Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Surfrider Foundation Buckles

A good friend of mine works for the Surfrider Foundation in Oregon.  The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches.  Check out their website here:


He wanted some buckles with their new logo to give out as gifts to his friends.  So, rather than have the logo laser cut like most people do these days, we decided to do some old school manufacturing instead.  We had a stamp custom made and I hand stamped each buckle using my flypress.  I think stamping creates a really unique look, and it's a lot more fun than just punching some buttons on a computer.  Check out a video of the buckles being made here:



Friday, January 14, 2011

New Belts!

I am so excited to introduce our new line of industrial grade super duper tough belts! Strong enough for the Florida sugar cane factories, and definitely tough enough to hold up your pants for a long time to come!

I had always intended to replace the commercial belts we have been selling with something handmade. Initially, when I started the buckles and they began to take off, I just wanted something I could sell with my buckles to hold people's pants up. But, over time I noticed that the quality was not always the best, and I was tired of pairing the buckles with a non-handmade product.

When I first started brainstorming, I just assumed I would be working with leather. But, I'm a big animal lover, and my house out here in the Everglades is surrounded by cow fields. The cows are like my neighbors, and I would have a hard time looking at them day in and day out while I was slicing up their friends' hides to make into clothing. To tell you the truth I'm not a vegan or vegetarian, but I have a lot of friends who are, and I often hear them mention the lack of choices when it comes to normal clothing items like belts or shoes. I decided to find another material and it just so happened that a friend of a friend has a job selling industrial belting products!
Perhaps you are thinking, "But, I'm used to leather and these are more expensive than your other belts, why should I buy one of these?" Well, for starters, everyone else has a leather belt, so right off the bat, you'll have something cooler and different than everyone else. These belts are also tougher than leather, and won't stretch and wear out the way leather does. How do I know they are tougher than leather? Well, I looked through two huge books of belting samples for industrial applications and there wasn't a single one made of leather. When was the last time you saw a belt driven motorcycle with a leather belt or industrial tools that use leather belting? Been a while, right?

So, if you are in the market for a new belt, make sure you check these out! Keep an eye out because we will have more new belt designs and materials on the way!


Friday, January 7, 2011

Eric's Shop

Here are some pictures of my friend Eric Velleca's blacksmith shop. We met when I moved down to Florida and called him with some questions about the area. Eric is thinking of moving out of state, so I wanted to post some pics of his cool shop in case he moves. There aren't that many parts of the country where you can have an open air, tropical blacksmith shop like this. Eric is a really talented blacksmith who does a lot of large architectural work. You can check out his website here: http://www.vellecametaldesign.com/

Power hammers for forging steel:

Forges, quenching bucket, and anvil:

Another shot of the anvil with an industrial press and tong rack in the background:

Gas forge:

Drill press:

Seems like no metal shop is complete without at least one motorcycle project. Here are a Harley and Honda CB 750 Eric is building:


Large gate:


Here's a picture of Eric's sweet custom Toyota Landcruiser which he built. There are a lot of cool custom parts, but unfortunately the interior pics didn't come out very well: