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About silverwingit

  • Rank
  • Birthday July 4

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Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Montrose, CO
  • Interests
    Boxes, Pouches, Cases, Holsters & Belts

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Leather accessories for musicians
  • Interested in learning about
    Extending my hand and machine stitching techniques
  • How did you find
    advice on internet
  1. I'm a tad surprised no one has mentioned your edge treatments, or lack thereof. Little touches like carefully finished edges are what separate a high-quality hand-made belt from those churned out in a factory somewhere offshore. For me, the glitz of fancy buckles are mere distractions from the absence of fine workmanship. I'd opt for good, solid construction and a simple buckle Add the fancy buckle and keepers after you have nailed proper construction techniques. Look at Nige's belts for examples of what I'm talking about. At least that's the way I see it, Michelle
  2. Not exactly on the topic of burnishing slits (don't even try), but I've found a way that I burnish holes. I make a lot of no-stitch boxes with the method described in one of Stohlman's box & case books. To do this you punch holes at the corners where the leather is bent at right angles and folds over on itself. It's always bugged me leaving the edges of those holes unburnished after I spend so much time finishing the rest of the edges. I do have a cocobolo drill press burnisher with a small diameter section but it's in my shop and it's sort of a hassle dropping everything and running out to the garage to use it. I normally just finish edges by hand with a cocobolo slicker, beeswax and a patch of canvas following Bob Park's method. So I've been wanting a way to do finish those pesky holes by hand right at my workbench. I recently got one of those Tandy Craftool stainless steel burnisher/awl tools with the black handle just for this purpose. It's been working pretty well. I use the usual wet/saddle soap/burnish then rub the tip of the tool with a little beeswax and go over it again, this time spreading a little beeswax. Not quite as nice as the straight edges but far better than just leaving them unfinished. They certainly don't draw the eye like the formerly ratty looking unfinished holes. Michelle
  3. I imagine from your profile that this is a laser engraved Delrin or similar plastic stamp. The stamp itself is amazing enough but I am very curious about how you actually make the impression. It is amazingly uniform in depth. I've tried everything from maul to dead blow hammer to arbor press to hydraulic shop press and I don't think I've ever gotten that even of an impression. Would you mind sharing how you manage such a uniform impression? Thanks, Michelle
  4. Methinks it's the total mass of whatever piece of rock you're pounding on. A piece twice as large area-wise but half as thick will yield the same inertial resistance. Michelle
  5. Very nice tooling! Is the concho function or decorative? Looks good whatever it is. Thanks, Michelle
  6. I have a pretty intense dislike for Acrylic Resolene, beyond the fact that I don't care for the way it can make project look so shiny (undiluted). Depending on your finish, AR can be a disaster. I used it over antiquing once and it dissolved the antique paste and ruined my project. I'll never use it again. Other people swear by it but I prefer Bag Kote. Michelle
  7. On matching shades... +1 on needing not only the same hide but taken from the same part of the hide and split down. Leather more towards the belly will take dye differently than back or neck leather. Also, +1 on diluting. That's the only way so control the shade unless you want your products to be very dark. Lastly, I find that I get my best results by letting the dye completely soak the leather. Fewer issues when finishing edges and the only way I've found to ensure uniformity of shade. I leave my workpieces to soak until they quit bubbling. I use Pro Oil dye. It takes a few hours to dry before I can continue working, but overnight works best. If I do these things I can count on the shades of the different pieces of leather that make of a project to be the same. Michelle
  8. Maybe I'm doing something wrong but I made a two-sided wood strop with horse butt and put the grain side out. Now no matter what I do it won't take or keep polishing compound. I wish I'd have made it flesh side out. I've sanded it with coarse sandpaper and that helps but my little belly leather strop with the flesh side out works much better. In fact, I am just about ready to make a new flesh side out horsehide strop out of frustration. Michelle
  9. Antique paste or gel.
  10. One thing about backstitching. If your machine doesn't put the needle in the exact same holes, all manner of ugly stitches can result, especially on the underside. My Cobra 4 has a longer backstitch than its forward stitch. For a long time I didn't know why my backstitches were so gnarled and protruding. I don't go to Michael's length to finish by hand. I'm lazy and I get better results using the machine to maintain its tension. I get my best results by backstitching without the machine's motor using the hand wheel and lifting the foot to position the needle to be spot-on the same holes created by the forward stitches. Another option is what you'd have to do if your machine didn't have a reverse stitch. Lift the foot (while the needle is down, after the stitch is competed) and manually turn the workpiece around and forward stitch. That will put what are now the backstitches in those same holes. Michelle
  11. In a word, Wowza! Chief, you would be doing all (well most all) of us a big favor if you'd make a detailed video of your different basketweave stamping methods. Your work is textbook perfect. In fact, better yet, you should write a book! Michelle
  12. The elastic strips I'm aware of are woven from thread wound around elastic "strings." So there are many little rubber threads running throuh them. Cut a strip apart to see what I mean. Michelle
  13. Just good, clean impressions on well-cased, high quality natural color vegetable tanned steer hide. Michelle
  14. Stitch it on. Works for me. But you need to stretch it out first or it won't want to "shrink" to fit. Michelle