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About johnv474

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  1. The general view is that brass is the most durable of the zipper options. I should say that this is the public's perception. The point is debatable, but it is a safe way to go. Due to the cost of brass, they are also more expensive. I recommend YKK primarily. They are one of the biggest zipper manufacturers, and have a good reputation. Nylon coil zippers have a few advantages: they slide smoothly, they are inexpensive, and in something like a dopp kit there is no chance of teeth rubbing against the hand when reaching in. One disadvantage is they don't look especially premium. Vislon zippers have a few advantages: they are less expensive than metal, they are supposed to be self-cleaning and usable even when dirty, and they are supposed to be durable. They are used a lot in military gear. Disadvantage: very utilitarian-looking. Metal tooth zippers have the perceived advantage of strength/durability. Aluminum looks dull compared to brass, and perhaps lower quality (looking, I mean). Nickel zippers look better, but are mostly available in short lengths. All told, for durability as far as sheer strength, the larger the size of the zipper teeth or coil, the stronger it is. The main sizes are: 3, used on skirts, small coin purses, etc. 5, used on jeans, jackets, etc. By far this is the most common size. 7, used on some coveralls, some coats, other gear intended to have rugged use. 10, used on zippered windows (eg Jeep), heavy coveralls, hockey bags, etc. A dopp kit will get light use over a long tim.e. For that application I would probably choose a #5 metal zipper in brass or a 5 coil zipper in a color that matched the leather or stitching. You could use 7, as well.
  2. You'll need something that will remove acrylic paint (deglazer or nail polish remover, perhaps).... but whatever you use won't know which paint you want to keep or remove so you'll have to be very careful. You may need to touch up some spots with a toothpick that has paint on the top.
  3. What did you use to color the lettering?
  4. To get very straight lines of stitching, here is one way: lay your leather on the worktable. If it is stretchy leather, put some masking tape on the back so it doesn't move around on you. Slightly dampen or use saddle soap to soften it. Using a scratch awl, poke a small hole at the beginning and end of where you want to stitch. Using a ruler, pull the scratch awl along the ruler to draw a straight line between the holes. Use a stitching chisel/pricking iron to mark/make your holes, being careful to center the chisel/iron on the line you drew. When advancing the chisel/iron, insert it into the last TWO holes you previously made in order the keep it straighter. Continue until you reach the other end of the line. Alternative to chisel/iron, use a stitch marker wheel/overstitch wheel and run it carefully along the ruler. Without starting to sew, put scrap leather or cork behind the leather and push your sewing awl vertically through each hole, being very careful to keep it vertical. Continue from one end of the line to the other. You may need to still use your awl during the actual sewing to re-open the holes, but this will help you keep the stitch lines straight front and back.
  5. So far as I can tell, all latigo will bleed. You might have better luck with bridle.
  6. As I understand it, the one people really like is the Lin Cable, and like you have seen it is quite expensive. I can't remember if I've sewn with it or not, but it is twisted twice and smoothed, which leaves a very dense, consistent, and round thread. The consistency improves the look of the stitching (for fine goods). The extra processing to yield that result, plus being natural v cheap synthetic is what adds to the cost.
  7. Don't tie a knot. Thread your needle, and point the needle back toward the long part of the thread with the thread on a table. Poke the tip of the needle through the thread. Pull the short end of the thread so the pierced part of the thread goes up the needle. Pull the needle all the way through. Now repeat that. You will end up with thread running through your needle and it will look a bit like a dollar sign. It's called "locking the thread" and creates a much smaller wad of thread when you go to pull the thread through your holes. Using a knot technically works, as in it functions, but what you have discovered is the big reason why it is not the preferred approach--the need for pliers.
  8. If you decide that you can have a joint then look for round leather belting for sewing machine. It is available up to 9.5mm (in US units, up to 3/8 inch) and is vegetable tanned and already round. The main problem with such bracelet is how difficult to put it on if you have thick leather with no elastic or closure. The problem with manufacturing this bracelet is there is a lot of waste (the centers that are too small for bracelets), and leather is expensive. Leather is especially expensive when you want an unusual leather like this thickness. It would be easier and faster to stack two or three thicknesses together and you can form to whatever shape you like, using leather that is more common.
  9. I have a pair or two. The good part is that they make consistent holes quietly, are pretty sharp, and don't require much effort. The disadvantage is you need to position them very carefully... on *both* sides. You may be lined up perfectly on the front only to find that the back moved 1/8" above your stitch line. If you have a stitching pony to hold your pieces vertical that may make checking both sides easier. The other (minor) disadvantage is that these create a hole but you still may need to use an awl or push the needles harder, because where the tips touch in the center of your layers might not fully pierce. The best I could figure out was to poke a hole at the beginning/end of a straight line, then scoot the leather over the edge of the table, insert two needles in the holes, and pull the leather back just until the needles just touch the table on the bottom, then put a weight on the leather. Now you can butt thr bottom plier jaw up to the table while you align the top and be somewhat sure it's in place. If these made 6-10 holes it would be more worth it to me, but for 4 holes (3 new holes if you re-use a hole), it can get old if you're doing a tote or something. A stitch marking wheel and awl is quieter, but takes more practice.
  10. One option is just to start making and selling them yourself. They will get knocked off anyway so you may as well be the first one making them. Out of curiosity, is this type of invention something you would expect to be in the hands of professional shops (i.e.price of $1k+) or something that the average hobbyist might pick up on a him (say, $20)? I would imagine it's somewhere in between, but just to have some idea.
  11. Yes it will. It takes a while for the oil to fully disperse, though (I have had it take a few days to even out). Apply the oil lightly because of this. You can always add more later.
  12. I tried something similar, though not with books. It's worth mentioning that if you glue the leather down while curved, it will stretch flat as you say... but will also want to curl whatever it is glued to back, and the cover may not want to lay flat. I don't know of a real solution besides choosing stretchy leather.
  13. The toolmakers mentioned offer a range of premium quality tools, but don't forget CS Osborne tools. They are US-made (NJ), and tend to be on the 'workhorse' side of things. Like many off-the-shelf tools, they often require a bit of touch-up before they function at their best.
  14. I, too, have experienced discoloration of thread from pulling through dark leather. However I think it's just pigment getting into the wax, not dyeing the thread. I understand that dyeing polyester (or nylon) is not very easy and requires almost boiling the thread in the dye. The best (imperfect) solution I've found is to use a dry brush (like a suede brush) and brush it, followed by something like Lexol cleaner or saddle soap and another brushing. Please test on a scrap before attempting on your final project. YMMV.
  15. I suggest taking it to a professional shoe repair shop, letting them assess it, and paying them to do the work. If you decide not to take it to professionals without having done something similar, then you run the risk of making beginner's mistakes. That said, it IS possible to change the color of the bag in ways that will NOT ruin the bag, and CAN produce a darker color in the direction of the color you posted. Lots of people dye bags darker, and a web search will offer lots of ways to attempt it, in addition to the step-by-step listed above. Just be aware that "Dark Brown" is (unless diluted) a very dark, bitter dark chocolate color. All of this goes out the window if this bag is vinyl.