Originally Posted by Patek
Has anyone on here heard of Simon Barker (SF handle casemaker) or purchased any of his bags? I have been looking for a SAB type bag but have been loath to spend $2k+ for the bag I want. I saw pictures of this guy’s bags here on SF and started talking with him. Here are some excerpts from his emails:
“…I have been a casemaker full time for over 25 years, don't employ staff, so everything is made by me. The case we are looking at, takes over 25 hour to make, as I said, is double hand stitched entirely, apart from the partition boards top binding. The front and back panel is made from Bridle butt ( a much better cut than the more usual bridle shoulder, and at double the price, if SAB don't say butt, which they don't, then you have to assume shoulder )
I do not line the front and back panels, because the leather is well finished, and will age well, and attain it's own patina, and applied linings are likely to stain and wear poorly. The partition boards are lined with a glazed pigskin lining, that is made as a shoe lining leather, that I have found to be extremely well wearing.
The case body straps are bridle butt, hand stitched, not riveted, the same with the detachable shoulder strap. all fittings are polished brass. I have not yet had a hand stitched case returned to me for repair, in more than 25 years, so I guess that says something!...”
“…£920 + £65 for the extra corners + freight at cost, and you may have import duties.
The SAB case you have asked about, would be, I stock, but don't like them because they put the handle off center, when in the 'wrong' hole…”think less than £920, because there are no straps and strap chapes to deal with, however, the pocket details would add to the work? I do not currently have any 'padding' suitable for the center partition, but in my view, it should be almost impossible for a laptop to be damaged in the center pocket? Also I see that SAB have used a thin leather wrapped around board for the F and Back panels, I would use 3.5 - 4mm Sedgewicks Bridle Butt, MUCH more durable, and a better quality of leather. The back and front panels would not be lined.
It would be entirely hand stitched, except for the partition top binding. You would be able to specify pocket dimensions and other details…”
Any comments on his take on SAB quality?
Any other suggestions for a bag?
Pictures of casemaker's bag that I am considering: