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Blackburn Oar Leather Kit
Average rating:  
 1 reviews
 by Tanya
Excellent product and amazing customer supprt

I can't say enough good things about this product and the customer support that I received. I researched oar leathers extensively before purchasing since this was my first time leathering oars, I was lucky to find a pair of Shaw and Tenneys at a yard sale and they just needed a few coats of varnish and new leathers. I decided to go with the Blackburn kit since I wanted the longer leathers and all the other kits that I found from various companies were the shorter style. To start with, the shipping was very fast and I received tracking information within 24 hours of placing my order. The kit arrived nicely packaged and with a set of written instructions in addition to a password to get to the online videos. While the written instructions are good, I would definitely recommend watching the videos, they are very instructive and especially helpful to someone doing this project for the first time. The stitch which is used in the instructions is different than the baseball stitch I have seen elsewhere and is very good at pulling the edges of the leather together. I initially did the baseball stitch but the edges didn't come together quite all the way, possibly because I trimmed a bit to much of the leather before stitching ( the pieces which come in the kit are slightly oversized and you trim them to fit your specific oars). I wasn't sure if this was alright, so I emailed a picture to Around the Spinney and asked if that was normal. I was really impressed with the level of support I received at this point. Kate was very prompt in her reply, and gave me some very positive feedback on the quality of my work and suggested that the other stitch which is demonstrated in the videos is a bit better at pulling the edges together. So I watched the videos and wished I had watched them all before doing the project. Definitely watch them! Being the perfectionist that I am I took out the baseball stitch and redid with the other stitch and was very pleased with the result. The only problem was that I was now short a piece of waxed linen thread. I emailed Kate again and asked if I could buy another length of thread so that the oars would match and she sent one out with no additional charge, complete with a lovely card. I really can't say enough good things about my experience, it really made the project fun and I am thrilled with the result. I will definitely recommend this kit to anyone I know who needs to leather oars!
In terms of the contents of the kit, the leather is thick and even, there are no blemishes or irregularities and the color is uniform. The thread is incredibly strong, strong enough that you can pull quite hard to snug the stitches without it breaking, I actually snugged my stitches with pliers and the thread held up just fine. The tallow for conditioning is nice and it comes in tins like shoe polish tins, easy to store or to pack along in the boat kit. Overall a very high quality product.