Bob Blea

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About Bob Blea

  • Rank Regular
  • Birthday 06/21/1967

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Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Fort Collins, CO
  • Interests
    Leatherworking, cooking, my kids.

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Floral Carving and notebooks.
  • Interested in learning about
    Case making, wallets and saddle making
  • How did you find
    web surfing

Recent Profile Visitors

15,595 profile views
  1. Small braided headphones holder

    Very neat knot! I really like braiding and I wish I had more time to practice it. Thanks for posting this. Makes me want to try this project.
  2. Antique after acrylic paint?

    I use Liquitex acrylics and Tandy Eco-Flo antiques. I have on occasion had some of the paint rub off on high points, maybe from my own rubbing action when wiping off the antique. I like to put a layer of a clear acrylic finish over the painting to seal and protect it before antiqing. With a lacquer based resist (like Neat Lac/Clear Lac/Wyosheen) the solvent can easily dissolve the acrylic so I don't recommend using those over acrylic paints.
  3. Really nice looking. Love the designs.
  4. I bought reading glasses a long time ago to help with threading needles and lining up the awl for hand stitching. Then I discovered how much it helped line up geometrics. It just made everything easier, so now I don't tool without them. Getting to where I need them to read too!
  5. High Desert Winter Day

    That looks great! The embossing works really well on the horses!
  6. Christmas gift for my mom

    Very nice!
  7. I think you did a good job. Small stuff like that is not easy and takes a good eye. I've done several things like this and the size of your tools, especially the bevellers, is critical. I have a set of Robert Beard figure bevellers that I use for all my Celtic knot work and I frequently need the smallest sizes I have. The face of those bevellers measure about a 1/16" of an inch and one that is a little smaller. They have a steep angle so you can work on the lines of the knot without much impact on the parts right next to them. Barry King also makes extra steep Sheridan bevellers down to that size that would work well too.
  8. I've had some success dealing with this sort of problem with my antiquing. I apply a lacquer resist and then apply and wipe off my antique. This darkens all the leather a little bit, and it also leaves a little variation in the color of the untooled leather. If you are careful about how you wipe it off, you can blend in the 'suntanned' areas a little bit and make them less noticeable. It's even easier if that area happens to fall into a tooled area. Here's an example of a custom notebook I've made, and as you look at the spine you can see a little variation in the coloring due to the antique. Also where it has been backgrounded around the state of Texas the coloration varies a lot due to the texture of the backgrounding. If you made a project where those marks are in a backgrounded or tooled area I doubt they would be visible once you were finished. I've also had areas that are darker due to light exposure and I've cut out the leather so those lines end up around where my lacing holes will go. Between the antique effects and the lacing I can't see the difference in coloration of the raw leather.
  9. Flatten Re purposed Leather

    I've had some luck with chrome tanned leather and a warm dry iron. You have to be careful because some leathers have a plastic coating on the outside that can melt and stick to things if it gets too hot. Also, it's possible to scorch the leather if the iron gets too hot too. I've kept my iron on a low setting and placed it grain side down on my tooling stone, then put a dry towel between the leather and the iron and applied pressure. It has been able to get a lot of wrinkles out.
  10. backgrounder vs matting

    It really is a matter of personal taste or style, but many would say that in Sheridan style it should traditionally be bargrounded. I think it used to be more common to use a checkered backgrounding tool in floral carving but when Sheridan style became more dominant, the bargrounder became the 'proper' tool to use. But you can use what you like and feel most comfortable with.
  11. Looks sharp and that is very fine looking stitching.

    I once made a set of small napkin rings on out scrap leather.
  13. Thanks for the compliment. You might find this set of stamps to be easier than a basket weave. It doesn't require as much lining up as a basket weave and it goes much quicker! On the lacing I was taught to use angles slits for things like double or triple loop lacing because the angle of the stitches makes them lie better. But for something like Mexican round braid, you want the straight slit lines. Just depends on what you will end up doing more often. For the pockets, there is a nylon ribbon glued inside the pocket that separates the two card slots. The ribbon is about 2 1/2 inches wide and is folded accordion style and glued between two pieces of leather that make up the pocket. The construction is covered in the article I mentioned and there was a long post on here (somewhere) that I was involved in where I made up a test version and abused it by sliding a card in and out of it really hard for a long time. It is still on my desk and showing no signs or failing.
  14. Thanks! Barry King makes several variations on this shell stamp design but this one is my favorite right now. I just love all the detail to it.
  15. Just a simple little wallet that just holds the essentials, recently added to my Etsy shop. The design comes from Chan Geer in an article that was published in the Leather Crafter's and Saddler's Journal several years ago. The stamp on the outside is a Barry King shell stamp and filler that I'm beginning to fall in love with. I laced the edges on this one but the next one is probably going to be hand sewn. I've got a custom order for a personalized one and I want to make a few more for the shop in time for Christmas. Thanks for any feedback you might have.