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Spencer G

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About Spencer G

  • Rank
    Member
  • Birthday 01/25/1991

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Latigo Ranch in CO

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Sheridan Style Carving

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  1. Again, thanks for the comments. I think that the variation in stitch length comes from the increasing thickness of material as more of the card slots pile on each other. It isn't very dramatic, but enough that it slows down my machine's feed rate slightly. As to contrast color, I often do a light antique, but the person for whom I made this prefers an all natural look. I have seen some pieces that I admire which have background painting or dying, but I don't usually feel that it is worth the extra time. Spencer
  2. Thanks for the suggestions. I use Barry King's checkered back grounders. I have found that it is difficult to get really smooth and even texture with them. Perhaps it's time to learn to properly use bar grounders instead. Spencer
  3. Here is a roper wallet that I recently completed. Soli Deo Gloria, Spencer G
  4. My advice is not to get a cheap one. I have used several different types and brands of inexpensive stitch groovers, but recently got the one made by Jeremiah Watt at Horse Shoe Brand Tools. It is incredible what I had been missing. Night and day difference. True it's about $80, but if you want to cut consistent and accurate grooves, it is worth every bit of it.
  5. I'm glad I could help. I've only been leatherworking for about five years, but I've been messing with knives for most of my life. One thing I have found is that you really do get what you pay for with blades. Sure it might not be a big difference between 50 and 60 dollars, but there will alway be a difference between 50 and 200 dollars. So, remaining in the bracket below simply art (500 and up usually), I would suggest going with the pricer stuff. Also, take a little time to do some research on steels. But, don't put all of you consideration on the steel, the heat treating is just as important. You may well be better off with somewhat lower performance steel heat treated well, than with better stuff treated poorly. Well handled 440 may beat out messed up ATS-34. Because of this, there is some variation in the spend more rule, but still stick to it unless good evidence to the contrary is available. Take Buck knives for instance. Most of their knives use lower middle to upper middle class steel, but they are very good at their heat treating. So they very often will often outperform middle ranking Boker knives, but are typically less expensive. This is usually the exception, however, and neither of these can touch a VG-10 Falkniven. Check out J. Cook knives. I don't have one, though I wish I did, but I've read good things about them, and he has a bunch of nice woods for handle material. Send him and email and he'll tell you what he has currently. Spencer
  6. Check out Barry King for stamps. They are a relatively economical, yet good quality. I don't have any experience with his other tools, but I would be very surprised if they were at all lacking. I do use some Watt edgers, a creaser, cantle pliers, and a tack hammer. I'm happy with all of them, but they are not cheap. I have some Weaver "Master Tools" end-punches and hole-punches, as well as their round knife. They all work pretty well, but the shape of the round knife is not my favorite. You can never have too many knives, but buy only those that work. If you know the size and shape of blade that you want, then buy the best (so, probably most expensive) that you can. Otherwise, try out a few different styles until you can distinguish what features are important to you. I have a Don Carlos large head knife also from Weaver that I use exclusively for skiving. However, I am not too impressed with it, and I wouldn't recommend it if you don't want to give it a fair amount of modification. I recently bought the new small Al Stohlman round knife from Tandy. Though I haven't used it much, it seems to hold a pretty good edge. The handle is poorly designed though, and needs to be reshaped. The round knife I use most is one that I made from A2 tool steel, so I would probably suggest going with a custom grade knife if you can. For straight knives, I primarily use the right hand bevel "marking knife" from Lee Valley Tools. It took some work at first to get the back flat and the shape right, but now it can slice 13/15 oz. skirting leather like nobody's business. I have the Al Stohlman trim knife, but I find the hawk-bill blade shape inconvenient to sharpen, so it mostly stays in a drawer. With most tools, the best is simply that which allows you to do the job most effectively. So, I would suggest trying as many of different types and styles as you can before committing. Regards, Spencer
  7. That's a great start. Here's something that would be a help, a Center Shader. It gives a little bit more of a refined look to your flower centers. I notices a marked improvement when I started using one. Spencer
  8. On the subject of new knives. Has anyone had a chance to get a hand on any of the new Al Stohlman knives from Tandy? I haven't been all that impressed with the the Stohlman tools I've used previously, but these look like they might have promise.
  9. I have a couple of Jeremiah Watt's from Weaver, and they are nice, but pretty pricey. I mostly use Barry King's and I am always more than happy with them.
  10. That looks good. One of the little things that I do, which I believe helps a lot, is to go back with my beveler after backgrounding and smoothen out the corners. For example: on the left one where the swirl meets the flower stem, the backgrounding makes the transition not quite as even as it could be. Not through something wrong that you did, it's just how it works, but fortunately it is easily corrected. On the whole, well done. Spencer
  11. Thanks for the input. Spencer
  12. Does anyone have experience with and opinions of the Danny Marlin head knives sold by Hidecrafters? What about the ones sold by Jeremiah Watt? He doesn't say exactly what kind of steel is used, does anybody know? I've got the Weaver head knife as wells as the Don Carlos also sold by Weaver which I use for skiving, and I'm looking to upgrade. Both are functional enough, but I'm somewhat obsessive compulsive about knives, and these don't quite cut it (pun totally intended). Any other suggestions are also welcome. SpencerG
  13. It sounds as though you are decided on the use of cow rather than elk, but I have a tip if you ever do use elk. I made a pair of chinks with the it, and discovered that when sewing elk to elk (or I suppose anything equally soft) it feeds slower, at least through my machine. This means that even though you haven't changed the stitch length adjustment, the stitches are much closer together. Fortunately I noticed before I really messed things up. Soli Deo Gloria, Spencer G
  14. Your work is truly top notch. It's good to see somone new to the forum who likes the traditional western floral designs like I do. It seems to be one of the least common forms on here. The integration of the slightly celtic style knots in your borders is an exellent touch. Not that I'm in a position to pass judgement, but you're an ace in my book. Soli Deo Gloria, Spencer
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