Bob Blea

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About Bob Blea

  • Rank Regular
  • Birthday 06/21/1967

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Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Fort Collins, CO
  • Interests
    Leatherworking, cooking, my kids.

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Floral Carving and notebooks.
  • Interested in learning about
    Case making, wallets and saddle making
  • How did you find
    web surfing

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  1. Bob Blea

    Leather Wallet with Hair On Hide Inlays

    Thanks Rohn, I though the same thing myself when I did the notebook several years ago and never got around to trying it again till now. I'm again thinking I need to make another like it!
  2. Bob Blea

    Leather Wallet with Hair On Hide Inlays

    Thank you! Yes, there is a plug under each piece. I just took the part I cut out for each inlay, trimmed it down a bit to allow for the hair on hide, and then glued it on the back of the inlay. There is a lining behind all of that and when I glued that on, I clamped it all down to help form the inlay and bind it in place that way.
  3. I haven't posted something I've made for a while. This was a custom order I completed just recently. The customer wanted a roper style wallet with hair on hide inlays similar to a notebook I had made several years ago. She also wanted the basket stamping like that notebook had and her boyfriend's initials centered on the front. It was a bit of a rush order to get it to her on time for his birthday but it made it in time and apparently he loved it. The stitching got a little wonky on the interior in places when I sewed it. Still mastering my sewing machine unfortunately. Not sure why the last picture is sideways.
  4. Bob Blea

    Any way to pull dye OUT of leather?

    I put the WyoSheen on in very thin coats (usually two) and gives the leather some shine but it doesn't feel like plastic unless I get a lot on it. It does seal the leather up pretty well. It leaves it pretty water resistant but I think I've seen times where Neatsfoot oil has gotten through. I've been told by other leatherworkers they have oiled things after a lot of wear that have been sealed, but I suspect that only worked because the seal had worn off. I need to test it sometime.
  5. Bob Blea

    Oh, come on now. Seriously, Tiny Again?

    I think that is pretty dang impressive! I've never tried anything that small! Bob
  6. Depending on how thick it is you might be able to make belts out of it. But you would need to be able to cut it into long even strips.
  7. Bob Blea

    Any way to pull dye OUT of leather?

    I sometimes antique without using a resist and I completely agree with @TargetRockLeatherabout experimenting first. It's not easy to get a good even result. You will want to have some unscented baby wipes (that's really what I use) handy as they are really good at removing unwanted antique and evening out the finish. Without a resist it is hard to get an even coating (especially on untooled smooth areas) but the baby wipes will remove the excess, even if it has dried quite a bit, and make your surface much more even. For resists I've never been happy with Super Shene or Satin Shene as resists. I found I needed to use a lot of coats and still had problems with it not resisting. I use Wyo Sheen (sold by Barry King) which is a lacquer based resist that is supposed to be the same thing as the old NeatLac was. It works well but I still need at least two thin coats for a good resist layer. And again I always have the baby wipes handy to clean up and make things even if there is any streaking. As for top coats, I don't think there is any top coat that doesn't take some of the antique off when you rub it on. A lot of people use Tan Kote as a final finish and it does take some of the antique off. The only solution I've found is to spray a top coat on that I don't rub at all. I use a spray on acrylic made for spraying over pastel chalk artwork, but some people water down Resolene and spray it on with an airbrush.
  8. Bob Blea

    storing leather hides

    I have a couple of large plastic free standing storage shelving units I got a Lowe's. They can handle a fair amount of weight and I keep my sides of leather on the shelves, rolled up with the grain side inside the roll to protect it. I keep my veg tan leather separate from my chrome tan leathers because the hides that have more fats in them or that are already dyed could potentially stain the veg tan. I also have plastic totes that I store small scrap pieces in, again keeping the veg tan separate. My shop is in a finished basement, so I've got room for the shelves. It's also pretty dry where I live so I don't have to worry about moisture in the basement.
  9. Bob Blea

    Me: I don't want to tool tiny things! Also me:

    @YinTx Looking pretty good. Nothing easy about small stuff like this. The only suggestion I would make is to work on making smooth swivel knife cuts at this scale. I see a couple of places where the vine work curves flatten out in spots. Really easy to do at small scales. It takes a lot of practice to cut a design in smoothly with flowing lines when the pattern is this small. It's something I can achieve only about half the time.
  10. Bob Blea


    Nice looking saddle, and very nice carving!
  11. Bob Blea

    How To Make Coin Conchos

    Thanks for posting this @cseeger I definitely want to try this now. You did a great job describing your process.
  12. Bob Blea

    Any way to pull dye OUT of leather?

    Unfortunately I don't think there is a good way to do this. I was always taught that dye is pretty permanent stuff and that it's always possible to make colors darker but not lighter. So my 2 cents worth, you are left with only a few options. You could make the rest of your piece darker to match the knife sheath. Or you could someone make the knife sheath being darker some sort of highlight of your overall design. A third option would be to use acrylics to mask or cover up the dye job and make the sheath color more like the rest of the project. The problem with using acrylics is that they are UV resistant and will maintain the same color over time while the veg tan leather of the rest of the project will naturally darken over time. Sorry I don't have a better suggestion for you. Bob
  13. Bob Blea

    This Year's Stohlman Award Winner

    @Sheilajeannethanks for posting this! His work really is amazing and I can certainly see the marriage of Eastern and Western concepts in his artwork.
  14. Bob Blea

    New, old member

    Good to see you back at the bench! You will need to post some of your recent work. We would love to see it.
  15. Bob Blea

    Linothorax Ancient Greek Armor

    Very cool! So which parts are the linen wrapped leather? Is it like a leather core and parts you are seeing are the linen?