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Found 27 results

  1. Hello, I posted a similar topic a few years ago and I'm hoping to re-ignite the subject. I've been trying different methods over the years and I still have not found a clear-cut (or even close) method of burnishing thinner (i'm using 4/5 oz) natural leather without the edges being darkened too much and without making a mess of the face of the piece (or the flesh side, for that matter). I really like the look of completely untouched natural leather, so I don't want to put any sort of conditioner/sheen on the face as they all darken the leather at least a shade. I want to keep the natural leather as white/pink as possible with minimal water/paste mess from burnishing. I'm also having somewhat of an issue with the flesh edge of the leather folding over some with the thinner leather. I might be burnishing too quickly after wetting the edge, I don't know. I am using a pro edge burnisher in my drill press which works very well. Methods I've tried: - Just water This solves the edge darkening problem and also solves the mess problem when applied extremely carefully with a dauber or your finger. However, it doesn't give a lasting extra slick finish. - Just liquid Saddle soap This gives a slick finish, but darkens the leather edge a lot and also seems to soak into the leather more, which means messy and uneven looking edges. - 50/50 liquid Saddle soap and water This darkens the edge a bit less (still more than i'd like) and soaks in a bit less, but isn't as slick as just straight up liquid saddle soap. - 50/50 liquid Saddle soap and water, then beeswax, then canvas burnishing. Creates a slick edge, but is very hard to keep clean, and darkens the edge quite a bit. - Gum Tragacanth Creates a good slick edge (one coat is good, two coats is better), but is really really hard to keep clean. Doesn't darken the edge as much as the straight liquid saddle soap, but still darker than I like. One thing I did discover recently is that applying gum trag to the edge with the edge of a toothpick works well for keeping it clean, but is very tedious. Should I maybe burnish the edge with just water first before burnishing with gum trag? would that help keep the trag from seeping onto the face? I guess I'm just hoping that some magician out there has come up with a magical method/product that is easy to apply/won't make a mess/won't darken the edge too much. Haha. I'm also having a hard time with applying beeswax as its hardness makes it difficult to apply a sufficient amount of wax to the edge. I was considering making a mixture of beeswax, olive oil, and eucalyptus oil to stave off mould. I've heard of a beeswax/neatsfoot solution, but would prefer to use olive oil in its place. Does anyone have any experience with a wax/olive oil blend? I prefer not to use any paraffin. Thanks again, Zayne
  2. I was looking for a motorized burnisher to save my hands. Hand burnishing is okay for small things but when you move into working with long edges ... Uggh! So I was looking around for options and I ended up with this setup. I had the cheap Harbor Freight bench grinder that I got on barter a couple years ago. The spindle was $13.10 from eBay http://www.ebay.com/itm/TAPERED-SPINDLE-1-2-HOLE-RIGHT-SIDE-OF-MOTOR-POLISHING-BUFFING-WHEEL-HOLDER/190689483141 And the wheel was $8.00 from Tandy. Yeah, I'm cheap ... broke is more like it. But I highly recommend this setup for anyone that needs a little help doing edges and doesn't have a fortune to spend. Enjoy!
  3. Burnishing Questions

    I purchased a "dremel burnisher" from Richard Loy at Pro Edge Burnishers (great service and shipping btw) and was wondering what tool I should be using to spin it. I'm making bifolds which can be held in one hand and a drill/dremel in the other hand, but I'm also making watch straps out of thinner leather that would need two hands to keep taunt while burnishing. So what would you guys recommend that can safely spin the burnisher hands free and allow me to move the watch strap over the bit with two hands to keep it taunt and stiff?
  4. Hi everyone, I've been poring over the forum threads learning all I can about finishing edges - burnishing and all - I want to do Bob Park's method, but in all my experiences I've run into a problem when it comes to using edge paints: how do you paint JUST the edge and not have any of the paint spill on to the front or back of the leather? I've tried a paint brush, dauber, q-tip, sponge - they almost always result in some paint on the front and back instead of only on the edge - and I see Bob (and everyone else who knows how to do this) has amazing contrasting edges with not a drop of colour on the front or back. So - what's the secret? I was looking at one of those electric edging tools - will that help? I work mainly in oil tanned 4-6oz and I'd like to have my edges neatly finished so they don't fray and fold. Thanks!
  5. Hi all, long time lurker, first time poster. I've read alot about finishing edges on my leather projects, and I've gotten results I'm mostly happy with. However, on some projects, like archery bracers, I have a large area of flesh-side on the bottom which contacts the wearer's skin. Depending on the peice of leather this is sometimes OK, other times a problem. I normally use veg-tan tooling leather, varying quality / types. The flesh side can be anything from almost smooth to furrier than your cat. I've found that if I dye the flesh side, particularly if I use oil based dye (like Fiebing's oil dye) it becomes almost crusty and can feel like sandpaper. I was wondering how others deal with this? Here's some things I've tried in the past: 1. Dye with oil-dye, then coat with leather conditioner (beeswax with other stuff) and burnish, this seems to remove the sandpaper feel but can feel a little waxy afterwards 2. Line the flesh-side with suede - I like this, but it does require more leather and much more time for the glueing and stitching 3. Sand or lightly skive, dye with water-based dye, and burnish with gum trag - never gets totally smooth, will be undone with use The answer may be "buy better leather" but I would be interested to know if there's a good way to come up with a reasonably smooth coloured finish on the flesh side. Any help appreciated.
  6. By the end of the week I am expecting to receive the following in the post: A cheap (Chinese made, with probable Japanese influence) beginner's sett of leather working tools from Ebay A remnant/pieces pack of leather, needles, and thread from The Identity Store A copy of "The Leatherworking Handbook" by Valerie Michael from Amazon Yet to acquire from the local chain DIY store (probably nearer the time, or on Sunday if it slips my mind before then which is likely to happen) are: wood and fixings to make a cheap stitching pony Evo-Stik Time Bond contact adhesive an Oilstone (or similar) for inevitable initial sharpening of previously mentioned tools as well as general upkeep later on miscellaneous things that catch my eye which may be helpful such as clamps, sandpaper, straight edge etc Other things yet to be appropriated into my "kit": worksurface stuff (cutting mat, poly board, granite (or similar)) decent desk lamp as most of my work will be completed in the late evening/small hours after finishing the late shift at "the day job" and goodness knows my eyes will need all the help they can get edge slicking substance graph/grid paper for when I feel up to making my own patterns bone folder type tool stitching awl Things I already have, yet to be consolidated together: poly mallet basic geometry set (ruler, square, compases etc) pencils large toolbox for storage stack of "craft" drawers for storage non-marring spudger set which I'm sure will come in handy for poking/prodding in crevices metal bodied Utility knife (and blades) Extra Virgin Olive Oil in lieu of more specialist finishes tonnes of old clothes for rags Things I will probably get at a later date once I get a feel for everything (this does not include ad hoc replacement/upgrading of any of the above when needed): butcher's block style work station (as I'll mostly be working at my 10yr old pine desk in my bedroom initially, maybe out in the shed weather permitting) relevant dyes, treatments, etc and relevant applicators basic carving tools (I do not plan on getting into this much but I guess it's always handy to be able pop a pretty border on something special) ___ I know the cost of starting a new hobby from scratch is always going to be a major consideration, but it seems leathercraft is even more so. Yes I know it's no good moaning to other people who have all been there/done that, but starting out on a shoe string is still likely to cost me upwards of £100 ($125 for you colonials ). Being the sort of person I am, often doing things on a whim, and generally cautious with cash, I do not want to go to the lengths that some do and get The Works in terms of equipment and materials to start with. I don't want to spend a small fortune on something if I don't end up getting decently into it to justify the cost. That said, it seems the general advice in terms of initial outlay is "get the best you can afford" and that's what I'm doing I suppose. I guess there are those out there who have started out with much less, and I have no need nor reason trying to justify what I'm doing. I guess in a way I'm secretly hoping that I get sufficiently good enough at the whole "leather thing" that in the long run I can start going to fairs, events, do made-to-order and the like, and be able to become (at least partially) self employed. But that's definitely a long way off. I think for me leathercraft will always be a matter of being on a shoestring, at least in the sense of trying to get the best from the least. I've always been enthralled by the way craftsmen of all disciplines in years gone-by have come up with ingenious solutions which even centuries or millennia haven't changed much, and as much as possible I want to keep what I do "low-tech": drawing up templates by hand rather than using PC software, using as traditional methods and tools as possible, and if possible trying to be authentic in style/process with any historical based pieces I produce. I (like to think) I am fairly good at improvising, and this will also keep costs down. Who needs a £40 edge slicker when a double-pronged piece of deer antler (free if you know where/when to look) will do? Or expensive black dyes if you can master the likes of vinegaroon and lampblack?
  7. For anyone who might be interested, it's not too late sign up. I still have a few seats left in some of the workshops and I will be accepting walk-ins, first come first serve for any remaining seats. Contact the Leather Crafters & Saddlers Journal for more info (715) 362-5393. This is GREAT SHOW in a beautiful facility. Feb 21-26. Don't miss your chance to see a great variety of vendors under one roof. And be sure to stop by my booth, located in the foyer, and say hello! See you there!!! y
  8. Up till now I've used water or Eco-Flo burnishing gum on leather. Then while looking for better products I came across Seiwa leathercraft tokonole burnishing gum. It's from Japan and looks more like white glue than a clear gel. It's much easier to apply and provides very quick results. 1 application is enough and it leaves a very even coat and color after burnishing. It's especially fast when you are trying to burnish a large area. I've noticed in Asia that this is the preferred product used by most leather professionals. Has anyone else in this forum tried this product before? I'd be curious of what you think? Anyways, if you are looking for a better solution for burnishing, give this one a try. I'm sold!
  9. I have been practicing with my swivel knife and stamps, that I inherited from my grandparents, on some old veg tan scraps from the Local surplus store, for about six weeks now and feel like I will be ready for my first projects soon. I want to make leather stick barrettes for my mom and me. I still need some more practice because I'm still not confident in my abilities yet, but I think I have almost everything I need. I'm going to buy a piece of belly from the surplus store to practice on since it's probably a little better quality than the supper thick, warped, dry scraps I've been practicing on. I ordered an 8-1/2"X11" 6-7oz piece of leather from Springfield LC. It was a nice piece, I liked the stiffness, but seemed a bit thin for the project, so I ordered a piece of 7-8oz and it should be here in a week or two. Should the 7-8oz piece be ok? for the stick, I'm using a dowel rod from Walmart, because that is what I use for my Native Amercan beaded stick barrettes. I want my barrette to be black. I'm brewing up a batch of vinegaroon right now. I've done a lot of reading about it here on the site. If it goes wrong, I have a bottle of black Feibings oil dye. Do I burnish the edges before or after I dye, or is it personal preference? I'm going to be burnishing with water, a wooden burnishing tool and paraffin wax. something I'm really concerned about is the finish. Mom wants the natural look and mine will be black. Since the leather we will use will be some what flexible, I'm concerned that acrylic finishes will crackle. Unless I could wet form them into the shape we want, but I don't know how that is done.We need a finish that is moisture resistant because we plan on wearing our barrettes almost every day, which means we might have damp hair when we put our hair up. I have read on the site that a 50/50 mixture of beeswax and neetsfoot oil applied to the leather, then melted in with a hair dryer was a good way to water proof leather. Would that work for this project? Would burnishing the flesh side aid in making it water resistant? On a side note, from what I understand, vinegaroon will turn some wood black. I think I'm going to cut a piece of the dowel rod off and see if it reacts to the vinegaroon. I'd like to have a black stick to go with my black barrette. If that doesn't work, some of the oil dye will work on the dowel rod, won't it? Thank you for your time.
  10. Hi, I have been practicing with the swivel knife and stamps for a few weeks now. My first projects were going to be checkbook covers but decided they would be a little too advanced for me at this time and the stick barrettes are needed more anyways. The barrettes will be about 2-1/2" to 3", by about 5-1/5" long. They will be dyed black. I will use a dowel rod for the sicks, I will dye those black too. I bought 4oz of Feibings black pro oil dye and from what I understand, this doesn't bleed as bad as the others. Do you think 4oz will be enough to do both? I bought a piece of 6-7oz 8.5"X11" veg tan from Springfield Leather. This should be enough to make both barrettes, but not leaving much scrap for testing I bought a set of hole punches for the stick holes. I was going to burnish the edges and the flesh side. I ordered tools for that. I was thinking that burnishing the flesh side might help make it a little more moisture resistant. I'm concerned about making the barrettes moisture resistant because our hair might be damp when we put it up. Any suggestions on what we can put on the flesh side to protect it from the moisture in our hair? I'm ok with having to reapply something every so often. on the grain side, I will tool them and plan to use Mop n' Glo mixed 50/50 with water to seal them. I read about it on here. I already had it on hand and don't have much money to work with. Does it crackle really bad? The barrettes will be pretty flexible, so I'm concerned about that. I was thinking I should apply the Mop n' Glo, then put the dowel rod through the holes and let it dry in that position. Does that make sence? the barrettes are going to be oval shaped. To cut it out, I plan to use the 28 year old swivel knife I inherited (I have a brand new one for the good stuff) It has been sharpened and I have stropped the h**l out of it. It will cut through tough, roughly 8-10oz cased veg tan in a few passes with a little elbow grease. I know there are other knives I should be using, but I'm very clumsy and feel less likely to cut myself or ruin my project this way. I know I can't do it this way for long, but I will learn the right way in time. Is there anything y'all think I should know? Constructive criticism, suggestions, ideas and insight are very welcome. I'm very sorry I have so many questions. I have no idea what I'm doing, I have no one to learn from. The person a inherited the swivel knife and stamps from got them as a gift and knew nothing about leather work. I know absolutely no one that has worked with veg tan leather. I don't even have access to leather working books through our library because of personal reasons. All I really have is the Internet, just this website really. I have learned a lot here the last two weeks already. Please don't suggest any wool products, I'm allergic. Except the wool daubers should ok since they won't come in contact with my skin. Any responses are greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read this novel lol.
  11. Burnishing ink:This is something I had never used. Any reviews on it? Is it a dye or stain? Is it something I use instead of a spirit or oil based dye? feibing's antique dye: I normally usethe paste. On SLC website I was unable to find the paste but have found antique dye. Is this used the same? Pro/cons vs. paste? Black resolene: would I be correct to assume this would be as a seelant over black dye?
  12. Filson Strap Edges

    Hi Everyone! I have been working on my strap edges for a while now, and I'm still frustrated with the result! I still get some fraying here and there that feels rough on my shoulder. I am looking for a Filson-like supple finish, as seen in the photo below. Anyone have any tips or do you know how they achieve this result? Are these straps burnished and painted or do they use paint and an electric creaser? Thanks very much in advance for your input!
  13. Hello everybody! I have a few seats left in several classes. I will be excepting walk-ins in "Antiquing & Finishes", "Burnishing" and "Exotic Inlays", so if you're on the fence or decide to change your mind, You're welcome to attend (until the room is full...first come first serve). See you there!!!!
  14. Hello Leatherworkers , I managed to burnish the edge quite good with dye+ glycerin then dye and wax then canvas wheel . My question is , how long does the burnished edge last ? because when i bend it tightly the edge cracked , so i figured out the the burnishing will not work on edge of a notebook cover or passport holder were it bends . What about the edge coat that turns out to look like plastic/rubber . how long does it last ? Thanks
  15. I generally cut pretty straight lines, but when I'm done burnishing the leather has bent and it no longer looks neat. I'm guessing that I'm pressing down to hard as I burnish, but have yet to find a way around this. Any ideas?
  16. Edge Finishing Soft Leather

    Apologies all if this has been covered already, but I was wondering whether anyone has experience finishing soft edges? I have some 2mm tumbled calf, which I would like to burnish/finish properly. Clearly traditional methods are failing me (specifically the Japanese method of sealing with Funori, and the gum trag/burnishing method). Has anyone done this? I am looking for a firmer and shiny edge without any visible fibre structure. Maybe glazing? Thanks!
  17. Hi everyone. I am a design and I am working with a leather worker in Lancaster on some watch bands. He is using some kind of sealant on the edges of the strap that he applies with a spongy brush. This room for error means sometimes he gets the finish on the top surface of the straps. I've been to a space that makes watch straps and they used this little plastic tray. I am trying to identify what it is called exactly? It has a wheel with teeth that picks up a liquid gum or dye. The straps edges are rolled along this wheel and the liquid (pink in the photo) is applied to the edges. In the photo the little tray is shown in it's two pieces, they stack on top of each other. Have been searching for a few days and would like to buy one for my leather guy to use on future strap runs. I included a photo below, if it's too small I uploaded it also here: http://imgur.com/u9saCTF
  18. Paste Or Liquid Saddle Soap?

    The Tractor Supply near me has Fiebings' paste sadde soap in a tin like shoe polish, or a liquid glycerine saddle soap in a bottle. Which would I use for burnishing edges of knife sheaths? My first thought would be the paste, but I'm happy to be wrong.
  19. Burnishing Lined Edges

    Hey guys, I've been making a few passport and card holders and for my last one I decided to line it with some Tandy Premium Mission Grain Pigskin Lining Leather, I glued it to the main piece and then trimmed the excess, I assembled and stitched everything and then burnished the edges, I usually get a smooth and clean edge but this time, with the lining, it looks like it's cracked, as you can see from the pictures I've attached. I'm not that familiar with pigskin, I'm guessing this particular piece is not of the greatest quality and that may be the reason why I can't burnish it very well, I'm from Portugal and before I bought this piece from Tandy I bought a piece from a local shop, it was really cheap but seeing as I had never bought pigskin before, I thought I was getting a deal (I'll attach a couple of photos later), when I got home I took a good look at it and it was kind of flimsy and had a greyish color to it, I also tried dying it just to see the results and it didn't turn up very nice, I wanted to know your opinions and if it's just the quality of the pigskin or if I should be using another technique! Thank you very much, Lourenço
  20. Hi Forum members, Does anyone have experience with the MP Leather Burnisher by Cobra? I have seen the you tube video but still unsure. Does anyone have this machine or used it? Im deciding on whether to buy and am looking for honest reviews. My gun belt business is starting to get really busy and need something that can speed up my hand burnishing process and make my edge look good. Please advise. Thanks!
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  22. Hi everyone, I've just started to getting into leather working and I'm mainly interested in making bags. I've worked with some veg tan and I'm happy with the results, but I find the end product to be a little to stiff and the surface too crass. I've done a fair bit of research and reading but I cannot seem to find any reliable resources on how Hermes puts their bags together (mainly the Birkin). Does anyone know if it's just a soft leather that has been glued to veg tan, or is it just thick, soft, amazing, expensive leather? I'm also interested in how they apply the inner lining to the leather, if stiffeners are used and it's even possible to burnished a thin soft leather that has been glue to veg tan. Any help or advice is appreciated, Thanks!
  23. Hi all, I am having issues getting a nice clean burnish on natural (un-dyed) veg tan. This is my process: I sand with 80 grit to make edges even and square if necessary. Sand edges with medium and then fine. Trim the edges with a tandy edge beveler. Wet the edges with small wool dauber as neatly as I can. Burnish with a wooden hand burnisher (picture below, I wonder if the burnisher I am using isn't the best). Then I add beeswax to the edge, and burnish again with the same wooden burnisher. My problem is, I am not getting a very clean edge. After I put water on the edge and do the first burnish, water leaks or is pushed onto the face of the leather, away from the edge, either by the burnishing, or just by the water itself. It makes the face look messy and the edge not like like a straight edge. This would be easy to hide if I were to dye the leather before my final burnish, but it looks really messy on natural leather, and honestly, I would like to just have a solid method that looks good regardless if I dye or not. I have read hidepounders tutorial on finishing edges, but I don't really want to use the paste or paraffin, I am trying to keep it to beeswax/water, or any other natural product. Thanks!
  24. Hi All, I have been having some issues with discolored edges and I am trying to figure out the cause and how to avoid them. After I burnish my edges, dye, and finish my piece, I am noticing discoloration near the edges. See the included photo, specifically along the edges near the Nerf blaster. The dye doesn't appear to take as cleanly near the edge as it does on other portions of the leather My burnishing process was adapted from Bob Park's tutorial here on Leatherworker.net based on what I own. Steps I am using are below: 1) Bevel and sand my edges, 2) Wet the edges with water 3) rub glycerine soap into the edges 4) burnish by hand with canvas until edges are smooth I am applying Fiebing's Professional Oil Dye via wool dobber when dyeing. I am seeing the issue with Dark Brown and Saddle Tan, but not when using Black. The dye is not penetrating despite several carefully applying several coats of dye. My best guess is I am getting glycerine soap onto the surface of the leather when I am applying it to the edges. Or perhaps I am accidentally burnishing a portion of the top of leather as I am rubbing the edges with the canvas cloth. Before I have been dyeing, I have been taking a look at the surface of the leather and I am not seeing any obvious signs of excessive glycerine soap residue or inconsistent texture from over burnishing. I am stumped. Has anyone encountered this issue and can you give me feedback on how to avoid it?
  25. I'm almost at the end of the planning stages for kind of backpack/messenger bag with shoulder straps. The straps will be layered around a CC foam strip. Though I haven't decided on the final layer variations, I'll probably end up with 2-4 layers and a final thickness of around 1/8" - 1/4" thickness along the edge. Among the finishing methods, which do you suggest? I've debated on thong lacing, basic saddle soap burnishing, burning and probably some other bad ideas but can't really decide what direction to take. Sturdiness is my primary concern with comfort a close second and appearance in third. If it makes a difference, I'm planning on doing all of the stitching on the rest of the bag with (probably) saddle-stitched artificial sinew. If you have a different suggestion on the type of stitch though, I'm all ears. You can see the bag I'm using as a base design at http://leatherworker...891#entry317335