CTaylorJr

Things I've Learned From Leather Working

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Why the would you try the edge by running a thumb or finger down it? Don't you always go across? At least I do.

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Joe, Their's one born every minute. ..LMAO

Edited by Troy I

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Joe, Their's one born every minute. ..LMAO

Yeah...sometimes I have to remind myself you can't underestimate stupidity.

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"And remember kids: it´s not across the street, it´s along the road" ^^
That´s the reason I tell people to get their hands of my tools, before starting to do anything in front of them. Happily they´re normally friends who did some little leatherwork themself or who at least know (!) that my tools "could" be quite sharp, so they just don´t touch anything ^^.
But it´s similar to sharpen the tools of a friend (in my case an awl) who hasn´t the full control of it and stacks it right into his indexfinger until it stops right at the bone -.-..... since that I try to keep an eye on how the people work before doing anything to their tools ;)

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It may sound odd but I never test sharpness on any part of my anatomy. Leather knives cut leather, test them there, on leather, same with sewing awls and swivel knives (pricking irons, needles ...).

This fellow wasn't actually a dumb *&*&^. It was a learned habit. His dad gave him a pocket knife and stone as a lad. "Always keep a sharp knife in your pocket" was the accompanying advice. His dad did the drag the thumb test so he followed along in blissful ignorance. Over the years he had developed a thick layer of scar tissues but he said he hadn't drawn significant blood in years.

After seeing me cut out the holster blank he deduced I used some trick: lots of force, some magic, something. He just didn't know much about modern tool steels and assumed it was only slightly sharper than his pocket knife. Which of course wouldn't cut leather very well if at all.

I stayed in touch for quite a long while and he made many referrals, always telling a prospective to avoid touching my tools, especially my knives like they were possessed. It would be funny if there hadn't been so much blood. I recalled the story when he made a second holster order just a couple days ago. No fuss, "I need this, call me when it's ready".

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It just occurred to me, and based on my calculations, there is a leather worker somewhere in the world shouting "OH S>>>>>!!! every 4.394 seconds.

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Well Red Cent, I hate to disagree with you seein' as how yer packin' iron, but that number see's high to me. I was thinkin' it was somewhere in the 2's. I could be wrong....as I have been a few times in the past. Maybe twice.......................a day.

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he ran his thumb along about 60% of the edge

^^ did that once when I was 5 or 6 with a rotary cutter in my Grandmother's sewing room. It must have made a lasting impression because my skin still crawls when I think about it.

Also, you can always remove material. putting it back is usually impossible. (measure twice, cut once)

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Remembering the sharpness of a glover needle through deer hide and how much blood it causes from the finger tip.

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Ouch. I'll take almost any slice over a deep puncture any day. Those turn into an ER visit way too quick.

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On 06/07/2014 at 12:20 AM, jfdavis58 said:

Probably shouldn't admit this for two reasons: there has already been enough blood and this lesson learned is far too serious, but here it is anyway.

Never put a knife down on the bench without it's sheath and a corollary (that's something that follows logically from the first part), never cut leather in front of a customer!

I was trying to be a nice guy, the customer was a pain. He wanted his holster his way, i.e. his pattern. And he wanted me to do the initial cutting where he could see it done (his den). I agreed to 'discuss his pattern' but explained that once used it was mine (knowing there would be significant modification). About ninety minutes (unpaid) and we had a sort of hybrid pattern he could live with. He still wanted to see it cut. I had (here's the stupid part) put the sheathed knife in my bag and brought along the cutting surface and sufficient leather. He picked the spot to cut from. Everything was still cordial.

The knife, a Leather Wranglers Round knife. The customer watched in absolute fascination as I cut and repositioned the leather and cut again, several time. I heard him loudly exhale when I made the last cut and the 'blank' fell free. I set the knife down and of course he snatched it up remarking that it must be" very sharp". Before I could say don't try the edge he ran his thumb along about 60% of the edge--down to the bone and about 45% of the total circumference of his thumb.

Hearing him howl when the sensation reached his brain was epic. I took him to the ER and they put in 12 stitches. As we were leaving the hospital I told him he was very lucky. He didn't quite feel as optimistic. That's when I showed him my BOSS. I bet he still doesn't have much color in his face.

I know this is an old thread (circa 2014) but This.Is.Priceless! :rolleyes::rolleyes:

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A few from my most recent project:
 

There are a thousand ways to do something wrong, and you will try quite a few of them when learning this hobby.

Rotary cutters are hellish sharp. I hardly felt the cut, but boy, did it bleed! Fortunately it was very shallow.

Dyes never seem to look quite the way you want them to.

If you leave a project sitting for a couple of weeks, you will forget what colour of dye you were using, with predictable results if you want to touch something up. Adding extra layers of the correct dye will not necessarily return the project to the correct colour. :(

When doing a project that needs an extra layer added to it part way through the stitching, tack the layer to the project in the appropriate spot. It saves you having to pull a bunch of stitches out when you FORGET to add it in and stitch a good 10" past it!  :crazy:

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I saw this quote today and it just struck me as brilliant. 

Ya think you know, then you learn.

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Just remember few can be entitled to call themself a master tradesman, without at least a quarter of a century of training and practice, so dont be to hard on yourself if you make a mistook or two

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i never saw this thread before...too funny.

i have learned...edgers with pointy ends are bloodthirsty little beasts and will bite you every time you take your eyes off of them during use.  also when mixing leather dye its always the exact color you wanted...when its on your hands.  dogs LOVE braided leather and are SO VERY VERY helpful while you are braiding, the longer your strings the better.  once had to pull 6 feet of lace out of my dogs mouth she was sucking it down like spaghetti

 

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