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Bruce Johnson 
Leather Tools

I started doing leatherwork over 25 years ago...

I began by doing my own tack repairs, found that I liked working with leather, and kept at it. I expanded and did custom orders for individuals and associations awards.

In my shop you will find tools and equipment from some of the best modern makers available. You will also find some antique tools still being used. I have been blessed to know a few older makers who taught me about the old tools and showed me how to use them. Many of the tools are not made anymore or patterns and materials have been changed. A few years ago I started selling a few extra leather tools I had accumulated. It seemed like every month that tool part of the business grew a little bit. Within a couple years it became a larger part of my leather business. This past year it really has expanded and the last few months have been a whirlwind. Now I am at the point where I just can't devote the time needed for both leather work and leather tools anymore. I have made the decision to stop taking orders for leatherwork and concentrate on the tools primarily.

I find a lot of satisfaction in refurbishing a vintage tool and getting it back to work. Some of these tools are 150 years old or better and others are made by the finest toolmakers today. When I pick up and use a knife that was made in the same shop at the same time as Jim Bowie's original knife reportedly was, I can only think "How cool is this?!". I have sent tools made before the Civil War to apprentice makers to use in learning the trade today. There aren't a lot of trades where there is that kind of transcendence of generations. I have bought and sold tools all over the world. With many of these tools I have the experience of using them. I can help you with tool choices based on my experience, personal preferences, and experiences of other makers I respect.

I am not in any way giving up leatherwork, but it will be a slower pace for me. I am going to work on a few things I have wanted to make for myself and friends. There are some new tooling patterns I want to try, horses to ride, fish to harass, and I am looking forward to that latitude I haven't really had the last few years.

I have a few talented friends in the leather business I am referring leather orders to. They do good work, are timely, and I'd sure trust them with anything. Please let me know and I can get you their contact information.

-Bruce Johnson