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Message started by NooneOfConsequence on Nov 12th, 2020 at 8:07pm

Title: New toy
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Nov 12th, 2020 at 8:07pm
Well, I just leveled up on my leather working capabilities this week. I picked up a leather press! For some reason the price on Amazon temporarily dropped below $200 for a few days, and I couldnít pass it up. 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07H2ZZBK3/ref=ya_aw_od_pi?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The crate on my doorstep weighs 38 pounds!  Iíll post photos when I get it up and running.

Title: Re: New toy
Post by Kick on Nov 13th, 2020 at 2:23am
Wow! That's definitely going to speed up production :D

Title: Re: New toy
Post by vetryan15 on Nov 13th, 2020 at 6:06am
Awesome, 

Title: Re: New toy
Post by Morphy on Nov 13th, 2020 at 1:53pm
Is this for making and selling slings? Looking forward to seeing it in action Is the idea to get cleaner faster cuts?

Title: Re: New toy
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Nov 14th, 2020 at 11:37pm
Itís mostly a hobby toy. I would love to successfully sell slings one day, but I have plenty of other things to sell already, so slings would just be a bonus. Besides, if I got serious about selling my sling designs, I would probably contract the manufacturing out and go bigger than what one guy can do with a manual press in a garage. I give my slings away as fast as I make them, and the leather cutting is one of the slowest steps, so I really just bought this to save myself time and/or give away more slings for fun.†

Before any of that happens, I will have to order a custom ruler die to put in the press. Based on the quotes Iíve received so far, the die is going to be more expensive than the press was, so itís starting to look like an expensive hobby... on second thought maybe I should sell some slings just to pay for the new toy!

Title: Re: New toy
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Nov 15th, 2020 at 12:09am
I suppose I should clarify, Morphy. You asked a simple, straightforward question and I donít have a simple answer. I would absolutely use this press and a die to crank out a bunch of slings to test the market before going bigger,... or just to give them all away, but the idea of scaling a hobby activity up at home is a meta-hobby itself, or at least an intellectual experiment of sorts.

Lately Iíve been pondering this idea of manufacturing things on a medium scale in a small space like a garage. All the supply chains broke with Covid lockdowns, and I like the idea of extreme local manufacturing capabilities for consumer goods.† I havenít really fleshed out the entire idea yet, but, especially with 3D printers and low-cost computers and electronics, itís become easier than ever to tool up for small production batches of items that you would traditionally have to buy from large-scale mass-production facilities.

Title: Re: New toy
Post by Morphy on Nov 15th, 2020 at 7:38pm
Sounds fun. My big issue with selling handmade crafts is while people usually admire them they never want to put done anything close to what they are worth.  But if you can make them fast enough and cheap enough I guess that wouldn't matter.

Title: Re: New toy
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Nov 15th, 2020 at 7:52pm
Thatís the whole idea... set up a cottage industry that uses modern technology to work like a mass production facility and see if you can actually make it worth the time. You canít make any real money selling a sling that people will only pay $20 for if it takes two hours to make one. You can make more money working at McDonalds... but if you can tool up and make 10 per hour then it might be worth it to sell at prices the market is willing to pay.

Title: Re: New toy
Post by joe_meadmaker on Nov 15th, 2020 at 8:30pm
That does look like a nice piece of machinery.† The need to get customized cutting dies is too bad.† Although if you had one for your asymmetric pouch, and possibly a second one to make the pieces for an Aussie-style pouch, that would be a pretty nice variety in only two pouches.

Title: Re: New toy
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Nov 15th, 2020 at 9:07pm
You donít really need a die for Aussie slings. You can just buy a strap cutter or purchase leather in strips and use a half-round cutting tool like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Hanperal-Leather-Half-round-Cutter-10-40mm/dp/B01A0LNBTA/ref=mp_s_a_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=leather+round+punch&qid=1605492225&sprefix=leather+round+&sr=8-4

The leather press actually has a tool holder that works with the half-round cutter, but a hammer works just fine for that too.

The press can do a lot more than just cut leather. Itíll hold arbitrary tools, stamp/emboss
and also function like a light duty arbor press.

I plan to laser engrave some embossing patterns in live oak (because it grows in my yard and is a ridiculously hard hardwood) and make my own custom logos and lettering to use with the press too. My laser engraver is pretty limited though, so I can only do small tools (about 1Ē square).

Title: Re: New toy
Post by joe_meadmaker on Nov 15th, 2020 at 9:53pm
Yeah, on second thought you're probably right.† With a strap cutter and punches it's essentially back to hand-making.† But an Aussie pouch can definitely be knocked out much faster than a complex pouch design.† So not that much of a time saver there.

I have a friend who recently got a 3D printer and laser engraver combo.† He's only done a couple trials, but says it's working well with engraving on wood.† I'm planning to take a couple pieces of leather to him for some testing.

Title: Re: New toy
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Nov 15th, 2020 at 10:10pm
I bought some strip tooling leather on EBay and the half-round tool makes a strap into a sling pouch really fast.  Two whacks on a half-round with a hammer, two clicks with the hole punch, and two pulls of the eyelet press... thatís all it takes for each part of the sling pouch. The pouch pieces can be finished in under a minute unless you want to emboss the leather. If you set up an assembly line and didnít get too fancy with terminating the cordage, you could probably make more than 10 Aussie slings by hand in an hour.

Title: Re: New toy
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Nov 15th, 2020 at 10:24pm
On the cordage front, I already built a custom solution for fast paracord cutting. I rigged up a hot knife that cuts and melts the ends of paracord in one step. Thereís a pre-marked stick on the hot knife so I can measure the cords to length and cut them all at once. I can cut a 100í hack of 425 cord into enough cordage for 20 slings in about 10 minutes, and thatís slow because I donít run the hot knife hot enough (trying to avoid too much burnt plastic fumes).† With a good ventilator (or if I moved the operation outside) I could at least double the cordage cutting speed.

Did I mention that the hot knife runs on rechargeable  batteries?  I can set it up just about anywhere!
FB17627E-B7C9-47A0-95FC-D38B9EFF163C.jpeg (82 KB | 3 )

Title: Re: New toy
Post by Kilisi on Nov 20th, 2020 at 7:02am
You should outsource and just concentrate on marketing, minimum wage here is equivalent to $1 USD an hour. I'm guessing a large chunk of the World is similar.

Title: Re: New toy
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Nov 20th, 2020 at 8:08pm
Iím not opposed to it, but thatís a different business model than the local garage factory system Iím playing with. Either way itís just a hobby idea right now. I already have a day job, a side hustle, and four young boys in the house who need a lot of attention (3 still in diapers). I donít really have time to fly around the world to set up production, but maybe some day.

Title: Re: New toy
Post by Kilisi on Nov 20th, 2020 at 10:00pm

NooneOfConsequence wrote on Nov 20th, 2020 at 8:08pm:
but maybe some day.

Unfortunately that day rarely comes. 4 boys is good going though :-)

Title: Re: New toy
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Nov 21st, 2020 at 4:59pm
If there arenít things on your bucket list that never get done, youíre probably not thinking big enough. I agree that itís unlikely that this particular ďsome dayĒ would happen, but itís because Iím too busy doing other things that I want to do more :)

Title: Re: New toy
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Dec 9th, 2020 at 4:59pm
The other half of the new toy has arrived!

Achievement: unlocked!

D31DA233-B351-4FEA-B438-51646CE6365F.jpeg (91 KB | 0 )

Title: Re: New toy
Post by perpetualstudent on Dec 9th, 2020 at 8:01pm
huh. Is that a custom die cutter? Or a standard one? I've been thinking about a custom die cutter but have no idea where to start looking for information.

Title: Re: New toy
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Dec 9th, 2020 at 8:52pm

perpetualstudent wrote on Dec 9th, 2020 at 8:01pm:
huh. Is that a custom die cutter? Or a standard one? I've been thinking about a custom die cutter but have no idea where to start looking for information.


Yes. Full custom die for a leather press. I researched a lot of different approaches, and it took me a couple of years to get to this point. Iím sure you can do it faster if you want to... especially if you already know you want to go with a die and arenít comparing it to other methods like laser cutting. If thereís a specific die design you have in mind, I might be able to help you create the drawing and walk you through the process I went through to have mine made.

Title: Re: New toy
Post by Kick on Dec 10th, 2020 at 2:58am
Awesome!

Title: Re: New toy
Post by vetryan15 on Dec 10th, 2020 at 7:21am
Thats freaking sweet

Title: Re: New toy
Post by Morphy on Dec 10th, 2020 at 7:48am
That's pretty awesome.  :D :D

Title: Re: New toy
Post by perpetualstudent on Dec 10th, 2020 at 8:38am
For me I was thinking about cutting cardboard rather than leather. I'd like to stamp out 1/3 scale IPSC targets. So roughly torso shaped a little under the size of a standard 8.5x11 sheet of paper, using only right angles. I probably wouldn't buy a leather press, I have an arbor press I might use or I'm sure I could rig something. I just have no idea how feasible getting that kind of die would be.

Title: Re: New toy
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Dec 10th, 2020 at 7:23pm
Thatís going to be pretty expensive as a custom die because of the size., and it wouldnít even fit in the leather press I have.  I would look at something like a vinyl cutter, laser cutter, or a light-duty rolling die cutter like the Sizzix Big Shot. You can order custom Big Shot dies straight from the sizzix website, but youíre probably looking at several hundred dollars for the bigger sized Big Shot machine and a die.
An arbor press probably doesnít have the surface area to do a big die like youíre talking about either. Youíd probably need a big hydraulic clicker die system to do a straight press type of die and those clickers run upwards of $10k. 

Title: Re: New toy
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Dec 10th, 2020 at 7:35pm
Another thing you could do is hire a custom box maker to do it. We have a local box factory that will make a big die for a custom box size for a few hundred dollars... but then you buy the boxes on top of that. In your case you would buy ďboxesĒ that are all flat, so they shouldnít cost a lot.†


Title: Re: New toy
Post by perpetualstudent on Dec 11th, 2020 at 8:28am
I figured there was a reason nobody offered them cheap† ;D

It's just the scotch in me saying "hey we're throwing out this cardboard...wouldn't it be nice..."

Title: Re: New toy
Post by vetryan15 on Dec 12th, 2020 at 6:50pm
What company did u get it from, would u know if they offered this?  I am looking at getting some custom branding irons, to mark my leather, knife sheaths, and sling pouches. Since i mostly use leather.

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