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Found 13 results

  1. 1st time tooling (Viking Serpent)

    Hey guys this is my first attempt at tooling I think if I perfected the beveling around the image it would really make the image pop out any tips would be great thanks!
  2. Howdy Y'all

    Brand-spankin'-new leather worker perched out in east-central nowhere Missouri. I recently acquired a cheap set of what are likely subpar leather working tools from Amazon (I had a gift card, dangit) and am going to start learning something (practically) just as soon as I lay hands on some usable leather. I feel like I've picked up a fair amount of theory reading posts here and watching YouTube videos. Don Gonzales is the YouTuber that comes immediately to mind. My intent is to acquire some scrap and start practicing with stitching and tooling a bit before I start picking projects and making stuff to learn how it works in the real world. I am always interested in suggestions and/or advice from those with more experience. Thanks for letting me join your apparently amiable group. I look forward to sharing this journey with all of you.
  3. Getting into carving

    I am wanting to get into carving and tooling to spice up my holsters. I did a spruce tree today at our leather working breakfast and decided to go ahead and buy a few swivel knives and some stamping tools and what not. What are some good tooling sets to buy? Craft tool? Or is there something better? Please don’t ask to see my tree...
  4. It's a design from one of those Al Stohlman stencils, I'm not designing my own yet. It's 9oz leather. It just doesn't look right. I feel like I'm doing something wrong. I used to have an issue where I was tooling with the leather way too wet, so I stopped doing that and all my work looks improved, but I still feel like something is not "clicking"? Like I'm missing something about this. I have most of the Al Stohlman books including Figure Carving Finesse. Sometimes it's a bit overwhelming and confusing though, and most of all I wish I could see his work in real life, because I stare at the flat photos in the books and I wonder how deep the cuts are and such...and sometimes it's hard to make out what effect he's trying to teach? I feel like I need to see and touch to really understand, but that's not possible...I don't know any leatherworkers in my area either. I feel like maybe I'm striking too hard or cutting too deep? Beveling too deep? Using the wrong bevelers? Stohlman recommends certain specific bevelers for figure carving, but I don't have those exact ones (yet). I have these straight bevelers, B935 and the bigger/wider version of that one. Will it really look THAT much better if I use the triangle-shaped "figure bevelers" Stohlman says to use? Also I don't know what Stohlman means when he talks about using the modeling tool to "smooth and round off edges" of the beveling. Like, I see this ledge that occurs when you bevel, but I don't really understand how to make it round, when I try to use the modeling tool on it it just feels like I'm making the image less dynamic and pressing the edges down so they don't stand out as much. idk if that makes sense. Obviously the lines inside the animal (supposed to be muscle definition) is a hot mess. Also I suppose I should add some fur texture? So idk. Any and all advice and critique is welcomed. I kinda like how this turned out because I really like working with thick leather, it allows a lot of depth which is fun, but I still feel like I'm not understanding something about it.
  5. Hi Guys, This is my first attempt at making anything in leather, it is only a basic key fob (without the hole cut for the keyring yet) but I though I would put it out there for you guys to take a look, I know I messed up the reverse side stamp with not enough force and I burnished the edge with a wooden spoon! (I have to order a burnisher/slicker yet) this was just to get to grips with the basic technique of saddlestitch (which went a little off in places), cutting and burnishing it took me about an hour or so, it's far from perfect I know, but I am reasonably pleased with it. I hope you guys like it.
  6. 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.
  7. Hi everyone. This is a banjo strap I decided to make. Nothing fancy. This is my first leatherworking project, so this is where it all begins. Been collecting tools since early Feb this year. Was originally going to work on a shooting tab and arm guard for archery, for myself.. But I needed this banjo strap! I used a 2" (cut to 3/4" at ends), 56" long (around 54" after all the cutting), 8oz veg tanned belt strap. The color is Fiebing's Walnut Oil Dye.. It came out pretty dark, which is fine. I used a bit of Neatsfoot oil to give it some movement. It was quite stiff to begin with. I dyed the front, back, and sides with Walnut. I used Tan Kote on the rough side (I think that's the flesh side?). On the smooth side, I used Carnauba Crème. Do I need to use anything on top of the carnauba? I have Leather Sheen, which I used to seal the graphics. For the graphics, I made my cuts, tooled a little, then used Fiebing's acrylic dyes. I think it came out pretty cool for not having any leatherworking or painting experience I picked up the AK from Tandy's, which happens to be pretty close to me. My initials :D As you can see, it's not super clean.. But I'll get there. If you have any advice for me, please do share, as I'm very new at this. I do my research, but everyone has their own methods, so we'll see how this holds up. Thanks for viewing. I hope to share some more of my projects, as well as learn from you guys. Thanks! -Ant Also, I was thinking of adding some padding to the underside of the strap. What do you guys think? Sheepskin? And how would I go about doing that? Can I glue it? Or would it have to be stitched on? I would imagine glue would stiffen the strap.
  8. Hi guys. I'm brand spanking new to leatherworking. I want to start my first project (Archery shooting tab & forearm guard), but I don't want to ruin it. I figured I'd do the smart thing and ask you knowledgeable folks first. I have a few rolls of leather from a friend of my grandmother. They seem kind of hard. Is there something I need to do to prep these rolls for working? Soak them in water or something? I was wondering because I tried beveling the edges, and in some spots, it seemed to rip right off or crumble. Maybe cut the edge off and start from the new edge? All input and info is much appreciated. Thanks in advance -Ant
  9. I got roped into leatherworking a few weeks ago by stumbling into Tandy's videos by George Hurst on Youtube and said "This is for me!" I'm so glad I did! I ran out and bought their ultimate set and a pile of other stuff and books (ok maybe too much? lol but I figure I'll learn as I go along). Anyway, I made a few coasters from the kit following the instructions and then got ready to do the dyes. I chose to do what he did - use super shene as a resist on the center flower and the border. The only problem is it did NOT come out like his. The resist did do SOMETHING... but not nearly what it did in his video I'm still satisfied the piece looks good for a first time noob but I want to get it like his and I followed the directions to the letter (or so I thought). I applied a generous coat of super shene with a brush. I let it dry over 30 min. I applied another coat. I let it sit overnight to be absolutely certain it was ready to resist. Using a dauber (like George Hurst did), I generously applied the same dye he did (Hi-Lite in Briar Brown). I then used what he did, a folded up paper towel to wipe off the excess. See the results in the photos. His has TONS of contrast and mine looks like the resist hardly did anything. I then tried the same thing with Eco Flo block and got the same results I did with super shene. I am disappointed and don't know of anything I did wrong unless his results are a camera trick or some kind of Voodoo I don't know about yet and was left out of the video?! Please show pity and help the noob! PS: In his youtube video on making leather cuffs - he uses same two chemicals and his brown is WAY darker than mine and his resisted area is WAY lighter. UGH HELP!
  10. O/ Renoir Here

    Hi all! Beginner here, three weeks in and having fun. First project : replacement watch strap http://www.flickr.com/photos/56285539@N06/9611413552/ very pleased with how it went - very happy with first-time stitching! (Colour 'dye' from brown shoe scuff - the stuff that comes in a bottle with a sponge on top! staying on so far...) Also made myself a stitching pony http://www.flickr.com/photos/56285539@N06/sets/72157635258004549/ I'm currently making my first wallet - I'll post photos when done . Top things I have learnt so far! * youtube videos are great to learn / demonstrate! Many thanks to all who uploaded leather videos. * Learn to sharpen tools properly. Sandpaper/wet'n'dry is cheap and does a great job, a cheap set of diamond steels work too. * Make a leather strop (glue leather to a bit of scrap wood and rub in some polishing paste). * Your knife must be **sharp** to cut leather well. * A glass 'cutting' board will destroy your sharp edge after 1-2 strokes. plastic is better * I've had reasonable success with the 'snap-off' style blades - stropping a few times seems to put a nice edge on them, and they are cheap to learn with. * Wear disposable gloves when handling dye. * Dye *will* get on your hands. See above. * There is no such thing as a quick 'touch up' of a missed spot. Opening a dye bottle will get it on your hands. * Dye exists in a strange quantum state. Simply observing the bottle will sometimes get it on your hands. * A proper diamond leather sewing awl is essential - and learn how to sharpen it!
  11. Hello everyone! Just discovered the site and am really enjoying the community! I did a bit of searching around (probably didn't have the best search parameters) but have a few general questions for a completely new craftsman. I believe my interests revolve around more simple design, not so much carved, just hand stitched. I would like to start with maybe a wallet or belt, maybe a dog lead. Question is, what are the basic tools I need to get going? Is a stitching chisel the way to go or maybe a prickling chisel maybe ever just punches? Basically I was hoping for opinions of a good "starter" loadout for a simple, no carve workbench. I don't have a ton of money to spend but do not want to have to rebuy after junk tools break so medium grade sounds like a plan. PS: The Art of Hand Sewing Leather is already on order.
  12. I was thinking about upgrading a bodice I have with some thinner, patterned leather I acquired via rivets. Before I took the plunge, I realized that the outside of the bodice is %100 silk. Now, I love this bodice as is, and would love it even more if I could create my vision, but I'd rather not start hacking away at the silk only to ruin everything. Does anyone have any tips, warnings, or other advice for a noob like me (who has finally learned, after impulsively diving in to projects, that it is always worth the wait to do it right).
  13. Reboot By Immersion?

    I get some basics to get back into tooling and within weeks I have a list of projects I need to have finished by the 24th of this month. Wow. The first three I took on were little things, to be made into "belt favors" (a badge/emblem to be put on a loop and hung on a belt, seen at Ren Faires and LARPs all the time). Okay, a little swivel knife work, a tiny amount of beveling to enhance the emblem, and painted. No problems, get them done in a couple of sittings of a couple of hours each and the only person that has seen them lost thier mind. Whew. I'm not totally happy with them, but I'm the kind of artist that tears their own work to shreds with critique, so.... Next. Yipes. A tooled/carved award certificate. Nah, didn't go in whole hog on getting back into this at all. Takes everything I got practice in on the favors and tosses in some celtic knotwork, a rose, antiquing, and having to decide if it's going to be a frame or if I'm going to be insane enough to try to letter this thing in a week, on top of everything else getting ready for a weekend camping type event, I'm thinking it's going to be a frame or ink/paint calligraphy, but still... It seems I don't believe in taking slow. I'm either going to do it, or not. lol 1) Casing: still have a little ways to go on getting it "just so," but not too bad. 2) Swivel work: It felt SO GOOD to pick up that thing again. Like coming home. Of course I need practice, but I was no where near as inept as I feared I would be after so long. 3) Beveling: This was a cakewalk to get back into. 4) Tooling/carving (not sure where my work would fall, but my mentor/Grandfather called all of that tooling): Other than a lack of a couple of tools and having to improvise, again it went much better than I had prepared myself for. 5) Painting: I grew up painting, a little adjustment for media and I was off like a rocket of contentment. 6) Antiquing: Not there yet Still missing some things for the bench, so burnished edges, and a few other things are going to have to wait until later. I hate money right now, it's getting in the way of having more than a few tools and scraps to work on. Dang electric bills in the summer. lol Oh well, I'm patient and will work with what I have and slowly build the bench to what it needs to be. Best parts of the expreience so far: --My son wanting to learn it more and more each time he comes to the bench to see how the projects are coming along, and realizing that a modest piece can be finished in a real amount of time. --Feeling so close to my Grandfather again after so long. I can feel him behind me watching just like he used to. Worst parts: --Missing my Grandfather, because he's not there when I turn around. --Realizing we're going to need a bigger place to live with two more people wanting to get into it... We're going to end up scrapping over workbench time at this rate. lol I will post images after the event they are for, don't want them accidentaly seen before then by those that should see them until presentation.