New Belts: the Harrison, the Martin and the Matchstick

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I’ve been meaning to add some new belt models for a while, and I’m happy to finally show them off. After the big studio move, things were understandably chaotic. Now that the dust is settling and some client catch-up work is back on schedule, I can get back to our own offerings.

Starting with the Harrison, I went with a bold, yet comfortable buckle. It has a feel of old folk and rock-and-roll. What belt was George wearing on the cover of “All Things Must Pass”? I’m pretty sure it looked just like this. It uses our favorite English bridle leather, but I also added a new color too – cognac. It’s available in a stout 1 1/2″ and a slightly more subtle 1 1/4″ width.

The Martin is your classic end-bar buckle shape. Timeless looks, tough W&F character. This one’s named after my Dad, but since most of you haven’t met him, you’ll have to take my work that it’s a good fit. Most honorable and hardest working guy I know. Available in a 1 1/2″ that’s good for jeans and a 1″ width – perfect for casual styles and looks great on women or guys.

Our third release is just for the W&F women… the super svelte Matchstick. It’s a clean 5/8″ width with a tiny solid brass center-bar buckle. Sizing for this one has more range, so it can be worn low on the hips or high on the waist. Very versatile for jeans or dresses. Same hard-wearing English bridle leathers, but takes on a decidedly softer feel with the thin width.

All are available in the store today! Built upon order, they ship in about 5-7 days after purchase.

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Wood&Faulk Travel Pack

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We’ve been working on our take for the standard dopp kit for a while now… Even releasing a very traditional shape to our retail partners earlier this year. After producing a few dozen of them, we just weren’t completely thrilled with it. We wanted something a little different and more fun to make. Following a regular production run and an afternoon of feverish experimenting, the new shape emerged. Not only was it more fun to make, it had much more utility than the first design. A larger, bucket-like opening makes contents easier to see and the vintage loop of tent cord works great as a pull or extended hanger. The new design now also has a nylon liner that’s easy to clean.

Now that we’ve finalized the perfect shape, we’re releasing a (very) limited edition to start with. Using the last small bits of a camouflage printed nylon, there will be eight pieces made for the first release. We don’t have enough camo to enter full production, but it’s too cool not to offer a few. So, there’s two of each color way being made with the nylon camo. First some, first served. When we track down another supply of nylon, we might make more in this style.

If you can’t get your hands on the camo version, we’ll be offering continued production with a bark brown nylon liner. The bags are made with water resistant US milled canvas, huge YKK zippers, a small bit of SB Foot leather and vintage stock tent cord. Available in the store today!

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Campfire Starters

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The season for campfires is upon us. Whether you’re in the forest or in your backyard, a simple DIY fire starter is super helpful. Tiandra, of the W&F family, is sharing her fire starter recipe today. Tiandra is a camping master and knows tons of simple tricks like this to prove it.

You’ll need an empty egg carton, about five handfuls of sawdust and some wax. Beeswax, paraffin or even discarded candles can work for this. Try looking for cheap candles at the thrift store or paraffin in your grocery store baking supply aisle.

Start with the empty egg carton and remove the lid. Fill the carton voids with sawdust and pack it down a bit. Heat up your wax over the stove using a double boiler method. Make sure you’re melting wax in a vessel that won’t be affected by the wax and will be easy to clean. Once the wax is melted completely, slowly pour over the sawdust and completely saturate. If it looks like wet oatmeal, you’re doing it right.

After drying, you’ve got a dozen little fire starters ready for your next burn. Carve some shavings to cover and then build your wood structure around it.

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Wood grain, plaid and brass

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Here’s just a check-in of recent things happening in the shop. Firstly, we’re introducing brown stained Ash legs to the campstool options. The darker brown legs looks amazing with all the colors, with my favorite being the tan combo. The lighter seat and dark legs look quite sharp. They are available here as of today.

In personal news, the Landcruiser is getting some new upholstery! The original seats were worn, torn and stained. Driver seat has been missing some foam and was tearing on the entry side as old trucks do. After lots of searching, I finally found the perfect material. I’d been looking for the right plaid, but it’s hard to find in upholstery grade. Happy to share that it’s now in the works. I love plaids, and wanted something that reminded me of the patterns from 80s Porsches and old Mercedes G-Wagens. Should be done in a couple weeks, but here’s the teaser. I’m lucky to have one of my studio mates, Revive Designs, working on it.

Lastly, we’ll have some customized lighters coming to our shop soon. They will be limited in supply and only available through our online store. Brooke Thompson, the brilliant illustrator that worked on our bandana, will be pulling some symbols from that (and more) and engraving into antique brass lighters. As we get closer, I’ll put another post up with details.

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heavy move calls for a heavy sale

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For the last two and a half years, W&F has been happily working out of the Beam&Anchor space in Northeast Portland. In about a month, we will be moving. Extremely thankful for our growth in the past couple years, but now we have lots of heavy stuff to sort out soon. In advance of the move, as we stare at inventory on the racks, maybe a little sale is in order.

In honor of our pending move, HEAVYMOVE will get you 15% off all Northwesterner bags in our shop. Help us help you – stock up today!

It’s already been previewed a little on Instagram, but I thought I’d share some progress pics of our new location here too. Still in Northeast Portland, and really close to our friends at B&A. (They will still be the premier retailer in Portland to buy our goods.) The new shop will still be open for visits, but we’ll not have a retail portion. Just expanded production, design space, plant refuge, and higher employee morale! There’s six of us working as of today, all in about 600sq ft. The new facility will be a little more than 3,600.

We’ll post more as we move in and get settled, and if you’re visiting town, think about stopping by.

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Bagby Hot Springs, Oregon

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Took a rare couple days off recently and decided to check out Bagby Hot Springs in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Even though Bagby has earned decidedly rowdy reputation, I hoped it would be sleepy on a weekday. Upon arrival, thankfully it was. Only a few cars in the parking lot when we arrived, and on the short hike in, we passed all the hung-over campers as they were leaving.

The simple hike follows along the Collawash River and is lined with huge trees – Especially helpful as it was lightly raining most of the day. Walking up to the facilities, we were greeted with a fenced path and a few buildings. There’s a historic cabin, Forestry Service guard house, couple outhouses and the bathhouse. We sheepishly explored the grounds to understand the layout and since there was no one soaking when we arrived, it was easy to claim a tub and start filling it.

After about an hour, a couple other parties showed up. Everyone was friendly and there was plenty of space to enjoy the soak. While we were there, the Ranger stopped in for a cleanup and to make sure fees were paid. The previous nights’ party had left a lot of cans stacked in corners (alcohol is prohibited) and the Ranger was friendly about it, though obviously disappointed that daily cleanups are necessary. It could be an amazingly beautiful facility if everyone would pack out what they brought in, stop setting fires to the benches, carving graffiti on every surface… Regardless, the area is pretty magical when it’s not over crowded and littered.

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beautiful departure

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I’m always experimenting in the shop with new plans. I know I’m really late to the tote party, but I usually don’t move unless things feel really right. After starting to use some new leathers in our products (from SB Foot Tannery of Red Wing Boots fame), more ideas started to emerge. Ideas and directions get planted, a few attempts fail, some ideas get too complicated, but now I think we’ve come up with something simple and special.

This plan has been in the works for a while (and of course leaked plenty on instagram), but I thought a proper launch might be nice. So with the help of some friends and conspirators, we have put together this official launch. It’s a real departure from what we’ve been doing, but as the experiments go around here, it seems comfortable at the same time.

Superb thanks go to Alison Brislin for art direction and as producer, Lisa Warninger for photography, Hannah Ferrara of Another Feather for jewelry, Maya Rose for her line Samuels exclusively for Lowell, Frances May, Ailsa Hopper for hair and makeup styling, Jessica Smith and Emily Mills as represented by Option.

The new bags are available today in our store – I hope you like them.

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camera mini-strap

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Here’s about the simplest strap you could make… but as with most of my DIYs on here, it was created out of a certain necessity. I recently purchased a solid pocket shooter – testing my theory that I might just take more photos if I had a smaller camera. The size is certainly more convenient, but I still am not used to having such a lack of grip. I didn’t want to use a long strap all the time, so I came up with this.

It provides just the right amount of handle, but still be very pocketable. You’ll need a small strip of pliable, yet strong leather. I’m using a small piece of the leather we use on our bags, from SB Foot tannery in Red Wing, Minnesota. About 4.5oz weight works really well for this.

Cut your piece into a 3/8″ strip, about 22 inches long. If you need a longer or shorter grip, adjust to your preference. One one end, we’ll use an oblong punch to create a slot – about 5/8″ from that end. I also cut that end at an angle for decoration.

On the opposite strap end, I thinned the overall width with a rolling blade and ruler. We’ll be tying an overhand knot here, and it looks more elegant with less weight. I thinned about 5.5″ length of this end, to have some overhang after tying the knot.

If your camera has loops like shown, you’re set. If you have a lugged camera, you can buy some small rings to attach first. Make sure your knots are big enough to keep from slipping through the rings. Or, if you’re using detachable rings, you can use the slotted end on both sides.

Feed your piece though the slotted end first, and smooth out the curve. Insert other end though the second ring and knot to the appropriate length. Then cut the overhang length to whatever looks/works best for you.

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Exploring materials: new watch straps

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Lately I’ve been working with some new leathers from SB Foot Tannery from Red Wing, Minnesota. They have a long history in fine leathers since 1905, but also more recently known for being a part of the Red Wing family. We’re proud to be working with them and here’s our first release using their leather. The surface feel and weight is perfect for watch straps and our camera wrist strap. The colors are more diverse, the strength is amazing and finish is wonderfully durable.

Most of you know how I love watches, and the obsession has grown since making my first watch strap on the blog. Now, for those of you that liked the tones and texture on those early straps, this new leather has a great resemblance. Colors are a natural khaki, saddle tan, olive brown and black. Pictured on the watch is the olive brown, which looks amazing on military styled watches like this Maratac.

Also used on the camera wrist strap, this new leather looks great on your favorite vintage lug-mount shooter. Perfect for a little extra grip on a small camera. The one pictured is saddle tan on an old Olympus Trip.

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Western Fringe Brogue DIY

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Most of the time, I feel like my style is straightforward. I try to be simple, but I have been known to veer to the dandy side with certain details. This DIY is going to be one of them. I grew up in Kansas and remember wearing lace up Justin Ropers about 20 years before UO carried the awkward knock-offs. The Justins were certainly more of a statement than my regular ropers, but I liked them… Especially when really worn in. I wore holes in them, had them resoled and they just got better.

Jump to present day and I’m wearing a pair of Red Wing Brogue Rangers. Somewhat fancy with the brogue details, but just the right amount. Then I’m goofing around on the internet and see a pair from Red Wing Amsterdam’s blog and knew I had to push it a little further. If you’re daring, maybe you’ll want to make them too.

I’m working with black boots, added brown laces and will use brown leather for the fringe. It’s a subtle contrast, but won’t jump out too much. Start with a small scrap of material, you’ll need only a 3x5inch piece to cut both. I even made you a download-able template. These are sized for a 9 boot, so you might need to modify the size for a larger or smaller boot.

You’ll need a sharp knife, cutting surface, an awl for tracing and a hole punch. Print the template out, and cut the outer shape. You don’t need to cut the details, instead just trace and mark them into the leather with the awl. Once the shapes are traced onto leather, cut the details out with a sharp knife, then mark your holes and other cuts with the awl. Lace holes are punched with a #6 tube. You can punch relief holes in the lace slits if you have a really small punch, but they’re not necessary.

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