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About zuludog

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  • Birthday 04/25/1950

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Northwest England
  • Interests
    Backpacking, Car mechanics, Model aeroplanes, Knifemaking, Leatherwork

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Knife sheath making
  • Interested in learning about
    general leatherwork
  • How did you find leatherworker.net?

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  1. Advice on a skiving tool please

    ROCKOBOY - I've turned an old plane blade and an oddment of wood into a Japanese style leather knife and the result was pretty good. A friend did the grinding & shaping for me on a bench grinder then I finished it with a fine stone & a strop Search YouTube for 'Japanese leather knife'; there are several videos showing how they are used for both cutting out and skiving. The asymmetric/offset blade was a bit odd at first, but now I've been using it a while I find it works pretty well HUNHUNT I have made 40mm wide hacksaw blades into skiving knives and 25mm wide hacksaw blades into kiridashi Japanese style craft knives. When you've worked up the blade with a bench grinder, then a stone, then a strop the edge is excellent. Be careful as it is tricky sharpening such thin hard steel on a bench grinder. Be patient and use lots of water quenching/cooling or you will burn the steel Unfortunately for us, old industrial hacksaw blades are a highly sought after commodity, and any engineer that uses them will almost certainly have a queue of people waiting! Search Google & YouTube for 'donkey saw' and you'll see the sort of machine that the new blades are intended for. BILLYBOP Yes, a shallower angle or longer bevel is preferable for skiving leather, but this is difficult to do on an angle grinder. I bought a cheap coarse diamond stone from a chain tool merchants (Screwfix) just for that purpose, then did the final work on a fine oilstone and a strop No actual cash changed hands for all this work, it was all done on favours - a few pints; restoring an old sheath; making a knife; and so on
  2. Hand stitching thread and needle preferences

    I see now that there are a couple of mistakes in my post Ah well, it was late at night and could have done with better proof reading. I'm sure you'll manage
  3. Hand stitching thread and needle preferences

    PLINKERCASES - this is how I made up my beeswax I took the part used up piece from the Tandy starter kit and a lump of beeswax rescued from my father-in-law's shed. He reckons it's years old, possibly dating back to the 1960s I bought (and ate!) a meat pie, and kept the aluminium foil tray intact. At this juncture I should point out that people from the north of England are well known for their fondness for pies. Babies in this part of the world usually progress directly from the breast onto a diet of pie & chips and strong tea, so such items are readily available Make up a water bath from the foil tray and a small frying pan or similar, and place the wax into the tray. The water in the frying pan should be just hot enough to melt the wax, barely simmering; you do not want to boil like crazy. Hold down the tray with long nosed pliers to stop it wobbling about and spilling the wax As the wax melts estimate the volume and add 5 to 10 % linseed oil; stir it all together with an old tent peg. Then turn off the heat and let it cool When the wax mixture is more or less set but still warm & malleable, tear off the foil tray and knead the wax into a sort of squat sausage -like or cylindrical shape, then let it cool fully, say overnight Cut off the desired length of thread; fold it over about half the circumference of the wax cylinder and hold it down with your thumb; then draw the wax through/across the wax. This is the book where I saw the linseed oil softening tip. I think it is a very good guide to starting leatherwork 'Leatherwork: A Practical Guide' by Chris Taylor If I'm doing a long run of stitching I sometimes re - wax the thread in situ I do leatherwork for a hobby, and waxing thread seems to me to be a satisfying part of the whole process. But I can see that if I was a professional, or had to do a lot of sewing, I would consider ready-waxed thread My son is about 1,83 cm weighs about 82kg, does kick - boxing and runs marathons. He still eats pies
  4. Hand stitching thread and needle preferences

    Probably like a lot of people I started doing leatherwork with a Tandy beginners kit. It included a packet of 10 needles and I'm happy enough with them, I don't feel any need to change. I don't know what size they are, but I'm sure Tandy would tell you if you asked them I started with the synthetic (nylon?) thread that came with the kit, but after a while I thought I'd try linen, so for a long time I used unwaxed 18/3 linen which I waxed myself I've tried tiger thread but I don't like it Recently I found a British supplier of fil au chinois linen thread, so I ordered some 5m samples of #332 in different colours. I've yet to use it in anger, but it looks pretty good, and I'm looking forwards to trying it I make mostly knife sheaths and belts with 3 to 3,5mm veg tan leather. If I was using thinner and/or softer leather I might go to smaller needles and thinner thread A couple of incidentals - I read in Chris Taylor's book about melting & mixing your beeswax with about 10% linseed oil. When it sets again the wax is softer & stickier A few months ago I went to a demonstration & lecture by Nigel Armitage. His opinion is that you don't need to make a groove with a stitching groover; just marking the line with an edge creaser or dividers is good enough. So I've been doing that, and the stitching seems good enough, though I flatten it with a mallet
  5. Advice on a skiving tool please

    That looks good. What make is it, please? And price? As you use it, you'll work out how to get the best results from it. And also as you use it and resharpen it you can get the edge just how you want it Soon after I started doing leatherwork I made a decision, which was that I would not get a round knife, for two reasons 1) I don't do enough leatherwork to become sufficiently skilled with one 2) Even a Tandy head knife is expensive, and I've heard they're not very good. A good one, one that's worth having, is even more expensive I use a Stanley knife with resharpened blades; a home made kiridashi; a home made Japanese style leather knife; and a 3 1/2" carbon steel vegetable knife that I no longer use in the kitchen For a working surface when skiving, I use the glass oven door off an old cooker You will need a second knife which can be more or less anything you want - a Stanley knife; a penknife, a cheap snap - blade knife, and so on. Use it for opening parcels, cutting string, sharpening pencils etc. It's purpose is to make sure that you use the first knife exclusively for cutting leather
  6. Safety Beveller (skirver)

    Swann Morton's website is https://www.swann-moron.com Their USA distributor is http://www.cincinnatisurgical.com Although this website is British it gives you a good idea of the range available http://www.scalpelsandblades.co.uk Have a look at # 4 or # 6B handle and # 25 blades. Or see if there are any taster or starter packs which would give you a handle and one of each type of blade, these are usually good value for money I don't know about USA, but in Britain there are lots of outlets & suppliers. Shop around craft, hobby, and art stores Also search YouTube for 'scalpels and blades' There are several videos
  7. Safety Beveller (skirver)

    I made a knife similar to the Blanchard one from an old 25mm hacksaw blade A Japanese craft knife is similar, Search & Surf Google & YouTube for a KIRIDASHI. Also Search YouTube for 'skiving leather'; there are a few videos You could also look at a Japanese Leather Knife. Again Search & Surf to see what it looks like, and how to use it. Videos by 'leathertoolz' are good & useful Both of these can be used to both cut out and skive leather. You can get them at a reasonable price, though as with anything you can pay as much as you want. They are straightforward enough to make from an old hacksaw blade or plane blade The key to any leatherwork is to have very sharp tools. You will need a fine stone; oil-, water/ceramic-, or diamond-, whatever you fancy. Because they have been around for a long time you can often find oil-stones secondhand Make your own strop from oddments of wood & leather, but treat yourself to some proper stropping/honing compound. It's not that expensive, and a bar will last you for years Yes, scalpels are good, I use them on model planes, just Search Google. Matt S has found what suits him, but can I suggest that a number 4 handle (and appropriate blades) might be a better choice for leatherwork? Matt S sums it up - time, practice, try different knives till you settle on what works for you; and be prepared for a fair amount of frustration I use mostly 3 to 3,5mm leather and use a kiridashi and s Japanese knife. If I was using thinner leather I might use something different Remember that if you use one of these types of knives you will need work on a hard smooth surface like a thick sheet of glass, a tile, or a marble slab
  8. Standard sizes for making belts

    For inspiration and examples, search Google for 'handmade leather belts'. If you want to go up market, search for 'raised leather belts' This video on YouTube is good 'Making of an Equus Lined and Raised Belt'
  9. white residue on leather... mold?

    It could be the leather grease that has come to the surface and dried. Just try polishing it off
  10. Standard sizes for making belts

    Search YouTube for 'making a leather belt'. there are several videos, I'm sure you can pick up lots of ideas & advice from them In particular, Ian Atkinson/Leodis Leather has a video 'Making a simple Leather Belt' where he discusses how to measure the length
  11. I would imagine goodie2shoes will happily take you up on the awl, but if not......

    But if someone in more need comes along, give them first dibs.    I've been trying to find the right awl for me, but it's one of those things I just have not found the one for me yet.


    1. zuludog


      OK, thanks for the reply, you're the first

      I'll give it a couple of more days to see if goody2shoes wants it, but if not it's yours. If she does, I'll let you know

      Regards zuludog, aka Geoff

      But you need to know that it's the traditional type where you must mount the blade then prepare & sharpen it yourself. Most leathercraft books will show you how, or look on YouTube

    2. LumpenDoodle2


      Hi, yes, although I've been a bit spoiled by the sharpness from out the packet of the Japanese awls.  

      I must admit, I think you learn more by having to sharpen, and fix the handle yourself.    I bought a really rough round knife off a nice man on ebay, and I sharpened, and polished it myself.   

      Buying the Al Stohlman book on sharpening tools made all the difference, though.


      Sorry, missed out an important word.


    3. zuludog


      You will see from the forum that goody2shoes doesn't want the awl blade. give me your postal address and I'll send it to you

      I don't log on to leatherworker very often, so would you please use my email




      Thanks Geoff

  12. Diamond Awl problems

    I have a spare, new, 2 3/4" John James awl blade & haft which you can have for the price of a pint. PM me if you're interested Same offer goes for anyone else in Britain if goody2shoes doesn't want it
  13. Linen thread in UK

    I have found a supplier of linen thread in Britain. It is run by a German lady, Hilke Kurzke; she stocks linen thread from several European manufacturers, including Fil au Chinois You can order as little as 1 X 5 metres of thread, then various samples and variety packs, up to full reels; there is a wide range of colours available Search Google for 'buchertiger supplies' or http://kurzke.co.uk She is pleasant & helpful, with a quick response & delivery time.
  14. The Basics

    Search YouTube for 'making a leather wallet'; there are several videos, but especially good are those by Armitage Leather and Leodis Leather. In fact anything by Ian Atkinson/Leodis and Nigel Armitage is worth watching. Nigel Armitage has a video 'Making a simple handmade Wallet', or some similar wording; that's good There are about 10 pages on leatherwork on YouTube, each with about 20 videos. There must be something useful among that lot! Watch as many as you have the stamina for! Besides that, work through this forum, especially Getting started; (hand) sewing leather; and Tools Get a book on basic leathercraft. It will show you the basics, and they usually have a few projects, probably including a wallet. 'The Leathercraft Handbook' by Valerie Michael is the one most often recommended, or see what you library has Once you start to make a shopping list of tools etc you'll see that it may well be worth joining one of Tandy's discount schemes Finally, a word of caution. Don't be tempted by the 4-in-1 awl sold by Tandy, and others. It's expensive, and not very good. You're better off getting a separate fixed blade saddler's/harness awl and a scratch/round awl. Tandy's Craftool Pro awl is as good as any to start with, especially if you can get it at a discount
  15. Cutting costs the UK way

    Thanks for the tip about the lollipop sticks. I have been using scraps of leather under my clamps but, as you say, the lolly sticks will spread the pressure more evenly I glue small patches of 600 grit wet & dry paper to the sticks which turns them into very small files or wands to polish the prongs on my stitching chisels But I don't buy the sticks, I pick them up in the street; just give them a quick wash then let them dry