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Danno90 posted a blog entry in Danno90's BlogBy 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?
CCCustomTack posted a topic in Saddle Identification, Restoration & RepairI am in dior need of some knowledge.... Last night my husband & I bought a diamond in the rough. It was a pre= 1980 Original Billy Cook MAKER Greenville, TX 15" cutting saddle. I was BEYOND excited for this find & couldn't wait to clean it up! So today i went to it with soap & water, a sponge, & a tooth brush to get into the floral tooling... the dirt was really deep in there & still wasn't come out so i talked to my friend who has restored a couple older saddle & she said power wash it.... i was a little hesitant but i took her word for it... My husband power washed it on LOW in a fan setting on the washer & now in some spots it looks like the finish has literally been taking off... she reassures me this is normal & i don't believe her. I have put several coats of 100% pure neatsfoot oil on it & it is soaking now but i'm terrified i have now ruined this saddle. But also this saddle has been repaired in a few places that i can see & is very old so scuffs may also be from wear & tear but still, i'm freaking out a little. What are you thoughts? Tips? Suggestions? Kind words to keep me from breaking down into tears...lol Pictures of before & after included...
I am getting ready to try a McClellan saddle restoration for my first saddlery project. It is an old one, by all indications made in the mid-late 1860s, but it was most likely a commercial-made saddle, and not a military saddle, so it is of little historical or antique value. I did some homework and research, as much as I could, to make sure, before I start messing with it. While it is not in all that bad of condition for it's age, I would like to restore it to usable condition...and use it. It's pretty simple, and all the leather is there to use as patterns, so it seemed like a good first project. Question I have is what weight I ought to use for the seat. Seems like 13-15 weight might be a little difficult to work with, particularly for the seat. Also, it was originally made with leather with a black varnished finish (all cracked and decayed now). Would I be better off buying black-dyed leather or just dying it myself...or leaving it with just an oiled finish? Figured I'd better ask somebody who knows, before I start ordering leather. Ahhh! Looks like I messed up with attaching the photos. Sorry.