immiketoo

Edge paint VS Burnished edges showdown!!!

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The great debate about how to finish edges lives on!  I used to be a diehard traditional edge guy.  Now I am not so sure.   For discussion purposes, one has edge paint, one is normal.  Which is which?

edgy.jpg

20151108_112038.JPG

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If I understood correctly, first photo - paint, the second - the traditional edge treatment. I'm right?

Both edges look amazing. The only question is which option is more stable and will last longer?

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I’m with @ABHandmade. They are perfect!

I like the top edge the best. Can you tell us the process you used here please?

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I don't have a lot of experience with the edge paint, but I would guess it will be the more resilient of the two.  Its stood up well in my destruction testing.  I really like the look of the traditional edge, but the edge paint is growing on  me.  I just wish it wasn't so much work.  

Process:

glue and hammer edge for good bond.  Bevel with your choice of beveler.  Edge coat companies say leave it square but I don't like that look.  Apply coat one.  Let it dry and then sand it smooth.  You will see leather through the paint at this stage.  Apply coat two.  Let dry.  Look for indentations and bumps.  Sand smooth.  Repeat until the surface is perfect and apply final coat.  How many depends on your prep work but for me its no less than three, sometimes four depending on how aggressively I sand.

5 hours ago, ABHandmade said:

If I understood correctly, first photo - paint, the second - the traditional edge treatment. I'm right?

Both edges look amazing. The only question is which option is more stable and will last longer?

You are correct.

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1 hour ago, immiketoo said:

Process:

glue and hammer edge for good bond.  Bevel with your choice of beveler.  Edge coat companies say leave it square but I don't like that look.  Apply coat one.  Let it dry and then sand it smooth.  You will see leather through the paint at this stage.  Apply coat two.  Let dry.  Look for indentations and bumps.  Sand smooth.  Repeat until the surface is perfect and apply final coat.  How many depends on your prep work but for me its no less than three, sometimes four depending on how aggressively I sand.

Thank you Thank you! I am finishing off my second and third belts (one for my next door neighbor and one for a friend) and this info was very helpful.

Your work is of great quality and inspiring 

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Great work on both versions.  You didn't mention using any heat on the edge paint, so if that is true, this example shows that you certainly don't HAVE to use heat or a special tool to get superior results.

BTW, a clear lacquer could be used over the "traditional" edge to give it some more wear-resistance.  

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I always put a finish on my edges, once they are complete.  I usually apply it with the final coat of finish for whatever item I am building.  Ive even put it over the edge paint with success.  A lot of folks have said to use heat with the edge paint, but I don't see the need for it really.  Then again, everyone has their own way of doing business :P

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Thank you for explaining your process. I used fiebings tan kote paint on a satchel and it feels tacky and rubs off against the leather. I’m not sure what finish I could use to cover the paint? I have ordered Giardini paint to try out for the future.

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I always finish with Bee Natural RTC.  Then I may apply Tan Kote for the luster.

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I tried edge coat for a bit then went back to dye. It is easy to work with and as you show, the results can be very nice. But what I did not like was that when I went to apply my finish the edge coat would soften back up and sometimes endup on the front or back of the holsters. When I was trying dip finish the bucket of finish would have black swirls on the top of the liquid right after pulling the holster out.

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That's odd.  This stuff seems pretty impervious once its dry.  Then again, I don't dip dye anything.

 

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It wasn't just when dipping. Even when using a dauber. It would blacken the dauber and if that went on the other parts of the holster there would be transfer. I had to either do the front and back then the edges later. Or do the edges and throw out that dauber and use a new one for the rest of the holsters. These were with 4 different acrylic finishes. Other types of finishes may not have the same results. All I know is this does not happen with Pro Oil black dye so I am sticking with that. We gotta use what works for us, right? 

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Absolutely.  The Fenice has been impervious to RTC and Tan Kote so far

 

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I apply Giardini Edge Paint last and have no problems with rub off.  I have also sprayed with Resolene after applying edge paint with no problems.

I just ordered some different samples of Giardini paint along with their base coat and gloss finish - supposed to be delivered tonight.  Will try out and report results.

Gary

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Looking forward to it!

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Man that looks good..well both look good. I've always been traditional myself but this has me thinking. And frankly, maybe it's because I'm not as good as you but by traditional methods I'm slicking, sanding..repeat until silky smooth which usually takes 4 to ? times for me to be happy so three times with the paint doesn't sound like extra work to me. Not sure I really  understand the glue and hammer method. What kind of glue and are you hammering just to compress the fibers or?

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7 hours ago, immiketoo said:

Looking forward to it!

Shipment held up in US Customs - hope for delivery tomorrow!

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I received a package from Giardini a couple of days ago and I have been experimenting with the four colors of paint plus base coat and top coat products.  I painted 4 scraps of leather with and without the base coat - here are preliminary results:

Base coat applied to raw leather edge - you can see it leaves a very smooth white coating

750AB51E-2675-4BCB-BF7F-08BEB31AEAD5.jpeg

1st coat of paint - bare edge on the left and edge with base coat on the right - much smoother after one coat of paint

9A972080-54E6-4938-ACB6-F82A93039A32.jpeg

 

After 3 coats of paint

E4619434-2327-4D97-9A53-C10F706B14C8.jpeg

 

After 5 coats of paint - less of a difference between treated and untreated edges

2A6FEFF1-28C3-478B-9073-7909D16270A9.jpeg

 

After 5 coats of paint and a top coat finish

B49A87B3-27F2-4365-A32B-CC90245BFB2E.jpeg

The green color is Dense Edge Paint and the tan, red and blue are basic edge coat paint - all from Giardini.  I am going to continue experimenting with these paints and finishes, but from what I have seen, the base coat product will allow a better edge with less sanding and fewer coats of paint.  

The top coat finish results in a very glossy finish - will look good in some applications but might be too shiny for some projects.  I am going to try the matte finish - I believe it may look better on many of my projects.  These paints do not rub off, with or without the top coat finish.  I thinned all of the paints with @10% distilled water and they all went on smoothly.  I have 125ml bottles and they will last a long time because a little paint goes a long way.  Shipping to the USA was not bad - @$25 for 4 bottles of paint, a small bottle of dye, a small bottle of base coat and 1 liter of glossy top coat.  The dye looks very promising - I tested on a piece of scrap and it gave a rich dark brown finish that seems to be fairly water resistant.  I’ll post pics of a future project where I use the brown dye.  Give Giardini products a try - I am very pleased with products I have tried to date!

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by garypl

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I see some exceptionally nice work displayed in this thread.

I also see an enormous outlay of time involved in each piece. That is just fine for the hobbyist, doing one piece at a time without worries about maintaining a production schedule, no worries beyond artistic perfection. No problems at all.

I spent 43 years in the business, about 32 as a part-time sideline business and about 11 as a full-time endeavor. My shop completed an average of 40 orders every week consisting of holsters, belts, and accessory items (cartridge pouches, magazine pouches, etc). I had to maintain a work-flow that maximized production for the time involved with each step of the production process.

Edge finishing says a lot about the quality of a leather product. A well done edge treatment shouts "quality" like nothing else. Burnishing by hand, edge paints, and other processes can produce beautiful results, but the trade-off is lots and lots of time and effort. Over the years I developed some methods (or I should say I adapted some methods from other processes) that produced excellent results with minimum time, effort, and expense.

In my shop the edge finishing was one of the very last steps in production. Most of my edges were of two-layers or more (lots of welted seam construction), so the process described below reflects that.

1. Dress edges on a power sander. Depending on the size, shape, and complexity of the item the sander may be a belt sander or a drum sander (drums of 3", 2", and 1" diameter are useful). I like to dampen the leather prior to sanding because that allows residue to fall to the bench rather than filling the air with dust and fibers, irritating the lungs and spreading the mess all over the place. Most pieces can be done in a couple of minutes.

2. After sanding to a smooth and even finish the edges need to be beveled. This usually takes only a minute or two.

3. Touch up dye on dressed and beveled edges. Another minute or so.

4. Rub exposed edges with a mixture of beeswax and paraffin wax (50-50 mixture, muffin-sized pieces work nicely). A minute or less per piece.

5. Chuck a hard felt polishing bob into the drill press, turning at about 1700 RPM. Burnish edges thoroughly (takes a minute or two per piece) with the friction melting the wax and forcing it into the compressed exposed edges. When done the edge will shine like a new penny, edge completely sealed against moisture, and very resistant to abrasion.

6. Proceed with final finishing (oiling, sealing, acrylic or whatever you wish to use).

Edge paint, as shown in this post, can be beautiful. It is also easily worn, chipped, and abraded in use. My edge finishing stands up to hard use very well, is easily touched up when showing a bit of wear, and stands the tests of time over years of use. It is also very fast and easy to do on a production basis.

You can work hard. You can stress yourself out over every result. Or you can work smart and be done with it in a few minutes, and at very little cost. The choice is yours.

Just a few little hints from the old retired MILLIONAIRE holster maker for your consideration.

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@garypl Can you give more detail about  your impressions of the dense vs. tha semidense paints? I'm just wondering if one has a real advantage over the other on say tow layers of 3/4 oz. or 7/8 oz.  I've watched the videos they have but am still not sure what to order.

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3 hours ago, garypl said:

I received a package from Giardini a couple of days ago and I have been experimenting with the four colors of paint plus base coat and top coat products.  I painted 4 scraps of leather with and without the base coat - here are preliminary results:

Base coat applied to raw leather edge - you can see it leaves a very smooth white coating

750AB51E-2675-4BCB-BF7F-08BEB31AEAD5.jpeg

1st coat of paint - bare edge on the left and edge with base coat on the right - much smoother after one coat of paint

9A972080-54E6-4938-ACB6-F82A93039A32.jpeg

 

After 3 coats of paint

E4619434-2327-4D97-9A53-C10F706B14C8.jpeg

 

After 5 coats of paint - less of a difference between treated and untreated edges

2A6FEFF1-28C3-478B-9073-7909D16270A9.jpeg

 

After 5 coats of paint and a top coat finish

B49A87B3-27F2-4365-A32B-CC90245BFB2E.jpeg

The green color is Dense Edge Paint and the tan, red and blue are basic edge coat paint - all from Giardini.  I am going to continue experimenting with these paints and finishes, but from what I have seen, the base coat product will allow a better edge with less sanding and fewer coats of paint.  

The top coat finish results in a very glossy finish - will look good in some applications but might be too shiny for some projects.  I am going to try the matte finish - I believe it may look better on many of my projects.  These paints do not rub off, with or without the top coat finish.  I thinned all of the paints with @10% distilled water and they all went on smoothly.  I have 125ml bottles and they will last a long time because a little paint goes a long way.  Shipping to the USA was not bad - @$25 for 4 bottles of paint, a small bottle of dye, a small bottle of base coat and 1 liter of glossy top coat.  The dye looks very promising - I tested on a piece of scrap and it gave a rich dark brown finish that seems to be fairly water resistant.  I’ll post pics of a future project where I use the brown dye.  Give Giardini products a try - I am very pleased with products I have tried to date!

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'd be interested to know how you find the topcoats. I have both the glossy and extra matte topcoats and I found that it peeled very easily on my test items.

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6 hours ago, Lobo said:

I see some exceptionally nice work displayed in this thread.

I also see an enormous outlay of time involved in each piece. That is just fine for the hobbyist, doing one piece at a time without worries about maintaining a production schedule, no worries beyond artistic perfection. No problems at all.

I spent 43 years in the business, about 32 as a part-time sideline business and about 11 as a full-time endeavor. My shop completed an average of 40 orders every week consisting of holsters, belts, and accessory items (cartridge pouches, magazine pouches, etc). I had to maintain a work-flow that maximized production for the time involved with each step of the production process.

Edge finishing says a lot about the quality of a leather product. A well done edge treatment shouts "quality" like nothing else. Burnishing by hand, edge paints, and other processes can produce beautiful results, but the trade-off is lots and lots of time and effort. Over the years I developed some methods (or I should say I adapted some methods from other processes) that produced excellent results with minimum time, effort, and expense.

In my shop the edge finishing was one of the very last steps in production. Most of my edges were of two-layers or more (lots of welted seam construction), so the process described below reflects that.

1. Dress edges on a power sander. Depending on the size, shape, and complexity of the item the sander may be a belt sander or a drum sander (drums of 3", 2", and 1" diameter are useful). I like to dampen the leather prior to sanding because that allows residue to fall to the bench rather than filling the air with dust and fibers, irritating the lungs and spreading the mess all over the place. Most pieces can be done in a couple of minutes.

2. After sanding to a smooth and even finish the edges need to be beveled. This usually takes only a minute or two.

3. Touch up dye on dressed and beveled edges. Another minute or so.

4. Rub exposed edges with a mixture of beeswax and paraffin wax (50-50 mixture, muffin-sized pieces work nicely). A minute or less per piece.

5. Chuck a hard felt polishing bob into the drill press, turning at about 1700 RPM. Burnish edges thoroughly (takes a minute or two per piece) with the friction melting the wax and forcing it into the compressed exposed edges. When done the edge will shine like a new penny, edge completely sealed against moisture, and very resistant to abrasion.

6. Proceed with final finishing (oiling, sealing, acrylic or whatever you wish to use).

Edge paint, as shown in this post, can be beautiful. It is also easily worn, chipped, and abraded in use. My edge finishing stands up to hard use very well, is easily touched up when showing a bit of wear, and stands the tests of time over years of use. It is also very fast and easy to do on a production basis.

You can work hard. You can stress yourself out over every result. Or you can work smart and be done with it in a few minutes, and at very little cost. The choice is yours.

Just a few little hints from the old retired MILLIONAIRE holster maker for your consideration.

Lobo - you are spot on with your comments on production.  I do leatherwork for fun, to relieve the stress from running my other business.  I sell very few pieces - mostly make things for friends and family.  I also like burnished edges and use them on many projects, but I like to experiment as I am learning the craft!  I think Edge Paint can add a nice decorative touch to certain types of projects, but I understand that it would not be appropriate all the time or in uses where the leather gets very wet.  

As far as durability, I can’t say how long it will hold up because I haven’t used it that long.  I made myself an eyeglass case about 1 year ago and after keeping it in my back pocket and throwing it around when I get in and out of my truck every day, it shows almost no sign of wear.  The paint is very elastic and seems to hold onto the leather tenaciously.  Time will tell how long before it has to be touched up.

This is what I enjoy about leatherworking - so many options on how to get to the end result!  

Enjoy your retirement!

Gary

 

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6 hours ago, JD62 said:

@garypl Can you give more detail about  your impressions of the dense vs. tha semidense paints? I'm just wondering if one has a real advantage over the other on say tow layers of 3/4 oz. or 7/8 oz.  I've watched the videos they have but am still not sure what to order.

JD - I like the dense because it is easier to apply.  Seems to roll on more smoothly with less lines.  The thinner paint takes more work to get an even coat on the edges because it tends to streak when it is applied over a sealed surface - just like painting something with a watery substance versus a thick, tackier coating.  You can also thin the dense paint more with water to stretch the yield.  I added about 10% distilled water to all of the paint colors and did not seem to affect either type adversely.

You can create very smooth edges with either type paint.  The samples in the pictures are not meant to represent finished edges - I didn’t sand them smooth between coats because I just wanted to see how quickly the finish would build up.  I have more scraps of the same leather and plan to experiment more on what it takes to create a really nice finished edge using paint.  Then I will do some destructive testing to see how well it holds up under rough or wet conditions.  Like I mentioned to Lobo - I’m not doing this for the money, just having some fun and learning!

I have also used a thinned paint for backgrounding carved pieces.  I use a small plastic bottle with a needle applicator to apply thinned paint - works great to outline stamped letters or for backgrounding.

As far as which type paint to use, I don’t have enough time in yet to comment.  I expect that the dense will be easier to use for edges, but the basic will be more cost effective for other applications.  Suggest you get a small bottle of each type and play with it and decide which works best for you.

Gary

 

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4 hours ago, niakulah said:

I'd be interested to know how you find the topcoats. I have both the glossy and extra matte topcoats and I found that it peeled very easily on my test items.

Niakulah, I am also curious how well the topcoat will hold up.  Did your test items peel immediately or after the coatings had been on for a long period of time (say a week)?  Was it only the topcoat that peeled or did paint come off as well?  I have used the Giardini dense paint for about 6 months now, mostly for shell holders, shooting pouches and small items and have not had any problems with peeling or wear on any projects.  This is the first time I used a topcoat so can’t comment yet on longer term results.

I haven’t had much time since I received the new paints and coatings to work with them - only built up edges to see if the base coat sealer will make a difference and wanted to compare the colors.  I buffed them briskly to see if there would be any color transfer and saw none.  

As I mentioned to JD, I plan to do some destructive testing on finished pieces of scrap to see how the paint and topcoat holds up.  I will post results when I have more information to share.  

Gary

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Wow a lot to take in from both sides of the camp.thanks for the pics 

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