Matt S

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About Matt S

  • Rank
    Leatherworker
  • Birthday 10/17/1987

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    England
  1. Leprevo in Newcastle, England offer a mail-order plate service, which I have used before: http://www.leprevo.co.uk/embossing.htm Priced per area -- minimum size is 20 SQIN, which will make you a plate 100x125mm for around £50+postage+VAT -- this fits a lot of little logos and the plate can easily be sawn apart. I used a normal coping saw. Even with plastic stamps, gently heating the leather rather than the stamp may work. Have a play on some scrap.
  2. Veg tan with a pull up?

    Not sure about the upper stamp (tannery logo perhaps?) but the digits indicate that it's been measured at 14.3SQFT.
  3. Schmetz needle for thread '20' thick

    What material are you stitching? For leather you want a sharp, cutting point. There are several different point styles, each giving a different aesthetic and functional effect, but not all are available in any given needle class. I usually use LR/RTW (right twist) points which give a slanted stitch in most thicknesses of leather. This style is available from every manufacturer, size and needle class I use, from tiny 15 class nm100 for TKT40 up to the framing nail 331 nm 250 for TKT7 in my heavy harness machine. This means that seams of different thread sizes have a consistent look, both where I use different thread sizes in one product and between different products I produce.
  4. I like that -- very simple but striking and memorable. I don't know about cookie stamps (my biscuits come with "custard cream" written on em) -- what are they made from? My stamps and embossing plates are various metal alloys so they can usually be heated. Even just a little will help make a deep, strong impression, but I guess that's no use if your stamps are plastic. Some of my plates bolt to a purpose-built embossing/foiling press with an electrically heated pressure plate. Others I MacGyver under my £50 shop press with a heat gun and IR thermometer. Something you might try is to warm the leather directly with a hair dryer or heat gun before stamping -- I saw this technique used to deep sculpt car interiors around cast plastic shapes in a video once but I've never got around to trying it out. The temperature would probably have to be kept reasonably low to avoid discolouring the area around the stamp. At some point you should consider having an embossing plate made. There are several options available, the traditional choices are brass or magnesium and they aren't usually very expensive -- a lot of Chinese suppliers will make a custom stamp 20 x 20mm (3/4 x 3/4") for around £20 (US$35).
  5. Schmetz needle for thread '20' thick

    TKT 20? I typically use a metric 140 but having the closest sizes up and down on hand is useful if a particular combination of thread, material and seam thickness behaves unusually.
  6. My experience echos Mike's -- small surface area is key to getting a good impression on a pull-up leather. I use 2mm oily cow pullup for several of my products and I find it needs a firm pressing and a fair bit of heat (more than bridle or "tooling" veg) to get a good mark. I have a couple of 5x1.25" embossing plates with around a 30% fill, which is right at the limit of the pressure my cheap Chinese embossing press can do -- I have to brace one hand against the back pillar, the other applying pressure to the handle and about a 5 second dwell. In comparison I can put something the size of a Tandy 3D stamp into bridle leather cold -- though I cheat, using my 6 ton shop press.
  7. Skin identification

    Did it come from a certain Birmingham-based factory that advertises on eBay? I had a small sample off them last year, I think it's an embossed cow split.
  8. Piercing tools and techniques

    This. I use Swann Morton no10A scalpel blades for a lot of fiddly jobs. I buy em by the hundred and they work out very reasonable. The wispy bits can be removed by careful and quick application of a lighter -- but practice on a scrap piece first and don't do it in your living room if you live with other people ;-) Oh and don't set fire to your shirt...
  9. Is this a left singer 45k?

    I wonder if anyone knows why Singer decided to produce the 18? AFAIK it's about the only 'left handed' industrial machine produced. I presume that it's got something to do with vamping shoes as that is the main purpose listed, not only for the 18 but also the 17. Proved popular since it's been in production for so long -- clearly a case of "works fine" but the bobbins are so tiny I'm perplexed why it's not been completely replaced with something more production-efficient. As a further thread divergence, I wonder if the 17/18/TE/TF family is the longest continuous production industrial sewing machines by premium manufacturers? Singer launched the 17 in 1905...
  10. Is this a left singer 45k?

    Seiko still makes their version of the 17 and 18, the TE and TF class, but these are the only ones I have come across. I used to have a Singer 17U141, which was a 1980s Singer-badged Seiko TE. Very nice machine, well made and had a reverse pedal, which was handy. Bobbins were small but readily available -- you could tell it was a legacy design considering the ratio of cylinder diameter to bobbin size. Never could get it to be happy with anything bigger than TKT40 thread so I sold it on.
  11. work bench

    My main workbench is 8' long by 2' deep. It's big enough for general assembly and cutting out from butts or backs -- but it's not deep enough for laying out an entire shoulder or side. It's perfect for strap work. Got most of my tools along the wall behind it and it's not too deep that I can't grab a tool without reaching. Height is the same as my kitchen worktop, 90cm. These dimensions work fine for both me at 5'11" and my girlfriend at 5'2". I'd really love a 4x8' layout table but I can't justify the space in my workshop. I looked at several different sources of pre-made and flat-pack benches. I wasn't going to get any change out of £200. Then I went down the DIY store and bought ten 2x3s, a pack of attic flooring and a bucket of screws for under £60. An afternoon later I had a very solid bench and I'm no carpenter. I used a £20 cordless drill, a £10 saw and a T-square, all of which I had already.
  12. Mansur Gavriel Manufacturing

    I dunno about no secrets. I see cut-and-painted edges, rolled handles, a zip, a (probably hanging) fabric lining... all textbook techniques, but executed well and with care. Decent looking materials and some investment in machines and tooling. Oh and design. Then there's the marketing... now there's the secret...
  13. strap skiving

    Are you lap skiving (tapering the end of a strap so it folds round a buckle or loop, or joins another piece of leather neatly) or skiving the entire length of a strap, or skiving the edges of a strap (to created a turned edge)? Each of these could be done freehand with a skiving knife. I have a symmetrical kiridashi, which I only use for this purpose. For lap skiving I also like a French edger, though TBH I use by benchtop lap-skiver most of the time. Reducing the entire length of a strap I have a crank splitter but a lap-skiver can work if you have a way of locking it off.
  14. Sunstar cylinder arm for leather.

    That's great Shirl. That's a versatile machine that can do a lot of jobs!
  15. Cylinder Arm vs Flat bed

    The 341 uses a top-loading, vertical axis rotary hook M bobbin, whereas the 3200 is an end-loading 45K-style barrel bobbin on a horizontal-axis reciprocating hook. A top-loader is considered to be higher-quality, less likely to snag and easier to reload -- especially with a flat table attached. Also, I'm not sure but I suspect that an M-style bobbin holds more thread than a barrel bobbin so with the 341 you'd have to change the bobbins less frequently than with the 3200. Probably not something you'd have to worry about if sewing a few holsters and belts but all important considerations when making a batch of, say, duffle bags. Even without the ability to take size 207 thread I think this makes the 341 a much better prospect than the 3200 for items that involve a lot of finer stitching like wallets, bags and pouches.