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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Kitchen Progress and Hermitage

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I started a kitchen renovation a long time ago and it’s still not done. There has been bursts of progress, periods of neglect, mental blocking, grand ideas, lack of funds, influx of funds, deals and bargains. I’m happy to say there’s been lots done, but I still don’t know when the end will be. So, rather than an even longer grand reveal, I thought I’d give a progress update. I should share more of the in-betweens anyway.

If you reference the earlier kitchen post here, you’ll see a lot has happened. I still have some small loose ends like trim work, hole patching and a soffit to make, and bigger ones like ignoring the ceiling forever and making a real walnut shelf to replace that large oak board that I had laying around in the shop. Also, I thought I liked those brackets, but I think I’ll change those out too. Something more interesting, maybe hanging, or brackets above instead of below.

Since it was nice and bright today, I figured I might take some other pics of the place. It’s been a while since I had documented any home projects, and things around here have probably changed some. If you follow on Instagram, you’ve seen bits, but here’s something bigger.

A friend once introduced me to the word ‘hermitage’. No one wants to be called a hermit, but hermitage has a slightly more regal sound to it. I have a tendency to hide out sometimes and I’m perfectly comfortable with that. This place is a good reflection of me and my hermitage tendency. I like to get out of course, but for me… Damned if there’s not a better place to retreat to. Even if it’s never finished.

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Duquette Johnston Review + Giveaway

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I’ve not done a record review post in a loooong while. Having no time to sit and relax with an album is one thing, but also I like to wait for interesting and smaller release gems too. Not that I think I’m some record finding wizard – it’s just that with so many reviews out there, who needs to hear another person talking about some big budget crusher, right?

Anyway… My reviews are biased since I only talk about stuff I like, and I feel like a music review is more about finding leads than anything. I’m giving you a lead about this cool fellow named Duquette Johnston and you follow up by listening to some samples and deciding a coolness level for yourself.

Granted, I’ll be honest and say you should take my word without question… Rabbit Runs A Destiny is a standout record. Things start off with a cool, low driving track, Heart Is Breaking. It’s a great start as the album rolls into some heavier songs, like the title track and then meanders back to some slower, more deliberate songs. I typically like the sad stuff, and even though this isn’t a sad record, there’s some real solidly heavy ones… Cherry Blossoms is a favorite.

So another biased angle to this review is a bona fide give-away. I’m buying the record for you, but Duq was gracious enough to send a t-shirt to the winner too. Just comment with a hello or maybe a new album you like and I’ll choose a random number and count out the commenter. Be sure to include your email addr where necessary and I’ll contact you after the drawing end, on January 28th. Open to everyone, I’ll pick up the international shipping too. Good luck!

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Compass Pouch DIY

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No one wants to get stranded outside in the winter, right? Here’s your chance to sew up a handy compass pouch before you embark on any winter treks. This idea was sparked after talking projects with Michael Williams from A Continuous Lean, who recently visited our shop. He’s published the full post here, and it’s incredibly exciting to be on ACL.

I don’t get too crazy on my adventuring these days, but there’s a few canoe spots near Portland that you could easily get confused and not realize where you put the boat in. Throw in some bad cell reception and maps won’t save you either. What’s a better way to not get lost? Having a compass and mini light on your belt should help. I made this with a small piece of Horween Chromexcel and some simple hardware. The template is provided and should snugly fit your AAA sized flashlight and a standard sized compass. I’m using a Suunto MC-2 and a Fenix E01.

Start by printing out the template file at 100%. It won’t fit on a single page, so you’ll need to select the tiling option and then add an inch of printing overlap. Tape the pieces together securely and trim them out. Find a piece of leather large enough to cut both panels from and trace them out with an awl or pencil. Be sure to mark all your inner holes indicated on the template as well.

Cut the pieces and punch the holes for snaps and the belt loop. I’m using a #3 sized punch tube. Once your parts are cut and inner holes punched, it’s time to mark your stitch holes.

Using a #5 overstitch wheel and a ruler, I marked location of all the stitch holes. Make sure to start at the bottom of each size in the same place, so when folded, your stitch locations will line up.

After marking the stitch holes, I like to punch them out instead of using an awl while stitching. It makes things a little easier and I can stitch faster this way. I’m using a hand-sewing leather punch, but you can also use regular tube style punch or even a thick awl.

Once every sewing hole is punched, you’ll need to assemble all the hardware parts. Add your snaps, then using copper rivets, you can attach the belt loop.

Now you’re ready to sew the pouch together. I’ve made some stitch ponies for the shop that we use, but you can easily purchase a simple one from leather hobby shops as well. The stitch pony will hold your pieces together securely, keep your holes lined up, and make sewing so much easier. The hand sewing method is detailed on my post here if you want to learn.

After stitching through your piece, give it a couple back stitches and tie off your threads inside. Then you’re ready to attach to your belt and get lost!

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W&F slim billfold

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First of all, when did people stop calling bifold wallets, billfolds? Is this something that only Dads called their wallets? Whatever the case, I’d like to introduce the Wood&Faulk official slim billfold.

I had been using the front pocket wallet for a while now, but wanted something that I could put unfolded dollar bills in. Robert of Beam&Anchor, was also bugging me for a billfold. When he’s out treasure hunting, those old guys selling barn finds are only gonna take cash and the pocket wallet just doesn’t have the capacity. Here’s some pics of mine broken-in, a custom number sewn with butterscotch thread.

Regular billfolds can be bulky. This one is slim, with two full pockets for cards and a western style mini-pocket to keep your most used cards handy. It’s made with Horween Chromexcel leathers and hand-stitched with wax linen thread, like all of our wallets. Available now in our store for $140.

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