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About billybopp

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    Leatherworker.net Regular
  • Birthday 07/06/1964

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  • Location
    Pennsylvania, USA

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Strap goods, cases, etc.
  • Interested in learning about
    There is always more to learn.
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  1. You do not necessarily need curved awl and needle. They are nice but not totally necessary. Working from the Stohlman book I've made many beverage can holders using straight awl and needle. You just need to work a little more carefully! The pictures below are some embossing rollers and cases I made for them using the same method. These are considerably smaller and harder to sew than the can cozys. Sorry I can't find pictures of my cozys at the moment - I must have put them into a folder where I wouldn't lose them. All that said, if you DO want to purchase curved needles, they're pretty common - Look for upholsterer's needles. Curved awls are a bit more rare, but they are out there. Look for cobbler tools! - Bill
  2. Cigar boxes can be nice candidates for covering. Any good cigar store has them for cheap if not free. - Bill
  3. The last of my ancestors to come to the USA from Europe was a great grandfather born on a ship coming from Edinburgh in 1850. I figure that makes me 100% US American. - Bill
  4. I use a cutting board for punching holes, and have for many years. Just a couple of quick notes - Some cutting boards are really hard, so probably should be avoided. The one I prefer is a bit softer, inexpensive and works great. Side note, if you're using a hole punch on these it'll sometimes leave the leather plug behind in the board. I used to keep my cutting board for leatherwork just outside the kitchen. Had a new roommate move in who threw it out one day while I was at work. I went to use it and it wasn't there and asked ... He said "I threw it out - there were a bunch of these gross worms growing in it". - Bill
  5. Round knife sheaths aren't easy. There's just about nothing on them that is a straight line! The main thing is it's functional since it's just for you, who cares how it looks. As for the knife profile, I've seen a few old tool catalogs and have never seen one with that profile. Also when looking at old tools that sort of triangular profile is never quite the same on any two knives. That all leads me to believe that it was done after the purchase. The blade may have been reprofiled intentionally for some reason that is not so obvious for us today. It also may have just worn down to that profile over time and many many resharpenings. Many of the reprofiled blades are also getting thin at the "tails", which also points to them being worn over time due to sharpening technique. We need to remember, these were used more or less all day every day in their time in a mass production environment and would have been sharpened far more often than they would today. Since there isn't anybody left around that worked in the sort of leather production environment that existed over 100 years ago we may never get a good answer, unless somebody comes across a written explanation from the time, or maybe a family story handed down. It'd be amazing to time travel back to one of these shops and see for ourselves, wouldn't it? But hey, as long as the knife does what you want, who cares!! Thanks for sharing! - Bill
  6. I've seen experts recommend just about every way possible, but I honestly think that keeping a constant angle is FAR more important than which way you move the blade. Whatever helps you do that is the best way for YOU!. I always had trouble getting the angle just right, and found these a couple of years ago to help out. https://www.amazon.com/Wedgek-Angle-Guides-Sharpening-Knife/dp/B01N4QMO7U/ref=sr_1_3?crid=NPOJ866V0K3G&keywords=wedgek+angle&qid=1650970482&sprefix=wedgek+angle%2Caps%2C103&sr=8-3 - Bill
  7. LOL. Now that looks like fun! It would have been a blast back in the days when I still worked in a cubicle. I also keep a good supply of spring clothespins around even though I don't line-dry my clothes. They're useful for tons of stuff including use as a bag clip in the kitchen, and occasionally in leather as a quick easy clamp. - Bill
  8. I don't have an issue with piercing the thread while sewing anymore. I used to, but was politely informed by my significant other that the vocabulary lessons which such thread piercing elicited were not acceptable for any younger ears that might be within earshot. It seemed easier to figure out a way to avoid that problem than to learn to sleep on the couch. So after much thought, what I now do is run my first needle and thread through the hole and go about 3 or 4 inches long leaving some slack. Then, as I'm inserting the second needle I pull the second thread backward a little faster than the second needle is moving making it impossible to pierce the thread. It took conscious effort to follow that procedure at first, but became habit before long. Vocabulary lessons mostly came to an end, I didn't need to learn to sleep on the couch. Life is good! - Bill
  9. This video went up on YouTube yesterday - It explains that corned beef is both ancient and modern in Irish cuisine. The short version is that beef was preferred in the ancient past, but at some point pork became more popular - and bacon and cabbage likely the preferred dish. When later Irish immigrants came to the USA, they largely settled in the same neighborhoods as Jewish immigrants did. Not being kosher, bacon was off the menu, so they started using corned beef. As a side note, many on my mother's side of the family came from Ireland in the 1660s, and settled in the Quaker colony of West Jersey (Yup! Jersey was the quaker colony before Pennsylvania was! It's a long story with much treachery on the part of the English). Two of my ancestors were signatories to "The Concession and Agreement of the Lords Proprietors of the Province of New Caesarea, or New Jersey" which would serve as the constitution for New Jersey until 1947, and were also used as a model for the US constitution and its bill of rights. - Bill
  10. Drilling holes will certainly work, but keep in mind when you do that you are actually removing leather at the holes. They will not close up around the thread the way that they would if using an awl. I wouldn't go that route. However, I wouldn't hesitate to use an awl in the drill chuck with it secured so that it does not turn. That has the advantage of being easier on hands and makes it easier to keep your awl aligned straight, and since you aren't removing material the holes will "heal" better. - Bill
  11. I usually thread the needle and then pierce the thread twice - and leave a pretty big loop behind the eye of the needle when I'm using woven thread such as tiger. The idea is to pierce the thread and create enough friction so that the knot does not work its way up to the eye of the needle. When the knot works up to the eye of the needle it gets FAR more difficult to get the needle through! A lesson that I learned the hard way early on!! - Bill
  12. There are a few beers out there that are corked as well. Chimay comes to mind as one of them....... - Bill
  13. It's a shame that awls do not usually come usably sharp. If you do not feel confident in your ability to sharpen one, Leatherwranglers has them available in a ready to use state which may be money well spent for you! - Bill
  14. MUCH more enjoyable to get those! - Bill
  15. IIRC they moved in 1905. They may have continued to use Newark for about another 10 years (WWI) according to some sources. - Bill
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