Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tandy Leather Visit

We recently moved back to Seattle. On one of my move-in errands, I noticed a Tandy Leather Factory store, and had to drop in. A number of years ago, all the stores had closed down, but they are now back in business. I chatted a bit with the manager, and we talked about the trade for a bit. I inherited my grandfather's leather tools, and there is a bit of nostalgia going into these stores.

I'm going to need some sort of soft leather hide (or maybe really strong oiled paper??) if I want to make bellows for any tooling forge. According to the manger, Modern leather is prepared using modern chemicals, most of which were probably not available in 4004 BC. But they did have a book on brain tanning, entitled Deerskins Into Buckskins.

I picked up a copy since I was there (I'll have to start reading it soon). It looks like it got a great review on Amazon!

Looks like I'm getting closer to having to kill an animal for this project. I'm not really looking forward to it, but if I used every bit of the animal, then it would be less of a waste. Hide for bellows, hip joint for mortar & pestle, hair for brushes...

Maybe if I make the bow & arrows, and have my Dad shoot a deer, as he can get tags...


  1. You'll have to kill an animal for your project!?! Eeeps, that would not be good. (This is coming from someone whose freezer is full of meat i.e., dead animals). I wonder if your project could include trading like in old days or something. You know, trade some paint or food for some hide? I dunno, I'm just trying to avoid the kill animal option. I wonder how long I'd last trying to subsist on berries in a catastrophe?

  2. Sorry for the late reply M,

    I'm debating it. The reality is we do a lot of worse things to animals all the time. Bow hunting during gun season (to finish off the animal quickly) is more humane than what a caged chicken experiences for its entire life. I've seen videos, and it's not pretty. Also, using more parts of the part of the animal would be better than leaving any to waste.

    There's something to be said about being directly connected to your food. How many people who eat meat each week would be willing to kill for it? And yet, just a few hundred years ago, that was a normal part of life. Part of this project is to show how disconnected many of us have become from the source of our material possessions and the things we consume.

    And, I'm not glorifying killing. It wouldn't be merely for sport, but for food and supplies that could be used again and again. My father's a hunter, and he's always looked down on people who kill for sport and leave the entire animal for waste.

    But, I still keep putting this part off for as long as possible... urg!