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About AfroCrafter

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  • Gender
  • Location
    South Africa
  • Interests
    juggling, hiking, DIY

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Too soon to know
  • Interested in learning about
    fabrication, finishing and making tools
  • How did you find leatherworker.net?
    lurking on the interweb

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  1. I third Bob's advice. I spent my first year carving on badly card leather, then I read Bob Park's tutorial and have never looked back. It makes everything just work! You've made a nice start. Well done.
  2. Lovely items Ron. I see got have stitching around the stamped guitar strap. Is that laminated? Or is the stitching just part of the design?
  3. I like the style and especially your carved panel on the side. I've never thought of doing that. I've wanted a tote for a while but have only ever worked veg (I love to carve) so now I'm inspired to get some chrome and make my bag. Thanks for the great idea.
  4. I recently got given some wonderful riempies leather made out of steenbok skin that was tanned and prepped by a bushman tracker over 60 years ago. Apparently the animal was skinned and the skin was sun dried and then simply scraped with a knife to thin it and then worked by hand till it is soft. It has an amazing texture and is unbelievably thin and strong. But even after all these years still smells pretty rough. I know also that aardvark leather used to be alum tanned into riempies which was worked soft by tying them in a continuous loop to a rock suspended beneath a tree. the rock was then spun till the was up in the tree. Then it was released to spin down and wind up again. This was done A Lot to make the riempies strong and supple. And apparently a single strand could be used to tether a bull. Not sure of the truth of it all but that is what I was told.
  5. I take reference photos of anything i can find (been asked to leave a couple of highstreet stores for looking too closely at their designs:-). To draw a section, I cosse what general type of flower/ scroll work will fit the piece and then after allowing for seams and straps etc, I start blocking a general layout. I use normal wax paper coz you can erase a million times and it doesn't rip. basically if you start with an overall layout of where the design will go, it is quite easy to add the small elements like leaves and flowers and fill out the design. Once all the scratching and rubing is done, i photocopy /scan the design to keep for later and then i work straigh from the wax paper and transfer it to the leather. something that I love about leather is that you can change you design even after you have laid down you initial design to the cased leather. it is very forgiving and i often find myself moving lines a little here and ther whilst I am actually cutting it in with the swivel knife. So that is how I do it and, while it is not very exacting, i have never tried a really complex design so have not yet run into compounding erros by being out a few mm. Just because I am sitting at my bench now, here's what i am working pon at the moment. just some practice scrap to see if I can over dye pen marks on leather. Hope it helps. Cheers Alex
  6. Stunning design and the colour is terriffic. Well done
  7. Please could you explain how you did the side stitching. I have been asked to make a pair of these and am clueless as to how to stitch them nicely. I dont have a machine so am hoping to figue out how to saddlestitch them.
  8. I had a piece of black kudu hide from when I was at school in Zimbabwe and at the tender age of 35 I made a tooled tablet cover and it is wonderfully soft. so don't throw anything out. just keep it nicely and it will work out. cheers Alex
  9. They look great. you can tell coz people are commenting. That means we genuinely like them The dye job actually makes the bag stand out beautifully.. I did a book cover which i hashed up so badly, i nearly threw it away. It was for an artist friend and when he saw it he loved it so much that it lives in his coffee table so he can look at it all the time. I have even gotten two other commissions for a similar "dye effect". So believe me, what we think is a mess is often not seen as that by others. cheers and God bless Alex
  10. The shrinkage was not really noticeable but some say it can be up to 30% which is a lot. i didn't find that though. I think it was also because it is just a sheet of leather with no real proportions. eg. if you made an arm guard, it might not fit. I set the oven to its lowest setting of 70degrees celcius. and it took about two hours to dry. Next one I am going to try suntanning at midday to try and get the same effect. I did make one that I tooled and it was ok. That was back before i really knew what tooling should look like and I can't really remember. your tooling definitely shallows out a lot. cheers Alex.
  11. Hey guys, I made myself a new tablet cover and didn't know what do to with the old one. So I chopped it up and made a "Zeroz" wallet. It holds bank notes and 8 cards. The tabs are made out of an old plastic sketch pad cover. I saw the design online and the guys are charging $35-$70 for them. This took me about 30 minutes to make! (Copywrite blah...) I've been using it for a couple of months now and after a bit of getting used to, I am really happy. My only problem is that I keep losing it coz it is too small Cheers and God bless Alex
  12. Morning all, My first attempt at boiling and hardening leather. I did this about a year ago (it takes me a while to post) and it is still rock solid. I initially didn't think it would be strong enough so I have a thong from the back to the front (hence the punched hole). But it never needed it. This was a piece of "un-toolable" leather off the side of a scrap hide from the local tannery. All different thicknesses and in really bad nick. I just gave a a scrub with some soapy water to get the factory grime off it, dipped it in boiling water, formed it and dried it in the oven with the door open. Then antiqued it in mahogany. This was done before I knew how to finish edges etc. But I still love it. Cheers and God bless, Alex
  13. Love the stitching and proportions of the blue and black. In todays world of black, black and some more black, it is good to see some nice bright colours. Nice one
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