Joel Forrest's Saddle Shop: Where OYB Gets its Leather
May 27, 2010
Here are a couple pics of the Circle JF Saddle Shop. Joel makes the leather straps and logo patches for OYB luggage.
It's been nice working with Joel over the years. He always has good ideas for improving my leather processing, recently solving my lame rivet time-hole and turning me on to stainless steel tube rivets and one-step riveting.
He recently moved to this new location. The store he works in built a shop for him right INSIDE the showroom of their store. He handles the custom work and repair for them as well as doing his own jobs.
I'd always worked with Joel over the phone before, so it was neat to finally make the visit and meet him and see his shop. It's well organized and full of neat tools, machines and projects under way. This is old-time craftwork.
If you have ANY leatherwork needs, Joel is your man!
He's located inside the large Millbrook Tack & Trailer in Grand Rapids: www.facebook.com/MillbrookTack (weird that they've given up their website).
When I showed up an oldtime cowboy was hanging around, getting his boots stretched. A somewhat younger horse trader was also in for something. Neither had seen much bike luggage before. Joel was kind of able to keep working thru the jawing.
I had a nice pic of Joel working at a nifty, ancient thinning machine but I accidentally erased it. (My first lost photo! Ugh!)
Saddle being rebuilt.
Newly-made saddle at the left. A press and dies on the wall. Another saddle.