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About trailrunner

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    New Jersey, USA
  • Interests
    hand sewn leather, small leather goods

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    reenactment leather, sewing machines

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  1. I'm aware that the flesh side is normally the side with the loose fibers, and that shell cordovan is the opposite. That was exactly my point. No need for the passive aggressive attitude. Your insinuation that I haven't added to the discussion is pretty funny, since your post consisted of first telling me the exact same thing I just posted, and then asking another (slightly related) question of your own.
  2. I've never done that, but as far as I know, shell cordovan has the flesh side as the "outside" part of the leather, and what looks like the inside is actually the top grain. What's funny is that many people actually reverse this, putting the smooth finished side on the inside, which in the case of shell cordovan is the flesh side. I think with shell it looks pretty cool to do this, but at the same time it almost seems like a sin to have the smooth side hidden with such an expensive leather. I honestly don't really know of any other type of leather where I'd prefer the smooth side in, but maybe some European leathers with a really nice suede like dyed flesh side would be cool like that for a bag or something. Plus you wouldn't need a lining leather which is nice.
  3. I use only dye now, but when I used to use paint I used Giardini and its really nice stuff. I used to cut the pattern 1/8" wide in all directions. Then I would glue, then cover the edges in masking tape on both sides of the leather. Then I would cut the excess 1/8" off. Then paint, sand, paint, sand, paint, sand. Then remove masking tape. Leaves a flawless edge.
  4. That makes sense. The reason I want to move away from solid rivets with burrs is because I want a more finished look. If the solid brass ones aren't any more clean looking than the solid copper, then that's a bummer. I've seen pictures of really old solid copper rivets that someone found a box of, and the flat side looked really nice; perfectly smooth. The ones today are all rough, so putting the flat side facing out doesn't look any better. In fact it looks worse in my opinion. It just seems like the quality of hardware is not what it used to be, and that makes all of our jobs a lot harder. Quality buckles luckily are readily available, but there's a giant black hole when it comes to quality, nicely finished rivets in various sizes. I think a custom order from alibaba is the only option for those of us looking for larger tubular rivets in solid brass.
  5. I sharpen these the same exact way that immiketoo does. I use fine sandpaper. I've been purchasing the ks blade hole punches lately, and I'm very happy with them. They're definitely sharper than my osborne punches, and seem to be better steel too. I had the more expensive of the two lines of osborne punches, but the ks blade is still noticeably nicer. If you end up getting new punches, I would look into that brand. There's one or two US vendors who stock them, so you don't have to order directly from China and wait a month to receive them. I normally stay away from made in China, but as soon as you get these punches you'll see the quality.
  6. Thanks for that information. I may give Beiler's a call. That's a huge help about the #104 rivets. I kind of suspected it wasn't a good idea to put them side by side. That saves me a bunch of time and money. I'm going to try out the solid brass #9 rivets so it matches my other hardware. It seems that when people complain about the brass being hard to set, they're referring to actually cutting the excess rivet off. I got a pair of end cutters made in Germany. The brand is NWS, and they cut through #9 copper rivets like they're almost not even there, so it shouldn't have too much trouble with the brass. Highly recommend them. Thanks for all the help!
  7. Matt S, thanks for the information about ordering direct from China. Seems like way less hassle than I thought it would be. I may look into that eventually. Being able to just order exactly what I need and have them make it would be pretty nice. No more wild goose chase.
  8. Thanks for the tips. Is that Byler Rivet Supply? I wasn't able to find solid brass on their site. There seems to be several companies in the US that will make custom tubular rivets to whatever specification is needed. Who knows what the minimum order is. Some type of group buy could work, but the problem is that it might be unlikely to find several people who all need the same rivet metal finish/head size/shank size/diameter/head shape, etc. But at least a custom ordered rivet would be a known and consistent quality. Even if you had to get a die custom made, it would be nice to have a source of rivets and be done with it. I can relate to the frustration, and I haven't even spent money on actual rivets yet. It seems like even if I find exactly what I'm looking for, I may get it and find it to be poor quality. And even if I find something that works, and the quality is good, the source will likely be gone by the next time I need to order more, leaving me back at square one. I think a custom order may be worth looking into for these reasons. Since you have experience with the #104 rivets, would you say they're pretty strong? Almost comparable to #14 solid rivets with burrs? I really just need the rivets to take the lateral force of the strap being pulled in different directions. There will be machine stitching for a couple inches of the strap, with a rivet on the end. I may try putting two #104 rivets side by side on a 1 inch strap, right above the stitching. Do you think its unreasonable to expect these rivets to handle this? Its for handle straps for heavy canvas bags. Nothing like the forces put on the stuff you make I'm sure. Thanks for all the help!
  9. I've tried searching ebay but I can only find larger tubular rivets in plated steel. Are you using brass? Also, I understand the varying sizes of domes for the bottom of the rivet. But how do you find an appropriate die for the top where it mushrooms out? I'm not sure if this is a stupid question; I've never set tubular rivets before.
  10. I currently use #9 solid copper rivets with burrs, but I would like to switch to solid brass tubular rivets for the finished look and to match my brass zippers. I've never used tubular rivets before, and I'm having an impossible time finding solid brass ones that aren't tiny. The only solid brass tubular rivets I can find are at buckleguy and weaver, both of which seem to be very small. I'm looking for something more the size of #9 solid copper rivets, to be used for attaching 1 inch wide 10oz bridle straps to canvas. Weaver has the #103 rivets which are a little larger, but only in nickel plated brass, and they've discontinued the die for setting those anyway. So where the heck do you guys get your solid brass tubular rivets in larger sizes? And what do you use to set them? Or do they not even exist in larger sizes because they're not meant to be load bearing? I'm willing to spend the money on a good press, if I could just find the rivets I need. Thanks!
  11. Thank you. That is exactly the information I was looking for. I always thought that made the most sense. I agree on taking off about 1/3 as well. Especially for shoulder straps for bags and such. Makes the whole buckle area less bulky, without compromising much strength.
  12. I know that skiving strap ends seems like a simple thing, but what I'm unsure of is where exactly are you supposed to start the skive? I hear so many differing opinions on the proper technique, and I would love to hear from those who are experienced with this. So for a buckle end, some people recommend to skive down the leather only at the very end, so that the part that actually is folded around the buckle is full thickness. This doesn't make sense to me, since skiving is meant to reduce thickness, and the folded part is the thickest part by far. Others recommend starting the skive where the leather is folded, and skiving down to say 6oz, if you have a 12oz strap. But this doesn't make sense to me either, because if the strap is 12oz, and you skive the fold and everything toward the end to 6oz, then its folded over to become 18oz. So wouldn't it be stronger to start the skive before the fold, and skive toward the end, at an even thickness of 9oz? Then you would have two pieces of 9oz leather sewn together, rather than 1 piece of 12oz and one piece of 6oz. This seems like it would be stronger, no? So why do we always see people skive down only one side of the leather to say that's being folded over to say 6oz and leave the other side full thickness, instead of skiving both sides to 9oz? So experienced strap makers, what is the proper way? Thanks in advance
  13. nice bag and nice Consew! I'll be purchasing a binding attachment soon for canvas as well. Did you have them custom make that attachment or is it a stock item? I make my own binding from very thin canvas rather than twill tape, which means it needs to be double folded, so I may need to go the custom route, but I've been looking into that company. You're binding looks like it sews up really nicely. When the inside of a canvas bag looks as nice as the outside, that's how you know its well made!
  14. I always had some glue squeeze out no matter how careful I was too. I started making my pattern 1/8 inch large all the way around, and cutting after its glued. After trying this, I never went back. Plus, gluing two pieces together never seems to get them perfectly flush, at least not for me. So then you have to sand, and for me, no amount of sanding will ever be the same as a single cut with a ridiculously sharp blade. Keep in mind if you do it this way, you'll have to add 1/8 inch or whatever you feel comfortable with, all the way around your pattern. You'll also have to glue further in than you normally would, assuming you're only gluing along the edge, because some of the edge including the glue will be cut away. The edge is so clean doing it this way. In fact, if you do this, and use a very sharp blade, I would recommend NOT sanding, because in my experience, even the finest sandpaper will make the edge less smooth compared to the cut with the knife. I glue, cut, then mark my stitch line and stitch it, then bevel, then burnish, then dye the edge. In that order.
  15. thanks for the information Wiz. I'll stick to using copper rivets for now. I sew over small pieces of the bridle leather all the time, but I'm going to avoid doing long runs of stitching on the heavier leather with this machine. Not really crazy about the way the thinner thread looks on the leather anyway. Thanks again
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