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About TheCyberwolfe

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  • Birthday 05/31/1972

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    The Great Wet NorthWest

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    SCA gear and archery tack
  1. Help salvaging a project with USMC black?

    USMC black has a couple of specific uses where it does a good job, provided you prep the leather properly. Dip-dying is really not one of those uses, unfortunately.
  2. Help salvaging a project with USMC black?

    Buff the nubbly side with a shoe brush and that should help get the particles out of the fibers. If the project is already sewn, you might need to use a toothbrush instead due to space limitations. I'd do this outside if you can, and wear a carpenter's mask or respirator.
  3. Getting Black to Stay True Black!

    Upvote for dampening the leather before dying. Dry leather is dense and will tend to prevent the dye from penetrating. If you dampen it, the fibers loosen up and that wetness helps the dye penetrate deeper into the leather for a better color. Spirit dyes specifically need a little help in this area. The Fiebing's Pro dye is an oil-based colorant in a spirit-based medium, while USMC Black and its brethren are essentially just a powder floating in the spirit medium. If you apply spirit dyes to dry leather, the dye won't penetrate and you'll get a lot of rub-off after it dries. The Pro Oil dye penetrates better, but I still get better results with damp leather. The guy who taught me recommended the Pro dye, and to apply neatsfoot oil the day before you dye, and let it sit overnight. Apply the dye, and let it sit overnight. Maybe go for a second coat on the third day if it needs it after buffing a bit. For the USMC Black, my best results were to use Dye-Prep, then add a few drops of a leather conditioner to the dye, and apply the USMC while the leather was still damp. The guys at Springfield Leather did a video on black dyes that went over this process:
  4. Clean antiquing/highlighting

    +1 to Fiebing's over Eco-Flo, and everything @Bob Blea and @Boriqua said. One of the most-important ingredients in leatherwork is time, and I've always gotten my best results by walking away for a day after anything wet. Tool it, then let it dry overnight. Oil it, walk away. Dye it the day after. Apply resists the next day. Antique, wait 5 minutes, wipe away excess and buff with that paper towel, then walk away again. Apply first coat of sealer the next day. It's hell because I'm a computer guy and want results now, but it's the only way it comes out right for me.
  5. Buffing, Buffing, buffing??

    Interesting that some of you apply neatsfoot after dying, I was taught to oil it, wait 24 hours, then dye (and use Fiebing's Pro-not-called-Oil-anymore Dye). I rub it down with an old T-shirt for a couple minutes before applying the finish coat. Oiling it first helps draw the pigment deeper into the leather.
  6. Sewing misshapen leather after stamping?

    Yeah, tooling the leather is going to warp it a little no matter what. I try to account for it with my borders (as in, don't take the tooling too close to the edges so there's room for edge trimming), but every hide and every section of hide is going to react a little differently. I do the same thing Bob does with the tape, and that keeps the warping mostly under control. I've heard people report good results with self-stick drawer liners as well, but tape's cheap.
  7. What Is Best Surface Material For Hole Punching On Bench.

    The lead is softer than you think it is, and does make for a good backstop. That being said, lead is a very dangerous material and I wouldn't recommend it for use anywhere other than bullets and fishing sinkers. Considering the toxicity of a number of other products we work with, it would seem to me a better idea to try and reduce our exposure and not use toxic metals. Scrap leather does a fine job, and is a by-product of the project you just made so it's not like you have to go out of your way to get more. If one layer isn't thick enough, use several.
  8. How do I cut a straight belt border?

    I use the border tool myself. I tend to sand the edge down to get a nice straight, smooth edge, but I cut the border before I bevel the outside edge to give the border tool a good 90-degree edge to rest against. Go slow, and if possible set yourself up so that you're pulling the blade toward you rather than sideways and you'll be less likely to wander off the edge.
  9. Curved Seam/ Hammering Out

    I'm with Webicons, I think a narrower "V" cut and spaced more closely may help smooth things out. Typically when I do a curved seam I fold both ends to one side or the other instead of rolling them back to both sides the way you have, but that tends to make one side sit differently than the other, so it may not work for your project. As for the stitches showing, the only thing I can think of outside of using a welt or piping would be to not hammer the seam quite as flat. Or go the other way and use a nice contrasting thread and call it a feature

    Or you could just buy the $15 hand sharpener at the craft store and not risk accidental death or dismemberment
  11. Exposed Flesh Side on Wallet Spine

    I made a long wallet once with similar gaps and used pigskin to line the entire thing, it worked out pretty good. The pigskin was about the same thickness as canvas, so it added very little to the overall thickness.
  12. Arm Guards

    Fist Bump to my fellow purist
  13. Arm Guards

    Once you teach yourself the difference and see how it changes your arm's shape, you don't have to do the full twist to get it. I still wear the bracer anyway, I think it looks cool and sometimes I forget Plus it goes with the knuckle guard I wear when I shoot my English longbow with no arrow rest.
  14. Arm Guards

    For many, a change in technique can save your arm (and the fancy carving on your arm guard): Hold your bow arm out straight, with the bow horizontal, parallel to the ground. Now bend you elbow just enough so you know it's bent and hold it there. Now rotate just your wrist to bring the bow to vertical. Voila. Never smack your arm again.