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  1. Others will be along to give you more insightfull info I'm sure, but I might suggest going to more SPI (stitches per inch). I'm taking a guess in saying it looks like your doing something like 4 1/2-5 SPI. A higher SPI should smooth out the appearance, especially on tighter radiuses. I've always liked the look of 6 SPI myself. I'm curious why your leather is crinkling if you pull the stitches tight....are you sewing wet leather?
  2. The half width plus leather is a "rule of thumb" It's a baseline starting point. It's one of those things that you have to figure out yourself and tweak as you go...trial and error. I have yet to get a perfect stitch line spacing on my first attempt with a new gun. for me It's always, make one up and adjust the stitch line as needed on the next one. I will say that I have found that if I add the leather thickness part it's too lose for me. I always start out with just the half thickness of the slide on an auto. Don't add in the slide stop etc you'll probably be too lose. Start with the thickest part of the slide and see what you get. If leather work could be done with mathematical calculations alone anyone could do it...trial and error.
  3. I just commented in another thread where pink thread was used on a black holster... I think pink thread would have really looked good with that LCP!
  4. I like it also...love the pink thread! I'd also second Eaglestrokers suggestion to double stitch the entire design if you had to do it again. If you don't find further use for the pink thread I would consider buying a few yards from you
  5. Yep, what steelhawk said. You'll often read about people using lesser quality belly leather to make up a couple/few pieces before finalizing a design.
  6. The first holsters I did were with vinegaroon so I thought the burnishing and molding were supposed to be that difficult. I only realized how false that was when I made a natural non-dyed holster. The burnishing took half the time and the molding/boning was way too easy! My process was as simple as I could make it...I dipped in the vinegaroon for 10-15 secs. I let that set and take on it's full blackness for 2-3 minutes, did a baking soda dip, then dipped in fresh water...about 10-15 seconds for each of those dips. If was pretty well soaked after all that so I took that opportunity to chuck up the cocobolo burnisher in the drill press and do all the edges using...nothing else! I could get super smooth edges like that. Vinegarooned leather is pretty tough stuff as you found out so it took a while. If the leather happen to still be too wet to mold I'd just let it sit for a while. But before it was totally dry I would mold and bone. So I accomplished 3 steps in one...color, edges, and molding. This was my very first vinegarooned holster and all the edges on the holster body, reinforcement piece, and belt loops were done as described above. Here's a more edge on shot of a mag carrier I did about the same time as the holster above. Cocobolo burnisher in a drill press and leather wet from the vinegaroon process...I saw no need to put anything else on the edges.
  7. I've only ever seen mention of the "secret formula" for black cherry once...and I saved the link I haven't made it yet so if you get to it before me let me know how it works out. This is an exact quote from another forum "1/3 Burgandy and 2/3's Black....Angelus or Pro Oil dye works just as well" But you didn't hear that from me!
  8. How about some of that ostrich I mentioned in another thread
  9. The very first picture is most definitely elephant. I don't know if anyone else mentioned it but the one with the tag attached is snake. The zebra looks like stingray to me also. Elephant is my favorite and very easy to work with. lizard is like armor but easy to work with...never have done anything with snake or stingray yet. I have some ostrich scraps from them that I haven't figured out how to work yet. Everything else I can attach to a layer of cowhide and get a nice burnished edge...not so with the ostrich.
  10. I have one that I never paid attention to how the reinforcement was done until seeing your post. So I just snapped a quick and dirty pic to draw on. It only extends about 3/4" below the cylinder, wraps around, and extends up the shank but doesn't bend over and through the belt. The images should clear up the confusion of what I just said.
  11. My favorite is Bag-Kote diluted with 20% water Here's an example of Angelus MATTE diluted 50/50 with water. It's a couple ticks shinier then the Bag-Kote The cordovan for the compact is horshide, which starts out smoother so also appears shinier in the end.
  12. The way I currently do things I cannot see how to incorporated the oil with anything else. There may be but I can't see it. It's not a huge deal. I've always tried to approach everything I do from the "work smarter, not harder" standpoint. And this is just one of those things that since I have seen no hard evidence that it is necessary, I have to question it. And like I said, I did try a couple without the oil and saw absolutely no difference...in the short term.
  13. I have recently made two without oil that I have worn several times and can notice no difference...what would I watch out for...surface cracking? When would this happen...imediately or months, years down the road? The problems that show up immediately are my own and I can deal with that. The problems that show up down the road would be a whole different story! I understand you guys saying oil doesn't hurt....But If a step is totally unnecessary and adding 24 hours to my process, of course I would prefer to avoid it.
  14. Well...the biggest reason is that the dye process has added 2 days wait/dry time to a holster. If I could cut out the oil I'd get back one of those. With the vinegaroon the oil added that last bit of necessary blackness to my pieces that isn't needed with my dyed stuff. So I'm wondering if it is as necessary to condition the leather with the oil when using spirit dye and 130 degree heat as it is with vinegaroon and baking soda dips.
  15. My first few holster were colored with the vinegaroon process so I always oiled them with neatsfoot. Now I'm playing around with the Angelus spirit based dyes and heat drying and am wondering if I should continue to use the neatsfoot on them?
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