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About AlexOstacchini

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  • Birthday 10/09/1994

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    Traditional crafts, Historical armour and weapons

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  1. AlexOstacchini

    Lots of Medieval Knives and Sheaths

    Yup, all eating knives other than the big ones, though I suspect general utility pieces also. Certainly not weapons in any case, or at least not designed to be. I believe Fred is right on this, this is called a pricker and I think the general consensus is it was a multi functional fork/awl/sharpening steel. While it does go to a diamond cross section, the edges are not sharp, only the point. Here is a better image of that set. My process for these was to form them first, then unfold them and do the tooling while the leather is flat. It can't lie completely flat of course as it is stretched and distorted from the forming, but enough to carve in the designs, and in fact I find the stretch marks help for marking out the borders. Then dye, then stitch. There are probably better ways of doing this and I'm sure this will change as I make more, so open to ideas for improvement! Alex
  2. AlexOstacchini

    Lots of Medieval Knives and Sheaths

    Thanks for the nice comments all I can certainly relate to this! Visited the museum of London not too long ago purely to look at whatever rusty old knives and sheaths were on display- not very many it turns out but still a very interesting trip for me. In terms of the steel I am feeling my way a bit and don't have the skills to pull off a forge welded laminated blade but hopefully one day, so it's nice uniform monosteel in the meantime! Yes fairly unusual to modern eyes, I suppose it is one method to protect the stitching from being sliced without the inclusion of a welt layer. There are some originals with side seams but a lot less common I think. Other than the the two large knives these are all unlined, which I believe was the norm. Cheers, me too! I enjoy projects which involve a few different skills, though I sometimes worry i'll end up as a bit of a jack of all trades master of none..! Alex
  3. AlexOstacchini

    Lots of Medieval Knives and Sheaths

    Thanks all Woops, not sure how I missed this out, here you go. Thanks for the kind words, that wasn't the Girona by any chance? I only ask I as see you are from Northern Ireland- I was working in Belfast for a time last year and managed to visit the Ulster Museum while I was there, so may have seen some of the exact pieces you mean. Interesting about the depth of the tooling. With these I cut in the designs and opened them out with a modelling spoon, but I think with a lot of the real ones the patterns are simply drawn on with some blunt pointed tool without cutting into the surface of the leather. I have tried this but never with good results, so need a bit more practice I think. Early days for me with knife making and In retrospect they are a little broad bladed for eating knives of this period, so the proportions will be tweaked for the next lot. cheers! Alex
  4. AlexOstacchini

    Lots of Medieval Knives and Sheaths

    Hi all Something a bit different to the Western stuff I normally post here, and quite photo intensive i'm afraid... This is a batch of late medieval knives and sheaths, which as a very general outline date between 1300-1500 depending on the piece. The sheaths for these are all 2mm veg tan, with a back central seam and tooling inspired by originals. The main source of reference was 'knives and scabbards', which catalogues pieces found in the Thames. The two larger knives have double layered scabbards, which is a necessity as the hunting set is multi pocketed with effectively three sheaths bundled together, and the larger messer has an integrated belt. None of them have belt loops in the modern sense, but are instead suspended by hanging thongs, which are laced through slits in the back and seems to be the universal carrying method for this kind of knife. I had to go against all of my instincts with the tooling on these in an attempt for authenticity, so nothing is measured or plotted out in the way I would do a modern belt, and likewise the dyeing is much more straightforward, without the antiquing effects that would be used now. I have focused mainly on the sheaths here as this is a leatherwork forum afterall, but for anyone interested in the knives themselves they are all hand forged from 1080 or 1075 carbon steel, with either brass or steel bolsters and handles made from various native woods, which include yew, laburnum, walnut and apple. I hope you like them! Alex
  5. AlexOstacchini

    Pouches, Coasters, Cases... Lots of small items.

    Thanks, that makes at least two people who have found that website haha! I know what you mean, and have always refrained from lining belts or larger stuff this way for that reason, and normally use pre finished upholstery leather for linings. Natural will certainly patina with age, and show marks more easily than darker colours, but for small pouches I think this is fine. The finish in this case is a couple of layers of the fiebings atom wax, buffed between each coat. I suspect this could be also used to get the worst out of any marks- actually I might take a scrap and get it deliberately grubby to test this. It won't stay looking new forever but I suppose neither will the outside really. May make some changes when batch number 3 happens. I have tried with and without! I suspect it is just the snaps I am using,and just need to find the right brand. I've always found it quite tricky to find any with long enough stems which limits the options somewhat, but they must exist somewhere, I think I just need to buy samples from a few more places and experiment. Thanks! Alex
  6. Hi all, Here is a jumble of small pieces completed over the past few months. I have posted variants of all these products in some form before so refrained from posting them individually, but all of them have at least small alterations compared to the first batches. In all cases these are hand stitched with waxed linen, hand tooled, and dyed with fiebings pro colours. The pouches are for swiss army knives, I made a trial batch earlier this year which were all sold, and were all formed directly around the knife. To make a tidier and more consistent product this time round I made a custom two part wooden former, and boy did it make life easier. Just clamp it together after a small amount of hand moulding and then leave it overnight. These are all lined with milled veg tan, and closed with press studs, though I have yet to find any that don't flatten the centre to some degree when they are set, no matter how carefully done. As long as it is central and even this doesn't bother me too much but it would be nice to find a solution, all ears if anyone knows a UK supplier for slightly thicker ones. The coaster set was for a 90th birthday present and so I could spend a bit more time than usual making them nice. For stock pieces I do not back them or stitch the borders because this would basically double the price, but that was not an issue here so I finally got to make them how I wanted. The final batch are cases for Swann Morton scalpels, only simple little things but in my industry everyone uses them and they have proven my most popular product by far. It's the first time really I have played around with dyes that aren't some variant of brown, so that was exciting. These have a thick welt layer to protect the stitching and the tip of the sheath. All in all a bit of a random mixture of things but I have had much better luck on the business side with smaller products than big expensive ones, which makes sense I guess. I hope you like this stuff! cheers, Alex
  7. AlexOstacchini

    Ruger SP101 Nelson Professional

    Looks like a nice piece of wet forming to me
  8. AlexOstacchini

    New black engineer boots. My fourth leather project.

    Very tidy work. I always think clean designs like this are very unforgiving, in that mistakes really stick out, but this is excellent. Fourth project you say? Wow. Great Stuff
  9. AlexOstacchini

    A pair of Tooled Caliper Cases

    Hi all, Here are a couple of commissioned pieces ready to be sent off to their new homes on opposite sides of the world. These are custom cases for vernier and digital callipers. I didn't own a digital pair the correct size so initially turned the job down, but it turned out the client worked in 3D printing and was able to create a mock up, which was then sent to my friend and printed locally. Bam, it could now be made. I am normally a bit of a luddite and carve formers out of wood when I need them but this is an application I had never really considered and has got me wondering about other projects. It certainly did the job. Technical rundown: These are both 2.5mm veg tan, hand tooled and stitched, and closed with sam browne buttons. Initials were requested along the gauge on the larger case and so these have been taken from a Western style alphabet and carved in. I hope you like them! Alex
  10. AlexOstacchini

    Just trying out some of my new tools...

    Great stuff as usual
  11. Just watched the video, really good stuff. The close focusing on the work is excellent, nice and clear at every stage. Just personal preference but I also find craft videos like yours much better without music (particularly ukulele- sorry anyone who plays!). All round neat work too. I can't think of anything to critique Alex
  12. AlexOstacchini

    Tooled Braces/Suspenders

    Thanks again Cheers, I'm at the beginner stage of making knives and judging by your forge looking profile picture I assume you know much more about this than me. To be honest the main reason I started leatherwork 7 years ago was so I could eventually do scabbards and quivers and medieval things, I mostly post Western stuff here but that has never been my main interest. Finally set up my forge last year so playing catch up in terms of skills and it will be a while before I feel as comfortable making knives as I am with leather! I'm certainly no blacksmith at the moment. Alex
  13. AlexOstacchini

    Tooled Braces/Suspenders

    By charging a fortune! Only joking, to be brutally honest I didn't really make any money on it, I underestimated both time and materials and my quote was way off. Not sure what my hourly rate worked out as but below minimum wage for sure. Live and learn I suppose, though with this particular project as long as it hit the deadline and the customer was happy I wasn't really too fussed. Cheers! Alex
  14. AlexOstacchini

    Tooled Braces/Suspenders

    Some very flattering comments, thanks everyone. This was my first big commissioned piece really and I was a little apprehensive going into it, so this is all very nice to read Cheers! Alex
  15. AlexOstacchini

    Tooled Braces/Suspenders

    Thanks for the compliments all, happy that it is finally finished and I'm glad you like it! Nothing wrong with plain! All just personal preference really, but thanks Alex