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About chriscraft

  • Rank
  • Birthday 05/12/1974

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • 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

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4,369 profile views
  1. Aging.... blurry vision when tooling

    Thanks Tom for the explanation. Now I’ll be armed with questions when I visit the Dr. Mike, hopefully I’ll receive news like you did as my distant vision is still good. I will add more lights to my work station.
  2. Aging.... blurry vision when tooling

    I tried out the +1.25 lenses, they worked but I noticed I had to be a certain distance to see clearly. Move 1 inch away or closer and things got blurry quick. The next strength, +1.50 was better but the +1.75 I liked the most. This last Marquette University Dentestry seal I tooled this morning will be painted. The first color I used was on the background. It’s dry now and with these glasses I just picked up, I can see it’ll need to be touched up before moving on to the next color.
  3. Aging.... blurry vision when tooling

    I’ll stop by and pick up a pair. I’ve seen them before at the end of the isle near the pharmacy at Walgreens. I’ll get the weakest set I can find, just need to see a little detail for now. I’m glad I’m not painting or doing any art projects for money anymore. That would really be a bummer. I’m just making a few custom tooled Christmas gifts for the kids so my stuff doesn’t need to be perfect.
  4. Aging.... blurry vision when tooling

    Thanks for all the advice. I just finished tooling this piece on 5oz. Wow this 2mm thin HO sure stretches. I’ll need to glue it down to poly board next time. Was also trying not to punch thru and did a good job at that. Have held it up to the light and no holes. Now that I’ve taken a photo and can zoom in on it, yeah I see many little mistakes. Can’t see where I’m placing my beveler anymore while walking the tool. Lining up these 1/4” letters is trickier.. wow.... I need to wait till I’m set up with glasses. I do find it funny that I can’t see, it’s like permanent beer goggles but from very close by. Anything 15” or farther away I can see fine.
  5. Aging.... blurry vision when tooling

    Yin Tx, I’ve been thinking that my vision will also get worse once I start to correct it. I’m not worried about it right now, guess I’m still in the Denial stage. I used to think I can do anything I set my mind to. Especially the hands on stuff like drawing or using my fine motor skills and hand eye cordination on stuff. I believed that anyone else can do the stuff we do. But now, maybe it was only cause we saw it in a way that we can break it apart into its basic steps, then only to trace them back recreating them to accomplish the task. I still have not lost the gift of patience so I’ll need to adjust to the use of glasses while I learn to use them. Once I get them I mean. Guess I need to limit myself in that I shouldn’t attemp to draw with such fine detail anymore. Lately, to get out of drawing, I’ve been telling ppl that ask me to draw them something that instead, I can teach them how. Usually they answer, “I can’t even draw a stick figure”. I reply.. that’s great cause I won’t be teaching you how to draw any stick figures...
  6. Aging.... blurry vision when tooling

    Hidebrand that’s what I was thinking.. using glasses plus one of those magnifier lights. ABHandmade are those all prescribed lenses? That setup maybe the way to go...
  7. I’m 44 y/o and I knew one day, I’d wake up and see the world in a different way.. blurry. I’ve been blessed with super human vision for many many years now. I could always see clearly miles away. Eagle eyes my grandfather would say. Up close seamed like I had microscopic powers as the closer I could get my eyes to the paper when drawing, they would auto focus and I could see extreme fine detail. My grandma would always have me thread the needle on her Singer treadle sewing machine. I’d come home from school and it would be my first chore before homework A halo... I’ve never seen or noticed the halo around all those city lights at night. They have always been a clear light with a sparkle in the shape of an X with fine pointed edges. That was the way I would draw them, same way I could see them. Over the past 6-8 months I began noticing a halo toward the center of city lights. For years I’ve seen artist paint lights with a halo and always wondered where they came up with that. Was it to represent the halo pictured around religious saints. Not long ago, my question was finally answered... I think my vision is going. Today those lights at night not only have a halo.. they have many burst of light just like a sparkler on the 4th of July. Before this, I was a member of a Hazmat Team and our vision was tested at an optometrist office. Mine was 13/16 on my left eye and 16/16 on my right eye. I always assumed my dominant eye was my right but began using my left eye after this test. Never had my nearsighted vision tested and that’s what changed recently. As of last month, anything 15” away from my eyes is just blurry. I awoke like any other day before and finally see the world differently as predicted. Its difficult to draw or tool leather as I can’t see my detail clearly anymore. My cuts have suffered and hand painting small detail is just frustrating. I just completed a leather patch for my son’s baseball bat bag and I’ve never made so many mistakes going over the lines when painting. I’ve touched all of them now,, well all that I can see. lol Soon I’ll visit an ophthalmologist to get a script for corrective lenses. Do I just ask for bifocals as I need to see very closely and not just read. Do I buy one of those magnified round lights that mount to a table?
  8. I'm looking to build some tool belts along with a double 2-way radio shoulder harness for a few friends that are in Oil Refinery field service work. I did this type of rough neck work myself sometime back in the Houston Texas area. While working for the Koch oil field company based out of Houston, my company would pay us extra to travel within the US to other oil refineries to install and service oil field equipment. I would often run into Refinery Plant Operators that were wearing custom leather radio harness and leather tool belts. Some of these looked home made but some were top knotch custom rigs. I know that some were just a customized inexpensive carpenters tool belt but some were built specific to only hold a few basic operator tools. I've seen Similar built leather tool belt rigs in the Forestry Tree service industry. What it needs to carry: Radio harness- these carried 1-2 two-way Motorola radios similar to a Firefighter radio harness but looked more vest like. They had pockets to carry paperwork, pens and small items such as Lock-Out-Tag-Out tags, keys and zip ties. Tool belt- They resembled electrician line man tool belts that carried basic tools such as scrapers, ball peen hammer, channel locks, flash light, glove sling, tape measure, leatherman knife and a few slots for metal marking markers and pencils. With all the different oil refinery plants spread out throughout the United States, I'm wondering if anyone here has built anything like this? Looking for ideas while I take the plung at building one of these niche market leather rigs. .
  9. Alphabet stamping on a Firefighter Shield

    Joseph, I Defiantly would love to make a living doing this myself. It all takes time, materials, equipment and of course... Skill. I've decided to keep this craft in the hobby stage for a long while. Will slowly aquire more tools and equipment as I tinker around honing my craft. Good luck and keep us posted if you decide to build one..
  10. Alphabet stamping on a Firefighter Shield

    This was a side job I did for another company. They charged the customer $1,350 for 9 shields. Ouch!!! Not only did I provided the design layout and the build specs to be made out of quality HO leather but I also built the first sample shield at no charge. This ended up landing me this small order but it was a gamble on my part. If you're building one shield for a close friend, then pricing gets difficult. Im not sure if charging for your time is possible but you will gain knowledge out of the build experience. Billing friends for just materials will at least pay for the hobby. As always, try to use the best materials your friends can afford. This makes life easier on you.
  11. Alphabet stamping on a Firefighter Shield

    Like JerseyFF said, most custom shield makers don't use them. It's definitely not a FF standard to include a curve stiffener or not. It's just one of those "overkill" add-on items that you may or may not ever need. I just wanted it to be hidden within my shield build and not look like it was added as an afterthought.
  12. Dragon figure carving

    Nice, was it all hand brush work? Looks like a little airbrush work was used. Nice that it's not over hand tooled. I think that is what makes painting these stand out more. Too much tooling can overwhelm the piece. But you didn't so great job.
  13. Alphabet stamping on a Firefighter Shield

    Jason I really don't have a ton of experience sewing or even ordering thread. I've purchased thread from Bob Kovar over at Toledo Sewing Co. and I've ordered from The Thread Exchange. Looking through my 1 pound thread spool labels I wouldn't be able to tell where each spool came from as they all look the same. Most have a Made in USA label on them. I do recall ordering this Dark Gray thread color from TTE, it was listed in the clearance section and they only had a hand full of spools left. The color looks darker on the spool than compared to the finished stitched color.
  14. Alphabet stamping on a Firefighter Shield

    Hey Jason, I used 346 thread with a 5 spi setting on my Cobra leather sewing machine. I've noticed not all thread lays down the same. Some are a little more flexible and some thread is stiffer. I've gotten best results with the stiffer threads like this dark grey thread I used. I was trying to find Kevlar thread for this small run of shields but it's not available in many colors and have read mixed reviews about Kevlar cutting through leather. I'm not looking to produce these for the active fire service. I wouldn't mind making some for decoration, wall hanger type of shield so no issues with using bonded nylon thread. Havent been doing much leatherwork for a while now. Just need to get back at it.
  15. I haven't done much leatherwork in a while and need to get back at it. I'd like to try out some different distressed backgrounder tools or matting tools on. Does anyone know what tool is used to accomplish these different hammered textured effects? I have the Hidecrafter pebbler 3pc. set and these don't look like they were used on these projects. Thanks in advance, Chris