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About TomG

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  • Birthday March 17

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  • Location
    Buford, GA

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Belts, and Bracelets, Dog collars and leashes
  • Interested in learning about
    Anything for improving my skills
  1. I need some advise on a problem I've developed. I was sewing the edges of some hand hold straps and things sort of went to hell all of a sudden. These are 6oz, folded in half to form a loop and then the opposite end folded back through a snap swivel, and sewn down. That's 3 layers. Those ends are skived down to about 4oz.. may a bit less. The stitch length suddenly started getting short at the thick end. Then, the needle began hitting something under the strap. I found the tip was getting dinged. If I took the strap out and ran the machine without thread, no hitting. Looking at the hook and needle, it looks like in have almost no clearance between the hook and needle. It I put the strap in place and move the needle down with the handwheel, the hook catches in the eye of the needle. I've tried new needles. Usually 138 thread, size 22 needles. Any ideas how I can fix this? Thanks
  2. Try this video. I know Chuck and he is a true master craftsman. Pay attention to how he holds the cut strap as he pulls the cutter. And a sharp blade is a MUST.
  3. Proper casing is essential. Too wet and the stamps mush. Too dry and the impression doesn't set into the core properly. See Bob Parks tutorial on it.
  4. Harbor Freight has a split leather welders apron for $10
  5. If you're using bottles, make sure the little bleeder hole in the lid is open, if you have one.
  6. Haha.. I got the ego too , but I've just learned over time what's worth the extra effort. I think that you are going to find that the "buckle it up and let it hang" method is going to be about the best "practical" method with the best accuracy. I like Dwights idea, but not sure I'd have the patience to make all of that balance out. Especially 5 or 10 times a day.
  7. Well, although I also like to be as accurate as possible, it honestly does not really matter. I do hundreds of collars. I use the exact method as shown in the image above and It comes out close enough. I have never, ever had a customer say "great collar, but the name is 1/2" off center". Different buckles, different sizes, customer mismeasurements that cause different hole used (as pointed out by Big Sioux), and other factors beyond your control make, it almost impossible to be super accurate every time. But, if you insist on making it "dead nuts on", using Big Sioux's preassembly method is about the only practical method. It takes all factors in to account automatically... assuming the same hole is used. Good luck
  8. Never thought of that! Good idea. Thanks. I wonder if they make a gum eraser pen? I know they make eraser pens for use in drafting and so on... If I DO get stray cement on it, it's usually right there at the outer edge of the stamped groove on letters, for example.... But no scratch is much better than maybe scratched <g>
  9. We've used the acrylics from Hobby Lobby with no issues. I have a key fob that my wife painted a dragon on using the $1 a bottle stuff. I've carried it in my pocket daily for 2 years and it still looks good.
  10. Yup. Use some Denatured alcohol or rubbing alcohol. You can even use water if you have to.
  11. Believe it or not, 2 things work really well, but are a but awkward to apply. The first is liquid latex rubber. I got mine from Hobby Lobby. It's kind of pricey at $19 for 16 fluid oz. They often have 40% off coupons that help. It has a VERY strong ammonia smell and has a shelf life of maybe a year or so. Then it begins setting up in the bottle.. like contact cement does. The second is rubber cement. Sounds weird, but it works just like the latex rubber and a heck of a lot cheaper. I apply a couple of coats. Most of what I do is stamping and I apply it with a brush. I have some that I only use with the rubber cement. Clean up with DA or Acetone. If you get it where you don't want it, let it dry and scrape it off with an xacto. You don't want to scrape the leather if you can help it. As for the awkward to apply part, you need to try to get it down into the recesses of the stampings or cuts. If you don't, the dye will flow down into the grooves and seep under the resist at the edges. And of course, you probably don't want to dip dye as you have a good chance of seeping through from the back. Good luck and let us know how it works for you.
  12. There is a 2 page thread about dip dying at the link below. It goes into lots of detail about different techniques and ideas.
  13. Tandy in Atlanta has it, although it's not in the catalog. It is the Pro OIl dye
  14. I generally dilute around 4:1. But, it also depends on the color of the dye and the color you want to achieve. For example, Red. Most of the time, I've cut it 2:1. maybe a tad more. For Pink, it's closer to 20:1`. Also, I've recently discovered that the Oxblood makes a better Pink than the red does. In addition, every time I make a new batch, I do 2 things. 1) I use an empty container and measure the alcohol and dyes and mix it in that. I then pour it into my dip tanks. I usually just mix enough to fill the tank. I don't pour the full strength dye and alcohol into the dip tank and try to mix it. You really don't know how much room you have left in the tank, unless it's totally empty or it's got graduations on it that you can still see. Say you figure that you need 15 oz to bring the level up to where you want it. So, at 4:1 you need 12oz of DA and 3oz of dye. If you really only needed 12oz, you've got to fiddle with how much DA you've poured and how much room you have and mess with adjustments. Just get an empty screw lid milk jug and mix it it that... and 2) I cut a piece of whatever side I'm currently using the most and do a test dip. As others have said, every side can dye differently. A test dip let's you know where you are right now. I also have some Preval glass jars I get from Tandy and some air brush jars. I can use a syringe to make small test samples and figure out ratios without a lot of waste. I know it's kind of anal, but I spend half my time, it seems, answering customers questions on colors. So I like to know that when I dip 50 straps, they will all look reasonably identical. Play with it and to test strips at different dilution rations. And for your sanities sake, write the results down. In 2 years when you need to make a duplicate of an item that you make Baby Blue, you can look up the mix.