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How to Make a Leather Saddlebag

The young farmer decided to become a biker. He liked to ride his Harley in the prairies, but nobody understood his hobby in the village. So he decided to go to the nearest town and have a look how motorbikes look like there. He saw a lot of sparkling in the sun motorbikes near one shop.  Various bags were hanging on them. He came into the shop. His eyes widened as he saw a lot of various leather things there. Wonderful leather bags, jackets, trousers and even can holders were there. But he became astonished because of the prices. Instantly a mighty idea came into his mind. He remembered that while leaving his farm one calve was in a very bad condition. So he decided that he can tan his leather and make all those leather things himself. As he was a farmer, so he knew nothing about tanning. He went to the bookstore for some information and bought a book about leather tanning.

He sat on the bench and decided to get acquainted with this process. He took of his notebook and made the list what he must have in order to tan the leather. The list was not long and everything seemed rather simple. He had to buy the things he never new: ammonia alum and borax (in his family nobody made such things, the cattle was grown only for meat). At home he had gloves, respirator, containers, buckets, salt, tacks and washing soda. So this stage seemed not very expensive but rather clumsy. He had to dissolve ammonia alum into lukewarm water in a container and stir. Then he had to make a mixture of salt and water in another bucket and at last he could dip the hide into the tanning solution and stir it every for a few hours. The hide had to soak for five days, after that he had to rinse in water, put borax and wash and then wash out any traces of the Borax. There were still some more advices, but it already seemed for him rather complicated as his chemistry knowledge at school was not excellent. The next step he had to do while having leather was to sew a bag or may be even a jacket. He remembered his grandfather sitting near the sewing machine


(His grandfather's sewing machine)

and sewing saddles for horses. He had special sewing machine for leather and  scissors, paper clamps, threads and patterns. He always loved to look at his working grandfather.  When sewing leather, he had to move slowly and take note of how your machine is reacting to the thicker fabric. It was very difficult  when sewing three or four layers of leather together. He had to use the balance wheel  to go through them. He had also used bodkin for making holes in the places where the machine could not reach. He had remembered his fingers in blood  and the complains about the pain in the back. So the farmer took of his wallet, counted the money and decided to buy the saddle bag in the shop. He knew very well that everybody must to do its own work. He decided to earn money hrom cattle growing and others could sew leather accessories :)

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