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About Davm

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  1. I've been critiquing my work. The rawhide lace. If you search around on the internet, nothing about it. First off, if you look at some of the old holsters from the wild west, the rawhide wraps are right next to each other. The only way you can get that is if you slant the slits at about 45 degrees so that the top of one slit lined up with the bottom of the next slit. Well I did that and got the spacing set. The lace was given to me and is about 3/16" wide. (I took a woodcarving tool and ground it down to make a slit tool) Tandy sells 1/8" lace but it is not as wide as you see on some original "Old West" holsters and the 3/16 is better. I have a Tandy rotary wheel with 10 points per inch that spaced the slits apart about what I wanted so I used that. The bottom of each slit starts at the point impression and then slants up at 45 degrees. The slits are parallel to one another. Unfortunately I didn't think about this-on a holster you have curves and if it is an outside curve that will splay the wraps farther apart and if it is an inside curve the wraps will get bunched up too tightly so... if you want it to look right the spacing between the slits needs to be modified on the curves. I didn't realize it so on my holster on the outside curves the wraps are a little apart- something to correctly on the next holster. I am going to make the same holster a couple of times as I have several revolvers of the same size. I'll try to post a photo. The swivel knife curves could have been a little better although by the time you shade and bevel that sort of compensates.
  2. I did a holster yesterday and the carving came out pretty good- not up to a "pro's" level but all in all- okay. In any event I'm pretty happy with how it came out. You see some old, original cowboy holsters where the carving isn't as good. I am going to use a rawhide lace and the double loops will cover part of the carving: in all- it will be okay. It is for a Ruger 22 rimfire Wrangler which will be a "fun" gun to tote around and do some plinking. I have a 4" S& W and I'll make the same holster and same pattern for that- hopefully a little better. Question: this is a single layer, my prior holsters were double (glued together)- smooth on both sides. For the rough side- is there any sort of special treatment or just use Tan-Kote or Super sheen? Thanks.
  3. I am thinking most of you probably bought the Tandy Leatherworkers Guide. It starts with a square practice piece that has one flower and some stems, etc. I want to keep working on that one pattern until I am happy with the results. Last night I spent a lot more time with the pear shading tool than in the prior efforts. I originally didn't realize that the burnishing aspect that darkens the leather is part of the effect being sought. So I have made some progress there. I went really slow on cutting the pattern and that went well. I find in going slow I cut a little deeper without as much effort. In any event it is the decorative cuts I have to work on so, as stated- practice. On the background, I cannot get the tool into the smallest areas, close but I am missing it a little. I ended up using an awl and poking a similar pattern into the tiny areas and that looks pretty good. The tool used to transfer the pattern to leather, the stylus with the spoon. On some areas that have sort of ragged edges I used the spoon to smooth out. I don't know if these two things are "tricks of the trade" or not but they sort of "dressed up" a few rough spots. What I did last night, my 4th effort at the same pattern, was the first real improvement so I am more optimistic.
  4. Thanks- I'll try the super sheen. Now for a mea culpa: I need to practice more with the swivel knife. I want to "jump right in" and not do the practice work making circles, etc. On the longer curves I am having trouble making a nice smooth curve- as in scrolls, etc. On the decorative cuts, the best seem to have a slight curve at the top and then sweep down. That little curve at the top- having trouble with that. The pear shader. On the you tube videos the guys make it look easy but I seem to be having trouble. I thought the main idea was to indent the leather but now I'm thinkin the shade mark is darker and that accounts for much of the look. I have 2 smooth pear shaders but I think an even smaller size might be needed in some areas. I see pear shaders with a waffle surface rather than smooth- why? Does it give a darker shade? Bevel- okay except for the tight spots, I got a smaller beveler and I'm working on that. I really like carving leather- I hope I get good at it.
  5. I have been practicing on scraps of leather and also trying the effects of dye- either the whole thing or just the background areas. It seems to me that the pear shading, etc. can get lost if you dye the entire area and on the background- for me- too big a likelihood of getting dye into the wrong area. So.. at least on my first few efforts I think I just want to leave the entire thing in a natural state, thus preserving the carving but I need some sort of sealer, a clear and maybe just a hint of darkening or tanning. What would be the best product? Thanks.
  6. I also make knives and use a green chrome rouge to polish to a mirror finish, so...I applied that to my strop. IMHO if you are drawing the edge toward you when stropping the idea is to remove tiny burs and sucjh and the angle doesn't have to be quite as precise as when actually honing on a stone. Texas Knife makers Supply should have the green chrome.
  7. Well, here's the plan: the Tandy Leatherwork Manual has a square with a floral pattern. I figured out a way to use that same pattern on a double loop holster but before using up "good leather" I have tons of scraps around to practice on. 1. Swivel knife- the "U-tube" guys make it look easy but I need to work on making a nice curved line, etc. 2. Bevels- I realize I need several sizes- some for small areas. 3. pear shade- I did better on my first effort, the second I over did it. 4. The Veiner and camouflage- I think I am good, just didn't quite understood how to use them. I am doing one pattern until I get that right. Then I'll move on from there On the swivel knife. I have the "roller" guide that Tandy sells but I don't think I have the knife sharp enough. If you have to force the knife- that may take away from nice curved lines. On stropping the edge- I do that with my hunting knives but as I said- I think one issue might be my inability to get a really sharp edge on the swivel knife. And....I never realized that "carving" leather went as fast as it does. There is an intro type U tube from Tandy in which the guy does a nice job in a matter of a few minutes. Once I get the carving down okay the next issue is dying, it looks like in the Tandy video there is a dye of the background, then a resist type compound over everything followed by a dye and then ribbing off the excess dye.
  8. I'm new to carvi9ng, on the stems of flowers/leaves some times the instructions say to use a camouflage stamp and other times a veiner- they seem pretty much the same. Are there any standard rules of when to use one versus the other? hanks.
  9. Davm

    Beveling, etc.

    Those flowers look like what is out of the Tandy book and that is what I am actually trying to do. Thanks for the help. I really want to learn to do this. I am practicing circles with the swivel knife.
  10. Davm

    Beveling, etc.

    I am just starting out and have a few questions. On the beveling: How far back from the line do you bevel? In other words, let's say it is the flower petal. Do you strike straight down so the bevel highlights the line and that's it?If yes, and then you use the pebble or back ground shade, that impression should go how far? Near the beveled area or up to the line? In a similar way, on the pear shade tool just "wing it" to highlight the edges of leaves, petals etc.?
  11. I am going by the Tandy leatherwork manual. On a big project like a saddle etc. (I'm doing a double loop holster) it seems like you could not do the whole thing in a day. What do you do? damp cloth over leather? something else?
  12. I buy my leather at a local Tandy outlet. I make holsters. I want to start carving floral designs, etc. and the Tandy leather is sold "rolled up" and sometimes there are wrinkles. The rolled up part I can lay out and it will flatten but on the wrinkles- not sure if I can do anything. If I wet the leather and put boards on it, etc.- that will flatten it but can I then go back and carve/stamp it?
  13. The belt loop- really nice- does it slide around so you can adjust it?
  14. I got some light brown Fiebings but in applying- not even. If I do multiple coats each gets darker and before you know it- too dark. I have been thinking of putting a drop or two of dye in neat's-foot oil, etc. Any suggestions?
  15. On the holsters, you might want to think about using barge cement and gluing a lighter (4 oz.) to the inside. This creates a commercial type holster- plenty strong and thick.
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