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First Project - Passport Wallet


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#1 leatherj

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:00 PM

Hello :)
I'm interested in taking up leather craft as a small hobby as I've some up with some ideas, and questions, for my first project.
If you see attached, I've made a template for a passport wallet.
1) Cut out a 228x137mm rectangle and bevel all 8 edges.
The purple box in the middle is the size of a (UK) passport.

2) Groove a line 4mm from the edge, top and bottom, front and back.

3) Groove (or crease?) (single or twin) a line in the centre for the wallet to fold and the same at each end so the leather will fold over the end pages of the passport.

4) Run a stitching wheel along the groves on the front of the wallet.

5) Hand stitch along both lines using one of the great information to guide me available on this site.

Does anyone thing any of these steps are completely crazy or have any suggestions to make?


Now I have a few questions about the leather and tools I need:
  • I understand I'll need thick leather to bevel the edges, and that is the heavy duty look I'm going for. Is that 'wrong' to make a wallet of like that?
  • If not, can someone recommend the sort of leather I should be looking for. I think I want full grain, un-dyed leather that will look better with age.
  • I understand I need to match thread, needle and awl size. Any recommendations for if I were to do 5SP
I would be extremely grateful if anyone could give me any pointers.
Thanks
J

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#2 leatherj

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:30 AM

Would 6oz leather be okay to make a wallet and okay to bevel and grove?

#3 dirtclod

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 12:36 AM

I think anything over 3 or 4 ounce leather is going to be to bulkly in your pocket. Do a search on here for red devil i think is his name he makes billfolds and such.
I'm old enough to know that i don't know everything.

#4 leatherj

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 04:37 PM

Sorry to bump my own thread but does anyone have any comments on my pattern? Posted Image
The girlfriend and I are going away this year for the first time and I want to make some special

#5 Chavez

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 09:26 AM

Hi Leatherj,

Just to warn you, if this is your first project, make sure you get more leather than you need cause chances are that something's gonna go wrong=)) You might want to try a few smaller projects before making the cover.

I've started about half a year ago with bookmarkers & coasters which make great practice and don't waste much leather (perhaps you can make at least 2-3 to make sure you know the basics).

Now moving on to your pattern:

Leather: I wouldn't use anything heavier than 3-4 oz for the outside cover. 6oz would be as thick as the passport itself ;)

As I understand, you want to cut out one piece that is wider than the pasport and then fold the "wings" inside to form pockets for the passport sides? If you are using anything heavier than 3oz, you might have problems with making the folded edges look neat and small (you can't fold 3-4oz leather like paper).

Another problem is that if you fold 3-4oz leather "into" your passport, the pockets are going to be too thick. I used 2-3 (closer to 2)oz leather for the "inside" of the pockets in a similar project and it was still rather thick (see second pic):

http://leatherworker...=1

What you might want to do instead is to make the cover from 3 pieces (as above): outer cover from thicker leather (3-4) and 2 pocket strips on the inside. This involves more stitching but it will make your cover look better (imho) and will resul in very nice neat edges.

Thread size: i'd go for 18/3 or 18/4. 18/3 would be just too thin while 18/4 will be just a bit to thick ;)) You'll need some beeswax to wax the thread.

Needles: saddlers' size 4 would do for both 18/3 and 18/4. No harm in going a size larger as size4 tend to break quite often=)

Awl: I'm quite happy with 1 1/2 in. I've got a dixon, but any good quality awl will do. Beware of tandy 4-in-1 as it is waaaay too big for any small to medium sized projects.

The process you described makes sense. Don't forget to dye, oil and finish your leather;) Re grooving the main cover in the middle (where the fold is) you would be better off using a U-race to skive off a bit of leather but a straight groover would do.

You would also want a size 2 edger.

Another thing to keep in mind:

- Make sure to leave more space for all the folds (i.e. cut a wider piece of leather than you think you need). If you make a paper pattern first and it fits spot on, you'll need a slightly bigger leather pattern because leather is thicker than paper, hence more leather "goes into" folds.



#6 Chavez

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 09:29 AM

If you are in the UK, LePrevo is a great shop for most of your leatherwork supplies (apart from swivel knives and tooling stamps outside the basic beginners kit :).

They can also help with a bit of advice if you call them and explain what you want to make.

http://www.leprevo.co.uk/




PPS In your template I'd leave at least a couple more mm between the passport and the stitches and I'd add at least another 10mm to each of the "flaps".



Edited by Chavez, 07 April 2012 - 09:36 AM.


#7 leatherj

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 02:39 PM

I've got my leather, a piece of 1mm Kangaroo as below

I think it might be best to cut it into two 145mm high strips, giving me 10mm to sew along.
I'm not sure on the best way to do the weight would be.
If I use the exact measurements of the passport plus flaps, it will be too tight once sew together but I don't to add, say, 5/10mm and it be too big.
I could fold them around the passport as tight as I can, and clamp them in place but I can see that getting messy an wont be very even.

Thanks for the info on the tools, I'll get those ordered.

#8 reddevil76

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 09:13 PM

Hi Leatherj, it's hard to approx how much "give" to leave at the border, especially when I haven't worked with kangaroo before.

I don't have a tried and tested method for measuring "give" at the borders. Till today, I am still very much on trial and error basis. The amount of space also depends on how far you want to stitch from the edge.

Assuming you are going to stitch 3mm from the edge, a total of 10mm should be more than enough. I would even go to 8mm. But you would have to be very accurate with your stitching.

If you are going to insert the pages of the passport into the cover as well, then I will measure the thickness, divide it by 2, and add it to the 8mm.

One more thing, when we apply contact cement, it will definitely "exceed" the stitching area, so after stitching, I would go into the pockets with a bone folder, or wooden ruler, and free up these cemented areas. These will help the first time you try to push in the passport. It helps for card slots in bifolds too.

The pic below illustrates the cemented area and how they go beyond the stitching.

Posted Image

#9 leatherj

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:27 AM

Thanks Red
I'd ruled out adesive as I guessed it would be to messy, but I didn't realise you could break it up.
  • Maybe I'll cut it rough to size
  • Mask off the size of the passport plus 1mm
  • Spray off adhesive
  • Take off mask
  • Pull leather over passport
  • Let Dry
  • Trim/Sand to 7/8mm
  • Sew
How does that sound?


#10 reddevil76

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 07:15 PM

I don't use spray adhesive unless gluing on lining for large projects. To glue edges for stitching together, i use contact cement applied on with a small brush.

#11 leatherj

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 04:17 PM

Are sprays not that good? I'm thinking they would be much less messy

#12 leatherj

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 11:05 AM

Quick question, do I want to be cutting on the grain (outer) or the inner side of the leather?

#13 reddevil76

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 11:06 PM

Are sprays not that good? I'm thinking they would be much less messy


Compare spraying paint and applying paint by brush. The brush method would have more control. Same with glue. Of course, if you find that you can control a spray better....

Quick question, do I want to be cutting on the grain (outer) or the inner side of the leather?



I cut on the grain, because I mark my cut lines on the grain side with a scratch awl. The flesh side doesn't take markings very well. Also, I cut from the grain side so that I can avoid any natural blemishes if any.

#14 leatherj

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 02:59 AM

Compare spraying paint and applying paint by brush. The brush method would have more control. Same with glue. Of course, if you find that you can control a spray better....




I cut on the grain, because I mark my cut lines on the grain side with a scratch awl. The flesh side doesn't take markings very well. Also, I cut from the grain side so that I can avoid any natural blemishes if any.




Thanks, make sense

I've got all my cutting done, with some leather left over for practising.
I'm not sure which bit to do next.
I'm never going to be able to cut the flaps to match exactly when folded over, so I'm thinking I should glue, sand and then do the stitch crease or grove. Make sense?

#15 leatherj

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 02:54 PM

I've done the glueing and the passport fits in okay.
It wants to pull the the case open. I've not creased or grooved the center fold yet, is that likely to work? Am I better just putting a book over it for a few days?

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