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About HondoMan

  • Rank
  • Birthday 06/10/1964

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Oberallgäu, Bavaria, Germany
  • Interests
    Medieval Fests, Concerts, fests in general, working on me 25years old VW T3 bus, Whisky, and the Mountains

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Bags, belts, armbands, key fobs, sheaths

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  1. All I've ever done as well mate. Done in no time and no involvement of using a computer. Just a wee coffee and give it a go.
  2. From experience, it's a non-starter. I no longer take internet orders, emails, texts, or phone calls which involve measuring, be it dog collars, belts, armbands or cuffs, etc. Kenneth, if you decide to have a wee go, it will not prove well. I can near on guarantee that the client's ability to measure will be different from yours. I tried explaining to customers countless times, and it very rarely is accurate. It is not necessarily the fault of the client. I have numerous rules and tailor's tapes in me shop and nearly all are different. Perhaps the first 10cm are identical, but then it all goes to hell. Also, some will 'cheat' and simply tell you that their belt size is 95, for example, since it appears on the inside. For some companies, that means to the end of the leather and some meaning to the end of the buckle frame. If you chose to take an online order, prepare yourself for 'the belt is too long or too short'.
  3. Goodness.... Pricking irons are to be used in conjunction with an awl. One simply makes wee 'pricks' or marks on the leather and then using an awl, sews the two pieces together. A diamond chisel is ment to combine a pricking iron and awl. One can punch through both pieces of leather (depending upon the combined thickness). You need to spend time watching Nigel Armitage videos to get a better grasp on this topic.
  4. What exactly did you buy for chisels? Either tell us or post photos. From your photo, it appears more pricking iron than chisel.
  5. @KennethM, I make several belts per week and this seems to suit near on every customer. There are various things you'll need to figure on your own. Sorry, I only use the metric system. I did learn the imperal system years ago in school, but don't use it enough to know what you would need here. Men's belts have roughly 2.5mm between holes and women 2mm. Kids and teenagers can be 2mm or 1.5mm. Take into account the body shape and size. Stay with 5 or 7 holes. Other amounts offer and unprofessional appearance and it is problematic if you offer an even number. The center hole is the current size. It is best to have the client offer their current belt - with holes! These woven type belts are very difficult to get a proper measure. Measuring the current belt. If one googles how, there will be several methods. There is only one proper way. Laying the belt flat and as straight as can be, measure from the currently used hole to the point where the tine and buckle frame meet. This is how the belt is worn. Do not measure to the end of the frame or to the end of the leather. Buckles come on various lengths, so measuring to the end of the buckle or end of the leather do not offer the current length. Also consider the thickness of the current belt and the leather you will use to make a belt. This will need to be considered for the new belt. It may be 1mm or less. Also, ask the client how that current hole is for them. Is it a wee tight, loose or perfect. If too thight, perhaps 5mm additional might suit. Same for too loose. The idea is when they put on their new belt, the middle hole need to used and should be comfortable. Not too tight or loose. If the client wants a 5 hole belt, the tip of the belt to the middle hole need be 15cm. If it is a 7 hole belt, then it will be 17,5cm to the center hole. I tend to add 8cm for the bend back (part to be sewn where the buckle is). That is simply my choice. Shorter can do as well, but not too short. For a plain belt, the stitching may be the only decoration to the belt and a longer bend back can offer a stunning appearance with a slight contrast in thread colour. On that, do not stitch across the belt. This will weaken the leather at the buckle. From the buckle, stitch along the edge to the end of the bend back. Make your stitch line 4mm from the edge. 3mm is too close to the edge and your irons or awl will cause the edge to have a 'lumpy' appearance. More than 4mm will cause the leather at the bend back to open at the edge. Also, don't use too thin a thread. I tend to use either 8mm or 1mm thread. 6mm is ok. Less than that is simply too thin. From the hole the buckle tine go through, come back to the tip of the belt about 2,5cm and skive the belt to the end of the bend back. The reason, if the leather for the belt is 3,5mm thick, if this is not skived down, one will have 10,5mm of leather at the buckle (bend back area plus the tip of the belt. That's a lot of leather. Skive down to about 2-2.5mm. Use caution not to make it too thin. If you are using a D shaped buckle or single frame, you will need a keeper. How wide you make it and secure it is your choice. Sewing it into the belt is best, but can prove difficult for a beginner. What is important is the distance from the buckle to the keeper. Too far away and the trouser belt loops ge in the way. So, from the edge of the long hole for the tine, come back 3cm towards the tip of the belt or 3cm away from that long hole. This distance will be perfect. Lastly, if you have a 40mm wide buckle, you want 38mm wide leather. For a 35mm buckle, 33mm wide leather, etc. If you are adding a maker's stamp or other tooling, consider also how the client wears their belt. Traditionally, men put their belts on to the left and women to the right, but today that does not really hold true. Either ask or look. This is important as you wouldn't want your logo or tooling to be upside-down. It is also important if you have a buckle with some type of design or logo. These are generally meant for people who slide their belt on to the left. If such a buckle is for someone who wears their belt to the right, you might wish to mention this. Hope that helps get you sorted. Don't forget to post photos of your work. Would like to see your first few belts...soon!
  6. Like @mike02130 I prefer the blanchard. They are consistent and affordable and the blades are hand forged and easily polished. More importantly for me is the handle....tiny. I don't want to pressure push the awl with me palm, but simply holding it with me fingers.
  7. @Prusty, one last wee word of praise. Seems you are on early days in leather and aside that you did a right grand job on the sewing. It appears you used an awl and going through three layers of leather, not withstanding the keeper, the back side of your stitching is near on perfect. No easy feat mate. Well done!
  8. I second that. Gets on me last tit to no end. Prusty did a right good job. The amount of people who bring belts into the shop to have a rivet or screw replaced is maddening. Best of all are the rivets that have fallen completely out because the hole stretched. The average customer simply doesn't grasp they bought a rubbish belt, made from rubbish leather made on the cheap. A sad state of affairs.
  9. A smart look. Truly. A good design. And mistakes are normal, allowing us to know where to improve. Me only critique is the buckle holes. The bottom photo.... that hole where the tine goes, should be 15cm from the tip of the belt, if having a five hole belt. With 7 holes, then 17,5cm. A six hole belt, whilst nothing wrong, is a bit odd. If the wearer gains a stone at Christmastime , the tip of the belt will be under the keeper and most like won't stay. Again, I do like the design and colour matching. A nice job!
  10. I have me own shop. I am fortunate enough to have retired early (at 46) and was able to turn a hobby into full time employment. Been at it full time for about 5 years. It's perhaps 40% repair and 60% new items. I live in a rural area of southern Germany (Bavaria) at the foot of the alps. Loads of knife sheaths to make and repair. I turn down quite a bit, due to shite bags that are worth 20€ and no worth the time or money to repair. I'm in the highstreet and me flat is above the shop (attached), which makes it affordable. To be honest, I think this was pure luck on the shop-flat and the location. This would never go in a large city. Too expensive and too much competition.
  11. Right then, I never really picked up the good habit of sharpening, much less polishing blades. No sure why, just never worked it into me life. Then I got into leather and no only did I need this wee proper skill, but have become rather good at it. Have several methods for various blades and all goes right well. The slight exception is the awl blade. I only use Blanchard awls. The normal routine is to use a Whetstone (with honing oil) firstly, then to a diamond stone. Once I get a good edge, I then use dampened (water) sandpaper (3600, 8000 and 12000 grit) and I get a lovely polished edge that goes through leather like butter. Been reading quite a bit about stones to be better educated. I use a ceramic stone (3000 / 8000) for me knives and a strop for polishing. Lately, I've been wondering if a ceramic stone would be good or better for the awl blades and completely forgo the whetstone and diamond altogether. I read on a few websites that if one plans to polish a blade, ideally skip the diamond stone altogether. Me concern is how one sharpens an awl blade versus a knife blade and whether it's wise for the ceramic stone and wee awl blade. I could easily purchase a ceramic stone to test, but don't wish to hurt either the stone or awl blade. Thoughts? Cheers!
  12. No, not dyed through, which is why I feel it was no dyed at the tannery. It's black and will be dyed such. The bags are four years old and due to weather and sun, most of the sealing is gone off. I'll use the Fiebings Deglazer on a small hidden spot and see how it fairs. Cheers!
  13. Right then, Have two rather large motorcycle side bags. Originally, these were to be cleaned only. Done. Saddle soaped them each, twice. Both are made from 2.5mm sides and have been dyed black - not from the tannery. There is no maker's mark or tag, so no idea where they were made or by whom. Some of the black had already worn off exposing the natural vegtan, albeit a wee darker brown. Cleaning them has made the contrast more obvious....and they no longer stink of road! Now it has been asked that I dye them. Grand.... Nothing else other than the saddle soap has been used. I planned to add mink oil over them, but halted due to this new request. To me question: As this has taken a different turn and to be honest, never done before. Should I go straight to dyeing or use something to prep the leather? To the 'wet noddle between me ears', it seems some type of sealing was used when these were dyed. While the saddle soap, road, and weather has changed the structure of the leather. Unsure if the dye will hold without a wee more prep. Thoughts and ideas are welcome. Cheers!
  14. Good evening folks, near on 4-5 years ago, I bought the Osborne 84 splitter. Works an absolute dream when sharp and polished. Issue: Centering the bloody blade. I polish the blade roughly 2-3 times a month - sometimes more depending on the amount of use. I dread it each time. I tend to do it on a Sunday as I need quiet and time to get the blade aligned atop the roller. At the apex. Does anyone have a trick for this alignment? I don't mind going through a piece of rest leather to ensure it's straight and aligned, but there have been times when I've gone through several pieces of leather before the bloody thing is straight. I'd like to hope that after near on 100 years of this tool's existence, there'd be a wee trick to line the blade up quickly and correctly. Looking forward to the replies. Cheers!
  15. Thank you! That was what I was after..... Cheers!
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