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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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  1. Sorry for the late reply Lakejumper. I'm using a new pro series Hidecrafter pebbler 3pc set. Thanks for the compliment.
  2. I decided to buy it. Its confirmed, single loader press. I will not be mass producing anything here so it will do.
  3. Has anyone used one of these older rivet kick press? Im thinking about buying this as an alternative to a newer Heritage kick press. It's made by The Tubular Rivet Co. Boston Mass. Looks to be well built but it might be a single loader. Maybe one could retrofit a new side tubular rivet loader.
  4. Looking for a Heritage foot press for rivet setting. I'm in Milwaukee, WI.
  5. I was lucky that my grandfather had a set of swivel knife fine and course hair blades in the figure carving tools I inherited from him. I don't know how old these are but most of his tools were from the late 50's to mid 60's. I would be lost without these two swivel knife hair blades. My fly fishing lures wouldn't look the same without them. I also would like to try and make my own blades with some fine jewelers files.
  6. I quickly found out that I needed to tune these letters. The casting on the letters have rough edges that made laying some letters beside others difficult. I filled away each rough edge and rounded them a little. I didn't do them all at once as this would take some time. Just thought I'd mention this for those having issues lining up these inexpensive alphabet sets.
  7. Sheridan leather has the Douglas Tool Versa Groove. It can be used right or left handed.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.