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About zuludog

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

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Knife sheath making
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    general leatherwork
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  1. You could try Etsy. Search Google for 'Etsy - leather edge bevelers'; Etsy - skiving knives' 'Etsy - stitching chisels' and so on I have bought edge bevelers & knives that way, and it works well enough. There is usually a wide range of items and prices; the prices are clearly shown in £ ; also a delivery time. I expect similar thing would happen if you were in other countries It helps if you have a bit of experience and knowledge of what you want, but the original supplier is shown so you can go to their Website or look for reviews
  2. 5mm stitching chisels are a bit big for the thin leather that you are using; you could go down to about 3 or 3,5mm For needles & thread you have a choice - For most average leather work a good standard is John James Saddler's Harness Needles item code L3912 size 002 and 0,6mm diameter thread. That would be OK, and is about the thickest/bulkiest thread that would still look reasonable However, for the thin leather you are using you could go to a smaller size of needles & thread, which would, as you might expect, produce a finer look. In that case choose John James Saddler's Harness Needles item code L3912 size 004 and thread that is about 0,45mm diameter The size 002 & 0,6mm will do the job, but needles & thread are not that expensive, you could try both. Oh, a correction. Ritza 25 thread will be expensive if you can only buy it in large reels, but Rocky Mountain Leather Supply have smaller reels, plus other makes, such as their own Twist linen or polybraid threads, which are Yue Fung under their own name And finally, John James needle sizing is a bit confusing. Make sure you get 002 or 004, and not 2/0 or 4/0, which will be too big Search YouTube for 'how to make leather bible covers' and 'how to make leather book covers' there are several videos. You could also look at videos on making wallets, which will show how to use & sew thin leather
  3. Search YouTube for 'baseball stitch' There are several videos
  4. Ritza 25 (often called Tiger Thread as there is a picture of a tiger on the full size reels) is braided, but it looks like very narrow flat tape or webbing. Cost is $6-75 for 25m. It is very popular and is recommended by acknowledged experts such as Ian Atkinson and Nigel Armitage. I don't like the way it feels/handles, but many people are happy enough with it RMLS polybraid is also braided but has a more circular cross section. It is Yue Fung thread re branded by RMLS as their own 'Twist' thread at $11-99 for 50m. I've used both, and prefer the RMLS Twist make, though they're both strong enough Tiger thread is normally sold in full size reels which makes it expensive to try out and buy into. I think the smaller reels from RMLS are priced reasonably enough to try out. The pro rata cost is very similar for both types, and really the only way to decide which you like is to try both. In fact I think that when most people get started they try a few different makes of both synthetic and linen before they settle on what they like, sometimes using different types of thread for different items. Use John James Saddler's Harness Needles item code L3912 size 002 for both types, also from RMLS
  5. I had a leather covered armchair that was worn and battered, so I salvaged the leather and scrapped the carcass I unpicked any stitching, flattened out the leather and wiped it over with a rag dampened with white spirit (that's the British term for mineral thinners) to remove any old leather grease and polish, especially from the cracks & folds Then washed it in an automatic washing machine on a gentle/low temperature/wool cycle, with a small amount of soap I rigged up a line in my spare room and let it dry naturally indoors, which took 3 or 4 days Some parts of the leather were too worn to be used, but there was quite a lot of good stuff, and the washing didn't appear to have done it any harm I use it for wallet linings, but after I've made it up I give it a light treatment with leather grease But I recommend that you try a test piece before doing the whole lot. I expect you could wash the leather by hand if you haven't got a machine Play around with the Search Box on Google and YouTube for Reuse/reclaim/recycle/salvage old leather furniture/jacket and so on
  6. A Japanese Leather Knife is usually held so the bevel is facing away from your palm, and the trailing edge of the asymmetric blade is facing away from you That's because it's not so easy or comfortable to hold the knife perfectly vertically, there is a tendency to tilt your fist and the knife slightly away from the vertical. For a right handed person the thumb tends to move outwards to the right; and similarly a left handed person will tilt their thumb outwards towards the left Try holding, say, a pencil or a ruler or a screwdriver in your fist and extending your arm. You will find it's not very easy to hold it vertically; if you relax your hand slightly, the tool will naturally assume this tilted attitude This explains why there are left and right handed Japanese leather knives So for a Japanese leather knife this will bring the bevel to the vertical. If you have the bevel facing inwards with the straight flat side facing outwards there is a tendency to undercut the leather when you make a cut Have a look at this video, he explains it well - 'How to Use Japanese Leather Knife' by Leathertoolz. Watch other videos on cutting with a Japanese leather knife and you'll see they use it with the bevel facing away from the palm I think you'll find it is easier to use a Japanese leather knife with the bevel away from your palm whether using a ruler or freehand; and if you do use a ruler this will usually mean having the bevel against the ruler. You're not deliberately holding the knife at an angle, it just comes naturally For skiving you can use bevel up or bevel down, whichever suits you and the type of leather used. Have a look at videos for Chartermade, Vergez Blanchard, and similar skiving knives as well as Japanese leather knives
  7. My Dad was a carpenter, and I was brought up on oil stones. I inherited one of his, and bought another from a second hand tool stall on the market. They are both double sided, but different, so I have 4 grades from coarse to very fine. I cleaned them by soaking in paraffin/kerosene overnight, and made a bench hook for them Sometimes I use wet & dry paper on a sheet of glass, covering grits from 1,000 to 7,000 in a few increments. I lubricate them with water containing a drop of washing up liquid. Remember that with wet & dry paper you should only pull backwards, away from the cutting edge I follow this with a strop made from 2mm natural veg tan leather, flesh side up, and green chromium dioxide stropping compound I've tried Japanese water stones, and diamond plates, but I didn't take to them - you might. There's nothing wrong with them, and they are used by many people, but that was just my choice There are loads of videos on YouTube about sharpening all sorts of tools - knives & chisels as well as leather working tools; also on making a stop. Watch as many as you have the stamina for, you must be able to find something useful and helpful Again there are several videos about sharpening edge bevellers. You can make a stropping board with strips of leather glued flat or edge onto suit the tool, and/or pull through with some cord loaded with compound
  8. You've had some good advice in these replies. Something you will quickly realise is that the same sort of tools and techniques are used for most items, whether it be belts, wallets, or bags & pouches; and that there is a lot of information on YouTube Search it for beginners tools and you will see that each leatherworker has a slight variation, though they all follow the same sort of ideas. Also Search for methods such as saddle stitch, edge burnishing etc, and items, both those that interest you and some that might not at the moment, and you'll see what other people use, and how they do things Search on Etsy for tools that interest you, maybe Japanese leather knives, leather edge bevelers, stitching chisels, and so on. There is a wide range, from the cheapest to the best and most expensive Hadrada's video channel suggestions are good, but I can also recommend J H Leather. Her videos are clear and well made, and she has several on making dog collars
  9. Stohlman's book is good, but it's a bit dated now. You can still follow his advice if you wish, but things have moved on a bit -- Synthetic, polyester threads, both braided and twisted, have become much more popular, though you can still use linen if you wish. For both types ready waxed is widely available, though you can give it an extra rub if you want. And there is a wider range of colours available Have a look at Rocky Mountains Leather Supply. they have Ritza 25, aka Tiger Thread, which is a very popular braided polyester thread. Normally it is sold in large reels which makes it expensive to buy into, but RMLS sell smaller reels at reasonable prices RMLS sell Twist thread, both linen and twisted polyester; it is the Chinese Yue Fung make sold under their own label, and it's very good I have used all three types, and can recommend them Search YouTube for 'how to saddle stitch' and 'thread for leatherwork'
  10. I had a cheap block plane that was fiddly & awkward to use & adjust, and I never used it. But the blade was quite good, so I scrapped the body and turned the blade into a Japanese style leather knife. Now I get much more use out of it
  11. By chance, someone on a knife making Forum has been asking about the choice of thread. Besides the usual sorts of thread and sup[pliers, one suggestion was Marlow Whipping Twine, which is used to whip or bind the ends of ropes It looks interesting; Search google accordingly
  12. I'd never heard of lacing twine till now. A quick Search of Google and YouTube shows that it is used to bind, secure and tie down electrical and optical cables used in the electrical and aviation industries I've just Searched Google for 'lacing twine UK' and there are several suppliers. But it seems to me that any similar large diameter thread or thin cord would do Also Search Google for 'lacing cord'
  13. Ah! I never thought of that, I'll try it on my next sheath. Thanks
  14. I have polished my Tandy Craftool and Seiwa stitching chisels, and it does improve them Glue some fine abrasive paper intended for use on metal, like wet & dry, to a strip of thin wood, aluminium or stiff plastic, and then just polish the corners & sides of the prongs. Depending on how rough they are start with 400 grit and work through a couple of steps to 1,000 grit. Clean off any grease or dust with alcohol It does improve them, making them easier to pull out. It also helps if you lubricate the prongs by rubbing then with beeswax occasionally as you use them, and holding down the leather with a small piece of wood; this prevents the leather from being stretched or distorted as you pull them out Try the single prong first, and see how you go. Search YouTube for 'polishing a stitching chisel', there are several videos
  15. Yes, this is an old Thread, but perhaps this will be useful - Try https://www.jwoodleathers.co.uk They sell various types of leather and hide, including hair on cow hide. They also have a Highland Dress Department; sell offcuts; Fiebings products; and a cutting service
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