ahlamarana

Kangaroo Lace Question

10 posts in this topic

Hello leatherworkers,

I am hoping you kind folks can give me a bit of advice for this problem I'm having with beveling 'roo lace. I have done a couple of projects (dog leashes) in calf and goat lace and have had few problems beveling that. I was really excited to finally get my hands on some 'roo lace and went to start beveling it today and I can only get about 4' done before my blade starts chattering and I need to polish it (I am beveling by hand with a utility knife). With both the calf and the goat I've used in the past, I've been able to do both sides of several strings before I need to switch/polish blades. The strings that I'm trying to work with now are about 13' long so you can see how long it's taking me to get this done with switching blades every 4' or so.

Does anyone have any tips to make this a little easier on me or is this just how I can expect kangaroo lace to work?

Thanks for the help!

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Hello leatherworkers,

I am hoping you kind folks can give me a bit of advice for this problem I'm having with beveling 'roo lace. I have done a couple of projects (dog leashes) in calf and goat lace and have had few problems beveling that. I was really excited to finally get my hands on some 'roo lace and went to start beveling it today and I can only get about 4' done before my blade starts chattering and I need to polish it (I am beveling by hand with a utility knife). With both the calf and the goat I've used in the past, I've been able to do both sides of several strings before I need to switch/polish blades. The strings that I'm trying to work with now are about 13' long so you can see how long it's taking me to get this done with switching blades every 4' or so.

Does anyone have any tips to make this a little easier on me or is this just how I can expect kangaroo lace to work?

Thanks for the help!

The reason the other lace was so easy to bevel many strings at one time is because of the way the lace was prepared. On most of that goat lace and calf lace the density of the lace is not as strong as with Kangaroo lace. Even if you have bought that Kangaroo lace on a spool. Now if you bought that kangaroo as a whole hide and then cut your lace from that hide, you will also run into the chatter problem with that. The kangaroo is a much more dense hide than the other two hides are. Running you bevels on kangaroo should be done different than you do with the other two hides. The other two hides you can bevel in that way very easily. But with kangaroo the bevel should be done just like when you cut the 90 degree cuts, except at a 45 degree, or 30 degree angle. Even with my cutter / beveler, I still have to change blades about every 150 feet or so. I have tried many different ways to bevel kangaroo and the way you're doing it is the way I had done raw hide, calf and goat. Most of those you normally wet the hides, except for the calf. I hope that this helps out a bit.

Brian...

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I would expect that if this lace is from spooled stuff, you are going to run into this issue - you will also not get chrome tanned roo to cut and bevel worth a darn. The only roo I use is drum-stuffed, which makes it feel 'oily'. (and, no, you can't take chrome tan and oil it and get the same thing)

The drum stuffed, oily hides used to come in a wide range of color, from Packer-Tanners in Queensland, AU. Over the years, the hides have gotten smaller, (I think I had an aussie tell me that they aren't killing as many of the big gray roos, that these smaller hides are from the red roos), and, the color selection has gotten smaller.

I use a stainless steel cylinder with three different angles, for cutting and beveling string. (I use a bench splitter for leveling the string) The stainless doesn't leave black marks on damp rawhide. I use stainless steel injector blades for cutting - but, I have found I like the old strap cutter blades better, as they are a little stouter, not as long, so you can't use as much blade surface, but they don't have the tendency to bend with heavier string, like the injector blades do. Injector blades are great for lighter string, tho. The old strap cutter blades had a small hole in the center, and were used for the wooden strap cutters..

I got away from using anything on spools, as it was dry, hard, and, I always reworked the darn stuff anyway - so, makes more sense to make my own string!

You might try taking the string off the spool, use a tub of liquid saddle soap, and let that soak up some of that - pull it thru a rag to take off the excess, wrap it in some paper towels, and put it in a tupperware tub, still wrapped toweling. the paper towels will keep the moisture from beading on the string, and the tupperware will keep the humidity consistent. Should not be limp wet when trying to bevel - should have a firm feel, but sort of like tooling leather that is properly cased...

Don't know if I'm any help!

Michelle Liggett

www.liggettenterprises.com

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Thanks very much for the information, Brian and Shelly. Trust me, you are both a lot of help! Well. The more I learn the less I seem to know about this stuff, ha ha.

This lace is spooled. It definitely does not feel oily. At this point I am so far from having the knowledge to choose a whole hide, not to mention magically turning it into (usable) strings, that that is just not really an option. I am beveling at 45 degrees, and that's what I beveled the calf and goat lace at, too. unsure.gif

I have a lot of this lace, so I'll try soaking it in liquid saddle soap as Shelly suggests. If I don't have good luck with that, I guess I'll go buy some extra knife blades. laugh.gif

Thanks again for your time!

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Personally I try to only use drum stuffed roo, and if I"m forced a dry hide I grease it a day or two before I cut it up. Also Veg / bark tanned is better than chrome tanned for plaiting.

I pare my strands by hand with a box cutter, and I don't really have a chattering issue. Here's a video of me from a while ago working on my top left paring (normally I do top right) on an 8 plait set of kangaroo:

I can cut an 8 plait set on both sides with one blade (usually), when cutting 12 or more I usually use one blade for the flesh side, then change it and use another for the grain.

Shelly you have it it backwards, the smaller gray kangaroos are what is easily available and the larger red kangaroo skins are harder to get right now. You can what kind of kangaroo you have if it's from Packer. Look at the stamp that says the skin's size, if the stamp is silver/gray it's from a gray and if it's a red stamp it's from a red.

Louie

Edited by bullwhips

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Personally I try to only use drum stuffed roo, and if I"m forced a dry hide I grease it a day or two before I cut it up. Also Veg / bark tanned is better than chrome tanned for plaiting.

I pare my strands by hand with a box cutter, and I don't really have a chattering issue. Here's a video of me from a while ago working on my top left paring (normally I do top right) on an 8 plait set of kangaroo:

I can cut an 8 plait set on both sides with one blade (usually), when cutting 12 or more I usually use one blade for the flesh side, then change it and use another for the grain.

Shelly you have it it backwards, the smaller gray kangaroos are what is easily available and the larger red kangaroo skins are harder to get right now. You can what kind of kangaroo you have if it's from Packer. Look at the stamp that says the skin's size, if the stamp is silver/gray it's from a gray and if it's a red stamp it's from a red.

Louie

I stand corrected - I thought about it a minute - had a 'duh' moment, and thought, 'I knew that'...must be getting some senility in my old age!

Nice video!

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Thanks for posting the video, Louie. Very nice, and helpful for me to see your hand position.

The problem seems to be solved, I received a message privately that suggested I simply use more soap on my strings before beveling. I did so, and was able to bevel the last two strings for this project on one blade with no trouble.

Thanks for the help everyone!

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Just some more gee whiz information that I've figured out. Finished hides, like the kind that are kind of coated and not dyed all the way through are wicked tough on my blades. I've actually given up on them in a way. I bevel the reverse side and split the string. That seems to save my blades a bit. I think it's the finish that ruins the blades.

I don't even use chrome tanned anymore. I'd rather not braid with it and it's hard on my blades.

I've only done drum stuffed once and it's like cutting butter! Just wonderful! But the hides are darker and I really would rather have my hides lighter, but that's just me.

Plain old veg tanned hides, naturally dyed all the way through, are what I use most of and aren't to bad to cut.

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the drum stuffed is the easiest to work with. I have used the dry type of hides, they are horrible. i used to buy my roo from weaver leather and then without warning they switched from a drum stuffed to the dry type...it is so much harder to cut and eats cutter blades...i tried to condition the hides prior to use and it didnt really help much. cutting roo isnt as hard as all that. i dont ever use the commercial lace (spools) the quality just isnt there once you try your own youll never go back i havent beveled much cuz of how thin i split my lace for my leashes.

entiendo are you talking about the hides with the colored crust on top...the only color i ever buy those in is the white...hardtke calls it italian white....i use that for my white lace and i found out if you dip it in spirit dye the color absolutely pops in certain colors like purple and blue.

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Yes! They are coated. I've had pink and turquoise too. I'll try that next time. I actually have a pink one to make a bridle with. Yes a pink bridle. I do try not to get them much though, I worry that the color will come off if you use them on everyday pieces that are used a lot. Have you had any trouble with that? Do they take extra care?

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