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Everything posted by CustomDoug

  1. I'm making belts from 8/9 oz. and it's cracking the top surface of the leather at the buckle area - I assume because of the thickness. Do you guys usually skive the leather at the buckle's tongue area?
  2. Yep that's what I thought guys.. thanks. Anyone know of a seller of FULL-grain veg tan leather strips? I can find reasonably priced top-grain but not full, and that's what I'd prefer to use. Doug C
  3. I'm making a casual belt for jeans-wear and have on hand some 6/7oz Bridle leather and some 2/3oz Bridle leather... I think the 6/7 will be just a tad too thin by itself and I was thinking of lining it (at least partially) with the 2/3oz bridle. Grain on both outside and inside. The chunky design that I'm going for does not favor a stitched edge though.... so, is it conceivable to glue two straps together but not add a reinforcing stitch at the edge? I mean I know it's possible but is it something that's done often? I can think of highend bag straps that seem to be grained on both sides and not have a stitched edge - but... then again this will be a belt. I have contact cement and white glue Tanners Bond - recommendations? Doug C
  4. On a pricing scale though, wouldn't full grain items be more expensive than the top grain stuff, generally speaking? I personally haven't shopped for a belt in many years. But from what I understand, with top grain leathers the top layer is stripped away because of imperfections and "fixed". My filling is that the bridle would age to a more beautiful patina than top grain.. but what about full grain?
  5. Hi folks.. I had a request for a couple of casual belts this week. Something for jeanswear (dressy and classic workwear). I figured I'd use English bridle (or well, bridle anyway), mainly because "London/British Tan" color was requested and I have some on hand. But then I started thinking - bridle could possible look too dressy. My next choice would be FULL grain leather... but who sells full grain strapping at a good price? I don't want tongue holes for the buckle or holes for chicago screws - just long straps at least 1.5" wide. I'd always sort of thought that TOP grain leaned towards the cheap or at least lower quality scale on belts. Is that and accurate thought or should I reconsider this? What are some other options? Maybe Chromexcel.. or I see that Springfield sells dyed thru Hermann Oak belt blanks. These are dyed but apparently needs a protective coating applied (according to their description). I have some Bag Coat - would that work? They are not in London tan though. Suggestions? Doug C
  6. I've been frustrated by this too - a lot lately. I like the 'wash your hands before actually starting the stitching' idea. I've been doing a lot of stitching in the garage (until I get my true studio), and that place is not a clean environment to say the least. I keep everything pretty clean but it's inevitable sometimes. I can see washing the hands would definitely help. ... about the "clean" wax - this is another thing that I have noticed too, my wax gets pretty dirty looking. I'm using a small block of wax I got from Campbell-Randle, it's fairly white in color but besides getting dirty easily, it's firmer than I'd like. What is a good recommended wax to dedicate to light colored threads? Doug C
  7. Yes I realize that the two prong chisels would be the tool to use for the short curved top-stitching holes... but my reservations involve the process of figuring out where to place the holes exactly before stitching. Since the line of stitching would naturally be a few millimeters inside the edge of the loop, this fact needs to be reflected in the top-stitching without marking the leather (with a scratch awl representing the edge of the unseen loop). So I think unless someone has a better technique I may have to just breakdown and create some kind of a hard template that includes the oblong loop hole and corresponding stitch holes. I can mark those holes with a round pointy awl on the grain side of the leather, then remove the template and use the two prong chisel at those points. Thanks everyone for your input, techniques and links. Doug C
  8. Thanks Modifier, actually looking at pg 5 of that book, what I'm talking about is not so much Example E but rather the illustration section under it called "Unusual Loop Installations", on the right hand side. That's it exactly... well, except the loops are not raised and it would not be done on a narrow strip but rather a thigh skirt of a jumper's saddle. Unfortunately there's not much information besides the picture. I suppose it's just a matter of spacing and pricking the stitching holes (on the outside of the leather) in the form of rounded English belt ends. But that's part of my concern - what's the best way to position all the holes to be exactly alike and the stitching to all look alike? Make a durable template of an English belt end with round holes to mark where prick can then be done? I assume pre-pricking holes in the loop ends would be a waste because lining up the holes to the outside pricked holes would basically be impossible. Also, what about gluing... this could be awkward in this case because the loop, a strap (essentially) is being glued to the inside of a soft leather. But I guess the top-side ends of the loop would just need to be roughed up (which is unusual in itself) to aid adhesion, right? can I assume gluing will be strong enough to hold the strap to the inside of the thigh skirt while a diamond awl pierces the holes in this soft leathers? No special clamp? The loop itself, in the European stirrup keepers looks to me like they are made of thin leathers that are doubled over length-wise, with the seam meeting in the middle of the back side (because the edges are soft rounded)... so with that in mind, I could not use Al Stohlman's ex. E on page 5 - because his ends flare out flat. Doug C
  9. Does anyone know of a tutorial that explains how to make and install the small leather "stirrup keeper" loops like you see on the side skirts of (european style) jumping saddles? In particular, I'm interested in the ones where the ends (of the loop) disappear into the skirting and only the loop itself is visible. I'm interested in European saddle building in general and would appreciate any info on the subject. Thanks. Doug C
  10. ..so you're rounding the edge (w/ a beveler) before painting? I've been trying to square up the edge via sanding and then build a linear mound of paint length wise through multiple coats.
  11. I'm looking for suggestions and techniques for how you guys apply edge paint without getting it on the front and back of the piece, (and eventually all over your fingers from quickly wiping away stray paint from those areas) . I'm very careful as I work but still, every once in a while a little bit will find it's way to the front or back of the piece, having slightly spilled over the edge. I've been working on long belts lately and I try to catch the excess as soon as possible so that I can run a finger or thumb up-wards, perpendicular to the edge to clean the excess away. This pretty much works, but I do not always catch it before it starts setting up - then it becomes hard to remove. I've been using the metal hand-held "paddle" applicator that Tandy sells. The leather in question is a somewhat glossy chrome calfskin. The problem is that eventually my fingers all become contaminated with paint from (s)wiping away paint from the face of the leather ... then that paint on my fingers inevitably gets smeared onto the leather as I turn the piece or whatever, causing me to need to quickly clean more (a vicious cycle, lol) . BTW - is there something I can use to clean away dried edge paint from my leather surface (the small amount that gets away from me that is)? Doug C
  12. Ferrari (and certainly others I'm sure/ Italian exotics) use Poltrona Frau leather. I thought I remembered reading that Connolly's had closed shop a few years back. Doug C
  13. I agree that there's not much difference between Bridle and English Bridle - though it originated in England and so they tend to be a little possessive of the name. That's probably understandable though since folks tend to use the words "English Bridle" when it's not actually from there. The English would (supposedly) be still using specific organic matter, barks, etc that are native and traditional to their area. And it might create a slightly better bridle leather.. but that's subjective. I have noticed though that the true English Bridle tends to be waxier than the other forms of it, as delivered. It can look quite "milky" before use. It's meant to be scrubbed with a horse hair brush, to re-work the waxes in. Doug C
  14. Has anyone here tried the natural veg tan leather from buckleguy.com ? The description makes it sound like everything I've been after for a LV strap kind of leather. Doesn't seem priced too bad either if it's as good as it sounds (no affiliation).. http://www.buckleguy.com/3-4oz-french-veg-tanned-sides-grade-1-2-natural-tooling-leather/
  15. ok thanks, and do you recommend spraying it to both leather and stiffener.. or is one or the other enough? Is it good for leather flesh to flesh adhesion as well? (like when stiffening a bag by using leather on the interior) Doug C
  16. What methods and products do you guys and gals prefer for glueing sheets of stiffener to backs of leather? I mean I'm ok with "painting" glue on things like watch straps, key fobs or along an edge run on bigger pieces - but anything larger gets teedious. I gravitate towards contact cement over white glue in most situations.. does anyone thin either to make the "painting" of the glue faster, probably while using a larger brush too - than I've been using? Or is there a spray set up that's not a total PITA? I do have a compressor and this seems a more professional way to go . But on the other hand, my production is maybe not high enough yet to keep glue in a sprayer without it setting up. How long can you expect unused (thinned) glue to last? Maybe spray can glue is the way to go? Suggestions? Maybe just using contact cement brushed around the edges of the stiffener (and the leather, but leaving enough edge for stitching) is an option in some cases? Like when using a heavy stiffener product sandwiched between two pieces of thin leather... anyone have experience with that? Doug C
  17. ..BTW, I'd be wanting imprinted leather rather than vinyl or anything else. Whatever might produce "high quality" faux exotics (an oxymoron I know, but..). Doug C
  18. I would like to know who sells the best faux skins such as alligator, caimen, ostrich, etc - to experiment with before investing in the real thing. Good quality because although these items will be experimental, I'll still gift the items more than likely. Who do you buy from? Doug C
  19. Is each one of those letters mounted separately? And if so, with what method would you guess? Doug C
  20. What the heck !?! honestly makes no since.. they're fairly nice tools and they go away? While all the junk is still available. I guess that's why the long term companies look so good to people and why they get away with charging so much. I have a set of the european style Kyoshin Elle pricking irons and I was hoping to add to those in the same brand. Doug C
  21. Not to highjack the thread (send the answer via pm if it's better) but can you guys elaborate on what "papers" are needed and by whom are they regulated? thanks. Doug C
  22. You could be right, to me it looks chunkier than 92 though. Also it' not a dressy wallet, more of a 'denim culture' piece which would typically give the a nod to a thicker thread. Hard to tell from the picture honestly. Not sure if this helps the conversation but I did a quick search on something I sewed using 138 Eddington in natural. The stitch per inch is closer than the OP's wallet picture, but the thread diameter seems similar to me: Doug C
  23. I thought everyone was placing the pricking iron so that it set evenly over the scribed line.. how else would it be done? I can understand seeing the scribed line after sewing IF not done this way. Is your thread not covering up the centered scribe line? Perhaps use a thinner scratch awl maybe? Doug C
  24. Veg-Tan Calfskin would normally be floppier, right? Does anyone do a bridle calfskin.. or is calfskin just not going to ever get thick enough for them to bother? Doug C
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