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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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    google search

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  1. 2kg of scrap

    Wot bikermutt says; but ask the seller for either more pictures or some ideas of the sizes of some pieces. Tandy was selling parts of bellies last November. They were real cheap. Then I saw them - I've thrown better and bigger more useful pieces in the 'free' box
  2. Makers Mark & Hot Foil Machine in UK

    I send the Chinese stamp makers the image as a jpeg. For a photo-etched plate of stamps from Le Prevo I sent them a sheet of photo paper printed with the designs printed on to it in high quality. I find for best quality making the print out on photo paper is the best
  3. Makers mark stamp

    Since posting the above I reckoned I should explain Le Prevo's embossing stamps a bit more. Base price is £50.80 for up to 20 sq inches. To that price add delivery of approx £10 plus VAT [Europe] or your local import tax; it adds up to £73 in my case. I kept a number of designs inside the 4 x 5 inch size but the photo-etcher chap said it was bigger by a couple of millimeters on each side, so he added in 2.5 square inches, which cost me an extra £8 or so. I ended up paying £87 for my plate. As I said, the lines have a beveled side. They make decent impressions but they cannot hold antique stain; it wipes right out. I reckon an embossing stamp needs a sharp straight side. The brass ones are cut using machine tools, have good straight sides on the lines and surprisingly they can do very fine lines, finer than the photo-etch of the Le Prevo product
  4. Makers mark stamp

    I have had stamps made by Le Prevo; the main down side is the price. You get a minimum of 20 square inches [4x5, go a mil over this and you are into another sq inch!!] of design area to cover for a cost of about £80. Thus if you just want a couple of small stamps they are still £80. Another down side is the stamps/embossing patterns are photo-etched into magnesium metal; this means that every line is angled outwards towards the base. The deeper you make the impression in your leather the wider the lines become. I find the impressions are not as sharp as they could be, or as I like them to be The brass stamps made by certain Chinese sellers can be better value. Several of the Chinese brass stamp makers I've used have disappeared, one has been on extended holiday since February 12th - that must have been some CNY party! But another player is on the block, their prices are very slightly more than the previous makers. I'll be ordering my next stamp from them
  5. newb from the UK

    Hi, you'll find plenty of info on here and plenty of folk willing to help and advise We go by millimeters for leather in the UK. Tandy has this info page which converts oz to mm; Start getting the Al Stohlman books. They can't be bettered. He has one just on hand stitching; They might seem expensive but they are worth it Be careful buying leather off ebay; many times you'll buy a small peice for 10x what its worth and for the same price you can buy a better bigger piece from one of the leather tanneries or retailers. Tandy is handy, but the likes of Le Prevo are more experienced and will give better advice
  6. Molding leather

    Don't use hot water; at the most only luke warm and apply with a sponge
  7. If it ain't brogue, fix it til it is!

    I think its very attractive nicely made bag
  8. How do I cut a straight belt border?

    Start with a guide line; use a pair of compass dividers or an adjustable creaser or even an adjustable stitching groover. Work slowly. Do the guide line before you bevel the edges. Use a thick straight edge to guide your knife in the prepared groove line, do a section at a time, eg 30-35cm, then the next but over lap the guide by about 6 or 7 cms each time
  9. Diaper Bag

    There are just soooo many designs for this sort of bag. But you have two starting points; a shoulder strap and outside pocket. I'd base it on a tote; but with a flap to go over the top to close it. Multiple pockets round the outside, some with closing flaps and some without; use velcro for keeping the flaps closed. Use upholstery or clothing weight leather
  10. Curved Seam/ Hammering Out

    Your stitching is showing at the seam. I think its pulling the soft leather. Try sewing it with a thin welt Aye; those shoe lasts are so common here; antique stores sell them for £1, many homes have three or four, or even more, and they are commonly used for door stops. I have two of them and have turned away dozens offered for free. They are useful for other things than shoe cobbling in leather work
  11. trivial trivia

    - love the eatin tools!
  12. trivial trivia

    How to remove rust/corrosion from hard to clean parts metal parts Soak in a citric acid or in vinegar. The vinegar works faster if salt is added, it also works a bit more vigorously when its hot Last November whilst at RAF Cosford's Conservation Hangar a conservator showed me an engine he was recovering. It had spent 72 years in sea water and sand. One of he crank shafts he shewed us [there were two] and its connecting rods and pistons were just a mass of corrosion. Here we have multiple metals; steel crank, aluminium connecting rod, aluminium magnesium piston and white metal bearings. Then he showed us a treated assembly; it had spent six months in an airtight container soaking citric acid - it looked like it had just come out of an old working engine , not totally pristine but almost all the corrosion was gone - even the piston rings were movable it their grooves. Since then I've been using this technique to clean mild surface rust off old neglected tools. Usually a few days or a week's soaking is enough. I've also used it to clean brass electric components on a certain job order and,......btw CokeCola no longer works for cleaning anything
  13. Show your Shop

    I had the fortune to meet Fred D and have breakfast & tea with him. All cooked on a coal shovel and eaten off it too
  14. Show your Shop

    A teacher of mine did somat like that. He was a chemistry teacher and he kept a row of t/tube on his desk. Each had a chemical sort of label on it. Each actually contained whiskey, brandy, rum etcetera. He knocked them back one after the other during the day
  15. Show your Shop

    Sorry, I was only joshin ya. Shud've used a smiley thingy