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  1. Helpful indeed, thanks! I hadn't seen those yet. Further comments are welcome, of course. I'm a pretty slow mover, so however old this thread gets, if you've got something to add, you'll probably be in time.
  2. It's about time to make a guitar strap, and I'm trying to think of fun things to do with it. I've looked around and gathered some ideas, and it looks like there is a lot of room for creativity when doing this. Before I get too crazy, though, I thought I'd ask you experienced folks what you've tried or seen that doesn't work at all. What does one not want to do when making a guitar strap, or what are common pitfalls I should watch out for? If a guitar strap is poorly made, what is it that usually went wrong? Or is it really okay whatever you do, so long as it's reasonably long, has a hole on each end, and has slots for length adjustment somewhere in the mix? This is a pretty general question, but for reference, I am making this for a bass guitar. So I figure it'll be fairly wide, probably padded & lined (I'll sure know how to stitch by the time it's done, I bet) and I'll put strap locks on, just in case any of that inspires comment.
  3. I bought some root beer extract a few days ago. It came out of the bottle much quicker than expected, so I got a bunch on my fingers. It didn't take long to realize why the dark brown smudges on my hands looked so familiar- it was remarkably like leather antique. I found myself wondering if, given the mighty colorant concentration, the dark brown color, the consistency, might it be plausible to use root beer or other extracts to stain leather products? Why? I don't know. The novelty, I guess. It'd smell nice, too. I just thought that before wasting good root beer and good leather, I'd see if anybody here had tried such a thing before, or shall I just commence with the experiments?
  4. I can't conclusively say anything about Fiebing's antique paste, but I always use watered down Resolene as my resist for my old Tandy antique, and it works great. Take that for what you will.
  5. Well, shucks, I wouldn't have worried so much about stamping both edges evenly if I'd known it was going to curve after a day anyway. Maybe next time I get artsy, I can find some suspenders to protect my investment. Thanks for the answers, folks.
  6. I made a belt recently, and have been pretty happy with the result. It's nothing professional, and I skipped a few steps the hardcore belt makers around here would never skip, but it's just for me anyway. It's Hermann Oak, unfinished edges, just some stamping and grooving and coloring. My issue concerns the bending of the belt. (I tried searching the forum a few times, but you can imagine searching leather topics for words like 'belt' and 'bend' returned half the threads ever written.) I've worn one belt I made for the last decade, and it's got a real curve to it by now, so I figured it was bound to happen to this new belt eventually. But I've only worn it twice, and it's nothing like straight anymore. Should I be concerned about the potential longevity of this belt? And why does this happen, anyway? Can it be avoided?
  7. I know that custom stamping as a general topic has been covered in a couple dozen threads already. But it seems like nearly all of the suppliers mentioned in those threads only do (or only advertise doing) makers stamps, and the rest do variations on standard designs like really nice basket stamps. What I'm looking for is a spoon stamp. Just a good old simple piece of silverware spoon that I can stamp about a dozen times each into about a hundred bracelets for a good cause, and then probably never use again. I've searched a few times, but any search query involving leather and spoons just brings back results for modeling spoons, not spoon stamps. And I'd happily try to make it myself as is often mentioned, but my hands are laughably unreliable right now, so it's just not that plausible. Jeff Mosby / Grey Ghost has "sample graphics" on his site, though he doesn't say what they're for, so I'm guessing he does this sort of thing. Is he my best or only bet? Or do all the stamp makers do this sort of thing, and just don't advertise it as openly? (I think Infinity looked promising, too, but that's $160 right off the bat, and if this thing gets funded I have $300 for the entire project, so I can't really blow half of it on the stamp.)
  8. [i'm fairly rookie too, but this is what I've gathered over several months.] The main store chain that always comes up is Tandy Leather Factory. (You can go to http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/home/locations/storesearch.aspx to see if there's one near you.) That's handy because you can go in and see the tools and the leather before you buy them, choose what you want yourself, talk to people live, all the perks of a retail store. Besides that, it's pretty much a matter of luck whether you have something else local. I think Tandy is the only one in my entire state. As far as internet ordering goes, a lot of people here use Springfield Leather. They often got better prices than Tandy, while the question of who has better quality has sparked many a rant one way or another on this forum. Once you really get the hang of things, there are high end suppliers all over the internet with 'hole in the wall' type websites. There's some supplier info. I haven't touched a dog collar in ten years, and that one wasn't even leather, so I'll leave that part to other folks [and the search bar] to answer.
  9. Term 1: Edge burnishing. Term 2: Edge slicking. I give up, are they the same thing, or not?

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Deraj828


      Pray tell, then, what may be the difference?

    3. bruce johnson

      bruce johnson

      Slicking lays down the fibers and smooths the edges. Brunoshing uses or generates heat to bond the fibers together.

    4. TwinOaks


      To be followed by "edge finishing", which typically includes dyeing then sealing the edge

  10. I've been around a little while, made a few projects, learned a ton from all the folks on this site. I know a great deal more about leather and tools than I did not so long ago. But there are still a ton of things I don't know, many of which are pretty basic; the types of things that one assumes are common knowledge, so they don't come up in conversation much. A lot of these things are also tricky to phrase efficiently in the search bar, but so simple that it seems silly to start a thread for each one. So I was thinking maybe there could be some sort of glossary somewhere on this site that covers the basics. The questions that every beginner asks when he first comes to the site: what's leather, where to buy it, what tools are there, which ones do I need for which job, what's the difference between A and B, all that stuff. For instance, after a while I figured out several of the big differences between antique and dye, but for a long time I thought they were interchangeable. And I still can't figure out if everybody treats antique/stain/hi-lighter as the same thing or if they're different. I've seen several people asking about block dying lately, there could be an entry for that, which would allow a quick link with lots of info rather than re-explaining every time or digging up that one conversation from 'the other day.' Posts differentiating floral vs sheridan carving, the additional uses of tools, you get the idea. Whether this would be better as one enormous post with everything a beginner/intermediate level worker would need to know, or it's own section with main topics {Leather Types} pinned and more precise topics {one each for Veg Tan, Chrome Tan, Latigo, whatever else} simply linked to in the main posts. Who would head this and whether it could be edited are also considerations... heck, maybe we could start our own wiki and just put a blaring link to it somewhere here. Just brainstorming. I think something like this could be wonderful. Anybody else?
  11. Looks like it's time to spring for a sharpener, then! For simplicity's and finance's sakes, I'd hoped I could put that off for a while. The knife was quite useless when I first tried it, so much so that I held off touching it for a week or two afterwards, just so I could give it the benefit of the doubt. Stropping helped a ton, but frankly I don't know what these knives are supposed to feel like, so I guess it's still not ideal. For the record, I stropped using a compound that came with a woodcarving tool (Flexcut Carving Jack, the compound is a pretty solid, yellow bar) on the off-chance any of you carve enough wood to know anything about the appropriateness of using Flexcut stropping compound on a Tandy swivel knife. I've only recently come to learn that there are apparently all sorts of compounds for all sorts of purposes.
  12. Well, I bought my first swivel knife a while ago, stropped the dickens out of it a while later, and finally got around to using it a couple days ago. It was a very educational experience. I played around a bit first, then screwed it into one of Tandy's swivel knife holding border tool jigs. I learned a lot of ways real quick how to not effectively use that jig. I also learned that my hand coordination is still nowhere near where I hoped it would be. I guess the most pressing question I have is why the sides of every cut are such a mess. I can blame everything else on myself, but I wouldn't know how to tear up the edges like that even if I wanted to. My best guesses are that it's because 1: I did a simple casing job, satisfactory for stamping, but not so much for cutting, or 2: because three years ago I bought the cheapest cut of leather I could find, and it's been sitting in the chaotic climate of my apartment (that wasn't sarcasm) ever since. I very much suspect this is a familiar sight to most of you. Is one of my reasons right, or is it something else? How is it to be overcome? Or have I just set my knife expectations too high, and this only seems new because I haven't looked closely at other people's cuts?
  13. Oh, it's pretty darn apparent. Supply/demand and all that, sure, but when they put a short stick on a lathe, carve some grooves, call it a slicker and charge $17 for it, it's hard to feel like they take their customers seriously. I'm hardly ready to boycott or anything, but this Springfield place certainly sounds worth a look.
  14. As one of those young people trying to get into this, I'm surprised at the mentions in this thread of 'all the other suppliers out there.' Every time I think of a new tool I could use, I follow the same progression: 1- check the flyer, 2- see that it's over-priced and not on sale, 3- curse Tandy's monopoly, 4- decide to try and wait until next month when the item might be on sale. But suddenly it sounds like it's nowhere near the monopoly I thought it was. I'm grateful Tandy exists and I have gotten some good stuff from them, but there are a lot of things that kinda bug me about them, too. What other suppliers are we talking about here? (I'd love to be a mighty enough leather crafter to call the custom guys and drop $100/stamp, but I am hoping for more affordable options at this point.)
  15. Well shucks, I guess it's about time I give in and learn how to use a swivel knife then.
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