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About BobH

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    None - just beginning to learn
  • Interested in learning about
    Most everything but where to begin mostly
  • How did you find leatherworker.net?
  1. Thanks for the YouTube tip. For some reason I have a mental block about looking there for educational stuff. I'm watching a series done by a fellow by name of Eric Adams. Good Stuff! Will watch others too.
  2. Thank you, Kevin! I have done some reading in the holster threads but there are so many that I get lost. I'm gonna have to figure out tagging. Thanks again!
  3. Thanks, Kevin! I learned by trial and error that boiling leather turns it into something entirely different. Several layers of it would probably make passable body armor. Oh well! It's part of the learning curve acquisition pain. When you say that you trace the outline of the gun on paper, I assume that you do one side, roll the gun to its other side and complete the trace (for a traditional holster) and leave some perimeter allowance for stitching. How much allowance do you leave? An inch seems to be too much and a half inch seems to be too little. I could use guidance in this area. Likewise, for a pancake holster, I've downloaded an image that shows the process, but it gives little help with dimensions. I should have asked this question in the OP, but I need to know what weight leather to buy for making holsters. Again, thanks for helping a geezer. I do not plan to make holsters other than for pleasure and the fun of learning; so I'll hold off on buying blue blanks and a press.
  4. Howdy, I'm a retired geezer who tries to learn new things. Where I live (Temple, TX), there are no classes available within a reasonable travel distance; and I've not found anyone around to be my mentor. I've got a ton of tools given to me by a brother in NC who has been at this for quite some time. I've bought the books and read them, but a lot of what I need to learn doesn't come easily from books. I bought a few pieces of leather hoping to be able to make a holster. I dove right in and cut several pieces. I cut them over-sized hoping to form the leather to the handgun itself (which I put in a plastic zip loc bag to keep dry). Apparently I didn't get the leather sufficiently pliable to form because boning with a deer antler or sharpie only yielded very uncrisp outlines. So, my first question is about how to wet form. I've found posts on casing which I understand to be a different process for a different result, ie, tooling. In trying to overcome my first failure to get a good crisp outline of the gun, I bought a 2' length of 4" PVC pipe and sealed one end with a cap and glue, placed the pieces in it, and poured in boiling water. I have no idea whether this is valid procedure or whether I've damaged the leather, but I used cold water and a long soak on my first attempts. The leather is of 2 types. One is what I'd estimate to be about 7-8 oz (which is probably too thick) and the other is a hard horsehide. Remember, I'm teaching myself from books and the web and using the trial and error method, mostly the latter. For my next attempt, I'm going to try to cut a pattern from poster board and make a pancake style holster from two pieces. I found a thread here yesterday, which I cannot find today and did not tag, that showed how one craftsman does this. The most significant thing I remember about his post was that he had the pistol canted in the holster so that the barrel pointed slightly rearward. I've tried searching for "cant" "canted" etc. but found no hits. I would really appreciate any pointers to tutorials or threads that will help me in this 2 areas. I want to master the molding and wet forming process as a first step, then proceed to pattern making for my specific pistols. If I can get those 2 steps accomplished, I think I can put something together and then post pics for critiques. Thank you for any help you can give me.
  5. Thanks for the report, mrfixit! I did about the same as you did and ordered a couple of the Springfield hb's which came TODAY. My first impessions are much the same as yours, except the pieces I got were pretty stiff and hard compared to my very limited experience with cowhide. I was thinking that the horse hide might make a liner for the holster I plan to make from vegtan 8-9 oz cowhide but it might be too hard and slippery. If for no other reason, I like the hb's because they give me another type of leather to learn about and they were reasonable at $12 apiece.
  6. BobH

    Springfield Leather

    Before seeing this thread, I ordered a couple of the horsebutts advertised here from Springfield. While the material has been shipped it hasn't yet arrived, but I was very pleased to get a personal email from Emma thanking me for registering and buying from them! It is reassuring to hear others speak so highly of Springfield.
  7. Thanks for the information, folks! I'm certain that the combination of me not knowing how to use the tool properly and what might possibly be a bad blade lead me far astray. You've set me on the right course. I'll keep at it until I've mastered it.] Thanks again!!!!!
  8. First, I might not be using correct terms because I am a beginner to the craft. I've got a bunch of tools (given to me) but only a little knowledge. One of the tools that I did NOT get in the generous gift from my brother, an adjustable stitching groover like the one pictured on this web page: My link. After re-reading Stohlman's The Art of Hand Sewing Leather I decided I needed one. What I received was in a package with a Tandy label in the plastic bag (but I didn't buy from Tandy directly). As with the other tools in my kit, I practice with them to try to learn how they work and how I should use them. Although instruction would be far better than my trial and error approach, there is none available to me locally that I'm aware of. In trying to use this tool, I was pretty much stymied. I have a v-groove cutter that is shaped similar to a musical instrument maker's finger plane, and I have one that has a U-channel in the tip of the tool and another like that that cuts a V-groove. Those I think I'm using correctly. IT is this offset, adjustable groover that has me stymied. I took a piece of veg tanned 8 or 9 oz cowhide scrap to use the tool with. I first squared up the edges of the scrap so that I could rest the tool on the edge. I then tried to figure out how the tool works. At first, I thought that it had been shipped without a blade. Checking back in my book references, I decided that the black bar that runs through the top of the shaft is the cutter. I found a very minor burr on the edge of the little bit bent at 90 degrees. The burr is not at all sharp. In dry leather, it barely made a mark and the one it did make was more a scratch than a cut groove. In wet leather (not soaking but dampened according to instructions I've read on this forum and elsewhere) it only crushed the leather without cutting anything at all. Because I've never even seen this tool used, I don't know whether my expectations were correct; but I thought it would cut a small groove in which stitching threads would lie and not protrude above the surface of the leather. I didn't get the anticipated results, so I then questioned my use of the tool; but have no reference to know if I used it correctly or not. Finally, I questioned whether or not the tool might be defective in some way . . . for example, is the burr I discovered really the action part of the tool and is it correctly formed? Before leaping to the wrong conclusion (I've got the bruises and broken bones to show for a lifetime of having done so) and before destroying the tool, I thought I'd ask the experts here about this tool and my expectations. Also, what should the cutting blade look and feel like? If it is defective, I can send this one back for credit; but I'd like to know what to expect just in case I run into one in the wild and can better judge whether or not to buy it. Do they ever need sharpening? What sort of edge should the blade have? How would one form and hone that shape? Yes, I ran a search on the tool and on sharpening. I found lots of interesting and useful stuff, but didn't find the answer to these questions. Like I said, it might be because I don't know enough to made a decent search argument and dumb enough that I might not recognize a good answer. If you need to rub my nose in it, please feel free. Just know that you won't be the first.
  9. What do they call the group that preceded baby boomers? Geezers? Whatever, they call us, I are one. I was born in '42 and turn 70 next year. To solve the fine print problems, I bought an Osborne magnifying headband and use good lighting. I also have one of the clamp on lamps with a magnifying lens but have no place where I can leave it set up so I rarely use it. For all you whippersnappers, just wait!
  10. Thank you, Denise. I keep scanning forum topics and continue to learn a lot from all the good folks here. The problem is that the information is not as well catalogued as I would like it. Mind you I'm not being derogatory about leatherworker.net. The webmaster and moderators have created a terrific forum. I was simply throwing out a suggestion that I think would be very useful and would make the site even more valuable. I've been going through the site searching, scanning, and following threads. My efforts have been less efficient in terms of time spent because the material is sometimes less well catalogued than I'd like to find. For example. If the Resources forum were organized with sub-forums such as Books, magazines, online articles and tutorials, printed articles and how-to's, etc., it would make finding things much more efficient. Book review formats could be provided on a fill-in-the-blank arrangement making it much easier to collate, titles, authors' names, publication titles, article titles, etc. I appreciate that this would take some work with HTML to set up and ongoing moderation, but I think the results would justify the effort. I'll happily volunteer to do whatever is within my power to make this happen, too. Again, thank you for the response.
  11. Thanks, DC. I've pretty much run the string on our local library. I will ask them to get IL books when I learn about good ones. What I'm looking for is reviews from folks to rifle in on good titles instead of shotgunning and having to sort through the chaff. Thanks for the suggestion.
  12. I've been looking for good books on leather working. I was given a number of books by my brother who has been in the craft for several decades. The most instructive of them are The Leathercraft Book by Pat Hills and The Art of Hand Sewing Leather by Al Stohlman. I'm sure that there are many more good books that I don't know about. This led me to think that there might be a forum or list here of books with descriptions or reviews and evaluations of suitability for purpose. I've scanned the web site and done a search but haven't found anything like I envisioned. I wonder if there is enough interest in this topic to convince our webmaster to create a place for books titles and reviews and/or links to those that might exist elsewhere on the www.
  13. Thanks, Art. I don't know that there are any shows in my neighborhood, but it I will look into it. Austin, Dallas or Houston are all within reasonable driving times. I was born and spent 5 decades in Raleigh, NC. Zack White LC was located on Wake Forest Road in those days. I dropped in only rarely when I needed something. Looking back, i wish I had been more interested then. I do have a briefcase from them that was given to me to on the occassion of a promotion 30+ years ago. I asked a (short) list of questions trolling for a primer on evaluation and selection of leathers hoping that there was a book or web page addressing the subject that someone would point me to. It is a subject that would be of great value to those learning the craft. If no one knowledgeable in the subject has written such a treatise yet, I suggest that it should be written and published as it would be more valuable than many of the works I have found thus far. I hope this will motivate someone to write the treatise. Again, thanks for the feedback. Bob
  14. Being a raw beginner and having read several books and many web posts, I still find myself trying to understand more about the material. I've tried to narrow my questions down to a basic set, but probably didn't do so very well. If there is a tutorial that covers this, I didn't find it in the tutorials and my search skills are too poor to narrow the results down enough to be useful. Here goes: 1) How does one go about identifying what type of leather a piece is? For example, if one is buying sight unseen and receives a piece of leather identified as "horsehide" how can he be sure (other than buying from trustworthy sources) that it is horsehide and now cowhide or something else? I realize that this is a very broad question and can be answered by an encyclopedia of every type hide ever tanned. I'm not looking for that much detail, just some general rules for identifying leather - signs to look for, tell-tales, whatever. 2) Grading leather has to do with how it is tanned and qualitative evaluations of its surface, texture, etc. This too must be a topic worthy of an encyclopedia, but surely there is a set of facts that will help the tyro to evaluate product. Any good websites or books that would cover this topic for a beginner or intermediate crafter? 3) Leather is also described by its weight which I've read indicates its thickness if you know the code. For example, as I understand it, veg tanned cowhide weight is determined by measuring thickness in 1/64th's, such that a hide that is 1/8" thick would contain 8 sixty-fourths and thus be an 8 oz hide. Is this the correct measure? Does it vary by type of hide (ie, are all hides regardless of source animal that are 1/8" thick 8 oz leathers?)? 4) How does one go about determining the suitability of a type of leather for a specific use? Or a better way to ask this would be to say, "How does one determine if a leather is NOT suitable for a particular use?" Of course personal preference will enter into this, but what other considerations should one make as to workability and durability? I would expect that whether or not the final product is to be tooled or decorated or dyed will enter into it, too. What I'm looking for is a good beginners guide to knowing common leathers. I know that I've kinda asked, "How long is a piece of string?", but I really as just looking for a place to begin my education with leathers and hides that I might expect to encounter and what to consider in choosing one for a project. TIA rh
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