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  1. clivel

    Hello From South Africa

    Another South African here, originally from Pretoria I moved to Cape Town after finishing varsity and then a few years later moved to Vancouver Canada where I still reside. When I was a student I had a weekend/holiday job at a tannery called Mountain View Tannery on the outskirts of Pretoria. Unfortunately at the time my mind was focused on girls not leather. My job mainly involved machinery maintenance, but looking back I wish I had taken more interest in the leather and its production as well. As for biltong, I make my own I made a biltong box a few years ago out of a plastic tote, some dowels a 25w incandescent light bulb to warm and dry the air. And a small fan - it is the air movement that dries the meat. First picture is with the lid off, the second with it filled with the marinated meat. Paper towel on the bottom catches the dripping marinade. The only problem with it is that my family eats it faster than I can make it ! And all my Canadian friends who have tried it agree, that jerky is but a poor imitation. Clive
  2. clivel

    Inspiration Please

    Thanks Sheilajeanne, The link to the bonus pattern was really helpful, although it only shows the flap this is a good starting point for creating a pattern. I had considered buying the kit, but as I want to stitch the bag rather than lace it, the kit would only serve as an expensive pattern, especially as this is likely a one off. Clive
  3. clivel

    Inspiration Please

    I realise that this is a very old thread, but I am planning on making a little bag for my granddaughter, something along the lines of the Tandy Dasher. So I was hoping that someone might have a pattern available for something similar. Unfortunately this link posted by Phatdaddy is no longer active. Thanks, Clive
  4. clivel

    Edge finishing and glue bleed

    jdm0515, After seeing my portfolio an acquaintance has talked me into making him the identical portfolio but only in a different colour. I will keep the points you suggest in mind. Thanks for the advice, Clive
  5. My newly completed letter sized portfolio. For the most part I am very happy with how it turned out, but the one problem I have been having is finishing off the edges. I used "LePage low odour contact cement" to assemble the portfolio prior to stitching, but I am having problems finishing the edges where the glue has bled. The procedure I followed is sand the edges, dampen and burnish with a wooden burnisher, sand again, damp and burnish again. I then dye the edges, and once the dye has dried, I follow with Tokonole burnished with a piece of canvas. The edges turn out exactly how I would like them except for the parts where glue has been exposed leaving rubbery rough patches. I am sure I am not the only one who has experienced this problem, what do other do to prevent if from happening? Any advice would be appreciated, Thanks, Clive
  6. clivel

    Beginner Looking for Tools in India

    If you search for leather on eBay India in the tools category you will find lots of Indian suppliers.
  7. clivel

    Manicure Case

    Hi Keith, If you have access to Al Stohlman's "The Art of Making Leather Cases" Volume 2, he gives instruction for making a manicure case on page 106. HIs books, despite the dated look of many of the projects, are a mine of useful project ideas and sound construction techniques. Clive
  8. clivel

    Gimp Help Please

    First step would be to remove the background, there are a number of tutorials on the web, for example this one: How to remove the background from an image using the Gimp There are often multiple different ways to accomplish the same thing, so it may be worth your while to search Youtube for other tutorials. Once you have gone through the exercise of removing the background, you should be familiar with layers, so after having removed the background, the next step is to add a transparent layer for the new background. Once you have added the layer, then move it below the layer containing the object, it can then either be filled with a solid colour, or with another image. Once that is done, in order to create the reflection, it is necessary to duplicate the layer containing the object. Flip the duplicated layer vertically for the reflection. Select a rectangle around the flipped object and drag it into position below the object. While it is selected, use the "Blend Tool" to apply a graduated transparency mask. Clive
  9. clivel

    Kind of went nuts on Round Knives

    Being in Canada I have more or less given up on, even with the exchange rates and shipping it is almost always significantly cheaper to order from And if you spend more than US$25 on books, shipping is free. In this case however with your Elite membership, Tandy would be your best bet. Clive
  10. Thanks for the great advice Mattsbagger and bland. I think that I'll stick with belly until I have more experience. Clive
  11. I completed my first project a few weeks ago, a small wallet I could slip into my front pocket. I am fairly pleased with how it turned out, although the stitching did go a little funny in a few places. As this was mainly to be a learning experience I used the cheapest leather I could find at a local store - veg tan bellies. For the outside I used 1.6mm and 1.2mm for the inner card holder sleeves. I dyed the leather with fiebing's light brown diluted 5 to 1 with rubbing alcohol, rubbed in using a piece of an old t-shirt. It took a couple of coats to get the depth of colour I wanted. I then followed up by polishing with a few coats of a wax/oil mixture. To me the finish looks quite good, even though the leather was described as low quality by the store clerk, and other than the rather furry flesh side, I am not too sure why he it is low quality. Which brings me to a question, I am ready for my next project, a more complicated wallet for a family member, bearing in mind that I am not going to tool it, what reason would there be for me not to continue with the belly and if not, what leather should I try instead. Thanks, Clive
  12. clivel

    Thread locking - knot slipping

    Thanks everyone for the great advice - plenty of options to experiment with over the weekend. I am using the diamond style chisels. Clive
  13. clivel

    Thread locking - knot slipping

    YinTx and Mattsbagger, Thanks for some great advice, unfortunately I will have to wait until the weekend before I have a chance to try out your suggestions. I am using 3mm pitch Japanese diamond irons followed by a Kyoshin Elle "small" stitching awl from with John James size 4 needles and 0.8mm Tiger thread. Clive
  14. clivel

    Thread locking - knot slipping

    Johnv474, Thanks very much for the response. I probably didn't really explain it well, but I do "lock the thread" exactly as you describe which I hoped was visible in the first photo. What happens however, is that as I sew the part of the thread that is pierced is pushed along until it touches the needle forming a knot against the needle as can be seen in the second photo. I have tried using a larger awl, this helps somewhat, but I am still having problems with this. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Clive
  15. clivel

    Starting out

    Al Stohlman's books are invaluable, especially the stitching book, however nothing beats a real life teacher. Unfortunately we don't all have the luxury of sufficient time, money or even availability of classes, instead however YouTube offers an excellent alternative. There are hundreds of leather working videos on YouTube, of the ones I watched, I found Nigel Armitage and Ian Atkinson the most helpful. Both have made loads of videos, so it is only too easy to get distracted, so make sure to scroll through their videos to find the introductory ones. I found Nigel's Saddle Stitch in Detail and Ian's Hand stitching leather particularly useful. Ian also has a Top 25 recommended tools video which is also very helpful. Clive