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About MedusaOblongata

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  1. A great way to do this kind of thing is to buy a jacket at goodwill for $10 and take it apart to see how it goes together. That doesn't mean you need to trace the pieces to copy it, but what you want to learn is how jackets are constructed and this would be a good way to do it. You might also find more good info in some of the fabric sewing forums. More people make their own fabric clothing than leather. You can see, from how rarely it's discussed here, how unfortunately uncommon it is for people to make their own leather jackets. I would love to learn to make my own leather jackets too one day. I'm going to start with vests, then figure out sleeves.
  2. I think Retswerb has a point. If you use a stitching chisel with 7 (or whatever) points, the two on the far ends should prevent the leather from stretching in between them. This would be easy enough to test, though. Take your strip of leather, measure it precisely, punch holes, then measure it again. On the other hand, if each tine has a sharp point but not sharp edges, then it could be stretching or pushing the leather apart by the length of each hole, kind of like what you'd get if you drove a nail into the leather. One thing I've done to try to stop leather from changing shape and size on me while I'm working with it is I stretch the leather as far as I can with my hands in each direction before I cut it, thinking that might prevent it from stretching afterwards. I'm only partially successful with this, though, because sometimes the leather will stretch, shrink, or both, and two pieces I cut to the same size by laying one on top of the other for the cut will end up different sizes and shapes, making my work take much longer than it would if I knew what I was doing.
  3. The double sided basting tape that you can get from Tandy and Springfield is incredibly thin, probably thinner than contact cement. It is not strong in the long term, so it doesn't add strength to products the way good glue does. If you're restitching an item, why would you need to separate the pieces? You could pull what's left of the old stitching and restitch without disassembling the item, which would save a lot of time, and save you from the nightmare of stitch holes no longer matching up once you (for some reason) disassembled and reassembled. Strong glue can hold the piece together even after the stitching wears away, which will mean less returns. I have yet to be convinced that weaker glue will be a superior option.
  4. This thread starts by talking about the state of the leatherworking craft industry, which we probably all know is not robust enough to necessarily remain secure in the long run. From there it could have gone on to what we all can do to keep the industry alive at least well enough that our suppliers don't all go out of business because there aren't enough of us to sustain them. Instead it went on to ranting about how stupid people are, which, though true, isn't bringing us closer to a solution. Then storytime about old time leathercraft, which also doesn't bring us to a solution. What is necessary is to get more people taking up leatherwork. This will expand the market for the supplies that we need to buy, and more interest in the craft across the board will help educate bits of the public enough that they'll understand why we can't sell them belts and wallets for $25 and briefcases for $50. As we've seen, those of us who've tried to spread the word and teach classes haven't had huge success. Complaining that kids just want to play with cell phones and watch TV doesn't help. Teaching kids (and adults) to want other things would be more effective. Yes, Tandy could be leading the way, more effectively. Honestly I'm sure that's exactly what they'd love to do because they'd benefit more than anybody else, since they're so many people's first leather dealer, and many stick with them for a very long time. Clearly they have not been effective enough at making leatherwork more popular. Has anybody thought of giving them ideas? Whatever makes them successful will ultimately make us all successful. Can anybody start one of those popular and stupid TV shows with leatherworkers where they vote one off every week? I haven't owned a TV in decades, but I hear those shows are popular. I'm just a hobbyist here, not a professional or an expert. I hardly post because I have so much more to learn than I do do teach. It seems clear that we're hanging on to a shrinking industry (tanneries closing, storefronts closing), and that's not a good sign. People on this forum know the industry, though, and collectively we might be able to put some plans into motion that would actually make a difference.
  5. I just moved to a new house, setting up the new workshop, and working on a leather storage system that will hang leather from a bar. I'm looking for clips strong enough to hang hides without actually having to puncture them. What are the clips they use to hang or stretch hides at the tannery? What other clips would work? I've been through every hardware, art supply, home goods, and office supply store in my city and haven't found any good solutions. I could use clips that will hang from a bar, or those I could attach to a hanger of some sort. Thank you in advance,
  6. I emailed a link to the video to Toledo, and Bob said it's a bearing and he sent out a new speed reducer, which I've installed and it's working quietly now. I'll be mailing the old one back to him and hopefully he'll let me know if this is due to some kind of user error.
  7. Thank you all so much for the replies. I disconnected the belts and spun each component separately and it's the speed reducer that's making the noise, definitely not the motor or the head. Oddly, it just started happening, nothing else had changed. I'm not sure what would make that happen, how to quiet it, or whether it's a sign of something bad or just a noise? Is there a spot on the speed reducer that needs to be oiled? As far as why I posted here first, it wasn't to badmouth Bob or Toledo or Cowboy. I've learned most of what I know about leatherworking from the knowledgeable and helpful folks here on this forum. And long before leatherwork, I discovered forums as one of the absolute best places on the internet to find friends, camaraderie, information, answers, and ideas. Every time I have a question, the first thing I do is search the relevant forum. It was from this forum that the Cowboy was recommended, on this forum that Toledo was recommended, on this forum that I learned about leather sewing machines and what they can do. This is where my experts are. I apologize if my post came across in a negative way. I am grateful for each of you who've taken the time out of your day to respond to my problem. Thank you.
  8. After 3 months and about 15 hours of use, my previously flawless Cowboy 3200 (from Toledo) just started making this creaking, croaking, groaning noise. It sounds like it's coming from the motor, not the head, and sounds the same whether there is leather or thread in it. It has been oiled, both regularly and recently. Despite the new noise it just started making, it still sews just fine, but it does concern me. Any ideas?
  9. Thank you for the comparison. That is very helpful.
  10. For years I had just been using a rubber mallet I inherited with my father's tools, and that mostly worked well enough. Then in a Cliff's Variety store I saw some mauls for sale. All I knew about mauls was that a lot of y'all leatherworkers recommended them, though I had never tried one. I checked the prices, then compared them to Barry King since it was the only maulmaker I had heard of, and went back inside and bought a Wood Is Good maul for $40. I've been using it for well over a year, and when I need another weight maul I'll get another Wood Is Good (wood handle, poly head). It's not as pretty looking as that leather one, but it works very well, and doesn't look beat up at all. Also, I'm surprised nobody posted the hammer video yet:
  11. Great looking bag there! I definitely agree that a matching strap would look great and a fabric strap looks cheap and out of place.
  12. Thank you for your replies. I ordered the 3200 from Bob at Toledo today. Now it's just the waiting game.
  13. I'm looking for my first sewing machine. I've read a lot of threads here (including the pinned ones), watched a lot of videos, and I know just enough to confuse myself. I know (I think?) I need a cylinder arm with flatbed attachment, compound feed, walking foot, be able to sew .5" of leather, with servo motor & speed reducer, must do reverse, have an edge guide, and preferably have an additional flat, slotted throat plate for use with softer or thinner leather. Like everyone, I want to be able to sew everything from wallets and purses, portfolios and notebooks, to knife sheaths, chrome tan and veg, backpacks and briefcases. One of the questions asked is what thickness of thread to you want to sew, and I don't know the thread number, but I want to be able to sew a backpack or duffel bag and fill it with 50 pounds of gear and throw it down the driveway, kick it through the airport (or send it through as checked luggage), or drag it through the dirt and not have to worry about it coming apart. What thread number is right for that? (I know a lot of strength comes from leather thickness, construction methods, rivets, and double stitching stress points) (I will not be making saddles or horse gear) I prefer making gear that's more rugged than refined. I hand stitch wallets using 1mm thread at 5spi. (I know the machine will use much thinner thread, but it's a reference point for the way I like to construct/overbuild gear) This is just a hobby for me so the machine might only get used for a few hours per week. If I'll max out at 1/2", what is the least expensive machine that would work? I would prefer to stay under $2K, max $2.5K including shipping, table/stand, and whatever extra components are necessary. Failing that, what's the best I can get in that price range? If there's not a machine, or not one I can afford, that will do it all, then I'd rather sew watch straps by hand and backpacks on the machine than the other way around, so which machine to do the heavy stuff? Does anybody know of a dealer for these types of machines in Oregon?
  14. I'll take lot #1. Let me know which PayPal address to use.
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