Gabriel Rasa

Quick way to do shield-and-tab?

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This is a page from Al Stohlman's book on leather cases; I like the shield-shaped tabs, but he doesn't talk about how to make them, and I've had some difficulty making them both (1) quick and (2) symmetrical. I was wondering if anyone knew a technique to punch these out quickly and cleanly.

20180418_120729.jpg

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If you have a press you can have a die made for them. 

I use my English strap template for them, myself. Tandy has them for 5 or 6 bucks.

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42 minutes ago, bikermutt07 said:

If you have a press you can have a die made for them. 

I use my English strap template for them, myself. Tandy has them for 5 or 6 bucks.

2d what matt said, the belt/strap end templates would work, if you use it alot you can always have someone custom build a mallet punch die for that shape, but that can get expensive.

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Maybe I misread the first post. If you are looking to make a shield, just draw 1/2 of it on some card stock. Cut it out and fold it in half. Trace that side and cut it out. Boom, symmetrical template shield.

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bikermutt has it; but I fold the card first, then cut the the 1/2 shield shape. When the card is flattened the two curves are the same. I just cut them out with shears as & when I need them

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40 minutes ago, fredk said:

bikermutt has it; but I fold the card first, then cut the the 1/2 shield shape. When the card is flattened the two curves are the same. I just cut them out with shears as & when I need them

Well yeah, it was easy enough to make the cardstock pattern symmetrical, but the leather was never as tidy as I wanted after I cut it out, either with shears or with a knife. Possibly I'm just being too fussy about it.

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I bought a set like this a few years back

https://www.ebay.com/itm/DIY-Leather-Craft-Tools-Arc-shaped-Cutter-Punch-Strap-Belt-Wallet-End10-50MM/263254344611?hash=item3d4b2e83a3:g:ktUAAOSw5VtZ20wm

Mine however were very much not shiny and looked to have a bit of rust. Few passes with a sharpening stone and .... I dont know how i lived without them!

I have a pattern on transfer acetate that I use to lightly draw the shield onto the leather just by gently pressing through the acetate with the end of a modeling spoon but then cut it out with whichever of these punches fits most closely. They almost look like they were done with a single die but for a lot less. I also get to use these for countless other operations.

They came from China so expect a bit of a wait but I am very happy I bought them. They are not pretty fancy tool but they work.

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They are spendy, but you can buy an English strap end punch that has the shape you are looking for.  Can use on belts too.

 

image.png

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24 minutes ago, Boriqua said:

I bought a set like this a few years back

https://www.ebay.com/itm/DIY-Leather-Craft-Tools-Arc-shaped-Cutter-Punch-Strap-Belt-Wallet-End10-50MM/263254344611?hash=item3d4b2e83a3:g:ktUAAOSw5VtZ20wm

Mine however were very much not shiny and looked to have a bit of rust. Few passes with a sharpening stone and .... I dont know how i lived without them!

I have a pattern on transfer acetate that I use to lightly draw the shield onto the leather just by gently pressing through the acetate with the end of a modeling spoon but then cut it out with whichever of these punches fits most closely. They almost look like they were done with a single die but for a lot less. I also get to use these for countless other operations.

They came from China so expect a bit of a wait but I am very happy I bought them. They are not pretty fancy tool but they work.

Yeah, I've got two sizes of English strap punch, and I think I have that exact same rounded set from China. I've used them in combination to make the shields, but it can still be finicky if you get it from the wrong angle, or can't get them to punch symmetrically -- basically I'd been wondering if there was a clever trick to it that I was just overlooking, but it seems like the clever trick is "be careful."

Anyway, thanks for weighing in on this, guys -- good to know I was on the right track, even if I'd been hoping for a shortcut. :)

 

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The only short cut to cutting these out without grief is to get a clicker cutter made for cutting them out. But I reckon you'd need to be doing a lot to make it worth while.

I reckon you might be just a bit too self critical. Unless two shields are mounted directly next to each other no-one will notice any small differences, and unless they are cut really askew no one will notice any little lopsidedness.

I used to make toy shields for children. I made hundreds at a time. I stacked 10 boards together, drew the shield shape on the top one - using a template - then cut the stack on a bandsaw. I used to spend ages evening up to two curves. Then I had a eureka moment. I stopped doing that. The curves were still a bit lopsided to my eyes,  but no-one gave a damn, not the children, not the parents.

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15 hours ago, Gabriel Rasa said:

Well yeah, it was easy enough to make the cardstock pattern symmetrical, but the leather was never as tidy as I wanted after I cut it out, either with shears or with a knife. Possibly I'm just being too fussy about it.

Until you own a seriously sharp knife, you just don't know what you're missing. Here is a pick of some very firm 7 ounce I through the whole thing with little effort. I just rolled the edge right thru it.KIMG0060-1170x2080.JPG

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I made 2 of them today. I totally agree with fredk, trace the pattern from the book, make a cardboard template, trace it to the leather and cut it. I made mine with a small headknife and they turned out ok. After sanding/bevelling/burnishing the edges noone will notice the difference when you don't lay them on each other. Since mine are going to hold straps on a bag they're the maximum distance apart from each other. When you make a bag like me the least you want to do is spend hours for the shield tabs... 

Bikermutt you overhauled me while writing :-) .. fully agree with what you say

Edited by charon

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There are a number of ways to approach shields like this.  The English point part is the hardest and most visible, with the rest, where the strap loops around the ring is a little easier and not so visible so you can get away with a little less accuracy there.

In the first three methods, you'll start with a strap that's as wide as the widest part of the shield.

If you're just doing a few, a cutting entirely with a knife by hand is the way to go - it does take practice, but that's what scrap is for isn't it?   LWN member @gmace99 has a video that shows how to make an English point using a knife using just a knife with no template.  

A template such as the one that Tandy sells might be helpful at minimal cost, but will still probably require some practice.  

A moderate number of them would probably justify an English point punch of the right size, but that involves more expense if you don't already have the right size.  There are a few challenges with these too, but still easier than the above methods.  There are a couple of tricks to make aligning the punch easier.  If you put a square across the belt and along the edge, you can put both ends of the punch against the square.  You then can just eyeball its position left/right and not worry about it being at the wrong angle.  If you're handy with wood or plastic, you can make a jig to ensure it's both square and centered to the strap.  

If you have a fat wallet and/or need enough of these to justify the expense ( $100.00s ), you can have a hammer die made or you can get a clicker press and clicker die.

 

For the part of the tab that goes through the ring, it's mostly just a straight cut.  You can just make the transition from shield to tab a square cut and it will work fine, but if you really want the rounded transition you can hand cut with a hobby knife and practice.  You can also make a punch from a piece of pipe and cut an end to ninety degrees and then sharpen the remaining part to cut a smooth inside curve every time!

Hope that helps

- Bill

 

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You can get a die made for not much more than the price of one of those handle punches.  Now, if you don't have a press, probably not worth it, since the price of the press spoils the deal if you aren't needing one anyway.  Like them boys that buy burnishers for a dremel, then go buy a dremel!  

Got a design in mind?  Send a pattern to Sandy, ask her what she thinks (if you email it, you probably get a cost and time frame same day).  Very knowledgeable (and great sense of humor).

http://intdieco.com/index.html

Ph: (800)856-0834 or (706)754-0921

Fax: (706)754-0922

Email: 
intdieco@windstream.net

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OH --- IF I was purchasing a die for this, I'd be thinking EFFICIENCY.  So I'd likely spend a few bucks more to have it made with the SHIELD ON BOTH ENDS.  Stohlman shows that in the book, so no point going down that again, but this way you could use it with the shield both ends (over a ring or buckle) or simply trim one end if you want the "tab".

Untitled-1.jpg

Edited by JLSleather

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Wow that‘s real good advice here. If it would be my choice I‘d go for the die. In my region you can get a small press for around $150 and you can use dies up to the size of wallets. Well worth the $$ and the most precise and quickest option. 

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9 hours ago, bikermutt07 said:

Until you own a seriously sharp knife, you just don't know what you're missing. Here is a pick of some very firm 7 ounce I through the whole thing with little effort. I just rolled the edge right thru it.KIMG0060-1170x2080.JPG

this! 1000x this! Hell get an Olfa snap knife and strop the blade you will get a similar enough result. If you knife isnt cutting smoothly it isnt sharp enough. I also like to mirror my sheilds. I feel like the double thick looks more substantial and it has to be more secure than a single rivet. I cut, place my ring glue and clamp then stick it to the leather, and stitch it down. Quick rarely means good. Good is rarely quick.

 

Edited by tomsmith85717

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8 hours ago, JLSleather said:

  Like them boys that buy burnishers for a dremel, then go buy a dremel!  

Lets be real they really just wanted a dremel...excuses help some people sleep at night. Also I was dicking about with my dremel ... a tapered diamond bit makes wicked holes for rivets/ Chicago screws in areas where punches are less than ideal.

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I've got an arbor press (?) that I picked up on sale a while ago at Harbor Freight, but haven't gotten it set up yet. (I'm not shy about buying tools/equipment -- business expenses don't get taxed, eyyy.)

This one, I think: https://www.harborfreight.com/1-ton-arbor-press-3552.html

I'm not clear on how to attach dies/stamps/etc to it though? It's just got a flat piece of metal in there now, and no visible way to screw or slot attachments to it.

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23 minutes ago, Gabriel Rasa said:

I've got an arbor press (?) that I picked up on sale a while ago at Harbor Freight, but haven't gotten it set up yet. (I'm not shy about buying tools/equipment -- business expenses don't get taxed, eyyy.)

This one, I think: https://www.harborfreight.com/1-ton-arbor-press-3552.html

I'm not clear on how to attach dies/stamps/etc to it though? It's just got a flat piece of metal in there now, and no visible way to screw or slot attachments to it.

Gabriel,  I have the same press and I drilled a 3/8” hole in the end of the ram, then drilled and tapped a hole perpendicular for a set screw.  Most of the stamps, setters etc I use are 3/8” diameter and slide right into the hole in the ram.  Smaller stamps go into a 3/8” bushing and then go in the ram.  Works great!  

Gary

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Here is an article on the arbor press mods - search for this topic

  Snaps/rivets/makers mark...press to use?

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5 minutes ago, garypl said:

Here is an article on the arbor press mods - search for this topic

  Snaps/rivets/makers mark...press to use?

Ohhhh yes, that is *exactly* what I've been needing. Thanks!

...Except I can't find the thread you're talking about?

Edited by Gabriel Rasa

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11 minutes ago, Gabriel Rasa said:

Ohhhh yes, that is *exactly* what I've been needing. Thanks!

...Except I can't find the thread you're talking about?

It’s in the How Do I Do That forum - thread started June 28, 2016 by Double Daddy.  There probably is a way to copy the link, but I don’t know how to do that - sorry!

 

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14 minutes ago, garypl said:

It’s in the How Do I Do That forum - thread started June 28, 2016 by Double Daddy.  There probably is a way to copy the link, but I don’t know how to do that - sorry!

 

Found it! Though for some reason it wasn't coming up when I tried to search for the keywords in the title. o_O

It looks like an undertaking, but one that would be well worth it when it's done. I admit I'm a bit daunted because I've done very little work with metal before (apartment living for the past 15 years, puts a crimp on the power tools) -- how do you drill the holes into the ram? Can you use a regular power drill for that? Does it need special drill bits?

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Centre punch. Standard drill with HSS drill. Use a very slow speed and a cooling/cutting fliud. There are special fliuds but in the past I've used 3-in-1 oil, brake fluid and engine oil - both new and very used. You can drill once to size or start small and work up the size in a few size steps. Best to use a drill stand for accuracy, but if you're very careful it can be done without

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