• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited


About Art

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

Profile Information

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

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Gunleather, MC, BDSM & Fetish gear
  • How did you find

Recent Profile Visitors

27,020 profile views
  1. You can say that again! Art
  2. I use the long foot that follows the contour of the bell knife. I never change feet, and the best reason is that I probably couldn't find the other feet that came with the Consew (which is the only bottom feed I have). On the top and bottom feed (which is used the most) there's only one foot unless we make a special one, which has never been needed. Art
  3. There might be something to the "better steel back then" theory. Lets face it, steel for making knives, and steel for making tools in general constitutes a very small percentage of the market. Steels that we can obtain today, especially tool steels, have all sorts of stuff in them for all sorts of reasons, almost none of it has anything to do with leatherworking tools. Back in the day, the harness industry was huge and the tool industry to support it was correspondingly large and competitive. The tool manufacturers ordered steel the way they wanted it as opposed to ordering what the steel industry provided them. Do you think any of the leatherworking tools today are forged? If so, they would be very expensive and it would be hard for them to compete in such a small market. Too much trouble, bang out a bazillion of then in China, India, or Pakistan and drop them on the market at a better margin than a well made tool. There are really darned few trades left, and leatherworking isn't one of them. If a trade is big enough, toolmakers will produce a quality product for them, e.g. Klein, Irwin, Knipex, and maybe CSO. Today, toolmakers produce for multiple disciplines if they want to stay in business, it just isn't the good old days anymore. Art
  4. Older knives tend to be of thicker cross section. These "thicker" knives are a little easier to get into a convex edge profile which guides them a little easier into the thick section which then holds the leather slightly apart as it approaches the cutting edge. This reduces drag at the point where it is the greatest. Even when a straight bevel is used, the thicker body of the knife acts to separate the cut pieces. Remember that with a knife, there isn't much of a kerf. Little if any leather is removed and the cut pieces will want to close up on the knife blade. As you approach the edge of the knife, the cut pieces exert more grab on the blade and cause drag, so a thicker blade alleviates some of that to give a smoother cut. On knives of a thinner cross section, you want the blade mirror polished to offer the least resistance, but for the smooth cut the cutting edge and about 1/32" to 1/16" back from it should be like a mirror with an 8000 or 3µ finish. The included angle doesn't make a lot of difference (within reason of course), but a polished finish does. Art
  5. The cryo treatment works well with most of the stainless or "almost stainless" steels. This includes many of the alloys. It is not a matter of "holding up", but more a matter of did your quenching process leave some retained austenite that you will "fix" (convert to martensite) with the cryo treatment. Note, the cryo process should be done before tempering. Cryo after tempering can leave untempered martensite which can be brittle; if there is a significant amount of it, stress cracks can cause failures. I've always been a critic of the send us your (insert thingy here) and we will cryo it and it will be so much better, because they have no knowledge of the part's prior history, and the possibility of untempered martensite is a definite possibility. Art
  6. I seldom use the Jiffy style of rivet, I'm more of a splash (104) rivet guy. That being said, everyone else who uses the shop uses Jiffy Rivets, so I have a box or two of most of the finishes from OTB. They are made in Belgium and are excellent, durable, and just about anyone around here can set them. They stay together very well (not necessarily so with the Tandy variety). Art
  7. Ann, The longer foot can do a wider skive, but you don't have to use all of it. With a well adjusted machine, either foot will do the job although the wider foot might feed a little better due to bigger contact area. If having feed problems, a steel bottom feed roller is sometimes necessary; seems much more effective for veg tan. Skiving machines are really adjustment sensitive, most factories leave them set-up for one operation and just tweak those adjustments as necessary. All that said, you have to try it and run some leather through it to see which foot is best. This is the best non-answer I can give, but I am far from an expert on these things. Art
  8. I had one of the Danny Marlin Groovers years ago; I got it through Weaver Leather. They must have been made for harnesswork as it cut a really big groove. Made well, just too big. Sold it to an Amish guy, got what I paid for it; so it's valuable to someone. Art
  9. Jeff, I agree with D-2, it has been my go to steel for a long time, 1085 on the plain carbon side. I like your selection of A-2 as a close runner-up, but then you most likely know how to work it. Most folks here wouldn't have a clue how to handle it. A-2 has taken air cooling to about it's furthest engineering form in the air hardening department. I have two or three large blocks of it that I know the kids will put in my coffin. If there is any steel that should be under coolant when it is NOT being worked, it's A-2. "Even an apprentice should be able to drill a decent hole"; well, not in A-2. Art
  10. So good of you to volunteer to give this a try for us. Please let us know how it works out for you. Art
  11. Denatured Ethyl Alcohol by the gallon in the paint section at Wally-World. Much higher concentrations of alcohol than 50% will push the dye concentration a bit, making multiple coats a necessity. At higher concentrations of alcohol, the dauber method of applications may not yield even results. The dip dye method is better with diluted dyes. Art
  12. I have one or two Al Stohlman knives, in the box, and that's where they stay as that is the best way to keep them sharp. I'm guessing the steel is 420 or worse, not the greatest knife steel. Knife steel is important in the long run, but in the short term, anything can be sharpened. If you have one of these "lesser" knives and want to get a little more use out of it, try an included angle of 40° or so; that's 20° per side. You can go as low as 20° included (10° per side) if you have very very good steel, hardened to a very high hardness. I don't recommend this a lot as most steels just aren't up to it, most head knives can hold 30° (15° per side) pretty well and 35° easily. The Al Stohlman knives are much more in the 40° category. It is just a matter of how long the edge will hold until it rolls over, and at lower angles the Al Stohlman knives roll over rapidly, you might not even finish the cut at any angle less than 30°. Really, been there, and got about 2 inches into some 8 oz veg tanned leather (it was a little hard, but tanned all the way through) before old Al just stopped cutting, I really mean stopped! At 40° that knife made the cut, and did so for some little while. This is not to pile on TLF; I have run across some of the German steels that some custom makers are using that is a bear to get to hold an edge. Here my old friend 40° helps here too. In summary, I wouldn't go "hunting" for an Al Stohlman knife unless you just want one. I can recommend the C.S. Osborne knives as good basic head/round knives; are they 20° knives? Hell No, but 30° or 35° will last a good long time between sharpening and give good service. A strop will help anything. Art
  13. Little stuff like that doesn't matter much, but on big stuff, some superglues can be quite exothermic, in other words they get hot when they cure. If it gets too hot, it will kill tissue. Ask the butcher for a couple of trotters that are past or nearing their sell-by date and practice on them. They are also good for a little suturing practice. Boy ain't one handed suturing a kick, the scar will look manley. Art
  14. SLC are decent folks, and some of them have pretty good knowledge. Some of them don't, and occasionally don't realize it. I'd say Kevin has a wealth of knowledge and is pretty free with it. I don't think the point they are trying to make in the video is resonating with everyone as is evidenced by the comments here. I don't think anyone is recommending a side of "D" unless you are going to use it for liners; nevertheless you can get much good leather from a "D" side. If you are going to buy leather to size and/or grade, you are going to pay more per ft than when buying a whole side. Some retail operations also do leatherwork. Most of the cut leather you buy from them comes right from their custom operation, e.g. if you order a sq. ft. of leather, they are going to take a piece from their operation that has been cut, and find a piece to your specifications. If you can't tolerate any imperfections, TELL THEM THAT. The more you let them know what you want, the better service you will receive, and the more likely you will GET WHAT YOU WANT. Some wholesale operations do a LOT of leatherwork, they manufacture stuff. Who do you think gets the best sides on a pallet? 'nuff said. Just love to get the tannery run of stuff that isn't the best to start with. TR = Something someone at the Tannery Run over with a fork lift. Art
  15. If you have the time, you can't help but learn something; go for it. Art