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Everything posted by Daggrim

  1. A handsome laddiebuck. I don't know you personally, but judging from your avatar, he's only going to gownhill from here Daggrim
  2. I did some experiments again. My original experiments with waterproofing had inconclusive results, but this time around, I'd have to give Sno Seal a ten out of ten, and Resolene a 6 out of ten. Then Fiebings spray on rain repellent a 3. I read up some on Tan Kote, and some others, but I didn't see where they were considered to be used as a water repellent coating. I also tried some plain Neet's Foot, and some olive oil, but they were not very good without a top coat of something else.. Thanks for all the replies. Doug
  3. Okay, just to throw some balance into the mix, my advice is to run away from any 29K. I have limited experience, but I do have a beginners experience on A 29K58. I spent countless frustrating hours making piles of thread on the floor, and getting very little real work done. I used it to make medieval turnshoes. I finally sold it for less than I paid for it. I had some professional help wth it from a shoe repair guy who owned one, but he cold never quite get tit to run as well as his. Just my 2 cents worth. If you need a manual, look on the Smithsonian Museum website...no kidding. I found an entire manual, photographed from an original manual, and it was free to print out. Best of luck...you might make a million bucks with it. $350 seems a little high, but not outrageously so. Doug
  4. Really clean site. Everything is clear and easy to understand and easy to get to. IMO, I thought the Pricing page could use a few pictures. I make headbands, too, but I don't tool, i just add hardware. Your headbands are very good looking, and priced very well. Do you sell them at outdoor events? Doug
  5. Hey Tom, I'm not sure what a plague doctor is, but I love the look. It's a departure from the more high tech steampunk style. I really dig the more primitive look with the simpler details, like the one big buckle. The power is in the great silhouette, and then the distressed look, which gives it an air of authenticity. Kinda like the costume details in the new Robin Hood movie, which look wonderfully grimey. Doug
  6. Ray, I've cuir buoillied lots of leather for my helmets, and it's extremely difficult to do that on anything thinner than 8 oz. The time/temperature window gets smaller as the leather gets thinner. It also narrows for thick leather that is floppy, and not very dense. I shoot for 175 degrees, and eye it like a hawk after a minute. For thinner leather, I heat it at around 160 degrees for 3 or 4 minutes, time not being critical, then I oven bake it at 190 for about a half hour. The leather gets darker, and it scorches a tiny bit wherever it's touching it's supports. It also makes the leather tougher to dye, having some very hard areas. I don't think it would work very well for a scabbard. Too much distortion. I've never tried wax because I've always gotten very good results using just water. Wax appears to make the leather even harder, but I've heard that that is deceptive, because on a hot day, the leather will soften. What about drying the wet leather by forming it around a warmed up sword blade? It'd be the perfect mandrel. Doug
  7. I made a gauntlet as a one day project, my first, in a hurry, and it looks waay bad...bad as in sh#tty, not as in cool. I plan to redo it with what I learned, but at best it will just be functional. Yours is functional and good looking . Dag
  8. Hivemind, That's a cool link. Always looking for a way to make a buck, and have fun. There's a Dagorhir group near me, now that I've moved to IL, so I'm planning on meeting up with them sometime this year. Dag Well...ahem...I don't mean to be too mercenary, but they ARE for sale http://leatherhelms.com
  9. Oh, ok. I've been using Aussie Leather Balm, but not as a water protector. I've stopped using Atom Wax as a second coat, as it also water spots. I just recently started applying Resolene, but I just don't know if that's equivalent to Clearlac and Tan Kote. What do you think? Every time I try to find a solution to water spotting, I find a half dozen different answers, and I just can;t afford to go out and buy some of everything I read about. If saddle makers use it, then it sounds perfect for my helmets. I like some shine, but not a crystal bright shine. Thanks for the answer. I suppose I missed some of the simpler basics when I started making the helmets. I've sold many of them, and kinda cringe when I think of what some of them might look like by now. Doug
  10. Wow, you "banged" that out in a day? Amazing. It's got a lot of depth to it...I mean there are a lot of things you had to do just right to get that all to fit, and to look so good. Many layers of skills there. lotsa hours at the workbench. What did you use for rivets? Looks like rapid rivets, or maybe tubular rivets. Dag
  11. Any of you folks gonna be attending any renfaires in the midwest? I'll be at DesMoines, IA later this summer, and at one in Danville, IL, then one in Davenport , IA area, and maybe one near Indianapolis. Dag
  12. No, I've never made a kettle helm, but you're right about thier ubiquity in medieval times. It's a good suggestion, and I'll put it in my mental files, and I may get around to developing one this winter. Dag
  13. Hi Luke. I'm using 15mm rapid rivets, ordered from Birdsall Leather in AU. Very spendy to buy and ship, but the only source I've found on this wide planet. The largest is normally 12mm, but the 15mm allow me to use thicker leather for a sturdier product. The helmets have a nice heft with 12-13 oz leather. Tubular rivets are stronger, but if they're not just the right length, they don't compress enough, and they stand out above the leather. Copper rivets are for next year, when I have more time to experiment. Doug
  14. Hi people. I haven't posted any pictures for a long time, so here is a sample of what I've been doing. Also, thanks to everyone who's been so generous with their time and help on this forum. The scale stamping is my first time, so the alignment of the scales if not consistent. Doug
  15. I was shocked when I found dark brown spots on numerous pieces of leather I'd dyed with Fiebings Oil Dye, in Saddle Tan. I'd left them by an open window, and they got a few rain sprinkles on them the day before. They were dry, and had become permanent stains. I tried wetting some of the peices with water, and it permanently stained them a medium brown, after a couple days of drying. Any ideas what happened? This would have been a disaster if I'd sold a tan helmet to someone at a Renaissance Faire, and it'd gotten some raindrops on it. Doug
  16. Good luck, and I'll keep watching this thread for the same info. I've tried three times to find such a thing as food grade epoxy online, and on different forums, and I've come up with nothing. The consensus I've found is that if there is such a thing, nobody makes it anymore. This is from SCA people and rennies who make beverage holders. If somebody knows what it is, they may be keeping quiet about it. Jeeze...I'm starting to think it's a myth. Doug
  17. Felix, nice helmet. I make leather spangenhelms, so I know how much work you put into figuring out how all those complex shapes go together. I really like the nice shape of the dome. Is that held together at the top with a metal panel? I'm not very knowledgeable about Japanese helmets, but wouldn't that aventail be laced so it could telescope up and down as the head moves? Did you cuir bouilli the parts? Looks like it. I'll try to attach a picture of one of my helmets. Nice to find someone who does a similar thing. Doug
  18. Nice job on the shield. Too bad about the edges of the leather, but I think it adds a bit of a used look to it. The wear and patina of age and use make a piece look more authentic. Maybe on the next one you could just lap the metal over the leather. Would they have used rawhide edges? Dag
  19. Very cool idea, and a great look. I expect these would sell like crazy at a Renaissance Faire. You seem to have found a niche with some room in it, and are expanding out the possibilities very nicely. Doug
  20. MadMax, I got some Fiebing's oil dye, and it's just right! Dunno why I didn't just try it a year ago. Maybe I was tired of buying bottles of dye on the chance that they'd look right. Anyway, I now have the 3 colors of brown and tan I've been looking for. Thanks much...I'm back up to speed. Doug
  21. One other thing you might check, as Dom mentiond, is for rivet posts that are bent sideways. This happens if your post is too long. You can spot it by looking edgewise at your riveted material, and see if the cap and the head line up. If they're misaligned, the shaft is bent, and they'll never make a secure hold. Doug
  22. Thanks for the replies, guys. I will indeed try the Fiebing's oil dye, and the Angelus. I've read about both of them on the forum, and now it's time to make a move. My initial post was freaked out, sorry. It was after midnight, after some frustrating hours, and I should've been sleeping instead of trying to work. I was waaay past being rational, and it was waaay past time to take a break. Doug
  23. I suppose this subject has been talked to death, but I really miss the Tandy Pro Dye colors. Seems like the Fiebings Browns and Tan have too much red in them. I've been unable to reproduce the Pro Dye Tan, and Dark and Medium Browns. The old Pro Dye Med Brn was a distinctly different color from the Dk Brn. I dilute the Fiebings down to 50%, but they still just look too dark to me. The Tan has a hideous orangeish tone, and the Light Brown is like a heavily applied British Tan, and I haven't found a way to un-red the colors. Also, I know many of you have accepted the Eco-Flo dyes, and have learned to work with them, but I find myself avoiding using them. They're hard to apply, and the colors are wierd, and I'm tired of trying to find work-arounds for poor results. I'm just getting frustrated as I find the colors that I use diminishing to a very few. I once had a great variety of beautifully colored helmets, and now I'm down to maybe four color schemes. Am I just not listening to the advice I see here? Sorry, I just had to vent. Doug
  24. My experience is that I get an average of one sale per 3,000 hits. My leather helmets product has a much smaller niche than western gear, so yours might be a better average. Overall, though, I'm very glad to have a website, as I can so easily just attach a link to it in an email, and they can look at everything I do at their convenience. It's much easier than trying to explain, or to send a couple of attached pictures. I've spent many hours making the website just the way I want it, so I set it up "once", and I can use it thousands of times without any further effort. Well, not exactly "without any further effort", but I just do incremental improvements and updates now. I chose a website provider which allows me to go in there myself and make changes. Making that choice, as opposed to having someone else do it, depends upon your budget, and your capacity to endure pain. The website saves a thousand words, and I can't tell you how many times I've included a link to it in messages to event coordinators and potential customers. So, it doesn't just sit there and wait for people to find it...I proactively send it out. It's like getting a chainsaw after using a handsaw. Zoom...done. By the way, you might want to go there and see a funny video I just added, of me and a buddy leading over 300 kids out onto a frozen lake for a cross country ski race. http://leatherhelms.com . Daggrim
  25. I like the wooden extension ladder idea. I once saw a pair of nice homemade frames in that shape, stood up near each other with a set of 1x12's placed thru them as shelves. Looked great, and very portable. I have often displayed my helmets on hanging shelves...1x12's suspended on ropes which were hooked to my tent frame above. A perfect way for people to see them, and yet keep them out of reach of kids. The only trouble was, as you may expect, when a heavy wind blew. Everything would start a'rockin'. Surprisingly, it was very rare for the helmets to topple, but it did happen. I loved the way the display was positioned, and how little space it took up. I could place tables, or store my tubs under the shelves. Ideally, I'd like to duplicate the position of those shelves with a more stable setup on the ground, like the ladder frame idea. Anybody else ever try suspended shelves? Daggrim
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