just waved!

“There, I guess King George will be able to read that.” John Hancock

Independence Day Quiz 1. The Liberty Bell is an important part of early American history. Was there only one Liberty Bell cast? 2. When was the Liberty Bell last rung? 3. Our national anthem is “The Star Spangled Banner” as everyone knows. Who wrote it? 4. Why is the Fourth of July our most important American holiday of the year?

5. What American President also celebrated his birthday on the Fourth of July? 6. Which three American Presidents died on the Fourth of July? 7. When did the Fourth of July become a legal holiday? answers on page 8

Timco Corp. Specialists in Decorative Ornamentation Tim O’Hara 1551 Central Street Stoughton, MA 02072 Phone: (781) 821-1041 x. 203 Toll Free: (866) 821-1041 x. 203 Fax: (781) 436-3498 E-mail: Web:

New: Spot Setter for: New 2013 Parachute Spot New 2013 Rope Edge Spot Plain head 5/16” dia. Spot Sunburst 5/16” dia. Spot 5/16” Faceted Jewel Spot ALL 5 styles can run on just one machine … no need to change dies or adjust machine!

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July 2013 |


Answers from page 7… 1. The first two versions of the Liberty Bell were defective, melted back down, and recast. 2. The third Liberty Bell rang on every Fourth of July from 1778 until it cracked in 1835. 3. Francis Scott Key wrote our national anthem which was set to an English drinking song entitled, “To Anacreon in Heaven”. 4. The Declaration of Independence was a statement approved by the Continental Congress on July 4 but actually signed on August 2, 1776. 5. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born July 4, 1872, in Plymouth, VT. 6. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826. James Monroe also died on July 4. 7. The Fourth of July became a legal holiday in1941.


Maverick Leather Company MC L

Whips With Authority!


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Whips of Quality from Texas and the West. From leather, rawhide, and nylon. Bosals, Quirts, Shooflys, Reins, Riatas, Romals, Mecates, Dog Leashes, Mohair, hatbands, novelties and more. Give us a call. You’ll find our prices hard to beat!

Ask about our new burgundy latigo available in 6/7 oz & 9/10 oz


PO Box 311448 New Braunfels, TX 78131 Al Ludwig Call: 830-629-0540 Cell: 832-754-6099

Protects from Moisture


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July 2013

Shop Talk!

shata members

Available for contract work

The Saddle, Harness & Allied Trades Association (SHATA) serves professional leather, nylon workers, and suppliers to the industry worldwide. For free information about benefits and membership, call or write: Saddle, Harness & Allied Trades Association, PO Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816, 828-505-8474 or fax 828-505-8476. The SHATA members listed below are available to do custom work on a contract basis. They may do types of work other than what is listed. Please call them for details and prices. All SHATA members and their services are listed on our web site

A 1 Leather

BJ Ridgill 940 Townview Ln. • Las Cruces, NM 88007 (575) 541-4337 • fax (575) 527-0595 • Saddles cleaned, oiled & repaired, tack, chaps, checkbook covers, billfolds, custom made leather goods, custom clicker work, hand cut metal art. Saddle bronk halters. Flank cinch strap with quick release. Wholesale & retail.

A-C-J & M White Saddlery

Michael White 17203 E. Rosita Dr. • Fountain Hills, AZ 85268 (480) 209-6287 See Facebook page “A-C-J&M WhiteSaddlery” • Saddles, golf bags, holsters, tack, harness, guncases, knife sheaths, bags, purses, suspenders, cases of all kinds, caps, saddle bags, home décor, wallets, & belts.

Aetna Felt Corp

2401 W. Emaus Ave • Allentown, PA 18103 (610) 791-0900 • • Custom Die Cutting, Slitting, Perforating, Adhesive Coating Application, Hot Foil Stamping, Screen Printing, Laminating, Pricking, Sewing and Spooling. Traditional Die Cutting and Computer Controlled Cutting of all non-metallic materials including felt, leather, cork, paper, chipboard and textiles.

Al’s Leather Craft, Ltd.

Allan M. Scheiderer 312 Buerger St. • Marysville, OH 43040 (937) 644-9434 • • Belts, billfolds, purses, custom work welcome.

American Leather Direct, Inc.

Bo Duncan 268 Orange Cemetery Rd. • Morgantown, KY 42261-9631 (800) 624-7642 • (270) 526-3835 • fax (270) 526-5491 • • Supplier of vegetable tanned U.S. steer leathers. Including skirting, tooling, strap, latigo, harness and bridle leathers as well as custom products.

Beiler’s Mfg. & Supply Manufacturing address 290 S. Groffdale Rd. Leola, PA 17540 (717) 656-2179

Main Office & Warehouse 3025 Irishtown Rd. Ronks, PA 17540 (717) 768-0174

Manufacturers of Leather, Nylon or Biothane Products like Halters, Harnesses or other Equine or Pet Related items. Distributors of Harness & Saddlery Hardware. Leather, Leather Oils, Biothane & Nylon Webbing plus other Equine Products. Call us for any custom made Harness or Saddlery Hardware item you may need.

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July 2013 |


Awl For The Horse

Broken Pine Leather

Below The Belt

C. S. Osborne & Co.

Bob’s Saddle Shop & Boot Repair

Celtic Custom Leather

Fran Hornick 925 Thorme St. • Bridgeport, CT 06606 (203) 371-5635 • Repair work, refinishing, reconditioning, custom work, leather carving. Jim Korger 409 Santa Barbara Ct. • Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (707) 664-1152 • • Heavy duty leather tool holders for the rough trades: scaffold workers, insulators, iron workers, pile drivers, etc. Custom leather work, prototypes. Robert Ellis 250 Road 171 • Chappell, NE 69129 (970) 948-7773 • Boot repair. New or used saddle repair. Repairs for chaps, chinks, shotgun, batwing. Make Pony Express mochia for Colorado & California.



Dwight Parrill 625 N. 6 Mile Rd. • Casper, WY 82604 (307) 577-0166 • Custom leather goods, leather goods repair, tack repair. Dominic Amador 125 Jersey St. • Harrison, NJ 07029 (973) 483-3232 • fax (973) 484-3621 • Manufacturer of a complete line of leatherworking hand tools. Felton Wilkes 4033 Jeffersonville Rd. Macon, GA 31217 (478) 747-2298 cell • Lacing, carving, billfolds, wallets, clutch purses, most general leather work.


NEW AND IMPROVED Hame Bender • Adjustable blocks on top bar


• Bends all hames from Buggy Hames to Stainless Steel Pulling Hames with ease A must for fitting your hames to the collar For more information and a complete catalog on hames and harness hardware, write to: Chupp Blacksmith Shop Ltd. 9107 Township Road 609 Fredericksburg, Ohio 44627

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July 2013

85263 Chupp ad 3.5x4.75 1

6/19/13 9:42 AM

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Dan Freeman’s Leatherworks

Dan Freeman 2 Park St. • Middlebury, VT 05753 (802) 388-2515 • Custom made footwear.

Diamond P Leather Shop

Phil O’Neill 25051 180th Ave., SE • Kent, WA 98042 (253) 631-9770 • Custom leather, farrier aprons, belts, billfolds.

Donn’s Leather

Donn Frederick 8402 Hwy. 30 SE • Chatfield, MN 55923 (507) 867-4868 • Wholesale saddles and tack, clicker parts, spur straps, etc.

E Brand Leather

Charles C. Karver 903 Winona St., S.E. • Chatfield, MN 55923 (507) 867-3093 • (507) 273-8671

E-Z Fit Saddle, LLC

Eli Beiler 1017 Oregon Hollow Rd. • Drumore, PA 17518 (717) 284-4565 • • Custom design & manufacturing of all leather goods, custom manufacturing & designing of treeless racing & endurance saddles.

Flatbush Mold & Saddle

Barbara Stork 593 Manhattan Ave. • Brooklyn, NY 11222 (718) 213-0772 • • Sculpture & moldmaking for cast metal, rubber & resin. Custom pressure relief neoprene saddlepads. English saddle repair & restoration.

Friedlander Sewing Machine Co., Inc.

Joe Friedlander P.O. Box 763 • Greenlawn, NY 11740 (631) 754-2121 • (631) 754-8033 fax • • U.S. importers of Highlead industrial sewing machines.

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July 2013 |


Goliger Leather Company Inc.

Cheryl Rifkin 1580 Saratoga Ave., Unit A • Ventura, CA 93003 (805) 650-6553 • fax (805) 650-1742 • Saddle leathers, chap leathers, tooling leathers distributor.

Hermann Oak Leather Co.

Lee Rottmann 4050 N. First St. • St. Louis, MO 63147 (314) 421-1173 • fax (314) 421-6152 • Leather tannery. Harness, skirting, straps, latigo, etc.

Hilltop Halters

Joseph Frey 5295 E. County R 150 N. • Orleans, IN 47452 • Collar parts, contract manufacturing, halters, pet goods, nylon harness.

Hoof ‘n Paw Harness Repair

Robert Basile 168 Starks Rd. • New Sharon, ME 04955 (207) 778-3903 • Repair work, small production runs.

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J&M Saddle Co.

Jim Marr 1660 Mountain View Ln. • Newcastle , CA 95658 (916) 663-0100 phone & fax • Custom saddles and repairs.

K&D Hunter Services, LLC

Kathy Hunter 6010 Hammock Hill Ave. • Lithia, FL 33547 (813) 294-7517 • (813) 657-9708 • • Saddle repair, tack repair, and blanket repair.

Ken Wright Custom Leather Goods

Ken Wright Box 28 • Piapot, SASK S0N 1Y0 Canada (306) 558-4611 • Custom saddles, custom leather carving.

Ken’s Leathercraft

Kenneth / Kathy Guilliams 6760 S. Indian Grave Rd. • Boones Mill, VA 24065 (540) 774-6225 phone & fax • • Belts, wallets, gun belts, holsters & shoulder holsters.

July 2013

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Leathersmith Designs, Inc.

Jamie Hartling 88 Woodlawn Rd. • Dartmouth, NS B2W 2S5 Canada (800) 845-1829 • Leathercraft supplies, custom leather work, promotional products, keytags, coasters, bookmarks, belts, dog collars, coin purses, imprinting, guitar straps, knife cases, die cutting, leather, bends, bellies, buckles, hardware, garment leather, leather laces.

Major T’s Harness & Boot, LLC

Stan Tucker 208 E. Second St. • Kaukauna, WI 54130 (920) 462-4333 • Shoe & boot repair. Harness & tack making, saddle repair. Repair snow shoes, ball gloves & make chaps, sleigh bells & custom purses. Also, Civil War reenactment tack.

Moser Leather

James C. Cox 1405 Boyle Rd. • Hamilton, OH 45013 (513) 889-0500 • (513) 894-3844 fax • • Strap and die cutting, dyeing, edging, hole punching, sewing and riveting, lots of dies and patterns available.

North Star Leather Co., Inc.

Stephen Batson P.O. Box 307 • Ruby, SC 29741 (800) 338-7637 • fax (843) 634-6961 • • Custom cutting, imprinting, custom manufacturing

Roger’s Custom Leather

Roger Trone 271 E. Adams St. • Rushville, IL 62681 (217) 322-3026 • Vintage saddle restoration, saddle cleaning & repair.

Rolling Hills Farm & Tack

Kent Copley 600 Oakville Rd. • Macon, NC 27551 (252) 257-2928 • Custom & repair work.

Salt Creek Leather & Saddle Shop

Paul Jensson 27411 E. 500 N. Rd. • LeRoy, IL 61752 (309) 962-4406 • Custom leather shop. Build and repair, restoration of all things leather. Saddles, tack, chaps, cowboy gear, motorcycle leathers, belts, purses, checkbooks billfolds. Artwork and more. Limited only by customer ideas. Shop Talk!

July 2013 |


Schmidt’s Leather & Iron Works

Smoke Saddlery

Glenn Schmidt 22225 Caballero Rd. • Clovis, CA 93619 (559) 299-1965 • • Custom leather goods, saddle repair, pack equipment, bits & spurs built one at a time by hand.

Charlie Smoke P.O. Box 172 • Rapid City, SD 57709 (307) 696-5158 • Saddle making/repairs, hitched horse hair, unique saddles based on mid-1800’s designs.

Schurer Saddlery

Susan Schurer 604 Front St. • Selinsgrove, PA 17870 (570) 594-4984 • • All English saddle fitting, repairs, design & construction.

Stephen J. Berscheid 58258 390th St. • Emerson, IA 51533 (712) 824-7544 • Saddle repair, custom tack, chaps.

Schwartz Nylon Harness Shop

Stoffel Saddlery

Walter Schwartz 6747 N. 800 West • Etna Green, IN 46524 (800) 775-0712 ext: 9911 • Beta dog leads and collars, nylon and Bio harness (draft to mini), nylon halters.

SFS Associates, Inc.

Sue Busse 5450 Highland Park Dr. • St. Louis, MO 63110 (314) 531-1830 • fax (314) 531-1882 • Supplier to trade. Thread.

Steve’s Saddle & Repair

Judge Stoffel, Master Saddler (by appointment only) 775 Old NC Hwy. 75 • Lexington, NC 27292 (336) 746-9004 • Custom saddles: any period. Custom tooling, engraving, carving, wildlife & sculpture realism. Custom one-of-a-kind leather collectibles. Historic & authentic reproductions in leather & silver. Museum quality restorations.

T/H Saddle Shop

Brownie Harrington 920 Fitzhugh Ave. • Clovis, NM 88101 (575) 762-1771 phone and fax • • Saddles, chaps, bags, tack & repair.

Three Springs Tack Repair

Thomas C. Black, DMV 2492 Collinsville Rd. • Columbus, NC 28722 (828) 863-2887 phone and fax • Fox hunting whip repairs, stock whip repairs, custom whips, English saddle repairs.

Truckman Leather Works

Mark Diedrich 1310 N Park St. • McHenry, IL 60050 (815) 482-7696 • Truck belts, pager cases, radio straps, radio cases.

Vaquero Saddlery (formerly Wild Horse Saddlery)

Phil Green P.O. Box 939 • Weldon, CA 93283 (760) 977-0623 • Custom Western saddles & tack. Custom cowboy trappings in the Old Californio Vaquero and Great Basin Buckaroo traditions. Chaps, chinks, armitas, tapaderos, buckin’ rolls, holsters, scabbards & saddle bags. Saddle repair & restoration.

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July 2013

Shop Talk!

Walking Bear Leather

Ray Boyden 5 Shetland Ct. • Savannah, GA 37419-9606 912-927-9342 • • Small die clicking, small die stamping, repairs, custom work. Manufacture holsters, knife sheaths, hair barrettes, and other small items.

Western Specialties

Ben Day 3106 Cedar Dale Rd. • Mt. Vernon, WA 98274 (360) 424-4464 • Horses, hogs, dogs, frogs & spottedgoats

Wickett & Craig of America

Matt Bresseler 120 Cooper Rd. • Curwensville, PA 16833 (814) 236-2220 • fax (814) 236-3333 • • Suppliers of veg-tanned specialty leathers for harness, bridle, holsters, belts & bags


Yoder’s Pad Shop

David Yoder 1117 Township Rd. 1293 Ashland, OH 44805 (419) 281-2030 • General sewing, custom clicker work, collar pads, back pads, misc. pads.


MANUFACTURING W Farm & Buggy Collars W Adjustable Top Collars W All Purpose Collars W Show Collars W Heavy Logging Collars W No-Choke Pulling Collars W Collar Clock & Mirror Large Inventory in Stock for prompt shipment!

Design ©The Draft Horse Journal

We also stock No Wrinkle Vinyl Healing Pads Harness Parts


Answering service 515-830-2596 17607 200th St. | Bloomfield, Iowa 52537

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July 2013 |


The Hide Report

The inside scoop on high leather prices

Please note: The information provided in this article will be at least 30 days old by the time you read it since the hide market, like all commodity markets, is something that changes from day to day and hour to hour. Still, despite the fluctuations, the trends mentioned here will hopefully suggest where world markets seem to be heading and how you can expect the hide market to behave. There follows extracts and summaries of items that have appeared on

 Hide prices are generally steady with slight rises in the cost of Heavy Texas and Heavy Native Steer. Sales of Bulls weighing 90/100 lbs. were generally steady but with sales reported of $78 for brands and $82 for natives (unbranded). See chart below for prices from around mid-June.  The US cattle herd has shrunken to its lowest level since 1952 and the 2012 calf crop was the

smallest since 1941. Beef cow numbers will decline again this year so 2014’s calf crop will be smaller again. Any herd expansion might not now occur until 2016-1017, says analysts.  There follows a commentary from which suggests some of the conflicting information and confusion regarding the state of the hide market and reasons why prices are remaining high

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Large Spring $38 + SH Small Spring $19.50 + SH

Tempered • Very Limited Supply Proleptic, Inc. • PO Box 17817 • Asheville NC 28816 (828) 505-8474 • email:

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July 2013

Shop Talk!

despite indicators to the contrary—for example, there are reports of a severely reduced heard size while at the same time an increase in slaughter (or is it a reduction?) and a surplus of unsold green hides—brokers can’t sell the hides they have on hand but costs aren’t moving. Do hide producers know something that tanners don’t? As I said, to the ignorant layman there seems to be an abundance of conflicting facts and figures. Here’s what hidenet had to say in a piece entitled, “Impressive Resilience”. Make of it what you will: We can’t help but be impressed by the markets imperviousness to negative news. Export figures that show exports and domestic sales below slaughter for six consecutive weeks, a slowdown in Chinese growth, the recession in Europe, increased slaughter, and the stock market is only about two or three points from its all time high. How can this be? [Our emphasis.] Our rationale is that leather prices between tanner, shoe maker, and brands have been set in and around current hide prices. This makes it possible for all concerned to perhaps, if not flourish, to keep producing.

the fall and early winter between Thanksgiving and New Years. The supply factor and, more importantly, the new prices set by the brands, especially on steers, will set the tone for the market for the rest of the year. Meanwhile, we cannot foresee any significant break out in the current trading range on any selection.  Reuters reports US auto sales rose more than expected in May as construction workers and oil drillers bought more pickup trucks to meet growing demand for their services, a trend that major automakers expect to persist throughout the year. Car and truck sales rose 8% during May, according to Autodata Corp. The annual sales rate was 15.3 million vehicles. Increased auto sales translate into increase upholstery leather sales.  Tandy Leather Factory announced the grand opening of its flagship store at its corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, TX. As part of its

New long term leather contracts between the major brands and tanners will start to be negotiated in August and September and into fall. The willingness of leather buyers to pay what tanners will demand will depend on retail sales up to that point and longer term projections. At the same time, US slaughter traditionally slows in

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July 2013 |


ongoing expansion and growth strategy, the company’s new store, located at 1900 SE Loop 820, will be the largest in its store chain at 22,000 square feet. Grand opening festivities were held on June 7-8, 2013. Jon Thompson, CEO and President, commented, “We are very proud of this new store with its unique layout and sophisticated technology. It houses a state-of-the art classroom where we can host leathercraft classes and demonstrations by the industry’s greatest artists. The 15,000 sq. ft. showroom gives us the ability to display the leather and accessories in

Tandy Leather Flagship Store, Ft. Worth, TX

a visually appealing manner that we believe our customers will thoroughly enjoy. The feedback so far has exceeded our expectations.”

Here’s a chart for other selections that compares prices for mid-June to 2013 to mid-June 2012:


Weight (lbs.)

Per Pc. FOB

Price Last Year

Heavy Texas Steers




Heavy Texas Steers (Hvy)




Branded Steers




Branded Steers (Hvy)




Colorado Steers




Butt Branded Steers




Butt Branded Steers (Hvy)




Heavy Native Steers (Hvy)




Heavy Native Heifers




Branded Heifers




Heavy Native Cows




Branded Cows




Spready Dairy Cows







Native Bulls

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July 2013

Shop Talk!

Inventory and Equipment and Updates

Goods & services

If you’re a manufacturer, distributor, or wholesaler with a new product that might be of interest to our readers, please drop us a line! We’ll be sure to mention you in the next available issue of Shop Talk! FREE! No joke! And pictures are always very much appreciated. Contact: Shop Talk!, P O Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816, (828) 505-8474, e-mail: Thanks! We want to hear from YOU!

 There’s two really good things about Sunrise Supply: for one thing they make great NutraGlo feed supplements that your customers will love, and, two, the company is still small enough to offer really good customer service. You’re not just an account number—they treat you like a real person. So they offer great products as well as personal service. What’s not to like?

Sunrise Supply manufactures nutritional feed supplements for horses, cows, deer, dogs, and poultry. For a complete list of their products, please contact: P O Box 104, Winesburg, OH 44690, (866) 704-2374.

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July 2013 |


Help me! Help me!

7/16”, and 9/16”. Post heights for the double head are ¼”, 7/16”, and 15/32”.

Original wire handle leather flyswatters are here and available from Yoder Leather Shop. These handy swatters may be stamped with your company or shop logo. Nice! Contact: 870 Reynolds Rd., Greenwich, OH 44837.

Contact: Feiner Supply, 5089 N. E. Ave., Oakland Park, FL 33334, (800) 645-3256, www.

New in J. M. Saddler’s Old MacDonald line of salves and ointments is My Achin’ Lotion for sore and stiff joints and muscles. My Achin’ Lotion combines seven herbal essential oils and chili pepper extract to help relieve aging, overworked, stiff, and sore muscles and joints throughout your whole body. This natural, non-greasy lotion has no artificial fragrance and has been used for generations. Available in 4 and 8 ozs.

 If you looking for something a little different in a heavy stitcher with a lot of versatility and innovative features, then you need to get one of

For all the details, please contact J. M. Saddler at 9107 Riverstone Ct., College Station, TX 77845, (979) 693-5114,

 Wickett & Craig is now offering hot dipped latigo and harness. They are also making a new harness leather with a firmer temper. For all the details, call Matt Bressler at (800) TANNERY or (814) 236-2220 or write 120 B Cooper Rd., Curwensville, PA 16833.

Try our NEW Vinyl in 8 Colors Both sides vinyl. Better than marine vinyl. For longer wear-Wash them clean & keep inside dry.

• Collar pads • Breast pads • Show pads • Split Breast pads • Back pads • Breeching pads

 Feiner Supply sells both single head and double head Rapid Rivets in brass and nickel plated. Packed 1,000 pcs. per bag. Post heights for the single head are 5/16”, 3/8”,

• Write For Free Catalog •

Bogle Greenwell Machinery Corp.

Custommade Knives & Tools for Leatherworkers

Since 1953

3100 E. Main, Grand Prairie, TX 75050 (972) 262-8652 or (972) 262-3101 Fax (972) 262-3251 Leather Machinery, Dies & Supplies Representatives & Distributors for:

Indusco Acme Staple Co. Adler America Inc. Chandler Machine Co. Manufacturers Supplies Co. Campbell Bosworth Machinery Co.

Consolidated Sewing Machine Corp. Hudson Machine Co. Randall Leather Machine Corp. Western Supplies Co. Quick Roll Leaf Mfg. Co., Inc. Schaefer Machine Company, Inc. Fortuna Machine Co. Ferd, Schmetz Needle Corp. Jado Machine Co. New England Needles Inc. Juki AmericaSinger Machine Co. Pfaff Pegasus of USA, Inc. & many more

Sale or Lease of New & Used Machinery

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Sweat Pad Shop 183 Stoneyhill Road, Quarryville, PA 17566

■ New Handles Danny Repair ■◉Sharpen Round Knives ◉ Stitch Groovers Marlin ◉ Custommade Tools Knives ◉ Bench Knives

(254) 842- 5405

◉ Stock Tools ◉ Old Blades Reshaped

1550 County Road 207 ■ Blanket, TX 76432

July 2013

Shop Talk!

those new Techsew 5100-SE from Raphael Sewing! The SE stands for “special edition”. The 5100-SE is a big machine with a 16.5” throat. It sports a 4/5 HP motor which gives it a lot of torque and enables the operator to sew as slow as he or she wants to even in very thick, dry leather. Yes—it’ll sew up to 7/8” which is as heavy as anyone will ever need but, it will also do work as light as 6 oz. The motor positions your needle automatically which is a great feature and saves time and trouble. It’s a triple feed machine so that means a very positive feed and very regular stitch length. It also has a swing down roller guide which is mighty handy as well as a flatbed table attachment. Then there’s its TLG Laser Guide—first ever on the market. Wow! Just follow the red line for a straight stitch. It’s the same sort of thing you see on, let’s say, a wet saw for tile. What an useful feature! For all the details, you may contact Ron at Raphael Sewing (Tech Sew), (866) 415-8223,  The folks at N & A Harness have a new 12" Gang Kick Press— It is self-centering, punches holes, slots, round ends, and English point. Custom bars available. Contact: 6009 Township Road 419, Millersburg, OH 44654, (330) 8931024.  TIMCO has a new address: 1551 Central St., Stoughton, MA 02072. Everything else remains the same: phone (781) 821-1041 x 203, (866) 821-1041 x 203, fax (781) 436-3498, e-mail:,

then you need to get in touch with the folks at Foam-Tex because they’ve got what you need! They make a great product to clean suede, leather, and fabric which comes in a 5 oz. dispenser, 1 gal. container, and 5 gal. container. Coming soon are two new products—one is a Golf Shoe & Club Cleaner and a Salt Remover which would work on footwear as well as saddles, tack, and harness to remove salty sweat stains. Give it a try and start stocking it for resale. Contact: Foam-Tex Solutions, 13981 W. Parkway Rd., Cleveland, OH 44135, (216) 889-2702,  WOW! Those guys and gals at Springfield Leather have done it again! They just sent out their new catalog which weighs in at around 300 pages. What a lot of work! It’s a monster! And chock full of goodies—100’s and 100’s of useful tools, leather, equipment, and supplies for any sort of leather work you do. Whether you’re a large manufacturer, a hobbyist, have a custom boot or saddle shop, or run a

 If you ever have customers come in with grass stains on their gear, saddles, shoes, or boots, Shop Talk!

July 2013 |


shoe repair operation, this new catalog has something for everyone.  Springfield Leather has a much bigger inventory of leather than most people realize. If you want it—whatever weight, finish, or color—they most likely have it and are happy to sell you a square foot or a whole side. No joke! And while they stock everything from kip to kangaroo, harness to hair-on, they are one of the largest dealers in job lots and closeouts in the US—there’s a lot of wheeling and dealing going on at SL so you never know what specials might be on hand.

SL has more different types and colors of lace than you can shake a stick at. Lots of leather stamps, leather working books, patterns, carving supplies, and bag findings. Great source for belt buckles and all sorts of conchoes! I could go on and on and still not do Springfield’s super new catalog justice so the very best thing to do is get a copy for yourself and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s a dandy! Contact: Springfield Leather, 1463 S. Glenstone, Springfield, MO 65804, (800) 6688518,

Of course, they carry a massive amount of craft supplies, kits, and supplies for bead and jewelry work. They’ve got supplies for belt makers, bag makers, chap makers, saddle makers, and boot makers. They carry a complete line of sewing machines and other leather working equipment. They’re one of the few sources of Kydex for small shops making holsters and sheathes.

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July 2013

Shop Talk!

To Run a Shop You Should: 1. Like people. 2. Have some mechanical ability. 3. Like to work with your hands. 4. Realize the importance of keeping records and bookkeeping in general.

Advice the Bench from


ven if you aren’t the most outgoing person, you can develop some interest in your customers. They are people, too, and have jobs, families, and, in many cases, horses too. So you have many things in common to discuss. This will form a bond with your customers that can last for years, bringing in repeat business, and often results in a good recommendation to their friends. But be genuine and sincere with your interest. No appreciates a fake! Always acknowledge someone entering your shop, even when you are busy with customers. Give them a cheerful greeting, assuring them you’ll assist them as soon as possible. Customers are the life blood of your business, not just a nuisance to contend with. If you make a mistake, whatever it may be, admit it and correct what you can. If a customer takes advantage of you once, accept it but be cautious with him or her in the future. We have found the great majority of our customers to be honest. Especially in the service and repair business, they need you and realize it. And we need them so treat them with kindness and courtesy. Not everyone has the ability to be creative and work with their hands. If you do, leather working is a great opportunity to exercise both your mind and hands in creating new products or finding a better way to do the usual things. When operating a harness, shoe or saddle shop, you will have machinery and machines need maintenance. Study your operator’s manual to become familiar with what your machine was designed to do. A heavy leather stitcher was not intended to make fine wallets nor was a patcher intended to sew harness. Purchase the correct machine for the work you intend to do even if it costs more. Become familiar with the places that need oiling on the machine and oil them regularly. In the shop we have learned that oiling the shuttle hook very time we wind bobbin extends its life many times. After all, oil is cheaper than buying new parts! One dealer told of travelling fifty miles to check out a machine that wasn’t working, only to find that a knife handle had fallen under the clutch pedal. Be alert and look for the unexpected before calling a

[Editor’s Note: Lewis Martin, coauthor of Making Harness: A Stepby-Step Guide, is now a part-time employee of Martin Harness Shop which he sold at the first of this year to his employee David Rhodes. After being in business since 1962 and reaching the ripe and respectable age of 80, Lewis thought he might slow down a bit and recently had time to share some of his insights about running a successful business and being a committed craftsman— thank you, Lewis! While many of Lewis’ comments might seem old-fashioned and quaint in this time we live in, perhaps even irrelevant, the principles which have guided his behavior are the fundamental principles which made our country so prosperous but which, in so many instances, seem to be in abeyance. It can be truthfully said, Lewis seldom, if ever, put people before profits—even when it hurt. He approached his work from a moral perspective rather than simply a monetary one; by that I mean his intent was always be fair to everyone involved in a transaction. While he is what people might call a “master craftsman,” he’s always been a servant to his customers and truly grateful for their patronage. His example and advice are things from which we all can benefit.]

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July 2013 |


Chap, Saddle & Tooling Leather! The best grades from the best tanneries! Hermann Oak #1, or A & B grades only! Skirting, Harness, Strap, tooling, etc. Large clean sides of chap leather! Same types and colors always in stock! Work, Rodeo and Show!

repairman. Also, try a new needle before starting to adjust here or there. This will often be the cure for missed stitches or frayed thread. Don’t just open a shop on a sudden whim or because it looks like a chance to make a fast buck. It doesn’t work that way. Talk with and observe shop owners in other communities. Determine whether or not you enjoy the work and dealing with the public. Harness, shoe, and saddle repair can be dirty (and sometimes disgusting) but also rewarding when you refurbish an old or broken item and make it useful again. Be fairly sure you have ability, the financial backing, and the necessary space before you open your shop. Consider, too, whether there is a need in your location for your proposed business. You will also need some bookkeeping ability. If you don’t enjoy record keeping, hire someone who can advise you and keep your books. Be honest and as accurate as possible in keeping track of both income and expenses. Remember—you can be subject to an audit as any time! Customers expect shop owners to be magicians and to have a solution to all their problems. Don’t be confined by the way that things have always been done. Learn to think “outside the box”. By taking an open-minded approach, you may look at the problem from a different angle and come up with a simple solution. Your customer may have only a vague idea of what he wants so have him or her draw a sketch or show you a picture of what they want made. Once you understand clearly, then you can promise them, “You design it and we’ll build it!” Have a great future in your shop!

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July 2013

Shop Talk!

Tex Shoemaker & Sons Inc. Relishes Years of Clout in Holster Business

by Jennifer Fulford, West Coast Bureau Chief


ew names in holster manufacturing carry as high a profile as Tex Shoemaker & Sons Inc., and the grandson of the company’s founder is carrying on the tradition of well-made products and attentive customer service. This small southern California company has a lot going for it. Doug Shoemaker, Tex’s grandson, may downplay the positives but the business is in an enviable position. The crew has more than 200 years of combined work experience. The six workers in the shop have been around for about thirty years a piece. Some of the equipment has been around just as long. Each worker has his own sewing machine, many of them Landis 16s, which are tried and true workhorses in the leather industry. And the Shoemaker customer base is solid: traditional law enforcement, gun enthusiasts, and even Hollywood producers. Not surprisingly, Doug has a great deal of gratitude for his grandfather’s legacy, his workers, and his loyal customer base. “I’m very grateful for the people to let me make

the product for them, and I’ve very grateful that they are happy with it, and if they’re not, then please let me know how I can take care of it,” Doug, 48, says from his facility in San Dimas, CA.

Shoemaker’s Origins: Long, Tall Tex Tex Shoemaker was a formidable figure. Standing 6' 4", he was easy to Walking Dead Zombie Holster spot out of a classroom, as his grandson puts it. Tex got his nickname during a brief stay he and his family made in El Paso, TX, before finally settling in California in 1924. That’s where Tex learned leather carving from Bob Brown who was

Shop Talk!

July 2013 |


known for carving many of the silver saddles in the famous Rose Parade in Pasadena. Life in the West suited Tex. He considered himself a cowboy, Doug says. “He was a cowboy. He enjoyed all that.” Written accounts describe him as somewhat shy but carrying a formidable presence and always sporting a tailored Western outfit with boots and hat.

company’s forte. In the beginning, Tex’s leather projects were a nice side income, but word spread, and by the 1960s, the business wasn’t a hobby anymore. Doug says he asked his grandfather if he ever thought the business would grow into something larger and he told his grandson that he never thought it would.

“He was just trying to help the other fellow officers to get gear, which was Courtesy San Dimas Rodeo website. hard to find back in the day and to As a young man in California, Tex make a little money for him in his retirement worked as a mule skinner and also took pack years,” Doug says. outfits into the Sierra Madre Mountains. He One good decision Shoemaker made as the got a job with the city of Sierra Madre police business grew was to invest in Landis sewing department at 19, and at age 21, he became machines. Once Tex committed to them, he the youngest chief of police in the United never went back, and Doug indicates his grandStates at La Verne, CA. He held that distincfather’s decision puts the company in a coveted tion well after his retirement position today. The Landis machines are the from law enforcement in backbone of the company’s quality control, as 1966. He eventually are the experienced men who run them. became a sheriff and “All these guys know how to work with them. worked for the Los It’s like you driving your own car home every Angeles County Sherday. You know what that car does. How it iff’s Department with stops, how it turns, how it acts. Same thing with the rank of Sergeant these machines. They know how the machine of Detectives. works,” he says. According to Doug and accounts from close relatives, Tex went head to head with gangsters such as Bugsy Segal and Mickey Cohen, to name a few. He participated in the Zoot Suit Riots in southern California in 1943, when servicemen clashed with Latino youth due to racial tension. His years as a public servant launched him into leather because he began making police equipment and selling it on the side.

The Shoemaker Business Tex and his wife, Faye, grew Shoemaker Leather from a startup in their two-car garage to an operation that expanded into an 18,000-sq.ft. facility in San Dimas. Police leather gear, holsters in particular, was the 26 |

Although the sewing machines at Shoemaker aren’t manufactured anymore, Tex planned for the future and invested in parts to repair the Landis machines. Doug says he gets calls from others who use the same machines, but he’s not in the business of repairing another company’s equipment and never will be. Nor is he interested in selling parts. (Hint: Don’t call him about it!)

Good planning aside, Doug, who’s run the business since 2008, has had to endure ups and downs, too. He downsized during the recession to a 5,000-sq.ft. facility and is the only Shoemaker on the payroll. Still, he benefits from many years of past success. The company gained a lot of traction through sales of one of Tex’s most popular items, the breakfront holster, which is no longer manufactured.

July 2013

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“What made my grandfather very successful was workmanship…” “What made my grandfather very successful was workmanship, but one of the biggest items he made popular in the sixties, seventies through the eighties was the breakfront,” he says. “It was a revolver holster that instead of pulling straight up, it would pull out of the side of the holster, breakout in front. That was his design that he made, and it was patented, copyright, everything. We owned it until around 2000.” With Doug as lead designer, the company keeps experimenting with new products. A new item has been a taser holster, item LX-26, which has sold well since going on the market a few years ago. Another big seller this year has been a swivel holster, item 42A, which made its debut on a sci-fi cable television show. Doug doesn’t like bringing undo attention to the item because of the show, but the product is called the “Walking Dead Zombie Holster.” It wouldn’t be the first time Hollywood has come knocking. Shoemaker has made a number of products for television and movies. On a clear day, Doug says, he can see into LA from quiet San Dimas. The shop is only about thirty-five miles from Hollywood. Shoemaker buys leather exclusively from Hide House in Napa, CA. OccaTaser Holster sionally, Hide House will send a sample of something different, and Doug plays around with it; in one instance he made a motorcycle seat for a friend. But that’s not on the product list on the website which is the company’s primary marketing tool. Shoemaker doesn’t advertise. Orders can


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be submitted by phone and on the website where customers can leave comments. Doug likes reading what customers have to say, mostly because many praise the company’s quality service and products.

Tex’s Legacy Doug Shoemaker, alongside his dad and his well-known grandfather, worked in the leather shop starting in1979, at first skateboarding to work. He learned from the ground up. Doug takes a page out his grandfather’s playbook when it comes to business: no-nonsense hard work. Tex’s dedication to law enforcement earned him respect in the San Dimas community and beyond. After his death in 1994 at 81, city leaders dedicated the local arena in his honor and named it the Tex Shoemaker Arena. Tex’s story is detailed on the website for the San Dimas Western Days Rodeo which is held at the arena every October. “He always helped the police department in town. He’d always donated money to what-

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ever they wanted to do, volunteered a lot of his time… and when he passed away they wanted to dedicate back to Tex for all his generosity,” Doug says about the arena naming. “We didn’t know anything about it. It was unanimous.” And big names run together. Tex was friends with John Bianchi who founded the famous holster company that bears his name. Although Tex was older than Bianchi, Doug remembers the two men socializing and doing business together when Bianchi’s shop was in nearby Monrovia, CA. John later relocated Bianchi holsters closer to San Diego. “They were very, very good friends. He (Bianchi) was also an ex-cop. I do remember when I was a kid, John and Tex would hang out and do coffee together,” he says. “We used to make product for John Bianchi and stamp his name on it. To a small percentage, we put John Bianchi in business.” Although the Shoemaker name is a brand that Doug knows resonates with customers, he doesn’t always mention his surname immediately when in public. “I kinda keep that to myself until they ask,” he says. “Even when I go to the shows, I don’t know a lot of the cops that were from the sixties or seventies, but when they see my last name, they know exactly who I am. ‘Oh, you are related to the Shoemaker family.’ Yeah. That makes me feel good that they know who we are. We haven’t gone away.” Tex Shoemaker & Sons Inc. is located at 131 S. Eucla Ave., San Dimas, CA, 91773. Call (909) 592-2071 or fax (909) 592-2378. The website is The website for the San Dimas Western Days Rodeo is

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July 2013 |


Building For the Future at


— a visit with Matt Bressler, Sales Manager


ere’s a “what if” that most of us would hate to contemplate: what if you lost your largest customer over the period of a few years, a customer who, at one time, was buying 50% of everything you produced? That sort of bad news would shut down a whole lot of companies or require a radical restructuring and lots of layoffs. Fortunately, that’s not what happened at Wickett & Craig in Curwensville, PA, when they eventually lost Hartman Luggage, their largest customer, in the early 1990’s. Hartman, a venerable manufacturer of exquisite luggage, briefcases, and other business accessories headquartered in Nashville, TN, was purchased in the 90’s and production was moved to China. And rather than continue to use the leather that was largely responsible for the quality of the

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Hartman products, the new owners sourced their materials from Chinese tanners which led to a terminal decline in the Hartman quality and cachet. Fortunately, the brand was rescued in 2012 by yet another great name in luggage making, Samsonite. The first thing that old hands told the new owners was that, if they wanted the old quality back, they had to use Wickett & Craig leathers. Nothing else would do. So one of the first thing that the folks at Samsonite did was visit Matt Bressler, Sales Manager at Wickett, and order 63,000 sq. ft. Quite a sale! This boyish looking fellow is Matt Bressler— And yes, his arms are really that big! Matt is a mere 41 years old but he’s been with the tannery since he was 19—that’s a tenure of 22 years and he learned the trade under the legendary Brian

July 2013

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Andrews. Matt is one of the reasons that Wickett has weathered some tough times over the past twenty years and continues to be a hugely successful US tanner. Matt attributes W&C’s strong position in the market to the company’s refusal to be complacent combined with a willingness to innovate and adopt to changing markets. They’ve done this by becoming more efficient in how they tan leather, by striving to be consistent in both the tanning process and the leather produced, and by becoming more diversified in the markets they sell to and the leathers they produce. While Wickett keeps standard leathers in stock for immediate shipping, about half of their total production (around 12,000 sides/month) is tanned to customers’ specifications. They do a lot of custom tanning for a lot of very different markets. If you want it, Matt says he can make whatever weight, color, finish, or temper your heart desires—from very firm to very glovey. Just ask! Over the past ten years, Matt explains, Wickett has steadily added new equipment in the tannery, like the new crane system they use for handling the green hides that come in. It makes a tough, nasty job a lot easier and quicker. There are the four new, bigger wooden tanning drums now in use. According to Matt, the larger drums handle more hides and thereby help insure greater consistency between loads. These are the drums that W&C uses to do their veg retanning in—a mix of quebracho and mimosa is used in their tanyard while chestnut or wattle is used in the drums for the veg retan.

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July 2013 |


“The more leather costs, the more prestige it has.” There’s a new drying room on one of their top floors where the offices, conference room, and show room once were—and all new toggle frames plus a dehumidifier which can extract up 300 gallons of water a day! This really helps to speed up the drying process during humid weather while, at the same time, allows the leather to be dried in the same amount of time throughout the year which helps guarantee a more consistent temper. That’s important. Other newer equipment Matt points to include a larger setting out machine and a shaving machine which replaced their old fleshing machine. The shaving machine takes less flesh off the underside which means hides stay thicker.

to countries as far away as India and Australia while maintaining a strong presence in Canada where its parent company, Banks Bros., a hide broker, has its corporate offices. Of course, the above ground rocker pits that Wickett has are kept at a consistent temperature of 98° F which virtually eliminates that horrible little strip of rawhide sometimes found in the middle of heavy veg hides like harness or skirting—no more!

Procedures have also changed at Wickett over the years which all work together to ensure more consistency in their leather. For example, Matt talked about a new practice of pulling 10% of their worst hides after they’ve been dehaired and fleshed then selling them to mostly tanners overseas in countries like Pakistan. The hides never get tanned which means there are fewer lower grade pieces to sort out. W&C also exports its finished leather 32 |

Along with improved efficiency and greater consistency, Matt attributes W&C’s ability to survive and prosper to the growing diversity of the markets he serves. It’s true, most people reading this article think only of the harness available from Wickett or the skirting, the latigo or fabulous bridle leathers. But in reality, this is a relatively small portion of what they make and sell. As mentioned earlier, they supply Hartman Luggage which is a large company that sells worldwide and they also sell to manufacturers such as Coach, Filson (a high-end outfitter), Louis Vuitton, Tory Leather, Coastal Pet, Freeman Harness, and, of course, Fisher’s Harness and Beiler’s Mfg. & Supply. While Matt is more than happy to have such large accounts, he’s still dedicated to offering great service to his small accounts and still welcomes everyone who

July 2013

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July 2013 |


wants to stop in and buy a couple of sides. And the good news is that are no minimums. And like so many other leather suppliers, Matt has seen the number of his customers who make holsters grow tremendously over the past years. He has one manufacture who alone buys 2,500 backs each month. He counts among his customers makers like Galco, DeSantis, and Gould & Goodrich. Friend, these folks make and sell 100’s of holsters and accessories each month. When you ask Matt whether he’s worried about the rising prices of hides and leather, he offers an uniquely positive take on the situation by saying, “The more leather costs, the more prestige it has.” He’s got a point and it’s a great attitude that, along with Wickett’s dedication to keep building for the future, is a great recipe for their continued success.

Wickett & Craig of America Custom Leather Tannery since 1867 1-800-Tannery • (814) 236-2220

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July 2013

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July 2013 |


Harness Variety & Function Part One

by Jenifer Morrissey

(Please Note: This article originally appeared in the June/July 2013 issue of Rural Heritage and is reprinted with permission from both that magazine and the author. Many thanks.) Communication Component Support Component

Stopping & Backing Component

J.C. Allen Picture #1: Drilling oats in cotton stalks. What is wrong with this harness? Photo courtesy Mischka Press

What is wrong with the harness in Allen Picture #1? In Steve Bowers’ book Farming with Horses, Bowers states, “According to my research, about 80 percent of the draft-type harness used are [the Box Breeching or Western] style].” (1) The Box Breeching or Western Style harness is also sometimes called a Bellybacker harness. This style of harness is illustrated in the diagrams below. If Steve Bowers found that 80% of harness is the Box Breeching style, then most of us, when we think about harness, probably have a mental image of this sort of harness . The harness in Allen Picture #1 doesn’t even come close to matching this image. Yet the harness shown in Allen Picture #1 is perfectly suitable for the job it’s doing. There’s nothing wrong with it. 36 |

Draft Component

The Four Components of Harness We can think of harness as having four distinct components: 1) The Communication Component: to communicate with and direct the draft animal. It consists of the bridle, bit, and lines. 2) The Draft Component: to accomplish the drawing or pulling of the load. It consists of the collar, hames and hame straps, traces, and trace chains. 3) The Stopping and Backing Component: to stop a load, slow down a load, or back up. It consists of the breeching band (sometimes called a britchen), quarter straps (sometimes called side straps or hold back straps), pole straps (sometimes called martingales), and breast straps. 4) The Support Component: the portions of the harness necessary to keep the pieces of the other Components in their proper positions. It includes the back pad (sometimes called a

July 2013

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saddle) and back pad billets, the belly band and belly band billets, the spider (back straps, rump pad, hip pads, and hip straps), lazy straps (sometimes called trace carriers), and crupper, if present. All four of the components are found in the common Box Breeching/Western style of harness, but there are many examples of perfectly functional harness that have only one or two of the components. In Allen Picture #1, for instance, the harness does not have a Stopping and Backing Component, and the Support Component is very simple: just the back pad for holding the traces up. Simple Harness The simplest harness is one with just the Control and Draft Components. Doc Hammill recalls, “Old timers that were my mentors told me about half-harness: collar, hames, traces. That’s all you really need to pull a load as long as the

load won’t roll forward to hit the animal. It’s a really basic pulling system. A lot of people don’t understand that that’s all you need to pull a load. When people are concerned about the weight of harness, depending on what they’re doing, they can have this sort of harness and do a lot of this type of work. It’s cooler, it’s lighter, there’s less things rubbing on the horse. If you look at stuff from third world countries, you’ll see an incredible amount of this sort of harness. It’s economical and it works.” In rare circumstances, the Control Component can even be optional. Where there is an exceptional teamster or an exceptional equine, the equine can be worked loose-headed, without bridle and lines, maybe with just a lead rope tied up to the hames. Skidding logs is an example of a job that is occasionally performed loose-headed. Equines pulling ore carts in mines were also sometimes worked loose-headed.

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July 2013 |


Dale Wagner shared the following on the Rural Heritage “Front Porch”: “Keep your harness as simple as possible. All that is really needed is a collar, hames and tugs. I have a picture of my grandpa taken about 1900. He has a four-up hooked to his freight wagon. Bridles, lines, collars, hames and tugs was all he had. No belly bands, back pads or britching. No dropper from neck yoke to the lead chain. He had to cross several coulees to go get groceries 80 miles away. He did have brakes on his wagon.” (2) Dale’s grandfather was obviously an exceptional teamster who knew how to use brakes to help his horses do their job safely and comfortably. Doc explained, “I certainly wouldn’t recommend making the choice to put a wheel team on a wagon without breeching, unless there was no other choice. It certainly can and has been done but there are potential safety issues. Also, with a four-up, only the back two (wheel) horses would be able to utilize breeching anyway, since the leaders aren’t connected to the tongue in a way that lets them hold the load back unless a false tongue is used.” Field or Plow Harness

Field or Plow Harness: How does this harness differ from the one in Allen Picture #1? Image courtesy Samson Harness Shop, Inc.

The Field-style or Plow harness also does not include the Stopping and Backing Component. Yet it differs significantly from the harness in Allen Picture #1 and from the half-harness that Doc describes. What are the functional differences? 38 |

The most obvious difference is the Support Component for the traces over the hips of the horse, which includes back straps, rump pad, hip pads, trace carriers, and crupper. What function do these additional pieces of harness serve? They keep the traces from getting tangled with the horse’s legs by keeping the traces up off the ground.

What part of this harness most needs adjustment? Photo courtesy Heather Havens

A disadvantage of trace carriers is that if they are adjusted too short, they can distort the angle of draft, which interferes with the efficient transfer of power from the horse to moving the load. The same problem can occur with a lazy strap on any style of harness that has them if they are adjusted too short. The photo of the single horse skidding a tire illustrates this problem. You can see that the trace is deflected upward where it passes through the lazy strap. To correct the problem, the lazy strap needs to be lengthened so that the line of the trace from hame to load is a continuous straight line. Doc comments, “When trace carriers are too short, the horse feels a downward pull on the rear quarters when under draft. Many horses will pull light loads in such cases but become balky with heavier loads. It’s common for trace carrier straps or lazy straps to not have enough adjustment available in them to pull loads on the ground properly. They typically end up being too short, as in the photo, so the horse feels a pull down on the hips. If the chain between the single tree and the tire was lengthened enough, the trace could theoretically be straightened out (the

July 2013

Shop Talk!

singletree would be lifted into the air in draft), making the line of draft straight, but for draft advantage and maneuverability we want the load we are skidding close to the horse.” Another obvious functional difference between the harness in Allen Picture #1 and the Plow harness is that the Plow harness is set up to be a team harness that can be hitched to and steer a tongue, so there is a breast strap. Though not all plow harnesses have a pole strap, the Plow harness in the illustration does have one; it acts as a choke strap, buckling around the bottom of the collar and with a loop at the other end to allow the belly band to pass through it. It acts to prevent the collar from being pulled up. Yet this Plow harness still differs from the Box Breeching/Western Style that is so common. Box Breeching or Western Style Harness What the Box Breeching/Western Style harness has that the Plow harness doesn’t have is—

Box Breeching or Western Style Harness. Arrows indicate stopping forces. Reverse the arrows for backing forces

surprise—the breeching. The breeching is part of the Stopping and Backing Component which also includes quarter straps. The Support Component for the Box Breeching Harness includes the hip straps, rump pads, and hip pads. In the case of a team harness of this style, the

Shop Talk!

July 2013 |


“If you don’t have breeching, you will need some kind of solution to keep the load from running up into the horses, and you’d better know how to operate it and be ‘up in your riggin’ at all times.’”

Stopping and Backing Component also includes the breast strap and pole strap.

The arrows in the drawing of the Box Breeching or Western Style harness indicate the forces exerted during stopping. If a team of horses on a tongue is asked to slow down or stop a load, when the horses decelerate, the tongue and its load have forward momentum so the tongue pushes forward on the neck yoke which pulls forward on the breast strap which pulls forward on the pole strap which pulls forward on the quarter straps which pull forward on the breeching, against which the slowing horses hold steady or exert more pressure until their speed and their load’s speed is equalized. For backing, the arrows in the drawing would be reversed. From a standing position, if a team of horses on a tongue is asked to back, they push into the breeching band which pulls on the quarter straps which pulls back on the pole strap which pulls on the breast strap which pulls on the neck yoke attached to the tongue. In the case of a single horse in shafts, the backward pressure on the breeching band pulls back on the two hold back straps which are attached to each of the shafts. Looking back at the Plow harness and the harness in Allen Picture #1, you can see that indeed they do not have a fully functioning Stopping and Backing Component because they lack the breeching and associated Support Components. Doc notes, “The plow harness does have a semblance of a Stopping and Backing Component that I think a lot of people rely on. The pole

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strap hooked to the neck yoke and belly band is expected to serve the function of a stopping and backing system. There’s some capability there, but it’s not very good.” We know that people use harness without effective stopping and backing capabilities on wheeled loads, as Dale Wagner’s grandfather did, but using them in that way requires a brake or some other mechanism to hold back the load. Even some plows that have wheels and are used in hilly country must be operated skillfully if harness without breeching is used; teamsters must be prepared to drop the plow in the ground to slow it down for instance. Doc says, “If you don’t have breeching, you will need some kind of solution to keep the load from running up into the horses, and you’d better know how to operate it and be ‘up in your riggin’ at all times.’” Butt Chain or Short-Trace Harness

Butt Chain or Short-Trace Harness. Courtesy Sampson Harness Shop, Inc.

A slight variation on the Western Style or Box Breeching harness is the Butt Chain or ShortTrace harness. The name “butt chain” comes from the fact that the chain on the trace disconnects from the trace at the butt rather than at the heel, as in heel chain traces. Where the chain meets the trace, there is a hook on the trace to accept the butt chain. A Western Style/Box Breeching harness can be converted to a Butt Chain harness by swapping out the traces and modifying the trace carriers.

July 2013

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Doc shares how helpful he finds this sort of harness in logging applications. “My butt chains have a ring at one end, and I have singletrees specifically for butt chains that have rings instead of hooks. I thread the chain link end of the butt chains through the singletree rings and, when the rings on the butt chains come up against the singletree rings, they won’t go through, and they cannot come unhooked. To hitch the horses to the singletrees, the ends of the butt chains are hooked to the hooks on the end of the traces. When the horse or team walks off without a load, the singletree or team rigging drags behind with the chains full length where they won’t hit the horse’s heels. When hitching to a load (for maximum draft advantage and lift) I shorten the butt chains by simply pulling the butt chain rings forward and hooking them onto the trace hooks. This quickly and easily doubles and shortens the butt chains by half for pulling the load. No counting links or extra chain dangling or dragging. When dropping the load, I don’t have to go clear to the ground to lengthen the chains to drag the rigging back on the ground empty. I simply pull the rings off the trace hooks at knee height and the chains lengthen as the horses walk away.”

you had to do was hitch on the end link; you didn’t have to count any links to drop and remember how many to drop for each horse.” Another advantage of this type of harness is that the traces are shorter and are less likely to be stepped on by the horses or to get fouled in muddy conditions. Doc adds, “Also, there’s no hooking trace chains up on the hips when unhitching and taking them down to hitch up. I just pull the chains off the trace hooks and drop them.” In logging applications or other situations where horses are wearing calked shoes, the short traces being up out of the way keep the traces from being stepped on and damaged by the calks. In addition, when this type of harness is hung up for storage, the traces hang straight down as opposed to long tug harness where the traces tend to bend in storage, especially if hung on a single hook. A disadvantage of this type of harness is that if horses are moved between several pieces of

Doc continues, “If I’m hooking to singletrees with hooks instead of rings with this sort of harness, I hook the butt chain rings to the singletree hooks and then hook to the trace hooks with whichever chain links give me the right adjustment.” This harness also allows the trace chains to be left attached to the singletree or vehicle. Leaving the trace chains elsewhere makes the harness lighter. Doc recalls, “One of reasons this type of harness was popular with the big hitches in wheat country and the big plow hitches was that the butt chains were separate from the harness. Say you had a combine hitch with as many as 33 horses on it. All the chains could be left on the singletrees. You could get everything set the way you liked it, then when you unhitch at end of the day, you unhook the chains from the trace and leave them with the singletree. You don’t have to take that weight on and off with the harness. When you hitch in the morning, all Shop Talk!

July 2013 |


ing? Or perhaps the horses were muddy and the teamster didn’t want to soil the strap? Since the ground appears to be extremely level, perhaps the teamster felt that the weight of the wagon and the roughness of the ground would combine to easily slow or stop the vehicle.

equipment, it can be easy to lose track of the butt chains or lose them. Having multiple chains, one set for each piece of equipment, is one possible solution to the problem.

Allen Picture #2 shows a team hooked to an end-gate seeder; the team is wearing WestJ. C. Allen Picture #2: Seeding oats with a team. What is ern/Box Breeching style unusual about how the Western/Box Breeching style har- In extreme cases with ness is being used? using harness in this way, harness. hat is unusual the belly band could come up behind the horses’ about the way the near horse is harnessed? elbows. The arrows in the next diagram illusIt appears that the quarter strap on the near trate the force of a slowing wagon on the harness horse is hooked up to the back pad instead of via the tongue. Without the quarter straps atdown to the pole strap where it would nortached to the pole straps, the horses are forced to mally be as part of the Stopping and Backing take the strain of slowing, stopping, or backing Component. Could it be that someone forgot the load on the collar and back pad/belly band to fasten this strap when they were harness-


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July 2013

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system which could jeopardize the comfort and safety of the team. Allen Picture #3 shows a team hooked to a lead and a trail wagon. Is the team wearing Western/ Box Breeching harness or Plow harness? The team is wearing Plow harness which means it doesn’t have breeching, which is part of the Stopping and Backing Component. These wagons represent a pretty heavy load. The teamster may be compensating for the lack of Stopping and Backing Component in his harness by the levelness of the ground, feeling he can ease the wagons to a stop. He must also not need any backing power. Mac, a visitor to the Rural Heritage “Front Porch,” explains his reasoning for using plow harness in a similar situation:

J.C. Allen Picture #3: Two wagon loads of cotton begin their journey to the mill. What is unusual about how this harness is being used? Photo courtesy Mischka Press

“I’ve got two sets of harness: one wagon harness and one for plowing. I’d say I’ve pulled the wagon more with the plow gear than I have with the wagon harness. I don’t like adjustments and I don’t like heavy either. I use my plow harness for everything except going to town in the buggy or wagon. It’s my experience when you get up at 5 and go to the field, you




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July 2013 |


don’t want to be making adjustments in the dark. Chuck the gear on and go.” (3)

stop horses. On my harness, the Stopping and Backing Component can be quickly and easily removed by simply unsnapping the hip straps from the hip pads and unbuckling the collar straps to detach the pole straps. It’s there when I need it and gone when I don’t.”

Doc observes, “Obviously, Mac is capable of taking care of his horses and making sure he uses the brake so that he never lets the wagon run into J.C. Allen Picture #4: Cultivating corn. the horses. I once heard Neil What added feature does this box Dimmock say that brakes Allen Picture #4 shows a three breeching/western style harness have? cause more problems than abreast on a cultivator. The Photo courtesy Mischka Press they solve because they make horses are wearing a type of people think they can stop their horses if they Box Breeching/Western Style harness. However, run away. Neil said, ‘You don’t need brakes; on the near horse the harness has a feature that the brakes are between a horse’s ears.’ While is not common on this style of harness. There is plow harness on wagons may work for experia hip drop with a lead line snapped from there enced teamsters like Mac and Neil, I still advise to a hame ring. What function might this feature my students that they need a fully functioning serve? In many towns during the horse era, there Stopping and Backing Component, including were laws requiring horses that were driven into breeching, if they’re going to pull wheeled loads town had be tied at a hitching rail. As a result, safely and comfortably. Brakes are meant to harness makers provided the optional hip drop help hold back vehicles and equipment, not on harness for tying up a lead line.

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You may also notice that this Doc adds, “Most Western harness is fancier than it needs Style harness has double to be for farming. It has “spots” back straps angling from in many places (metal ornamenthe hames to the rump pad tation), has fancier hames than to keep the hip plate from in the previous pictures, and has sliding sideways off the hips. terrets on the back pad for the On single back strap style lines to pass through. Perhaps harness, you need a crupper the farmer always wanted his to stabilize the hip plate. I J.C. Allen Picture #5: Planting corn in a horses to look nice when workdusty field. How does the adjustment of would guess that these horses ing, or perhaps he was a breeder the breeching on these horses look to you? were most likely wearing Photo courtesy Mischka Press and needed his breeding stock to cruppers.” be shown at their best. The function of the breeching is to give the One other difference between the harness in horse something to push back against when Allen Picture #4 and typical Box Breeching/ asked to slow or stop a load or back a load. Western Style harness is that back straps aren’t However, if the breeching is set too low, the visible running from the hames through loops horses are in danger of having their rear leg on the back pad to the rump pad. The function function interfered with or their rear legs of the back straps is to keep the collar from fallpushed forward out from under them when ing forward when the horse puts its head down. slowing, holding back, or backing a significant Perhaps there is a strap running from the top of load. the collar to the rump pad which is not visible.

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Doc says, “There seem to be a lot of misconceptions about how breeching should be adjusted. I feel there’s only one way for it to be adjusted: the way that allows the horse to do its job safely and comfortably. What many folks don’t realize is that when horses counteract the push of the load or back a load with breeching, their body length compresses which lets the rump pad slide rearwards and, in turn, the breeching moves down several inches lower. Breeching set too low is one of the most common harness adjustment problems there is.” Doc continues, “The breeching should be adjusted so that it sits just below the point of the buttock. If you run your hand slowly from above the point of the buttock down the rump

(near the tail) to the back of the thigh, you will feel a continuous curve until just below the point of the buttock where it flattens slightly for a few inches before the curve resumes. The breeching should be adjusted so it rides on that flattened portion of the buttock. Too high and it could ride up under the tail; too low and it will interfere with the horse’s ability to use its rear legs, keep its balance, and control the load.” In Allen Picture #5, what do you think about the adjustment of the breeching? Doc says, “The breeching on the bay is several inches too low and on the gray it is extremely low. The gray’s head carriage indicates it isn’t happy with something; it could be the adjustment of the breeching. While both these breechings should be adjusted higher, I’ve seen a lot worse.”

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July 2013

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Doc continues, “The quarter strap on the near horse is snapped into the trace instead of into the pole strap. Why might this be the case? Perhaps the horses were kicking at flies and the teamster didn’t want them to hang a foot up. Perhaps it was just expediency; the teamster knew that he was working level ground and had quite a bit of drag from his load so he didn’t feel the need for a fully functioning Stopping and Backing Component.”

Part Two of Harness Variety and Function will appear in the August 2013 issue of Shop Talk!

Shop Talk!

July 2013 |


Boot & Shoe News

People and Products and Places

Goods & Services  Pilgrim Shoe & Sewing Machine carries replacement parts for 3-in-1’s and 5-in-1’s including both the flat beveled blades and the round cutting blades. The flat blades are only around $40 which isn’t bad. You may contact Pilgrim at 21 Nightingale Ave., Quincy, MA 02169, (800) 343-2202,  Thanks to Leonard Lang in Newcastle, WY, for letting us know that he’s found a source for bowed sandpaper to fit a rounded wheel on his finisher. That source is I. Sachs Sons at 637 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago, IL 60607, (800) 3521634, e-mail:


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Buggy Builder’s Bulletin

 Steve Ballard in Indiana called to let us know that he works on shoe equipment part-time. He can be reached at (317) 281-8860.  Miami Leather Co. is now carrying Tarrago creams in all colors, Hubbard’s Shoe Grease, and Power Step Slim Tech, Wide Fit & Signature Insoles. (800) 749-9402,

Oops! While we mentioned some new products from the folks at Foam-Tex last month (Golf Shoe & Club Cleaner and Salt Remover), we failed to give their contact information—sorry! You may contact Foam-Tex at 13981 W. Parkway Rd., Cleveland, OH 44135, (216) 889-2702,

New Website for L &V If you haven’t already checked Lyon’s & Volpi new web site you should—www.l-vleather. com. Lots of great products and some interesting information about the history of the company and how it was founded. Give it a look!

Lasts  A good place for lasts is Roberto Herrera at 1583 Meridian Ave., San Jose, CA 95125, (408) Lasting Quality and Style Matte Finishes Many Colors

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July 2013

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217-3147, e-mail:  Lasts and shoe trees are also available from Crispinians Ltd., 1A E. Dulwich Rd., London, UK SE22 9BA, calls placed in US (415) 775-1775 or (415) 387-3778,

ness. How to post a Google Place listing free. Instruction packet will be handed out. 12 noon: Alternatives for Profit Generation in Your Operation. Milt Moravek, PediFix. Strategy for repeat retail sales.

SSIA 2013

Sunday, July 28

The next SSIA convention will be held July 27-28, 2013, at the Doubletree by Hilton, San Diego Mission Valley in San Diego, CA—plan now to attend! Lots of free seminars that’s you enjoy. Always a great trade show with lots of new products to discover.

There follows a schedule of seminars attendees are invited to attend:

Saturday, July 27 8 am: Machinery Tune-up. Blasé Knabl, Shoe Systems Plus. Includes helpful tips with maintenance guides handed out. 8 am: Point of Sale Computer System ShoeMax. Jeff Lipson and David Mesquita.Learn the benefits of using a POS system can help you manager your time, inventory, purchasing, etc. 11 am: Indentifying Materials to be Bonded. Renia and Petronio Shoe Products. Learn what adhesives work with what materials. 11 am: Organization = Money. Patrick Harper, Shoe Systems Plus. Techniques and tips on how to manage a shoe repair store for minimum confusion and maximum efficiency. 12 noon: Gaining Customers Through the Internet. How to gain higher visibility on the Internet. How to help customers find your busi-

8 am: Organization = Money. See above. 9 am: How to Grow Your Sales and Profits. Opportunities for shoe repairers. 9 am: Gaining Customers’ Trust Using Social Media. Learn how to use social media to create a place where you can interact with customers regularly.

An Auction You’ll Love! You will! It’s going to take place this coming July 18 at Hilltop Tack Supply, 133 Welding Dr., Rebersburg, PA 16872, (814) 349-4479— something for everyone no matter what sort of leather work you do. Sewing machines, supplies, hand tools, miscellaneous findings, hard-

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July 2013 |


ware, and lots of leather. Consignments welcomed!

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Here are the basic boot rules:

The largest leather, accessory, and footwear trade show in North America will be held this coming November in Leon, Mexico. You need lasts? They have lasts! It’s always a great education. You can find the exact dates for the next ANPIC show at, email:

 Boots must be checked in at the table no later than 1 PM Friday to be entered.

Wooden Shoes For Sale If you’ve had an overwhelming desire to make wooden shoes all your life, now’s your chance! What a great part-time, at home business! America’s last master wooden shoe carver (88 years old) has a complete set of tools available and will teach you the craft. Contact: Bob Siegel at (262) 242-1571, e-mail:

 Each contestant is limited to one entry per category.  Boots cannot have been previously entered in any boot competition.  All boots will be entered as a pair, not a single boot.  All categories will be judged anonymously by boot makers who have been in the business for years and whose work is considered master quality. To eliminate any conflict of interest, no judge will have a boot or a student whose boot is entered in the contest.  Buckles will be awarded to the winner of each category (minimum of 3 entries required for award to be presented). Plaques will be awarded

Pedorthic Footcare Association ◘ PFA’s 54th Annual Symposium and Exhibition will take place this coming Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2013, at the John B. Hynes Memorial Convention Center and the Sheraton Boston Hotel. For all the details call (703) 610-9035 or look online at ◘ PFA has an online newsletter, “PFA Online.” Find out more at SSIA 2013

Boot Makers, Get Busy! Don’t put it off any longer! It’s time that you get busy and start making the fanciest dancing boots ever was so they’ll be ready in time to take them down to the Roundup this coming October 4-5! That’s the Custom Boot & Saddle Makers’ Roundup that takes place every year in Wichita Falls, TX. There’s always a Boot Contest every year which attracts the very best boot makers in the country as well as a lot of fresh talent—like you!

The man running the show this year is Mike Vaughn who may be reached at (940) 87250 |

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July 2013

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for 2nd place in Top Stitching, Working Cowboy, Dress, and Artistry only.  An “Exhibition Only” table will be available for boots and boot maker products to be displayed. Journeyman: 15 or less pairs of boots made. Basic boot with top stitching only. No tooling, inlays, collars, brands, etc. Journeymen should concentrate on the basics of building a good boot. Note: if you enter the contest as a Journeyman, you can only enter this category. Top Stitching: Boot top will have stitching only—minimum 3 rows of stitching. No inlays, collars, brands, etc. Working Cowboy: Noticeable sturdy construction built with tough type skins like (but not limited to) water buffalo, bull hide, pigskin, elephant, shark, hippo, and horse. May include initials, brand and/or a collar only. Collars can have cutouts or inlays. No more than three col-

ors of leather on top, including the top leather. Dress: Think of simple elegance, something to be worn with a suit or slacks. May include initials, brand, collar, and/or tooling only. Artistry: Anything goes in this category—any leather, any design, any design details, etc. Let your imagination go! Masters: Anyone who has won each class (excluding Journeyman) will only be allowed to enter the Masters category. The guidelines for the Masters will change from year to year, allowing judges to compare boots with the same genre, comparing quality and workmanship. You may enter any of the above categories (other than Journeyman) that you have not previously won. Once you have won a category, you will no longer be allowed to enter that category. The Professional’s Choice award will be chosen from the above categories.

Shop Talk!

July 2013 |


US Repairers Visit the David Moran Warehouse in Malaga, Spain by Dana Huval, C.Ped., Huval’s Boot & Shoe Repair

A group of shoe repairers, along with a wholesaler, toured the David Moran warehouse earlier this year in Malaga, Spain. Amable and Amadeo Moran along with their staff could have not been any nicer; it felt like they rolled out the red carpet for us. Our journey began on Sunday afternoon; we met in Miami en route to Madrid then Malaga. It was a long flight but were we in for a treat! For the next two days, we were just like little

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kids in a candy store, shopping, digging, and looking through anything that looked interesting in a clean and super organized warehouse. Our first day started with a brief history of the David Moran Company. Their Uncle David Moran Martinez and his wife Josephina originally opened by selling leather, tools. and a few items that dealt with leather back in 1947. After his passing in 1998, they have continued the tradition by keeping the company in the family. Today they offer so much more for shoe repairers and equestrian buyers. Then they let us loose to walk Original owner around their wareDavid Moran Martinez house. The first aisle was overflowing with hides of leather, any color, thickness and texture you could think of. That

July 2013

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side of the building was a continuation of their saddles, tack, bridles, headstall, spurs, ropes, and leather for saddle makers. The Moran’s also offers a line of English boots and hats, too. Hopefully, one day they will have a wholesaler or distributor in the USA so they can offer their horse goods here. Now to the shoe repair side of David Moran’s warehouse. Think about a product and it was in there somewhere. They offer unique and super high quality specialty items that can easily set you apart from other shops. Some of my favorites are Penta, a non-slip soling material that is perfect for the average person who has worn out the rubber sole or their sole has cracked. This is a great replacement for half or three quarter replacement soles, just use a higher abrasion heel material. Penta is super flexible soling material available in 2 mm, 3mm and 4 mm in tan, brown, and black sheets. I think the pattern has little clouds everywhere. Amable believes Caster, the maker of Penta, to be one of

the most important shoe industry factories in the world. They have had the pleasure to do business with them for over thirty-five years. Some of their back room supplies included Multi colored wax, pre-made straps for ladies’ heels (two widths available with holes needing to be added), double stick tape for patch work or zipper placement, covered elastic in different widths, Grison Leather cream, buckle elastic, snaps in five colors, jean buttons in a design I have never seen, zipper pulls, taps, gold and silver belt loops, scissors, clippers, and super nice quality leather insoles.

SHELTON-REYNOLDS, INC. 11516 N Port Washington Rd., Mequon, WI 53092

First Quality & Closeouts

G Nylon Halter, Harness & Collar Webbing G Nylon Sling Web G Urethane & Vinyl Coated Webbing G Seatbelt Webbing Seconds G Derby Rope, Shock Cord G Vinyl Fabrics - Laminates & Coated G Sewing Thread - Nylon & Polyester - all sizes G 100% Acrylic Marine Fabrics G Truck Tie-down Web 1"- 2" - 3" - 4" G Clear Vinyl Tent & Boat Window G Rope - Nylon & Polyester G 1/8" Nylon Parachute Cord for Braiding G Canvas - All Styles & Weights, Natural, Flame Retardant, Water & Mildew Resistant

Call Toll Free ~ Nationwide

1-800-877-7150 Fax (262) 478-9226 SHIPMENT WITHIN 24 HOURS Shop Talk!

July 2013 |


Zippers are available in 9" or 15" with huge rings rather than pull tabs.

Zipper pulls tabs were of interest to me; these are a small clip-on with a pull tab in a variety of colors and two tab types. Then I found some zippers that will be perfect to install on work boots. These zippers have a huge ring rather than a pull tab, helping my customers even more to get their boots on and off easier.

Most impressive about the Morans is their desire to offer the highest quality repair products. One reason they use Spain manufacturers as much as possible is so they can keep a close eye on the quality of the products they sell. Visiting these places did mean I needed to

I purchased a rebuilt 5-in-1 we re-named a 7-in 1-with the guide and welt roller attachment.

close my shop for a week and a half. But the education of chatting endlessly with other repairers and getting their thoughts and ideas about our industry can give you a new way to look at your own business, perhaps other ways to repair items along with how they have dealt with challenging jobs their customers have brought in. Price is always a great topic to discuss. That was the nice thing about a handful of us going

350 Spruce Pine Road • Columbia, KY 42728

Stitch Master 441 We stock over 1,000 types & colors of leather!

New & Improved Full Color Catalog Upon Request

Featuring: Chap Leather (125 colors available),

Embossed Cow Sides, Garment & Hair-On Hides, Genuine Buffalo, Genuine Salz Latigo, Harness Leather, Metallic Cow Sides, Patent Leather, Skirting, Strap & Upholstery Leathers Complete line of decorative accessories & full line of leather crafting tools.

Become a Preferred Customer:

Benefits of becoming a preferred customer: Very best pricing for the leathers you use the most. Receive immediate notification of leathers going on sale. Added luxury of choosing only leathers that interest you, thus eliminating unwanted emails. Notification of new products and services as they become available ensures the personal service you deserve. Logon to 595 Monroe St., Napa, CA 94559 888-HIDE-HOUSE Fax: 800-255-6160


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• We now have the 441 machines in 9", 16½" also 25" throat. Parts for all machines at reasonable price. "New" Flip Up Guide for 441. • We stock parts for all 411 machines. New harness buckle feet and new smooth bottom feed. • We now have a 1508 NH 5/8" lift, which sews a ½" flat bed square stitch.

 Embossing Dies & Machines  • Now offering over 50 different styles of embossing wheels. Solid brass ¾" and 1" shaft size 1 7/8" outside diameter.

Wholesale Makers of Mini Harness, Cruppers, Carriage Harness, & Custom Show Harness

◆ Wholesale Only ◆

July 2013

Shop Talk!

through their warehouse. We would discuss items in the aisles which, of course, helped us decide what we want to take back. Cheq Brill is their exclusive label for shoe care products. We were elated to hear they are planning to make a retail size, water-based sole dressing that works on soles.

and buckle elastic along with pre-made round purse handles. Randy’s top choice two was round leather laces in many colors, and he also picked out a nice collection of kid skin leather

Joe said, “The zipper pulls are very good, and an alternative when you have a cheap customer It was truly a trip of a life Left to right is Joe Caufield, Janet and Gaylon Harden, Steve Sachs, and Dana Huval with Malaga in the who won’t do a slider time! Amable showed us back ground. Not pictured is Randy Lipson. replace. Actually, the his city which was simply items that went over best amazing. I will always be were the boots I brought grateful for the experience back for my girls. They just loved them!” to see Spain and the David Moran warehouse. Every time I sell or use a product I purchased If you’re interested in any of these items, conthere the trip comes to mind. Thank you, Amable tact Steve with I. Sach’s at 800-352-1643 or and Amadeo and your staff, for your hospitality. e-mail him at Please visit Our group included Steve Sachs with I. Sach’s Wholesale Co. in Chicago, Randy Lipson and Joe Caufield each having a Cobblestone Shoe Repair in St. Louis (Chesterfield and Ladue), Janet and Gaylon Harden from Southwest Boot and Shoe Repair in Wichita Falls, TX, and Texas Best Boot and Shoe Repair in Amarillo, TX-- and me.

their website

Gaylon and Janet really are enjoying the Cudex Piel Clasic Coimbra leather covered insoles with triple the cushion, zippers pulls, double sided tape, straps with buckles already attached, wide

The American Donkey & Mule Society Established 1967—Serving Longears and their owners for over 40 years.

World’s Largest Single Source of Information and Services for all sizes of Donkeys, Mules & Zebra Hybrids. Home of the BRAYER magazine, The Original All-Breed Longear Publication 112 pages bi-Monthly. $23 US, $30 Canada, $35 overseas Ck, MO, Paypal, MC/Visa ADMS, PO Box 1210, Lewisville TX 75067 (972) 219-0781 Email **

Shop Talk!

July 2013 |


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July 2013

Shop Talk!

Tested by Time, Proven by Performance & Trusted by Customers BioThane coated webbing has been manufactured in the USA for more than 35 years. It’s the only proven coated webbing on the market that is durable, cleanable and waterproof. ®

Choose BioThane for Your Harness and Tack: ®

• • •

maintenance-free abrasion-resistant withstands extreme weather



Green Camo Webbing

New Camo Colors

Semi-Gloss Beta 580

Durable, cleanable and waterproof ® BioThane is now available in a green camouflage pattern. Lightweight, flexible and hygienic.

Ideal for collars, leashes and hunting ® products, Camo BioThane will be offered in orange and pink patterns later this summer.

Jet black with a “dressed leather” finish and feel. Flexible and durable. ® ® Also in Granite and Griamond series.



The Harness Makers Get Together Rebersburg, PA


Indiana Bio Briefing

Yoder’s Sales and Repair-LaGrange, IN


Ohio Bio Briefing

Fairview Country Sales-Millersburg, OH

Visit us at

Contact your distributor or BioThane at 800-487-2358 for more information.

Shop Talk!

July 2013 | 57 MADE IN THE USA

Classifides Classified ad rates are $26.50 for the first 20 words and $.65 cents for each additional word. Words (or groups of letters) fewer than three characters are not counted when calculating the cost of the ad. Street addresses are counted as one word. City, state, country, and zip or postal code are combined and counted as one word. Enclose payment when submitting ads. Ads received without payment will be held until payment is made. Ads must be received no later than the fifth of the month prior to the month you wish the ad to run (e.g. ads for the February issue must be in our office by January 5). Typed or neatly printed ads are preferred. We are not responsible for mistakes due to handwriting. Faxed ads must be typed and are accepted with MasterCard, VISA or Discover only.

wanted Your Ad Here! Classified ads in Shop Talk! really work! Give us a call at (828) 505-8474, e-mail: or write: P O Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816. Wanted: New subscribers from Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, and Kentucky. Now is the time to renew! Give us a call at (828) 505-8474, e-mail: Wanted: WE BUY HAND TOOLS. ANY AMOUNT. ANY CONDITION. Contact: Shop Talk!, P O Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816, (828) 505-8474, e-mail: Wanted: Bench equipment. Any condition. Skivers, splitters, spotters, etc. Also parts and pieces—bolts, frames, springs, blades. We pay shipping. Contact Shop Talk!, P.O. Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816, (828) 505-8474, e-mail:

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Buy or sell or trade

for sale Tippmann Boss Leather Stitcher. Used very little. All parts and manual in box it was shipped in. $1,000 or make offer. Call Andy at (580) 428-3020. (7/13) Equipment for Sale: Reconditioned and in good working order. Several Landis stitchers #3 and #16; Champion Narrow Throat; Landis 3-in-1 and 5-in-1; #14 Landis lap skiver; Sutton SS-1 buffer; 8” splitter—hand crank or power like new. New Landis, Fenda, and USM splitter blades. Your source for Landis and Union Lock needles. Contact: Landis Sales & Service, 115 E. County Road 500 N, Arthur, IL 61911, (217) 543-3464. Notice: Will make belts for your store. Wholesale only. For prices call (717) 656-9838. For Sale: Union Lockstitch (serial #6083), reconditioned 2012 with new table. Also, Adler 104, needs minor repairs. $1,750 for both. No delivery. You pick up. Creekbend Leatherworks, Central Texas. Joe Mingus (713) 824-1775. Show harness cruppers for sale. Black and tan. In all sizes. $10.25 ea. 6 or more $10 ea. Contact: Harness by Smucker, 2134 Windsor Rd., Narvon, PA 17555, (717) 445-4441. Chicago Screw Tool: Install and remove Chicago screws quickly and easily in the shop or on the trail. $16.95 + $4 SH. Call for wholesale pricing. Contact: JP’s Bridle & Equine Tack Tool, 26266 E. County Road 700 N., Easton, IL 62633, (309) 562-7266, e-mail:, For all your leather needs. Call Moser Leather (800) 874-1167 or (513) 889-0500. You can visit our website at (R&B)

July 2013

Shop Talk!

For Sale: The Pro-Concho Turner: The only one in the U.S. Makes removal of decorative conchos a snap! Used with electric drill. Take the fuss and bother out of a difficult job with the Pro-Concho Turner! Saves time, makes money! Rubber gripper protects the concho and makes removal or installation easy. Only $29.00 plus $3.95 S&H, 6-inch steel shank, and rubber gripper. Ready to use! Contact: Proleptic, Inc., P.O. Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816, (828) 505-8474, e-mail: For Sale: One of the largest and most complete saddle manufacturing businesses west of the Mississippi. Will sell for inventory. Phone Ben at (360) 708-4201 or write: 3106 Cedardale Rd., Mt. Vernon, WA 98274 For Sale: “Making Harness: A Step-by-Step Guide”, $58 plus $5.50 S&H. Specs and instructions on how to make and repair six styles of harness from pony to draft, driving, team wagon and mule. Contact: Proleptic, Inc., P.O. 17817, Asheville, NC 28816, (828) 505-8474, e-mail: For Sale: Consumers expect more for their dollar. Give them more with Wickett & Craig leathers. Value, quality and durability. Made in the USA. Contact: 1-800-TANNERY—your leather hotline. (03/10)

For Sale: Pricing Guide: “How to Establish Prices for the Saddle Maker and Leather Worker.” Only $39.95 plus $4.50 S&H. Contact: (828) 505-8474. (12/12) For Sale: New and used Adler, Brother, Consew, Juki, Pfaff, Singer machines for sewing bio-plastic, canvas, leather and nylon. Available in single or double needles, standard, long arm, flatbed, postbed, cylinder arm. Contact: Bob Kovar, Toledo Industrial Sewing Machine, 3631 Marine Rd., Toledo, OH 43609, (866) 362-7397 or (419) 380-8540. (11/10) For Sale: Tools for the Professional—Ol’ Smoothie swivel knives, blades, stamping tools, and more. Contact: Chuck Smith Tools, Smith & Co., P O Box 2647, Valley Center, CA 92082. (760) 749-5755. Fax (760) 749-5355. E-mail: (R&B) Opportunity for a New Adventure in Nova Scotia, Canada? We have a highly successful leather manufacture/retail business with 25 years experience for sale. We are located on the Cabot Trail,, in an area of established artisans. Present owner plus experienced staff of 5 make contemporary leather products and museum reproductions. Includes equipment, furniture, web site, inventory of leather and finished

Shop Talk!

July 2013 |


goods. Turnkey operation. 2,342 sq. ft. may be leased from owner or the business can be relocated. Owner is retiring. Contact: Books by Pete Gorrell. (719) 695-4443, “Floral Pattern Drawing for the Artistically Impaired” $18.95. “The Basics of Saddle Fit” $21.95. “The Business of Saddle Making” $12.50. Shipping by USPS rates. Also available from from Proleptic, Inc. at (828) 505-8474,; Leather Wranglers at (505) 269-8563,; Sheridan Leather Outfitters at (888) 803-3030. (R&B) for all your leather, tool, and supply needs. Friendly, helpful staff at (507) 932-3795. (R&B)

468 CANAL ST., STE. 201, LAWRENCE, MA 01840

Randall/Campbell Sewing Machine for $2,100. Singer 7-33 for $1,600. These machines are heavy duty and in good working order. Call for more details: (423) 737-1858. Pro 2000 with Efka servo motor and speed control. Six extra presser feet. $3,750. Osborne #86 hand splitter. VGC. $495. Contact: Chuck Hooks at or (425) 743-6387. Thread for Sale: A&E bonded poly thread. Best thread for heavy duty sewing machines. American made since 1893. Leghorn and chocolate. Sizes 346 and 277. White in all sizes. Contact: or (406) 961-3978 or info@ or (307) 674-6679. Retiring Sale: Landis 16, Chandler 305-64 complete with stand and motor, Singer 16-41 and Sutton Landis SL71. $1,000+ in leather, $1,000+ in hardware, webbing, elastic, etc. Fifty lbs. blanket patch material, full size anvil, hand tools, dyes, oils, etc. Machines stitch great. Must take all. Cash & Carry. Best offer over $5,000. Call (301) 724-0441. Wholesale source for competitively priced nylon and poly webbing. Nylon bonded thread and leather or synthetic manufactured products. Serving the equine, pet, dress, and related industries. Custom contract production runs welcome. Call for details and pricing. (260) 593-0044. Contact: Mud Creek Leather, 9415 W 300 S, Topeka, IN 46571.

shoe & boot For Sale: Shop and/or equipment. Sutton 70S Finisher, Landis K, and Sutton Rapid E Curved Needle stitchers. Short and long arm patchers. Full inventory and misc. tools. $7,500 to $10,000. Decorah, IA, (563) 382-6201 W-F. (7/13) For Sale: Besser Lockstitch McKay. Like new. Used only two months. Heavy duty lockstitcher with bobbin. $8,500. Contact: Melanie Machine Co., Los Angeles, CA, (323) 586-2090 Business for Sale: Bay City, MI, still needs a shoe repairman. Business for sale. 46 days til retirement. (989) 892-4280. Cell (989) 327-9165. For Sale: Champion 66 McKay stitcher, $1,500. Sole Press

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July 2013

Shop Talk!

(pneumatic 2-station), $600. AutoSoler, $450. Champion 55 stitcher, $1,800. Landis shoe finisher Model 301-3R, $2,100. Fortuna 12” band splitter, $1,800. Seiko/Brother Model LSWN 8 BL-R, walking foot, $1,750, Singer 111, $650. Call (209) 9665568. For Sale: Landis K Model 12 Sole Stitcher. All decals and paint in original condition. Has nice stitch. Electric motor and controls included. Needles and awls and other small parts and accessories included. $2,500 or would trade on a Pro 2000 series harness stitcher in like condition. Brand/make not important. Contact: Roman at T.L. Harness Shop, 45165 County Road 77, Bertha, MN 56437. Shoe repair business for sale. Bay City, MI, needs a shoe repairman. 25 years in same location. The only shoe repair business in 40 to 50 mile radius. Fully equipped. Contact: Ramiro Facundo (989) 892-4280 or (989) 327-9165.

The “Word of the Day” is brusque . Shop Talk!

July 2013 |


Saddle, Harness & Allied Trades


Be a part of the solution!

Just Ask!

◗ ◗ ◗ ◗

Prototypes Custom Work & Repair Short Runs Special Projects For a full list of SHATA members available for contractwork, contact:

Saddle, Harness & Allied Trades Association

PO Box 17817 Asheville NC 28816 ph 828-505-8474 email: 62 |

ADVERTISERS INDEX American Leather Direct.....................37 Artisan Sewing.......................back cover Barta Hide...........................................55 Beiler’s Mfg. & Supply..........................9 BioThane Coated Webbing................57 Bogle Greenwell Machinery Corp.......20 Bowden Saddle Tree..........................22 Brayer.................................................55 Brodhead Collar Shop........................15 Buckeye Engraving.............................45 Buckle Barn USA................................43 Buena Vista Blankets.........................45 Buggy Builder’s Bulletin......................48 Campbell-Randall...............................39 Champion Halter................................. 11 Charles Hardtke..................................44 Chuck Smith Tools..............................25 Chupp Blacksmith Shop.....................10 Chupp Bros. Wholesale......................16 Coblentz Collar...................................19 Coblentz Supply................................. 11 Danny Marlin Knives...........................20 Doc Hammill.......................................41 E. C. Leather......................................42 Fairview Country Sales.......................46 Feiner Supply.....................................48 Fine Tool Journal................................24 Foam-Tex............................................49 Gfeller Casemakers, Inc.....................43 Goliger Leather Co., Inc.....................24 Hadlock & Fox Mfg. Co.......................59 Hand Plait Leather................................8 Hansen Western Gear........................43 Harness Hardware................................8 Hastilow Competition Saddles............55 Hermann Oak Leather........................52 Hide House, The.................................54 Hillside Harness Hardware, Ltd..back cover International Sheepskin......................60 JM Saddler.........................................47 Kalico Products.....................................8 Kelly-Larson........................................46 Keystone Leather...............................58 Kimmel Boot.......................................31 Landesman.........................................24 Landis Sales & Service.......................60 Leather Crafters & Saddlers...............58

Leather Machine Co., Inc., The..........63 Lewis Sales Co...................................60 Maine Thread.....................................45 Maverick Leather..................................8 Miller’s Wholesale Harness................54 Milton Sokol........................................51 Mud Creek..........................................50 Mules and More, Inc...........................61 N & A Harness Shop...........................13 Nick-O Sew.........................................27 Nutra-Glo............................................35 Ohio Plastics.......................................48 Ohio Travel Bag..................................53 Pecard Leather Care..........................16 Perfectex Plus LLC.............................49 Plain Communities Business Exch.....16 Precision Saddle Tree........................56 Proleptic ...........................29, 35, 47, 62 Raphael Sewing Machine/TechSew.10, 61 RJF Leather.............................................49 Ron's Tools......................................... 11 Rural Heritage......................................8 Sew What!.......................................... 11 Shelton-Reynolds, Inc........................53 Shetler’s Collar Shop..........................24 ShoTan...............................................35 Small Farmer’s Journal......................61 Smoke & Fire Co................................17 Springfield Leather.............................12 Standard Rivet......................................5 Steel Stamps......................................19 Sugar Valley Collar Shop....................21 Sun Bias, Inc......................................42 Sweat Pad Shop...........................20, 45 TechSew/Raphael Sewing Machine.10, 61 Tejas Industries...................................14 Texas Custom Die..............................15 Thoroughbred Leather..........................2 TIMCO..................................................7 Toledo Sewing......................................3 Wayne Jueschke................................17 WESA.................................................28 Western Mule.....................................10 Wickett & Craig...................................33 Yoder’s Pad Shop...............................17 Yoder Leather.....................................15

July 2013

Shop Talk!

Shop Talk!

July 2013 |


Shop Talk! with Boot & Shoe News P.O. Box 17817 Asheville, NC 28816 (828) 505-8474 • FAX (828) 505-8476

July 2013

12 Monthly Issues $36 Canada & Mexico $39US Other Countries $54US SHATA Members deduct $4


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Shoptalk july2013  

The Leather Retailers' and Manufacturers' Journal

Shoptalk july2013  

The Leather Retailers' and Manufacturers' Journal