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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. That needs a HazMat team for disposal... Poor cowhide...;-(
  2. I used an xacto blade when I was first starting. It worked okay, but the swivel knife is the right tool for the job. It makes better curves since it's easier to control (it's short and built to swivel, whereas my xacto knife is long and doesn't pivot the same way). Line depth is a lot more problematic with the xacto, also. The swivel knife does make wider lines, which certainly makes some modeling techniques work better, as others have mentioned here. So,yeah, you can "get by" with the xacto, but if you really want to see improvement, get a good swivel knife, learn to sharpen and strop it, case your leather properly, and then learn to cut those swoopy, curvy lines they are so good for. Some day I might even decide to spend the money to get a really nice one. A modeling tool is a good idea, too, as fredk mentioned above. The one I have used for years mostly is a "spoon" on one end and a pointy stick on the other. I rarely use a ball end, although I have one. Here is what mine looks like-- it's the top one of the three pictured below. :
  3. That's looking so much better! You're getting the idea of the tools and how they work. It's too bad that you started out with the wrong kind of leather. It must have been incredibly frustrating trying to figure out why it wasn't working right. Now it's just the "easy" matter of mastering the knife to create the smooth curved lines you want. That takes time, and a good knife with a sharp blade. It can be frustrating to know what you want, but not be able to get that look yet.
  4. Welcome, Jools! I see that another person has succumbed to the siren call of leatherwork -- today, a swivel knife...tomorrow....400 tools all over the workshop and 4 different hides, and a stitching machine! Don't give in! Be strong!
  5. That is spectacular work! Only one problem -- WE NEED CLOSEUPS of the awesomeness! ;-) A great design with a high level of skill in execution, nice colors-- masterful work.
  6. Nice work! The floral style isn't my thing, but that's a pretty good job there.
  7. You say that like it's a bad thing! ;-)
  8. I had a watch strap spring pin disappear this past weekend, so I need to replace it. I discovered that Amazon had a humongous assortment, about 500 times more pins than I actually needed, for about the same price I could actually purchase the needed pins: With that many pins in hand, I might have to start making a bunch of watch straps! I can have a new strap for every day of the month! Maybe others will find this information timely and useful.
  9. That's a very clever design, working the straps in like that! I think that if you did another one of these, you might consider changing the design a bit. In the gears which have cut-outs, you beveled the edges of the cut-out spaces. I took your original graphic and marked the areas I mean with gray circles (since a picture's worth 1000 words, in this case) in the graphic below. I think you should flatten the whole space, rather than merely bevel the edges. That would "sell" the 3-D gears a bit more.
  10. This is a pattern of a typical welted sheath design, borrowed quickly from Google, which uses a strip of leather between the front and the back to protect the stitching from the sharp blade edge: From what you say, that's what you're doing, which is pretty standard procedure. Adds a layer of difficulty to the stitching, but makes the sheath last longer. I can't say that using a straight pricking iron as a chisel is a no-no. It's probably an aesthetic thing in this case. My (limited) understanding is that the angled stitch is less likely to tear through the leather, since it grabs more leather or something. But on a knife sheath, with heavy leather like this, it's probably a matter of how much time you want to spend stitching (or what the patron wants) rather than wear and tear on the stitched line.
  11. Well, it only took you 5 until you got one you liked! imagine what it would have been like without the help of the friendly holster experts here! It looks pretty good, but how did the surface of the leather over the gun portion get banged up like that (scratched, dented and marked)? Some people might find that less than appealing visually, which might cost you a sale if you wanted to sell them. Perhaps some people with experience can help you around that.
  12. My heart goes pitter-pat for pattern welded steel (I have a pattern-welded dagger blade blank up in my closet that SOMEDAY I will actually turn into the actual thing. But enough about that, this is a leatherworking forum! Okay.. the sheath...stop looking at that blade... That's a pretty clean job. Nice even stamping, with a pretty nice design. I can't tell if this is a welted sheath or not (2 layers or 3 layers-- top and bottom with a welted strip?) The edges are hard to see at that angle-- did you slick them down? The stitching looks fine -- you seem to be using a straight stitch rather than an angled stitch. Nice job with the contrasting/ alternating thread colors. That's an unusual mounting -- I can't quite get how the sheath part is attached to that round part. I'm curious to know why you decided to do it that way. But that's a nice blade,too!
  13. For the inside of the chef's hat, rather than merely cut it away, use a matte backgrounding tool. Typical backgrounding tool:: Creates this effect:
  14. Nice work up there, for sure! That dragon armor looks really good -- was that ever entered in an Arts and Sciences competition?
  15. Well done! Apparently the judges thought so, too!