chriscraft

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About chriscraft

  • Rank
    Member
  • Birthday 05/12/1974

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Milwaukee, WI
  • Interests
    Fly Fishing, Old Series Land Rovers and NOW This

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Fly Fishing Gear
  • Interested in learning about
    figure carving portriats
  • How did you find leatherworker.net?
    web

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  1. Sheridan leather has the Douglas Tool Versa Groove. It can be used right or left handed.
  2. What a find!! an autograph by the Stohlmans. You covered the previous owner's name, anyone famous? I've been going to local estate sales hoping I too can run into something like this. Also keep an eye out for framed wall art. Maybe an original tooled item from Al. One day.
  3. Thanks. Yes this stitch groover has some bite and tucks the stitch away. Its a Douglas Tool brand called the Versa Groover and I ordered both tip sizes. Think I'm using the smaller of the two cutters. It's a Great quality stainless steel tool.
  4. JerseyFF, just find yourself a quiet place to practice tooling after your station duties while at the station. I can tell you that I wanted to construct one of these leather shields back in 2010 when I was at the station and never did. Here is a link where I did a step-by-step on this blacked out shield. Maybe this will inspire you to get started. leatherworker.net/forum/topic/69922-alphabet-stamping-on-a-firefighter-shield/
  5. This would look cool with the entire open wrench set on each side. smallest to biggest ending with the larger wrench toward the back leaving space for name or initials.
  6. TSes, this isn't a copy off any pattern and I didn't have an actual sample to look at to just trace. That would have been much easier if a pattern was submitted. I designed the tooling layout. I did a web search on antique leather FF helmets and from all the different shaped shield pictures I found, I took the one I liked the best. This new layout had to fit within the measurments I was given. Most of the antique leather helmets I found pictures of used a "High Eagle" mount. This mounts the shield slightly taller than the top of the helmet making the need for a tall shield. I needed to design a shield to mount below the hieght of the helmet. Having a standard mass produced production shield in hand was a good base to start laying out my new outline for this shield. Now I had to design the inside layout, again looking at photos I picked out the number style that looked appropriate. I came up with the top banner as it resembled a firefighter metal badge. The pebbled background is a good filler that makes the rest pop. I like this design and hope to use it again on a different Dept. Shield. Some of the projects we work on take on a special meaning. I was a volunteer firefighter so this was a fun project to work on. I don't know if leather shields were originally part of the helmet or if the shields used to be hand tooled by leatherworkers. I would imagine it was a skilled trade one would specifically learn for this purpose. Today a few top FF helmet companies still produce leather helmets such as Paul Conway, Cairns and Phenix. These companies also provide a shield for an additional cost but it does not come close to what a private individual can produce. I've seen a few small companies that focus only on building leather FF shields, radio straps, radio harness, duty belts and truck belts. Depending on the skill level of the leather shield maker, each shield can range from a basic $80 to a fully custom hand tooled/painted $400 presentation leather shield. I'll let you know when someone pays me close to $400 for one. The first sample shield took me a total of 20 hours to build including making the layout and design. This last one pictured took me 4 hours to build as I already knew how to go about building one. I think with much practice and a few speedy tools one might be able to build these in less that 2 hours.
  7. Since 2010, blacked out FF leather shields have been becoming popular at fire houses across the US. Even if you have a colored numbered or white shield, it becomes smoked black during a fire and one must keep scrubbing away the dark smoke stained shield. So having a blacked out version to begin with wont make you look like a rookie anymore. Besides having a brightly painted number on a shield as identification that was great 100 years ago. Today every FF carries a two way radio, GPS, Personal Alarm Safety System and other reflective FF turnout gear. Traditional Firefighter's wore leather helmets that had leather hand tooled shields back in the day. Today they are still making traditional leather FF helmets but they don't come with a leather shield, Craftsman not included. Most Fire Dept. issue a mixed pleather/composite material front. These flimsy fronts belong on a plastic composite firefighter helmet and not on a Traditional Leather Helmet. This is why I was sought out to build a few quality leather shields. I chose to use Hermann Oak 7/8 oz for the tooled front and backed it with 8/9 oz. Makes a beefy leather shield.
  8. These Blacked Out leather Firefighter shields have become popular. This sturdy leather shield will provide many years of service. The owner will need to drill or punch the two mounting holes required to mount this onto a leather firefighter helmet.
  9. This came out nice. The hidden metal plate is out of sight and no rivets on the front face of this leather shield. Not bad for my first project using an alphabet stamp set.
  10. Most FF leather shields have a metal plate rivet to the back of the shield. This ends up leaving a visible rivet on the front as well. I came up with this way to hide the front rivets or in this case just eliminate the use of a front rivet. My metal plate will be sandwiched between the front and back layer. The only rivets one will see will be on the back side. Last name is stamped in the bottom section. Now Just glue and stitch away.
  11. Front tooled leather used was 7/8 oz. Center sandwiched leather was 5 oz. that was skived around the edges. This will be backed with 8/9 oz. leather. I waited till I stitched the 5 oz. piece of leather, that way I can stamp in the last name to make sure this lettering will be centered.
  12. You may get a slight ghost impression of the square stamp. If you do use a modeling spoon and rub the square impression away. Most of it will blend away as shown. You will get better results if you dampen with a sponge and re apply the modeling spoon. I waited till all the letters were stamped before removing the square impression. Once finished with the alphabet stamping I let the cased leather dry before dying everything black.
  13. Each letter is marked where it will be stamped.
  14. You can make yourself a lettering template and use it to center all your letters. That way all your multiple work looks similar.
  15. This is where I begin to stamp the 1/4" letters. I made the right side of the banner same length as the left to keep things slightly centered. I'll need to end the last letter near the edge of the right side so I'll start with the last letter first working toward the center.