Basillex

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  1. Basillex

    Antique Heavy Duty Leather Splitter

    How to properly smooth the top roller is indeed becoming a big question for me now. There are some scratches on it, and they need to come out. Should I dare and just go about sanding it myself with wet&dry? If yes, can I just do it by hand (literally - holding pieces in hand), use a holder to keep it flat or should I create some sort of a jig (like a semicircle of the same diameter like the roller)? I was thinking of starting with 120 and go up (I hope I don't have to go below that). The main concern is to not create any dents or make it "wavy" ...
  2. Basillex

    Antique Heavy Duty Leather Splitter

    WyomingSlick: The bearings seem to be in perfect condition, round and completely smooth, no scratches whatsoever. They seem to have been well oiled - the oil or grease is still present and is actually one of the cleanest things on the entire machine (no dirt particles, just oil). Well, actually I was only able to check three, because somebody seems to have messed with the screw which holds one of the wheels, so I wasn't able to take it off and access the fourth bearing next to it yet. But generally, the fit on all of them is very snug - I didn't notice any movement at all. Gary: The advice, experience and encouragement you guys are providing is more help than I could ever have wished for! I will add some extra grease while reassembling, just in case.
  3. Basillex

    Antique Heavy Duty Leather Splitter

    Many thanks for all of your replies! WyomingSlick: Thanks for the encouragement! Mudruck & silverbullet: I appreciate the offers, but it is not for sale (yet) oltoot: Great advice. Yeah, I do realize the value of such a blade (I started with leather after meddling a bit with knives). So in a way I figured if the machine doesn't work, I'd recycle the steel for forging (just kidding ). At the moment I am trying to clean everything up with diesel and partly wirebrush (although I am yet to find any serious rust!). I'm posting some photos so that you might understand the mess the thing has been in (and how it eventually cleans up after just a bit of rubbing). On the good side - after cleaning about one third of the parts, it is probably already 5 pounds lighter. There is just soooo much dirt. Removing it will definitely help with the adjustments and the performance - it already shows on the screws, obviously. It is unlikely that it was made for the US market (after all, I am in Europe, Slovenia). There are no markings on it, except for the stamped number 2 which appears on almost all parts. It makes me think that this might have been a custom made machine for this particular factory. Any other ideas? After it is roughly cleaned up, I'll put it back together to see how it operates. The top roller is not completely smooth (there are scratches), but I think that can be fixed by thorough sanding. Taking the machine apart helped me realize much better what each part and screw are supposed to do. I am even more confident now, that everything is there. Putting it back together might be another challenge, but we'll get to that eventually.
  4. I recently got my hands on an old cast iron leather splitter that was used by a smaller European shoemaking company. It weighs a ton (feels about 200 pounds actually - three men had to carry it). There are no markings, but it's quite possibly over 100 years old. It seems to be hand operated only (no sight of a belt attachment). It is quite dirty, but I'm sure that can be cleaned off well enough. It looks like all the parts are there and working, but I'm not really sure yet. At the moment I am trying to figure out what goes where, how to adjust it, etc. The blade is still razor sharp (slightly concave grind) and HUGE (14" long edge, 1/2" thick, weighs 5 pounds). There is some surface dirt on it, but no major rust whatsoever. There are two rollers (one flat/polished, the other has teeth), and the blade is positioned below between them vertically. I would like to restore it as well as I can, but in order to do so, access to information on a similar machine would be needed for a reference. I'm not really sure I need the machine (as a leather hobbyist, it feels that would be like using a bulldozer in a flower pot), but I do enjoy challenges. Does anybody know anything about this type of a machine? Any info (mechanics, history, value) would be appreciated.
  5. Basillex

    Best Way To Dye Kangaroo Lace

    Hi all! I've just received 3 natural veg tan kangaroo hides (for the first time!) and I plan to cut the lace from it and use it for braiding. The question is, what would be the best way to go about dyeing/coloring the lace? So far I haven't found anything posted that would be specifically related to this, and I apologize if I have missed it and might be duplicating some other thread. I don't like the idea of coloring the hide first and then cutting the lace. I wan't to have the option of different colors from one hide. I also wonder if the color would actually penetrate deep enough. If not, the edge/bevels might remain "natural". So far (using other types of leather to learn the basics) I've cut it with the lace cutter. Then I stretched it and tied it's beginning to a cable (like a clothes line which is streched under the ceiling of my work room) and then used a piece of wool or sponge soaked in color which I wrapped around the start of the lace, and just rubbed it / dragged it through to the end by pulling on the dyed part. If it was too long and might touch the floor, I simply tossed the colored part over the same cable. After the dye was dry/set, I applied the finish (Satin sheene) in the same manner. After that I split and bevelled it. In this particular case do not plan to split it (before or afterwards), as the hides already seem to have been thinned down to an even thickness. I wonder how the rest of you do it? Is there a simpler or more effective way? It is just too expensive not to ask and see what the best practices might be. I am also wondering, if It could be done by simply dragging the lace through a cup filled with color. I could hold the string down at the bottom with a stick of some sort, and perhaps have some sponge (in a function of a wiper) on the exit part of the cup (so that I don't waste too much color and too prevent uneven blotches after it dries). I believe that stretching should be done with saddle soap (I haven't done it with other types of skins, but I think I should do it with kangaroo). And I also believe that stretching should be done before coloring, or the color might end up being uneven (lighter in parts where it stretches more). Would saddle soap affect the dyeing? Can I stretch without it and achieve the same result? Thank you for all your thoughts!
  6. Basillex

    Identifying And Restoring Rusty Old Tools

    Thank you, northmount and oltoot! That makes sense. I appreciate your input! What do you think about this one: Something for the edges? Lightly curved small blade. Self-explanatory as a knife. Or is there more to it, like a more specialized purpose? Looks like a homemade stamp with a flower pattern. But the imprint is rather weak, so ... could it be a setter of sorts? (or maybe I'm just overthinking it...) And this one is definitely a stamp with a leaf or tree pattern. I have searched other threads on rust removal. They are numerous and provide highly varying information. So I decided to use all of the information and apply it in a way that makes sense to me. I am reluctant to go directly after the commercial products, as (1) brand names as well as the quality of the same brand vary a lot between countries and (2) one should always attempt to find a non-commercial alternative with the stuff one already has at home So far, I've soaked it in white vinegar (9% acid) for 15 hours, then sprayed it with WD40 after taking it out. Then (now) came the elbow grease part. I'm (slowly...) trying out different methods (a - paper towel with paste made from baking soda and sewing machine oil, b - steel wool, c - wire brush on Dremel). The rust is coming off quite quickly and the metal is starting to shine again, except for blotchy parts of thick rust which will most likely require the sandpaper approach. When the results are in, I'll try to find an appropriate thread and present the results. Perhaps somebody finds them useful. Also - I put fine steel wool in the remaining vinegar, because I am already running out of the last batch of vinegaroon.
  7. I came across a batch of old rusty leather working tools (various stamps, edgers, etc. - 26 pieces in total). I have two main issues on which I would appreciate some of your ideas: 1. identifying the intended use of particular tools 2. getting them back to performance Looks like a belt end punch with a slot ... but is closed at the back, so it is something else, I guess ... Looks like an edge beveler ... but the grooves are upside down, and there is no groove in the front - it ends with a point Looks like a round stylus of sorts ... but way oversized (the grid is 1cm x 1cm, or about 3/4"), so maybe for stamping ball imprints? And this is a batch of what looks like stamps, punchers or cutters. Leaf and flower designs, oversized again. Were they used for cutting out patterns, or for stamping their shape? Has anybody seen something like this before, and knows for what products/style they were used? There are other tools as well, but I did not include them here because they kind of make sense to me already, and there is a limit on total files upload size. The second issue is more practical ... how to restore them? Rust is heavy. I was thinking of using distilled vinegar, and afterwards oiling and scrubbing them with steel wool. Sharpening would probably be done by using sandpaper on a stick. Any experience?
  8. Basillex

    Adler 69 362

    Thanks for all the input. Indeed, it would be too complicated to convert it to a walking foot. Much of the hardware is the same, including the foot. But the foot is passive, as it is not connected to the cam that executes the movement of the needle. Also, most importantly, the housing is different. If it were the same, it seems that the foot could be made active by adding "only a couple" connectors worth ca. 200$. Maybe I'll give it a try someday, but only if (a) I find a broken 373 with the parts of walking foot and housing still ok, and ( I have a third machine on hand if I mess everything up. For now, the 362 seems to be doing what I need it for. It does have problems climbing any steps over about 2 mm high, but I can deal with it by handwheeling it slowly, and when necessary, by lifting the foot at the same time.
  9. Basillex

    Adler 69 362

    Hi all, This is my first post here, and I hope somebody might be able to provide an opinion or advice. I just got an Adler 69 362 (see e.g. pages 7-9 in a leaflet here). The model is equipped with a roller foot. The main question is: can the roller foot be replaced with a walking foot? Such as something like this. Or is this limited to a 69 373 model? To a layman as myself, the rest of the machine configuration looks the same. As for me, I am a hobbyist. I consider working with leather as a way of meditation (to take my mind off from the day job). Up until now, I have handstitched most items (some knife sheats, holsters, a couple of bags, quite a number of wallets ... only had patience to handstitch one belt). I have also used a home sewing machine for parts of bags (a cheap Toyota FSR21 with a cheap walking foot attachment, but it does quite some work). I plan on using the Adler primarily for wallets and bags, but occasional belts would be nice too. I've tested it just a bit so far, and it easily managed to stitch 2 layers of around 8-9 oz veg tan (I think ... 2 layers of 3,5 mm ... sorry, I'm European ... ounces confuse me :/). I will not torture it with this much though. 4 layers of soft leather (parts of bag edges) should normally be the heaviest type of work. So ... should I be happy with the purchase (it was 230 EUR / ca. 310 USD for the whole set: head, table, flat bed attachment, motor, etc.)? If anybody has any experience with this machine, your opinions on its abilities and its limits would be most appreciated. Especially: pros and cons of roller foot vs walking foot. Thanks! Basil