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About rodneywt1180b

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Centralia, WA
  • Interests
    Woodworking, sewing, now looking at leather

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
  • Interested in learning about
    covering custom cane handles
  • How did you find
    searched on web for leather working forums

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  1. A Collaboration on a Cane

    I was getting an error earlier for too much data/file size on my pictures earlier so I'm trying again. I forgot to mention in my last post that the cane I'm using is just a straight grained maple handle and alder shank that I put together so I could practice my leather work before tackling the real thing on YinTx's cane. I figured it's better to make my mistakes where it doesn't matter. I'm cutting and sewing this one dry. I'm also punching my holes with a round awl not much bigger than my needles. I have to use pliers to pull the needle and thread through the leather. In the above picture I've pretty well got the front trimmed and ready to sew. The tape is just helping to hold things for the picture. I've got the front sewn. Since I don't know exactly how the back is going to line up yet I'm leaving the bottom untrimmed for now. My stitches are about 1/4" apart and about 3/16" away from the seam (eyeballed, not actually measured). I'm starting to sew the back portion now. This is where I've stopped for the night. I didn't glue this leather down and I'm starting to get a little bit of slack where I stopped. There's a small bobble in my cut line right in the corner too. As I work the slack out I'm hoping I can trim more of it away. The leather, even after molding it, is not wanting to get tight against the wood in that inside corner under the handle. I may end up rethinking things a bit to get it tight. Glue would help but I don't want to glue this one down.
  2. A Collaboration on a Cane

    The walnut handle is beginning to develop a sort of blotchy shine in places. I'm hoping it will be ready in a couple of days. The maple and oak handles are pretty much done. I started wet forming some 7oz Tandy veg tan several days ago and finally got up enough nerve to start sewing it on. That's how it looked when YinTx saw it last. Out of the clamps. It's not a great fit at this point, particularly at the bottom where I couldn't clamp it close enough to form around the shank. It is at least more disposed to taking the shape of the handle though. Here I've skived the back edge to about 1/2 it's thickness and am starting to shape the front. The front edge is skived. When wrapping leather around compound curves like the front of the cane your cut lines are anything but straight. Continued.
  3. Working hard this week... wish me luck!

    All very true ComputerDoctor but what's the fun in that? There are people out there who will pay for custom items. You may have to look a bit harder to find them, but they are there. YinTx I went back and looked at your table. I didn't see any business cards or portfolios of past work. Those two things can result in sales after the show.
  4. A Collaboration on a Cane

    That's good about no rush because the walnut is still soaking up the oil like a sponge.
  5. Suggest a first project for a beginner

    Welcome aboard Boris. Maybe not a special trip but if you find yourself in an area with a Tandy store it's well worth setting aside an hour or two to check it out. Being able to see and feel the differences in different types of leather is a huge plus. For me ordering online without having handled a lot of different types of leather was a crapshoot. I'm slowly learning what works and what doesn't for my needs. From my personal experience I would say start with smaller projects first. It's less frustrating to screw up plus closer to instant gratification when things go right. Don't be afraid to experiment and make mistakes. Learning what doesn't work is important too. Spend a lot of time reading here. There are a lot of very talented leather workers here. Ask questions. Someone here will be able to at least point you in the right direction.
  6. A Collaboration on a Cane

    The leather squashed up more at the ends. On the end farthest from the shank I think it was because I put too much tension on the thread. At the end closest to the shank I think it was a combination of the leather being thinner, wet and my not trimming it correctly (I thought it was until I got to the end) to fit before I punched the holes. I ended up trimming the leather and re-punching the last 3 or 4 holes on one side because it didn't fit tightly enough. It was a good learning experience so not a total waste. I should be able to avoid at least a few of the mistakes I made on the next one. I'm inclined to set this one aside and replace the leather at some point. The original leather will make a good pattern anyway.
  7. A Collaboration on a Cane

    What's it been? A few weeks, a month, or even longer since I posted my last cane with a leather handle? Anyway, at that time YinTx mentioned commissioning one for his dad and after talking back and forth we decided I would do the wood and he would do the leather. So the collaboration began. Things have been moving slowly along since then. YinTx sent me a goody bag full of veg tan of different weights and brands along with a couple of tooled pieces to practice with and we decided on a shank and a handle style for the cane. This wasn't all the choices but the picture does show the one he chose. The left hand stick is a nice rustic black walnut sucker with a very small and even taper at the top and some nice knots in the bottom for a bit of character. We're still working on the final wood choices for the handle but it will be a Fritz style similar in shape to this one. Right now the hold up is on my end. I have three handles I'm currently finishing but with the weather getting colder it's taking forever to build up a good shine. YinTx can't do a whole lot on his end until that part is done so he knows how big his tooling area is. We're almost literally sitting around watching paint dry. While I've been waiting on that I've started practicing wet forming with the pieces of veg tan YinTx sent me, mostly trying to figure out what works for this application and what doesn't. At this point it's mostly what doesn't work. Here's my first completed wet formed handle. The cane is a one piece cane made from a dead oak branch. I decided this was a good practice piece because of the nearly round handle. Honestly I think it could have been done without wet forming. The leather is Tandy 9 oz. veg tan. I chose the thicker leather because the branch making the grip was a little small so it needed something thick. I skived the front and back edges down to get rid of the pig in a blanket effect and stitched the leather on wet with 1.4 mm Tiger thread. After I thought I had things trimmed to fit I tried pressing a decorative line about 1/8" from the front and back edges and next to the stitch line. The more I look at my stitching the less I like it. I have to get over the idea of using the stitching chisel I have as anything more than a spacing device for my stitch holes. A round awl is much better for this kind of work. Stitching the leather while wet was a mistake too. It stretched the already too-big holes and even tore one a bit. I also had to re-work the stitches closest to the shank and messed that up. Lesson learned. That pretty much brings things up to date for now. More later.
  8. Sewing heavy canvas to Leather

    Will the edge of the canvas show? If not, if you have access to a serger, serge it first or even a domestic sewing machine with zigzag stitch a tight zigzag stitch next to the edge will keep it from fraying. Some domestic sewing machines will have other stitch patterns that will work too. A single layer of canvas will add less bulk at the seams. Another thought would be a solid piece of canvas clear to the edges or seams of the bag with the leather sewn onto the canvas. Without a picture or plans of the design I'm sort of guessing. Your edge treatment on the leather depends on the leather. Veg tan leathers will take a burnish, other types, not so much. Edge paint before assembly might be an option too. My experience as a newbie is getting clean folded edges is tricky at best.
  9. caiman tail bi-fold wallet

  10. Log Cabin

    You're one of the reasons I love this forum. There are so many people doing so many creative things with leather that I would never have imagined. I love the wood textures on the cabin and I love the piano too.
  11. Working hard this week... wish me luck!

    Are you doing any internet sales too? With Thanksgiving and Black Friday just around the corner it might be a thought.
  12. Really beautiful work. I posted a link to this thread over at I think yours is the best write up for japanning I've seen.
  13. Trimming leather

    Welcome aboard. The term for what you want to do is "skive" or "skiving" There are several different ways and tools for skiving leather. This is what I use. I'm still a beginner and have found it simple to use and sufficient for my needs.
  14. I don't know any models. 3 and 5 look like your best bets for a walking foot machine. I can't see quite well enough to be sure though. Given all the disclaimer that was just about useless....
  15. More Hawaiian Tooling

    A great looking piece. It looks like it could be a sampler of different designs. Many would make great border treatments.