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About Art

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    Marketplace and Adult Area Moderator & Sewing Machine Expert
  • Birthday 12/04/1948

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  • Location
    Maryland, U.S.A.
  • Interests
    Knifemaking, Gunsmithing, Machining, Sharpening

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    Gunleather, MC, BDSM & Fetish gear
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  1. OR 600 with stropping. But keep the angle at 40°, 20° per side if it is a heavy user. The 1000 or 800 will work fine too, that doesn't have anything to do with edge strength or how long you will go between sharpenings. That's more of an angle thing. It is the old how sharp is sharp thing. It needs to be sharp enough to do the job, and 600 with stropping or 800 or 1000 won't make a lot of difference, but the angle with enough steel behind the edge makes a world of difference along with what you are cutting. Stripping out romex or cutting cardboard boxes needs more angle than cutting meat. Art
  2. I still use the Sharpie/Marks-a-Lot/Dykem to tell me what's going on. Even on machines I use it. Even with jigs I use it, because if the setup is wrong, the whole thing is wrong; and if you get your profile wrong by not grinding enough, it just won't cut right. If you grind too much, you're just wasting metal, so those guide lines are important. If I'm just putting an edge on a tool I will get away without marker, but for something critical, or a customer tool, always. Art
  3. I recommend that your first diamond stone should be a DMT diasharp 1000. You can use it to true-up your other stones. I also recommend something that is easy like a tri-hone. Baby oil (mineral oil) works just fine on these things and you can get things pretty sharp if you go up through the grits. The the finest stone on the two tri-hones I have is around 600 grit one is an original Smith 6" and the other is a big 10" monster sold by Tandy in the late '70s or early '80s. Both bought off of eBay for $20 or so. The 600 leaves the edge sharp with enough tooth to make cutting easier. A strop with green compound will refine that a little and make an acceptable using edge. One of the big errors I see a lot is getting the edge too smooth by going to extremely fine grits. The other thing is edge angle. I often use a 20° edge for a head knife, 10° each side, and it goes through leather wickedly, but I am maintaining it all the time, I have the tools to do it, and when I roll the edge, the knife flat stops cutting and I fix it. If I do it for someone else, a 30° to 40° angle is more appropriate for someone who doesn't sharpen a lot but knows how to strop. I can't say I use the tri-hones a lot, but if I am packing light, it goes in the bag. I use DMT diamond stones a lot. I have 120 micron (about 150 grit) up to 3 micron (about 8000 grit). I DO NOT use them dry, I use 50/50 simple green and water, it lubricates and cleans the stone. Right out of the box, these stones grade 3 to 5 microns rougher than they marked, which means a 9 micron (1000 grit) will be more like a 600 grit and eventually (it takes some use) work it's way up to a 9 micron (1000 grit). Edges on DMT stones can be brutal and I break the edges with a diamond lap. These things should NEVER be your first stones unless you use it to lap your other stones. Shapton makes very good stones, they call them ceramic whetstones, and I buy the stones they sell into the Japanese market as they are the same stones at a better price. They come in 120 grit to 30,000 grit. I don't go much higher than 8000 as it is hard to tell the difference between 5000 and 8000, much less 8000 and 12000. 30,000, I guess they just had to because they could. The 1000 is a good finish stone except for something like a luthier's chisel, but no luthier would let anyone touch his chisels, much less sharpen them. The number on the Shapton 1000 (Japanese) Ha No Kuromaku is #K0702, and I think it is around $40, great stone, great price. Remember, too sharp and too polished are real conditions. You need to sharpen based on the tool's use. Art
  4. Ah yes, but they built the Forth Rail Bridge using Imperial measurements. Then again, they also built the Tay bridge (prior Forth Rail Bridge) using Imperial Measurements too, and we know how THAT turned out. Art
  5. EVERYBODY uses Lille White oil. It is a 50/50 mix of light and heavy mineral oil, and here is the kicker, no detergents. In the "old" days (Wiz and I will remember this) hydraulic oil was just mineral oil. Nowadays it has detergents and additives, a ton of them to extend the life of the oil and give it better performance characteristics for automatic transmissions and all other hydraulic systems. By the way, ISO 22, the number 22 is just the viscosity of the oil usually in centistrokes (cSt or mm²/s); it is actually ISO 3448 - ISO VG 22. Any wonder why they use just ISO 22? Defrix No.2 oil is just mineral oil blended to Juki's 169 specification, which just happens to be very close to ISO VG 22 AND drum roll, you guessed it SAE No. 2. So as the machinery gets more complex, the specifications must get more precise, but lets face it folks, it is just No. 2 mineral oil. Art And THAT is more than you ever wanted to know.
  6. Don't read this, it is just a midnight xenophobic rant: I guess the old farts like me are hoping that SAE and Imperial measure and sizes will be "What Makes America Great Again". While I have my wish list out, There should be a law that anything exported from or imported into the U.S. should not have any metric measures, fasteners, or doodads in it, and that all packaging can only have English on the boxes and directions. Malt Whiskey from the Spey or the Island (or any of it for that matter) may have whatever the hell they want to put on it, spelled whatever way they desire, with the requirement that I can tell what it is and that they keep making it. While I'm at it, if you want to immigrate, legal, illegal, refugee, or otherwise, you will be speaking fluent English in a year or you are on the next boat outta here. Maybe enough for now. Now folks, that is what I call Hope and Change! Art
  7. People don't want to sell you wood by the cord over here (well at least in Maryland) because it must be stacked at delivery, measure 4' x 4' x 8', and be stacked tight enough that a chipmunk cannot get through it (it's the law). All they want to do is dump it, sometimes where you want it, and charge you for a "truckload". Art
  8. No darling, That would be fell off a truck, which means -- stolen while the truck was unattended. Art
  9. Well, I'm quite proud of yourself too. If you can sharpen a head knife to that degree, to the point that it satisfies you, you have arrived. Art
  10. Not a problem at all, get one from Bob (Toledo) or Gregg (Keystone). Go for more power and a reducer won't be necessary. Ask Bob or Gregg.
  11. When originally produced, these machines were designed for tailors. They are not a heavy duty, or even a medium duty leather machine. They are primarily used today to decorate boot tops. That means they sew a 3-4 oz and sometimes a little more veg tan to a 3-4 oz calf liner. They sew 33 to 46 thread really well and occasionally 69. They are the heavy duty version of the standard sewing machine. This machine would work for bags and wallets given that you keep things on the light side. There is no reverse, you just have to do it "old school". These puppies can run the gamut from tight like new to having clearances you can measure by sound. For close-in and delicate leatherwork, a roller foot is a plus. The modern day equivalent would be something like the Juki 5550. Art
  12. I prefer the Sam Brown studs with the rivet back as they have a profile that I like. An old sharpeners trick is to put a tiny drop of superglue a couple of threads up from the tip of the screw and LET IT DRY. After dry, screw it in and it will hold very well, but can be backed out with some effort. Of course, if you don't care about disassembly, superglue is some great stuff. I mean Loctite Professional Super Glue. Art
  13. The Iwata I have is a good airbrush, but a bit of overkill for spraying dyes. I use it more for Liquitex Ink. For spirit dyes I use the Veda airbrushes from I have the 180s because I like gravity feed, but the 182 is good and about the same but is suction (bottom) feed. If you want to go the trigger route, the 116 is ok, but I have pretty much stuck with the 180. It is really amazing that these are rather good at this price point. Like I said, they are also on eBay and the parts are there too. Ok, I'm going to say it, my Iwata is collecting dust, but I use the Iwata compressor I have all the time and it powers my power engraving equipment too. I went through a bunch of compressors (all on warranty thank ghod) before I got the Iwata but this one is probably overkill for my application. Art
  14. I've had a couple of bottle jack type press/clickers, one hand pump and one air driven bottle jack. The air drive one has been setting for 5 or so years since I got the 10 ton hydraulic. The 10-ton does everything, and does it quick. Really large dies can be done in sections with either type. The 10-ton definitely holds down the garage, neither it or the garage has moved since it got here. I left it on the metal shipping pallet, and if I have to move it, the pallet jack comes in handy. To keep cost down, look to a used one from a reputable dealer, like Campbell-Randall or someone they recommend. The Chinese machines work ok, at least mine does, a used Atom would be good too. Check Craigs List. Art