Only a few shopping days left until the big day. Here's hoping you finished your chores early this season, so all you have left to do is toss back the eggnog and go cross country skiing. Thats' my plan every year, but, once again, I'm not quite there yet. Went down to LL Bean (we call them a different name up here - LL Buttonsfalloffthefirsttimeyoutryiton) and fought the crowds the other day. Not very productive, but it sure was entertaining. You folks that live in Massachusetts should all be on TV. I get the biggest kick out of watching them in that store. When they're strolling along, elbow to elbow, looking through the jams and jellies that might be a good stocking stuffer for the worthless brother in law, then they turn the corner and find themselves facing a few stuffed deer heads and a wall full of shotguns for sale - their faces turn a lot of colors, many of which are very seasonal.
Those of you who have been subjected to the mild form of torture that these newsletters represent for a few years may recall that we get a lot of our inventory through silent bid-type auctions conducted by insurance companies. A month or so ago we put in some bids on items from a closed tannery here in the USA. A bank got involved, creating a delay, and then some creditors got in there, so the whole mess got delayed to the point where, quite honestly, I just flat forgot about it. Crate showed up this last week with some items we had won - thought we'd make them available to you subscribers first. Weird item - but may be useful to some of you.
How thick is that leather you've been working with? Have a good way to measure it? If you've ever worked in a tannery or with professional leather crafters, you may have seen them using a caliper-type gauge to measure the thickness of the leather. The best gauges have a dial that reads in ounces (weight per square foot) on them and a deep throat - so that you can reach way out on the hide to do your measuring. The most popular gauges of this type have a reach of about 6 inches - not bad - but they cost about $950 when brand new. I know - seems ridiculous.
This load of gauges we got - over 80 of them - were specially designed and built expressly for this tannery - they have a reach of almost 18 inches - about 17.5" to be exact. Nice dial that reads in ounces. The tannery paid an average of $1,800 for each of these. We didn't pay that much. Not even close.
If you're the type of person who wants to know exactly how thick that leather is, you might like to pick up one of these gauges. Our price is $250, shipping included for our USA customers. Now I understand that something like this won't appeal to just any old leather crafter, but it's a useful tool for some of you. Great price too. We put together a special sale page just for those of you who are interested, or for you to check out if you just want to see what one of these gauges looks like. There's also a nice picture of Jenny on there. She's the dog, remember? Here's a link:
The gauges have all been recently calibrated and are ready to use, in excellent condition. Hard to tell them from brand new. Doubtful that we'll ever get another load of these, not in my lifetime anyway.
Here's an advance warning on something else - we scored a win on a load of veg-tan sides gauging out (with my new gauge) at 10/12 oz. Nice stuff for that Spring armor you've been thinking about. These are shipping in from overseas on a very slow boat - probably won't see them until late January. Just thought I'd let you know.
Had the big company Christmas party last night - it was a lot of fun. Everybody was good - nobody ended up with a lamp shade on their head. We did the usual gift swap thing, and somehow I ended up with some sauce that I'm allergic to anyway. Ho Ho Ho.
Brettuns Village Leather