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About zuludog

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  • Birthday 04/25/1950

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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. zuludog

    Beginner Tools

    That's a good shopping list. Here are a few comments - There are all sorts of knives available for leatherwork, some of them rather expensive. I suggest you start off with something simple, like a Stanley knife/utility knife/box cutter, you may well have one already. Use that till you get the hang of leatherwork, and see what sort of knives there are, and what might suit you Yes, get the skiver and chisels, but will also find a saddler's awl useful. If you're doing thin leather like watch straps you should choose a small awl like an Osborne 41 or 42 You can make your own strop from oddments of wood & leather. There are videos on YouTube and advice on this forum If you are going to skive leather you will need a hard, glossy surface, like a marble slab, a ceramic tile, or a sheet of glass
  2. zuludog

    First sheath of this type

    Very good! Nigel Armitage has made some videos on punching holes through several layers of leather whilst keeping the holes lined up, which you might find useful 'Multi Layer' ; and several videos on making pouches with pre punched layers - these are masterclasses on precise, methodical leatherwork, and well worth watching. Just Search for 'making pouches'
  3. zuludog

    Knife Sheath - Whoops!

    I picked up that up during my time in British Industry. Here are a couple more - Definition of an engineer - 2 + 2 = 3,99 to 4,01 Definition of an alcoholic - someone who drinks more than their doctor Another definition of an engineer - 2+ 2 = 3,98 or better
  4. zuludog

    Knife Sheath - Whoops!

    Definition of an expert --- someone who's made more mistakes than you have
  5. zuludog

    Hello from Nairobi,Kenya

    Hello Kippler, a few more ideas for you I'm sure there will be lots of skilled craft people and workers in Nairobi. You could make all the wooden tools and some of the steel ones - strops, burnishers, mallets, mauls, stitching ponies, saddler's clams, knives. Get on to YouTube and play around, there are lots of videos. Use the Search Box and follow the links There are organisations that donate tools to African countries, like Tools For Self Reliance; Work Aid; Tool Aid. I don't know how you'd contact them, and leatherworking tools are a bit specialised, but if you don't ask, you don't get. Search Google for 'Tools For Africa'. I've just Searched Google for leatherworking tools in Kenya and found www.junia.co.ke and www.kilimall.co.ke Perhaps you know of them? Also I Searched for leatherworking tool suppliers in Africa. There are several in South Africa, such as www.woodheads.co.za. Now, I'm not very familiar with the distances, shipping costs, or duties involved, but that might also be worth looking into
  6. zuludog

    Knife Sheath - Whoops!

    Huh! I know the feeling! I did that on my second or third sheath; now I check and check again There's not much you can do except find someone who wants that sheath. You could try mentioning it on www.edgematters.uk , but it's a subscription only forum. However, many of it's members are mostly interested in making the knives, so there are often requests for someone to make a sheath, and by the looks of it, your standard of work would be very acceptable
  7. zuludog

    Pricking iron and Awl size

    I started out using Tandy stitching chisels and an awl with a blade that was 3,8mm at its widest (just measured it with my micrometer) and 18/3 or 332 & 432 linen thread Then I moved to some finer thread; Tandy's Hemp Carriage Thread, which is 0,55mm thick and I wanted thinner tools. I've settled on Seiwa European stitching chisels and a Number 42 Osborne awl blade, which is 2,3 mm wide. That works OK, but I could probably have gone to a thinner awl blade, like a #41 happily enough Incidentally, I've had 4 awls and each time I've mounted them in the traditional way, by knocking them into the wood of the awl. This is fairly tricky to get the blade correctly fitted and aligned. If I ever buy another awl I'll get an Osborne or similar haft that has a chuck or collet for mounting the blade; or already fitted by the supplier
  8. zuludog

    Hello from Nairobi,Kenya

    Hello Kippler, sorry for the delay; here are a few comments for you We are fortunate in Britain and USA that, despite the recent changes to Tandy, there are lots of leathercraft suppliers. Here are three main ones, to see what they can offer; I think they will all sell for export - Abbey England; Goods Japan; Tandy Leather Factory However, as mentioned, most of the tools, materials, and thread for leathercraft are now made in China, Japan, Korea and other Far Eastern Countries, and there doesn't seem much point in shipping goods halfway round the world and back again; it would be better to obtain them directly. Unfortunately I'm not an expert on Chinese industry or international trade & shipping, and I don't know every manufacturer of supplier. But here are some names to consider - Kevin Lee, Vinymo, Amy Roke, Crimson Hides, Seiwa, Kyoshin Elle. Search The Net and contact them directly I've found that there is both a Chinese Embassy and a Chinese Economic Office in Nairobi, perhaps they could help you Nigel Armitage has made lots of videos about different makes of pricking irons & stitching chisels. It is in effect a list of most leather tool makers and distributors. Again, Search the Net and contact them. Some of them are rather expensive; I'm afraid you'll just have to see what's available, and decide for yourself on the best choice. Of course, I can't tell you how the prices will be affected by duties and shipping costs, but there's one thing of which you can be certain - the prices won't go down! You can make some items yourself - Make a strop from oddments of wood & leather. This is just about the easiest piece of leatherwork you can do. Try to use a proper stropping or honing compound A wooden edge burnisher. Search YouTube, the suppliers, and Google to see the sort of thing that can be done Do you know of a mechanic's or engineering workshop? Old 25mm and 40mm hacksaw blades can be made into leatherworking knives. Search Google and YouTube for - skiving knife, Japanese leather knife, leather paring knife, kiridashi Do you know anyone who does woodturning? If you want an awl then just importing the blade would reduce the cost and the shipping, then make your own handles I can recommend these books - The Art of Hand Sewing Leather by Al Stohlman and The Leatherworking Handbook by Valerie Michael. Used/ secondhand books from Amazon are good value and in good condition I'm sure a Search of YouTube and previous Threads on this forum will give you lots of ides & inspiration; or just ask again
  9. zuludog

    Help! Sharpening French edge skiving tool

    I assume that it's straightforward enough to work on the bottom of the tool with stones, if necessary, and a strop in the usual way. But as you've mentioned the problem lies with reaching the inside of the tool, and the bevel Depending on how much metal you need to remove, start by clamping the tool in a vice and working on the bevel with a needle file. You would probably only need a flat file You could then make up a narrow file or 'wand' by gluing wet & dry paper to strips of wood that are just the right size to fit inside the tool, and polishing the bevel Alternately make up strips of wood as above, but glue them to some scrap wood to make raised strips that the edger will fit onto. Remove the edger from the vice and sharpen it on these homemade 'stones'. In both of those cases, work your way from about 400 to 1200 grit in in increments of 2 to 300; lubricate the paper with water, perhaps containing a small amount of washing up liquid/dish soap, or clear window cleaner. Only work the tool away from the edge Then follow up with a small strip of leather in a similar way Have a look at this video - 'How to sharpen French Edger' by Leathertoolz I would not be tempted to use a grindstone on your Dremel as it would be so easy to go to far and damage the edge or burn the steel I remember reading one leathercraft book which described a French Edger as 'probably the most dangerous tool in the workshop'.
  10. zuludog

    Hello from Nairobi,Kenya

    Hello Kippler, and welcome to the forum! I have a cold at the moment, and not feeling very lively, but if you could be patient I'll try to send you a longer message in 2 or 3 days Meanwhile Search YouTube for relevant videos, there are lot's of them, too many to watch altogether. Narrow the Search by looking for techniques you want, such as saddle stitch or edge finishing, and particular items you might be interested in, like knife sheaths, bags, or belts. but remember that the same sort of techniques are used in various items. You will start to see how things are done, and the tools & materials that are used Two good channels to watch are those by Ian Atkinson and Nigel Armitage Regards, Zuludog
  11. zuludog

    Proper stitching chisels from Tandy?

    The advice from FREDK is good, do the best you can. Ordinary sandpaper will not work very well on metal, but wet & dry paper will You don't need to rub the chisel with beeswax every time , about every 3 or 4 times is OK. FREDK's tip about softening the beeswax with oil is excellent! I hadn't thought of that, but I'll definitely try it myself in future You should place and remove the chisels at a right angle to the leather where possible. Any kind of twisting, wobbling, or moving from side to side may damage the prongs and/or the leather I have used both types of Tandy stitching chisels - the Craftool Pro with the flat, silver handle, and the Craftool with the round black knurled handle. I think the Pro has slightly finer prongs, but they're both OK. I polished the prongs on both types, which improved them Have a look at Tandy's website and get a shopping list together for your friend. Perhaps you could tell us whereabouts in the US, and some of out American members could give you some advice? Remember that you can use a stitching chisel to just mark the position of the holes, by only knocking it in part way, then making the holes all the way through the leather with an awl
  12. zuludog

    Proper stitching chisels from Tandy?

    Yes, you can improve stitching chisels by polishing the prongs Make a small file or 'wand' yourself by gluing some wet & dry abrasive paper to a thin sliver of wood like a lollipop stick and carefully smooth or polish each prong. It's a slow job but it can give good results. Start with 400 grit, then 800 grit It is easier to remove the chisels if you lubricate the prongs by first rubbing them on some beeswax Hold down the leather with a small block of wood, and make a straight pull, resist the temptation to twist the chisel as you pull it out Tandy have recently changed the way they do business, and have closed a lot of shops. The only shop left in Europe is in Spain, but any goods ordered from Tandy by customers in Europe will be supplied directly from USA, which will involve shipping and import duties So if you have to import items to Slovenia anyway, you could have a look at www.goodsjapan.com and www.leatherhouse.eu Have a look at Nigel Armitage's channel on YouTube; he has reviewed a lot of pricking irons and stitching chisels
  13. zuludog

    Hello from India

    Welcome to the Forum! I'm sure you'll find advice and inspiration for both leatherworking techniques and watch straps, as there are, I think, several other members who do that. You probably know this already, but YouTube has videos on repairing watches and making watch straps
  14. You usually dye plain vegetable tanned leather. FIEBINGS is the best known range of dyes & finishes; solvent based has a better penetration than water based. AFAIK their professional/oil/spirit dyes are just variations on the same thing, though I'm willing to be corrected on that There are so many variations on edge finishing and burnishing. After the straight cut edge I use an edge beveller; then abrasive paper; then apply gum tragacanth & burnish; then Fiebings Edge Kote & burnish You can burnish by hand, either with a 'slipper type' or a 'carrot type' burnisher; you'll know what I mean when you see them. I've also heard of people using a piece of antler or a suitably shaped plastic screwdriver handle You've ordered a strop? If you ever need another one try making your own from oddments of wood & leather, there is advice on this forum and YT. It's one of the easiest pieces of leatherwork you can do Cutting? There are so many knives available, and some of them are rather expensive. Have a look at the supplier's websites, and as you watch videos you'll see the different types. You can do a lot of good work with a Stanley knife, you probably have one already. The key is to be razor sharp, and keep it exclusively for leatherwork A metal straight edge or safety ruler will keep your lines straight; Search & Surf; the MAUN is cheap and does the job Most suppliers will be happy enough to advise you, and a phone call is better than an email. I have visited, and phoned IDENTITY LEATHER in Matlock and they are pleasant & helpful The proofing I suggested is OK for things like sheaths and bushcraft pouches, but when you move on to anything posher like a wallet or briefcase you might want a better finish, so ask again on this forum or a supplier As if you haven't got enough to do, there are videos on making dog leads & collars on YT. JH LEATHER is good, and on other things as well Ah, I've just noticed you say you already have a burnisher. They get better after you've used them for a while and broken them in. Same with a strop. When it turns black you know it's working because that's the steel that's being removed from the blade
  15. At the risk of rambling too much and going off topic, what sort of things were you thinking of making? Whatever you want, there is a huge amount of advice on YouTube, both for techniques such as saddle stitch and edge finishing, and specific items like belts, pouches, and sheaths. Even if you can't find exactly what you want the methods are, as the jargon goes, transferrable, and you are bound to find something similar. Just watch as many as you have the stamina for! Especially good are those by Nigel Armitage and Ian Atkinson