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About TheCyberwolfe

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  • Birthday 05/31/1972

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    The Great Wet NorthWest

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    SCA gear and archery tack
  1. The thing to remember is that the molding process is going to stretch the leather, which will probably distort your tooling. If you're a stickler for straight lines, build solid molds and tool it while it's being formed. If a little stretch here or there isn't going to make a difference on the finished design, then maybe you can tool it first. Your mileage WILL vary, on each and every piece of leather Be sure to test your theories.
  2. You'll probably need a combination of both - that side may not come with a clean straight edge, so you'll need to make one with your trusty rotary cutter and a long straightedge. (I recommend clamping that edge down, I tend to slip on long cuts). After that, those little wooden strap cutters do an amazingly good job for such an inexpensive tool. The trick is making sure you set the thickness of the leather properly at the blade end of the cross-piece so the leather doesn't try to roll up on you.
  3. Weaver Leather has a pretty broad selection of belt blanks if you're doing one-offs or small quantities, and their prices beat Panhandle's - about $10 a belt. Quality is very good - they run it through a strap edger for you, so it just needs a little bit of light sanding before finishing the edges. I've bought three so far in different orders, and they've all been very good. They stamp very well and take dye in evenly. Springfield sells what they call a "Belt Bend" for $159 that's good for between 16-18 belts, which works out to under $10 per belt for materials. It's a Premium grade Hermann Oak.
  4. I went down to Harbor Freight a while back and bought a buffing wheel and a set of sanding drums that range in size from about 1" up to 4" in diameter. They mount right on the arbor and use common sandpaper rolls for refills, so I can use any grit paper I need. It works well for thinning larger sections evenly without excessive tool marks, and the largest drum is pretty good for sanding edges prior to finishing. For strap ends and other small bits I typically use a knife though, since it's right there on the bench vs. going out to the shed where my sander is. As with any leather knife, trick #1 is making sure the skiver is wicked sharp, and then you're better off going for multiple shallow passes rather than a complete skive in one pass.
  5. That's one piece of advice I keep hearing and never quite pay enough attention to: _light coats of dye_. Don't get impatient, and like 'Mutt says, walk away after the first coat and come back tomorrow for the second (if it needs it). Unless, of course, you're using black dye - then you do want to saturate it. But still walk away after that first coat and give it time to soak in.
  6. I would just assume that the darts would always have a tip attached, and make that bottom pocket enclosed. Make loops like on a gun belt for the barrels, and then have a flap that lays over the top sort of like you do with a tool roll. The other option would be to build it with the hinge at the top rather than the side, similar to this screwdriver case I made.
  7. I think I'm with Matt S on this one - while it's nice to be able to make use of the leather you have on-hand, you may be better off just buying the thickness you need for the project rather than trying to split down thicker stock.
  8. The sharpest thing you can get your hands on. After that, it depends on how small an area you need to cut. Denny over at SLC recommends using a straight punch or chisel (or maybe a sharpened flat-blade screwdriver) as a way of avoiding those little fuzzy fibers you sometimes get even with the sharpest knife. Then there's laser cutters...
  9. Then there's the lazy man's solution - the Point 2 Point divider: Pick the number of holes you want, stretch it out until it covers the distance you want, and voila! No crazy fractions to worry about.
  10. I like to have the fit be just snug before setting - you should feel the cap snap into place and have it snug against the leather. On those longer rivets, as long as the hole isn't too big and you keep things lined up, you'll be OK.
  11. Take a piece of heavy paper or a chunk of manila folder and use it like a washer around the rivet when you're setting it. Pull it out when you're done, and the rivet won't be so tight on the leather and will allow for movement.
  12. Colt's got it - a little soap, dry it, buff it with some carnauba cream. I ran into this with one of my early projects, before I switched to oil-based dyes. Here's a link to that post from my blog.
  13. Well, you can't see the other half of the closure snap, so I'm guessing that it's a 2-layer sandwich for the main body. This allows you to do some shaping like bikermutt said - two layers of material wrapped around a cylinder will have different radii, and therefore different circumferences. If you glue them together, they will tend to maintain that shape. You'll run into this if you start making watch straps too - if you fold the leather strip in half and stitch, then wrap it around your wrist the inside will scrunch up a bit because it's trying to compress the same length of strap into a shorter circumference. If you instead glue them, and then wrap it around your wrist while the glue is still wet, the inside will slide a bit. Let the glue set, then trim off the excess from the inside of the strap before stitching. The strap will always maintain that bend.
  14. Nice mod! My idea was to make a cutout of a letter "V", then turn the top of the two arms 180 degrees inward and stitch to the inside at the main fold. It makes a tube when looking at it from above. Found a super-skinny pen (with refills) on Amazon so it doesn't make the stack too thick.
  15. My Mom's boyfriend back when I was a kid decided we should get all fancied up and go out to the "nice" restaurant one Saturday night. So there he is in a collared shirt and sport coat shaking up the ketchup bottle when the cap comes off, and sauce goes all over him. Poor waitress was in tears apologizing about how she was in the habit of loosening the caps for the older folks who come in... To this day, I put a finger over the cap when I shake ANYTHING. And I point it away from me, or anything else I have to clean up.