cjdevito

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About cjdevito

  • Rank
    Member
  • Birthday 03/09/1971

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    NYC

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Making mistakes
  • Interested in learning about
    Learning from those mistakes

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  1. I wouldn't want to bet on the SuperShene. Only resist I've used with the Fiebing's paste so far has been Bee Natural's RTC and that worked.
  2. Yeah, I've done wallet backs in a cuttlebug too. Picked it up to play with embossing leaves in leather after seeing it used for that in an old thread here. Pretty inexpensive and it gets good results.
  3. On small pieces of leather, you can do this by sandwiching damp leather with the leaves on top between flat sheets of acrylic and feeding them through a home embossing machine like those used in the scrap booking hobby. For larger pieces lay out the leather with the leaves on top and put a panel of acrylic on top, then use manual pressure with a rolling pin to go over the acrylic panel. Just be careful not to put pressure anywhere near the outer edges of the acrylic or you'll transfer it's outline onto the leather as well.
  4. Two things you might try. First, tandy's pro black water dye. It's my favorite black dye, goes on easily and evenly, doesn't dry out the leather and I haven't had any bleed from it. Haven't tried it on anything that would be worn directly on skin like a bracelet, but it's holding up well on a belt I made my wife a while back. Second possibility that comes to mind is vinegaroon.
  5. Had a friend of mine ask me to do a musician's bag, which I'd never heard of but it turns out they're mostly known for a rod-over-single-handle closure. I based this on a Composer's bag offered by the Cambridge Satchel company. Leather is a five ounce crazy horse oil tan in chocolate purchased from Zack White. The brass rod was custom made by my friend in a metal shop he has access to.
  6. Yeah... I've spent a decade in hospital management/compliance work and I think just about any larger institution is going to shy away from handing over even innocent, unlabeled films with a 'better safe than sorry' policy about it. I'd think smaller practices/diagnostic labs and dentist's offices or vets like you suggest would probably be a better bet for getting them to part with some. Even so, the penalties for HIPAA violations are steep enough that most places aren't going to want to do anything that could even remotely be perceived as a potential violation.
  7. You can definitely do what you're talking about, Leprechaun, but have you considered using a sheet of stiffener instead of another layer of leather? It's cheap and works well, but you'll want to line the interior with something like pigskin to cover the backside of the stiffener. If you're not familiar with the stuff, SLC sells it for $8 for 16 square feet or so.... http://springfieldleather.com/30158/Bontex%2CBag-Stiffener/
  8. In general this is perfectly sensible and good advice. But with Etsy, I'm honestly not so sure it's the best way to go. You've some got great craftsmen there who don't charge nearly enough for their work and some not-so-great ones that charge a great deal. I wouldn't use the prices you'll find there for anything but a starting place/reality check, and would suggest instead the type of pricing formulas that were previously mentioned in other replies. Ultimately it's going to come down to what YOU can get for YOUR stuff. Quality will impact this, workmanship will impact this, materials will impact this -- but so will things like the quality of the photographs of the items (to the point where springing for a professional photographer can really make a difference in sales), the content of the items' descriptions (quality & character of the narrative), and even intangibles like your store name or where you're located.
  9. Have you tried the black from their pro line? I've been very impressed with it - world's away better than any of their other blacks.
  10. I use Bontex, the stiffening material sold by most of the leather supply companies. It's kind of manila folder material on steroids and it holds up well over time. And it's convenient, because I always like to have some around for leatherwork anyway. It's cheap, around $12 for 16 square feet if I remember correctly.
  11. I've gotten great grays with that stain. But I've also gotten muddy browns and faded blacks.... it's very hard to get consistent results with it, it seems to go on dramatically differently on just about every piece of leather I've ever tried it on. Which drives me nuts, because you can really get a perfect elephant gray with it when the stars align, so to speak. Honestly though I've just about given up on it at this point because I just can't seem to reproduce the color I want with it with any degree of consistency. I've heard you can get decent grays with weak solutions of vinegaroon and I plan to fiddle with that as a possibility one of these days.
  12. This is not too ambitious, although if you're going to do it all from scratch you are going to get a simultaneous introduction to both tooling and construction that'll be a lot of info to take in all at once. I'm assuming you do want to tool the wallet, like the one you pictured? If you do you'll be using veg tan leather for tooling, if not a lot of other leather options open up. Tandy leather has a bunch of basic videos on a variety of leather topics on youtube. I'd probably recommend starting by checking those out, paying close attention to the ones on tooling, dyeing, antiquing, stitching and construction. I think they'll serve to answer most of your first questions and show you what's involved at the same time. They usually identify the tools they use (and offer) during the videos, so it'll help make up a shopping list. Check'em out, then post back with the questions you'll have afterwards. Skip the sewing awl vids and look at the hand stitching ones. The link for their vids is http://www.youtube.com/user/TandyLeatherFactory/videos As far as a motorcycle wallet pattern, there's one in the patterns and templates forum here that's stickied. It's a bit different construction than this one, but may provide you with either a good alternative or a basis for customizing it to how you like. That thread is at http://leatherworker...showtopic=20414
  13. +1 on the eco-flo pro line. Much better than the rest of tandy's dye/stain line, easy to work with on my dining room table without having to worry about ventilation or clean up, and by far the best black dye I've used so far.
  14. Happy to. I love the style he uses. I think the next big carving project I try will be along his lines.
  15. I get discouraged all the time - I look at the works of some of the people here and I know it will be years, if ever, before I approach the level of skill they bring to the table. In the past two years I've completed dozens of projects, but not one of which came out exactly the way I wanted it to. The thing is though that every time I make something, I learn. Improving my work is an incremental process and I accept it as such. I'm sure there are some people who've picked up the tools and discovered on the first try that they're just naturally really good with them. I'm not one of'em, and I try not to let it bother me. There are so many parts to leathercraft, too. Tooling, construction, dyeing, finishing, design, stitching, edging... I try to make it a rule that when I hit a wall on one of these aspects to spend time trying to tackle a different one. That helps. Interesting thing is that my work is improving. Not at the pace I want, but nevertheless. There were patterns I bought when I was just starting out that I ended up putting aside at the time as being beyond what I could do at that point. I've since come back to them and managed to do them. Be patient with yourself. The main thing you need with a hobby like this a desire to do it. As long as the desire is there and you keep plugging away at it, you'll improve. You just have to be okay with the idea it may not happen as quickly as you'd like. Oh, and even when you feel you've messed a project up I recommend finishing it regardless. Two reasons. One, it's finished - it may not be quite right, but you got though it and you'll have a better idea what to do next time. It didn't beat you. Second reason, because learning from your mistakes is often one of the best ways to improve. If you give up on a project you lose a lot of learning opportunity, but if you take the attitude of "It's already messed up, so I don't have to worry about messing it up any more.... that means I can try this, and this, and that, and see what works and what doesn't" you can pick up a lot of knowledge even from a failed piece.