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Neck Deep in Alligators and Paddling Like a Big Dog

Discussion in 'Sheaths & Such' started by Horsewright, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    A week ago we were contacted by the studio that makes the TV show Yellowstone. They are interested in building the Yellowstone brand and wanted to place an order for some of our horseshoe coasters that my wife Nichole builds. They were looking for additional product to sell at their booth at Cowboy Christmas, at the NFR in Ft Worth this year. Normally the NFR (National Finals Rodeo) is held in Las Vegas but this year due to the virus, its being held in Ft Worth. Held in conjunction with the NFR are several large shows all over Vegas. These are strictly western themed events due to the rodeo and people come from literally all over the world to shop. If its remotely western its there and for sale. These shows are HUGE with thousands and thousands of people attending daily for the 10 day run. Our family went to Cowboy Christmas last year and had a great time.

    Well once the haggling was done between Nichole and the studio and the final order placed, it was Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. Forgot to mention they needed to ship to Ft Worth on that Friday. We'd agreed to half the order that they originally wanted. The full order was simply impossible to complete in the time frame. Monday night, feeling pretty good about the order going through, we went over to Tractor Supply and bought every size 1 horseshoe there was. It was perfect because with another order we already had for a set of four, there was exactly the right amount of size 1 horseshoes in this town. We bought em all. Of course this time of year we're already neck deep in alligators just due to the Christmas rush. 12-14 hour days for both Nichole and myself are normal and 18 hour days are often too. We haven't even been horseback in over a month. For instance my work flow has 6 rifle scabbards, nine holsters and a martingale besides numerous sheaths and two more batches of knives before Christmas. Nichole has numerous orders too. But now, we're really jammed for time:

    Here was the original make up:


    Some of the shoes. Each is given a couple coats of a clear coat:


    Nichole doing some of the metal work, to prep each shoe, prior to the clear coat:


    The top leather piece is 8/10 oz Wicket and Craig russet skirting. Each is done with a border stamp and then the Dutton Ranch brand. I'd call this a rocking flying Y. The executive we were dealing with was very excited we could read brands and thought it was really cool when we told him how to read it. Each brand will be bevelled in, back grounded and then the brand dyed black. Here the swivel knife work has been done on these:


    The tooling all done and the tops oiled, Nichole is glueing on the lining leather. All oiled up:



    Lined, she sews em all:



    Then each is painstakingly hand painted. This is the dangerous part cause there is no remedy if there is an oops. She did get a stray brush mark on one and had to redo it:


    As the dye was drying I was oiling the sides of each one:


    Once they were all done she rubbed all the edges and then started glue up. All edges rubbed and drying some more:


    Glued up and drying overnight:


    Here's another weird tidbit. Besides there being exactly the number of size 1 shoes to buy in our town. I had exactly the right amount of clamps to clamp up all shoes. We needed 80 clamps and that was exactly how many I had.


    That was Thanksgiving evening. No Tday for us. It was 5 to 5 in the shop. After feeding the horses we did go over to a friends for a drink and they warmed up some left overs for us.

    Friday morning SHIPPING DAY! Nichole always puts the finish on last and puts on six coats:


    Course it takes a while to dry in between each coat:


    We wanted to do a little something extra for em too, so Nichole also made up one of her roughout notebook covers:



    All done but the pics. Breathe, Dave and Nichole, just breathe, we made it!




    Forgot to mention. We've never even seen the show! We watched the first three episodes Saturday night. So if you're down TX way, first couple weeks of Dec., stop by the Yellowstone booth, #120, at Cowboy Christmas. Us, we'll just be hanging here at home breathing. Still neck deep in gators but paddling like a big dog.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  2. Chui

    Chui Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 10, 2012
    ......very nice too :thumbsup: The tan colour works very well.

    Am a big Western fan - if my wife would allow, I’d sit there on the sofa watching a film with six guns around my waist and a Winchester leaning up against the arm. I’ve bought so much Orvis gear and Texas Ranger belts from USA, think I’m turning into a cowboy :D
  3. hornetguy

    hornetguy Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2015
    wish it was possible to "like" this twice.... great story. We've watched the whole series, and enjoyed it all. Great to know "one of our own" is involved in this. I might just try to make it over to Ft Worth for this.... about a 45 minute drive.
    Horsewright and duramax like this.
  4. joeradza

    joeradza Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 6, 2014
    I’ve watched a few episodes but now I’ll be concentrating harder. Nice work as always.
    Horsewright and duramax like this.
  5. JohnDF

    JohnDF Gold Member Gold Member

    May 14, 2018
    Super cool design, Dave. :cool::thumbsup:
    Horsewright and duramax like this.
  6. 3fifty7

    3fifty7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 24, 2016
    Glad yall got some recognition and more exposure. I never doubted for a minute yall would pull it off in time !

    The glamor shots are gorgeous.
    Horsewright and duramax like this.
  7. waynorth

    waynorth Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Nov 19, 2005
    Nice design for those coasters, Dave and Nichole!!:thumbsup:
    They look well finished - a lot of work for a lowly coaster!!
    Horsewright and duramax like this.
  8. seanj

    seanj Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 1, 2010
    Nicely done! How did you do the hoofing nails? Did I miss that step? It looks like you used real nails and cut them off?
    Horsewright likes this.
  9. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    There's a coaster that won't stick to the glass when you pick up the glass.
  10. Robber58


    Oct 9, 2008
    Very nice Dave. Congrats on the recognition. It is hard earned and well deserved.
    What glue do you use to bond the shoes to the leather?
    duramax likes this.
  11. redsparrow

    redsparrow Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 3, 2014
    Beautiful product Nicole! :cool: :thumbsup::thumbsup: Riveting story Dave...breathe ;)
    Horsewright and duramax like this.
  12. Marlingspike12


    May 28, 2019
    Nice work!:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
    Horsewright and duramax like this.
  13. 315

    315 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2017
    I think they look great!! Very cool:thumbsup:
    Horsewright and duramax like this.
  14. duramax

    duramax KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 29, 2012

    That’s great !!! I really like those coasters.

    Now I have to find time to catch up on the show lol.
    Horsewright likes this.
  15. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    Thanks that is the natural color of this leather. We just oil it with warm neatsfoot oil and then after the oil sets apply a clear finish. The number one question I get from other leather workers on our Instagram account is how do you get that color?


    My buddy wearing this pair of chinks (short chaps) for me to take pics of before they ship to the customer. His belt I made about 3 years ago and the yokes on the chinks are this same leather treated this same way. The belt through use has just darkened up a hair.

    Thanks, if ya do let me know how it goes. I'd be interested to see how attendance is this year compared to the usual.

    Thank you sir!

    Thanks John. Its been evolving over the years. We use some daily from like 20 years ago. Those olds one I made. They din't have the nails and weren't lined, just a simple piece of leather glued to a shoe. But they have held up. She makes a much more refined, finished product now.

    Thanks! Those were just taken with the wife's phone. It just handles the indoor lighting better than the camera. Not having watched the show we did some research and found out there was a deal about a bear one time, check got a bearskin rug (his name is George btw, he use to hang over the office door and I shake hands with him every morning). Winchester Model 94s show up often, check got one of those. The only actual whiskey we could find that was identified was Bulleit. Early morning run to the store fixed that short coming. Piled everything up on the bar in our cantina and called er good.

    Thank you!

    Yeah check that instagram link. It's to a little video that shows Nichole doing the metal prep. Drives the nails in, trims em on the band saw and then peens em. Thanks.

    Thanks Randy. Clear Gorilla glue. It doesn't foam like their other formulas and holds. Never had one fail. Itw what I use on my non bolstered knives too. I like it better than epoxy.

    Breathing! Still lots to do though. They arrive in Ft Worth today. Now ya keep your fingers crossed hoping that the customer likes em. Breathe.

    Thanks guys!!
    Marlingspike12, seanj and duramax like this.
  16. redsparrow

    redsparrow Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 3, 2014
    Those coasters have a Wow!!! factor, the customer will have to love 'em. Have a good week and a prosper season Dave.:)
    Horsewright likes this.
  17. Wyo Coyote

    Wyo Coyote

    Nov 25, 2015
    Those are amazing. I have a brother-in-law in the D/FW area who's a huge fan of the show. I'll have to send my sister to the Cowboy Christmas and pick up a set!

    P.S. I find it amusing that they didn't know how to read a brand.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2020
    Horsewright likes this.
  18. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    Dave...you and your wife are amazing folks...
    ...love all your work, but saw that '94 and...admire it a lot also.
  19. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    Thank you! Called ya last night and left ya a message.

    If she goes, I expect a full report! I'd go soon, first part of the show, opens on the 3rd and goes through the 12th. We made 20 coasters for em so 10 sets of 2. Won't last long I expect. Yeah they were also blown away by everything we sell we make by hand. These four hands. They thought that was really cool too. Course on the brands it can get confusing. We've gotten to the point where we have the customer send us their brand. What someone in OK might call a slash bar Y might be completely different here. Saves on having to re tool stuff. Ask me how I know.

    Thank you sir! Its a 72'. It loves 170 grain ammo and hates 150s. Lucky to hit the ground pointed down with 150s.
  20. redsparrow

    redsparrow Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 3, 2014
    Yes and I appreciate it Dave.:) I chose a damascus Buckaroo in horn (beautiful work with the mosaic pins and all) but budget constraints cause me to hold back... for now. Looks like those are all sold already this morning.:thumbsup::thumbsup: Someday!!!

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