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About zuludog

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    Leatherworker.net Regular
  • Birthday 04/25/1950

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Northwest England
  • Interests
    Backpacking, Car mechanics, Model aeroplanes, Knifemaking, Leatherwork

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Knife sheath making
  • Interested in learning about
    general leatherwork
  • How did you find leatherworker.net?

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  1. Nigel Armitage's book is imminent - 'Leathercraft: Traditional Handcrafted Leatherwork Skills and Projects'. I've ordered mine from Amazon UK, it's expected in early December. It's also listed on Amazon USA, expected at the end of October. Of course there might be other suppliers that I don't know of
  2. Well it's interesting! It's the sort of thing that someone will just see it and love it. So if the adherence & texture are even and OK, go ahead and use it I think it would look good with contrasting stitching, like bright red
  3. Yes, I would think that a strap cutter would do the job No, you don't need a wooden backing for a strop, but it's more usual, and I think many people would prefer it. Could try both and see what the customer reaction is It depends how complicated you want to be. Could make a presentation box to contain a knife, a small piece of stropping compound, a small diamond sharpening stone or paddle of some kind, and a strop on the lid. Or put it all in a blister pack or similar Search YouTube for how to make a strop. Most of the videos will be for one - off strops, but you might get some ideas You might be able to use offcuts or second grade leather, but that would mean more work for yourself in selecting and fiddling around Although this forum is based in USA there are people on it from all over the world, such as myself. I happen to know that SoCal = Southern California, but not everyone does; you could have made that clear
  4. OK, here are a few more comments 3mm chisels are best used for thinner leather, say 2mm thick, for things like belt pouches, including pouches/sheaths for folding knives & multi tools; larger belt pouches aka possibles bags; bullet/cartridge holders; covers for mobile phones and similar electronic devices; notebook covers such as Fieldnotes, Moleskine; bags & satchels; and making a wallet/holder for your stitching chisels As you do wood carving you could make a tool roll for your tools - Search YT; or simple slip on covers, I have done that for my leatherworking knives Can also use 3mm on thinner 1,0 to 1,5mm leather for wallets Unless you are making a bushcraft sheath which has straight sides, most knife sheaths are curved, so you can't use a chisel with lots of prongs, a 2 prong 5mm chisel is plenty for getting started, you don't need a full set. You can always add to it. And even a bushcraft sheath has curved parts Most stitching chisels are measured between the points, but Tandy Craftool, with the all - black finish, are measured between the sides of the prongs, so the distance between the points is a bit bigger. So 4mmTandy Craftool is about 5,5mm between the points. The easiest way round this problem is just to stay with Craftool Pro (Silver finish) or the Kyoshin Elle from RMLS To make it clear, when you polish the prongs you are smoothing the sides, and rounding off the angle where the slope of the bevel for the point meets the straight sides of the prong YouTube is your friend! Search for techniques and any items you might fancy making. There are usually loads of videos, follow the links & prompts and watch as many as you have the stamina for! You will see how other people do things, and that there are variations on a theme; after a while you will develop your own method Search YT for videos on the saddle stitch, you will use this for most leatherwork, and you might also stray onto the choice of thread. There are lots of videos, and some will probably show you the trick that is used when threading needles -- taper the end of the thread by cutting it on a slant or feathering the last 5mm or so with the tip of a knife; when you wax the thread it closes up to a point These channels are good - Nigel Armitage.......Ian Atkinson..........JH Leather...............Geordie Leather............Weaver Leathercraft...........and many others of course
  5. zuludog

    Awl blade?

    I have a few awls, including an Osborne as you've shown, and it's the best I have. However, even this needed a bit of polishing on a fine stone and a strop - most new all blades do, unless you're getting the really expensive exotica where the maker has done that for you, and accounts for the high price If you intend going through those 3 layers of leather, which would amount to 9 or 10mm I'd get a #43 blade Search YouTube for 'sharpening an awl' there are several videos
  6. Ah, sewing -- welcome to the fun! Let's take the three items in order - stitching chisels; needles; thread, and also what you would like to make To make sheaths you would typically use 2,5mm to 3mm thick leather, so you should use wider rather than closer stitch spacing. Also, it is easier to sew with wider stitch spacing, and as a beginner you would appreciate that. And here's another point, if you're using thicker thread you should also choose wider stitch spacing Which brings us onto the choice of stitching chisels Unfortunately, I think the 3mm spacing Tandy chisels you already have are a bit too close, and you would do better with wider spacing. So although you might not like spending more I would have a look at 5mm Kyoshin Elle chisels from Rocky Mountain Leather Supply. No need to buy a full set; a 2 or 3 - prong is about $15 and will get you started. See how you go, you can always add more, or go down a size Thread........ 0,6mm diameter thread will do for most leatherwork, though some people like 0,8mm for heavier work; but for now, stay with 0,6mm Synthetic thread is usually braided polyester, and the dia is given directly in mm. RMLS sell short lengths of Ritza 25 aka Tiger thread. It is very popular and well worth trying As an old traditional industry, describing the dia of linen thread is a bit confusing, but all you need to know is that 0,6mm is size 18/3 or 432 in the French system Needles.........JJ size 1/0 are too big. Buy some JJ size 002 needles, they are the right size for most leatherwork and will accept 0,6mm, 18/3, and 432 thread JJ needles have a smallish eye, even on the larger sizes. Tandy needles SKU 1195 - 00 have larger eyes (in fact they are often called Tandy Big-Eye Needles) and you can use thicker thread on them. If the thread is too thick for those needles then you don't really want to use it for sewing leather anyway Neither the JJ 002 nor the Tandy needles are very expensive, and you will have a choice of needles for most threads for the forseeable future. You will probably be able to use the thread you have already bought. You say there were some needles in the original box you bought. As you acquire different thread you might be able to use those, it's just a question of playing around and seeing what suits you Stitching chisels work better if you polish the prongs. Get a thin sliver of wood, like a lollipop sick, or a thin, but stiff, strip of plastic or aluminium, and glue some wet & dry abrasive paper to it, to make a small file. Start with 400 grit then down to 600 or even 800. Polish & smooth the sides & points of the prongs so they go in & out of the leather more easily. It also helps to rub the prongs with beeswax You can see that I do knife making, including the sheaths. I use 2,5 to 3,0mm natural vegetable tanned leather, usually shoulders, which I dye myself. But I have sometimes left it undyed, just greased, and it mellows to a sort of mustard yellow or very pale tan colour I use stitching chisels with 5mm spacing; JJ 002 needles; 0,6mm synthetic or 18/3 or 432 linen thread. Here's a thought -- no-one likes spending money, but you might find it easier to just buy a decent set of kit in the first place, then play around with the items you already have when you've gained some experience. From Rocky Mountain Leather supply you could get -- One stitching chisel, about $15; JJ 002 needles, about $7; 0,6mm Ritza 25 about $7 = about $30, and it is a good combination A knife sheath will have a font, a back, and a welt, so that's 3 + 3 + 3 = 9mm. A stiching chisel might not penetrate all the way through that thickness, so one technique is to start the holes with a chisel then complete them with an awl. In which case you may as well get an awl from RMLS when you place an order. Kyoshin Elle and Vergez-Blanchard are reasonably priced, and an awl is useful to have, even if you do most of the work with chisels Search YouTube for making a knife sheath, there are loads of videos, often with slight variations; you'll soon work out what suits you
  7. The same sort of tools & techniques are used to make many items, and there is a lot of information on YouTube. Search for the techniques such as saddle stitch, edge finishing and so on; and how to make...belts....wallets....knife sheaths or whatever and you'll see how things are done. Could also search for 'beginners leather tools', and the Tools section on this Forum Have a look at these YT channels - JH Leather....Ian Atkinson....Nigel Armitage.....Geordie Leather. There are many others of course, as many as you have the stamina for!
  8. Clamp down your piece of leather at an end or edge, and plane away from that fixed point - assuming you are using a traditional hand plane As I mentioned, look at YT videos on making an inlay sheath, they show & explain things much better than just words I would guess that things like snake or fish skin would be pretty thin anyway, and wouldn't add much to the total thickness
  9. I've never done inlay work on a sheath, or anything else for that matter, but I know the principle - The front part of the sheath is sewn at the edges, and has a hole in the middle for the inlay The decorative/exotic inlay piece is placed under the front part but doesn't reach as far as the edge; it is sewn just around the border of the hole Skive the edge of the inlay and under the perimeter of the hole so that it isn't too thick, and doesn't have a step on the front piece Alternatively use an inlay that reaches to the edge of the sheath, and skive both the inlay and the front piece so that the edge of the sheath isn't too thick . Skive and sew down around the edge of the hole Search YouTube for 'leather inlay knife sheath' and 'skiving leather', there are several videos For skiving larger areas than just the edges or ends of leather I use a razor plane, which is like a finer version of a carpenter's plane It is a reasonably priced compromise between the ease of an expensive skiving machine and the difficulty of using a freehand skiving knife or even a Safety skiver on larger areas
  10. zuludog


    I had a look at those books and thought well, yes, they're OK and nice to have but not for the high price demanded Watch YT videos for free, and put your money into decent leatherworking tools - and the leather of course! As I posted earlier there are loads of videos and you'll soon pick it up Try making something simple first, like a key fob, you'll still be using the techniques of pattern making; cutting out; saddle stitch; edge finishing
  11. zuludog


    Ah but think of the benefits! You will have many more toys and tools and knives to play with and spend your money on
  12. zuludog


    Who knows how we settle on a hobby? I, too, started with knife making and realised I had better learn to make the sheaths; I think several people on this forum got started that way. At first it was just a means to an end to make the sheaths, but I now also make belts and wallets If you do start doing leatherwork you will quickly realise that the same construction techniques - sewing, edge finishing, dyeing etc are used in many items - belts, sheaths, belt pouches, wallets and so on And one of the first things you will need to learn is the saddle stitch YouTube is your friend, Search it for techniques and how to make specific items. In your case knife sheaths, including making a sheath for a round knife, are an obvious choice, but consider others, and watch as many as you have the stamina for. You'll soon see the methods and the tools that are used - you have a whole lot of new jargon to learn; welcome to the fun! I can recommend these channels - Nigel Armitage.....Ian Atkinson.......J H Leather.......Geordie Leather Don't be afraid of the suppliers! email or phone them, explain that you're a beginner and what you'd like to do. After all, they know their stock, and it is in their interests to help you But before you buy anything you might think about asking on this Forum for suggestions and opinions on your possible choices
  13. zuludog


    Yes, John James needles For the most used diameter of thread, which is 0,6mm synthetic, 18/3 linen or 432 linen in the French system choose John James Saddlers Harness needles product code L3912 size 002. Beware; JJ sizing system is a bit confusing. Make sure you get size 002 and not 2/0 Incidentally, what thread do you use? RMLS sell the Chinese Yue Fung thread, both linen and synthetic under their own 'Twist' name, and it's excellent
  14. I've wondered if a large wood carving knife could be used or modified for fine leather cutting And you shouldn't have much difficulty making a skiving knife; an English style leather paring knife; a kiridashi; or a Japanese style leather knife; some of them are similar anyway - as if you didn't have enough to do! And have a look at Vergez - Blanchard's L'indispensible knife, both on their website and YT; you could probably make something similar, but with a fixed instead of an interchangeable blade I made a Japanese style leather knife from an old box plane blade, and once you've got used to the asymmetric/offset blade it's easy enough to use; look for those on YT as well
  15. Have a look at these YT videos and you'll see the sort of thing I mean - How to hold and use a Round Knife by UK Saddlery How to polish a Leather Round Knife by Leathercraft Masterclass How to sharpen your Head Knife for Leather Work by J H Leather Also have a look on Vergez - Blanchard and George Barnsley and Sons' websites. But note that as a traditional manufacturer Barnsley only give you a basic cutting edge and you are expected to do the final sharpening & polishing yourself as that keeps the cost down, and you can adjust it to suit yourself I have a Barnsley Head Knife and it does take a while to do that, but once you've got the edge right, it's excellent To add a bit of interest you can compare UK Saddlery's Scottish/Glaswegian accent with J H Leather's middle class English accent
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