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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

    Finishing a needle point belt.

    I've just Searched YouTube for 'needlepoint leather' There are several videos for belts, bags, and a wallet
  2. zuludog

    glueing leather together

    I've looked at charts and done some calculations. By my estimation that would make a belt with a thickness of 12,8 mm or 1/2", which is pretty thick You could probably make it, but think about it as it would be very stiff and heavy; yes, I know that's what you want, but would that be too much? You're probably not too bothered about comfort, but after a few hours......? Would it flex or bend enough? And what sort of buckle are you planning? Maybe you could go for something just a bit thinner, say 8 or 9 mm? or use nylon webbing? Or make up something with shoulder straps as well, similar to a Sam Browne Belt? Soldiers and police officers carry a fair amount of kit on their belts and they don't appear to use anything that thick Search YouTube for 'Making a Tool Belt' and 'Making a Leather tool Belt' There are several ideas
  3. A sewing pony is an obvious thing to make, but here are some other suggestions - A strop from oddments of wood & leather A leather burnisher. You need a lathe to make the carrot type, but you can make the slipper type with hand tools I have made skiving knives and a Japanese style leather knife from old 40mm hacksaw blades and plane blades, but you need a bench grinder to shape & sharpen the blades; or find someone who has one. Search YouTube for 'How to make a wooden mallet' and 'How to make a plastic mallet'. There are several videos on each
  4. I remember that somewhere on one of his videos Nigel mentions that he uses a 1 1/2" Osborne awl blade. Don't know about the haft, but I expect that Osborne and others can supply one to suit. You would need to mount & sharpen it yourself If you are doing wallets, with thinner leather, have a look at this awl - Tandy Craftool Pro Stitching Awl #83020; it has a narrow blade and is sharp enough to use straight away, but like any awl or knife, it can be improved by stropping. Tandy have recently changed & reduced their prices and it is more reasonable now Search Google for 'Leathercraft Maul', there are several to choose from. I don't use one, I use a hide mallet I got from a local craft shop You can make your own strop from oddments of wood and leather, there are lots of videos on YT. This is just about the easiest & cheapest piece of leatherwork you can do, but treat yourself to some proper stropping/honing compound from a leatherwork or woodworking supplier
  5. zuludog

    Knife Sheath Template

    Similar comments as above I would make a mock - up or trial from cardboard or stiff card such as the packets for breakfast cereals, just stapled or taped together
  6. As you've probably gathered your choice is between synthetic and linen The Julius Koch company makes a braided polyester thread under the brand name Ritza; it has a picture of a tiger on the label so it is also known as Tiger thread. It is very popular and available in a range of colours and diameters; start with 0,6mm and see how you go. I've tried it but I don't like the way it feels/handles, I prefer linen; still, lots of people do If you buy linen thread get it from a proper leather craft supplier or get known brands like Coates, Barbour, Somac, Crawfords, or Fil au Chinois. Do not get unbranded stuff from Ebay or Amazon - some of it might be OK but some of it isn't very good, and you don't want to find out the hard way. Measuring the thickness of linen thread is a bit complicated; size 18/3 is a good choice for general leatherwork. Some makers only have a few colours like white, black, natural, or brown, and some have a wider range, just shop around An explanation -- In the early 19th century the French company Sajou developed a way of making linen thread with a tighter twist which made it stronger and smoother. At the time anything Oriental or Chinese was fashionable so even though the thread was, and still is, made in France they called it 'Fil au Chinois' which means 'Chinese Thread'. It is very good thread but uses the French system for measuring thickness. Again, you don't need to understand it, except that the lower the number the thicker the thread. Try size 432 to start with I have found this supplier - The Rocky Mountain Leather Supply. They stock Tiger thread in small size reels at $7 as well as full size at $39; and Fil au Chinois at $39 They also have a new brand 'Twist Polybraid', synthetic and 'Twist Masterfil' linen. It looks reasonable enough, and they are offering free samples. Otherwise Search Google This video is useful - '10 differences between Tiger Thread and Fil au Chinois' by Ian Atkinson In fact anything by Ian Atkinson and Nigel Armitage is worth watching I make mostly knife sheaths from 3 or 3,5mm vegetable tanned leather. I use stitching chisels with 4mm spacing, though sometimes I do extra work with an awl; sewn with 332 or 432 or 18/3 linen thread and John James #002 needles. For thinner leather like wallets you could use 3mm spacing Whatever thread you choose, get some decent needles - these are among the best - John James size 002, JJ product code L3912, also available from Rocky Mountain Leather Supply Both Ian Atkinson and Nigel Armitage have videos on making wallets and bags. Nigel Armitage has recently produced a series of videos on making pouches, they are masterclasses on neat, precise leatherworking and the same techniques can be expanded to produce bags. But there are many other videos; Search YouTube and watch as many as you have the stamina for!
  7. You will, soon I hope, find what suits you I have tried 0,6mm Ritza/Tiger thread, but I don't like the way it handles, I prefer linen For most of my work I have settled on - stitching chisels with 4mm spacing, though sometimes I do extra work with an awl; John James size 002 needles, JJ product code L3912; a quality linen thread like Somac or Fil au Chinois, size 18/3 Search YouTube for Ian Atkinson/Leodis Leather and Nigel Armitage. They both produce lots of videos on leatherwork, including saddle stitching
  8. zuludog

    Nigel's Pouches

    Nigel Armitage has been making a few videos on how make pouches, and they are excellent! Absolute master classes on neat, precise, methodical planning and working Even if you don't want to make a pouch, the standard of work is something to aim for, and the techniques can be adapted for other items Search YouTube for - Nigel Armitage How to Make Pouches
  9. Have a look on YouTube for Nigel Armitage; he has started to do several videos on making pouches, and they are excellent. They show neat, precise working, including pre - pricking to get straight, even stitches. If you don't want to make pouches, the same techniques can be used for other items 'How to make pouches: 2 Round Flat' is simple and easy to follow, but they are all worth watching
  10. Saddler's clam or saddler's clamp? There might be a difference, but really they are just two names for the same thing. Sorry, but I can't advise you on which one, you'll have to wait for someone in USA to respond I've since found out that www.craftntools .com is based in the Ukraine; but it will be useful to see what's available Rocky Mountain Leather Supply - www.rmleathersupply.com - in USA has a similar range of products If you are starting as a complete beginner, why not start with key fobs? They are easy to make and as they are small you can sew them freehand without a clamp or pony. They will get you used to handling leather and will teach you - pattern making; marking out & cutting out; hand sewing; edge bevelling; dyeing; using an awl, or a stitching chisel. Give them to friends & colleagues, you might get requests for more items in the future, and you might even hear of someone who has their Grandfather's old tools stored away in a cupboard.
  11. Welcome to the fun! I assume you are American, and others will better advise you on what's available in USA, but here are a few comments - If you are starting with small items you could consider a stitching pony instead of a saddler's clam, which is , logically enough, smaller and cheaper. On the other hand, if you get a clam it will do most things you want there are lots of knives available, some of them rather expensive, but you can do a lot with a Stanley knife/box cutter The cheapest precision tools you can buy for leatherwork & hand sewing are John James needles. You should get, at least to start with, size 002, JJ product code L3912. Do not get size 2/0 by mistake, these are too big for most sewing Ritza thread aka Tiger thread is popular but I think linen thread is easier to use, and would be good to start with, till you gain experience. The sizing system for linen thread is a bit obscure, all you need to know is to start with is size 18/3. Get it from a proper leather supply store or buy branded makes like Coates, Somac, or Crawfords, not cheap stuff off Ebay or Amazon. Sajou 'fil au chinois' is very good; they have their own sizing system, the lower the number, the thicker the thread. Try 432 to start with I have found this supplier which has a good selection of thread & needles, plus other things www.craftntools.com There are lots of videos on YouTube. These are good, especially for hand stitching - Leodis Leather/Ian Atkinson and Nigel Armitage
  12. Welcome to the forum I suspect you may know of them already, but Search Google & YouTube for 'John Lobb Shoes'
  13. I can sympathise with not wanting to buy another tool, but in this case a proper tool would be the easiest solution, and need not be very expensive Buy a cheap Japanese leather knife and get it as sharp as you can. Search Google & Amazon for one; and YouTube for how to use it. It is a glorified chisel, and I've wondered if a broad wood chisel could be used to skive leather You will need a hard, glossy surface to work on, like a ceramic tile, a sheet of glass
  14. zuludog

    Tandy Pricing Structure Change

    Hello Handstitched....................Please excuse me if I'm telling you something you know already, but if you are importing leather craft items anyway, you could look at www.goodsjapan.com I have bought a few things from them and I'd say the items are as good or better than Tandy. Delivery is about 3 weeks to UK; well packed. Shipping is included in their website price, but there will probably be import duties on that
  15. Just a thought - Presumably orders from Tandy USA would attract customs duty, shipping and handling charges somewhere along the line, wherever they were paid; in which case it would be worth looking at Goods Japan About a year ago I purchased some stitching chisels and edge bevellers from Goods Japan. The costs were - price of the items + VAT/import duty applied by HMRC @ 20% + international transaction charge by Royal Mail of £8. Delivery time of about 3 weeks from Japan. I think the stated costs on Goods Japan website includes shipping But you might consider that items by Kyoshin Elle, Craft Sha, and Seiwa are better than Tandy