Josh Ashman

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About Josh Ashman

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  • Location
    Southwest Missouri
  • Interests
    Leatherwork & Horses

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  1. Nice looking holsters, especially for pattern "testers"! I'm doing my best not to comment on backside wrinkles
  2. Hello Jrmysell, I'll take a shot at answering you. Tooling, then dyeing, then assembling, then wet forming, then resisting with resolene, then antiquing and finally top coating with resolene will work OK. Anytime I form tooled leather I loose some definition, the best way for me to minimize this is to have really good definition to start them not get too carried away with the forming. To get the moisture "right" for tooling I dunk the leather in water for a second or so then let it sit in the open until the surface starts to return to it's natural color. Some people will dunk it then stick it in a plastic bag for a period of time, some put it in the fridge for a while. I've never tried the fridge but when forming leather for saddle work I do use a bag and let it sit for a half day or so. But, for tooling smaller pieces like a knife sheath or holster a quick dunk then sitting out in the open for a few minutes seems to be sufficient for me. Once it's tooled I'd let it dry for at least half a day, maybe a full day then dye it and let it dry, again half a day at least. Then assemble and do a quick dunk to form. From there you'll get some mixed results, but for me there isn't much you can do to get around them. Resolene, for me, isn't that great of a resist. Neat-Lac works better but I'm not sure you can get it anymore. Regardless of what you use to resist, when you antique it you'll muddy up the stitching. If you're not looking to have white stitching this isn't a problem, just something to be aware of. If you do want white stitching then you can resist and antique before assembly however this limits the forming you can do and when you form and top coat you'll still get some transfer to your stitching, at least I always do. Letting every step thoroughly dry helps to minimize this. I also will use an old t-shirt and saddle soap to try and rub off any excess dye and antique before stitching if I want to keep it as white as possible. I suppose you could tool; dye; glue and assemble, but not stitch, form; resist; antique; top coat then stitch. If hand stitching you could stab your holes before you top coated them as the top coat will often transfer the finish a little and make your stab holes less noticeable. Then again if your awl and thread are sized about right the thread will fill the holes anyway. I say it's an art not a science so it's best to build one and see what works then tweak the process if you don't like the results. Keeping in mind that different hides and different thread will all respond a little differently. A few other thoughts, I keep a small tub of water by my work bench, clean water creates less issues. When I hand stitched with waxed thread I used an overstitch wheel to clean up muddied stitching and generally had less issues with transfer to them. I use the liquid Fiebings acrylic antique and really like it, but if you get something finished with it wet and go to rubbing it with your thumbs very much it will likely rub right off, at least it has for me. More dry time can help with this, but it's still likely. Anyway, there is a lot of info, hopefully some of it is helpful! Good luck with your sheath! Josh
  3. Thanks dikman & Double Daddy!
  4. Buttoned this set up on Friday and it just delivered yesterday. Crossdaw Threepersons holsters, one for a 5-1/2" RBH and one for a 7-1/2" SBH (my SAA clone is just filling on for the pictures). Two cartridge slides in .45 LC and a carry belt. All HO leather from 4/5 for the bullet loops to 10/11 for the unlined holsters. Finish is a coat of NF oil followed by Fiebings Highlighter with a top coat of M&G cut 50/50 with water. Thanks for looking, Josh
  5. That's a very nice case. Great job. Josh
  6. Hey Red Bear, I think there is a huge difference between the paste soap, white or yellow, and the glycerin bar soap. Both are fine for using as a leather cleaner/conditioner and both put a little wax shine on tack or boots but the paste isn't very good for edges in my experience. One of the nice things about the bar is you can wear a little groove, or series of grooves into it and use it just like you'd use a wooded dowel slicker. It works pretty well for me. I still hand rub with a piece of cordura and sometimes use a wood slicker too but the bar soap is good step for me. Have a great day folks, Josh
  7. Well hello Josh, You should be able to find it in any feed or tack store. Tractor Supply Co. or something like that. Amazon also carries it, just search "Fiebings Glycerin Saddle Soap". I've heard people say that the yellow bar Neutrogena soap is about the same thing but I've never tried it. All the best, Josh
  8. Really nice Billy!
  9. That's a really good looking first holster, nice job! Canvas as JLS suggested works well to burnish. I use cordura nylon, it works well too. You can cut up an old pair of Levi's and use them too, but the dye will rub off on your edges although on black edges that isn't a problem. Whatever you use, just make sure to wet the edge first. I use a sponge for that. then rub in one direction until it starts to gloss up a bit then rub both ways. Glycerin saddle soap, the bar, kind also works well on edges. I'll rub a notch in the bar and use it as a slicker. A little moisture then a rub down with the bar saddle soap will also usually smooth down the flesh side of your leather. Time and wear will also take care of that. One way to have the T nuts covered is to "sandwich" them between the layers of leather instead of having them exposed on the back. Again, nice job. Josh
  10. Thanks Bobby!
  11. Sometimes I dye before I assemble and mold and sometimes I dye after. Usually this is determined by whether I want the stitching to be white or dyed. With a lined holster sometimes I'll get wrinkles if I dye first. Using good quality leather reduces this but sometimes I still get some wrinkles. I do buy my leather by the side and I have occasionally used lining leather from too far down into the belly. I've only noticed the wrinkles with holsters that fold back onto themselves, although I think it's also fair to say those are the only holsters I ever line. I couldn't guarantee that, but I can't think of any pancake type holsters that I've built with a liner. Anyway, When I think about it I'll pre-form the main folds in the leather while it still has some moisture in it from tooling. This makes for a little more trouble when you sew the liner edges since it's not just a flat piece, but seems to make the folds more wrinkle free. I do use Fiebings dyes. Sometimes the "pro-oil" and sometimes the regular ones, just depends on the color. FWIW the "pro-oil" is still alcohol based and dries out the leather about the same as far as I can tell. I also use the Fiebings acrylic antique quite a bit and it seems like anything finished with that will wrinkle a little if I forget to pre-fold it. Mike's advice is solid and based on a lifetime of hand building holsters. I've been at it for a while but not nearly as long as him. I will also note that I don't let things sit as long as he does and usually don't have too much trouble because of it, although I have had times I wished I'd slowed down. To a large degree I think trial and error is truly the best teacher. Build a few and you'll get an idea off what works for you and what doesn't. What works for Mike, or Red Bear, or myself may not necessarily work for you. Leather work isn't a science, it's an art and there are many ways to get a good result. Although t's equally true to say that some things will lead to failure almost every time. Letting things dry 12 to 24 hours is good advice and a good idea. Good luck with your projects, Josh
  12. Thanks Pounder, Eric, SLP and Mike!
  13. Just finished this up. 2 layers of 7/8 HO for the body and 1 layer for the loop. Fiebings British Tan dye cut with alcohol, then a light coat of NF oil, then Fiebings liquid acrylic black antique, then M&G cut 50/50 with water. Josh
  14. Shiek, I suppose it depends on the size of the knife and style of the sheath. I would think 5/6 would be OK for a small folder. Maybe 8oz or so for a mid size fixed blade hunting or skinning knife. And probably 10/11 or better for a large fixed blade fighting or bowie knife. It's totally subjective so there isn't really a "right" or "wrong" answer, but that's my 2 cents. Good luck on your project! Josh
  15. Very nice Bobby. Thanks for sharing how you got the color on the flower centers!