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Mike Phelps

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Everything posted by Mike Phelps

  1. Short of buying a double bend Zack White [find their link on banner at top] has the belt blanks of the several vendors I've tried.
  2. Now that's a cool clutch! Nice job on the leather torquois rocks.
  3. Those were leather slab handles in the first several pictures? I can think of several applications that would be so cool. If only I knew the process to get that marbling. Mike
  4. Wish I lived close to Zack's! I place a couple of orders a year with them. Their straps have the smoothest backs I have ever seen. Shame to even think about putting a lining on them. Brass hand shoe tacks, button rivet studs, a lot of stuff that has been dropped from inventory of the big name mega stores. Sure there are a few others that still carry that stuff but do they also have enameled belt buckles with "Fighting Cocks" on them? the birds not the words or team icon. Mike
  5. All the books I has listed are spoken for. Thank you all for your interest. Mike
  6. Like that adjustment piece on the purple burst strap. I'm assuming the keeper loop is sewn onto the billet? An old buddy of mine that has a guitar shop/performance center back on my old stomping ground has been after me to make some straps that fall into the one size fits all scheme of things and that looks like a good alternative to the ones that have all the slots on one or both ends. As much as I like naked leather that purple shading on the edges ain't bad. Tandy gave me a bottle of that new ECO-FLOW thistle purple stain awhile back. I might have to try it out. Mike
  7. Great job and idea. Don't have to bother with drilling a hole in the exact center. Now to raid the mother in-laws craft trunks for some spools. Mike
  8. Yeah, I'm a bit on both sides of this. The patience it took to hand tool the logos to look fine enough to be some CNC machine stamping/engraving put these in whole other realm. And we ain't seen the finished product. I'm thinking these are above the likes of Andy Warhol and artist of that ilk. And remember these aren't static pieces of art but functional, kinetic pieces of rolling art. Mike
  9. Thanks Johanna! Hope the next 56 are as much fun as the first. Just trying to give something back to the craft. I've got a large binder full of "Doodle Pages" that I no longer have need for. Got them all scanned to disk. These I can't quite give away. The bidding wars are still to fresh in my mind. I also have patterns out the whazoo that date from the 60's-70's. Haven't got them cataloged yet but I'll offer them up also soon. Mike
  10. Over the years I've accumulated duplicates of some books. Today at a swap meet a guy gave me a five gallon bucket full of craft books and now some have got to go. Instead of putting them on E-Bay I thought I'd offer them up here first. All I ask is to be covered for the cost of postage and packaging. 1. "How To Lace" 15 Types-158 Illustrations plus how to Buck Stitch, Saddle Stitch, Hand Stitch 15 pages. Good condition. I also have a pre Tandy edition but I'm not giving it away. 2. "Coloring Leather" by Al Stohlman 53 pages Near excellent condition. 3. "Craftool Tech-Tips" Al Stohlman 22 pages Very good condition. This book measures 11X17 inches mailed in a tube to prevent folds. 4. Two "Belts Galore" Craftool No. 42 by Al Stohlman one is in fair condition the other is missing pages 13,14,19,20. If interested give me a PM with a zip code and I'll get back with you on postage and packaging. Mike
  11. Welcome to the forum Johnny! You'll be right at home here. Mike
  12. Thanks Tom I rummage through the old files and post on this site a lot looking for things that can improve, simplify and clarify things. And when all else fails ask or just sit down at the bench with the sketch pad, pencil, tools and material in front of me. Mike
  13. Stay tuned Romey. I've got one started you'll REALLY like. Plus a couple of years ago I got tired of seeing nice, handmade custom straps tied onto acoustics with a shoestring and made myself a piece that matches the tooling and finish of the strap that attaches to the strap button hole. It's a whole lot simpler, idiot proof and better looking than that POC plastic gizmo that Martin Guitars markets. So stay tuned. Mike
  14. I was cleaning up the bench and getting things ready to make another strap the other day and I just had too many oddball lengths laying around. Had some left over 6oz. pieces cut off from strap pads that were shorter than what I usually use, could have used them for billfold backs but I've got plenty of those already to sell at swap meets. Had a piece of one inch 6oz. strap with a fuzzy back that is not the smooth moss back I usually use. A shorter piece of 6oz. that had browned with age/sun or something with a nice moss back. It was rock hard. Probably came in a box of leatherworking stuff I'd gotten of e-bay. I thought, boy you need to use some of this stuff up before you generate more. So I worked out some principals to guide me through this. 1. Stay at the bench until you get it done. 2. Minimize the amount of tooling/stamping/stitching/finish. 3. Despite being a quick piece of work no raw edges, make it user friendly and durable enough to see hard use and last a lifetime. To address these guidelines I thought about the finishes. I was going to have to use gum tragacanth anyway on the back to knock down the fuzz and make slide through the style pad I planned and remembered Art had said it could be used as a top coat finish. So that would simplify things. Topcoat, edges and backs all gum trag. To make it user friendly I minimized hardware to just using a Sam Brown Stud again and moved the keepers a bit further apart to make changing lengths easier and added an extra strap button hole in the billet end to give it more range of adjustment while only punching three holes in the main strap instead of five or more. With these parameters in mind I sat down at the bench at 6am and had it completed by 9pm and still took time out to take my son out to the bus stop and wait with him until it came. Take the daughter to Headstart and pick her up in the afternoon and watch the noon and evening news. The strap is 6oz, one inch wide and adjustable from 40-50 inches. The pad is constructed of two layered pieces of 6oz 3 & 1/4 in X 11 in with slots in top piece for the strap to slide through. With no padding it is still comfortable enough for hours of playing with acoustic, archtop, hollow and semi-hollow bodied guitars. It even supports my old carved top mahogany bodied Les Paul comfortably. Mike
  15. Yes I've seen hats like that at concerts and free jams in the seventies. But you must understand I was usually under the influence of one or more contraband substances in those times so there may be some discrepancies between what I remember, what I saw and how others remember it. A lot of the amazing creations going on. Mike
  16. Welcome to the forum Aaron. You'll definitely find a lot of diversity here. Mike
  17. Heck yes I want to see more. If I could braid half that well I be dancing around the whole county! Mike
  18. You did some good work there. Real nice on the National Guard insignia. Some guy is gonna be carrying that with pride. Mike
  19. In a fit of pique I quit my graveyard shift job just over a year ago. Not recommended as I was the major source of income for a household of six. The wife told me it would be good to take some time to plot a new course and concentrate on my leatherwork. By the first of the year I was trying to cope with pneumonia and fell into a blue funk. I guess those things happen when your confined to a house that has folks with PTS and clinical depression. Some of my work ethic that I was so proud of got misplaced amongst all the disarray. Recently I've gotten back to spending at least 8 hours a day at the bench. The creative juices are flowing again and I feel better than I have in a long time. Now if I can bump it up to 10-12 hours a day and put all the energy into it that I used to dedicate to the cooperate world time clock I can make it at this leather work yet. If the new medication that the doc wants the wife to try works and she can kick her depression and hold down a "regular" job, something that she has never been able to do. With a little luck, the grace of God, and some determination we're going to kick the black dog's ass. Mike
  20. Howdy Heather, Braid work is fascinating. Hope to see some of yours soon. Mike
  21. I really like the fact that you just rounded and burnished the edges. That's some tasteful knife work on the billets. Who's the maker and model number of that basketweave stamp? That's a nice one. Mike
  22. When a truck or bus rolls by fueled with that it smells like a feedlot, bacon and fries. NIVARNA. Mike
  23. It's pretty easy Peter. The way that works best for me especially on belts/straps is to clamp a straight edge to the bench. It helps if it is a bit thicker than the leather, a piece of lathe works. lay the strap against the straight edged. Take one of those plastic triangles that draftsmen and use. usually a 90,60,30 and scribe a line. Place the stamp along that line and make impression. Alternate from one side to the other as in the attachment, placing the leg of stamp in the impression of last stamp. You can take it nearly to the center or barely catch the end or anywhere inbetween but do them all the same. Get both sides of line stamped all the way across belt. Now here is where I tell you to do something the rest don't. USE A CHEATER. To keep all subsequent rows running absolutely straight, keep belt against straight edge and everytime you place the stamp in the legs the last impressions run the triangle up to it and make sure that it is at the correct angle. Why, because unless you have the belt solidly glued don't to an immovable object the leather tries to stretch into an arc. Plus if you get even the tinyest bit off that tiny bit will be amplified with each row. I don't need that in my work. Mike
  24. I haven't had any problems viewing profiles in over a week. Checked out one earlier today for a members e-mail addy to send some patterns as the member's PM mailbox here on site was full. Just clicked on mine it works. showed all visitors today,yesterday etc. I run Mozilla/Firefox browser on this PC and Netscape on another. IE Explorer was just slow, error prone, etc. Only time I open it is when an online site requires it for viewing the site or certain features on site which thankfully is rare. Mike
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