tbmow

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About tbmow

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  1. Thanks for the update Mike. Urethanes and casting resins are expensive, and there are so many options that one can go broke trying to find what works best. I am certain that you have helped many people with your ideas. t
  2. Hey Mikey, Those do look comfortable. Could you please be more specific about which foam you use for the liner and which resin for the sole? How do these materials hold up? What do you use for a shaping mold? There are a lot of different expanding foams, casting resins, etc. Some are harder than others (represented by a larger Shore or Durometer number), others can be in contact with skin (like silicone). thanks t
  3. Attached are pictures of the first attempt. The thread is a different color because I wanted to see how it moves/wears/etc. in a pocket. This is after about 3 weeks of use, usually in denim jeans. No pictures of the second attempt as it was a gift. Here is the outside: and the inside (the dark line from the side with empty pockets is a dye smear from the tannery): As you can see, it is not meant to be "pretty" but functional.
  4. The attached PDF is a wallet pattern that is easy starter project that will allow a user to practice several aspects of the craft. The wallet has four inner card pockets and one outer bill pocket. There are a total of four pieces of leather to cut out. The pattern is full-sized. The line with two arrows next to the "1" on each page should be 1 inch tall when printing. Measure this with a ruler after printing to verify that it printed to the correct size. Here are the steps: Print out the design, and cut out the pieces to use as a template. Cut the main body (nice easy straight cuts so that you will get a feel for cutting the leather). Cut the two card pockets (smaller sized so if you make a mistake there is less wasted leather). Place the inner pockets inside the main body and fold the main body over the card pockets. Wrap the outer template around the main body and verify that it is long enough to reach around and cover the edges. This is because this piece wraps around the main body, and the folded main body and card pockets are now four layers thick, the length of the outer pocket may need adjusting. Adjust the length if needed and cut the outer pocket — if you need to adjust the length for the outer pocket, cut the pocket square then center the pattern lengthwise to cut out the non-straight edge. If in doubt, make the outer pocket a bit longer and trim it later. There is less waste in making a small trim than there is in making a whole other pocket (a bit of experience talking here!). If desired, dye the edges now (if using already colored leather), or the whole thing (if using veg-tan). Glue the card pockets to the flesh side of the main body. After the glue has dried, sew the center stitch line (above the word "card"). The stitch line is shown as a dotted line on the main body. Glue the outer pocket to the main body. This is glued onto the opposite side of the pockets. Groove stitching channels if the leather is thick enough. Sew the outer and card pockets. Note that the stitching does not go all the way around the wallet, but it resembles two "U" shapes with the open ends facing each other. You do not want to stitch across the bend. (Search the forums for more info on this.) If your outer edges are not even, trim them and do your preferred edging treatment. Finish as desired or needed. Take a picture and reply to this post and show us your work. I made two of these from a $5 piece of gambler's choice leather from Springfield (would have been three except for the mistake about the outer pocket length). Not counting glue drying time (using Weldbond PVA), the first one took about 45 minutes and the second about 30 minutes to complete. Sewing was done using an awl and saddle stitching. These were my first projects in leather. Some variations you can try are: Changing the style of the cutouts on the pockets (i.e. to straight lines). Lining the pockets. Adding another layer of inner pockets (do not forget to adjust the outer pocket length). Mixing leather colors/types/etc. Changing stitch lengths, thread colors, etc. Please post your work so that I can see how others modify the design. I am studying how people learn and adapt information, and am curious how people do this as a hobby. Wallet A.pdf t
  5. In a nutshell, the grit is the number of cutting particles per inch. Start by thinking sand paper. A 8-grit would have 8 pieces of sand per inch, or 1/8 inch is the grit size. The finer the grit (i.e. larger number) the sharper the resulting edge. Coarser grits remove material faster and leave a rougher edge. You want very sharp tools to cut leather without forcing the tool.
  6. Just noticed that one item was forgotten (editing is not available). If the image does not have consistent contrast, draw a box (by holding left mouse button down and dragging) around an area. When performing the above steps, the operation works on the area within the box.
  7. After getting much help from reading other peoples' posts and getting questions answered, it is time to give some back to the forum. This tutorial describes how to take an image file and convert it into an outline suitible for printing (i.e. without using all of the ink or toner). You can use your preferred image processing program, or, if on a PC, you can use Irfanview (a free program: http://www.irfanview.com/), which is what this tutorial uses. Each step of the tutorial describes the sequence of operations and gives the irvanview commands. A sample image is shown at the end of each step. Click on the icon to see the full-sized image. Both the keystroke and menu sequence are provided. Note: if you use a different program, you need to locate the processing commands for that specific program. The following steps show the progress from an original image to an outline that can be used as a template. These steps are the general steps required to create an outline of an object in a picture. Different images yield different results. Make a copy of your desired image and open the image in the editor. Crop it to remove extraneous items. Draw a box by dragging with the left mouse button pressed, then type <Ctrl-Y> or menu: "Edit/Crop" to crop. Adjust the color map of the image. Do not worry if you do not see any change, this affects later operations. <Shift-U> or menu: "Image/Auto" adjust colors. Convert the image to greyscale: <Ctrl-G> or menu: "Image/Convert to Greyscale". Detect the edges of the picture. You may have to play with the filter setting number (1–5) depending on the image you are working with. Repeat the command using the different values and save each drawing to compare later. After a while you will get the hang of it. <Ctrl-E> or menu: "Image/Effects/Effects browser" to get a popup window of functions. Select "Edge Detect" set the filter number, and press "Apply to original image" until you get a good outline. Then press "OK" to close the popup. (Note that this produces a negative image that will be adjusted later.) Blur the image to merge disconnected edges. <Ctrl-E> or menu: "Image/Effects/Effects browser" to get popup window. Select either of the blur options and apply it to the image. The goal is to connect any discrete dots or dashes in the outline. It is better to set a lower value and apply it a few times. This one was blurred twice using "Blur 2" with 2 iterations and 20 regluarization. Sharpen the image to reduce the thickness of the line and remove any random dots (think static from the old TVs). This step results in a cleaner image and uses less toner or ink when printing. <Ctrl-E> or menu: "Image/Effects/Effects browser" to get the popup. Select "Unsharp mask" and set the filter to a low number. Apply it to the image a couple of times until it appears cleaned up. This image used a setting of 1 and was repeated four times. Invert the image to create a positive image. Menu: "Image/Negative" (there are no settings). Convert the image to black and white. This creates the equivalent of a drawing using only 2 colors. Menu: "Image/Decrease Color Depth..." to get a popup window. Select "2 colors (black/white) (1 BPP)" and click "OK" to finish. This sequence used an image that started with a lot of contrast (i.e. a dark bird against a light sky). If your starting image has low contrast, crop your desired area and save it to a new file. Open the file and adjust the contrast. <Shift-G> or menu: "Image/Color corrections..." to get a popup. Play with the "Contrast" "Gamma correction" and "Saturation" settings until you see more detail brought out. Then continue with step #3 above. Once you have your desired image, you can then scale it to the desired size before printing it. This also has other effects (filters) available at the website. Before anybody asks, I do not know of a similar program available on apple products. Sorry. best t Note to moderators – if you need to move this to another area, please do so. This one seemed appropriate, but it could also fit in any of the others like patterns, carving, etc.
  8. Thanks for the responses. mlapaglia: The dyes are Fiebing's and Omega, and are in glass bottles. Tried searching for old MSDS sheets, but these were probably made before MSDS was required. Aaron: Dyes and paints are two different things from the chemical perspective. A paint is a polymer that is composed of many small particles (the "mers") that form a long (poly) chain in an irreversible chemical reaction. One purpose of paint is to provide a surface coating that acts as a protective layer. Because this reaction is unidirectional, it is not possible to reverse the reaction. There are exceptions to this generalization (i.e. watercolors). A dye typically consists of pigments dissolved in a solvent. The solvent is a carrier that distributes the pigment, and the solvent evaporates leaving the pigment behind. Depending on how the solvent interacts with the material being dyed, there may be some chemical changes that occur. There also may be additives to help set the dye and keep it from bleeding when exposed to a solvent. Though I am new to leather, I have done a lot of woodworking. The old stains (dyes) with a volatile solvent (i.e. lighter than water) produced much better results than the new water-based stains. The old stains penetrated deeper to produce a richer finish. After reading many posts in the forum about how bad the newer dyes are, I was hoping that someone had a similar experience in the past and was willing to share. t
  9. After much searching, finally found a craigslist ad for some leather crafting tools & supplies. Most of the stuff is older (from the 70s & 80s), including several bottles of dye. To give you an idea of the age, there is a quart bottle of Omega dye (green) with a $2.95 price tag on it. The problem is that with a couple of the bottles, the solvent has almost completely evaporated leaving a thick liquid. Because this is a dye and not a sealer (like a polymer that solidifies as the solvent evaporates), it should be able to be rejuvenated. My question, to the long-time crafters, is what do I use to dilute the nearly dried out dyes? Looking at the MSDS for the Fiebing's solvent it lists two alcohols (ethanol and isopropanol) as ingredients. Will this work with the older dyes? Most of the dyes are Fiebing brand. thanks t
  10. Just want to ante my $0.02 into the pot here... One method to learn how to sharpen is to find an old, dull tool or buy a cheap tool (like the $5 H/F 11 piece wood carving set), and practice using a cheap sharpening stone (like the two sided H/F one for $4). Before beginning, look at the cutting edge. You will see a lot of parallel lines that look like they are scratched in, those lines are what you want to remove. Start with the coarse stone and move to finer stones. When you have finished, the cutting edge should look smooth and shiny without any visible scratches. If you get the cheapo set, start with one of the flat blades and progress to the more difficult shapes. The benefit of using this approach is that you are not working with an expensive tool that you are afraid of ruining. Set a goal of sharpening one of the set per day—about 30 to 45 minutes. Once you do it right, you can get good enough edges on the cheap tools to actually make them useful. Because the metal alloy is low-cost and not heat treated, these tools will not hold an edge (stay sharp) as long as your better quality tools. Taught sharpening this way to a neighbor last year, and he managed to get all 11 pieces sharp enough to shave hair off his arm. Then he went and sharpened his grandfather's tools. On the water vs. oil debate. Certain natural stones, the "water stones," are best used with water. Most man made (synthetic) stones work with either. I have had stones that were used with water begin to "rust" when the water reacts with the metal particles removed from the edge. Rusting does not happen with oil. On the other hand, spilling water is an easy clean up compared to oil. If you decide to go the oil route, store the stones and oil in one of those plastic shoe boxes, and keep it on the bottom shelf (so that it has nowhere to fall down to and spill). One type of oil that has not been mentioned yet is home heating oil, kerosene, or diesel fuel. Many sharpening oils are made from these oils because of the availability and low cost. If you do not like the odor, use mineral oil, commonly called baby oil. Remember that sharpening skills are like leatherworking skills—practice, practice, practice...
  11. Hi All, If you are getting started like me and are scared off from purchasing a large, expensive piece of leather to learn with, you might want to try this. Get a box of scrap pieces (like these http://springfieldle...d-Horse-Pieces/). Some of these are the remains of a clicked hide (pieces cut out with a die like a cookie cutter) that have a lot of curves to them. Trying to groove, mark, and stitch along the curves is a great way to learn how to groove and stitch without the stress of a big dollar purchase. (I do not work for Springfield, just happened to purchase this item and recognized the learning potential from it.) hope this helps t
  12. You can also use buffing/polishing compounds if you have a dremel or a drill press. These come in different grits (or coarseness) and usually different colors represent different grits. Depending on how rough the surface is and how smooth you want it to be determines which color you start with. Start with the coarser compound and proceed to the finer compound. The compound is some type of abrasive (different types of abrasives for different grits and for different types of metals being polished) that is mixed with a wax. The wax is colored, like a candle, so that you can quickly determine which grit (color) you need. Of course you have to do this quite a bit to memorize the color/grit combinations. You need some buffing wheels (simply circular pieces of cloth sewn together to form a "wheel"), and you need one wheel for each color of compound. The process is easy: hold the stick of compound against the spinning wheel for about 1 second, and then polish. After polishing with a rougher (coarser) compound, you proceed to the next finer compound (and a new wheel), and so on. The purpose of one wheel per compound is so that you will not have coarse grit scratching your metal when you try to use a finer compound. If you decide to use a drill press, look up on the web the safe way to position yourself and the piece you are polishing so that the piece does not get thrown into you when it snags the wheel. Because the wheel for a drill press is larger, the piece being polished can get hot very quickly. The dremel tool does not produce that much force so it is not an issue for the size piece you showed above. You can also use buffing/polishing compounds if you have a dremel or a drill press. These come in different grits (or coarseness) and usually different colors represent different grits. Depending on how rough the surface is and how smooth you want it to be determines which color you start with. Start with the coarser compound and proceed to the finer compound. The compound is some type of abrasive (different types of abrasives for different grits and for different types of metals being polished) that is mixed with a wax. The wax is colored, like a candle, so that you can quickly determine which grit (color) you need. Of course you have to do this quite a bit to memorize the color/grit combinations. You need some buffing wheels (simply circular pieces of cloth sewn together to form a "wheel"), and you need one wheel for each color of compound. The process is easy: hold the stick of compound against the spinning wheel for about 1 second, and then polish. After polishing with a rougher (coarser) compound, you proceed to the next finer compound (and a new wheel), and so on. The purpose of one wheel per compound is so that you will not have coarse grit scratching your metal when you try to use a finer compound. If you decide to use a drill press, look up on the web the safe way to position yourself and the piece you are polishing so that the piece does not get thrown into you when it snags the wheel. Because the wheel for a drill press is larger, the piece being polished can get hot very quickly. The dremel tool does not produce that much force so it is not an issue for the size piece you showed above.
  13. Because these are round punches, you could put them (one at a time) into a drill press. Set the press at its slowest speed and be very careful! Use a fine wetstone or oilstone, and proceed slowly and carefully. This method will yield a rounder shape than if you try to sharpen by hand. Just be careful. If there are dings in the edges, it will take longer, but keep going slowly and make certain that the edge does not get too hot (which is why you should use a wetstone or oilstone). If you have ever seen a sharpened or edged tool with blue streaks in the metal, that is an indication that the tool got too hot during manufacturing. Getting the metal hot enough to permanently change color changes the characteristics of the metal, such as how well it holds an edge (a.k.a. how long it stays sharp). Look on some of the knifemaking forums if you want other explanations. Check out how the edge progresses from the rough blank to the end finish.
  14. These shots have incredible detail, and might help in creating "action" carvings like this shot: http://www.flickr.co...157622819808778[/url] Anybody who would like to be inspired by high-speed photography of birds should browse: http://www.flickr.co...157622819808778 Hope to see what can be created from these. Not certain if this is the correct sub-forum for this, if not please move it. Sorry about links not working, first should be a picture, the other is the main page of the photographer.
  15. old thread, but found where the original link went to: http://www.classicbells.com/verlane/projects/Walletpatterns.pdf