zuludog

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About zuludog

  • Rank
    Leatherworker
  • Birthday 04/25/1950

Profile Information

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

LW Info

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

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  1. My first project

    All good stuff! If the prongs on your stitching chisel are too short to go through all the thicknesses of leather, follow it up with an awl - a saddler's or diamond awl, not round The 4-in-1 awl sold by Tandy and others is expensive and not very good; get a simple fixed awl instead You can hold down the leather with a piece of wood if it is difficult to pull out the stitching chisel. Try lubricating the prongs on a piece of beeswax. Also, polish the prongs with a homemade file or 'wand' made by gluing 600 or 800 grit to a sliver of wood, like a lollipop stick If the needles are too tight they may be too big. Try again with John James size 002 You've done a good job on sharpening the knife; a Japanese style works well once you get used to it. Personally I would have sanded the handle to round off the corners and tone down the colour a bit, but if you're happy with it.... I wouldn't remake the sheath. Keep it, to see how you've progressed, and to look back on
  2. Moulds for veg bags - wood or steel?

    Search YouTube for 'Making a Wet Moulded Possibles Bag' There are several videos I haven't watched every one, but all those I have use a wooden mould or former
  3. check me on stitching tools

    Sorry, a slip of the keyboard. I meant Ian Atkinson
  4. check me on stitching tools

    Be careful when you buy John James needles, as there is scope for confusion because they have two similar numbering systems for needle sizes Size 2/0 is too big for most leatherwork unless you are doing really thick, heavy leather The size you want for most general leatherwork is 002, John James product code L3912 That is clearly explained on this video by Nigel Atkinson between 5min 30secs and 7min 45sec - 'Hand Stitching Leather' though of course it's well worth watching the whole video If, unfortunately, you have bought size 2/0 by mistake, well just put it down to experience, though they might just come in for something in the future. The needles are not so expensive that you couldn't buy a packet of the correct size 002
  5. Kevlar Thread Questions

    Beat ya to it! I've tried the surgeon's knot on a short length of the thread already, and that is holding. Look it up on Google, it is basically a reef knot with an extra turn . You can see I go backpacking; I've been using that on nylon guylines & cord for years and it works well enough Thanks for the advice though
  6. Beginner's Questions...Again

    Try watching IAN ATKINSON as well. His videos are fine examples of neatness and clarity
  7. check me on stitching tools

    There are loads of videos on YouTube about leatherwork. Start by searching for 'saddle stitch' and and 'beginners leatherwork tools'. Have a look at those for items that interest you, and you will see how others do their stitching. I can recommend those by Ian Atkinson and Nigel Armitage For several years I used a stitching groover, it was just one of the things that was done. Then about 18 months ago I went to a demonstration & lecture by Nigel Armitage, and on his recommendation I changed to just marking the line of stitching with dividers, which I found were easier to use, and gave better results. I got a pair of dividers from the secondhand tool stall at my local market for £2-50, say less than $3-50, and they do the job well enough I think you will find stitching chisels with 4mm spacing easier to start with; once you've got the hang of things you can get smaller/narrower as you need them. It helps if you lubricate the prongs with beeswax Try 0,6mm Tiger and 18/3 linen thread to start with; get shortish lengths, say 25m; see how you go, and take it from there In theory a chisel is all you need to make the holes, but in practice you might need to do some extra work with an awl. Traditionally you bought a separate blade and haft, then mounted and sharpened it yourself, which is a right pain and takes ages. So look for an awl that's ready to use. Don't use the 4-in-1 awl sold by Tandy as it's not very good, and expensive. I suggest you get the simple fixed blade awl from Tandy (Stitching Awl with 26mmBlade; #31218 - 01) Even so, any new awl can be improved by a bit of sharpening on a fine stone, or fine wet & dry paper, followed by a strop You can make your own strop from an oddment of wood and leather - there are loads of examples on YouTube. This will be just about the easiest piece of leatherwork you'll do If you are starting you may well find it is worth buying into one of Tandy's discount schemes Using a steel hammer on stitching chisels is OK for a while, but eventually it will damage them. You should use a soft hammer, like wood, nylon, or hide
  8. Beginner's Questions...Again

    It looks nice & neat, but I wonder......are you using a lacing chisel or a stitching chisel?. I can't quite tell but it looks as though the prongs are flat, and flat in line with the body of the chisel; that would make it lacing. Also the stitching is all in a straight line On a stitching chisel has the prongs have a diamond shaped cross section and are set at an angel to the body of the chisel. Similarly, the awl blade should have a flat diamond cross section, not round. This produces the distinctive saw-tooth or zig zag pattern of saddle stitching. Still, it looks good, and if you're happy with it, fair enough
  9. Kevlar Thread Questions

    Thanks; I was thinking of something like that. So I'll finish it as I do for linen - backstitch 3 or 4 spaces then push the needles between the layers, tie it off, and do my best to hide the knot. I think the only way to find out what it's like is to just try it
  10. Beeswax

    As you've been doing, but use linseed oil
  11. Is this leather any good?

    I've just had a look at those websites. I notice there are 3 grades; 1, 2, & 3; and that you can buy half sized pieces, priced accordingly. Why not get a half sized piece of each, mid grade, grade 2, and see how you go on; it wouldn't be too expensive. Sometimes you've just gotta try it Beware, though the prices seem reasonable, check for shipping costs, import duty, international handling charges, exchange rates, and so on And if you do decide you like the stuff, perhaps you should buy a stack of it before we Leave the EU! (assuming you live in the UK) Nigel Armitage has a video on 'Making a Simple hand made wallet' or some similar title. It is well worth watching Alright, I know I'm going off topic here, but as you say you are just starting, you might like this suggestion - You can make interesting and attractive variations by using different coloured thread. This lady sells short lengths of coloured linen thread from reputable makers at reasonable prices. Contact her directly to find out what she can supply https://kurzke.co.uk
  12. Kevlar Thread Questions

    I mostly make sheaths and sew with linen thread as I prefer that to synthetic But I thought I'd make a couple of belts, and sew them with synthetic thread, which is stronger than linen I was going to use Tandy's waxed nylon, then I saw some kevlar thread in my local Tandy store, reduced from £36 to £12 a roll, so I thought I'd try that. Now I have a couple of questions - How can I secure the thread at the end of stitching? It doesn't melt and bead up when heated with a lighter flame. I've tied a knot in a sample length and that seems to work OK; do you think it will stay secured long - term without unravelling? I've seen a video where they cut through a nylon cable tie with kevlar thread. I'm assuming they were able to do that as they used the thread in a sawing motion. If the belt end is sewn down securely and there's no movement I'm hoping that the thread won't cut the leather; any comments? Thanks Zuludog
  13. Beginner's Questions...Again

    Yes, that stitching line is just the sort of effect you want The thing obviously works, but it would be a nice touch if you cleaned it up a bit
  14. Beginner's Questions...Again

    So far I haven't dampened the leather. All I want to do is to mark a scratch line so I can place my stitching chisels evenly
  15. Search Google for 'Goods Japan' They have a wide range of tools and materials, and will ship worldwide Prices are reasonable and include shipping, though there may be some import duty or handling charge at your own country Delivery time is about 3 weeks Search YouTube for 'leather work', there are loads of videos