Thursday, January 26, 2012

Holey Cow

Here's a little blog post (tongue-in-cheek warning) about some of the suede we include with vises.

Suede leather was once the protective covering of that double-bacon-cheeseburger you had for lunch last week. Americans eat a lot of hamburger. A lot. That means there's a lot of cow skin out there (that doesn't make it cheap, though, curiously. Not nearly as cheap as say, a  Jr. Whopper–which has about as much protein as a Moxon vise.) And we make that cow skin into lots of useful things. Peel it off and run it through a big sander and you get suede – that wonderfully grippy stuff that we like to line our vises with. But there's a problem with it, especially with the larger pieces that our Moxon vise requires.

And the problem is: cows have holes.

We all know the typical holes. The one where food gets it, and the one where food gets out. The two where the eyes go. Those are big holes, and easy to cut around.



But when we we're ready to eat what's inside the sack-o-suede, then humans start to really mess things up. Like these clowns in the picture above. That's a perfectly good area of unblemished suedeness that this guy is going to put a hole in with his arrow. Thanks for that, Ndugu.




Here's another perfectly awesome expanse of potential Moxon gripiness violated by some kid's practice arrow. Does that say "Hasbro" on it?




Then there are completely natural holes, like the cluster of holes between this cows legs. That's where the YooHoo comes from. Love that stuff. By the way, why doesn't the milk in the utter turn into butter when the cow waddles back to the barn? Weird.


Speaking of weird, here's a gorgeous piece of rich brown suede still attached to the meat, but some brainless human has actually installed an access hole of some sort right in the side of this cow. That must be where you squirt the chocolate syrup.


Once in a while we get some pieces with a little fuzzy edge. Those pieces must have come from this bruiser.


In all seriousness, some of the suede pieces we cut up for Moxon vises have an occasional small hole, usually no larger than a coin. We are not tree-huggers, but to waste a piece that large seems quite wasteful, and expensive. We could cut them up into smaller bits, but with the dies we use, this is not practical. You'll be cutting two holes in the suede anyway for the screws to pass through. So if you get a Moxon with holey suede, glue it to your jaw and get on with making furniture. A little hole ain't going to matter a whip, unless of course you've just finished a triple enchilada burrito chimichanga with habanero chipotle buffalo sauce and you're feeling a bit duodenally challenged.



2 comments:

  1. Do my eyes deceive me or does that chap have his hand in the cow's mouth right before "impact" ?

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  2. It's not much of an "impact," in this case. The arrow has a short tip, and is intended just to puncture the jugular vein, so it's not that different from getting a blood sample at the medical lab. (The people are Maasai, and they bleed their cattle infrequently; it supplements their diet that of primarily milk and meat.)

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