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Fixing What's Broken

I grew up on a farm, with a father who could fix anything. He once built a truck out of all scrap parts. It was about 7 different colors, and as a middle school teenager, I remember being embarrassed to ride in it, which didn’t happen often. Once, I can’t even remember the reason, he dropped me off at school instead my mother. Without thought, I placed my feet up on the dashboard as I waited for the bell that meant I could go into the building.

HE LOOKED AT ME, “TAKE YOUR FEET DOWN. THIS TRUCK MIGHT NOT MEAN MUCH TO YOU, AND YOU MIGHT BE EMBARRASSED OF IT, BUT IT’S WHAT WE HAVE AND WE WILL TAKE CARE OF IT.”

Those word’s hit me hard. I had hurt my daddy on a deeper level that I had ever been aware of before.

Looking back at all the things he has built, including a wood spliter, and all the machines he has keep running, including our vehicles and multiple tractors, his deep stewardship of repairing the broken rubbed off on me along the way. It also rubbed off on me in a way that is reflected in the DNA of Rindleshire.

  • Do it right the first time.

  • Do the work.

  • Give back.

  • Make things that last.

  • Fix what’s broken or re-purpose it for new life.

So, when my father-in-law asked me to look at an old belt of his to see if I could fix it, I agreed. First, because I love him, but secondly because he loved the belt and felt it was salvageable. He bought the belt on a trip to abroad 20 years earlier. There were memories attached. The belt was leather and the buckle had fallen off.

It took me a bit to determine how the buckle had been originally attached, because there was no hole for the post. I set to work with my seam ripper and picked out all the stitches, which were done on a machine. They were rotten and fragile. The leather was in excellent condition though. After picking the stitches out, I added a hole for the new solid brass buckle I purchased from BuckleGuy.

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You can see the holes from the machine were inconsistent and tiny. This is the result of sewing on a machine that couldn’t handle the weight of the leather. After inserting the new buckle, I realigned the stitches and the belt loop, which was still in good shape.

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I used my pricking iron and hammer to make new, larger holes for restitching the belt. You can see the difference in the weight of the thread. I hand stitched the belt back together. I must say, my father-in-law loved the result…and he was even more excited that he had lost enough weight that he needed me to punch to additional holes in the best for which he could make it tighter. The end result will expand the life of this belt for another 20+ years easily.

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