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About unicornleather

  • Rank
    Born Hunter
  • Birthday 31/12/1960

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  • Gender
  • Location
    West Wales
  • Interests
    Saddlery, dogs especially running dogs, wine making, medieval re enactment,motorbikes, 4x4's,country life & self sufficiency
    I'm a Traditionally trained Working Saddler - Est 1988

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  1. As in the title really, I am after some New Zealand white does and a New Zealand Red Buck, yet I can't find any near me in West Wales or anywhere really for a reasonable price. All I see are adverts for pet rabbits that are lops, netherland dwarfs or lionheads and some have been neutered at that and at very high prices. I am scared to ask on some of the animal/pet forums as I get jumped on for daring to want meat rabbits. Has anyone else had this problem,there doesn't seem to be any info on the net for NZ rabbit breeders in the UK maybe they also keep their heads down.
  2. Even as a Saddler I get anti's giving me grief on various forums/groups as they assume all Saddlers kill their own cattle for leather and hunt foxes all day!
  3. Home made dust bath for chickens This is for anyone who has the same problem of chickens indoors needing a dust bath. If you have the same stuff lying around as I did and you can sew/glue things together this is easy to make. Today I decided to make my chickens who are in the barn a dust bath, whilst they are stuck indoors I've been using trays and all sorts but it gets messy in there as they spray it all around. I took an old builder's bag I had in the basement and using scrap textiles (of which I have lots) made a door in the side with a "curtain", on the ends of the curtain pieces I sewed on looped tape (soft velcro) and on the top under the flange round the bag I sewed on the hook tape (rough velcro) so to train them to use it I can have the curtain up out of the way until they get comfortable going through the door then I can slowly lower the curtain pieces one at a time until they freely go though it. Inside the bag I have put some soil out of their old dustbath and will buy some new sand to boost it up. To hold the bag up right I used some baling twine and hooked the lifting loops on the bag on to hooks I had screwed in to the roof. The bag should contain most of the sand/soil etc they like to throw around! Cost next to nothing to make as I had everything to make it. Took about an hour in total, hope it helps people make their own. [/url] [/url] [/url] [/url] [/url] [/url]
  4. Come on facebook and join us on https://www.(!64.56:886/groups/JackHargreaves I'm one of the admin on there and the more the merrier, some cracking vids and photos on there
  5. If you want proper rolled leatherwork that length (done by hand, the proper way) would cost a fortune. Round leads can be made using a machine but leaves the stitches exposed, real rolled work won't have any stiches showing. The alternative is round leather belting like this cheaper to make and buy but won't last as long as true rolled work, it stretches for starters [/url] [/url] Oz
  6. It has to have a greenwood as well as a hardwood I believe, so it's a natural spring, with the whippy flexibility of the greenwood and the strength of the hardwood, this is why Yew is suited to the task, it has both. What other hardwoods grown here in the UK have this I don't know, maybe GruffaolGriff can answer that one?
  7. Mate of mine made a longbow and a crossbow out of Yew, he cut it and seasoned it for a year. The crossbow was lethal, putting a bolt through his shed door in his garden, don't think he'll be getting any burglars or anti's ! He made the bolts and the arrows for the bows too, his surname is Fletcher after all! For the trigger mechanism on the crossbow, he superglued 5 or 6 copper 2 pence pieces together to make a cylinder, then drilled a hole through it for the shaft so it could turn freely and filed a groove in it to hold the bow string. The actual trigger itself was a revolving round punch pliers we use in the leatherwork industry to make holes with, he removed the punches and used that like the medieval crossbows triggers used to be, a long lever type of thing. The bow prod was lashed on to the stock and butt with hessian rope, pretty much like they used to do it I guess. On the flights of the arrows and bolts he used goose feathers, carefully splitting them down the middle before whipping them on to the shaft of the bolts/arrows, he was very committed to making these and his wife didn't see him for months whilst he was in the shed making them. Oz
  8. No not on the forum as it's seen as advertising because of the rest of my site is commercial but I do PM people on there to show them the article and then say on the forum I have PM'd the OP with an article on badly made saddles, it then opens the floodgates and I get inundated with PM's asking for the article I also have a list of saddles to avoid but obviously can't post those as it would be seen as libel (even though it's true!) Who are you on the H & H forum? I'm cremedemonthe (don't ask) Sorry, didn' t think about the advertising angle. I had realised who you must be from your avatar but thanks for confirming it. I have the same user name on other forums (I like to keep things simple!) I'm sure I've seen you on there, will keep an eye out for you
  9. I made my dogs hi vz collars, harness, etc I added reflective strips as well which reflects my lamp and car headlights up to 500 metres away with ease, handy to find a dog that has selective hearing
  10. Thanks but the trees are specialist stuff, laminated beechwood set in a hot press,then specially covered in muslin and shrunk in and painted over.The head and gullet plates, reinforcing along the bars, cantle and the the springs all have to be put on in a jig to be symmetrical, not something you can do properly without years of practice and training as well as specialist machinery. The webbing I use anyway, I have a few thousand metres of it as any one time buying in straight from the manufacturers, I have specialist material science experience enabling me to make all sorts of things with most textiles and/or leather, often improving on current designs. For instance regarding webbing, the cable parachutes I make for the gliding schools have to have a payload of at least 1 tonne on them as they are an integral part of the tow cable, if my chute fails the gliders are let loose before they are up to proper height. Then after release at a designated height of about 900-1000 feet the chutes get winched in by a 685 H.P. winch and hit the deck and they are often coming down on asphalt at 60-70 mph = shredding! I took what was already on the market and improved it so much that instead of a chute lasting a few weeks I can extend it to 6 months. I even use special threads that don't get heated under any abrasive workload asked of it and at £50 plus a spool it should be good stuff! Oz
  11. No not on the forum as it's seen as advertising because of the rest of my site is commercial but I do PM people on there to show them the article and then say on the forum I have PM'd the OP with an article on badly made saddles, it then opens the floodgates and I get inundated with PM's asking for the article I also have a list of saddles to avoid but obviously can't post those as it would be seen as libel (even though it's true!) Who are you on the H & H forum? I'm cremedemonthe (don't ask)
  12. When I get the time I write articles, I do have many more in the pipelines but time is of an essence. I am currently making my own brand of products (Horse and Rider Locatas) to supply an equestrian wholesaler and retailers round the country. I also make my own brand of traditional leather conditioner using only animal and vegetable ingredients, some of which I have to render myself. I am making cable parachutes next week for a gliding club local to me, so I have little time to write. I wrote this article about 4-5 years ago to show non trade people what utter crap there is out there, even in the English saddle scene. People rant about Indian saddles and yes most are shite but so are some very expensive English made saddles, the trouble is, like most things today, it's all about money, no thought for the safety or quality but to the average joe public these products look good and it's not until you start stripping down the saddles that you see the real picture inside. I hope this helps a few people, the article can be found here, there are other articles on my website just go to the menu at the top of the page I am about to show you and click on saddlery demos, there is an article on looking after leather which some of you may find interesting, Oz http://www.unicornleather.co.uk/badly_made_saddle_demo.html
  13. Hello mate, you'll find tools on ebay, tools made by Joseph Dixon are good. Do you want to learn to handstitch, the saddlery way or were you thinking of using rivets instead? Stitched the right way it will be stronger than riveted.
  14. funnily enough I was thinking about doing an article on this, the traditional way to make leatherwork using techniques that have been used for centuries. It's just time to do it. What tools have you got, if any?
  15. Often better than the bought tools as can be made/ shaped for a specific application and more satisfaction in using a tool you have made, post up a pic if you have any. I haven't any photos but will try to take some. The older tools you can still buy around antique shops are often prized over by Saddlers as the steel is often better than today's equivalent.
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