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zuludog

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About zuludog

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    Leatherworker.net Regular
  • Birthday 04/25/1950

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

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Knife sheath making
  • Interested in learning about
    general leatherwork
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  1. I started out with a Stanley/utility/box cutter knife. I've since acquired and used various clicker knives, a Japanese Leather Knife, and a George Barnsley head knife. They're all sharp and work OK but I find I keep coming back to the Stanley knife It's a model 199A, which I don't think they make any more. It's a fixed blade and the handle is slightly slimmer than most Stanley type knives. I got it from a second hand market stall, cleaned it up & painted it. I've picked up 2 or 3 blades that fit well without any wobbling, and I just keep sharpening & stropping them; they seem to cut better when they've been resharpened than when new.
  2. Search YouTube for 'making a leather axe sheath' There are several videos; such as this one, but there are others
  3. You could do worse than to start with key chains, or key fobs as they're called in Britain. Depending on how far you want to go, they can show you - pattern making, cutting out, stitching, edge bevelling & finishing, carving, dyeing/staining, and use of the knife, and other tools Search YouTube for beginner's leather tools, techniques, and simple items such as key fobs, bookmarks, & card holders
  4. Yes, I hear that Sinabroks tools are good. There are other top quality makers of stitching chisels, pricking irons, and other tools, such as KS Blades, Doldokki, Crimson Hides, and Amy Roke, but they are all expensive On the other hand, I've been using Craftool & Craftool Pro stitching chisels for over 10 years and they're still in good condition; find them at Identity Leathercraft Whichever you choose, you shouldn't hit chisels, irons, & punches with a steel hammer, instead use a soft hammer or mallet, such as hide or nylon. A nylon maul is fairly standard for leatherwork but I prefer a mallet, and there's only one way for you to decide John James needles are good, get JJ Saddler's Harness Needles L3912 size 002 and 004 from Artisan Leather. For any thicker thread than 0,6mm I use Stitching Needles SKU 1227 from Identity Leathercraft There are various makes of thread on the market, and most leatherworkers try a few before they settle on what they like. But you've got to start somewhere, so try these - Waxed Nylon Thread SKU 1195 from Identity Leathercraft; I think it's underrated and a small roll is cheap enough to try Ritza 25, aka Tiger Thread is very popular but usually you can only buy full rolls, which makes it expensive to buy into. I think Artisan Leather's own brand of waxed braided thread is just as good, and reasonably priced. They also sell Yue Fung thread, which is excellent All these threads are synthetic. Linen is becoming less popular, but some people prefer the way it feels/handles, and that it is natural. The French brand Fil au Chinois is the market leader, but there are others. Try linen to see how it compares, from any of the suppliers I've listed. Don't buy unbranded linen thread from Amazon; some is OK, some isn't, and you only find out the hard way. You'll need dyes & edge finishes; there are loads of videos about leather edge finishing Tokonole is good; Fiebings Edge Kote and their oil/spirit/pro dyes are easy to find and as good as any Here's a suggestion - do your Searching, Surfing, and shopping around; make a short list of items you fancy, then come back to us for comments & opinions
  5. zuludog

    A new knife

    DIKMAN - you took the words out of my keyboard! That's a full tang blade; you would fit scales to each side. I think it would look good with pale wood like yew, hawthorn, cherry. Search YouTube for 'full tang knife handles' and you'll see the sort of thing
  6. Have a look at this Thread, I've listed several UK suppliers, so you can see the sorts of things available
  7. What you've asked is a piece of string question, but here's a start -- I use a Japanese Leather Knife, but they're not so easy to find in Britain now that Etsy UK have stopped selling knives, but they still sell other leatherwork tools; Search accordingly, I think they sell Palosanto and Vergez - Blanchard, which are good makes You could do worse than look at https://www.georgebarnsleyandsons.co.uk They have loads of tools for leatherwork, and they're Made in Sheffield - 'nuff said? Tools for life? I'm using a Stanley knife that was my fathers, and I know that dates at least from the 1960s; well the handle does, if not the blades. Get one anyway as you'll have enough things to buy when you start leatherwork, and a Stanley knife is as good as any to start with. Search secondhand stalls and see if you can find the model 199A handle; it's no longer made, but I think it's more comfortable to hold than the current types Have a look at YT videos by JH Leather, Ian Atkinson/Leodis Leather, Nigel Armitage, Leathercraft Masterclass, they tend to use good quality tools Have a look at videos of making items you'd like to, perhaps wallets, belts, knife sheaths, and others, and you'll see what other people use. Also videos on beginners tools for leatherwork, there are several videos. For all of these videos you'll see that the tools chosen are similar, but slightly different, reflecting the preferences of each person https://www.metropolitanleather.com sell Osborne tools, which are good. I have tried a few makes of awl blades, but have settled on Osborne You do need a certain number of tools to start with, but don't splurge a load of cash getting lots & lots of tools at first. Just get the minimum, then add more as you go along, and as you gain experience you'll be able to make a better choice yourself, and you'll probably also get to hear the pros & cons of various makes
  8. Thought you might like to see this ...... as if I don't have enough already, but I'm tempted https://bladepoint.eu/collections/bladepoint-knife-blades/products/bladepoint-ghoul It is being sold in Britain by http://www.moonrakerknives.co.uk
  9. Hmmmmm ....... I wonder .......... At the risk of sounding like John Cleese, have you actually done any leatherwork or saddle stitching yet? It's not as easy as it looks, at least not to do it neatly; remember that the people who make the YT videos such as JH Leather, Ian Atkinson, Leathercraft Masterclass, Corter Leather, Nigel Armitage and others, are experts and they've been doing it for years. And the finer or closer the stitching, the more difficult it becomes I suggest you get an awl with a small blade by Osborne or Pro Atelier Plus; 0,35 to 0,45mm synthetic thread, and John James L3912 saddler's harness needles size 004 . Then make a few card holders and wallets, and see how you get on As far as a clamp or a pony goes, if you want to make shoes, you may as well get a full size saddlers clam, aka saddlers clamp, from the start Add this to all the other stuff you'll need and you'll find that it adds up to quite a lot of money, but that's usually the case for most hobbies/sports/crafts when you start Oh, and remember you'll need leather as well!
  10. An Osborne #41 is a fine saddler's awl blade. Try one, and if you want anything thinner or narrower you can always thin it on a sharpening stone Pro Atelier Plus have some fine awl blades by Condor, and you can have them ready sharpened & mounted if you wish. Why not try the smallest blade by Osborne or Condor, and see how you go, they're not that expensive. But I think you might find they're narrow enough As the name implies, a round awl has a round cross section, and again as the name implies it is also called a scratch awl It is used to mark out shapes & patterns on leather; to enlarge stitching holes; to tease out & adjust stitching; and various other poking & prodding jobs in leatherwork. They're cheap enough.
  11. KEY -- I've just noticed that Artisan Leather are selling pricking irons at half price in their Clearance section. I haven't used them, but they look good, and pricking irons would be OK if you want to use an awl Oh, and you'll need a sewing clam or pony as well
  12. I've used a few different awls, but have settled on an Osborne #42 blade in a simple pear shaped haft Traditionally you buy a separate blade & haft then fit them together yourself, which is fiddly, but you only need to do it once - either by knocking them together, or drilling & gluing with epoxy. Or shop around and buy an awl ready assembled There are several YT videos on assembling & sharpening an awl JH Leather's recent video 'awl you need to know' is helpful, also, she does stitching with an awl in many of her videos Here are some UK suppliers, not in any particular order - https://www.metropolitanleather.com https://www.leather4craft.co.uk https://www.artisanleather.co.uk https://www.proatelierplus.com https://www.identityleathercraft.com https://www.georgebarnsleyandsons.co.uk https://www.sfleather.co.uk https://www.jwoodleathers.co.uk I do leatherwork as a hobby, and I use diamond stitching chisels, so I don't need to work quickly, and I mostly use an awl to complete or open up existing holes. This means I put down my awl if I don't need it. But if you're going to use an awl for stitching, you should probably try holding the needles & awl in your hand together, so you might find a haft with a narrow neck is better for this; search for appropriate videos.
  13. Here are a couple of tips for using stitching chisels - Lubricate the prongs by rubbing them with beeswax now & again, to make them easier to place & remove Hold down the leather with a small block of wood up against the prongs when removing them, to avoid distorting the leather & stitching holes. Sand the corners of the block to avoid scratching the leather This video shows how to use the separate pricking iron and diamond awl; she uses this method in other videos
  14. Welcome to leatherwork -- and the Forum -- and to the fun! As you've mentioned, sorting out chisels & pricking irons is confusing; here's my explanation -- PRICKING IRONS Have short stubby teeth; you hit them lightly on the surface of the leather and make marks to show the position of the stitching holes, but you make the holes themselves with a saddler's awl aka a diamond awl.. This is the traditional method, and although it looks easy, you need experience and concentration to do it consistently and neatly. For that reason many people have moved on to -- STITCHING CHISELS Have longer prongs so you both mark the position of the holes and make the holes themselves at the same time, which is easier, but not completely foolproof, so you still have to concentrate and be precise. A further complication is that they have evolved into two types - French or European style which have flat sided prongs and flat tips Diamond or Japanese style which have prongs with a diamond cross section and pointed tips The diamond style are easier to place, but some people think the French style make a more attractive stitch, though there isn't much in it You can, of course, tap these sort of chisels lightly and use them just to mark the holes, similar to the pricking irons. If the combined thickness of the leather is too thick for the prongs to penetrate fully, usually about 7 or 8mm, you can complete the holes with an awl. For both types the prongs are set at an angle to the main body of the chisel LACING CHISELS Have larger flat prongs set in line with the main body of the chisel - you don't want these for sewing with thread I suggest you start with diamond stitching chisels with 3mm spacing, and take it from there. I don't know many suppliers in the USA but these would be as good as any to start - Diamond Stitching Chisel Set from www.weaverleathersupply.com Craft Pro Fine Diamond Chisels from www.tandyleather.com - I use these, bought them when Tandy had a store in the UK Whatever you get, you shouldn't hit chisels with a steel hammer or that will damage them, so you will also need a soft mallet, such as hide or nylon There is a Thread about stitching chisels at the start of the Sewing Leather section in this forum There are YouTube videos about choosing leatherwork tools for beginners, and also watch videos on making the items you want and you'll see how other people do things. They are similar, but slightly different, reflecting the preferences of each leather worker.
  15. Thought you might find this mildly amusing - For members outside the UK, the department store Marks and Spencer, often just called M&S, stared to do this distinctive style of adverts on British TV a few years ago. And JH Leather has several excellent videos about leather craft
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