Friday, January 3, 2014

Hell Bent For Leather, Or A Great Custom Item Made In USA

When I ship out guitar straps they are bound up with hemp rope and a final logo tag is added

All of the leather work now being produced started in the most simple manner, I wanted a better tool bag for my motorcycle. That is not too much to ask for. Now granted there are some fantastic leather craftsmen far and wide that are superb at their job. There in was my problem. These guys command quite a bit of money as they are true craftsmen and were definitely out of my budget.

Being the student of life that I am, answers were needed for my burning questions and I decided to go the oracle. Yep, forget the Sirens that might have lived on the top of a mountain in Delphi who spoke in riddles, youtube is the modern day oracle for how to videos. Eureka, now I had a plan to hatch in order to create a leather tool bag that fit within my miniscule budget.

After weeks of pouring over leather crafter's mini documentaries and showing how to manipulate tanned hides, I figured I could plop down a few bucks and create a tool bag that would be perfect for my bike. I go into everything with that kind of attitude, as I am of the mindset that I learn more along the journey and enjoy stumbling along the path.

This started a new problem that I had not foreseen, being the ever so practical individual that I am. I really got into the leather work. So much so that I started thinking on tricking out the tool bag, thinking on new versions, belt loops, guitar straps, etc etc. Then a few customers started to trickle in after seeing my original bag. 

My first tool bag truly was nothing special and I still ride with it today. What I came to realize though is that folks really want a good story. They dig knowing who made a product and that the person will stand behind their work. As I would show them my tool bag and we would talk on the types of bags for different bikes and costs, I could envision them seeking out a solid item they could get behind and for a reasonable price.

Two years later I am still quite amazed at where the projects within the hobby of leather work have taken me and the amount of folks asking for custom items. With shipments going out weekly around the world, I can honestly say thank you to everyone that has purchased a tool bag, belt loop, guitar strap or all the other random items I have made from scratch. It's a great honor to be a manufacturer and a craftsman and to be able to stand behind the work 100%. Much of the sales come through our Etsy Store and now we are getting emails or calls directly for quite a few projects. 

Have a look at some of the latest work to get shipped out. One of the big things I will be adding this year is a free digital download card with all orders. The more music I can pass along to show that Rusty Knuckles is truly a multitude of individuals coming together, the better I will feel about all that we as a group strive to create. A high tide will float all boats and that is our core philosophy.

Brand new style of black leather 2.5" inch wide guitar strap with silver grommets

Detail hammer marks on the hand stamped copper rivets for a bag on a 1937 Knucklehead

Yep, a vintage look can easily be achieved on nickel plated brass

Detail on a custom tanned tool bag buckles and hand sewn sides

Eyelets up close and personal on a guitar strap

Logo struck into the leather guitar strap with one strike from my 3 lb hammer

Distressed brown leather guitar strap

Up close and personal with an 8 oz shoulder leather for a Guitar Strap and heavy buckle

The more I got into leatherwork the more I read about having good edges. Then I started to realize that good edge work can really make or break a piece.