wizard of tragacanth

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    Las Vegas, NV

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  • Leatherwork Specialty

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  1. wizard of tragacanth

    Leather finish problem!

    I could be wrong, and frequently am, but I think you are going in the wrong direction with this project. Instead of paint and Resolene, you should be using dye with a flexible top coat, such as neutral shoe polish or Snow Seal. However, you will also have to totally change your design concepts. You will not be able to use colors which are lighter than the leather that you are using and you will not be able to make small design elements shown in your example because dyes bleed. Hey, I just had an idea! Try using some felt-tip pens for your design elements. I have never used them, but I think that they should work. I just tried a black Sharpie on a scrap of leather and it went on very cleanly with a crisp edge, no bleeding. Make sure that they are "permanent" markers. nick
  2. wizard of tragacanth

    What the heck is going on here!!!?!?!?Help???

    YinTX, I consider that bend a stroke of luck. I would like to have this on all of my belts. It makes for a more natural fit, right out of the box. Old belts eventually assume this shape but not as elegantly, because they have to scrunch up on the top edge and stretch on the lower one, in order to accomplish this. Years ago, I paid extra to have a custom belt cut on a curve, made for me... back before I go into leather work. It was made by Erik Little of Rafter L, leather, Buffalo Wyoming. He is, or was, a member on this forum, I believe. He also introduced me to the idea of seven holes, spaced 3/4" apart, rather than the traditional 5 holes, spaced at 1". It was a great belt, but I make my own now! nick
  3. wizard of tragacanth

    Sealing leather

    Nice project. It looks great! So, how did you fix this? USMC Black gives a very deep black but it leaves a great deal of particulate on top of the leather. It must be buffed off before further treatment and it takes a great deal of work, feeling like it will never end. Fiebing's Pro Oil should also be buffed after applying, but there will be very little rub-off. Also, you may notice that USMC Black and all of the non-oil dyes really tend to dry out your leather and make it very stiff. Sometimes this can be an advantage, as in a holster that needs to maintain it's shape. Still, I cannot put up with the rub-off with those dyes... drives me nuts. BTW, the general rule of thumb on applying any kind of liquid top-coat is to go with very thin applications. You can do multiple applications but make sure they are thin, every time. You could use neutral shoe polish and not have to worry about it. nick
  4. wizard of tragacanth

    Die rack

    That is ingenious!
  5. wizard of tragacanth

    Vinegaroon issue

    Well, I'm curious... did the vinegaroon work or not? Did it blacken the leather at all? nick
  6. wizard of tragacanth

    Proper stitching chisels from Tandy?

    I think that you would be wasting your money on another set of chisels. There is nothing to be gained by it. They all have the same problem with sticking in the leather. Just suffer with the ones that you already own. We all do! Polishing seems to help a little but not as much as you would hope. Same with bee's wax. I am usually going through two layers of leather that add up to 8mm thickness, and that is right to the top of the tines of the chisel. I put wax on the tips of the tines, tap the chisel in about half-way, take it out, wax it again and then go all the way through. Using a wood block helps but even with that, if I didn't wiggle the tool to get it out, I would never get it out. The only way to make it easier is to use chisels with fewer tines. I would not even think about using a chisel with more than four tines. But that is from an old man who doesn't have much grip strength any more, YMMV. nick
  7. wizard of tragacanth

    Hi, I'm new but have been lurking

    LOVE IT! Gorgeous! Man, I really envy your skills.
  8. wizard of tragacanth

    All Handmade and Hand stitched Leather bag

    All Hand Stitched... amazing... Auto CAD... even more amazing! Love your brand "Barely Civilized". Very nice.
  9. wizard of tragacanth

    First Holster - First Anything

    BTW, a good resource for some of the things that we use, like belt loops, various hardware, gun molds, vacuum presses, mechanical presses and foams, can be sourced from www.knifekits.com nick
  10. wizard of tragacanth

    Tan Kote? Resolene? Leather Sheen?

    Which finish or top coat to use is a long standing debate. The ingredients seem to be a secret and none of them have the degree of water proofing that we really would like to have. I use Satin Shene. It is not as glossy as Resolene but you will have to do your own experiments to determine what is best for you. Looking at that dauber in the top pic makes me think that you put the Tan Kote on too thick. Thin coats work best with these products. Air brushing seems to be the best method but I have never used it. If you cannot use an air brush, probably the next best thing is a lint-free cotton cloth, like an old t-shirt. I just wrap one layer of cloth around my fingers, trying to avoid over-loading the liquid. Apply a thin coat of the product and wait for it to dry before adding another (if needed). Buff. Some people just use neutral shoe polish. I have never tried it, thinking that it would not be a lasting finish. BTW, the leather around the belt loops is looking rather thin. I think I would want at least 1/4" or preferably, 3/8" around that area. This is going to be carrying the weight of the gun and is therefore important to the integrity of the holster. That is the wear point of the holster. It must hold up to the tension of the belt. This looks like it was made for a Taurus Judge, which is a big, heavy gun. Keep in mind the size of the weapon when making design decisions. It will dictate how thick the leather should be, and whether you might double-stitch it, etc. You still need to bring your stitching in closer to the gun. Look at other maker's work to get a feel for what you should be doing. nick
  11. wizard of tragacanth

    First Holster - First Anything

    Well, that is really darn good for a first holster. Far better than mine was! That was very clever to make it so that it can be worn as a belt slide or IWB. As Tony suggested, you need to have the stitching right up against the gun. It's not too late to ADD that. Also, there needs to be more room for a full firing grip while the gun is in the holster. That's not as easy to fix now. Next time, leave a little more room. Your art work is nice. nick
  12. wizard of tragacanth

    All the models I have made

    Thanks for sharing those. Nice!
  13. wizard of tragacanth

    belt slot tool size

    This is one of those things that has always bugged me. Why in the World doesn't any manufacturer make a punch that is more appropriate for belt slots? Cutting belt slots by hand is a real pain and, for me, it often ruins the look of the holster. A die is essential for a decent look. I searched all of the familiar tool makers and none of them had one. The dies were too long, too short, too narrow or too wide. I finally gave in and ordered a custom made die in 1 5/8" by 1/4". For me, it is perfect. Ordered it from Texas Custom Dies. I don't remember how long it took to get it but it was relatively quick... within two weeks, I think, maybe sooner. nick
  14. wizard of tragacanth

    New to this hobby

    Sorry Kirby, my mistake. I am a "beginner" myself. I thought that you were using veg tan for that project. I have only used veg tan, so you may be right! I should keep my big mouth shut!
  15. wizard of tragacanth

    New to this hobby

    Hey... keep going Kirby! Your stitches look pretty good on the checkbook cover. IMO, the corners are too square. Also, you may want to learn how to sand and burnish the edges. Burnishing the edges would definitely take this project up a notch. On your next project, consider burnishing the flesh side before assembling the pieces. It could be done on this project but not as easily. On this project, just round off the corners, sand and burnish the edges. Well, that's what I would do anyway. To round the corners, start by cutting off just the tip... one cut at a 45° angle. Don't take off too much, just a little, then round them with sandpaper, 120 grit or finer. nick