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T H E L E AT H E R R E TA I L E R S ’ & M A N U FACT U R E R S ’ J O U R N A L

Old West Reproductions

Treestump Leather

LeatherCorp Pakistan

AUGUST 2 0 1 6

S I NC E 1984

W W W . P RO L E P T I C. NE T




FEATURES 12 Goods & Services 16 Shoe Symposium


20 Chore Boot Central 23 LeatherCorp Pakistan 29 Treestump Leather 39 Old West Reproductions


LeatherCorp Pakistan

IN EVERY ISSUE 4 Laugh Lines 7 Hide Report 15 Boot & Shoe News 47 News, Notes & Queries 57 Classifieds COVER PHOTO: Miles City holster with full hand flower carving by Rick Bachman of Old West Reproductions.

2 AUGUST 2016




Old West Reproductions Published by Proleptic, Inc. • P.O. Box 17817 • Asheville, NC 28816 Ph (828) 505-8474 • Fax (828) 505-8476 • Read Shop Talk! online with links to advertisers and online information. ShopTalkLeatherMagazine

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.


AUGUST 2016 3

_________________ Ø ___________________


One day an attorney was riding in his limousine when he saw a guy eating grass and told his driver to stop. He got out and asked the man, “Why are you eating grass?” The man replied, “I’m so poor, I can’t afford a thing to eat.” So the attorney said, “Poor guy, come back to my house.”

Tickle Your

FUNNY BONE All the boys and girls in Mrs. Boyer’s class were drawing. Mrs. Boyer came over to Angela’s desk and asked her, “What picture are you drawing?”

The man then said, “But I have a wife and three kids.” So the attorney told him to bring them along as well. When they were all in the car, the poor man said, “Thanks for taking us back to your house. It is so kind of you.” The attorney said, “You’re going to love it there— the grass is at least a foot tall!” ___________________ Ø ____________________

“Okay, but where’s the cow?”

According to a recent article I just read on nutrition, scientists said eating right doesn’t have to be complicated. They say there is a simple way to tell if you are eating properly: colors. Greens, reds, yellows. In fact, I did that this morning. I had an entire bowl of M&Ms. It was delicious! I never knew eating properly could be so easy.

“It went looking for more grass.”

___________________ Ø ____________________

Angela answered, “It’s a cow eating grass.” “Okay,” said her teacher, “but where’s the grass?” “The cow ate it all.”

Two blondes decided to split a can of Diet Coke. One blonde open the can, and poured half the contents into her own glass and half into her friend’s glass. Before tossing the can, she stopped to read the nutritional information on the side. “ ‘Only one calorie per can,’ “she read aloud. “Hmmm,” murmured her friend. “I wonder which glass has the calorie.” ___________________ Ø ____________________

4 AUGUST 2016


The Danger


E at i n g B r e a d : A n EPA W a r n i n g


recent newspaper headline read, “Smell of baked bread may be a health hazard.” The article went on to describe the dangers of the smell of baking bread. The main danger apparently, is that the organic components of this aroma may break down the ozone. I was horrified. When are we going to do something about breadinduced global warming? Sure, we attack tobacco companies but when is the government going to go after Big Bread? Well, I’ve done a little research and what I discovered should make anyone think twice. Here’s what I found. 1. More than 98% of convicted felons are bread eaters. 2. Over half of all children who grow up in bread consuming households score below average on standardized tests.

Advice from a Country Farmer Diets are for people who are thick and tired of it.

3. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations. 4. More than 90% of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread. 5. Bread is made from a substance called “dough”. It has been proven that as little as 1 pound of dough can be used to suffocate a mouse. The average person eats more bread than that in one month. 6. Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and given only water begged for bread only after two days.

P ro p os e d R e s t r i c t i o n s Most bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical babbling. In light of these frightening statistics, we propose the following bread restrictions: 1. No sale of bread to minors. 2. No advertising of bread within 1,000 feet of a school. 3. A 300% federal tax on all bread to pay for the societal ills associated with eating bread. 4. No animal or human images nor any primary colors (which may appeal to children) may be used to promote bread usage. 5. A $40.2 billion fine on the three biggest US bread manufacturers.

A good man passed away and went to heaven where he was greeted by St. Peter who congratulated him and said he could have anything he wished. So the fellow requested something to eat and a telescope so he could look around. While eating a sandwich provided to him, he peered through the telescope down at the folks in hell and saw that they were feasting on shrimp, chicken fajitas, mutton

chops, and chocolate cake with ice cream. “How come people down there are eating gourmet food?” he asked St. Peter. “I earned a place in heaven but all you’ve given me is a sandwich.” “Well,” replied St. Peter apologetically, “it doesn’t pay to cook for just two.” SHOP TALK!

AUGUST 2016 5

Q: Why should you worry about gaining a few extra pounds?

A: Fat people are harder to kidnap.

You’re fat and you need to go on a diet.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it because you’ll eat that too.

New Rules For Dieting 1. If no one sees you eat it, it has no calories.

2. If you drink a diet soda with candy, they cancel each other out. 3. Cookie pieces contain no calories because the process of breakage causes calorie leakage.

4. If you eat standing up the calories all go down to your feet and get walked off. 5. STRESSED is just DESSERTS spelled backward.

Q: Why are most horses in shape?

A: Because they are on a stable diet.

My wife is a light eater. As soon as it’s light, she starts eating.

6 AUGUST 2016



The Hide Report

Pakistan’s Footwear Exports Continue Declining In the first 11 months of the current fiscal year, Pakistan registered export sales of 12.20 1 million pairs of shoes. The value of exports, totaling $99.49 million US, was down by 17.51%. Quantities of exported footwear in May increase compared to the similar period in 2015, going from 1.31 million pairs to 1.47 million pairs. In terms of value, footwear exports declined from $11.81 million US in May 2015 to $10.17 million US in May 2016, according to data recently released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. During the period July 2015 – May 2016, Pakistan exported 12.20 1 million pairs of shoes, valued at $99.49 million US. This compares to the exports of 12.18 million pairs valued at $120.61 million US in the same period in 2015 and reflects declines of .07% in quantity and 17.51% in value. Leather footwear sales, representing the largest share in footwear exports in the period (80.7%), reached $80.29 million US and went down by 20.12% during the first 11 months of the year.

HIDE REPORT The hide market marks time during the summer for a couple months so things are pretty steady although if you look at the chart at the end of the report you’ll see that prices have generally increased slightly—no wild swings up or down, just nice and steady. Demand should pick up in the fall.

FEDERALLY INSPECTED SLAUGHTER Federally inspected slaughter ending June 25th was estimated to be 598,000 head which was down 2% from the week before but up from a year previously when it was 522,000. Year-to-date, slaughter is 14,732,000 which is 3.3% higher than last year’s figure of 14,266,000.

BELLE’S OVERALL SALES RISE BUT FOOTWEAR DECREASES One of the largest footwear, sportswear, and apparel retailers in mainland China, Belle recorded overall revenue of €5.48 billion in fiscal year 2015/2016, a 2% increase compared to the previous year Revenue generated by the footwear business decreased by 8.5%, totaling €2.83 billion. Revenue of the sportswear and apparel business increased by 16.2%. The footwear portion of the business contributed to 51.7% of the total revenue, significantly lower than the 57.6% level in the previous year.


AUGUST 2016 7

The Hide Report

Skechers Unveils New UK Headquarters Footwear News reports that Skechers has opened its new headquarters just north of London, in St. Albans, England. The 17,500 sq. ft. building replaces the former headquarters in Potters Bar. The new facility is about an hour’s commute from London and houses offices and nine product showrooms. About 50 people will be based there. Skechers has 400 store employees across the UK and Ireland. Skechers UK sales grew by almost 30% last year, according to David Weinberg, chief operating officer of Skechers USA. Skechers is investing heavily in Europe and has recently expanded its distribution center in Belgium to 1,000,000 sq. ft. It also is the process of redesigning its Austrian and Italian showrooms which will open later this year. The company will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year and also plans to open a flagship store in Oxford St. in November. The store will span about 1,800 sq. ft. and will be the first to sell Skechers apparel.

8 AUGUST 2016


DUPONT BREAKS NEW GROUND WITH LEATHER GOODS THAT PROTECT PERSONAL DATA In this day and age where technology is ever present, piece of mind now comes from knowing that personal data is safe. For this reason, in 2016 S. T. Dupont is incorporating an RFID (radio frequency identification) protection system into its small leather goods to prevent the theft of personal data. RFID is an electronic method enabling radio identification. This technology has been incorporated into numerous devices and can be used to make credit card payments without the need of physical contact. However, is also a form of technology that can be used to hack information illegally which means that personal data can be captured, stored, and copied in merely a few seconds. Electronic security specialists estimate that 10 million people have their personal data stolen in this manner every year. S. T. Dupont is breaking new ground by becoming the first luxury leather goods brand to incorporate a device called D-Gital into its “Fire Head,” “Ligne D,” and “Dfi” wallet lines, indicated by the presence of a specific card. This innovative technology, patented and approved by the German certification laboratory TUV, is a specific material made from an alloy of nylon and metal integrated into the lining of the card compartments. It blocks the signal emitted by any RFID system and makes it impossible to hack someone’s personal information.

The Hide Report JOHN LOBB SHOES In the shadow of St. James’s Palace is the workshop of shoemakers John Lobb. Since the mid-19th century, they have handcrafted shoes for gentlemen and boast Royal warrants from both the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales. It’s a rare heritage company still run by the original family, and a new BBC film follows a day in the life of the shoemakers who use methods that have barely changed since the company was founded. From pencil outlines on brown paper to the cutting and stitching of leather. Heels hammered on souls to the final polishing, the film follows the meticulous craft process and here’s from the shoemakers themselves, many of whom have spent decades working for the company.


AUGUST 2016 9

The Hide Report

Brazilian Footwear Exports Decline

"The prospect of reduced production of shoes in China should open opportunities in the international market."

Total footwear exports for the first five months of 2016 hit 48.63 million pairs, valued at $367.48 million US, an increase of 1.7% in volume but a decrease of 4.7% in value compared to the same period in 2015.

Despite the overall export decline, Heitor Klein, Executive President of the Brazilian Shoe Manufacturers Association, highlighted the recovery of important markets for Brazilian footwear. In the first five months of 2016, the United States— the largest buyer of Brazilian footwear— purchased 5.3 million pairs for $80.3 million US, increasing both in quantity (20%) and value (17%), compared to the same period last year. Argentina imported 2.8 million pairs valued at $34.5 million US, an increase of 111% in quantity and 61.5% in value. France, the third largest buyer of Brazilian shoes, imported 4.4 8 million pairs for two $2.8 million US during the period, a decrease of 2% in number of pairs and a drop of 4.2% in value. Klein said that the prospect of reduced production of shoes in China should open opportunities in the international market. “That sounds like music to our ears. We have a structured industrial park, hoping to increase demand in the domestic and international markets,” he said. Klein also stated that Brazil, which produces about 850 million pairs of shoes annually, is likely to exceed the mark of 1 billion pairs produced. “We have a spare capacity of around 20%. So once competitive conditions are reestablished, we will seek this level. We are prepared to meet the demand as soon as it gets back,” he added.

10 AUGUST 2016


641-722-3188 Glen David & Christina Mast

14314 202nd St. Bloomfield, IA 52537

LIKE NEW N&A HARNESS NYLON WORKER WITH HOLE PUNCH & CUTTER Specializing in Wholesale Harness Orders Harness made from: • Bio • Nylon • Brahma Webb •

ShoTan LEATHER 800-251-7288 Veg Tanned - Upholstery Skirting

Smooth Grain Shoulders - Suedes Culuttas Exotics - Drum Dyed Harness - Latigo

Reg Price

TR Natural Skirting 13/15 oz TR Natural Skirting 10/12 oz TR Natural Skirting 8/10 oz TR Natural Skirting 6/8 oz TR Natural Skirting 4/6 oz TR Natural Skirting 3/4 oz

$126 sd $121 sd $119 sd $115 sd $111 sd $108 sd

Cowhide Ostrich Asst Colors Cowhide Gator Asst Colors Cowhide Elephant Asst Colors Suede Leather

$5.95 ft $6.25 ft $6.50 ft $3.95 ft



$120 $115 $114 $110 $106 $106 $5.75 $5.95 $6.10 $1.50


Upholstery and Chap Leather Assorted Colors Lt Grey Lt Green Royal Blue Lavender Orange Red Rust All - $3.95 ft

The Hide Report

Credit: Back cover, "The Spokesman and Harness World," March, 1940.

AUGUST 2016 MARKET IN REVIEW Selection Heavy Texas Steers

Weight (lbs.) wts. vary month to month

May (early)

June (early)

July (early)

Price Last July 2015 (early)

62-64 $65-66.50 $65-68 $72-74


Heavy Texas Steers (Hvy) 70-74 $70-71 $72-73 $77-78 $84-87 Branded Steers

62-64 $60-63 $60-63 $67-69 $86-87

Branded Steers (Hvy)

70-74 $68-70 $72-72.50 $76-77 $69-70

Colorado Steers

62-64 $58-59 $58-60 $64-65

Butt Branded Steers

62-64 $70-73 $70-73 $75-76 $92-97


Butt Branded Steers (Hvy) 70-74 $75-76 $73-74 $80-81 $82-84 Heavy Native Steers (Hvy)


Heavy Native Heifers

50-52 $56-57 $55-57 $60-61 $59-64

Branded Heifers

50-52 $53-54 $52-53 $57-59 $52-55

Heavy Native Cows

50-52 $42-43 $39-41 $38-40 $50-52

Branded Cows

50-52 $31-33 $27-32 $30-33.50 $63-66

Spready Dairy Cows

50-52 $52-53 $48-50 $47-49 $75-80

Native Bulls





100-110 $51-54 $47-50 $47-50 $69-72


AUGUST 2016 11

Goods & Services AUGUST 2016

What kind of work do you do? Chaps? Bags? Belts? Spur straps? Personal leather goods? Boots? Regardless of what you do, if you do inlay or overlay work—or want to know the correct way to do it—then the book for you is Lisa Sorrell’s The Art of Leather Inlay and Overlay. It’s 176 and all color. Hardback. The beauty of this book is that it is the real deal—Sorrell has excellent leather working techniques which she shares with her readers in a clear manner. This isn’t just a pretty book. Rather, it’s a book that can show you how to do inlay and overlay work in a professional manner. Instructions are detailed. There is an excellent discussion of the tools needed, how to skive properly, how to set up a sewing machine with a roller foot to do close stitching, the right needles to use, how to make and transfer patterns, how to design patterns, and much more. It’s all in the details! You will be delighted with the wealth of information that this book provides. It’s detailed, it’s clear, and it’s professional. We are now carrying this book. Cost is $34 plus S&H. Please contact: Proleptic, Inc., P O Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816, (828) 505-8474, e-mail:

12 AUGUST 2016


Good source for hair-on goat, calf, and cow is Sunshine Cowhides—they come from Argentina, Columbia, and Brazil. Lots of sizes and lots of prints. Also leather. Contact: 12245 S. W. 128th St., Bay #309, Miami, FL 33186, (888) 86-HIDES, www.

Goods & Services Are you planning to attend any of the excellent and FREE seminars on offer this year at the Custom Boot & Saddle Makers’ Roundup? There are seminars for both boot makers as well as saddle makers and, did I say, FREE?

Chamberlain’s Leather Milk, a US-made product for conditioning fine leather goods, is available from Leather Care Supply which also carried paints, dyes, conditioners, polishes, brushes, foot care items, and other products.

Cowpals—these classes are being conducted by some of the top craftspeople in the world—no joke— and they’d cost about $300-500 a throw if you were being charged so take a smart pill and make sure you attend one this year. The seminars are free and the information is priceless. Don’t miss out.

Contact Leather Care Supply at (954) 367-5993 or

Several items available from Sunnyside Tarp & Supply including a Deluxe Handy Upholstery Button Maker with 2 sets of cutters and dies. Also supplies for the same machine. All for $400. Also heavy cow, heifer, and calf collars, all with SS hdw. Cow $8, heifer $7.50, calf $6. Plus shipping. Please contact: 5841 Rt 83, Conewango Valley, NY 14726

Merino Sheepskin closing its doors so they are cleaning out the corners! They’re selling sheepskin scrap by the pound--$1.50. 10 lbs. min. Black and brown and other colors available. About hand size pieces. Call Judith at (800) 323-WOOL or e-mail:

Moser Leather has leather shoulders for sale. Wts. include 2/3, 4/5, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, and 10/12 oz. US hides with no brands. Starting at $5/sq. ft. Quantity discounts. Also a lot of saddlery items and closeouts from companies which they have helped liquidate. Call (800) 874-1167 or (513) 889-0500.


INDUSTRIAL SEWING SERVICES 1718 N. 1ST. STREET ** MILWAUKEE, WI. 53212 Serving the needle trades 90 years. POLYPROPYLENE WEBBING Firsts & Seconds. 28 colors on Firsts 59/60” NYLON FABRICS Firsts & Seconds Urethane Coated. 60 colors on 1000-Denier & many other fabrics. HOOK & LOOP Sew on 1/4” to 6”, some widths in 35 colors. P. S. (Stick on) 5/8”-5” Rubber & Acrylic. SPECIAL Hook/Loop. Call for prices ELASTICS Woven H D 1” thru 3” & Ex H D, also knitted & braided types. PLASTIC & METAL HARDWARE for webbing & miscellaneous items Grommets Washers 3 colors & Snaps 39 cap colors.

Firewood Bundle Webbing Handles Automated Hot/Sear Cutting on webbing, Elastics and Hook & Loop. For no-fray ends use Hot cutting on webbing for belt tip ends. 2-1/4” Electric Webbing & Rope Cutters for cut it yourself. Self-Locking Nylon Ties (Cable Ties) 4” thru 15”. BIAS or STRAIGHT CUT fabric binding tape slitting SINGLE & DOUBLE folded Bias Tapes * 200+ colors. CORD EDGE PIPING 200+ colors & Asst. Cord Fillers for horse blankets.

Up to 200 Catalog color pages available. Save paper order as needed from our catalog index pages and the latest changes by e-mail in the same day to (or USPS mail takes longer) TOLL FREE NATION WIDE 1-800-425-4747 • FAX 1-414-265-5353



AUGUST 2016 13

Goods & Services This is a late entry but we wanted to pass it along so you can get on the company’s mailing list for future specials. Holster maker Tex Shoemaker and Sons was offering a July 4th sale with 15% off all online orders— Tex has been in business for a long, long time and has accumulated a good bit of hardware and other odds and ends that he will sell if you ask nicely! Give him a call to see what goodies he might have—(909) 592-2071 (CA).

Research and Markets is an Irish company which sells detailed international market analyses for a variety of products such as footwear and sewing machines. One report is entitled “Footwear Markets in Americas to 2019”. It covers market size, development, forecasts, etc. North and South America are included. The cost is $4,770 USD. There is another report entitled, “Sewing Machine Markets in Western Europe to 2019”. It also covers market size, development, growth rates, product segments, etc. Cost is $5,967.

14 AUGUST 2016


For more details, please call (800) 526-8630, East Coast US (917) 300-0470, international +353-1-4168900. Or e-mail Amy Cole, Senior Manager, at amy.

If you are in the market for a cutting machine for leather or fabric or clickers, then a good place to contact would be Associated Pacific Machine Corp.—they may just have what you want. Contact: 724 Via Alondra, Carmarillo, CA 93012-8713, (800) 679-APMC, (805) 445-4740.

Big sale on hardware and Bio harness parts at Countryside Mfg., 504 S. Humbert St., Milton, IA 52570, (641) 656-4246. It’s their 25th anniversary!! Get on their mailing list.

Cox Auctioneers has purchased many companies over the years, and acquired several trademarks they are willing to sell. Their display ads are getting too big! Call for more information: James Cox at 513-889-0500, or Darius Ward at 513-314-3105.


Boot & Shoe News

Wow! Don’t you love that “glow-in-the-dark” thread sold by Superior Threads? They have 7 oz. spools in #46 that just might look pretty good on a wild pair of boots—are you listening Dave Little? Reuben? Sharon?

at: Shop Talk!, P O Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816, e-mail:, (828) 505-8474. Thanks!

So here’s the deal, pardner: you make up a swell looking pair of boots, using the crazy glowing thread and we’ll put the boot on the front cover of

Shop Talk! You may contact Superior Threads at 87 E 2580 S, St. George, UT 84790, (435) 652-1867, www. Let’s see what you can do! You may contact us


AUGUST 2016 15

Boot & Shoe News

New Shoe Symposium Gaining a Foothold


Organizers of a fledgling summer footwear symposium are already looking ahead to next year to provide continuing education for custom makers of shoes and boots.

In its second year, the Footwear Symposium, held June 24-26 in Ashland, Oregon, drew a nice crowd and carried on its mission to help craftspeople learn and improve skills of making and designing custom footwear

Co-organizer Julie Bonney-Shanor of Bonney & Wills School of Shoemaking & Design in Ashland says 80 or so participants left the long weekend impressed by stories from veterans in the field, including Bill Crary of Crary Shoes in Portland, OR., Randy Merrell, founder of Merrell Boot Co., and industry designer David Ruperto of Ralph Lauren. “In some ways, this event was the heart and soul of shoemaking,” Bonney-Shanor says. “There were some really inspirational stories. It was quite an emotional journey for some people.”

The symposium is the brainchild of Julie and her husband, Bill Shanor, both shoemakers, and Marcell Mrsán (pronounced mar-ZAHN), a bespoke shoemaker who teaches at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. A few years ago, the three began a conversation, worried that core shoemaking skills and traditions might fade away. A conference dedicated to networking and learning sounded like one answer.

“The mission is more than creating a footwear guild,” Bonney-Shanor says. “It's around educating the public, what the differences are between a handmade beautiful shoe and something that's made by the factory and why there are price differentiations between the two. It's around making sure the shoemakers who are out there are getting the education that they need in order to make these beautiful shoes.” A guild has been started in earnest. The idea is to provide essential education and a seal of excellence that shoemakers can use to establish credibility. An active Facebook group, The Shoemaking Forum, managed by Mrsan, preceded the effort. It's up to nearly 8,000 members from around the world, many of them asking questions. “You know, 8,000 members, I said, ‘Surely we could put together a symposium or conference and we can give a couple of days education to these people’,” says Mrsán. Members share tips and advice about products, equipment, and problems. Joining the group is free for those who have a Facebook account. Mrsán says participants share many posts each day, such as pictures of recently made shoes and links to interesting articles.

16 AUGUST 2016


Boot & Shoe News

Shanor is standing second from left.

“One of my student’s just posted his athletic shoes,” he says while taking a quick glimpse online. Sometimes posts are “liked” by scores of members. The symposium, which included two days of preconference hands-on workshops, aims to appeal to all types of footwear makers, from boots to hiking shoes, from dress to orthopedic. Among the workshop leaders this year were Bill Shanor of Bonney & Wills, who has been teaching shoemaking for more than forty years; Lisa Sorrell, custom bootmaker from Oklahoma; Paul Krause, a renowned bootmaker in Arizona who taught a session on the Opanka construction technique; and

Jason Hovatter, an up-and-comer in Portland, OR, whose specialty is non-lasted shoemaking Conference speakers included Frank Jones, known for his book “Pattern Cutting;” Paul Ringmacher who's launched a bespoke motorcycle boot company, Ironhorse Boots, in New Braunfels, TX; John Allen Woodward who has dedicated twentyfive years to leatherworking and shoemaking from his base in Boulder; and Mrsán, a sixth generation shoemaker from Hungary. If there was an overarching theme to the event, it likely was an appreciation for the value of the custom made shoe. “Handmade shoes are almost like fine cuisine compared to McDonald’s. Nowadays in footwear, if you think of the revolution in the food industry … soon it’ll be happening [in shoes],” Mrsán says. Bonney-Shanor also agrees. When attendees come from as far away as Vietnam, interest is apparently high. “I really feel like there is a resurgence in this craft,” she says. “Bill Crary is creating his own little factory up in Portland. One of our student's goals was to make all vegan shoes here in the United States, and she's been able to do that. I've spoken to some companies, they're trying to move their factories out of China and back into the U.S. So I think there is a wonderful resurgence happening. I think it's healthy. I really do.” Even industry big wigs, like David Ruperto, having spent his career in the high volume manufacturing side of the business, recognize the need for strong custom makers. “The future of footwear lies with the experienced craftsman,” he states. “It is these individuals who pass the knowledge to the next SHOP TALK!

AUGUST 2016 17

Boot & Shoe News First Place Winners Beginner Category (less than 2 years experience) First Place: Ken Bode Best Overall: Scott Velasquez Best Design: Scott Velasquez Best Craftsmanship: Ken Bode Advanced Category (more than 2 years experience) First Place Men’s Shoes: Bobby Hay First Place Boots: Bobby Hay First Place Women’s Shoes: Amara Hark-Weber First Place Other: Debbie Anderson Best Overall: Julie Bonney-Shanor Best Design: Julie Bonney-Shanor Best Craftsmanship: Julie Bonney-Shanor People’s Choice Award: Julie Bonney-Shanor

2016 Shoe Symposium Vendors Leather Machines C. Loy’s Leathers O. Baltor and Son’s Renia John Fong Exotic Leathers Florida Alligator Education and Marketing Committee (FAME) Bonney & Wills Shoedo Sorrell Notions and Findings Maverick Leather Leather Crafters and Saddlers Journal Dick Anderson

18 AUGUST 2016


Mrsán teaching at symposium.

generation. We must first have a deep understanding of the process and steps involved in the making of our product, if future generations ever hope to innovate, automate or improve.” For details about next year's conference, check To contact Marcell Mrsán, email him at or use the contact form on his website www. Bonney-Shanor in Oregon can be reached at (541) 482-3906 or through the Bonney & Wills School of Shoemaking & Design website, To join the Facebook group, send a request online via www.

Boot & Shoe News LISA SORRELL RELEASES NEW BOOK ON LEATHER INLAY AND OVERLAY What kind of work do you do? Chaps? Bags? Belts? Spur straps? Personal leather goods? Boots? Regardless of what you do, if you do inlay or overlay work—or want to know the correct way to do it—then the book for you is Lisa Sorrell’s The Art of Leather Inlay and Overlay. It’s 176 and all color. Hardback. The beauty of this book is that it is the real deal— Sorrell has excellent leather working techniques which she shares with her readers in a clear manner.

patterns, how to design patterns, and much more. It’s all in the details! You will be delighted with the wealth of information that this book provides. It’s detailed, it’s clear, and it’s professional. We are now carrying this book. Cost is $34 plus S&H. Please contact: Proleptic, Inc., P O Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816, (828) 505-8474, e-mail:

This isn’t just a pretty book. Rather, it’s a book that can show you how to do inlay and overlay work in a professional manner. Instructions are detailed. There is an excellent discussion of the tools needed, how to skive properly, how to set up a sewing machine with a roller foot to do close stitching, the right needles to use, how to make and transfer


AUGUST 2016 19

Boot & Shoe News

Where the Rubber Meets the Road


When it comes to footwear for farmers, construction workers, maintenance personnel or simply people who enjoy working outside, the main thing that people want is for their boots to keep their feet clean and dry. Chore boots are a necessity, not a luxury. Chore Boot Central, a division of Bag Man, LLC, believes not all of them are created equal.

Bag Man, LLC has been serving farmers in Western Wisconsin for more than twenty years. The company carries a variety of high quality agricultural equipment and supplies. They also provide silage and grain bagging, bale wrapping, tillage, and manure spreader equipment rentals at the local level. Since 2010, the company has distributed several chore boot product lines nationwide. It first started when the Quatro Rubber Farm/Ranch Boot was introduced in the U.S. “It was the most comfortable, highest quality rubber chore boot we had ever found, and we knew our customers needed them,” Eric Von Deylen, National Accounts Manager, Bag Man LLC, says. Since 2010, the company has also added the Reed, Dunlop, Gumleaf, and TREDS lines of waterproof footwear. All of these brands have features and

20 AUGUST 2016


benefits that qualify them as leading brands in waterproof and safety footwear. “Especially for farmers, quality footwear can mean the difference between working all day or being dead tired after two hours,” says Von Deylen. “Additionally, livestock waste is tough on leather, so wearing a high quality, waterproof chore boot not only reduces fatigue but also saves money on annual footwear costs.”

Not all boots are created equal

The boots carried by Bag Man are manufactured using high quality rubber or polyurethane technology. “This is very important,” Von Deylen says. “There are significant differences in the materials used by different chore boot manufacturers. They are not all the same. All of the materials used in the manufacturing of our boot brands are formulated specifically for the intended use. We believe, and our customers report, that they are the longest lasting boots on the market.”

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He adds that there are also significant differences in footbed comfort. “Stick your hand inside the boot and feel the footbed on a Quatro boot, a Reed Glacier or a Dunlop Thermo, and compare it to the competitions’ footbeds. You will immediately understand why these boot brands are more comfortable and can be worn all day,” he explains.

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Von Deylen reports that the market for high quality Chore Boots is vast which is why Bag Man has built up a network of dealers and retailers across the country. They continue to seek outlets daily.

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Boot & Shoe News “Based on retailer feedback, when the boots are featured properly and the benefits are explained, we know that these boots can enhance a business’ bottom line.” Bag Man offers a dealer/retailer program to fit any size of business. Prices are competitive and they support their dealer network with national advertising that invites customers to find their local dealer on their website. They also offer a co-op advertising program to help pay for local advertising, and will help with artwork and marketing literature as needed. “Our goal is to help our retailers sell more boots,” says Von Deylen. Chore boots come in many styles, sizes and colors and fit most all waterproof footwear needs.

Contact Information Eric Von Deylen P O Box 162 Hammond, WI 54015 1-800-796-5333

22 AUGUST 2016


A Pakistani Leather Company Has Its Eyes on Growth


Since 1982, the Leather Corporation has been manufacturing a large assortment of leather goods for men and women. Based in Sialkot, Pakistan, Muhammed Ahmed, CEO, says that according to a government’s survey on leather industry, they are currently the sixth largest tannery unit in the country.

“Our dream is to become the largest tannery and leather manufacturing company in Pakistan,” Ahmed says. “We’re in the process of working to establish another tannery unit in Kasur, which is the most recognized and largest tannery zone in Pakistan. Most of the tanneries that operate in Kasur deal with leather from rawhides to wet blue. Right now, we are depending on other tanneries to provide us the wet blue, but hopefully by 2019, we will have our own rawhide unit and that will help us to become the largest tannery unit in Pakistan.”

What makes them “state-of-the-art?” provides a few examples:


• We always use Netherlands-based leather chemicals in all of our leather tanning process to ensure the overall quality of our leather. • Most of our tannery machinery is imported from the UK. • Most of our stitching machinery is imported from Korea and Germany. • We have a Greek designer, Theodore Seferiadis; and a Korean Pattern Master, Wong Lie, who both work in our manufacturing unit. No other factory in our area has this type of foreign technical staff working in their factories. We pay them well and they have worked with us for many years. • We always hire employees and technical staff who have attended Punjab Technical Training School to ensure the best quality work and craftsmanship.

Currently, the Leather Corporation manufactures leather garments, gloves, handbags, purses, and wallets, promotional items, belts, and other accessories. They have a vertical setup, processing rawhides into leather and turning the leather into finished products in their state-of-the-art facility with the help of their skilled staff.


AUGUST 2016 23

There’s a whole lot more to Springfield Leather Company than just the...


While it’s true that SLC is widely known for all the dumb dogs running around, we’re also a very diverse one stop shop for crafters world wide! Remember, if you need something, we probably have it!

And no. I don’t ALWAYS wear my own merchandise, but when I do...


Oh brother...And he thinks we’re dumb! In case you were interested in actual ad worthy info, we’re proud to announce the launch of our brand new website!!! Check it out for yourself!

Springfield Leather Company 1463 S. Glenstone Springfield, MO 65808 1-800-668-8518

24 AUGUST 2016


The array of leathers they process include high quality sheep, cow, goat, buffalo, deer, kangaroo, horse, camel, and different kinds of split leather. They specialize in producing thick vegetable and chrome tanned leather that is mostly used for belts and saddle bags. They also focus on leather garments.

“We have two different production setups,” Ahmed explains. “One is a tannery unit and the other is a manufacturing unit for leather jackets, gloves, and small leather goods. Our factory is approximately 80,000 square feet.” Here’s an example of some of their more common leathers and weights:

Average hide size

6 SQFT to 10 SQFT


.06 -.07 mm


1.50 – 1.75 oz

Average hide size

40 SQFT to 45 SQFT


1.00 -1.40 mm


2.50 – 3.25 oz


AUGUST 2016 25

Here’s an example of some of their leathers and what they are used for: Lamb Leather

Fashion: Dress Gloves, Jackets & Wallets

Goat Leather

Work Gloves, Safety Gloves, Cycle Gloves, Sports Gloves, Jackets, & Vests

Cow Leather

Work Gloves, Motorcycle Gloves, Motorcycle Clothing, Handbags, Purses, Wallets and Small Leather Goods, Saddlery Items

Buffalo Leather

Weight Lifting Gloves, Belts, Saddlery Items

Deer Skin Leather Dress Gloves and Fashion Jackets Split Leather

Saddlery Items, Work Aprons, and Safety Gloves

The Leather Corporation’s primary market is Europe, but they also have clients throughout Australia, in the U.S., and Canada. They mostly sell to major importers, a few top brands, wholesale, and small retailers too.

26 AUGUST 2016


“We are a well-known company in the international market of leather products because of our quality standards,” Ahmed says. “We offer the best quality at the most competitive prices. We’re all about providing top value for your money – 100% quality work at affordable prices.

“Recently, we performed a client survey and approximately 94 percent of clients said that they were ‘pleased’ or ‘very pleased’ with our quality and customer service.”

FAST FAQs • # of employees: 265 full time, but they also hire for daily wage employees to fill orders as needed. • # of hides tanned per day/week: Approximately 400 hides per day; 2,400 per week.

Wallets productions section

Since, the Leather Corporation has an established market presence, they don’t do much advertising, but they do attend trade shows and exhibitions to network and they also do some e-marketing. And, it looks like it’s paying off. “We’re on track for growth and ready to do what it takes to be number one,” Ahmed says. Interested customers can select the leather of their choice from Leather Corp’s website: www. and they can also request custom orders.

M. Ahmed, CEO LEATHER CORPORATION MIANI 6 KM DASKA ROAD SIALKOT 51310 PAKISTAN TEL +92 333 8604367 – 300 6234564 FAX + 92 52 3575399



AUGUST 2016 27

28 AUGUST 2016



STILL AT THE BENCH IN BACKWOODS MAINE At Treestump Leather, custom knife sheaths are Chris Kravitt’s specialty f Chris Kravitt of Treestump Leather intended to sequester himself from the public eye, he couldn’t have picked a better place to live and work than remote and rustic Waltham, Maine. Yet, to watch Kravitt, 69, at his cluttered workbench, stitching or tooling one of his handsomely by LYNN ASCRIZZI, constructed knife sheaths, is well STAFF WRITER worth the trip, which for most folks will involve a lengthy drive through nameless, wooded stretches in the northerly part of the state. His modest shop, built on two acres of open fields on Cave Hill Rd. (Route 200) and marked only by a large, wooden sign posted near the road, is definitely off the beaten track. Yet, his place of business is just one hour from famed Acadia National Park and summer tourist haven Bar Harbor. His specialty is custom made knife sheaths designed with a “friction fit” that locks the blade in place. But he also offers “ready-mades,” as he calls them, finished sheaths ready to purchase. His line includes two basic sheath styles—a popular pouch model and a

traditional design with a retaining strap. Leather belts and a small line of holsters and accessories round out his offerings. To find him, however, you must first walk through a front showroom section and push through a little swinging gate. There, on almost any given day, Kravitt will be working amid the creative chaos of his workshop, the air saturated with the pungent smell of cowhide, finishing oils and dyes. “It’s the smell I can’t smell anymore,” he said, referring to his long years plying the trade. This November, he’ll be celebrating forty-six years as a leatherworker.



AUGUST 2016 29

Newly made knife sheaths, in different stages of completion, are pinned to a long clothesline that stretched across the shop. “They’re works in progress. Leather has to have a certain amount of moisture—sort of like al dente,” he explained, drawing an analogy between the toothsome texture of perfectly cooked pasta and the right feel of supple leather. “You first soak the leather and allow it to dry to the right moisture content before you do the carving.”

“A tree stump is a great surface to work on. That’s where the business name came from.” — Chris Kravitt,

without messing around with retaining straps,” he explained. For a knife with a double guard, however, he creates a traditionalstyle sheath with a retaining strap on the handle.

A sheath should also be made of dense, firm leather to keep it from flexing, he advised. “If it flexes, it allows the knife to poke through. On average, depending upon the size of the knife, I use 8/9 oz. leather. On a big, heavy knife, that would be 9/10 oz. leather. For a small knife—6/7 oz.” Kravitt purchases his cowhide strictly from Thoroughbred Leather of Louisville, KY.

Treestump Leather

He quickly made it clear that there’s far more to the construction of a knife sheath than meets the eye. The essential purpose of this often underappreciated item is to protect both blade and user. But a sheath must also compliment the knife’s design. In fact, the right sheath improves the tactical value of a knife, he said. “It has to contain the knife safely and, at the same time, grant easy access. With pouch sheaths, you get a little resistance, but you can just pull out the knife

Another detail. He doesn’t use rivets to build a sheath. Instead, he creates a welt between the sheath’s two layers. “The welt protects the stitching from being cut by the knife and helps add rigidity,” he said. Commercial sheaths often use brass rivets soft enough not to mar the knife edge, but rivets will eventually compromise the leather.

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And then, there’s the pride that comes from possessing a well-made sheath. “Part of the pleasure for people who use a really fine, custom knife is being able to show it off. If you’re wearing a knife on your hip, what is it that people see first? The knife sheath!” Kravitt’s knife sheaths start at $50 for a basic traditional or pouch style, a modest price for a high quality leather product that, with proper care, will last a lifetime. He recommends an annual treatment of Lexol leather conditioner, unless the sheath gets wet. In that case, it should be treated more often, he suggested.

“Part of the pleasure for people who use a really fine, custom knife is being able to show it off. If you’re wearing a knife on your hip, what is it that people see first? The knife sheath!” — Chris Kravitt When I visited Treestump, Kravitt was finishing up a cowhide belt for customers arriving that day. Fixed to his own belt was a super deluxe knife and sheath made in collaboration with custom knife maker Lamont Coombs, Jr., of Bucksport, Maine. Kravitt uses the special knife for everything, from cutting thread in the shop to dressing out a deer in the woods. On its handle, etched into the blade, is Kravitt & Coombs.


AUGUST 2016 31

“It’s the official knife of Treestump Leather. It’s something I designed back in 1988. I’ve sold hundreds of them, with the sheaths,” he said. The standard model of the 6 ½” knife comes without guard or bolster. It has a 3” curved blade made of O1 high carbon tool steel and a cocobolo handle. Its price, including the sheath: $175, plus $12 for shipping and handling. The deluxe Kravitt & Coombs model that comes with a bolster and finer detailing starts at $300. His 24’ x 32’ workshop is set roughly 100 feet from the small country home he built in 1997 and shares with his wife, Lin. The shop’s front showroom, separated from the workshop section

32 AUGUST 2016


by a long, glass case, is arranged with sample sheaths, knives and an assortment of eclectic artifacts, such as a stuffed rattlesnake, a powder horn, and a blowgun quiver from Ecuador. The first showroom items that you see, however, are not knife sheaths but a sizable display of hunting rifles and shotguns. It turns out that Kravitt, who never misses a deer

“Very rarely do I do a [knife] sheath perfectly plain. At the very least, I do my basic border design. I’m of the opinion that you should always leave your ‘signature’ on whatever you make. People see my sheaths, and they say, ‘Oh, that’s a Treestump Leather sheath.’ It’s recognizable.” — Chris Kravitt hunting season, is also a licensed gun dealer. In his neck of the woods, all he has to do during fall hunting season is to roll out of bed in the morning, and he’s in whitetail country.

TOOLS & MACHINES Placed in one section of Kravitt’s shop is a sturdy tree stump, its top fitted with a round, heavy steel plate, an anvil, and various tools of the trade. “A tree stump is a great surface to work on. That’s where the business name came from,” he said.

Industrial Products of Fort Wayne, IN, is used for final construction of sheaths and holsters. “It can sew through 5/8” pine board,” he said. “But, I don’t recommend doing that!” When sewing with “The Boss,” Kravitt uses number 277 nylon thread purchased from Ohio Travel Bag of Solon, OH. To the right of his chair is stationed a Singer industrial sewing machine, Model 211. “I bought it used in 1975. It was 20 years old then. I paid $200 for it,” he recalled. The trusty Singer thrums into action to sew inlays and overlays. “The lighter stuff,” he said. Hand tools, many of which are within easy reach of his bench, play an important role as well. For instance, he employs a large modeling tool from Tandy Leather Factory of Fort Worth, TX, for beveling and rounding leather. And, a handmade swivel knife from Barry King Tools of Sheridan, WY, is used for carving. On his bench is a stamp with the Treestump Leather logo made by Buckeye Engraving of Kent, OH, a manufacturer of custom stamps and dies for jewelers, metalsmiths, machinists, mold makers, knife makers, leather workers, and gunsmiths.

The shop has a dust collection system, but recently he purchased a Wen air filtration system to further clear the air as he grinds edges of leather used in knife sheaths and holsters. As Kravitt plies his craft, he relies on a variety of specialized tools and machines. To the immediate left of his workbench chair is mounted a Tippmann Boss Leather Stitcher, its operating manual nailed to the stand. The stitcher, manufactured by Tippmann SHOP TALK!

AUGUST 2016 33

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From left to right: A pouch sheath with scroll carving; sheath with sting ray inlay; holster with scroll accent; traditional sheath with strap and feather carving; a Mexican basket weave pouch sheath; ready-made sheath for stock; sheath with basket weave and scroll.

Pouch sheaths might come with a plain finish or border. “Very rarely do I do a sheath perfectly plain. At the very least, I do my basic border design. I’m of the opinion that you should always leave your ‘signature’ on whatever you make. People see my sheaths, and they say, ‘Oh, that’s a Treestump Leather Sheath.’ It’s recognizable.” For basket weave designs, he uses Craftool Leathercraft stamps—an X-513 and X-514 purchased decades ago from Tandy. “Ninety-nine percent of the time, I work with about 10 to 12 stamping tools, although I own about 150 of them. I made one of my stamping tools out of a large nail. My scrolled designs are completely original. They flow from my brain, to my hand, to the leather,” he said. Also, he creates inlays with exotic skins such as ostrich legs, python, cobra, rattlesnake, corn snake, and Malaysian horned frog. “I’ve never seen a live one,” he quipped, referring to the horned frog. He pointed out the 15’ African python skin, mounted along the ceiling in the showroom section. “It was only half grown,” he said.

PEACE SIGNS, FLOWERS AND FRINGES As Kravitt worked, a shop radio blared music by The Rolling Stones. “I was a child of the Sixties,” he said. “I was raised in New Haven, CT—a great place to move away from. I was the quintessential, hippie leather craftsman. I started doing leatherwork as a hobby. My younger sister, Merry Jane, had taken arts and crafts at a summer camp and got hooked on leatherwork. That’s how I got into it. She was

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getting ready to go to a craft fair with her eclectic, artsy leather crafts. She said, ‘Come with me to the fair,’ and I did. That was November, 1970. I’ve been doing leatherwork ever since.” By the time he was in his early 20’s and married, leatherwork was his livelihood. He worked diligently at his newfound art. “I made lots of belts, sandals, and pocketbooks with a lot of peace signs, flowers and fringes,” he recalled.

“My scrolled designs are completely original. They flow from my brain, to my hand, to the leather.” — Chris Kravitt

Later, he opened a leather shop in New Haven and did about thirty to forty New England craft fairs a year. “We were young. Gas was cheap,” he said. The shop was a success, but he and his partner, a stained glass maker, decided they didn’t want to run it anymore. “We were irresponsible and didn’t want to be tied down,” he recalled. Not long after, he got a call from the owner of Mud Mill Pottery, a craft shop in Trenton, ME. “He wanted

to install a leatherworker in the shop. That was 1976,” he said. So he moved up for the summer. Forty years later, Kravitt is still living and doing leatherwork in Maine. Many years of experience creating diverse products have made him a master of the craft. “I have gone from specializing in and doing everything to focusing on knife sheaths. At one point, I was wholesaling wallets. I made sheepskin products— hats and vests. But, I found it more profitable to go into knife sheaths.”

After operating a leather shop in Ellsworth, ME, for many years, Kravitt built his current shop and home in Waltham. And he’s content with his rustic lifestyle. He may seem laid back but his work has garnered national attention. Some years ago, he was written up in Field & Stream, Blade, Knives Illustrated, Tactical Knives, and the discontinued Fighting Knives.


AUGUST 2016 35

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He’s been lucky to have made sheaths for some of the world’s greatest knife makers like Paul Jarvis. Around 2007, Kravitt made a $600 sheath for Jarvis’ award-winning Persian short sword. The design duplicates the gold and silver fitting on the sword and includes four padded inlays of Malaysian horned frog skins. “That’s the most I’ve gotten for a sheath,” he said. But that’s about to change when he finishes a large leather sheath designed for a museum quality battle axe, trimmed in gold, silver, precious, and semiprecious gems. “It was a $1,000 trade,” he admits and adds, “It’s the biggest challenge of my leather career to make it. A daunting challenge.”

For more information: Treestump Leather, Chris Kravitt, 443 Cave Hill Rd., Waltham, ME 04605. (207) 584-3000.

Currently, not counting his specialty items, he makes about 500 sheaths and 50 holsters annually. “I never tire of working in leather. My blessing is I love my work. My curse is I love my work,” he joked. That comment naturally led to the inevitable question: “How long does it take to make a sheath?” “All my life,” he remarked. “It’s not how long it takes me to make one. It’s how long it took me to get there.”


AUGUST 2016 37


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His Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys


He’s got more than 2,000 pieces of antique cowboy gear in his personal collection, and he’s been creating museum-like pieces for individuals and movie sets since 1978. That would be Rick Bachman, president of Old West Reproductions, Inc., whose mission is to create items made in the tradition of the Old West. And, he takes it very seriously.

Growing up in Montana, it was not difficult to cultivate an interest in the Old West. Bachman recalls that he’s pretty sure his passion first began when he was five years old and his father took him to see the classic movie “Shane” with Alan Ladd. “I was hooked,” he says.

What types of items are in your collection? Mostly Colt revolvers and Winchester rifles. In addition to the firearms, several of these pieces were marked with saddle maker’s names such as F. A. Meanea and E. L. Gallatin, Main & Winchester, the Moran Brothers, and several others. Some of these items have been prominently photographed in the book, “Packing Iron,” by Richard Rattenbury. Do you make all the products yourself? Yes. I’m primarily a custom shop, but do have a small inventory. I’m completely self-taught. It’s always come pretty natural to me. It’s all about trial and error. I do use an old Adler sewing machine


AUGUST 2016 39

– I purchased it new in 1984. It really saves on production time – about 40 percent. I’ve never been asked if I use a machine because it duplicates hand stitching. I only use hand waxed linen thread and never use edge paint or alcohol-based dyes. All edges are hand burnished and my leather is darkened with a formula that was once used by saddle makers of the Old West.

40 AUGUST 2016


What is your most important shop tool? My hands!! Also, old decorative leather stamping tools are difficult to find and expensive. In duplicating some of the old stamped tooling patterns, I've had to make my own tooling stamps. In fact, many of the tools I use on my gear, I’ve made myself. What types of leather do you use? Where sourced? I get all my saddle skirting from Hermann Oak Leather Co. They level all my leather to a specific thickness and do lots of other special things to it that I can’t reveal here. I use Grade 2 leather because my projects are small and I can easily work around any blemishes.

several rigs for characters in “Tombstone.” One major character, Texas Jack Vermillion, carried one of my rigs – a fancy spotted one decorated with pesos. And, I’m pretty sure that Curly Bill Brocius played by Powers Boothe, another “Tombstone” character, was wearing some of my spur straps in the beginning of the movie. It was pretty neat to see this stuff in those movies. I’ve also made items for U.S. Senators, State Supreme Court Judges, and museums.

Have you made pieces for any celebrities? Oh, yes. Dwight Yoakum, Hank Williams, Jr, Tom Selleck, and Sam Elliott, to name a few. I’ve also contracted with individuals to make pieces for some movies. A gunsmith in Montana who was making guns for Kevin Costner in “Dances with Wolves” said they needed some civilian rigs, so I went to work. I made about 15-20 individual rigs. I also made


AUGUST 2016 41

What are some of your favorite pieces in your personal collection? How has business evolved since you started it in 1978? I do less restoration work, and I’ve added more concealed carry and field carry items.

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Oh man, that’s a difficult question. There are so many! Probably the Slim Jim holsters from 1849 to 1865. There’s also a Frank Meanea (a Cheyenne saddle maker) holster and cartridge from the 18831885 period that is near and dear to me. Basically, I collect anything from 1849 to 1900. After 1900, there’s nothing to do with the history of the old cowboys.

What are your favorite Western movies? In addition to “Shane,” I’d have to say “the Searchers” with John Wayne, “Conagher” with Sam Elliott and “Tombstone.” Specifically, “Tombstone” really did a great job of paying attention to authentic dress and leather gear. All of these movies told a great story and scenery-wise – were visually stunning. In my opinion, that’s 99 percent of the movie.


AUGUST 2016 43

Do you have an Old West idol? You likely want me to give you a name like Jesse James or Buffalo Bill, but those are not the people who I admire. It’s the everyday cowboys and ranchers who are my heroes. It’s those who worked day in and day out to drive cattle while working on the back of a horse. Do you participate in Cowboy Action Shooting? I used to, but I gave it up in the 90s. The competition part of it ruined it for me. It just wasn’t fun anymore.

44 AUGUST 2016


What are some of the more unusual pieces you have made? Cowboy-style holsters for German lugers and Derringers. I’ve also made some fringed holsters. Aside from collecting Old West memorabilia, what other activities do you enjoy? I hunt, fish, and camp. I continue to have fun shooting wherever I go and travel all over the country with my family in a travel trailer.


AUGUST 2016 45

Plans for the future? To continue to add more pieces to my product line – mostly concealed carry and hunting items. I’ll try them out and see how they do. There’s only about three to four other people who can do what I do, so I plan to continue making beautiful and authentic items. It’s not about how you shoot; it’s how you look when you shoot. I don’t want to look like the Lone Ranger on the back of a fake horse. I want to be authentic. I’m a creative historian.

Contact: Old West Reproductions, Inc. 446 Florence S Loop, Florence, MT 59833 406-273-2615 |

46 AUGUST 2016


AU GUS T 2016

News, Notes & Queries

TOOL TREE Here’s a “Tool Tree” created by long-time collector Don Temp at N 424 Temp Rd., Coon Valley, WI 54623, (608) 788-1759. There’s even a left handed Osborne draw gauge on one of the limbs. Truth be told, Don probably has one of the most extensive collection of antique leather tools in the US.

MIGUEL DAVALOS, SR. PASSES We are saddened to report the death of Miguel Davalos, Sr., owner of Silver King in Chatsworth, CA, sometime in late June or early July. Miguel is survived by his wife, son, and daughter who will continue running their successful custom silver and leather goods business.

NEW FROM CHUCK SMITH TOOLS That’s what we hear on the street—Chuck Smith is coming out with some new tools in the very near future and you know if they come from Chuck Smith, they have to be very, very, very good. Stay tuned.

Thank you, Don, for sharing this! SHOP TALK!

AUGUST 2016 47

News, Notes & Queries

FREE SEMINARS AT THE ROUNDUP! Wow—both days there are three free seminars, led by some of the best craftspeople in the business. Here’s the agenda: Friday—“Tips on Working with Ostrich” by Mikes Karnes; Carl Chappell leads a discussion group; Discussion group lead by Lee Miller, Mike Vaughn, and Mike Allred; Q&A with saddle maker Jesse Sith. Saturday—Bootmaking with Deana McGuffin; Discussion led by Carl Chappell; Bootmaking with Lee Miller Girls and boys—these are “must attend” events—they may be free but the information is priceless—and just see what Carl Chappell would charge you for an hour’s tutorial. Here’s a hint: ain’t cheap.

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News, Notes & Queries LEATHER FACTS: HOW TO


hide/leather terminology, selecting harness leather, grading leather, chrome vs veg tanned leather, latigo, and more. Handy reference. 20 pp.

Yee-ha! Get your saddles ready for the upcoming 28th annual Boot & Saddle Makers Roundup saddle contest! Make sure you have your saddle at the show on Oct. 7 and please bring a stand! Belt buckles and plaques for the winners.


$11.50 +


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

Here are the categories: Beginner—To be eligible for the category the saddle must be the maker’s very first saddle and must have been started after last year’s contest. All construction and tooling must be done by the saddle maker him or herself. Novice—Saddle makers wishing to enter their work in this category must have 5 years or less experience. Open Geometric—Saddles will be fully or partially tooled, geometric stamped (basket, waffle, barbed wire, etc.). Plain saddles may be entered into this category whereas plain or geometric saddles with floral, decorative knife cuts, or figures must enter the Open Floral category. Open Floral—Full or partially tooled floral, oak leaf, figures or decorative knife cuts. Geometrics may be incorporated. Working Cowboy—Heavy duty saddle for the working cowboy. All saddles entered must have been started after last year’s contest. For all the details, please contact this year’s coordinators Robert and Pebble Brown at (940) 210-8155.


AUGUST 2016 49

News, Notes & Queries ON THE MOVE The folks at Beachy Blacksmith have decided to concentrate on making those nice Easy Entry pony carts they manufacture and heavy duty cart wheels but sell off the evener and neck yoke portion of their business to The Evener Shop. You can contact The Evener Shop at 6840 Township Road 568, Holmesville, OH 44633, (330) 674-0851. We really appreciate all the advertising that Beachy Blacksmith has done with us for the past several years and hope it’s paid off—thank you!

50 AUGUST 2016


JAMES COX'S WESTERN LEATHER AND EQUIPMENT FALL AUCTIONS Oct. 3rd, set up, 4th is auction at Peoria Ridge Banquet Center (Buffalo Run Casino) in Miami, Oklahoma. Oct. 20th, set up, 21st is auction at the Dearborn County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceburg, Indiana (across from Hollywood Casino). Both sales start at 9:30 a.m. till finished. Call James Cox for more info - 513-889-0500

News, Notes & Queries CARRIAGE MAKERS’ ANNUAL BRAWL Knowing that the folks at this year’s 44th Carriage Makers’ Get-Together were a bit camera shy, we sent our ace illustrator, Ima Drawing, out to Arthur, IL, this past July 8th to find out what was going on, and here’s what Ima sent back— Yes, once again it seems that the Get-Together was quite a lively affair with attendees coming to blows over issues such as wooden vs aluminum wheels and who makes the best brakes. Those boys always have a lot of fun, and we can’t wait to see what sort of mischief they get up to next year! Roll on, boys, roll on!

50TH INTERNATIONAL GUILD SHOW That’s quite an anniversary—congratulations go out to the International Federation of Leather Guilds whose annual show will be hosted this year by the Buckeye Leather Crafters of Central Ohio this coming Sept. 15-18. Mark your calendar! For all the details please contact Allan Scheider at


AUGUST 2016 51

News, Notes & Queries THERMAL LEATHER DECORATIONS! That’s what we use to call branding. Here’s a sample of what you can do with some of the tips we have for one of our new thermal tools, the 25TT:

My friend Nick Pernokas did these samples of possible borders for us—thank you, Nick!

ON THE LOOKOUT. . . Wanted: Small 2” hand crank skiving machine. Any condition. Please call us at 828-505-8474, or email us at Thanks!

NEW CATALOG FROM PROLEPTIC, INC. Those folks at Proleptic, Inc. are just at it like a bunch of unemployed beavers! After about 2,000 requests, they’ve finally put together a small catalog listing the different books, tools, and supplies that they carry. Very handy. And free for the asking. Contact: P O Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816, (828) 505-8474,

52 AUGUST 2016


In all, we have 28 figurative shapes and 14 tips which allow to be quite creative! Let us know and we’ll be happy to send you a complete listing of all the attachments we have available. Proleptic, Inc., P O Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816, (828) 505-8474,

News, Notes & Queries HEAVY HORSE SEMINARS Those will be held this coming September in Charlestown, NH. There will be six workshops for draft horses. For all the details, contact: Draft Animal Power Network, 271 Plank Rd., Vergennes, VT 05491, (802) 763-0771, They might even allow vendors to set-up so you might want to find out if you make harness, collars, pads, or blankets.

Well, in the March 2016 issue of The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association (pp. 2829) the truth was revealed! These gizmos are spur wire imbedders used to embed extraction frame wires into the wax foundation sheets for bee hives! Bees! The spur wheel was heated so that each tooth melted a small amount of wax across the wire. The wire provided the added strength needed when extraction frames were spun in a centrifugal honey extractor.

WHAT IS THAT? Ha! Silly me! I’ve been charging people an arm and a leg for these things for years and telling they were unique shoe tools probably used by the King of France— To be honest, I never really knew what they were although they look like some kind of marking or measuring tool. The teeth on the wheels are about ¼” wide.

Yikes—so these royal gems turn out to be tools used in the honey and bee business! I liked my story better and I’m sticking to it—NO REFUNDS!


AUGUST 2016 53

News, Notes & Queries MARK YOUR CALENDAR 2016! SEPTEMBER 9-11 The Denver Market, USA's largest Fall Market featuring equestrian-related goods. WESA provides the most authentic trade event for retailers and wholesalers. Contact: 800-295-1041, 303-295-1040, OCTOBER 4 James Cox's Western Leather and Equipment Fall Auctions at Peoria Ridge Banquet Center, Buffalo Run Casino, in Miami, Oklahoma. Call Jame Cox for more info (513) 889-0500. OCTOBER 7-8 Custom Boot & Saddle Makers’ Roundup, Wichita Falls, TX. For all the details contact Kimmel Boot, 2080 County Road 304, Comanche, TX 76442, (325) 356-3197, www. OCTOBER 21 James Cox's Western Leather and Equipment Fall Auctions at the Dearborn County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Call Jame Cox for more info (513) 889-0500.

54 AUGUST 2016


Premium Formulas, Superior Results

Check out our wide assortment of oils and dyes that gives you that beautiful finish you are looking for and prevents drying and cracking from nature’s harsh elements. Choose from a variety of brands including Oakwood®, Bee Natural Leathercare®, Fiebing’s® and of course, Weaver Leather Care.


Call 800-932-8371 SHOP TALK! AUGUST 2016 55

I N T E R N AT I O N A L W E S T E R N / E N G L I S H A P PA R E L & E Q U I P M E N T M A R K ET

September 9 –11, 2016

Make plans now to attend the September Market in Denver Where the Industry Meets, preserving the traditions of business to business trade and a legacy lifestyle. The USA's largest Fall Market featuring equestrian-related goods; from working saddles to cowgirl bling, exotic western to steel-toed boots, t-shirts to 100x felts, and show clothes to designer jeans and leathers, WESA provides the most authentic trade event for retailers and wholesalers from 37 states and many foreign countries. 800-295-1041 or 303-295-1040 Fax: 303-295-0941 Website: Email:




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56 AUGUST 2016




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

WANTED WANTED: New subscribers from Utah, Tennessee, Vermont, and Washington. Now is the time to renew! Give us a call at (828) 505-8474, e-mail: shoptalk@ or visit WANTED: COMPLETE TOOL COLLECTIONS. Contact: Shop Talk!, P O Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816, (828) 505-8474, e-mail: WANTED: BENCH EQUIPMENT. Any condition. Skivers, splitters, pressers, 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: LOOKING FOR WHOLESALE OUTLET to sell leather belts and/or other handcrafted leather products. Contact: Dan D. Troyer, 10896 Rt. 28N, Brockway, PA 15824.


uy ’s of potential b Reach 1,000 $26.50!! for as little as

FOR SALE KREBS SKIVER BLADES new. $200 plus SH. Made in US. Double tempered. Contact: Proleptic, Inc., P O Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816, (828) 505-8474,

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.

NEW!! ALL SYNTHETIC HORSE COLLARS!! Available in buggy, All Purpose, and Draft Styles. In stock for immediate shipping. We also stock Brahma webbing, Bio sheet, belting, nylon webbing, thread, and hardware. We manufacture and stock a full line if synthetic harness parts and supplies. Free catalogs available. Contact: Countryside Manufacturing, 504 S. Humbert St., Milton, IA 52570. MAGAZINE BACK ISSUES FOR SALE. The Harness Shop News dating back to 1989 and Shop Talk! dating back to 2004. Contact: Terri Hoopes at (303) 523-3036 or SADDLE BUSINESS: Machinery and inventory for sale. Hydraulic press, USMC splitter. For full list of all inventory, please call (256) 597-2001. Wish to sell entire inventory together. HITCHING POST SUPPLY has horsehair and mohair cinch cord available in natural and dyed colors. For use in pottery, braiding, hitching, and more. Instructional books and DVDs at, Call or e-mail Hitching Post Supply for new wholesale and retail catalogs at, (800) 689-9971 or (360) 668-2349 (outside USA). FOR SALE: Industrial Pfaff box stitching machine with stand and electric motor in working condition, $450. Standard River spot setter with stand. Fully automatic, 110v, excellent condition. Setup for 3/8” spots with ½” parts included. $2,000. Contact: Mud Creek Leather, LLC, 9415 W 300 S, Topeka, IN 46571, (260) 593-0044. INSTALL AND REMOVE CHICAGO SCREWS quickly and easily in the shop or on the trail. $16.95 + $4 S&H. Call for wholesale pricing. Contact: JP’s Bridle & Equine Tool, 26266 E. County Road 700 N., Easton, IL 62633. (309) 562-7266. E-mail: jp-equinetacktool@casscomm. com,


AUGUST 2016 57

CLASSIFIEDS FOR ALL YOUR LEATHER NEEDS. Call Moser Leather (800) 874-1167 or (513) 889-0500. You can visit our website at (R&B) 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: “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. Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816, (828) 505-8474, e-mail:,

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) WWW.THELEATHERGUY.ORG for all your leather, tool, and supply needs. Friendly, helpful staff at (507) 9323795. (R&B) NEED HELP PRICING? The “Green Book” Guide to Pricing Repairs and Western Tack. American Saddle Makers Association. Contact us at (719) 494-2848 or (1/17)

FOR SALE: RANDALL SPLITTER. $1,200. Excellent working condition. 100% full blade. Call Texas Saddlery at (903) 765-2600 or e-mail:

BUSINESS FOR SALE: Prominent, reputable wholesale/ retail leather holster manufacturing company established in 1972. Manufactures leather law enforcement equipment, concealed carry, Western, competition, and specialty cases. Located in Oregon, employs 4-7 employees. Owners wish to retire. For detail, contact: or (503) 407-9448.

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: Complete saddle shop, sewing machines, hand tools, two splitters, patterns, Aztec, New Mexico. Retiring. Call after 6pm. (505) 334-3796.

BOOT & SHOE BUSINESS FOR SALE: Davis Custom Boot located at 1209 E. 11th St., Quanah, TX 79252. Contact: (940) 8396537 for more information. WANTED: Experienced Shoe Repair Person. Successful applicant will perform shoe and boot repair at established premier shoe store of forty years. Will train to next level of orthopedics and custom shoe making. Opportunity for complete management of shoe repair shop. Pay/ hours based on experience and training required. Located in northeastern Ohio. E-mail resume to: For more information contact Heather or Kathy at (330) 482-4005.

The “Word of the Day” is: sangfroid 58 AUGUST 2016



For free catalog please contact us: 125 Jersey St. Harrison NJ 07029 Phone: 973-483-3232 Email: SHOP TALK! AUGUST 2016


ADVERTISERS INDEX A. Lyons........................................................15 AGS................................................................22 American Leather Direct........................32 Bag Man LLC/Chore Boot.......................21 George Barta Hide Co..............................40 Beacon Hollow Blankets.........................13 Beiler’s Mfg. & Supply..............................39 BioThane......................................................28 Bogle-Greenwell Machinery Corp........50 Booth & Co..................................................42 Bowden Saddle Tree.................................54 Brayer............................................................13 Brodhead Collar Shop..............................17 Buckeye Engraving...................................53 Buckle Barn USA........................................49 Buggy Builder’s Bulletin..........................12 Campbell-Randall......................................30 Center Square Harness..........................44 Chicago Stockyard Saddle Tree...........52 Chino Tack...................................................46 Chuck Smith Tools.......................................7 Chupp Blacksmith Shop.........................22 Coblentz Collar...........................................40 Cox Auctioneers/Moser Leather.........14 C.S. Osborne & Co.....................................59 Danny Marlin Knives.................................21 Double K Leather Sales, LLC.................49 Douglas Saddle Co......................................8 Evener Shop, The......................................48

Fairview Country Sales...........................15 Fiebing Leather..........................................26 Fine Tool Journal........................................12 Gfeller Casemakers, Inc..........................42 Goliger Leather Co....................................40 Hadlock & Fox Mfg. Co............................43 Hansen Western Gear.............................54 Harness Hardware....................................12 Hastilow/NASS..........................................18 Hawkeye Harness.....................................10 Hermann Oak Leather................................... .......................................... inside front cover Hide House, The.........................................22 Hillside Harness Hardware.....back cover IHS ELP, LLC................................................15 International Sheepskin.........................44 J.M. Saddler, Inc.........................................19 Kalico Products..........................................39 Kelly-Larson Sales.......................................9 Kimmel Boot................................................37 Landesman Brothers...............................20 Landis Sales & Service...........................40 Leather Machine Co., Inc., The................... ...........................................inside back cover Mark Staton Co..........................................52 Maverick Leather......................................20 Miller's Wholesale Harness...................41 Mud Creek Leather...................................16 Mules and More.........................................21

N & A Harness Shop....................................9 Nutra-Glo.....................................................34 Ohio Plastics Belting Co.........................45 Ohio Travel Bag...........................................48 Perfectex Plus, LLC..................................54 Precision Saddle Tree..............................36 Proleptic, Inc....... 3, 6, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35 .......37, 41-46, 48, 49, 51, 52, back cover RJF Leather.................................................50 Shelton-Reynolds, Inc.............................47 Shetler’s Collar Shop...............................18 ShoTan..........................................................10 Small Farmer’s Journal............................48 Smoke & Fire Co........................................45 Sorrell Notions & Findings.....................19 Southstar Supply......................................53 Springfield Leather...................................24 Steel Stamps, Inc.....................................39 Sugar Valley Collar....................................45 Sun Bias, Inc................................................13 Sweat Pad Shop....................................... 15 TechSew/Raphael’s Sewing.................... 38 Tennessee Tanning Co.............................45 Texas Custom Dies...................................46 Toledo Sewing...............................................1 Weaver Leather.........................................55 WESA............................................................56 Western Mule.............................................10



Deadline for advertising copy is the 5th of the month prior to the month of publication. Invoices are due upon receipt. 6 or 12-month prepaid advertising contracts receive a 5% discount.

Classified Ads

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Shop Talk! published by Proleptic, Inc. P.O. Box 17817 Asheville, NC 28816 (828) 505-8474 60 AUGUST 2016


Full Page $502.00 Half Page $280.00 Quarter Page $152.00 Eighth Page $81.00 (Color and guaranteed placement additional)

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$60 per hour with a $18 minimum. Line art may be inserted at no additional charge. $10 per photo.

$399 for one page­— Maximum trim size: 8-1/4” X 10-3/4” $45 each additional page. Event flyers must be inserted 60 days in advance. All inserts must be shipped directly to printer.

Reduce - Reuse - Recycle 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 with only vegetable-based inks.


AUGUST 2016 61

AUGUST 2016 P.O. BOX 17817, ASHEVILLE, NC 28816

Check your renewal date today!

828.505.8474 | fax 828.505.8476 |


12 Monthly Issues $36 Canada & Mexico $39 US Other Countries $54 US

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Distributors of Quality Hardware & Supplies for the Harness, Tack, Saddlery, and Pet Industries


• BioThane Coated Webbing • Thoroughbred Leather • Quality Stainless Steel and Brass Saddlery Hardware • Fiebing Products • WahlClippers • Fortex & Fortiflex Products • Nylon Webbing • Leather and BioThane Harness Parts plus much more

Large enough to serve you… Small enough to need you! We manufacture our own line of leather riding and training tack. We also do custom leather and nylon work.

4205 Township Road 629 Millersburg, OH 44654 Request your free catalog today!

Shop Talk! August 2016  

With Boot and Shoe News. Featuring Goods & Services, Hide Report, Footwear Symposium, Pakistani Leather, Treestump Leather Knife Sheaths, Ri...

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