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About Davm

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  1. Thanks. I already discovered that the temper of leather for a swivel knife is different than for the stamping I've done so I guess a lot of this is putting in the time. I am actually keeping notes of what I have done that looks okay or nor okay. Some of it is by pure accident, I'll look at something I've done and if it looks pretty good- I'll immediately write down what I just did so I don't forget how I did it. In any event, I'm having a lot of fun which is the whole thing if you are a newbie/hobbyist. One thing I've noticed is at first I had no idea what I was doing. Now I look at other examples of good carving and I can tell more what is being done and why it looks better. So...a certain amount of careful studying is worthwhile. I'll bet most newbies such as myself "overdo it". Too much stamping, decorative cuts, etc. in a haphazard manner when a careful analysis and making less marks but well made and well placed marks is at least one key. I'm learning that good carving considers a flow and that is very important.
  2. I'll see if can figure out how. I am sort of behind the times on some computer stuff. Last night I practiced on some scraps and practiced on some scraps using the spoon end of the stylus and I did get a more rounded look. I also tried the bevel, then stamp in certain areas and that was a big improvement. The other thing I did, I was using the swivel knife to make all the cuts- still do that, but then did ALL the camouflage stamping for the whole works, then all the pear shading for the whole thing, etc. Last night I did just one small area until that was what I wanted and then moved over to the next area and that seemed to work better for me. In any event I realize it is okay to think outside the box. I practice a lot on scraps until it is about as good as I can do and then do an actual belt or holster.
  3. Kseidel: I've been studying your work. I think I am overdoing it with too many decorative cuts, too much stamping. Like the girl that puts on too much make up. Probably most beginners do the same thing. Your work has less but looks 100% better. There is a 3d effect on the pear shading. On the darker tones- stamp deeper or burnish the area more or a little of both? Your stems have a rounded, natural effect and mine are flat with beveled edges. My leaves look the same, a flat leaf with pear shading on the inside and then a bevel around the perimeter of the leaf with a flat body. How do you get that rounded effect? Work the area with a stylus? I realize it takes years to develop your level of work. Once again, your work is outstanding?
  4. Beautiful work, A-1. Thanks on the beveling. The Tandy book, which I'm starting to l realize was for beginners, has it the other way but it didn't make sense. On pear shading, is it the same? The book had the stamp but if you stamp and then shade, the shade takes out some of the stamp mark. I saw a "you tube" where there was atool to sort of under cut the edge of a flower, etc. to make it stand out more. I think it might have been just for a particular part of a bend, curve, etc.
  5. First, I've asked a lot of questions as a newbie so THANKS everyone for the help, really do appreciate it. You have to carve a few things, look at it, analyze it and ask yourself, "why doesn't this look as good as a lot of the other work I see?" One problem I am having is curved stems or scrolls. A camouflage stamp seems too much of an arc but the Tandy book says to use that stamp and angle it. The veiner seems similar but if used mostly for leaf veins? As a general rule, for a curved stem, how far across do you have the stamp mark and how far across the pear shading? Do you usually stamp the outside of the curve about half way across and pear shade the balance? Maybe every job is its own boss, there are no "rules". Thanks for any comments. Do you have a variety of veiner and camouflage so the tool matches the work? And, as I think about it, if you stamp the outside curve of the stem with a camouflage stamp an then bevel it, right now my beveling seems to be obliterating the camouflage stamp- to a degree.
  6. Davm

    Angled blade

    Thanks- I'm going to buy an angled blade. The "regular" blade, on tight curves I have my eyes right now on the leather trying to follow the scribed lines and really having a problem so I think the angled will help a lot. It will help me follow the scribed line better.
  7. Davm

    Angled blade

    I have a regular, steel swivel knife. I probably have to practice more than I have but small curves seem difficult to make. Is the angled swivel knife blade intended for small curves or something else? The other issue is, the cut needs a certain shape or width. Does the angled blade make this or is the cut subject to closing up? If I get an angled blade, the ceramic costs more but I am wondering how easy it is to sharpen an angled steel blade and keep the bevels okay. The ceramic blade sold by Tandy is steel colored but I am told it is ceramic and I never have to sharpen it, just strop. Comments appreciated.
  8. Actually, a couple of rivets/chicago screws or snaps, dead center- hold the folded over portion together and secure the keeper. I've already got this particular belt done but I don't see much of a negative on snaps, etc.
  9. Thanks- that's what I was talking about- sew in one end and then tuck in the other. The only difference is my keeper is 3/4" wide and so instead of pulling the loops up tight- I left them open so I could manipulate the needles through the holes. Then I pulled them tight. QUESTION- I'm a "newbie" and I bought a fid thinking it was what you use to make holes. I have an awl but it is a scratch awl with a round tip. What I need is what the guy is using in the video- that makes a diamond shaped hole. What is the tool called and the size hole in the video- what size point is best? Thanks.
  10. Well, Probably going to do it as I have done. If you don't sew the loop/keeper together before putting it in place, you can leave one end of the loop open and sew quickly along the belt edge. Then tuck the loop/keeper's other end in place and sew that. I still leave loops between the stitches until I have all the thread in place- the loops let me twist and turn the needles through the holes, once that's done then I pull the loops up tight. Looks okay but I admit it is sort of the "hobbyist" way. A curved harness needle might work well. I usually have four holes, so the first two are angled one direction and the last two the other way- if that makes sense. This project of mine, it's a tapered end cartridge belt, for .357 magnum. The wide section is only 2" and the ends 1 1/2" so not much taper. I started out with 2 1/2" for the wide part but the top and bottom seemed to curl so I cut it down. Center bar, clipped corner buckle. 18 loops. These loops I used the "same hole" in and out method. I had not yet tried it. I've done a couple of standard belts with sewn on buckle straps and sewn on tongues and the loops sewn. and two layers thick. I've done another rig, single layer thick where the loops snake in and out of holes at each end of the loop. Right now I am likely the loop ends going out the same hole, a lot less work making the holes and very fast and simply. Time will tell. The holster on this rig is a Mexican double loop. Single layer. It is all for a Model 65 Smith & Wesson with 4" heavy barrel. This particular gun is small and light, no underlug and no adjustable sights. The idea behind this rig was everything as small and light as possible- no heavy gun leather for a big hog leg, etc. Now the proof is in the use, so I'll see how it feels carrying it around while out in the woods, etc. Actually the lightest, easiest gun to carry in the woods is a Govert 45 ACP with a couple of magazine pouches but I am doing this rig because I am carving both holster and belt, my own pattern. The holster came out nice so the belt carving awaits. Having fun.
  11. When I made my first belts I did what you see on commercially made belts, I folded back the buckle area and put the loop in position and then the loop "free floats" in place, held by a top to bottom line of stitching on both sides of the loop- which secured the folded over part of the buckle strap and also holds the loop in position. I read "sewing Leather" by Al Stohlman and he claims this top to bottom stitching weakens the area and he stitching along the top and bottom edge. I tried this twice and both times it is a battle to angle the needles though the loop and belt leather (front and folded over back). Al used short or curved needles or hog bristles, etc. I left "big loops" until I got through the area and then pulled each stitch tight- not the "professinal" way. In any event, how do the rest of you stitch this area and do you use special needles?
  12. Davm

    Lacing Fid

    Thanks everyone for the help. It has been quite an adventure. I wanted to make a "western" holster with a rawhide lace in wraps around the edge. I used a regular hole spacing wheel to set up the cuts but I made my own lacing awl (?) from a spare wood carving chisel (the cheap kits for $5 with half a dozen carving tools. The rawhide was home made so I ground down the carving tool to a 3/16' width- which matched the rawhide. In any event I was looking at a photo of an old holster and the lace had disappeared in a few areas but the holes were diamond shaped. At the same time I started reading about braiding the edge. AND an order is in for said book, so a lot going on. I subsequently found out that on the old photos, what I thought was rawhide lace was actually a white or natural calfskin.
  13. Davm

    Lacing Fid

    I wanted to make a diamond shaped holes for lace, I thought that was what a fid was for- I am new at all this. I have some standard punches from Tandy but they all make a slit about 1/8" wide and on some braid type procedures you need to go through the same hole a couple of times. Maybe what I want is a diamond point stitching awl.
  14. Davm

    Lacing Fid

    Okay, I bought the C S Osborne fid and just received it. The edges are not sharp so I guess I have to hone them. The fid holes I've seen are diamond shaped and this tool has a flat top and bottom and 90 degree sides. Should I hone the tip into a diamond shape? All help appreciated. Thanks.
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