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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


Summer Book Sale! Up to

30% off!

JUN E 2 0 1 6

S I NC E 1984

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



JUNE 2016

FEATURES 14 Murga Boots 18 Just Merino


24 T-Pop Leather 31 Rinehart Leather 35 Santa Yanz Museum 39 Boise Foundry


Just Merino

IN EVERY ISSUE 4 Laugh Lines 7 Hide Report 13 Boot & Shoe News 45 News, Notes & Queries 57 Classifieds COVER PHOTO: Can Cover by T-Pop and Holsters by Rinehart.

2 JUNE 2016




Rinehart Leather 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.


Model 2600 cylinder walking foot

Model 830 post bed roller feed

Model 2900-L leather patcher

Model 1660 flatbed walking foot

TECHSEW 5100-SE The Techsew 5100 Special Edition is the ultimate sewing machine designed for a wide range of leather work projects. Featuring the latest in time & labour saving technology, the Techsew 5100-SE will increase your productivity and produce the finest looking leather products. Features: - SmartServo-NP Needle Position Motor - TLG Laser Guide - Flatbed Table Attachment - Swing Down Roller Guide - LED Work Lamp & LED Stitch Light - Chrome plated specialty presser feet - Complete with instructional DVD & user manual - Includes diamond point needles, nylon thread & much more!


TLG Laser Guide

Flatbed Table Attachment

Swing Down Roller Guide & LED Stitch Light



JUNE 2016 3


this priest should be spared!” The priest was set free to the delight of the cheering crowd.

Next the politician was brought up and his head was also laid on the chopping block. The cord was pulled and the blade again shuttered to a stop midway down. The executioner once again proclaimed, “This is another miracle!” and the politician was set free.

Tickle Your

FUNNY BONE A Texas farmer was touring England. He happened to meet an English farmer and asked him, “What size farm do you have?” The Englishman proudly replied, “Thirty-five acres!” “Thirty-five acres?” The Texan scoffed. “Why, I can get in my truck at 8 AM and start driving, and at noon, I’m still on my farm. I can eat lunch and start driving again and at 5 PM I’m still on my farm.” “Ah, yes,” the Englishman nodded in understanding. “I had a truck like that once myself.” ___________________ ± ____________________

A priest, a politician, and an engineer were scheduled to be executed during the French Revolution. The priest was brought up to the guillotine, his head lowered onto the chopping block, and the heavy steel blade descended but shuttered to a stop in the middle of the track. The executioner suddenly proclaimed, “this must be a sign from God that the life of 4 JUNE 2016


The engineer then stepped up and said as he pointed up at the guillotine blade, “You know, if you tighten that bolt up, this thing should work.” ___________________ ± ____________________

A man was telling his co-worker one day that the company was transferring him to Chicago. He explained that he was going to quit before he had to move there. When asked why, he replied that he was just too afraid of all the crime even though he would be passing up a big salary increase and greater benefits. His co-worker suggested that he might reconsider and said that Chicago was a magnificent city with worldclass museums, loaded with a great history, interesting sites, close to Canada, and had good public transportation. Then he said, “Why I myself worked in Chicago for almost 10 years and in all that time I never ever had a problem with crime.” His friend then asked, “What did you do there?” And the other man replied, “I was a tail gunner on a bread truck.” ___________________ ± ____________________



wife is making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband when, suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen and said, “Careful! CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh, my gosh! You’re cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW! You need more butter. Oh, my gosh! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER? They’re going to stick! Careful—CAREFUL! You never listen to me when you’re cooking! Never! Turn them! Hurry up! Are you CRAZY! Have you lost your mind? Don’t forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt! THE SALT! THE SALT!” His wife stared at him and asked, “What in the world is wrong with you? You think I don’t know how to fry a couple eggs?” Her husband calmly replied, “I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I’m driving.”

I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., I called the Suicide Lifeline and got a call center in Pakistan. When I told him I was suicidal, he got very excited and asked me if I could drive a truck.

Advice from a Country Farmer The only farmers who sleep late are in the cemetery. ~Roy English

___________________ ± ____________________

The patient called back, “One moment!” and threw himself on the ground, pulling out a short stick as he lay there. He then pushed the stick into the ground and, pulling out a carpenter’s level, made sure that the stick was vertical. Withdrawing a slide rule from his pocket, the patient calculated rapidly, then swiftly packed up all these tools, and turned back toward the pedestrian, and said, “It is now precisely 3:29 PM, provided today is August 16, which I believe it is.”

A man strolling past a mental hospital suddenly remembered that he had an important meeting. Unfortunately, his watch had stopped and he could not tell whether he was late or not. That he noticed the patient strolling around on the other side of the hospital fence.

The man couldn’t help but be impressed by this amazing demonstration and so set his watch accordingly. Before he left, he said to the patient, “That was really quite remarkable, but tell me, what do you do on a cloudy day or at night when the stick casts no shadow?”

Calling out to the patient, the man said, “Pardon me, sir, but do you have the time?”

The patient held up his wrist and said, “I suppose I’d just look at my watch.”


JUNE 2016 5

Employer to applicant: “In this job we need someone who’s responsible.”

Applicant: “I’m the one you want. In my last job, every time anything went wrong, they said I was responsible.”

"The doctor said he would have me on my feet in two weeks.”

ther ! o n A ook LeatherCrafted: B w A Simple Guide to Creating Ne Uncoventional Leather Goods Paperback, 127 pp. For the beginner, but contains interesting approaches to decorating and finishing that more experienced leather workers might enjoy, including the use of wood burners on leather.

$19.55 $23


Chapters on Techniques & 10 Projects Covers: Keychains, Cuffs, Belts, Pouches, Wallets, Covers, Cases, Bags, etc. • Very Basic Construction •

"Did he?”

“Yes. I had to sell my car to pay the bill.”

My memory has gotten so bad it has actually caused me to lose my job. I’m still employed, but I just can’t remember where.

6 JUNE 2016




The Hide Report

Hermes Reports 15% Increase in Saddlery & Leather Goods French luxury goods group Hermes reported sales growth slowed in the first three months of 2016 after attacks in Brussels and Paris coupled with an economic slowdown in China. The 6.2% rise in revenue at constant exchange rates to €1.19 billion compared with 7.2% growth in the last quarter of 2015 and an 8.1% overall growth for 2015. Hermes reiterated recently that 2016 sales growth could be below its medium-term target of 8% at constant exchange rates, citing global economic, geopolitical, and monetary uncertainties. The firstquarter increase, which was driven by higher sales at its leather goods division, was slightly above analyst estimates and outpaced rivals in the industry, however. Hermes said it achieved a 15.4% rise in quarterly revenue for leather goods and Saddlery, accounting for half of total group sales, “driven by sustained demand and the increase in production capacities at the two new sites” in France.

STEADY AS SHE GOES During the first week Heavy Texas Steers were steady to a dollar lower, trading in the $64-65.50 range. Branded Steers traded between $61 and $62. Butt Branded Steers were steady at $71-72. Heavy Native Steers on 62/64 lb. averages sold between $72.50 and $73. Suppliers are nourishing the hope that, with lower prices, leather will once again become the material of choice for manufacturers.

US SHOE SALES UP AND DOWN According to reports, total US footwear sales for March declined 2% to $2.9 billion from $3 billion during the same month last year. Total US performance footwear sales, which encompass running, walking, basketball, golf, and other kinds of athletic shoes, slipped 3% in March, two $988.8 million, compared with sales of $1 billion in March 2015. Meanwhile, total US leisure footwear sales grew 14% in March, to $813.1 million, from $710.9 million in March of the prior year. Leisure footwear includes mountaineering boots, work boots, casual athletic, outdoor sandal, cold/all- weather boots, classics, and hunting boots.


JUNE 2016 7

The Hide Report

JBS May Reactivate Idle Beef Plants in Argentina Reuters reports that JBS, the world’s largest meat packer, is considering gradually reopening slaughter and 200,000 meat packing tonnes facilities in Argentina. The per year, country’s govand the ernment scrapped government taxes on beef exports that had troubled the aims to industry for years. increase that The JPS plant in Roby 60% next sario, Argentina’s third largest city, is year. operating below capacity. Once that plant is fully ramped up, the country’s other four beef processing plants may be reopened. JBS also owns a distribution center and a tannery in Argentina. Beef exports started this year at about 200,000 tonnes per year, and the government aims to increase that by 60% next year. Twelve years ago, Argentina was the second-largest beef exporter in the world. Lasting Quality and Style Matte Finishes Many Colors

Easy Cleaning Easy Sewing Durable, Flexible

INDUSTRY ANALYSIS In the case of the current hide market, it does not look like there’s much to cheer about. Supply (kill) is increasing and leather buyers are placing few orders for footwear and accessories. What brings a little cheer is that prices have not plummeted, as in previous post-Hong Kong declines. So far, weekly drops had been relatively orderly which indicates moderate forward sold positions [hides to be bought in the future whose price has already been agreed upon] on the part of producers, and enough demand to keep prices from falling faster. Brazilian slaughter is down and the same for Australia and the EU. America is about the only primary source for tanners were there are more hides available than a year ago. Falling prices should also be an enticement to tanners who have used other origins to now consider North American hides and blues. Tanners which have "open to buys" are only taking hides on a hand-to-mouth basis, leaving room for increased buying if and when they feel the market is at or near a bottom.

e l b n o C tz Collar


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8 JUNE 2016


3348 US Route 62 • Millersburg, Ohio 44654 Ph.: 330-893-3858 • Fax: 330-893-1166 Visa-Mastercard Accepted

Custom Made Collars

The Hide Report ITALY’S LEATHER GOODS GROUP REPORTS PROGRESS The Italian Leather Goods Manufacturers Association (AIMPES) presented 2015 figures for the leather goods sector. Exports of made in Italy leather goods increased 6% to €6.4 billion in value and 3% in volume. Growth from the previous year slowed slightly. The American market drove the increase, accounting for over €634 million, a 13% jump. Germany and Spain increased 11% and 50% respectively. Sales to China and Japan increased by 18% and 7%. New markets including Australia and Saudi Arabia increased 28% and 60% respectively. The market saw a significant downturn in exports to the Russian Federation, which was a 20.5% drop and to the Ukraine, which saw a 30% decrease. The domestic Italian market also declined last year, dropping 2.8% in volume. The article consisted largely of interviews with furniture designers at the Design Miami show— the next one is scheduled for June 14-19. Details available at Visit the web site to get an idea of the changes that are taking place.

PAKISTAN FINISHED LEATHER EXPORTS FALL 26% IN JULY-MARCH During the July-March period of the current fiscal year, the export of finished and semi-finished leather goods declined by 20% in terms of value, and, in terms of quantity, finished leather exports declined about 20%. “Even on this very serious issue, the government did not listen to the grievances of the Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA)”, said members of the second-largest foreign exchange earnings sector of the country. PTA chairman Gulzar Firoz, senior member Agha Saiddain, and others said that the leather industry has been facing severest crises in the last thirty years. They said the global economic recession was one factor, but that the cost of doing business in Pakistan in export incentives were more serious factors leading to the severe decline in exports.

NEW LEATHER FINISHES Designers are experimenting with printing on leather, engraving, using layered leather, hand painting, 3-D embossing, embroidering with thread and fabric, weaving, tattooing, and using laser to create designs. The leather is being used in the making of very expensive furniture as well as for wall coverings.


JUNE 2016 9



Timberland brand revenue globally was up 2% in the quarter and grew 3% on a currency neutral basis. Wholesale was up high single digits while DTC (direct to customer) was down low double digits due to weak overall retail and mild weather. Boots continue to be the main driver and footwear for Timberland in the region. Three women’s brands continued to stand out with sales up nearly 50%. The industrial Timberland Pro line, which caters to construction workers, jumped 40%.

Asian Pacific Leather Fair—May 19-20, Hong Kong. Seminars available.

In Europe, sales or Timberland were mid-single digits, driven by DTC. Timberland’s Asia revenues were down slightly, primarily from weakness in Hong Kong, mainland China, and Korea.

FIND US ON FACEBOOK! ShopTalkLeatherMagazine Shetler’s Collar Shop Manufacturing a full line of horse, pony and mule collars. Collar clocks and mirrors also available.

ar y coll e t i l a u bl Aq asona at a re ice. pr #99 farm collar with 18” draft.

Write us for a free price list 5819 Flat Iron Road • Conewango Valley, New York 14726

Leatherworld Middle East—Ended April 28. Dubai. Indo Leather & Footwear—May 12-14. Jakarta, Indonesia.

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 Ask about new programs of Allure premium upholstery leather-104 colors available! New Tibetan Sheepskin plates (20 colors!) for old fashioned Wooly Chaps. New Napa Excell stuffed cowsides for personal leather goods-unreal leather! 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

l Monroe St., Napa, CA 94559

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SALE PRICE: $21.20 10 JUNE 2016

AAQTIC (Argentine Leather Industry Chemists & Technicians Association)—Four week seminar beginning May 9.


SALE PRICE: $13.55

The Hide Report

Coach May Pull Products from Department Stores Coach has been making a comeback as it reverses a multiyear sales slump and said it was considering pulling goods out of certain department store locations. It did not mention names but said it would no longer participate in certain storewide sales and promotions. Clearly, coach does not want to hang around to see how deeply department stores will discount its products to lure customers in the door. It’s the clearest indication yet that the practice of department stores lowering prices to your customers is an increasingly unwinnable game. Coach has been trying to regain the cachet of a luxury brand after aggressive moves to blanket the country with outlet stores and a handful of design mishaps tarnished its name and caused it to fall down market in the eyes of many consumers. The company, which began as a US wholesaler to department stores in the 1940s, no longer gets the bulk of its sales from those sources. Less than 5% of total Coach business today comes from North American department stores, even though its goods appear in 1000 wholesale locations. Back in 2008, it got almost 45% of its sales from wholesale channels both in the US and abroad. Other luxury sellers are following suit, choosing to sidestep department stores in favor of building their own retail locations or selling directly to consumers through the Web.


JUNE 2016 11

The Hide Report

JUNE 2016 MARKET IN REVIEW Weight (lbs.)


wts. vary month to month

March (early)

April (early)

May (early)

Price Last May 2015 (early)

Heavy Texas Steers

62-64 $63-65 $65-66 $65-66.50 $83-84

Heavy Texas Steers (Hvy)

70-74 $66-67 $69-71 $70-71 $95-96

Branded Steers

62-64 $62-63 $63-64 $60-63 $83-84

Branded Steers (Hvy)

70-74 $62-63 $68-70 $68-70 $93-94

Colorado Steers

62-64 $52-54 $61-62 $58-59 $82-83

Butt Branded Steers

62-64 $69-70 $73-74 $70-73 $95-95

Butt Branded Steers (Hvy) 70-74 $75-76 $77-79 $75-76 $105-109 Heavy Native Steers (Hvy)


Heavy Native Heifers

50-52 $54-55 $59-60 $56-57 $73-77

Branded Heifers

50-52 $51-55 $56-57 $53-54 $71-73

Heavy Native Cows

50-52 $44-45 $42-43 $42-43 $63-65

Branded Cows

50-52 $34-36 $34-37 $31-33 $60-63

Spready Dairy Cows

50-52 $55-57 $54-58 $52-53 $73-75

Native Bulls





100-110 $49-51 $51-54 $51-54 $77-79 WE SELL OLD MANUALS & PARTS LISTS

Sewing Machine & Equipment


• Most makers and models • Rare and unusual

q Singer q Adler

q Landis q USMC

q Champion q Randall

Contact Shop Talk! to order: P.O. Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816 Phone: (828) 505-8474 • Fax: (828) 505-8476 • email: 12 JUNE 2016


Boot & Shoe News


LASTS FOR SALE Samuel Bowman at S4818 Fox Ridge Rd., Hillsboro, WI 54634 has 80 pr. of #136 boot lasts with round toe. Plastic. He also has 40 pr. #32 shoe lasts with a more square toe but rounded on the corners. Plastic. There isn’t a phone number so please drop Sam a note if you’re interested.







Conchos Saddle Trim Hand Engraved Silver Products “For those who want the very best”

209-847-7390 Marie, Tim & Kelleigh Hansen

If you love the cleaning power of the Foam-Tex products, you are in luck! They are still available from Angelus Leather Care which bought the company in 2015 and is continuing the line. Contact: 12060 Florence Ave., Santa Fr., CA 12060, (562) 941-4242,

“Tanner’s Oil,” the long-time favorite among horse owners and saddle makers is back! This famous light all-purpose oil softens new leather and beautifies and restores aged leather by replacing lost oils. It guards against moisture, mold and mildew. Will not harm stitching nor darken most leather. An AGS exclusive.

800-970-7391 Oakdale, CA 95361

Custommade Knives & Tools for Leatherworkers

■ 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

16 Oz Spray #T110S

32 Oz. #T120C

Gallon #T130C

AGS Footwear Group 11234 Air Park Road, Ashland, VA 23005 Phone: 800 446 3820 Fax: 800 822 0180 Email: Website:


JUNE 2016 13

Boot & Shoe News

Tony Murga Just Wants to Make Boots


Tony Murga, bootmaker, says he’s not famous. Okay, so he might not be famous like Roy Rogers or Ronald Reagan, but among aficionados of custom boots, he’s on the A list.

boots are built in a 2,000 sq. ft. facility by skilled craftsmen under his supervision. Depending on the time of year and the number of orders in the queue, he employs from four to seven workers at the twostory shop in El Paso, where he grew up. Tony is the CEO of Murga Boot Co. in the traditional sense—he runs the day-to-day operation, taking orders, designing boots, and building customer relations. He’s the chief financial officer and sales manager all rolled into one. He often feels like his feet are in three places at once. His retail outlet is near his home in Aliso Viejo, CA, in a business district next to a Ketel One Vodka facility (he’s friends with an owner). His 800 sq. ft. showroom in California supports sales across the U.S. and world. Murga often travels to El Paso to oversee production, then hops around the country to various shows throughout the year to sell product. He made his 17th appearance at Sturgis in 2015.

Tony is on the left.

“I’ve been at it a long time,” says Murga, 58. “If you put a product out and it’s good, you are doing something right. I just want to make my clients happy and make sure I have a job. I want to do it ‘til I die.” A custom bootmaker for close to three decades, Murga has made his business into a small production enterprise. He’s no mom-and-pop. His

14 JUNE 2016


“We’re making Sturgis orders right now,” he says but won’t say how many. Murga Boots has earned an enviable spot on Main Street at the yearly motorcycle gathering in South Dakota. “I used to do all the motorcycle circuits,” he says. “Daytona, used to do Myrtle Beach, but the motorcycle world changed dramatically about seven years ago. A lot people who were buying the high dollar motorcycle just went away when the crash peaked.”

Boot & Shoe News In fact, it was music that sent him out to California in the first place. After high school, he wanted to pursue a career in music. He became an accomplished “harp” (harmonica) and guitar player and got gigs, mainly as a studio artist. But the work was hit or miss, and his side business as a bootmaker for his friends in the music industry eventually gained traction. “I played with a lot of guys. I could be doing that, could be playing music. But it’s not lucrative. You have to be on the road. I’d just rather be home with

The recession punched a hole in the luxury buyers’ market in motorcycling where his boots had been strongest. But the market seems to be rebounding with a new generation of riders, he says. He was once among them. At 16, he rode a dirt bike to and from high school. To take spills and hard wear, he realized he needed footwear that offered more cushion and protection than a Western cowboy boot. So he decided to put a Vibram sole on his pair, and he’s never reversed course. He says he was the first to add Vibram to boots back in the late ‘80s. “It caught on. People loved it.” But boots weren’t his first love. Music was. “I was a musician, always been a musician, still am. If you ask me my other love, that’s what it is,” he says.

my family,” he says. He’s married to Lynnette and has two step-daughters. He prefers to dance around the question about whom he’s played with, and he refrains from blustering on about brushes with fame. Same goes for the people who taught him the craft of boot making. He says he’s benefited from the knowledge of




JUNE 2016 15

Boot & Shoe News a lot of people in leather. Although he calls music a way of life, boots take up the majority of his time. He designs all the products coming out of the shop, about ten pair of custom boots a month. They range in price from $1,400 for an Alligator Caimen Camp with calf tops to $6,000 for an American Alligator Full. He enjoys the process of working with clients to produce a new look, whether it be for a leather jacket or a cover for the front of a guitar body. He favors exotic leathers, ostrich, alligator, sting-

ray, and lizard. He doesn’t do any designs in crocodile and explains why on his website: In some markets, products are referred to, labeled or sold as Croc, or Crocodile, when it is in fact Alligator skin or embossed calf skin to look like Crocodile or Alligator skin. He calls his hand drawn designs simple, but his style is anything but plain. Murga has a reputation for flair. Such as flames. He’s an originator of flame inlays on boots. Many of his pairs sport the design. “I did some patterns, cut ‘em, did some flames. They came out kinda choppy. It took about two or three times, and we put them out there and people just


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Boot & Shoe News you do. I sell boots and sell product that hopefully makes people happy. That’s been my main objection. Like I said, it’s been an up-and-down trip. Not been easy. That means every day is a struggle. When it’s good, I don’t lay low, and go ‘Wow, I’ve made it.’ I’ve never made it. We try to keep everything at a balance. Sometimes, it’s hard.” Lead time for orders runs eight to sixteen weeks. For more information, find it at Or call (949) 582-8650. The retail store is located at 20 Journey, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656. The email is

Dictionary of Leatherworking Tools c. 1700-1950

ate them up,” he says. “Since then, there’s a lot of people who’ve copied stuff. You know what, everybody copies from everybody else. I just want to sell boots. That’s all. I just wanna earn an honest living.” And making a living is a challenge in boots, he says. Being the designated pencil pusher, he knows the trials and the fluctuations of small business ownership. Sometimes the challenge is simply to stay in the game.

and the Tools of the Allied Trades by R. A. Salaman: paperback, 350+ pp. Useful information for harness and saddlemakers, shoe and boot makers, hat and glove makers, book binders and more. The most complete leather-working tool reference available. Reg. $37.50

SALE PRICE: $31.90 Proleptic, Inc.



PO Box 17817 • Asheville, NC 28816 • 828-505-8474 • fx 828-505-8476 •

“It’s been hard, it’s been hard,” he says of business ownership. He’s never taken on a partner or gone into wholesale. Happy customers keep him motivated. “I like to make people happy … I work, like

To take spills and hard wear, he realized he needed footwear that offered more cushion and protection than a Western cowboy boot.

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

Main Office & WarehOuse 3025 Harvest Dr. 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.


JUNE 2016 17

J ust M erino Sheepskin Celebrates Past While Planning for Future

This year marks thirty years for Just Merino Sheepskin (JMS). So, what are they doing to celebrate and what’s ahead? Judith Sperling, JMS’s founder, says that they kicked off the year by celebrating with buyers at January’s Denver by LIISA ANDREASSEN WESA market. They handed STAFF WRITER out mini-bundt cakes with “Happy Anniversary” and “Thank-You” flags on them. For the month of June,

they plan to do a 30th anniversary promotion by offering $30.00 off minimum orders of $300.00. So, what’s kept Judith and JMS going all these years? She says, “Perseverance, customer service, and being picky about quality.”


adapt and overcome

Sperling admits that it hasn’t been smooth sailing the whole way. Over the years, challenges have certainly presented themselves, but solutions were always found. “It keeps things interesting,” she says. “All entrepreneurs better have this mindset to succeed: ‘improvise, adapt and overcome’.” Sperling started JMS with minimal knowledge of running a business, but had been exposed to a wide array of experiences. She wasn’t afraid to try anything. She worked as a teacher, did a stint as an administrative assistant, worked as an insurance adjuster, and then became a corrections officer. She ended up working as a deputy sheriff. Sadly, her chosen career was ended by a shoulder injury that kept her sidelined for nearly a year. While recuperating, she burned her hand on her car’s shift knob in the hot Arizona sun. She thought about people who covered their steering wheels in

CHINO TACK tradition of quality since 1980

Saddle Trees: rawhide or fiberglass covered Stirrups: wooden or iron, rawhide covered Rawhide: natural, bleach, black, red, etc. Saddles: choose rawhide or fiberglass tree Casa Zea Blankets: assorted and solid colors

1-800-696-4649 • 18 JUNE 2016


“Now the manufacturing office building is larger than our house,” she jokes.

sheepskin and thought, why not cover these hard plastic shift knobs, too? One sleepless night, kept awake with shoulder pain, she got up and sewed a gear knob cover that would protect her hand. She placed an ad in the local paper and vowed that if she got one order, she would start

a business. She did and the rest is history. ‘My business background was nil,” she says. “However, I did learn from my jobs as a kid delivering papers and doing yard work that if you do a good job with exceptional customer service and offer quality that no one else does—sales will follow.” This is exactly what happened to Just Merino Sheepskin.




Her first big challenge was overcoming her family’s skepticism. They didn’t think she could succeed. Then in the 1980’s it was being a woman in a maledominated business world. Suppliers wanted 5,000 yds. minimum purchases of elastics and Velcro. (Now its 50 yds). Insurance companies would not give her business coverage. Some suppliers took her orders but never shipped. “I remember, (with humor now, but at the time it was quite embarrassing), going with an entrepreneur networking group to meet investors. They took one look at my pregnant belly and waved me off before I could even make my presentation. I ignored the prevailing advice for start-ups and dove in on my own,” she remembers.



Sperling admits that the most difficult part of growing the business was doing it while growing a family too. At the same time, she and her husband were also starting a ranch and building a house for their family on the weekends.


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“All entrepreneurs better have this mindset to succeed: ‘improvise, adapt and overcome’.”

With the progress of technology during the past thirty years, Sperling says there has also been that intellectual challenge. When she started the business, PCs and the Internet didn’t even exist. Yet, she overcame and conquered. Today, a large portion of JMS’s sales come via web orders and the Internet has been a great outlet for selling their sheepskin scraps by the pound. Nothing goes to waste and they can track trends for new product ideas. Sperling says that a never ending challenge continues to be finding capable co-workers.

The 1990’s were filled with non-stop action. By the time their house was ready, this kitchen table business had grown to needing a building of its own. “Now the manufacturing office building is larger than our house,” she jokes.






20 JUNE 2016


“Talking with my retailers, I find that all employers feel that shortage. In our rural area there are more cows than there are people. Cows don’t sew very well,” she jokes.


for a change

While Sperling continues to enjoy the challenges associated with running a business, she’s ready for the next chapter. “Don’t I get to retire, too?” she asks. “Really, I still enjoy very much my sheepskin business, especially creating new things to meet customers’ individual needs. In fact, our office walls are decorated with layers of photos, letters, and e-mails of praise from happy customers. We’ve helped them or their fourlegged family members to be comfortable.” But now that Sperling is nearing 60 and her husband has retired, she wants to travel more and to spend more time with their children and grandchildren who live cross country. She plans to continue working until all the parts of JMS are sold to new owners. JMS includes a few moving parts: an equestrian side, pet toys, children’s room décor/ play mats, and a medical component, too.



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“Honestly, I don't think it’s possible for me to slow down enough to fully retire,” she says. “I’ll be in business one way or another.” In fact, she already has a few ideas in the works for non-sheepskin products and has been resurrecting her insurance adjuster and detective skills while researching values for estates. “I’d also like to spend more time on my hobby— treasure detecting,” she says. Celebrate the past, but look to the future.

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Todd Broussard, owner of T-Pop Leather, is a newcomer to the leather industry. In fact, the business started five years ago out of a sort of dark serendipity but has thrived through faith, love, and hard work, he said.


“It really sort of just happened,” Broussard explained. “It wasn’t a plan at all.”

Broussard has spent nearly all his life in the equestrian world as a rodeo rider and later as a farrier for some three decades, traveling around the country shoeing horses. Then one day, he went to work—and found he could no longer do his job.

24 JUNE 2016


“My body, basically, just gave out one day—I couldn’t physically do the work anymore,” he said. “I had to do something. But I also believe that God makes things happen for a reason. One door closes and another opens. And that’s basically what happened.” As it turned out, Broussard, who is also an artist, had been dabbling with leather work for many years while still working as a farrier but had never thought about it being more than just a hobby. “Many years ago, when I was still shoeing horses, I had an apprentice whose dad had a saddle shop,” he said. “His dad showed me a few things—showed me how to basket weave.” Broussard said he discovered he enjoyed working with leather and started making a few items on the side in his spare time, mostly custom artwork for friends and for his own enjoyment. “I would get a piece of leather and start working on it at the kitchen table,” Broussard said. “I would beat

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“Luckily, I can draw a little bit,” he said. “I was able to use that to do designs for my leather work.” At one point Broussard had ridden the rodeo circuit roping calves, and memories of those days gave him an idea. “Calf ropers carry their rope in a fiberglass can,” he said. “At some point during the late ’80s some of the guys started decorating their rope cans with leather covers.”

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“I have been very blessed,” he said. “All my business is 100% online—I stay busy. It’s funny, years ago I used to talk about maybe one day doing something like this and I would tell my wife we would go traveling and hit some of these craft shows and festivals and things like that when the kids are out of the house and in college. Well, now they are, but I’m busy—I don’t need to travel and don’t really have the time.” Each one of Broussard’s projects are custom jobs— no two are alike.

However, apparently only a handful of designs existed for rope can covers, he said. “You’d put your can down next to five others sitting in a line, and they all looked exactly alike,” he said. So Broussard started making custom rope can covers and other such rodeo and equestrian related items. When he made the decision to go into leatherwork full-time, his work seemed to take off pretty quickly. He has been working with leather for the past four years and stays busy.

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“I take each one as they come—I don’t really specialize in any one thing,” he said. “I do whatever the client is asking me to do. The whole thing is to find what they want. In fact, the biggest challenge in any project is in finding that design, getting to exactly what the person really wants—sometimes they have a hard time expressing that.” Finding the right design is also a major reward, he added.

As far as his own projects go, Broussard says he has no real concrete plan but takes each job as it comes. Nonetheless, there are things he does and does not do. “I don’t copy anything—I draw all my designs out freehand on paper, first,” Broussard remarked. “Once I’ve got the final design and the client approves it, I then take it and trace it onto the leather and work from there, depending on what the project entails.” For example, if the design does not require color, he will still be doing a lot of cutting, beveling, and/ or stitching so the design stands out. Other projects may require paints and dyes. “I really don’t like to paint, but a lot of my business is built on paint and color,” explained Broussard.


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All of his pieces are made from high-end, vegetable tanned leather, Broussard said. “It is fine quality material,” he said. “An item made from this quality of leather is going to basically last forever. About the only thing I’ve found is that occasionally if the leather gets really wet, say on a rope can, the glue might come undone a little.” Like any other artistic medium, it takes some time to find one’s own style, said Broussard. “My style tends to have a lot of movement and

complexity,” remarked Broussard. He said he has been fortunate to be able to learn from people who have done this for many years; he is also cognizant of and grateful for the camaraderie in the business. Broussard said he found several artists whose work he admired and looked to them as mentors. “It’s interesting—people in the leather industry are really generous with their knowledge,” he noted. “Shoeing horses tends to be a lot more competitive—a lot of people who have learned

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certain tricks and secrets tend to keep their knowledge to themselves. I’ve found in leather, people are very willing to share their knowledge—and that’s been a real blessing.”




In fact, one of the most rewarding, if not the most rewarding moment in his leather career thus far has to do with that very subject. Broussard said not too long ago, a neighbor’s child, a six-year-old boy, came to Broussard’s shop one day. Broussard said he showed him around and gave him a small piece of leather to work; the two made a small leather cross the boy constantly carries in his pocket wherever he goes. The boy also comes back to the shop as often as he can.

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“He’s really into it,” Broussard said. “It’s great. And it’s a great feeling to be able to influence him in a positive and productive way. He’s going to be one of us, a future leather artist coming up.”

For more information on T-Pop leather, go to the website at or visit the T-Pop leather shop Facebook page.

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A New Generation of Leather Workers

For Clover Rinehart, leather work has been a perfect platform to blend her artist’s vision with her sense of fashion and her love of shooting. Rinehart is a relative newcomer to the leather craft scene, but in five years she has built a small but loyal— and growing—customer base and created some unique by JIM TATUM, STAFF WRITER pieces. In Rinehart, the artist dreams and designs while the shooter brings a careful and practical eye to the business of creation. That is the essence of Rinehart Leather.

to design and custom make leather holsters especially for women. The fact is, one holster does not fit all, any more than any other item of clothing, Clover remarked.

But it wasn’t until she obtained her concealed carry permit—and went looking in vain for a holster that would work for her—that she came up with her idea

“I just couldn’t find a holster that worked for me,” she said. “It may sound simple and obvious, but men and women are different. Our bodies are different. What a man can wear comfortably and use effectively just won’t work as well for women. The clothes we wear are different, too—what



Rinehart and her husband are avid firearms enthusiasts and outdoor sportspeople. They spend a lot of time together at their local shooting range. Clover Rinehart is also an advocate for women learning to protect and defend themselves. She is a skilled markswoman and holds a concealed weapons carry permit.



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“I just couldn’t find a holster that worked for me,” she said. “It may sound simple and obvious, but men and women are different.

customer base for the success she has enjoyed and plans to continue to build upon that. “It’s somewhat seasonal, but generally I like to have two or three projects going at any given time,” she said. “I have great customers—a lot of them have been following me since the beginning.”

we wear tends to be more clingy. So it’s the small tweaks and nuances that make it more comfortable for women. Men seem to be pretty much straight up and down.” “People want something unique to their personality,” she said. “So I really try to work with each person to come up with something that’s expressive of who they are.” With those thoughts in mind, a business idea—and what is turning out to be a popular niche market— was born, she said. Rinehart and her husband at that time owned a furniture store; he did some leatherwork and she was learning it as a hobby on the side. She made two or three prototype holsters and took them to the range. “Everybody really liked them and soon people were asking me to do more,” she explained. “My husband said maybe I should start making them and selling them on the Internet. So I did.” That was five years ago. Since then, Rinehart has built a modest but supportive clientele and, while she is not doing leatherwork full-time, she stays busy. She credits a fiercely loyal and enthusiastic 32 JUNE 2016


Based out of Washington State, she maintains an online presence with a website and on social media. Virtually all her business is done online, she said. “I’m very new and self-taught—I’ve only been doing this about five years, but I am really enjoying it,” she commented. “When I started out, I was making just

a few items, but now I think they’re coming to me because of the art.” Rinehart said she does a variety of projects but often works in sets—holsters, belts, ammunition cases, for example—and each piece is unique to the buyer. She personally designs and makes each piece by hand. Because she is very detail oriented and striving for a product that will last literally a lifetime, she works slowly and methodically to ensure top quality. In fact, she usually asks for six weeks to complete an order, she said. “I could rush through it, but I wouldn’t feel right,” she said. “This is a business, but it’s very much a labor of love. I want my customers to get their money’s worth.” Prices for holsters start at around $75 and can go up to around $190, she explained.

She has done a wide variety of custom design work. Her pink pistols holsters, one of her first efforts, are popular items. A major fan of the “Walking Dead” television show, she has done a popular line of zombie face holsters. She is constantly experimenting with new ideas and new processes. As she is fond of saying, “There is no boring leather at Rinehart Leathers.” But while the custom artwork seems to be a major selling point of her work, Rinehart Leather goods are about the whole package.


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“People want something unique to their personality, so I really try… to come Unfortunately, the diving conditions deteriorated and with something that’s theup perfect couple and Santa had an accident. Only one of them survived. expressive of who they are.”

A Christmas Riddle


nce upon a time, a perfect man and a perfect woman met. After a perfect courtship, they had a perfect wedding. Their life was, of course, perfect. One snowy, storm Christmas Eve, this perfect couple was driving their perfect car along a winding road when they noticed someone at the side of the road in distress. Being the perfect couple, they stopped to help. There stood Santa Claus with a huge bundle of toys. Not wanting to disappoint any children on the eve of Christmas, the perfect couple loaded Santa and his toys into their SUV. Soon they were driving along, delivering toys all over the world.

Who was the survivor? The perfect woman survived. She’s the only one who really existed in the first place. Everyone knows that “These are tough, durable, andthing longaslastthere is holsters no Santa Claus, and there is no such a ing—they’re made for every day wear,” Rinehart perfect man. said. “They are designed to wear every day, whethif there’s noorperfect and nothey Santaare Claus, the first erSo, concealed open man carry, and made, perfect woman must haveyour beenfirearm driving. secure. This explains and foremost, to keep On the why there was an accident. other hand, if you’re paying good money for an artist to do custom work you want it to be as unique as you are.”

A very merry Christmas and a prosperous (and healthy!) 2015 from all of us here at Shop Talk! to each and everyone of you out there!

For more information visit Clover’s website at www. out the Rinehart Leather Facebook page.

or check Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!

34 2016 SHOP 8 | JUNE December 2014 TALK!

Shop Talk!

The Santa Ynez Historical Museum: A Step Back into a Rich History

Santa Ynez, California is not a place that you need an excuse to visit. It is a picturesque western town located in the heart of some of California's most beautiful wine and horse country. There is always someby NICK PERNOKAS, thing to do in the area. If SENIOR FEATURE WRITER you do need an excuse Photos courtesy Nick Pernokas for a road trip though, I'd suggest checking out the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum. The Carriage House part of the Museum is full of horse drawn vehicles and harness.

The old stagecoach outside the ranch style building's entrance hints at what you'll find inside. Walking across the tree shaded courtyard, surrounded by several different galleries, you get the feeling of being back in an old California rancho of a century past. An impressive carriage house that looks like it's been there for just as long invites you to enter through its massive doors.

"In the 1800's through the early 1900's, there was farming here, but we were predominantly a cattle ranching area," says Chris. “That's why we have so many accessories that the horsemen of that time period would have used."

Inside the building is a row of old Visalia and Bohlin saddles. These are silver mounted and extraordinary. A collection of horse drawn vehicles stretches the length of the building and harness is displayed on the walls.

The museum was started in 1961 by group of ladies who felt it was important to preserve history of the Santa Ynez Valley. It began with people living in the valley donating items that had been passed down through their families.

Walking back across the courtyard you pass rooms full of artifacts until you get to the West Room which is full of period saddles, bits, spurs, and chaps. These were all part of the rich history of the local ranching industry. One saddle was actually carved by renowned California artist Ed Borein.

The rest of the collection contains artifacts from events, families, and historical sites from the five towns that make up the Santa Ynez Valley. The Parks-Janeway Carriage House is a newer structure which is named after the two families whose generosity made it possible. The museum owns about half of the incredible collection of carriages that is housed in it. The charitable arm of The Ranchero Vistadores owns the other half.

Chris Bashforth is the executive director of The Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum and Carriage House.


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Walking across the tree shaded courtyard, surrounded by several different galleries, you get the feeling of being back in an old California rancho of a century past.

it more accessible and interesting to the public. This includes scheduling more events there. One of these events is the Vaquero Show in November. The museum brings in many leather artisans who demonstrate the old ways of braiding and making horse tack. This includes bit and spur makers as well as saddle makers. Western art is also featured in this venue. "They basically take over all of the galleries. In the last few years we've had over fifty-five craftsmen in here." Made by famed Santa Barbara artists Ed Borein.

"The Carriage House is the transportation story of the West," explains Chris, referring to the many horse drawn vehicles as well as saddles. "We are currently fundraising to update that exhibit and make it more interactive." The Valley Room is full of memorabilia of early life in the Valley and the local railroad. In fact, there is an impressive scale model railroad that shows many of the early structures that were related to it. The Pioneer Room provides a close-up view of day to day ranch life. In the last five or six years of the museum's fifty-six year history, they have "upped their game" to make

Collection of spade bits.

Horsemanship demonstrations are held in the courtyard as well where the public can experience California's Vaquero tradition. A dinner and auction follows. New exhibitors are welcome to apply for a spot in the show, but they must meet the committee's criteria of high quality and appropriateness to the rest of the function. The West Room of the Museum houses many artifacts from the ranching history of the Valley. Saddles on display range from an 1800’s Vaquero saddle with three dimensional leather work to early 20th century Hamleys and Bohlins. There are chinks, armitas, and chaps from the area as well as local branding irons.

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Other things the museum does to raise money include wine tastings and even Samurai exhibits, but most of the temporary exhibits have a tie in to the Valley history. "We've been around a long time, and we're going to be here a lot longer," says Chris.

To find out about the museum, or the next Vaquero Show which will be held November 11-13, 2016, call (805) 688-7889 or check out santaynezmuseum. org. To contact the museum by mail try P.O. Box 181, Santa Ynez, CA 93460.

This Visalia saddle with a sunburst silver pattern is one of the unique California saddles on display in the Carriage House, It was made for Chicago industrialist John J. Mitchell, founder of Los Ranchos Vistadores in 1929. SHOP TALK!

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Boise Foundry The Boise Foundry continues to stay busy with a variety of products and projects says company General Manager/ Vice President David Parsons. The Boise Foundry, a family owned and operated business, has been in existence since 1949; the Parsons family bought it in 1979. Currently, the foundry by JIM TATUM, STAFF WRITER is owned by David’s mother, Ruth Parsons, who also serves as office manager. In addition to David, who stays busy in the metal shop, the company has two full-time employees working with him in the foundry.

Business is steady, but it’s never business as usual, David said. In fact, while the foundry has its regular customer base, including the Idaho Department of Transportation, one never knows what items are going to be hot sellers or take a while to find a market. “We have a small showroom, and I have a showcase wall that displays a lot of different items we’ve done over the years,” Parsons said. He himself has been working in the business for some seventeen years now. One item the Boise Foundry is turning out a lot of these days are aluminum gun blanks. Made from molten aluminum, leather workers use them to make custom holsters for specific handguns, Parsons said.

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Business is steady, but it’s never business as usual… one never knows what items are going to be hot sellers or take a while to find a market.

“Leather crafters, especially those folks who make holsters, like them—the blanks are aluminum, so they're virtually indestructible,” Parsons said. “You can work wet leather around them and the moisture won’t harm the blank—aluminum doesn’t rust. They don’t break or warp or even get damaged very easily.” Parsons can make a blank either with a pattern the customer provides him or he can make the blank himself, often using an actual pistol. Basically, he makes an imprint of each side of the gun in a mold-

40 JUNE 2016


ing box containing greensand. He then places the box halves together to form the blank and pours molten aluminum into the box. The aluminum cools quickly and the result is a nearly perfect replica, at least in size, shape, and contour, of the pistol. Once the aluminum cools and hardens he removes the gun from the sand and cleans, polishes and prepares the final product for shipping to the customer. Since the melted aluminum takes just a few minutes

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to cool and harden, Parsons can do several blanks at a time if need be. Parsons can and does recycle items as well. “Invariably, I wind up making a couple of extra,” he said. “Hopefully, they’ll sell. If they stay on the wall for a long time, then I can decide whether they are worth keeping and I can melt the aluminum down and use it again for something else. But the thing is, you never know what is going to be in style from year to year.”

One item the Boise Foundry is turning out a lot of these days are aluminum gun blanks.


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“The thing is, you never know what is going to be in style from year to year.” The Boise Foundry also turns out a wide variety of items, from the decorative commemorative plaques and fantasy/ celtic/Nordic rune tiles (which are popular items)— to the utilitarian. In addition to gun blanks, the Boise Foundry can do everything from saddle hardware, including O-rings, D-rings, rigging plates, cinch buckles, and saddle horns to items used by the Idaho Department of Transportation in road construction, including monument casings for highway markers.

42 JUNE 2016


Custom pieces can take longer—they may start in a mold but require an artist’s eye for finishing touches—and every piece has its own challenges. “We do a lot of custom items,” he said. “Those are always interesting projects to work on—unique, one-of-a-kind items.” While the Boise Foundry does local work and has some in-store traffic, most of their work is for long distance customers. “I’d say we ship 98-99% of what we do,” he said. “We have clients really all over the world.”

For more information visit the website at www. or call (208)-495-1220 or email: You can write for a free catalog to: P O Box 34, Melba, ID 83641.


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JUN E 2016

News, Notes & Queries

OH, BOY! IT’S HERE! I’m talking about the 2016 My Buyer’s Guide!TM You should have gotten yours by now and it’s a dandy, just full of useful information for people in the leather and nylon trades. It’s also online and completely searchable at www. All ads are hot linked back to each advertiser’s web site for immediate access—how nice is that! Of course, if you know of a supplier that should be in it but isn’t, give us a shout and we will correct that error ASAP! Contact: My Buyer’s Guide!TM, P.O. Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816, (828) 5058474, e-mail: Thanks!

NEXT, PLEASE!! Here’s how Wayne Duncan in Killeen, TX, deals with unhappy customers:

Not me, Mr. Duncan! No problems here, sir! Everything is just peachy keen!

1793 Old Gradyville Road • Columbia, KY 42728 • Stitchmaster 441 machines in 9", 16½" also 25" throat. • Parts in stock for all 441 machines. • 1508 NH 5

Embossing Dies & Machines

Over 50 different styles of embossing wheels Wholesale Makers of Mini Harness, Cruppers, Wholesale


Carriage Harness, & Custom Show Harness


JUNE 2016 45

News, Notes & Queries BIG ANNUAL FREE FLEA! CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSETS! We need to hear for you no later than June 27! That is if you want to get into the July issue of Shop Talk! Send us a list of anything you want to get rid of— inventory, machinery, hardware, supplies, leather, finished goods. ANYTHING! And we’ll list it free of charge! What a deal! Contact: Shop Talk!, P.O. Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816, 828-505-8474, e-mail:shoptalk@proleptic. net.

46 JUNE 2016


News, Notes & Queries 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

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

First Quality & Closeouts

G Nylon Halter, Harness & Collar Webbing

G Nylon Sling and Tie-down Web G Urethane & Vinyl Coated Webbing G Seatbelt Webbing Seconds G Polypropylene Webbing G Hook & Loop – Sew-on & Pressure Sensitive 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

Smal l Far mer’s Jo urnal defending craftsmanship in agriculture since 1976

$47 yr US - $67 yr Canada 541-549-2064 or 800 - 8 7 6 - 2 8 9 3 SFJ Dept. D032 PO Box 1627 Sisters, OR 97759

A working lifetsyle to fill you, every day, with the surprise of your worth

G Canvas - All Styles & Weights, Natural,

Flame Retardant, Water & Mildew Resistant

Call Toll Free ~ Nationwide



JUNE 2016 47

News, Notes & Queries ON THE LOOKOUT. . . Williams Stevens at Pig Ear Leather is needing a burnishing tool that will fit into an electric drill or drill press. I know they are out there because I’ve seen them in places like the Roundup in Texas. If you can help, please call William at (912) 344-6662. Thanks.

Leather Projects You Can Do Volume I

• Installing Strings on a Western Saddle • Replacing the Wool on a Western Saddle, Part One & Part Two • Replacing Western Stirrup Leathers, Part One & Part Two • More Tips & Tricks for Replacing Western Stirrup Leathers

$21.50 ON SALE $18.30

Volume IV



Volume VII

• Making a Leather Log Box • Making Leather Pockets for Billiard Table • Repairing a Leather Gun Case: New Straps & Handle • Replacing Trunk Handles • Rerigging a McClellan Saddle

$19.50 ON SALE $16.60

• Making a Pistol Holder • Making a Western Gun Belt • Making Shell Loops • Making a Detachable Shell Carrier • Making an Adjustable Rifle Sling with Shell Pouch

$17.00 ON SALE $14.45

Volume VIII

Volume II

Volume III

• More Western Saddle Repairs • Making a Carpenter’s Apron, • Making an Old Fashioned Part One & Part Two Western Bridle • Making a Farrier’s Apron • Making Tapaderos: • Making a Custom Tool Pouch Different Styles & Sizes • Making a Walkie Talkie Case • More Tapaderos $19.50 ON SALE $16.60 • Repairing a Western Saddle Horn

$22.50 ON SALE $19.15

Volume V

• How to Make Rounds • Making a Rounded Throat Latch • Making a Mule Riding Bridle • Making a “Brollar” • Making a Team Breast Collar • Fast Facts

$22.00 ON SALE $18.70

Volume VI

• Collars, Couplers & Leashes, Part One & Part Two • Installing Spikes & Spots • Making Dog Harness • Making Dog Tracking Harness • Making a Dog Muzzle

$19.50 ON SALE $16.60

• Making a Possible Bag for Black Powder Shooting • Restringing Bells • Making Leather Suspenders • Making Cow & Horse Hobbles • Making a Knife Sheath • Making a Double Bit Axe Sheath • Making a Single Bit Axe Sheath

$22.00 ON SALE $18.70

P.O. Box 17817 Asheville, NC 28816 | P 828.505.8474 | F 828.505.8476 | |

48 JUNE 2016


News, Notes & Queries THE SADDLE CONTEST IS BACK! 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. 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.


JUNE 2016 49

News, Notes & Queries 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

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!

Outstanding service! Real leather sample cards available!

Goliger Leather Company 800 423-2329 Fax 805 650-1742 email: Visit our website:

Two great books you should own …

Cowboys Complete Saddle Making BY JOHNHOPPER


Make or Repair:




Western Saddles Halters • Bridles Hobbles • Chaps Breast Collars Pack Equipment and More ON SALE


Making Harness: l l l l

Horse Cob Oversize Draft Mule Pony

l l l l l

Single Driving Team Driving Team Wagon Mule Shetland Welsh


$37 100’s of Pictures




Quick Recipes for the Experienced Leatherworker

Patterns & Measurements Step-by-Step Instructions 360 pp. Spiral bound.



Over 900 photos, patterns & illustrations. First edition, 2nd printing 480 pp.

Shop Talk! • P.O. Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816 • (828) 505-8474

Fax: (828) 505-8476 • Email: • 50 JUNE 2016



There are two carving categories:

3traditional 3anything goes

810-14: $120 815-19: $170 820-24: $220

Winners will have their work featured in a future issue.

There is a total of six categories in which contestants may enter. Contestants may enter one or both carving categories appropriate to their age group.

Each contestant will receive a free year’s subscription to Shop Talk! plus a copy of our annual buyer’s guide as a thank you for your participation. All decisions by Shop Talk! are final. Should the level of competition in any of the categories be unsatisfactory, Shop Talk! may choose not award a prize.

To enter: we need your name, address, phone number and birthdate. We also need TWO samples of your carving not to be larger than 6” x 5” or a total of 30 sq. inches. They can be smaller than 30 sq. inches. Samples submitted remain the property of Shop Talk! and will not be returned. You need to include a statement that no one else has helped with the work submitted for the contest.


Deadline: July 20, 2016. Send to: Shop Talk!, P O Box 17817, Asheville, NC 28816. Call (828) 505-8474 or e-mail: shoptalk@ with any questions you may have. Thanks and good luck—now show us what you can do!!!!








Wholesale Solutions Nylon Webbing & Thread Contract Production Runs

Quality Western Tack Wholesale Leather Goods

Request your free information today!


Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for Daily Deals!

9415 W 300 S • Topeka, IN 46571• 260•593•0044 SHOP TALK!

JUNE 2016 51


For the traditional category—can be a combination of traditional stamping and carving. Only traditional colors of dyes and finishes may be used—browns, blacks, and tans.






Prizes: only a first place prize will be awarded in each category.






For the anything goes category--anything goes as far as subject matter or the use of colors or paints. No spots or other metal ornaments.



Are you seeing dollar signs yet? ShopTalk! is sponsoring a carving contest for young carvers. There are three age groups:



News, Notes & Queries


News, Notes & Queries MARK YOUR CALENDAR 2016! JUNE 15-16 Weaver Leather Consignment Auction. Contact: 2540 County Road 201, Millersburg, OH 44654, (800) WEAVER-1, www. JULY 14-15 47th Annual Harness Makers’ GetTogether and consignment auction. Auction on 14th at Windy Knoll Sewing, Nottingham, PA, (717) 529-7506. Get-Together on 15th at Keystone Harness & Tack, Drumore, PA, (717) 284-4565 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.

Buggy Builder’s Bulletin

Bi-monthly trade publication for Carriage & Wagon Makers $25/year in U.S. ~ $30 (US funds only) in Canada

Buggy Builder’s Bulletin 795 Mason St., Dayton, VA 22821

(540) 879-9260

52 JUNE 2016



JUNE 2016 53

News, Notes & Queries PETE GORRELL SELLING OUT After 60 years of making saddles, saddle maker and author Pete Gorrell is closing shop and selling out! We're talking about one of the nicest, well-equipped shop you'll ever see. If you're interested and would like more details, please contact Pete in Hawaii at (719) 695-4443 or e-mail: Without knowing for sure, we think that Pete's main shop is in Colorado. Ostrich Caiman Crocodile Nile Crocodile Nile Croc Backstraps Outsole / Insole Bends Pre-Cut Outsoles Elephant Hippo Giraffe Stingray Python Goat Skins Heels Welt

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

1812 Reliance Parkway • Suite G. • Bedford, TX 76021 Ph: 817-399-0044 • Fx: 817-399-0040 Email:

Email **

rn e a s s H S h A o & p N Noah & Ada Miller & Family 6009 Twp Rd 419 • Millersburg OH 44654


Ph 330-893-1024 • Fax 330-893-0112




our Catalog st Y To e da qu e R

New Tools

Punch 54 JUNE 2016



Manufacturer and Distributer of Biothane Harness, Parts, Materials and Tools

IN-STOCK TREE PROGRAM Guaranteed to ship within 3 days or it ships for FREE Fed Ex Ground in the Continental U.S. 4810 COMPETITION TM ROPER WITH STRAINER

DuraK covered Seat sizes: 14", 14 ½", 15", 15 ½", 16" Gullet: 6 ¾" x 7 ½" Cantle: 3 ½" Horn: DM8


DuraK covered Seat sizes: 15", 15 ½", 16", 16 ½", 17" Gullet: 6 ½" x 7 ¾" Cantle: 4" Horn: #4


DuraK covered Seat sizes: 15", 15 ½", 16", 17", 18" Gullet: 6 ⅜" x 8" Cantle: 4" Horn: #4


DuraK covered Seat sizes: 15", 15 ½", 16", 16 ½" Gullet: 6 ½" x 8" Cantle: 4" Horn: #4


DuraK covered Seat sizes: 15", 15 ½", 16", 16 ½" Gullet: 6 ½" x 8" Cantle: 4" Horn: 3" WP x 3 ¾" Cap


DuraK covered Seat sizes: 15", 15 ½", 16", 16 ½" Gullet: 6 ½" x 8 ½" Cantle: 4" Horn: #4

4850 RH WADE

DuraK covered Seat sizes: 15", 15 ½", 16", 16 ½" Gullet: 6 ½" x 7 ¾" Cantle: 4" x 12 ½” Horn: 3" WP x 4 ⅜" Cap


DuraK covered Seat sizes: 15", 15 ½", 16", 16 ½" Gullet: 6 ½" x 8" Cantle: 4" Horn: #4

Precision Saddle Tree, Inc.

P.O. Box 232, Yoakum, Texas 77995 202 Industrial Loop, Yoakum, Texas 77995 (361) 293-6581


For more information call 877-916-TREE TALK! JUNE 2016 55 or visitSHOP


56 JUNE 2016

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



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.



EXPERT MECHANIC WANTED: Must have working knowledge of the Campbel-Bosworth Cyclone sewing machines. Preferably in the Tri-State area (Texas), but not necessary. Call John at (718) 445-6200, M-TR, 7am-2pm EST. (R&B)

JUKI MO-1516G CLASS FF extra heavy duty serger with safety stitch. Table, stand, clutch, 110V, 1725 rpm motor. Excellent condition $950 or best offer. Singer 269W114 bar tacker adjustable lockstitch sewing machine. Table, stand, motor $225 or best offer. Contact: Steve Miller, 1317 Horan Dr., Fenton, MO 63026, (636) 349-2244.

WANTED: New subscribers from Oregon, Nevada, Washington, and California. 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. EXPERIENCED SADDLE MAKER AND/OR CHAP MAKER NEEDED in historic Hamley & Co. saddle shop. Must be able to relocate to Pendleton, OR. Call Penny at (541) 278-1100, option 1. (5/16)


uy ’s of potential b 0 0 0 1, h c ea R $26.50!! for as little as

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. 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 a large inventory of mane and tail horsehair by the pound for use in pottery, mecates, braiding, hitching, and more. Supplier of 8-ply mohair cord both available in natural and dyed colors. Instructional books and DVD’s at www., (800) 689-9971 or (360) 6682349. LEATHER UNLIMITED. Quality wholesale leather distributor since 1970 including oak, deerskin, garment, rawhide, oiled cowhide, furs, and more. Quality leather goods, leather tools, black powder gear, all steel clicker and mallet dies. Complete Internet catalog at www. or call (800) 993-2889 for quality leather and friendly service from a USA family-owned and operated business. (R&B)


JUNE 2016 57

CLASSIFIEDS 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, shoptalk@proleptic. net 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, 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: Randall Splitter. $1,200. Excellent working condition. 100% full blade. Call Texas Saddlery at (903) 765-2600 or e-mail: 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) 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) 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.

The “Word of the Day” is: anodyne 58 JUNE 2016


CLASSIFIEDS BOOT & SHOE FOR SALE: Busy established shoe repair shop over 300 years in Waverly, IA. Growth possible. Area population over 200,000. Owner is retiring. Shoe repair, orthopedic work, boots, some custom leather working, and saddles. Business is fully equipped. All machines, tools, supplies, retail inventory included Building not included. $40,000. For more information, send an e-mail to: lisa@ 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.


JUNE 2016 59

ADVERTISERS INDEX A. Lyons........................................................52




Fine Tool Journal........................................46

Ohio Plastics Belting Co............................8

American Leather Direct........................26

Gfeller Casemakers, Inc..........................42

Ohio Travel Bag...........................................22

Barta Hide....................................................11

Goliger Leather Co....................................50

Perfectex Plus, LLC..................................39

Beachy Blacksmith Ltd..............................7

Hadlock & Fox Mfg. Co............................34

Precision Saddle Tree..............................55

Beacon Hollow Blankets.........................45

Hansen Western Gear.............................13

Proleptic..... 6, 9-13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 40

Beiler’s Mfg. & Supply..............................17

Harness Hardware....................................42

.......43, 44, 46, 48- 50, 53, 59, back cover



RJF Leather.................................................48

Bogle-Greenwell Machinery Corp........41

Hermann Oak Leather...................................

Shelton-Reynolds, Inc.............................47

Booth & Co..................................................52

.......................................... inside front cover

Shetler’s Collar Shop...............................10

Bowden Saddle Tree.................................46

Hide House, The.........................................10



Hillside Harness Hardware.....back cover

Small Farmer’s Journal............................47

Brodhead Collar Shop..............................49

IHS ELP, LLC................................................47

Smoke & Fire Co........................................47

Buckeye Blankets.....................................21

International Sheepskin.........................21

Sorrell Notions & Findings.....................39

Buckeye Engraving...................................41

Kalico Products..........................................33

Southstar Supply......................................49

Buckle Barn USA........................................21

Kelly-Larson Sales....................................54

Springfield Leather...................................40

Buggy Builder’s Bulletin..........................52

Kimmel Boot................................................59

Steel Stamps, Inc........................................9

C. S. Osborne & Co. ..................................56

Landis Sales & Service...........................48

Sugar Valley Collar....................................52


Leather Machine Co., Inc., The...................

Sun Bias, Inc................................................41

Center Square............................................22

...........................................inside back cover

Sweat Pad Shop....................................... 42

Chino Tack...................................................18

Maine Thread..............................................52

TechSew/Raphael’s Sewing....................... 3

Chupp Blacksmith Shop.........................11

Mark Staton................................................14

Tennessee Tanning...................................15

Chupp Brothers..........................................17

Mavrick Leather........................................51

Texas Custom Dies...................................20

Coblentz Collar..............................................8

Miller's Wholesale Harness...................45

Toledo Sewing...............................................1

Danny Marlin Knives.................................13

Mud Creek...................................................51

Troyer's Harness Shop............................51

Double K.......................................................16

Mules and More.........................................50

Weaver Leather.........................................30

Fairview Country Sales...........................16

N & A Harness Shop.................................54

Western Mule.............................................41



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

20 words or less $26.50 Additional words (each) $ .65

Display Ads

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


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

Setup Charge

$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.


JUNE 2016 61

JUNE 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

Subscribe for your copy today! Click here! ALWAYS FIRST WITH


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! June 2016  

The Leather Retailers' & Manufacturers' Journal with Boot and Shoe News. Featuring T-Pop and Rinehart Leather, Murga Boots, and more!

Shop Talk! June 2016  

The Leather Retailers' & Manufacturers' Journal with Boot and Shoe News. Featuring T-Pop and Rinehart Leather, Murga Boots, and more!