hidepounder

Finishing Edges

218 posts in this topic

Hello everybody,

I receive quite a few PM's and emails requesting information on edges, finger cutting, tooling patterns and various other topics. Questions regarding some of these topics come up on a fairly regular basis, so I thought I would put something together that members could easily refer to. This article describes the way I finish edges and Johanna has posted it in the "Tips & Tricks" section on the main page. I hope that some of you will find it helpful.

Bob

Edited by CitizenKate
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Finally, your own testament. The word according to Bob "Hidepounder" Parks! Bow to the master!

Bring on the rest of the chapters!

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All in one nice neat place. Now I only need to go to one thread to steal your methods...

Thanks for putting this together.

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Thank so much for sharing sir.

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Thank you for the valuable guide, a craftsman sharing his knowledge is what keeps a craft moving forward!!!

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Wow - as a newbie t the whole deal I would've never guessed so many steps but it's obviously worth it as your work is absolutely flawless.

Thanks much for sharing - you've just saved guys like me years of trials and definitely errors ;0)

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Hello everybody,

I receive quite a few PM's and emails requesting information on edges, finger cutting, tooling patterns and various other topics. Questions regarding some of these topics come up on a fairly regular basis, so I thought I would put something together that members could easily refer to. This article describes the way I finish edges and Johanna has posted it in the "Tips & Tricks" section on the main page. I hope that some of you will find it helpful.

http://leatherworker.net/edging.htm' rel="external nofollow">

Bob

wow thank you for catapulting my edge finishing skills forward! I have followed your method with outstanding results, but I substitute seal oil soap for the glycerin soap and I used bees wax which leads me to this question.... what type of paraffin do you use to polish the edges? is it a wax or oil as I would like to try it and see the final outcome with this product.

thank you again for sharing your secrets.

cheers

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wow thank you for catapulting my edge finishing skills forward! I have followed your method with outstanding results, but I substitute seal oil soap for the glycerin soap and I used bees wax which leads me to this question.... what type of paraffin do you use to polish the edges? is it a wax or oil as I would like to try it and see the final outcome with this product.

thank you again for sharing your secrets.

cheers

Butchkitty,

I'm really glad you found my article helpful! I use parafin which comes in a brick. I think I bought it at the grocery store. The parafin is good over the bees was and adds a little polish. Bees wax doesn't polish that well. I have been experimenting with using bees wax after I dye the edges, and then using parafin on top of that, just like you're talking about, but to be honest I haven't seen where the addition of bees wax has added anything. It certainly can't hurt, that's for sure! I don't know anything about seal oil soap...what can you tell me about it?

Bob

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Thanks Bob for the tutorial. It is great to see Craftsmen of your caliber sharing your knowledge with the next generation.

Thank you for walking me thru your process setting the silver centers.

Great to have you on board.

Tim

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well I did not have glycerin soap on hand but I did have soap made from seal oil so I tried it out figuring that the leather would respond well to the animal fat content and it dose! so thats how that came about for me. my edging had improved by ten fold with this combination I just need to try out the paraffin for that special glow your work embodies.

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hello hidepounder,

I have a question not really about edges but about dying, I was told by someone I buy leather from that when using fiebings oil dye that I should apply a coat of thinner to open the pours...? I was wondering if you had an opinion on this and or a method in which you also followed this procedure. I had been cruising the site looking for a topic on this but to no avail. I am so happy I have found this site and the people here are so honest and generous I look forward to your reply.

have a wonderful day

crissy

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Thanks so much for the brilliant tutorial!

However, I have a stupid question: Edging should be one of the last steps in the piece, right? After dying/staining the tooling but before the finish?

Edited by MHolzer

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hello hidepounder,

I have a question not really about edges but about dying, I was told by someone I buy leather from that when using fiebings oil dye that I should apply a coat of thinner to open the pours...? I was wondering if you had an opinion on this and or a method in which you also followed this procedure. I had been cruising the site looking for a topic on this but to no avail. I am so happy I have found this site and the people here are so honest and generous I look forward to your reply.

have a wonderful day

crissy

Hi Crissy,

The first question I would ask is what color dye are you using and where on the leather are you using it? Is it just a highlight or are you dyeing the entire piece?

I use the alcohol dyes rather than the oil dyes, mostly because that was what I learned on and am most comfortable with. Also, 90% of my dyeing is in the background of my tooling and I use very dark colors. I haven't found a need to do anything to the leather to accomodate this type of dye.

When I am ready to dye my backgrounds I clean the surface of the leather with oxalic acid. This removes any soiling picked up off the bench as well as oils from my hands that are left on the leather. I feel strongly that the this cleaning makes a difference when I begin applying my finishes such as antiques. So it holds for me that it will be beneficial when dyeing the leather with medium or light colored dyes as well. By cleaning the leather you are removing anything which may inhibit the penetration of the dye or affect the color. For the dark colors, I doubt you would notice any difference whether you are using oil dyes (which aren't really oil at all) or alcohol dyes. Using oxalic acid is just a good habit to get into to help keep everything as clean as possible. I can see where applying a coat of thinner may help increase the penetration of the oil dye. I have just never seen the point in using it on what I do because the alcohol dyes work so well. The alcohol dyes dry much faster than the oil dyes do, which I think is a positive side benefit.

I hope this answers you questions...

Bobby

Thanks so much for the brilliant tutorial!

However, I have a stupid question: Edging should be one of the last steps in the piece, right? After dying/staining the tooling but before the finish?

Hi Mholzer,

For me the answer to your question is yes, that's the best sequence. There are, however, times when I will edge and dye before I apply any antiques only becasue the sequence of assembly requires it. I was taught to edge and dye right after tooling, but I like to get some of the finishes out of the way first. It helps me create neat straight lines when dyeing the edges and also helps in keeping everything clean along the way. It's not critical, it just works a little to my advantage to do it this way.

Hope this helps....

Bobby

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the colors are the basic brown and black though I have the h2o dyes I don't like at all how they go on or I should say don't go on very well. as I cruised the Internet it seemed most had great success with the oil dyes so thats how they ended up in my first dye collection I am certain eventually I will tr the alcohol dye too. I thank you for the information and shall try your method. thank you again!

c

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Incredible work!

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What method do you use to apply the dye to your burnished edges? You have a perfect clean edge. Incredible work.

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Hello everybody,

I receive quite a few PM's and emails requesting information on edges, finger cutting, tooling patterns and various other topics. Questions regarding some of these topics come up on a fairly regular basis, so I thought I would put something together that members could easily refer to. This article describes the way I finish edges and Johanna has posted it in the "Tips & Tricks" section on the main page. I hope that some of you will find it helpful.

Thanks Bob, for those of us that are fairly new to the trade, and need all the advice we can get, things like this are invaluable - thank you for taking the time to pass on to others, I really appreciate the time that you spent to put this together! 3 CHEERS! Happy Holidays!

Charlene Stovin

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Does this work as well on thinner leather as it does on thicker pieces like belts? There comes a point at which leather is too thin to really tell it's been properly edged in my opinion, but I am curious as to what if any additional steps or products you would suggest for much thinner pieces.

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Hi Bob! I have added some of your ideas to my burnishing and edge fitting process after reading about your method on a different thread. I do have one problem that sometimes occurs. When I burnish before dyeing edges, sometimes some places on the edge don't want to take the dye. It doesn't matter if I use alcohol or oil base dye. Well known knife and leathersmith Chuck Burrows recommended cleaning the leather with alcohol right before dyeing and that does seem to help. Do you have any ideas on the topic? This problem is most troubling when I'm doing a black rig. I've attached a photo of edges on a recent project.

Holsters 006.jpg

post-10605-126342961112_thumb.jpg

Edited by Mongo

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Mongo,

I experience what you are talking about from time to time, but I am ususally able to touch up those areas by reapplying the dye. I think what seems to make the biggest differrence for me is to let severything completely dry between steps (burnishing & dyeing). I don't like to wait after burnishing to dye the edges, I am usually dyeing right right away because I am impatient. However if I see that some aresas are not taking the dye I will stop and let everything dry before continuing to dye. I agree also, that sometimes utilizing alchohol will help. I edge sequentially this way because I have never been able to get a nice clean dye line by dyeing first. If I could I would dye and then burnish. I know this doesn't really answer your question. By the way, I think the edges you're getting on your holsters look good. Did you polish them with parafin when you were finished? That will really make them shine.

Hope this helps...

Bobby

Does this work as well on thinner leather as it does on thicker pieces like belts? There comes a point at which leather is too thin to really tell it's been properly edged in my opinion, but I am curious as to what if any additional steps or products you would suggest for much thinner pieces.

Some weights of leather are just too thin to burnish.....when they are I typically turn them back and sew them so that you get a nice finished edge.

Hope this helps....

Bobby

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What method do you use to apply the dye to your burnished edges? You have a perfect clean edge. Incredible work.

Buttons.....sorry I missed your post. I use a Partner Pens. They are a piece of felt with a chiseled point pushed into a plastic tube. If those are not available to you I recommend getting a heavy piece of felt, fold it in half and staple or rivet a leather handle on it. Those work very well. I recently read where a maker took a piece of a kitchen sponge and folded a piece of it over and stuck it in a clothes pin to edge with. I'll bet that probably works pretty well also.

You'll have Google Partner Pens....I can't find them at the moment. They used to be available through American Retail Supply.

Hope this helps....

Bobby

Edited by hidepounder

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Bob,

What I've done for years is cut a piece of felt. I get it from my brothers shop, probably 1/4" thick grey felt, cut a strip 3/4" or so wide about 12" long, fold in half and push it into a piece of pvc. Inside diameter of the pvc is 5/8", the length is about 5-6". Push the felt thru til it comes out the other end. Use a round knife to shape the felt into a sharp V. Makes a great dye applicator that costs nothing and lasts for years.

'

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Now, that's pretty clever! Like a home-made felt-tipped pen.

Kate

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Buttons.....sorry I missed your post. I use a Partner Pens. They are a piece of felt with a chiseled point pushed into a plastic tube. If those are not available to you I recommend getting a heavy piece of felt, fold it in half and staple or rivet a leather handle on it. Those work very well. I recently read where a maker took a piece of a kitchen sponge and folded a piece of it over and stuck it in a clothes pin to edge with. I'll bet that probably works pretty well also.

You'll have Google Partner Pens....I can't find them at the moment. They used to be available through American Retail Supply.

Hope this helps....

Bobby

Hey Bobby, can you elaborate a little more on these pens? how do they work. do you have some pictures? Do you use the ink that seems to come with them, or do you use dye?

Marlon

Edited by Rawhide

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Bob,

What I've done for years is cut a piece of felt. I get it from my brothers shop, probably 1/4" thick grey felt, cut a strip 3/4" or so wide about 12" long, fold in half and push it into a piece of pvc. Inside diameter of the pvc is 5/8", the length is about 5-6". Push the felt thru til it comes out the other end. Use a round knife to shape the felt into a sharp V. Makes a great dye applicator that costs nothing and lasts for years.

'

That's a terrific idea Troy! That essentially is what this Partner Pen is. I bought it from Ron (Ron's Tools) as part of an edge burnishing system that he was selling (which didn't work for me) and so I just started using the applicator for dying edges. Bruce or someone told me it was a Partner Pen and gave me a link which I saved, but when I tried it tonight it wouldn't work. Prior to that I used a piece of felt folded over and then riveted it to a leather handle (folded) and like you said it lasts for years. The ones I have I made while at Bill Porters back in the 70's, LOL.

I also emptied a plastic edge dye bottle that had a flat round felt dauber on the end and filled it with cordovan dye and that works pretty well too, except in corners.

Bobby

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