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About NVLeatherWorx

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  • Birthday 11/10/1964

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Belts, wallets, checkbook covers, purses/handbags, etc.
  1. I always use a standard thonging chisel that corresponds to the size of lace I use and do it that way. You get uniform sized slits and the spacing is perfect for the technique. I am sure that there are several opinions out there as to what works for others but that is what this community is for - sharing information and ideas. I would suggest that you do a test run of just a few inches (centimeters in your case) with each possible method you can use and see what the overall outcome and appearance is; pick the best of the two for your project and then use that same process every time you use that lacing technique going forward. Good luck, and drop us some photos once you have it done.
  2. I will do you one better and see if I can get my pattern off to you shortly.
  3. Oops! Sorry about that guys. Anyway, with some minor modifications you can get the first version to work great but the biggest down side I would have is the fact that once you start laying out a run of these things you will notice that the potential waste is going to be a bit high; always hated that with these unique designs but some of them just can't be passed up.
  4. Actually, if you look at the provided images very closely you will find that this is not folded down the centerline as some have indicated. However, the attached sketch that @northmount has provided does give a more accurate design concept to it, just cut down the centerline to about 1/2" below where the neck starts; this concept would also be easier to work with than the design provided by @Thor but both of these ideas work so it is your choice. I have made one of each based on the designs provided and they look pretty much spot on to the original image. I did have to make an adjustment to the first version though as the neck area is too wide, I adjusted it down to 1/2" wide and it looked a lot better as the leather doesn't bunch up when you fold it through the ring.
  5. If you are using leather that is that thin then there is no reason to have to skive it, just fold around the entire edge to the depth that you need and make sure that the contact cement sticks real good. If your leather really is about the 1 oz. thickness then you won't even have any issues with bunching up or anything as it should just be able to smooth right out for you.
  6. Check out Tandy's Leathercraft Library at Leathercraft Library and then check out all of their patterns. They have several Christmas patterns and I believe one of them is the Sleigh Bell Door Hanger. Have fun with it.
  7. I only use Hermann Oak but there are times when I have used a veg-tan pigskin as well. Only problem with the pigskin is finding one that actually looks clean enough to work with; hasn't been easy past couple of years so I just go with the H.O. all around for consistency in color and appearance.
  8. I personally never use cloth or ribbon for any elements within a wallet or other item as they fray, wear, and do ultimately fail creating a mess that isn't easy to repair. All of my pockets are individually cut from 2 to 3 oz. veg-tan and then stitched along the bottom edge (approx. 1/8" in from edge) to the main panel where the cards will be carried. I use the "T" method on my pockets so that each pocket will overlap an open space which helps keep the overall thickness at the edges down and makes allows for a professional designer style appearance. I start with the inner most (bottom) pocket and work my way to the top until they are all in place. I have attached some images showing the parts after being cut out, and what the finished item looks like. The back (outside) is made from 4 - 5 oz. veg-tan; interior and slot panels are made from 3 - 4 oz. veg-tan; pockets are made from 2 - 3 oz. veg-tan. Final thickness is well less than 1/2" when folded.
  9. That is a darn fine piece of leather there and the color is just spectacular. This thing screams richness in the tones and is very worthy of respect.
  10. Based on the image you provided and the need for the version you are working on to be similar I would suggest that you use any one of the following leathers (provided in oz. descriptions): 1.5 oz. pigskin lining leather, 1.5 oz. calf leather, 1.5 oz. English Kip, or even 1.5 oz. goatskin. You need to have the thinnest leather you can get your hands on but you also need to make sure that it has some level of durability as it is going to get worked over pretty good with the cards and everything else. You need it to be thin in order to keep the overall thickness down to a manageable minimum as well. You may be able to get the number of pockets desired but the overall size of the device is going to dictate that as you only have so much room to work with and you can't just stack pockets on top of each other to make a desired number fit; kind of like trying to put the square peg in the round hole. The backing behind the card slot face is going to have to be made from an artificial materials such as a poly fabric or even using that wide ribbon method that so many have been talking about over the past year plus. Anything I make that has a pocket for cards is made from 2 - 3 oz. veg-tan that I shave a little bit off of and then stitch it to a 3 - 4 oz. veg-tan panel that creates the larger back pocket area. I see it this way, if a person is in the market for a product that has artificial materials and fabrics built into it then they already have plenty of other sources for product that has eventual failure built into it and I can move on to other things. Just my take on this. What are you using for the device base? I have a supplier out of Southern California that sells them for just about every device you can dream of and they have been very good for me over the past couple of years.
  11. I believe that LEFARC only sells to large operations and if I understand the history of Saddleback Leather the LEFARC tannery is very small and private. I do know that they use pretty much the same tanning formula as Chahin as that is the standard for Mexico and all of Central and South America (cheaper to produce as the vegetable matters used are common to the area whereas the Oak isn't). Odds are that your testing was conducted with leather that comes from the same process so I would suggest that your results would not be too much different if done with leather from Chahin. I don't see the prices for leather from the Hide House in the form of a whole side as I order from them at the wholesale pricing which is actually based on per square foot. I just received another 8 to 9 oz. Hermann Oak side that came in at 29.7 square feet and my price was at the $179 mark for that one (it is already gone too as it has been turned into 32 belts over the past few days). The Hide House website does take a bit to get used to as it is still quite antiquated but for all of your tooling leather just look under the heading for Saddlery; your linings can easily be found under Orthopedic and/or Boot and Shoe. Once you spend a little time in there you quickly figure it out. The term "seconds" is typically used to identify a product that was found to be of substandard quality by the manufacturer during their QC checks. In the case of leather it typically means that there are marks, scratches, rips, holes, etc. that caused it to be rejected for sale to the distributors that they typically work with but they were more than happy to sell it off to a lesser distributor for basically the costs to produce the product. Horween is good leather but it is pretty much pre-finished and you can't do much else with it. Each type of leather produced by Horween also has a targeted use and most of them do not respond to adhesives (if you use them to preposition components) very well.
  12. Now knowing the leather tannery you use makes some sense to me as to why the results are as inconsistent as you had explained in the first post. That tannery is known to use "alternate" liquids in their tanning process and their formula is not from Oak either so the resulting leather is not the same as what we refer to as vegetable tanned which is really Oak tanned leather. This is also the tannery group that does a large amount of the Tandy leathers and you can find plenty of threads here in these forums that will outline a wide range of issues and complaints. Convenience makes sense but it isn't always as convenient as we thought it was. Regarding the Fiebing's brand: it is the brand that was here when leather working took off and it has been the brand trusted by more Master Craftsmen and Master Saddle Makers than any other; it also is the most trusted and used brand around the globe and I have stood by them since I started with leather working over 40 years ago. I have tested and evaluated the other brands that are out there and have found nothing that even comes close to them, especially those water-based eco products. If you want to give some U.S. based suppliers a shot, there is a huge designer industry supplier located in Napa, California, named The Hide House. They carry a wide range of leathers that just about covers everything you can dream of and they do supply a larger industry than any other supplier we have. Their natural tanned (vegetable-tanned) leathers are from either Hermann Oak in St. Louis, MO, or they are imported from Europe (France and England) and they are all tanned using the Oak based formula which gives a much more russet color and works much better for stamping and/or carving & tooling as well as wet molding if that is in your wheelhouse. They are also very easy to dye/stain and accept the colors much more evenly than any of the other vegetable based tanned leathers. I believe that The Hide House also has a selection of drum dyed leathers and harness leathers that have been fully dyed and conditioned that may suit your needs. If you have an opportunity give them a look at www.hidehouse.com and see what you can find.
  13. You may be able to find denatured alcohol in a pharmacy but the easiest place to find it would be through a local hardware store as it is carried in the paint department and used for several things painting related. Sounds like you used some standard rubbing alcohol but it shouldn't have separated anything like what you described; that separation is an obvious flaw in the products that were used (i.e. the stain/dye) which is why it isn't always the smartest move to try and get stuff that is easy to get your hands on and if it isn't even heard of outside of a specific area then it probably is not of any decent quality and should be avoided. We all have had to learn certain things along the way and most of them are through the school of hard knocks but at least we learn what NOT to do. Good luck with your endeavors and your search for the drum dyed piece that will work. Not knowing exactly where you are at, I am hesitant to suggest any possible sources.
  14. Fair question there Mike516. There is a huge difference in the way that a dye and a stain penetrate the leather as well as the resulting outcome from each. Another key question here is what brand, and more specifically, exactly which products within that brand, are you using for your testing? And to clear the record here, Neatsfoot oil is not a resist, it is a conditioner only. Denatured alcohol would be a better thinner than any paint thinner which has a tendency to actually dry leather out because it is so potent. I achieve the same color as depicted in the farthest right sample of your photo above (I am assuming that would be #4) by simply applying two treatments of Fiebing's Dark Brown Pro Oil dye with a dauber, no need to dip dye as that would put too much pigment and dye into the leather and dry it out much more during the drying phase. This whole thing about dip dying is overused and there really is no reason for such activity when working with veg-tan leather. If you truly need a piece of leather that has been dyed all the way through then just buy a hide, side, etc. that has been drum dyed and call it a day. The more you dye it the dryer it becomes; the dryer it becomes the more you have to condition it; the more you condition it, the more pliable it ends up. This has been a fast and simple rule that I was taught decades ago in my youth and one that the Masters of Old lived by; it has worked for me since that time.
  15. If you are looking for something that is going to penetrate deep into the leather and give a long lasting finish then go with the Fiebing's brand of products; been using them for decades (as they were the original source for all of our finishes back then anyway) and they haven't tinkered with the formula or the program. Although the Eco-Flo Pro Waterstains do give you a good range of vibrant colors the lighter colors have a huge flaw in them: when the leather is exposed to constant sweat or moisture it stains and turns black and you can't get it off. If you are just looking for something temporary and don't really care what the long term appearance is then go with the garbage from the Eco-Flo branded lines. Water based products do not have the lasting power that spirit based products do and there isn't anything you can do to a water based formula to change that. The Eco-Flo Oil Dyes are not a bad addition to the family but the colors are limited and you can only the black in a large amount than 4 oz., the rest are just small bottles and I burn through one of those a day, in just one color. If you are looking to do a lot of leather production and may need to buy in a larger quantity, you can check with Fiebing's and see if they will offer a wholesale program pricing structure to you. I receive dealer pricing as I also stock minor quantities on-hand to sell to others who need a quick bottle or two.