Boriqua

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About Boriqua

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    Leatherworker
  • Birthday 07/03/1963

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    http://www.boriqualeather.com

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    Male
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    Mesa, Arizona

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  1. You can certainly add "rub marks" with a rag or a shaving brush. Just make sure that it is not "wet" so you can bring up the color and feather it at the edges. This pic is not great and doesnt show the contrast as well as it looked in real life .. and its only an "ok" piece but it will give you the idea. I started from scratch with Cherry then dialed in some mahogany and then just misted some areas that I thought might be handled in real life with some brown. It was light passes but on the yoke where it might be carried or rub on the saddle, at the corners of the flaps where someone would naturally open and close it and even on the strap ends. I then used neatsfoot oil which brought all the colors together and then applied paste wax to the whole thing since I knew it would be used hard outdoors. Now I knew the client to some degree so I knew he wouldnt go for "beat up" aged but wanted a little push on character marks that will naturally develop over time but I helped to get him started. Kiwi is right in that you can pull it off with just oil applied to certain areas but I never saw a piece years later to know if the selective aging effect stayed. With all of my suggestions I propose building up. You can never take out oil or dye effectively so it best to add both of them sparingly and then continue to add. I usually apply my neatsfoot with a tee shirt rag since it wont hold big heaping helpings of oil like a piece of towel might and then just keep reapplying until I am happy with the result.
  2. Here in AZ the land of the retiree, snowbird and golf heaven we spell that belt ... "Fashionable"
  3. I am a sucker for the image breaking the frame every time!! Love it.
  4. Agreed! That is where I was going with " No troop would have worn anything like that at the time. It would have been darkened with oil and rubbing " I Served in the US Army for a time .. No way I would have had anything abraded and cracked on. But with use and FREQUENT polishing and cleaning you will get darker spots where things rub. Still you would need to be squared away and cracked wouldn't have passed. I was issued 2 pair of boots to kick of basic training .. at the end of 9 weeks one pair gave up the ghost and couldn't be polished anymore since the toe areas had basically become worn to suede from crawling around in the Missouri gravel and mud. They had to be tossed. Like I said .. look at old gear and see where it would have lightened or darkened under normal use and see if you can fake it. I do it all the time with western style saddlebags. Where it rubs on the horse, where you will handle the flap .. all those will darken. Cant wait to see what you come up with. Alex
  5. I have never made a corset but may have some info worth consideration. You wont be able to effectively do the tooling after its dry or when it has been formed. When I will tool, carve or whatever a piece I know will be wetformed I consider the parts of the leather that will need to be stretched or formed and have that help to influence the design. So if there are parts of the corset that will be affected minimally by the forming proccess there is where I will focus my tooling efforts. It may be that there are several areas that are perfect for tooling and then you can use other elements to bring the design together like stitching, thread color, dye color or more. I dont like the idea of separate designs but I am pretty sure I could creatively pull off a unified design even if I only had several islands of tooling. I find that wetforming dyed leather is more difficult than wetforming undyed. I have tried a million different ways and swore it must just be me but no .. undyed leather sucks that water up and makes a nice pliable piece to work with. Now .. having said that I have multiple reasons that I must dye first and it works but again its all about what your creation in your mind wants it to be. I get the most definition out of an undyed wet piece but If a corset has nice sweeping forms then doing it with dyed leather may actually be better. I have more trouble taking hard edges with dyed first but that can be a plus with a corset. Last .. if you are going to carve or stamp a piece that will be wetformed than be sure to stamp or carve it DEEP! You are going to lose a little definition so starting out with a carving or stamping that is already light and it will disappear once its formed or worse .. only disappear in spots which is hideous.
  6. Beautiful Cover Josh !! This guys wants everything BLACK. Ugh .. I have 15 colors of dye out there and I get .. can you do it in black! Like I said though .. guy has been around buying stuff for years from me. I dig sometimes taking stuff in trade ... I just started on a qt bottle of apple whiskey that was a thank you from a happy client. Pretty damn tasty stuff.
  7. A member here did some stone inlay bracelets with sewn on bezels that were in my opinion ... gorgeous. Maybe you can reach out to him for thoughts
  8. Big Sioux .. at this point I sell almost everything I make cold. I don't have to take nor do I want to take any more custom orders. I have a few people who have bought from me over the years and bought from me years ago when I was starting out again after retirement and I feel somewhat obligated to take care of them and genuinely enjoyed their patronage and who they were after I got to know them and like to take care of them but I could and would be very happy not to receive another "one off" order again ever. I spent a lifetime in my real life negotiating payment and terms and drawing up or reading contracts. Now .. I like to make cool shit and see if someone likes it enough to buy it. But .. I have a couple of loyal fans and I enjoy and want to take care of them. Back in the early 90's I had a real job but still couldn't keep up with the amount of motorcycle saddle bags and tool rolls I was asked for. I am still happy people enjoy my work.
  9. Ummmm... WTH man. I thought this was a somewhat valuable and civil discussion ... then you question my integrity and honesty. That would be no .. I did not include drying time in the 4 hours. I have enough orders to keep me busy for the next 2/3 months so I dont sit around waiting for something to dry and include it in a time estimate. I dye it and move on to another stage of something else Im working on. Not cool. I am not especially sensitive but I am all about honor and honesty and don't appreciate implications that I am inflating numbers. I did include .. Dying it .. then coming back to dye it again .. and then it still wasnt the black I was looking for so I dyed it again. All of that means going and getting the pieces, going out to my dying area outside, dying and bringing back to my drying area. Not a huge deal but ... You do it three times and tell me what it cost you in time. Could I run or trot .. sure, but things you dont think about take time and no I didnt include dry or cure time. Its actually still curing The inside was burnished with glycerin and water and a glass slicker. I didnt feel after it dried that it was as smooth as I like so I did it again. I dont know if I am happy with it until it dries. While not including dry time .. I do have to get my materials and tools and do it. Then after I burnish the interior I grind a second time to make sure my parts match up well and I like the contours. Of course all the edges are beveled and burnished but you have to burnish some edges before you assemble because you cant get to them to do a proper or even a "good" job once its assembled. Of course the welt has to be skived and tapered at either end so you don't have a chunk of leather with no explanation or a giant gap that doesn't make sense. Then you grind it all down again to make sure your three pieces at the welt look seamless. Although you already beveled the edges with your edging tool it makes some funky corners that you cant live with so you take a piece of sand paper and by hand go over the edges to make sure when you round them they don't look as faceted. I make sure to grind my Scovill (DOT)snap, Not tandy or other junk, studs so they only protrude about 1/16 of an inch before you go to compress them so you get the absolute best and longest lasting fit. Of course I could just grab a snap that is close to right from my bin but then it wouldnt be from a craftsman. So maybe I am crazy but it took about 20 minutes just to grind my snap studs, check fit, remove and grind them again until they were perfect. Why .. because if you leave the stud to long the snap gets loose feeling and doesnt secure the gear as well. Make it to short and the snap at some point just pulls off. I have successfully found the sweet spot where I get the best snap grab and longevity. It lives at about 1/16 of an inch or there about and given that even leather of the same sold thickness varies I always check my snap length. Now I have to sew it but because of its awkward dims I have to do some weird stuff at one end and then at the sharp edge of the hawk ,make a reasonably nice stitch through three pieces of 8 oz. Then I have to grind again. When you glue the three pieces and grind they look great but I find that after you sew even if they were glued the pieces move some and compress. Could be 1/32 off but when I go to burnish it will be seen from the moon so I glue, grind, sew and then grind again. I grind with a 60 grit and then a 125 grit and then a 220 .. then I burnish with saddle soap and water until I am happy. Then .. check when dry and see if I need to burnish again .. and often I do a light burnish with a little more saddle soap and water. Now I spray with 50/50 resolene. First the front then the back and in all the crevices and I go from front to back and slowly build it up from the first super absorbent and sucks into the leather pass to a more built up and offers a sheen pass. The first 2/3 passes only gets sucked right into the leather but I have people that have had holsters from me for 10 yrs plus that say they wound up 4 wheeling through mud and were able to wipe off the dried mud from my gear and it looked great so its a practice I stick with. The later passes is about my eyeball and I kinda know when I have built it up so it looks good but wont crack. Not done yet .. when the edges that I slicked with saddle soap and water are where I am pleased with my work I dye them .. then I buff them with a clean cloth and pass 2 - 3 coats of super sheen with a small paint brush cut about 25 water to super sheen. Then .. I buff it. Now if it is a piece I have done before and I know the steps ahead of time and I was in some sort of time contest I am sure I could get my time down. I work in several smaller areas on multiple projects so I cant have everything out I need for every project at once. But .. I am a craftsman .. and I look critically at every step and have made at this point a thousand projects or more and still not one of them left and I didnt look at it and say .. shit if I had only done "X" I might have loved it. Everyone who gets my stuff thinks its the awesome but .. I always think I could have done one or two more things better. The hatchet cover .. your right .. pretty simple affair and I look to charge what I honestly think I would pay for something. I am interested in selling my stuff not looking at it on a shelf so I don't let false pride get in the way and look to charge $ 300 knowing I personally would never have paid $300. Awesome I priced it at $300 but if it sits here for 2 years its not worth anything. You may not acknowledge all the steps above because you are just kind of working and going with the flow .. but .. they all take a considerable amount of time. Or not .. and you are making something else and not sweating the details. I do some of that too. Below is one of a couple of hatchet/ax covers I did where it was all about just make a useful case. Its not dyed, just oiled, edges are edged but not burnished, inside is left raw and the stitching .. well lets not even talk about it. There are different levels of finished .. and some people .. and most obviously the people who have become my loyal customers ..understand the difference. In the end though .. its a freagin black hatchet case! If you truly believe that you can take a one off sharp object that you have never handled, that someone dropped off, and do all the steps outlined above in 2 hours .. you are, I guess, just a better leather worker than I.
  10. while I think we are pretty close to agreement on the price, I think your comparison to walmart is inaccurate in this discussion. They issue is that this is NOT available at walmart or anywhere else. There is no direct comparison to be made to anything commercially available and the only thing someone can garner is a point of reference for something that is LIKE what you are getting. "The hatchet cover for the Excalibur deathdealer hatchet is $50 so this should be about $50" Unfortunately it doesn't work if they don't make a hatchet cover for yours. The information about the other hatchet cover is worthless if there isnt one for yours. Then you have to pay someone to design one. Not a huge deal but a distinction. Same I think with Custom knives. You cant compare it to something you can buy at Cabelas because a sheath made specifically to your needs and desires and custom patterned and developed specifically to your knife doesn't exist. I looked up the hatchet http://www.bladehq.com/item--Benchmade-172-Killian-Forged--15121 its a $350 hatchet and comes with a crappy thermoplastic molded cover. This gentleman bought it used and without cover. I dont know if you can buy the plastic one separately but he likes leather so he bought something that doesn't exist and has to come to someone like us to design and fabricate it. So long story but .. its more about the price difference that can be had among quality leatherworkers and I dont think in this instance can be priced comparing it to something commercially available .. since it isnt. I did final finish work on the cover this morning and it looks pretty good. Now that I know its an expensive hatchet and I have invested time in the pattern .. I may make one or 2 on my next slow period and see if they sell. Right now ... slow period doesnt seem to be any time soon but who is complaining! He has been a great regular customer. He got this from me .. cant really compare it to anything from a sports store an say a sheath there is $35 so this should be about the same
  11. Opps sorry about that. So my thinking at 45 bucks is about right. Its a benchmade 173 tacticak but its about 18" long with a heavy prybar nail puller thing on the end. Heavy as hell! I prefer lighter faster sharper hawks but to each thier own. Life is to short to judge.
  12. So .... What would you charge for that piece? There are so many hatchets it would be hard to come up with a single pattern but aside from all that... If you made the above... What would you charge?
  13. Hey Rocky .. I am glad you threw in a time because you hit the nail on the head. It was about 2 hours of draw it .. cut it out of poster board. realize no way is that going to work and continuing like that with scissors and razor blades until I had it right. One of the big deals I hope sheath and holster makers are thinking about is you are making cases for pointy and or scary stuff. I dont have the same trepidation when I make a bag but when I make a holster or sheath I sweat it. I thought 2 hours might be the crazy man side but .... CaptQuirk .. I didnt find it caustic at all. I alluded to the same in my original post. Its why I came to see what other guys sell a similar FINISHED product for. My shortcomings don't translate to higher cost. Having said that .. it is a one off which I think commands a slightly elevated price compared to a dude who has a pattern for the Excalibur super hatchet and is just producing them from a working pattern ... maybe? I don't think this particular hatchet is something I will find a big market for so its really about a client wanted something special and I provided it. But .. forgetting that .. what can you charge for a hatchet carrier thingy. I get a fair amount of calls for one of a kind items but people dont usually understand the development cost associated with a one of a kind piece or why its more money than a similar item I offer. Anyway thank you for the replies. They are genuinely greatly appreciated. Keep em coming. As a potentially useless reference .. I charged $65.00 for the two below but I have done a fair amount of knife sheaths and dont have to think so hard.
  14. If its the wrong place to ask let me know. I just finished a very basic tomahawk cover so the gentleman could carry his big ol hatchet into the desert. Pattern time is always the big time eater but I dont charge people because I am stupid and slow and take to long coming to a pattern I think is secure and safe. Took about 4 hours of Fabrication time after design and pattern with dying and all. Its pretty basic but I know the guy and he is going to go out and beat it to death so strength over pretty for him. Now I remember a boss who told me when I was a teen that he can only charge "X" for an electrical outlet even if it takes me 3 hours sooooo ... what is a fair price for something like this. I was thinking $45.00
  15. So I was so interested in this I did some follow up which may or may not be helpful. Turns out that handgun holsters werent dyed black in the US until the 50's. They were actually drum dyed in a dark russet. When they appear black in any color photos it is said to be because of years of applying neatsfoot oil. Obviously in Black and white photos the dark russet will appear black. I found a pic of a great example of weathered here http://www.ima-usa.com/original-u-s-wwii-m1916-45-colt-1911-leather-holster-by-sears-7454.html If that is what you are looking for then Dirkba hit the nail on the head and I would second sandpaper and alcohol. To get the color right were I going to use neatsfoot I would do it after the roughing up. Having said that .. it depends on what stage of aging you are looking for. The abraded cracked holster I show at the link is the result of 100 years of age and neglect. No troop would have worn anything like that at the time. It would have been darkened with oil and rubbing and there might certainly be scratches and wrinkles but not to the extent of the holster in the link. I spent a good deal of time making props and running a crew who made props but for camera so it didnt have to stand up to to close a scrutiny and I would probably cheat some. I think you are on the right track with your oil idea but I would probably hasten the aging by looking at a ton of photos and then taking out my airbrush and doing some selective aging. Then I might put a generous helping of oil. Remember that while you can replicate the oil you cant replicate a guy having his holster rub on equipment while marching or the dark spot from where he might rest his hand out of habit. That is just use and hours of it. But with a handy dandy airbrush you can recreate the darkened areas pretty convincingly and the oil should make it seamless. Check out the site for more reference. Still working on what the top coat might have been http://www.ima-usa.com/nation/u-s-militaria/u-s-holsters.html Be sure to post before and after shots!!