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About fredk

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  • Location
    Northern Ireland, UK

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    bags, bonnets, boards, belts
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    google search

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  1. Fringe/Tassle

    I'd stick light leather, such as thin deerskin or pigskin. to a piece of compressed card using a rubber based glue such as Copydex, which doesn't soak into the leather and can be peeled off cleanly, then use something like this; Its actually for slicing food. It cuts strips about 2.5mm wide*. I tried it on leather and it works fine, I've also used it to cut strips of polmerclay. You might be able to get one of these slicers locally if you can't wait on the slow-boat [literally] from China * I'm guessing as I can't remember the exact size, the strips might be only 2mm wide. Just about right for a leather tassel tho
  2. Thin them with water first, then some Pledge. I forgot to warn you, the Pledge will do two other things: 1. it'll speed up the drying quite a bit and 2. It'll make them glossy. I reckon you'll want the paints quite thinned so that the first coats soak into the leather before drying and building up the colours with more coats. The 20% is a maximum needed, I sometimes only use about 5% or 10% at most. Also; if you shop about you can find similar products to Pledge at cheaper prices. Read the label on the back. Pledge recommends no more than 5 coats on a floor and 'remove with ammonia in water'. Cheaper products have the exact same properties. I'm in UK. When Pledge went off the market here for a while I found an alternative which is exactly the same except for added scent. Here Pledge costs about £4 to £7 for 500ml, my alternative costs £1 for 750ml. When you find this stuff, do not be put off by its milky appearance; thats to stop people drinking it as the original was as clear as water. It dries perfectly clear.
  3. neatsfoot oil

    Store it the way you have, in the cold, warm some of it to use it, it'll last years. Put it on a shelf in sunlight and constant high warmth, it'll last 6 months to a year. I have a small jug bottle, kept on a bottom shelf in the dark, in my workroom which does not get warm nor gets too cold, that bottle is at least 5 years old. edit; PS. I warm my NFO before application as well. I decant some into a jam jar, warm in a micro-oven for a short time, then apply either with a sponge or coarse [child's] painting brush. TBH, I don't use it a lot
  4. The things I don't like about those paints are. 1. the pigment is quite coarse, 2. they always remain water soluble. Even with several coats of sealer on top of them they can still be soluble to any water or moisture. To improve their water resistance; add about 20% of 'Pledge with Future Shine' [aka, Future or Klear] floor polish which is not a polish at all but a very thin acrylic varnish. This turns the paints essentially to an acrylic paint which is not water soluble when dry. *I presume we are discussing the premixed paints. With tablet block paints; wet them with a mix of water and the 'Pledge. . . . '
  5. neatsfoot oil

    Neatsfoot oil does get old. Improperly stored it can go rancid - you'll know when it does. Neatsfoot oil is made boiling the feet of cattle [the word Neat = old Middle-English word for cattle] and the lower leg bones to get the fat out of them. This is then refined to remove a lot of the fat and just leave the oils. It sounds like some of the fat has separated out and by heating it up you simply re-melted the fat into the oil
  6. Nice. I reckon you're getting the hang of doing these now
  7. Cleaning Veg Tan Before Dyeing

    By 'drying' after use of alcohol we mean that it removes the natural oils. Sometime after cleaning, before or after dyeing, apply some neatsfoot oil to replace the lost oils. Use pure neatsfoot oil and not NFO compound which has other additives in it The water will only harden the leather if you soak it and dry it too fast. A mild washing will not overly affect the leather properties. If you use soapy water it will remove some of the oils - again apply some NFO You can wet mould after applying dye, but before sealing the dye
  8. Shows 'n' stuff

    Years ago a friend of mine cleared a load of display boxes from a cancelled order. The boxes were about 6" square base by 10" tall with clear panels on three sides. His selling was, 'quality display box with Free Invisible Man' £xx - he sold the lot, about 250, at just a few craft-fairs. - I kid you not, this is true. It was about the same time the pet rock was the rage
  9. Why are my wrapped panels shrinking?

    If I may give a similar but reverse situation. N.I. has an average of 80% humidity and 12* C [53* F] I had to make and cover interior panels for a vintage car. The older ones [not vintage, but old] were taken off and I cut new panels out of hardboard exactly to the same size. Then they were covered in upholstery leather using contact glue. At every stage the size of the panels was checked, by measure and by placement. This work was done in the spring. The panels were put into an empty office near the car being rebuilt, adjoining the garage workshop. When it came to fitting the panels early in the winter almost all of them were too big. I measured them, all too big. We put the panels into a heated office for a month and they shrunk back to their original size. In those few months the hardboard had absorbed enough extra atmospheric moisture for them to expand
  10. Practicing Basketweave...

    That looks just grand so it does Just a wee 'but'. . the edge which will be along the fold over looks a bit too fussy
  11. Why are my wrapped panels shrinking?

    I'm thinking it sounds like water/moisture evaporation shrinkage in an exceptionally dry environment. The boards, before covering, and the leather might have needed a week, or even more, in that environment for them to shrink and stabilise. In they way even dry timber needs to be in its end use environment to stabilise
  12. Shows 'n' stuff

    May I join in? Here in N.I. 'Game of Thrones' has been a big employer for about 10 years. Its also flooded the market with 'medieval' leather goods - items supplied to the extras on the movies, they get several new issues during the filming, so they sell off their 'old' stuff. Problem is, those 'medieval' style leather items from GoT are fantasy designs. I used to make leather goods for the local re-enactors. I have a library full of books written by archaeologists and museums. The items I made were made according to actual period finds - but, more and more, people started telling me my stuff was historically wrong as it was so different to the 'Game of Thrones' items - people insisted that GoT was historically correct and I was wrong, even after I showed them the find example in a museum publication. It wasn't just the style and designs, it was in the quality of the leather, the way the items are sewn together. People would rather believe that medieval people could not make nice looking, robust and well put together leather goods. The buyers of GoT items would rather pay 4x for a 'correct' piece than my modest price for a better constructed item. I stopped doing the 'medieval' fairs and such after a bit too much of this thank you ~ rant mode off
  13. I suppose I should make something fit for purpose rather than cobbling together a stright piece of MDF, supported by the blocks on a Black & Decker workmate thingy, or using a the side of a block of granite for short straps
  14. Dealing with leather stretch

    Problem with bags of 'scrap', you just don't know what you are getting. With larger pieces bought specially, belly leather stretches the most, with back and shoulder stretching the least, ususually none at all. But you need to know what you've bought. With 'scraps', take a piece, cut a long thin piece [5mm x 100mm minimum length] off a bit and pull it in your hands, you'll soon see how much belly will stretch The 'fix' mentioned above is a good one. You can sitll do a 'wet mould' on it. Either with the items for it, wrapped in ceran food wrap, or wood blocks. Soak in warm, but not hot, water and dry quickly using a warm air flow, like from a hair dryer. The leather will shrink a bit and tighten up. But this is risky and should only be done with experience or as a desperate measure. I tighted up the holder on this knife sheath doing the warm water method. It tightened it up so tight that the sheath could not be removed from it, which was required.
  15. Farting around with leather.

    gottcha, understand how it fits now. Well thought out then so it is