Cobra Class 14 splitter: question for Paul Long

Discussion in 'Sheaths & Such' started by Robber58, Mar 14, 2020.

  1. Robber58

    Robber58

    176
    Oct 9, 2008
    Paul,
    My new Cobra splitter just arrived and I am busy working on assembly. I have already run into a couple of mysteries. There is a big, red button on the top surface I have not seen before. I assume it is a reverse switch since it plugs into the control port on the motor. Also, there is a u-shaped Plexiglas piece with slots that I cannot see a place to install. I got it too late to call them but I suspect they will give me information on these Monday
    Back to the question. I know you have had yours for some time now and I am wondering if you might have some tips or lessons learned I should know about. I would love to shorten the learning curve and not ruin a bunch of leather. My initial use is to help fill an order for a bunch of front pocket wallets. I have some older, heavy (12 oz) leather stock that has some issues but could be thinned in the good areas to make wallets. Good leather, just a lot of surface irregularities. After that I have some holsters, sheaths and small cases that will benefit from it. Any information at all will be appreciated. Thanks a bunch.
    Randy
     
  2. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    Congrats Randy, we have one on our wish list too!
     
  3. Robber58

    Robber58

    176
    Oct 9, 2008
    Thanks Dave. I finally pulled the trigger after a fight with my pull through splitter resulting in blood and stretched leather. I don't have a lot of room and it will help reduce the number of hides I need to have on hand. It will take awhile to break even but I think a great addition to my shop.
     
  4. sheathmaker

    sheathmaker Custom Leather Sheaths Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 18, 2005
    Good morning Robber58. My cobra 14 has neither the red button nor the plexiglass piece you mention so my suggestion for you is to sure call LMCO direct and get real information from Steve, Dave or Vince. In the meantime I suggest you use the search function on YouTube for "Cobra 14 adjustments and maintenance". by al Bane. This should bring up a menu of several really great instructional videos and should help you a lot. I tried to put in a link, but was unable to do so. Good luck!

    Paul
     
  5. Robber58

    Robber58

    176
    Oct 9, 2008
    I appreciate you input Paul. I have reviewed them and they do offer help with blade change and lubrication. One question for you. How big of thickness steps do you take when splitting? Also, how thin have you been able to go?
    Thanks,
    Randy
     
  6. ANovinc

    ANovinc Gold Member Gold Member

    425
    Sep 21, 2016
    Jealous! Definitely on my wish list, too!
     
  7. Robber58

    Robber58

    176
    Oct 9, 2008
    I got all of my questions answered by Vince at LMC today. What a great, helpful guy. He not only answered my specific questions but then proceeded to give me tons of tips and advice for using it successfully. He is the guy that takes each one apart, cleans and checks everything and then puts it all back together with the proper adjustments before they ship them out. Definitely the right person to get your questions answered.
    By the way, the red button is the new reverse switch. He said they have had some trouble with the others over time. The Plexiglas piece is actually a hand guard that can be attached on the front to prevent fingers from getting to the rollers. Apparently they had a user not paying attention feed a finger into the rollers 4 inches even though all he had to do was release the foot switch. I shudder to think about how that felt or looked.
    Still don't have mine running. I am not allowed to pick op more than 50 pounds due to my new hip and it weighs better than twice that. So, waiting for a friend to come over and help set in on the stand.
     
  8. sheathmaker

    sheathmaker Custom Leather Sheaths Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 18, 2005
    I make my adjustments just one notch at a time using same weight scrap to test before the actual split. I have split down to about 2oz. or maybe just a little thinner. Because of the difference in temper, each different side or even a piece from a different location on the same side may cause some inconsistency from one split to the next. All I expect is an approximate or close thickness when I split. I'm using the splits primarily for lining so the actual thickness is not quite as critical. When I want something like 5/6oz I really test first with the same scrap.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
    duramax likes this.
  9. Robber58

    Robber58

    176
    Oct 9, 2008
    I think that is wise advice Paul. I got mine running this morning and have been testing with various leathers I have on hand. What has become really clear as that firmer leather will almost always take a bigger cut that softer stock. It makes a lot of sense based on how they work. Basically, the leather pushes the feed roll down against springs and exposes the blade, so the firmer it is, the further down the roll will be pushed. Mine works great so far with very uniform thickness over the length and width and I was able to get a 1 1/2 oz split from an 8 ounce piece. The only issue is that the leather does not feed all the way out of the back but stops about 1/32 of an inch in the machine. It easily pulls out and leaves a very small high spot which is not a problem for me. Vince at LMC says some do it and some don't but there is not a good adjustment to change it.
    Here it is all set up.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    Just dang cool!
     
  11. Skystorm

    Skystorm A Cow Flayin' Sheath Making Angry Gnome

    Oct 17, 2011
    I have two working ones and a dead one thanks to a helpfully unhelpful employee. They require a bit of tinkering here and there or they start splitting uneven so get used to how it works and the adjustments. They also need to be reset every time you pull the blade to sharpen it.

    They tend to split different types of leather differently. You might have it set to take off 2oz off a 10oz cow hide then try to run a chunk of bison or chrome tan behind it and find it will bite way too deep.

    I would rather have the older switch on mine over that reverse button. If I need to use reverse it's because something is stuck and I generally need both of my mitts and sometimes even a prybar on the lower roller to free it.

    Only problem I have really had with them is the motors, they don't like the start up jolt when turned on and can die. Went thru 8 motors between them over 4 years until my electrician who was wiring some outlets for us cheerfully pointed out that no one was actually forcing me to turn the switch off on them at night. :eek: That was 5 years ago and haven't had a problem since.

    I also have a big sign posted above them that states if you attempt to adjust these machines please remember that this is a leather shop, you are just a big sack of untanned leather, and people love exotic things.
     
  12. Robber58

    Robber58

    176
    Oct 9, 2008
    Vince did tell me that you better know what you are doing if you attempt any adjustments or you will have problems. There is a good video out there where he changes a blade for a customer and goes through the adjustment process so I can probably handle that. Anything else except regular lubrication will find me on the phone with LMC.
     
  13. Robber58

    Robber58

    176
    Oct 9, 2008
    Skystorm,
    I am not sure I understand your comment about the button. It is not a momentary contact device but is a switch that changes state until pressed again. That allows both hands to be used if needed. Maybe there is something else about the old switch I don't know.
    Randy
     
  14. sheathmaker

    sheathmaker Custom Leather Sheaths Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 18, 2005
    The old reverse switch which I have, is a lever type left, center and right. It is mounted under the table about mid machine, handle pointed down. Left is reverse and right is forward, center is neutral.
     
  15. Robber58

    Robber58

    176
    Oct 9, 2008
    Well, the switch on mine does lock on forward or reverse but does not have a neutral.
    I tried my luck with some veg tan buffalo today and it was a bit more of a challenge that the W&C. If I get too thin (less than 3 oz) it starts to bite a bit more than I like and it is not uniform. Down to 3 1/2 oz it was great. So, buffalo goods are limited to 3 1/2 to 4 oz. It is not a surprise since it has a totally different temper than the W&C veg tan. It feels more like oil tan to me.
     

Share This Page