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About DJole

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  • Birthday 02/13/1965

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Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Tacoma, WA
  • Interests
    Fiddles, books, big trees, leather, swords, and keeping the house intact.

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Dark Age and Medieval European inspired designs, pouches and boxes
  • Interested in learning about
    shoe-making, tooling, hand stitching

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  1. Congrats on finishing your project! That's half the battle right there, putting hand to leather to learn how it all works. What do you think happened in the middle of your stitching? (I don't have an answer; I'm just curious to know what you think.)
  2. I've never actually done this, but thinking about the task brings a couple solutions to my mind: You might use glove needles, which are sharp and diamond pointed. But they tend to be rather dainty, so they may not be what you want. It depends on your leather thickness and type: thick tooling leather isn't what these needles are for. They are for soft, thin leather. Or perhaps sailmaker's needles will be ideal for this, since they are designed to sew canvas sails. Google the term, and you can see what they look like and where to buy some.
  3. You might try these guys up in Maine:
  4. Oh, my....that's some mighty craftsmanship there! Well done, indeed!
  5. Lots of excellent newbie vids: check out Ian Atkinson's Leodis Leather vids on YouTube, and Nigel Armitage's vids too. Armitage is the hand stitching guru! That ridgeline "branding" could be done a few different ways. First thing, though, is not to steal that design! Create your own, using the gorgeous silhouette of the Tetons instead. When you say "branding," you really mean "branding" as in burning, or just tooling? You could tool it in -- that's a pretty simple design that wouldn't require a whole lot of tools. I can imagine using just a backgrounder tool to make the line in a kind of "reverse" tooling. Or using a beveler to create a three dimensional line. If you wanted to include some sort of words like in the example... well, that would be tough to get right. A beginner might use up a lot of leather trying to get them to come out right. Or, you could (if your finances permit) create a custom stamp with that designt. Lots of places will create a custom stamp for you, based on certain computer file types. It's even possible to do it this way as a hot stamp (see Ian Atkinson's video here <> for a quick overview) That custom stamp might be too expensive for a one-off project, but if you anticipate doing it over and over again, like a maker's stamp, it'll save you a lot of headache.
  6. the 253 area code represents -- hi there from Tacoma! 1) Ecoflo dyes are water based, so it's hard to stop them from bleeding, even with a finish coat of some sort on them. There is a lot of discussion over what types of finishing products work best for what application. I'm afraid I can't contribute much to that discussion. If you're a fisherman, and you plan on carrying this wallet around into wet places, you'll want to be certain the colors won't run or fade once you drop your wallet into the river (or in a Seattle rainstorm). 2) You need to stamp or tool first, because the dyeing process you use will affect the image (for example, an antique dye finish will look different from a solid color finish). Stamp or tool first, then dye. I'm not sure if it's better to stitch first and THEN coat with the finishing water resistant product, or if you need to do that and THEN it's okay to stitch. I'll let people with a lot more practical experience weigh in on that. 3) Mink oil works for boots, but I'm not sure you want that on a product you'll be sticking in your pocket, or carrying money/cards/etc. around in. Think of it this way -- you have to keep reapplying the mink oil, right? you know how it makes your boots a bit slippery and smelly? Yeah, I don't think that's a good wallet finish, even in logger country! ;-)
  7. It's a joke-- the thousand dollars was the price of the Welsh course, which was the reason I went to Wales (not just to get a tshirt!). I actually hiked from Bangor to Llanfair P. G., and then I continued on to Bryn Celli Ddu. That was quite a bit of a walk, I must say! I did get a ride back to town from a friendly surfing lad who'd been over near Aberffraw, and that was very helpful. The ability to make custom bags is one of the things that attracts me to leather work -- you can put in the features and design elements that you want. I love your design concept for a lap-top desk/ computer case. (I can't just call it a bag, since it's so much more than that!)
  8. Beautiful North Wales! I enjoyed a bank holiday weekend up in your part of the world back when I was studying Welsh for a summer at Lampeter. I have a treasured t-shirt from Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch-- I call it my thousand dollar shirt! But enough about Wales -- that's a nice first effort bag! (But it's hard to see the details since it's photographed on that darn brown table in what appears to be ambient lighting) I made a bag for the same reason you did. I need to rework my handle, though... someday I'll get around to it.
  9. Can you give more specific details about the armor? (i.e. is it LARP armor, historical armor, SCA heavy weapons legal, SCA rapier legal, etc.) It's also helpful to know which piece of armor you are trying to make -- body armor, arms, elbows, helmet, etc. Narrowing it down can help us help you out!
  10. Welcome to the forum. There are many experienced, friendly folks here to help you guide through the ins and outs of leather work! If you're interested in hand-stitching, you need to find Nigel Armitage's YouTube videos on handstitching (search for Armitage leather, or follow this link.) Another friendly British leatherworker, Ian Atkinson, has some hand stitching videos that are helpful also: <> Both of them have very good instructions with clear video footage. Make sure you have at least a couple hours to spare before you check out those links!
  11. You were channeling these historic knives, apparently: <>
  12. I'm one of the few who didn't buy one of those to use when i was first starting out. But that's because a pack of needles and a roll of waxed thread was cheaper!
  13. If you watch Armitage Leather's YouTube tutorials, you can see what the awl is for <Google it on YouTube>. Basically, you are trying to keep the hole as small as possible, just enough for the needle and thread to pass through. The awl makes the smallest possible diamond shaped hole. Stitching punches (or irons or chisels or whatever term you use) can be used to mark the leather where the hole will be made, or they can be used to actually create the holes. There are two camps in this debate-- the purist says mark, then use the awl to actually create the holes as you stitch; the others say use the irons to create the holes before you start stitching. (I personally have not done it the first way yet; I would need a stitching pony or clam to make it work correctly.) Yes, the sewing tool is way faster than 2 needles, but it creates a lock stitch, which will open up 2 stitch lengths when or if the thread breaks. The saddle stitch in the same situation only opens up 1, so it's more secure. Like this, as Al Stohlman illustrates: So it just depends on your personal preference and how much time you want to spend stitching. It's an aesthetic choice, which may matter to you or the people who get your leather stuff. Many here on this forum prefer the old-fashioned, painstaking 2 needle saddle stitch, for various reasons. But if I were out in the field, and had to make a quick repair on something, the sewing awl might be the best way to get it done and get going again.
  14. Norm? There ain't no "norm" for guitar straps! That's some nice work on there -- I really liked that Dragon strap; the design really appealed to me. Your "Horror Row" strap is an unusual design--- the subject matter isn't my cup of tea, but the execution ( pun intended) is very good.
  15. I stand corrected -- apparently the number of surviving scabbards (a rare find, I believe) that are leather is greater than the wooden scabbards. I wonder also if it's a difference in earlier vs. later medieval swords, or even location? Wood would have been cheaper and more plentiful than leather back in medieval Europe, but if you had a sword back then, leather would not be a problem for your budget.