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About chriscraft

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  • Birthday 05/12/1974

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Milwaukee, WI
  • Interests
    Fly Fishing, Old Series Land Rovers and NOW This

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    day book covers
  • How did you find leatherworker.net?

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  1. finally had time to start on it
  2. Thanks... it’s a nice presentation case that I picked up used and I really didn’t pay much for it. It does make the belt look like it’s part of an exhibit. The belt will remain enclosed in this case as I’ll never be able to use it. It measures out to be a size 28” -29” belt and way too small for me. Must have been made for a very slim person.
  3. I picked up another enclosed display case for the belt. You weren’t able to get a good view of the belt while it was in the shadow box case. This new clear plexiglass case shows it off better and you get a view of the entire belt. I added a Ray Pohja doodle page copy for the background.
  4. I made these for a friend. Each year his department hands out a yearly pocket calendar that has the different shifts scheduled. It’s about the size of the field notes covers I’ve been making. The calendar is paperback and usually ends up getting torn up after months of use. These leather covers should protect it and at the end of the year, he can just refill it with the new calendar.
  5. Forgot to mention...... if I was giving this image to recreate on a field notes cover. I’d make work easier for myself by redesigning it so that it works with the few tools I have. I’d enlarge the badge so I can add a lot of detail since it’s the main focus. Somehow rearranging all the lettering so it fits inside the small space using 1/4” lettering. I understand no one wants their logo to be changed or messed with but you are only building a few small custom leather covers. You mentioned adding an eagle in there too. If redrawn and layed out correctly, it will look better than the original image.
  6. Brandsen, I replied to your pm about what tools I’m using and forgot to mention a swivel knife with hollow ground blade and hair blade. Your choice of going with Barry King for stamps and tools is good and even better once you figure out how to use them. I am making police and firefighter field note covers. I’m using about 12 stamps for most of my tooling along with modeling spoons. I use a 1/4” alphabet stamp set for most lettering and also hand stamp smaller lettering using a home made pointed SS rod with a 1mm flat point. This image you’ve provided will be challenging to hand tool it on a 4” wide cover. Will be even difficult for a beginner but not impossible. At this size, things are going to get pretty small so do it in steps to not get frustrated. my leather covers are 7.5” tall and fit a 4”x6 3/4” memo book/field note book. The standard thickness for leather covers is 4-5oz. I’ve used heavier 8oz. but makes for a thicker bulkier cover. Now I only use 5oz. for my covers and this includes the inside pockets too. It’s a preference on the officer as some want it built thinner. Have a paper copy printed with an actual size of your image on it. Study this and you’ll get an idea as to just how small of an area you have to work with. I’m assuming most or all of the lettering will need to be hand stamped using some small tool. Like I mentioned, I had to make a small 1mm tool and used it on this Fire badge lettering. Not impossible, just took a little figuring out. Chris
  7. Chuck, the belt is lined. The front side of the belt is filegree cut and inlayed with a dark colored lizard skin I believe.
  8. Finished my line drawing. Can’t wait to start tooling this project. I’m going to paint this one.
  9. For your use in building a firefighter radio strap, English Bridal takes alphabet stamps well. I found it hard to take a good impression when using a swivel knife and tooling saddle stamps. Much of the inner lighter color shows when doing this. At least it did for me and I wasn’t happy with my results. Some say it’s possible to tool bridal. i don’t buy English Bridal often and have only ordered a few straps from Zack White. I mostly tool and work with H.O tooling leather
  10. I was commissioned to build this cover for an Assistant Fire Chief. Hopefully he will like it as much as I did making it.
  11. Thanks for all the compliments. I’m really enjoying building these day book covers. There is something special about building a basic stationary item and using a little bit of my artistic ability to make these standard items stand out. Each piece will be unique and serve many years alongside the individual that owns it. I think I’ve found my new niche market.
  12. I was able to finish the cover today. This was a fun build.
  13. chrisash, I am thinking in that direction just starting slow keeping it local first. That way I can meet up with clients face to face. Here is a photo of one I made as a gift to a Police Chief. I gave this to him. This is my second time tooling this same logo. My first time took me 3 hours. This second try, I was able to tool it in under 2 hours. I should have matted to outer beveling to get rid of the halo like JLS suggests or inverted my beveling. I personally don’t mind that halo effect but realize some may view it as a beginners mistake. So I’ll work on eliminating it to produce cleaner lines. It’s all a learning process.
  14. I now you are right. I’m a Paramedic making paramedic wage and too would not spend more than $50 on a leather cover for myself. It’s nice work I’m making, but not $250 nice. At least not for me. that higher price range was a suggestion I was given and I’m not sure I’ll ever use it. My gut says to charge police officers $125-$150 max and if they get crazy and want it two sided then charge a few bucks more. I see these tooled police covers selling as gifts and maybe retirement gifts where many ppl can pass a hat raising money to order one. Like when I used to airbrush those few custom shirts. I don’t see myself quitting my day job to keep up with demand. These covers won’t go fast at $150 each. JLS has lots of good points too. My tooling isn’t traditional and I still have a lot to learn. I have no interest in building a saddle or building gun holsters. They are plenty of places one can order a quality item like that from. I’ll always be a one-man-operation working from home so that means I don’t have any overhead. This topic started with me trying to figure out how fast or slow my tooling is and what I’ve gathered is that it just doesn’t matter. I’ll get faster over time. Price stuff accordingly based on the item, not time. Thanks
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