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About fredk

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    Northern Ireland, UK

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    anything to improve my work
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  1. A few random thoughts: A; I have nylon straps on things from about 1970, so longevity isn't a problem B; if you glue the nylon to the leather it might stabilise the leather, ie as the nylon won't stretch neither will the leather attached to it. It might stengthen the thin leather C; if the leather is very thin and the nylon has a coarse weave that weave pattern might eventually show through on the outside
  2. I use loads of the small office bulldog clips as well, with the lolly sticks. For a thinner stick is a McDonalds [not the farmer chappie - the fast 'food' place] stirring stick. I do not advocate taking a big load from them as that is stealing, but an extra one or two every time you're in and you'll soon have several hundred...... I thank Blue Peter. John, Peter, Val et al. They say you can age someone by who their favorite BP presenters were and their fav Dr. Who. I confusethose who want to know my dob with; fav Dr. Who is Patrick Troughton and for BP its Konnie Huq Sticky back plastic rules!
  3. A. my upholstery leather is soft and is about 1mm thick, 1.5mm maximum. I handsew it all the time just using a glovers needle. Thread is 0.5mm or lighter. Only when I double it up do I use a chisel or punch first B. On some bags I've glued the upholstery leather, two pieces flesh side to flesh side, sandwiching a bit of compressed cardboard in between for ridgity. No problem doubling it with whatever you choose to do with it.
  4. yes, the edges on the Tandy letter blocks aren't finished off too well. I file off the roughness with a coarse metal file. The press will make a real difference though
  5. not wallets; but I've made medium sized messenger type bags, hats, coin purses, an apron, slip-on book covers, even a tabard from upholstery leather. I have about 50Kgs [maybe a lot more than that] which I acquired very cheaply, lots of uses for it
  6. Is it keeping the Tandy letters in alignment that is a problem for you? They sell a frame to help with that, or as I did, made one for myself from perspex and small bolts As I said I have several Tandy letter sets, from 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch in size. I could never afford to buy each letter made individually in brass. And the frame works with them all Or is the problem getting a good impression? I've just invested in a press and the Tandy letter set adapters - world of a difference to whacking with a mallet
  7. 1. buffing after dyeing; removes excess dye. First couple of times buffing removes obvious excess, continued buffing removes excess which may still come to the surface. For this, use a light coloured cloth, changing the surface frequently. Once the cloth shows absolutely no colour on it from the dye its buffed enough 2. buffing after final finish; after putting on a bee'swax mixture, the heat generated by buffing helps melt the beeswax mix into the leather fibres, it also helps to compress the surface fibres to make it smoother. First couple of times just gets that mix into the leather, the next few times smooths the leather and starts to bring up the shine
  8. For letters I just use the Tandy sets. I have several sets in different fonts. Some need to be searched out as old stock in dealers as Tandy seem to regularly discontinue fonts. For 3mm size letters I have a set meant for stamping code numbers for vehicle VIN Photo engraving is better known here as photo etching. Le Prevo offers a photo engraving service to make stamps in magnesium. Costs £2.54 per square inch, £50.40 minimum charge [both prices plus delivery and VAT on it all] I got some large designs done by them. Not overly happy with them. The photoengraving 'cuts' at an angle outwards from the original artwork line so that the image when stamped doesn't have a really sharp outline, unlike CNC cut brass stamps I looked for photoengraving/etching in the UK as well, most who does this only does electronic circuit boards; some who offered 'photo etching of anything' wouldn't even consider doing it to make anything but, some didn't bother answering my enquiry
  9. A; first off we can't really make any leather water-proof but only shower-proof b, you said above that you were going to spray the Resolene on. It will take several coats by spraying. Spraying puts on very thin coats. You may need two just to seal the dye. Then maybe four or five more. I dip if I can, or apply with a brush or sponge usually - first coat to seal and then two more is usually suffcient
  10. There have been a few threads about cutting costs or getting stuff cheap but they were by and for the US cousins so I thought I'd start one for the UK-ers I can't see anywhere else but here to run the thread 1. Granite chopping board. From Home Bargains = £4.99, exactly the same one sold by Argos is £9.99. Size is 40 x 30 x 1.3 cm. It may be thin but I've been stamping on it and it hasnt cracked yet. Certainly good enough for edge skiving if you dont want to chance the stamping on it 2. Next we visit the Poundland shop, so all these items cost.... ?? How much? anyone? Bueller? UHU glue. Look for the soild box. There is one with a window in the box, that tube is far smaller [half the contents afair]. Its a good contact glue, Easy to apply because it is a tube - and in my case you don't waste a load cos the rest of the glue in the tin has solidified. UHU is also available at some Home Bargains for... 99p a tube. Home Bargains sells a Bostick type glue in their own brand name; its good too, at £1 a tube. 3. Stainless steel roasting tin. I use these for dip dyeing. Holds enough dye and easy clean up 4. Compartment storage box, About 20 x 20 x 4cm. Divided up into twelve 5 x 5cm and one 10 x 10cm sections. Many of the partions are removable making the areas longer [or wider, but not both ways]. Handy for keeping and segregating small things like small rivets, Chicago screws or Sam Browne buttons 5, Black box with lid.This one is just under the size of half of a folding crate. I throw scraps into a number of these, then sort out the stuff that can be used from the real waste. I make board games so any piece from which I can punch a 6mm disc is still good for me 6. Need to see better close up? I wear reading glasses. Available in powers from 1 D to 4 D. I have several in 2, 2.5, 3 and 3.5 powers for various tasks [not all leather work] They're cheap enough to have several pairs kicking around. My eye specialist [I can't spell her fancy title!] put a pair on one of her machines and she said the lenses were fine; almost as good as the ones she gets for customers. 7. A new style of reading glass on the block. With LED lights, one each side. I'm still checking these out. In low light they help but if you have bright working lights they don't seem to make much difference. These cost me £1.09 from China via ebay 8. Back home - to Home Bargains actually. A medium sized clear storage box, £1.69. I keep things that I use more frequently in these as I can see the contents better 9. At many discount stores; small spring clamps, usually about £1 to £1.50 for six or eight. Their jaws will mark leather so I use lolly sticks between the jaws and the leather, both sides. Not only does this prevent the leather from getting marked but it spreads the clamping force. And, yes occasionally the stick will leave a flat impression on the leather but it never looks bad. Normal lolly sticks at The Works; 50 for £1, or some craft stores 100 for £1, and wide sticks; 100 for about £1.50 Don't use the coloured sticks; the colour comes out and will stain the leather, it even stained some chrome tanned upholstery leather I have. 10 Another bargain. I'm currently 'remodelling' [ahem....clearing out, tidying, sorting the mess of, or as we say here 'redding it out' ] the room I do leather work in. I went to Homebase to look for another tool box and got this; £40, discounted from £160. It was a stock clearance sale. It pays just to keep yours eyes and ears open. I already had two drawer units [the top bit of this] from Halfords for my tools. Sometimes they discount the tool boxes too. Right, thats all from me for now. Over to youse.........
  11. nah, if she says owt just say you need to have your own cos the other boys won't let you have the lend of theirs and they won't play with you if you haven't got one of your own - like a bowling ball
  12. You can buy very basic airbrushes for the cost of a couple of magazines. An adapter can let you run it from a car tyre or; secondhand - can be picked up a spray tanning set up. A basic compressor with basic spray brush or two. I got a spray tan set 2nd hand 12 years ago for $10, compressor still working and does a good job. Thats loverly bit of work there immiketoo
  13. Make sure your dye is really dry. Buff off any excess. Apply a thinned coat of Resolene [1 Res to 1 water]; let that dry completely. It'll lock the dye in. Subsequent coats of Res [also thinned] should not lift the dye colouring then
  14. newbie

    Many years ago a young artist I was working with said something which I carry through even yet. She liked to paint very modernist work, but week after week she painted people and pet portraits. I asked her about this. She said for every portrait she did she got more funds for doing the painting she really wanted to do. I follow this thru by making small items in upholstery leather [No, I don't scavenge]; these I sell at modest prices, profits go towards buying the more expensive leathers or tools for the higher priced range of goods.