Well, here's what happened; Went to pick up the pieces at the shoe shop, guy there told me that he was afraid his machine wouldn't be able to make a consistent stitch,(was afraid he'd mess it up) so he didn't do it.
There are zero upholstery shops that are open when I'm not working, and the one place that is open won't do it because they're not doing the whole job. Well, I've sewn enough leather in the past, that I know it can be done on a regular household sewing machine, provided that it's not one of those newfangled plastic ones
they can't take the pressure of denim, much less cowhide. Sew,
I went to the flea market to see what I could find in the way of a sewing machine. First one I found was a Kenmore of the proper vintage for $75, but the shaft that holds the needle was bent. (how do you bend one of those?) Anyway, I was talkin' to a friend who has a booth there, and he mentioned a guy accross the way that might have one. Sure enough, he had one, close to the proper vintage, and it seemed to work just fine. So I handed him $20, and headed home with it.
Got it home and started inspecting it. It kinda favored a cross between a Singer, and an old White, it's a cheaper off brand, made in Japan, under license from a company in Buffalo NY. Under the machine, in the bottom of the case, was the operating manual, and warrenty card, filled out. Date of purchase was Aug. 7, 1958. Anyway I got out my leather needles, wound a bobbin, and made a few test stitches. I started with a simple plain seam, then a french seam, which it handled with ease, so I went to a single welt, and id stitched it up like butter, so I decided to push the envelope, and took 3 pieces, and stitched them together with a single welt on top and bottom, effectively stitching 5 layers of cowhide. It blew right through it like it was satin.
I stitched up all my pieces, and installed them on the panels. I'm short one piece, which I'd left at the shoe shop. I'll have it tomorrow. So for $20 I got a worthwhile "hobby machine" to replace my White with a broken shuttle.
The stitching is a little erratic, but Hey, it's my second lifetime attempt.