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Peter Ellis

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Everything posted by Peter Ellis

  1. It looks to me as if you drilled the holes for the stitches. I don't have a problem with that, but in this case it looks like the holes are quite a bit larger than they needed to be for the thread you used. Tighter fit would help the stitching look better as well as not catching crud in the excess space that is likely to shorten the overall life expectancy of the piece. Nevertheless, it's a nice piece. Get the stitching tightened up that little bit and you'll be looking really sharp
  2. Billy & Charlie for the pewter bits ? All looks very nice.
  3. There's another direction altogether you can take this. My girlfriend got a Kindle for Christmas. We discussed what she wanted in terms of a "Case". Her preference was for something that she puts the Kindle in when she's not using it, rather than for something it stays in while she's reading. So I made a felt lined pouch with a beavertail type closure. Really, really simple. Protects the Kindle from scratches when it's being carried around in her bag.
  4. Very cool. Thanks for the lead. Definitely going to have to give that technique a try
  5. Looking for help with laying out lettering on curves. Suggestions ? I need to lay out on a full circle as part of my makers mark design.
  6. hmm, .. I'm pretty certain I did not post this in "computer help". I was hoping that someone who remembered the old thread would be able to give me a hand with finding the information that was in it. I really doubt they'll come across the question here.
  7. I know that I read in a thread where Bob Parks was describing the way he does lettering - he pulls up a font he likes, sizes it to where he wants it, and bends it around any curves that may be needed, then prints it out and uses that as his lettering pattern. At least, that's pretty much what I remember, and who I remember wrote it But, despite trying the search function and looking through a bunch of threads, I can't seem to find it. And I have need of the ability to bend my lettering around a circle... Does anyone recall the thread I'm thinking of, or can anyone recommend a good (free and easily obtained would, of course, be nice) program for doing the kind of thing I'm talking about ? Thank you.
  8. I had a friend who made and sold some very fine knives. He had a sign at his table that read "Band-aids $5" held in place by one of those fake severed fingers.
  9. I've been getting an issue that may or may not be related. Sometimes I see the thread fraying and getting that separation build up at the eye of the needle that you're describing, and sometimes when that is happening I'll find that the top thread has done something cockeyed further back along the line. For example, there's a screw head that sticks out a bit below the top tension spring on the back of the machine at the top (the one labeled #1 in the manual). This screw head will occasionally catch the thread between the head of the screw and the body of the machine. This throws the tension off and my first warning sign is a change in stitch length and the appearance of the bobbin thread on top of the piece. I have no idea how the thread gets itself caught on that screw - but every so often it does. The second thing I've had happening is in the lower tension spring, where the thread comes down through the eye, wraps around the tensioner and back through the eye, then through another eyelet and into the arm. Sometimes the thread hops out of the discs where it belongs, wraps itself around behind the discs, and once again throws off the tension. This one seems to happen pretty consistently when I start getting up to any sort of decent speed with my sewing. It throws itself out of the discs and slams on the brakes by throwing the tension sky high. I suspect the bottom line may be operator error, as I am not entirely confident in my threading process. The manual that comes with the machine really needs to be re-written from scratch with good pictures and drawings and I'm not certain that I'm correctly following instructions
  10. The first thing you need to know is what sort of quiver does your friend favor. There are back quivers, hip quivers, pocket quivers, side quivers (that go on your back, or at your hip - but you get the arrows out from the side instead of pulling them out at the top, so they're 'side' quivers). Each of these fits distinctive shooting styles. Then, there are multiple variations within each category. You really need to know what he wants in a quiver before you get started searching for patterns, much less building one.
  11. I had a friend make one for my drill press after seeing a couple of versions (plastic and wood) in a Weaver catalogue. I like it and it works pretty well, but the idea of one on the nice handy little Dremel is a really good one I suppose I should add my name to your list
  12. I subscribed for several years to LCSJ. It's a good magazine and probably the best print media outlet for reaching this niche. But, Johanna is absolutely right. This forum - this community - is the place I come to for ideas and advice about equipment, materials and suppliers. I bought a nearly $3,000 sewing machine from a company that advertises here based on reviews and advice I got here. I'll be buying steel rule dies from an outfit recommended to me by people here. I haven't been able to finalize the design for my maker's mark, but when I do I'll order it made by someone recommended here. See a pattern ?
  13. Yep - It's a metal bracelet covered in leather and you can bend it to fit a wide range of sizes. I'm pretty sure I read a thread here on Leatherworker.net where someone went into good detail on how they make these, but I couldn't find it with a quick search.
  14. When I make these, I put the hinge on the inside, and I run the straps from the inside through slots near the edges (not too near, 1/2 inch in at least). The hinges pretty much disappear, except for the rivets holding them. The straps look more integral - and they really are more integral, because being mounted on the inside and then coming out and pulling the piece together they distribute stress better. Overall, I think the OP's work is terrific and am especially impressed by the attention in creating the quilted padding. Too often nice pieces like these get some blue foam glued inside, rather than a quality of padding that matches the rest of the work.
  15. I know there are lots of places to get dies made - so many it makes choosing one difficult. And so I ask for recommendations - places that do good work, places to avoid, etc. Thanks for your help.
  16. It's a curious thing. Someone asks a question. They get a series of responses that do a very credible job of answering the question that was asked. In that series of responses is one that could fairly be described as brusque. It wasn't mean, but it also wasn't tender and patient. That one response apparently prevented the person who asked the question from recognizing the numerous helpful answers provided (and btw, the response, while not gentle, contained helpful information). And now, we're being focused on some small percentage of our community who may not always be willing to give away all of the secrets they've spent years of effort figuring out. It's just silly. Here's a truth about this craft (whether you work it for a living or just as a hobby): No one can give it to you. You have to practice, you have to learn for yourself what works for you, you have to develop the hand-eye coordination, the sense of when the leather is right for the step you want to do next, the list goes on and on. I have the devil's time working with meander stamps. I can't get them to line up consistently and in a line of any length I'll vary the depth of the impression too much. No one, anywhere, can tell me anything that will fix that I just have to focus on doing each individual impression just right, make sure I line up properly and patiently hit it the same way as the last twenty. The only possible way for me to master these tools is for me to practice with intent to get better. Sure, people can give us helpful suggestions and I've learned tons here. But, some of you are design geniuses and no amount of you telling me how you do it will make me one. Some are color and shading experts and I'll never match your skill no matter how much information you share with me. You can help me to help myself get better. But you can't give it to me, and I wouldn't want it if you could. But I surely do appreciate your help as I try to figure it out
  17. John, there's a pretty simple, low cost and low risk method that's quite effective. Wipe the hides down with vinegar. It's a highly effective fungicide.
  18. I'm confused about what it is you're making here. An ink blotter is not something that you write on, it's something you use to blot excess ink off the paper when you're finished writing. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-an-ink-blotter.htm So, if you're really needing to make an ink blotter, it doesn't need to hold up under writing pressure, but probably needs to be more than just leather. Perhaps a wood block with a nice leather cover and some slick method for holding a piece of blotting paper.
  19. Kevin - words simply aren't adequate, to express either my sympathy for your loss, or my admiration for your work.
  20. Something I've found works pretty well and is generally available is acrylic floor polish. I'll take a piece right up to the end of the process - tooled, dyed, edges slicked and polished - and then literally soak it in a container of acrylic floor polish. I let it sit in there for a few minutes, then take it out and put it on a sheet of waxed paper to dry for a day or so. The floor polish polymerizes and stiffens the leather a bit (not a bad feature for coasters)and gives it pretty good water resistance.
  21. Greaves And tooled leather ones would be pretty awesome at a skate park.
  22. I took a look at Ray's website and the picture of his coffee pouch there. The body on that bag is three or four pieces, and the top where it closes up looks to be another four pieces. Way more complicated than it really needs to be You can do a nice, functional drawstring bag by just cutting a circle of leather and punching holes evenly around the circumference, about half an inch in from the edge. Run a length of leather thong or lace through the holes and pull it up. Bingo, a simple leather bag, like people have been making and using since at least Roman times. There are lots of ways of doing this sort of bag, but the simple circle with a drawstring is pretty much where it all started.
  23. Hi there. I'm active in the SCA and have made quite a few pieces of hardened leather armour. One of the first and most important things is to not actually boil your leather At 167 degrees Farenheit the leather undergoes a chemical change that results in hardening of the leather when it cools back down. This change does require water, but not a boiling pot of it. Enough moisture in the leather to let you mold it to shape is quite sufficient. What I do is to form my pieces by getting the leather damp enough to mold, and then bake in the oven at about 180 degrees. I use an oven thermometer in there with the piece, rather than trusting the settings on the oven. I put the leather on a plank, because putting it on metal will give scorch marks where it touches the metal. Let it bake until it starts to look dry, then pull it out and let it dry for a couple more days. Throughout the process of baking and right after you pull it out at the end, double check your form and adjust shape as needed. When it cools down and dries out, it will be remarkably stiff and hard, suitable for SCA armour use. This method does not have significant shrinkage with 13-15 oz saddle skirting. It also does not significantly impact any tooling work you might have done on the piece before forming and baking it.
  24. Just an observation - there's no need to use a suede for the vest. In fact, your garment will be stronger, more durable and in pretty much every possible way better if you make the garment with a full grain leather rather than a suede. And, you'll get away from the concern about paintball dye on the suede
  25. A couple of things. First, why do you want to put the plates on the outside of your armour, instead of as shown in the first picture ? They will trap bits of paint and paint ball, and, of course, pretty well guarantee that you get breaks if the ball touches you. Plus it's not like any historic example of armour (and for good reason, since the plates on the outside would catch spear points, sword edges, arrows...) Second, I recommend for your purposes you harden your leather by soaking it in acrylic floor polish. It works quite nicely, should make it easy to clean off the paint that isn't trapped in the crevices ;0 and is really easy to do. I make hardened leather armour, using various techniques. The acrylic polish is easy to renew, relatively water resistant (nothing is "proof") and the best bang for your buck in terms of ease of production and cost. Leather hardened by dampening it and then baking at ~150F does not soften up when it gets wet, the structure of the leather has fundamentally changed. But it does break down over time.
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