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About billybopp

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  • Birthday 07/06/1964

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    Pennsylvania, USA

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Strap goods, cases, etc.
  • Interested in learning about
    There is always more to learn.
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  1. Looks great! There are a lot of things that can be done with this sort of technique. If you want to experiment with rakes, they're very easy to make ... get some foam-core board cut a piece about the width of your pan, or whatever width you want by 3-4 inches or so and stick some toothpicks into the edge at regular intervals. I've done this with marbling on paper and it works great. Just haven't yet got around to playing with it on leather ... Yet. Bill
  2. Dies are the way to go, for sure. It sounds like you're making a relatively small item, so a mallet die might do the trick and avoid the expense of even a cheap modded hydraulic press clicker. If you do decide to go with a clicker, there are a couple of threads on here about modifying a cheapo Harbor Freight press for use as a clicker. For dies, I don't have any experience personally, but one of the site sponsors is Texas Custom Dies ... Look for their banner ad at the top of the page here. Bill
  3. Thanks for the pics Brian! Those bags look totally awesome. It took a few moments for me to realize they are exactly the same pattern but made with different materials to give a very different look. They are a really great example of how material choice in both leather and hardware can completely change the look of the final product. Even the two ostrich bags, while clearly birds of a feather, look quite different. Bill
  4. There are a number of reasons why you might want to have the flap as a separate piece. First, as mentioned, it lets you use smaller pieces and possibly make better use of leather. You sometimes want the flap to be a different color from the body, or decorated differently. Often, you want the body of the bag to be thicker, stiffer leather and the flap thinner and "floppier" so that it folds over more easily. Bill
  5. Thanks Mark! My first thought was "I'd cut myself with that" .. and then it occurred to me that the blade looks like a standard hobby knife blade, and I'm sure you could use a shorter one with no problems. Bill
  6. I've got several knives, but like Sofaspud, use one of them the majority of the time. Two or three of them were given to me when I first started leatherwork, and they work fine but are not very comfortable to use. Comfort is important, so I bought a Tandy pro knife. It has a saddle that spins freely and is rounded over so it feels great and is height adjustable. I also found that the fatter knife works best for my arthritic hands. The others (including a couple that came in a cheap bundle with other stuff from eBay) now have fine and coarse hair blades, a round-over blade, a beveler blade, and a couple other misc. blades. So, the short version is: Get one GOOD and comfortable knife with a few good blades. Bill
  7. Hand sewing does indeed take a lot of practice and concentration to get really right. Bikermutt hit the nail on the head, practice on scraps and the same simple projects over and over until you can almost sew almost blindfolded. It's about building muscle memory. I sew some scrap before I start any project just to get in the groove again. I'd advise against trying a mitered box until you are very comfortable with sewing a few pieces together flat. Sewing a corner isn't nearly so easy as Nigel makes it look, and it introduces new angles - it's a different challenge. Bill
  8. Sweet! Yeah, several of your stamps would make great embossing rolls. I can see a marijuana roll selling well, particularly in Colorado! Can't wait to see what you come up with. Bill
  9. Looks great! Your work is always a lot of fun to look at. Bill
  10. That'll probably do what I need! Thanks.
  11. Marbling isn't all that hard, and can be done with leather. It's pretty much about using something to make water gel, such as carrageenan, gum trag, and other ingredients. You then float a dye or paint on top and make patterns with it, then lay paper, leather, or whatever media on top let it absorb the dye/paint and pull it off. Check out this video by goodsjapan marbling leather. Bill
  12. My Tandy pony has enough tension to use without the bolt for most things.
  13. ^ What Bikermutt said ... And if you want a higher level of finish to your strap edges, I'd consider something like these:
  14. A mockup is a good idea. Many here find that vinyl behaves similar to leather, is available, and cheap. Particularly when you have fifty percent coupons from the fabric store, such as Jo an