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Everything posted by kilted13

  1. Can I use Goldstar (or any other brand) dies in my Tandy press?
  2. jlangham, sorry, I stopped following this post a while back. I recommend the Little Giant planes, and good double edge blades. You'll need to strop frequently, or the blade life will be fairly short. A tip for using the plane: hold it at a slight angle from the direction of travel. Test on scrap first and go slow and easy. It's easy to get ahead of yourself and push too hard, slicing all the way through. If there's still interest in this thread, I'll post pictures of the results, and the planes themselves this week sometime.
  3. I bought a Craftool hand press from Tandy when they had it as a Black Friday special ($80!) but seeing how much they want for dies, I'm wondering if someone else makes compatible dies for less? Or should I try to sell the Craftool press and get a Margo Minkus or Goldstar press? I know Black River Laser sells a hole punch adapter, along with a centering jig, but I'm looking for snap, eyelet and rivet dies that aren't $100 and up.
  4. I use them on Chromexcel right now, but I see no reason it won't work on veg tan.
  5. Well the verdict is in I purchased a lot of three razor blade planes from eBay. Two Little Giant brand ones and an unbranded one that looks like a Wilkro. The Wilkro look alike and one of the Little Giants have flat bottoms, and work like a charm. The flats needed some sanding (and flattening) which I accomplished with some sand paper (220, 400, 600) but the tools worked fine before hand. They take standard double edge razor blades, and you can adjust the depth of the cut. Roughing in with the safety beveler seems to speed things up, but may cost more in the long run, as the blades cost more. I'll try to post some pictures tomorrow. I did find a company that makes parts for organs that will split leather down, but the minimum is 100 bucks (operator and machine time for one hour). They can work pieces up to 29 inches wide. If I order more from Aurora, I may look into it, but for now this is satisfactory. I also ordered a cheap steel bodied spokeshave, but it seems it needs to be modified to work effectively. I tried it in its stock configuration, and it was awful. Or I was. I found some good information from book binding resources. If you Google spokeshave on leather some good stuff comes up. YouTube also had two videos, one of paring leather with a spokeshave, and one with a razor blade plane. I don't recommend the Master Airscrew plane, as the body is hard to really hold on to, and the blades are proprietary.
  6. *Update* I bought a razor blade plane from a hobby shop. I tried it on a piece that I had previously worked on with a safety Skiver, and it took all the little ridges down quite well. The only problem is the body on the plane is small and hard to hold on to. A little research has turned up info on better planes on ebay, so I may order one. I'm still looking into the spokeshave option, but I have to order one, as Home Depot doesn't stock them on the shelves. I may try some more pieces tonight, and if they come out good, I'll post pictures. Again, if anyone has advice or ideas, I'd love to hear from you...
  7. I recently bought some Chromexcel scrap from Aurora Shoe Co. And I must say this stuff is beautiful, but it's too thick for my purposes (wallets primarily). Doing some research has turned up a few options, but I can't find anything specific on reducing thickness across a larger piece that doesn't involve machinery well out of my price range. I did find a video of a book binder using a spokeshave, and I've had some success in the past with a safety Skiver on veg tan (gets it a little lumpy though). And I played with the idea of a hand plane. My other options are to use a sanding station, but my access to one is limited, or send pieces out for thinning (there's a company in Oregon whose website says they do this). Home Depot has a spokeshave for sale (online only) for $17.xx. And I even found info on modifying one for use on leather. Anybody on here reduce pieces like this? Also, would it be better to do a slightly over sized piece first, or cut pieces to pattern dimensions and then thin? Any advice would be awesome.
  8. Being VERY new at this, and not having much practice, I tend to get some funky results from my skives. I use a super skiver and safety beveler primarily, as the round knife still intimidates a bit. I also have no suitable surface for using a round knife on edges (i.e. glass block) The end result is that I use a grinder (belt sander type) to clean up my skives. I also use it to bevel or round edges before burnishing, since the edge edge beveler I use is very dull, and I haven't figured out how to sharpen it yet. Using a 60 grit belt that my knife maker buddy has "used up" on dampened leather works just fine. Dampening seems to cut the "fuzzy" factor way down. Ultimately, I wouldn't purchase a grinder for this, as the one I use (not own) cost roughly $1200 a decade ago, before it got the upgrade of a variable speed motor (custom knife makers have cool toys) and quality abrasives are not cheap. I highly recommend a quality respirator, as heavy particulates in the air are never good for you. As I get better with the hand tools, I rely on the power ones less and less, although I plan on burnishing less by hand as soon as I find a power option I like, and purchase the required tools.
  9. Hello everyone, just a quick intro. My interest in leather working is mostly from a hobby stand point, but if I can get good enough to make it pay for itself, fine by me! I work in a high burn out, high stress industry, where the ones who last have lives outside of and unrelated to work, and so far, I lack that. And I'm already a tad addicted to my work, so I need a healthy distraction. Leatherwork seems like a solid choice because it requires dedication and patience, and it seems to have a contemplative aspect to it. Plus I get to learn, which is always a pleasure! I plan on learning braiding, and eventually carving, but in the mean time I will stick with belts and the like. A buddy of mine makes custom knives, and he used to do a lot of leather sheaths (these days it's mostly kydex) and he has a few tools and some knowledge I can take advantage of. In fact I made a few belts a while back with his tools and guidance, with mixed results (burgundy latigo from tandy will color your pants/ utilikilt). Ultimately I would also like to learn to sew finer goods, like bags, garments, and my ultimate ambition, some driving gloves, but we'll see. I look forward to getting to know you all! Sean (kilted)
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