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There is a guy in washington who sells the best leather burnisher I have ever used. He sells them on Ebay. You need a 1650 rpm electric motor and this burnisher, you will be set. I think it is listed on Ebay as "fantastic leather burnisher". He sells just the head and his special wax compound, or the motor too......

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There is a guy in washington who sells the best leather burnisher I have ever used. He sells them on Ebay. You need a 1650 rpm electric motor and this burnisher, you will be set. I think it is listed on Ebay as "fantastic leather burnisher". He sells just the head and his special wax compound, or the motor too......

I would really like to see some finished edges using his machine! I've heard so much about it...seen the video....but couldn't really see a close-up of his edges when he was finished. I was hoping he would be at Wickenburg where I could see first hand. Was he at Sheridan? Maybe someone else could give some testimony also? Anybody know?

Bob

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Bree   

I have one of Ivan's burnishers and it is quite good for getting a good quick burnish. It is great for folks doing production belts and the like because it is very fast. But there is no comparison between that machine burnished edge and Bob's edge. It's like comparing a machine print to a Renoir original.

Bob has provided us with a technique leading to the perfected edge of a craftsman. It's an artist's edge. And he makes it happen over and over again in his work which is why he is one of the premier leathercrafters in the world in my opinion. We have great leathercrafters from all over the world right here on this system and Bob's work is right up at the top with the best of them.

My $.02.

:red_bandana::red_bandana::red_bandana:

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rharris   

Bob

Here a a couple of pictures of the edge of a knife sheath I finished this morning using Ivan's burnisher. My order of edging after stitching is:

Trim & Sand (should have sanded it a little smoother)

Edging

Dying

Before the dye is dry I got to Ivan's burnisher

Saddle soap and burnish with an old pair of Wranglers

Finish with Neat Lac or Clear Lac

Burnish some more with Wranglers

Donated_PTRA__09_014.jpg

RussH

I would really like to see some finished edges using his machine! I've heard so much about it...seen the video....but couldn't really see a close-up of his edges when he was finished. I was hoping he would be at Wickenburg where I could see first hand. Was he at Sheridan? Maybe someone else could give some testimony also? Anybody know?

Bob

post-720-1242921885_thumb.jpg

Edited by rharris

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Bob

Here a a couple of pictures of the edge of a knife sheath I finished this morning using Ivan's burnisher. My order of edging after stitching is:

Trim & Sand (should have sanded it a little smoother)

Edging

Dying

Before the dye is dry I got to Ivan's burnisher

Saddle soap and burnish with an old pair of Wranglers

Finish with Neat Lac or Clear Lac

Burnish some more with Wranglers

Donated_PTRA__09_014.jpg

RussH

Russ,

Thanks for posting that edge photo. It is the first time I have been able to see what Ivan's machine will do and I appreciate it very much. You said that you dyed before burnishing....does the wax/parfin combo (I assume that it's wax & parafin) prevent dying the edge after you have burnished?

Again, thanks for the help!

Bob

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rharris   

Bob

Yes the dye does not penetrate as good after burnishing. I think it is wax and parafin. I can not tell much difference between it and straight bees wax. Burnishing while the dye is still damp seams to give it that darker color. I am still working to get a better shine on my edges. Not sure what I am doing wrong or what I need to change.

Glad I could help.

RussH

Russ,

Thanks for posting that edge photo. It is the first time I have been able to see what Ivan's machine will do and I appreciate it very much. You said that you dyed before burnishing....does the wax/parfin combo (I assume that it's wax & parafin) prevent dying the edge after you have burnished?

Again, thanks for the help!

Bob

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Mongo   

I agree with Hidepounder, after edging and sanding, I use a burnishing wheel made of white felt 1 1/2" circles stacked together on bolt that runs at a slow speed on a tabletop drill press that is laying on its side. I wet the edge before burnishing.

My final burnishing, however, I use a mixture of bee's wax and pariffin and a piece of canvas. My edges look like Hidepounders (sorry I just got my digital camera - don't know how to pictures on yet). You can't beat canvas for a perfect edge.

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Spinner   

This is great info on burnishing for a beginner. It's amazing how many techniques and theories are shared between woodturning & leatherworking. I know what attachment I'll be making for my mini lathe this weekend! Thanks for sharing this.

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Finally able to get a pic up...

...it's a start but I think this is promising. :)

Gallary_6.jpg

Gallary_7.jpg

Those are incredible edges! Wonderful job! Now please tell us what you did to improve the process.....those are better than mine!

Bob

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KcKenny   

I just ordered a burnisher from Scott chucked to fit my hand drill. I have an old bench grinder that I was thinking I might be able to mount in my workspace, then run a pulley off it to a shaft that would act to decrease the RPM as well as chuck the burnisher. Anyone have suggestions on suppliers who might make a setup like this. I'm thining I'd need a v-belt with 2 varying size radius wheels, a shaft to mount one of the weels on, and some sort of chuck on the end of the shaft to hold the burnisher. I can see the entire design in my head it it seems simple enough, I just have no idea if someone makes such supplies.

Thanks,

Kenny

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Mongo   

KcKenny,

Harbor Freight Tools sells a cheap table top drill press. I just bought another one. I didn't assemble this one. I just took the head and put my bolt with my burnishing wheel right in it. It works very well. To sand I just put a drum sander into the drill bit. It works very well for a $49 investment. The RPMs are just about perfect.

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Mongo   

Hidepounder,

I was intrigued with your idea of using the Fiebing’s glycerin bar soap in the burnishing process. I picked some up today and I am very curious to see how it works. In the past, I’ve had trouble with the edge taking the dye when I’ve used anything except water for my initial burnishing. Anything with wax really caused a problem. I agree with your comment on Edge Kote, I’ve never been happy with it how it turns out.

My starting sanding, edging, and burnishing process is very similar to yours. However when it comes to dyeing, I like to use Fiebing’s Professional Oil Dye on the body of my holsters and belts. I normally go back over the edges with a darker color after I have dyed the whole piece. Then I apply a finish to the whole piece. After drying and polishing, I apply a wax mixture of 50% bee’s wax and 50% paraffin to the edges and burnish the edges again.

Do you feel that the Fiebing’s alcohol dye works better for edges than the Fiebing’s oil dye? Also, when you dye your edges, are you “free-handing” them with a brush, or have you discovered a better technique?

I just looked at your gallery. You are indeed an artist. I feel that I am a very competent Western style holster maker, but I haven’t done any carving in over 20 years. I looked at your beginning tutorial on the subject. I would love to look at anything else you have to say on the subject.

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Hidepounder,

I was intrigued with your idea of using the Fiebing's glycerin bar soap in the burnishing process. I picked some up today and I am very curious to see how it works. In the past, I've had trouble with the edge taking the dye when I've used anything except water for my initial burnishing. Anything with wax really caused a problem. I agree with your comment on Edge Kote, I've never been happy with it how it turns out.

My starting sanding, edging, and burnishing process is very similar to yours. However when it comes to dyeing, I like to use Fiebing's Professional Oil Dye on the body of my holsters and belts. I normally go back over the edges with a darker color after I have dyed the whole piece. Then I apply a finish to the whole piece. After drying and polishing, I apply a wax mixture of 50% bee's wax and 50% paraffin to the edges and burnish the edges again.

Do you feel that the Fiebing's alcohol dye works better for edges than the Fiebing's oil dye? Also, when you dye your edges, are you "free-handing" them with a brush, or have you discovered a better technique?

I just looked at your gallery. You are indeed an artist. I feel that I am a very competent Western style holster maker, but I haven't done any carving in over 20 years. I looked at your beginning tutorial on the subject. I would love to look at anything else you have to say on the subject.

Thanks, Mongo, I appreciate the kind words. I think using oil dye is fine. I use the alcohol because I am accustomed to it and I think it drys faster. To apply the dye to the edges I use a piece of felt folded in half with a leather handle stapled to it and just apply it freehand. Lately I have been using Partner Pens. They are a large felt tip fitted into plastic tube. I just dip them into a dye bottle. Try googling them....I can't remember the source. Bruce Johnson dyes his edges using Sharpie pens and he is very happy with them.

Hope this helps...

Bobby

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Mongo   

Bobby,

Thanks for the advise. I'm going to look for the partner pens.

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Hey there, I just wanted to edit the process that I've been following in the hopes that it helps someone out.

After using several of my holsters and getting feedback from of my customers, I've found that I needed to get a better depth in the dying of the edges. So, I've adjusted my process just slightly.

All of the typical steps still apply but I've changed when I dye the edges and I now use predyed leather...cut, sew, wet mold, dry, sand edges, bevel edges, dye edges, saddle soap and canvas, finish, wax edge with beeswax/paraffin mix and cotton cloth.

I think that applying saddle soap after you dye the edges really helps to lock in the dye. I also wanted to comment that I take a chunk of saddle soap and grind away on the edges. Basically, you'll end up putting a grove in the bar of soap which helps in forming a nice rounded edge. Also, I'm not shy about using the saddle soap. Prettty much as soon as I apply the dye to the edge, I start working em over with the saddle soap. It seems like the more I apply, the smoother and more uniform the edges look.

Anyway, hope this helps.wave.gif

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Somebody oughta send Hidepounder to Congress to straighten out the economy...If he can do 10% of the effectiveness and quality on the economy that he does on edgework he just might save the whole country. You got a lot of great advice on this topic and almost all of it will work as written. The one thing I question is who taught you to put your work in an oven? You might wanna share that with these guys and get some alternative ideas. Intense heat is pretty hurtful to leather, and, although you might not see it immediately, some of your seams or rivet joints might give out a little faster down the road when a customer gripes and you are not there to defend yourself. Slap my face and call me liberal, but I have always let my leather air dry, even after shaping.

Hope this helps, and

Don't shoot yore eye out, kid

The Capgun Kid

SASS#31398

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pete   

Has ANYONE tried my method of treating the edge with just Feibing's antique(paste)? I sand, edge, and apply the paste, then rub with just a canvas. The paste soaks in, lubricates as I rub, and dries in seconds to a really nice finish. I quit using dye (NEVER liked edge-coat)

ANYONE???

pete

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For my money, if your are going to ask an expert how he does it, and you are fortunate to get a serious answer, listen carefully. I have seen Bob Parks work and believe me it is top of the line. Long ago I followed his description of how he did it and I have never been sorry.

post-8161-077956200 1292096764_thumb.jpg

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smoke10   

tt

My process is a little different than the others posted here. First off, I agree with everybody else, you should do your burnishing after the holster is molded. Once it's molded and dry, this is what I would do:

01.) SAND EDGES - I use a mounted belt sander with a 150 or 220 grit belt and always move against the direction of the sander. All I'm trying to do hear is to insure that all the leather layers are even and all the reisdual glue and finish has been removed.

02.) EDGING - I use an edger to remove the corners of the edge.

03.) WET & SOAP - Wet the edge using a sponge and then rub glycerine bar saop well into the edge.

04.) BURNISH - I burnish with heavy canvas satuarated with Fiebings yellow soap. The canvas is wrapped around a wood burnishing wheel (I use the Weaver set-up)

05.) DYE - At this point I dye the edge with Fiebings alcohol dye. I use this because it is absorbed into the leather...it's not just bonded to the outside like an edge paint is. I also dye at this stage because I can get a nice neat, clean line because the leather is smooth and the fibers are all tight and bonded together. If you dye the edge before you burnish, you cannot get a nice clean dye line!

06.) HAND BURNISH - I use a clean cloth (old t-shirts are great) to rub the edge to remove any residual dye and to determine if a second coat is necessary. If not, I use a hand burnisher to rub any imperfections out of the edges and create an even smoother finish.

07.) POLISH - At this point I use a soft drum wrapped with cordura nylon (Mounted on the other side of my Weaver burnisher) and gererously impregnated with parafin, and burnish again. Once I'm satisfied with the finish, I polish to a high luster with a dry cloth.

08.) FINISH - apply the final finish.

Here are some examples of the my finished edges on a belt I completed this weekend, and a photo of the edge on a pad folio I posted earlier this year.

post-7682-1242068781_thumb.jpg post-7682-1242068810_thumb.jpg post-7682-1242068836_thumb.jpg

post-7682-1242068764_thumb.jpg

Here is my burnishing set-up:

post-7682-1242069880_thumb.jpg

This has worked pretty well for me, however, I'm always adjusting as I learn new tricks and techiques.

Hope this helps,

Bob

Hi Bob

I was wondering if you could tell me what you have on the right side of your Weaver burnisher.( looking at the pic. you posted) I can see that you have the saddle soap on the canvas on the left side, but can't make out the right side. Thanks

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On my next piece I think I'm going to try the saddle soap method described here. Question: at the local Walmart they have Kiwi Saddle Soap...wonder if this will work so I don't have to place a special order for some?

Also, with the way I currently burnish, I sometimes get little fibers that like to stick up from the nicely polished surface, is there a way to keep this from happening?

Here's how Ive been doing it on my last sheaths:

Sand to shape on my belt sander. Then finish it with 220 and then 400 grit by hand.

Run the beveler on the edges.

Redye the edges to bring the color back.

When dry, moisten with water and use a stainless steel rod to bring up the shine and burnish.

Once a nice glassy shine is achieved, I put on a couple coats of Gum Trag and let it soak in and dry, then reburnish with the SS rod.

For a final swipe, I like to rub it with a piece of dry denim. This is where the small fibers like to jump up in random places. Should I be doing something a bit different?

Also, I use a beeswax/paraffin/neats-foot mix to treat my sheaths. I'm having a hard time getting that glassy gloss back after the wax mixture is put on the sheath. Before treating, I can get it nearly reflective...afterwards its more of a semi-gloss/satiny shine.

Thanks for any help!

Edited by The Grizzly

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THein   

I've read through this post and others about using a mixture of beeswax and parrafin to burnish edges. I finally got a motor, shaft, and mandrel put together. This morning, I prepared to melt/ mix waxes. I figured a 50/50 mix was probably by weight so I started down that road. That's when I found out that the same weights of each wax appeared to be different amounts of mass.

I've read in other posts where using one or the other can result in less desireable results. Hence, my question: Is the 50/50 mix by weight or volume? Beeswax weighs 60 lb/ square foot and parrafin weighs 45.

I'm no rocket scientist, I'm just tired of tossing work in the trash because it turned out bad.

Terry

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Mongo   

Terry,

I just mixed blocks of what appeared to be equal amounts of parrafin and bees' wax. I just eyeballed it. I only made about a one pound block of it. As my last step in finishing a holster or gun belt, I rub a small amount of this mixture on the welt and the edges and then I do a final burnish with a clean piece of canvas by hand.

What really helps my edges is using a good bissonette edger and then I will work down to 600 grit sand paper. My next step is the burnisher with damp edges and glycerin soap. The glycerin soap the Hydepounder mentioned really helps with dampened edges and my wool felt burnishing wheel (kept at low speed).

I prefer a sanding drum to a belt sander for my welts.

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Vikefan   

My process is a little different than the others posted here. First off, I agree with everybody else, you should do your burnishing after the holster is molded. Once it's molded and dry, this is what I would do:

01.) SAND EDGES - I use a mounted belt sander with a 150 or 220 grit belt and always move against the direction of the sander. All I'm trying to do hear is to insure that all the leather layers are even and all the reisdual glue and finish has been removed.

02.) EDGING - I use an edger to remove the corners of the edge.

03.) WET & SOAP - Wet the edge using a sponge and then rub glycerine bar saop well into the edge.

04.) BURNISH - I burnish with heavy canvas satuarated with Fiebings yellow soap. The canvas is wrapped around a wood burnishing wheel (I use the Weaver set-up)

05.) DYE - At this point I dye the edge with Fiebings alcohol dye. I use this because it is absorbed into the leather...it's not just bonded to the outside like an edge paint is. I also dye at this stage because I can get a nice neat, clean line because the leather is smooth and the fibers are all tight and bonded together. If you dye the edge before you burnish, you cannot get a nice clean dye line!

06.) HAND BURNISH - I use a clean cloth (old t-shirts are great) to rub the edge to remove any residual dye and to determine if a second coat is necessary. If not, I use a hand burnisher to rub any imperfections out of the edges and create an even smoother finish.

07.) POLISH - At this point I use a soft drum wrapped with cordura nylon (Mounted on the other side of my Weaver burnisher) and gererously impregnated with parafin, and burnish again. Once I'm satisfied with the finish, I polish to a high luster with a dry cloth.

08.) FINISH - apply the final finish.

Here are some examples of the my finished edges on a belt I completed this weekend, and a photo of the edge on a pad folio I posted earlier this year.

post-7682-1242068781_thumb.jpg post-7682-1242068810_thumb.jpg post-7682-1242068836_thumb.jpg

post-7682-1242068764_thumb.jpg

Here is my burnishing set-up:

post-7682-1242069880_thumb.jpg

This has worked pretty well for me, however, I'm always adjusting as I learn new tricks and techiques.

Hope this helps,

Bob

Wholly smokes! How did you get that all attached and operational? And what RPM is your sander/burnisher?

My dad got me a motor and this is what I've been using...does great on the sanding side of things, but I've not been too happy with the burnishing side of things.

Here's a pic of my set-up. Straight from John Biachi's Video.

Vikefan

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Wholly smokes! How did you get that all attached and operational? And what RPM is your sander/burnisher?

My dad got me a motor and this is what I've been using...does great on the sanding side of things, but I've not been too happy with the burnishing side of things.

Here's a pic of my set-up. Straight from John Biachi's Video.

Vikefan

This is a burnishing machine that is sold by Weaver Leather and I wrapped the burnishing wheel with canvas. I would guess it's running at 1750 rpms.

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