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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. One thing worth noting: These cutters weren't really meant for leather work, and yet they work quite well! While some tools are specifically meant for leather work and find very limited if any other use, there are a lot of really good tools meant for other uses (and often far less $$) that work very well for leather! Keep your eyes and your mind open! Example: My partner does custom framing from time to time. We bought a matt cutter to help with that, and I had an idea for how it might be used for leather, so we bought one that was larger than needed for cutting matt for anything we had framed so far. It turns out my hunch was right, and it is really useful for putting a very straight edge on leather up to about five feet! It doesn't always work out, but with a little thought it usually does. - Bill
  2. For my use, rotary cutters are nice for cutting thin and stretchy leather: mostly chrome tanned. They are not so helpful for thicker or harder leathers. I have both large and small (45mm and 60mm blades) Fiskars brand, and mostly prefer the larger one for leather. The main thing to look for is that the handle/holder is not flimsy, as some are. Thankfully, they are inexpensive as are the replacement blades, and more than most other leather tools they have other uses!! - Bill
  3. Unfortunately, there's no standard for beveler sizes. In all cases, the smaller the number the smaller the cut and the thinner the leather you'd use it for, but one brand's #1 might be another brand's #3. It's frustrating! - Bill
  4. In my school, in 7th & 8th grade, boys were required to take a half-semester of home-ec, and the girls were required to take the same of shop class. It wasn't a lot of training, but I learned how to read a recipe, how to measure ingredients, and some basic cooking. I also learned how to sew a button and a hem on trousers, and how to iron clothes and fold laundry and wash laundry. Not a lot, but it served well to get a good start on things throughout my life. I've become a pretty darn good cook, and have managed to sew Halloween and cosplay costumes. -Bill
  5. So, the blade is just a Stanley/Utility knife blade set at an angle. The shiny metal piece is there so that the leather strip doesn't ride up and cut through as you're pulling the strip. The angled slot for the blade is fairly long and doesn't have any set position for the blade, other than the angle. To compensate for that and for varying width strips is why the shiny "hold down" is adjustable. The screws through the block allow you to loosen it and replace the blade, and provide the pressure to clamp it in place I remember seeing a video of someone making and explaining something similar some years ago, but I doubt I'd be able to find it again. If I were making one, I'd take a 2x4 and cut off about 5" or 6" then drill two holes all the way through from the end. Then, leaving an inch or so on the short side of the cut, I'd cut a bevel at the angle I'm looking for on a table saw (or by hand if my arm were up for it!). Find a couple of long carriage bolts and wingnuts, a utility blade, and a bit of something to hold down that I could screw into the top, and Bob's yer uncle! - Bill
  6. That may not be paint. Those are used hot, so it may be a carbon buildup from heating over an open flame.
  7. As it turned out, we didn't get to see much. I was able to see up to about 1/3 coverage when heavy clouds rolled in ... and just about the time it was all over they rolled out. I don't mind so much for myself as I've seen several eclipses in the past, but my partner has never seen one, and now still hasn't. - Bill
  8. We're expecting about 90% here in Philly. Skies are clear. Couldn't find eclipse glasses anywhere, so I'll use a sextant to view. I also put together an eclipse kit .....
  9. I'm lucky to be a pretty fair musician, but I've never been able to get my hands to move the right way to play stringed instruments ... Other than the ol' 88 string. - Bill
  10. I don't know what it is, but the dog clearly has a guilty smile. Just sayin'. - Bill
  11. That looks nice! If you're doing a full length belt, consider turning it by 90 degrees so that the rest of the belt can hang out front to back and not interfere with movement of the laser tracks at the side. Also, consider putting a small index mark at the very edge of the belt, and one on your jig to help alignment as you move on to the next segment of the pattern. If the index on the belt is small enough, you can probably remove it as you bevel the edges. As for, using the laser in place of a swivel knife, it might work but unless you can adjust power to change depth of cut on the fly you will not get some of the finer control of trailing off lines that you'd have with a swivel knife. Even if you CAN control that depth it's likely a lot of work to get the software to do what you want. That's probably worthwhile if you intend to make a lot of the same belts, but likely not worthwhile if you're making just a few. Just my thoughts - Bill
  12. It's not uncommon to add a very light coat of NFO before dying. Folks say that it helps even out the dye when applied. Some will even mix NFO and dye. I haven't tried either and can't attest to whether it works or not. - Bill
  13. Congratulations! To the great suggestions above, I'd add a small inspection mirror, a small flashlight, a nut driver set (Klein tools has a great new set with hollow shafts for longer screws), a little organizer box with common sizes of small screws, C and E clips (they have a way of flying away from you to God knows where when you remove them), some spring hooks, and for hex wrenches get the ball end ones, they're great! I'd add some slip stones to your abrasives. Consider a backpack tool bag to carry tools around, it'll spread the weight over both shoulders (your back will eventually thank you!). Over time, you'll figure out what you use most and should carry around, and what is useful but better left in the workshop. - Bill
  14. I had a skinny leather tie in the 80s and loved it! It's probably still around here somewhere. - Bill
  15. I totally get it with doing your best possible work, but consider that you do sometimes need to work to a price point. It's the same with just about everything on the market today. VERY few people have an unlimited budget, but some are much bigger than others. You don't want your less expensive products to taint people's opinion of your more expensive ones. One way to do that? Branding! Release less expensive, plainer, perhaps even less durable products under one brand, and then higher end more expensive products under another brand name. It happens in the business world all the time ... Sometimes everybody knows about it such as GM with Chevy, Buick, Cadillac, etc ... Other times, brands that you buy every day are owned by the same parent company but few people know it!! Just a thought - Bill
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