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Everything posted by TBigLug

  1. What process and tools do you use to carve simple cartoon style figures? Are there any how to videos for beginners? I am doing some keychains for work trucks and want to change to doing a carving on one side of the dump truck and the truck number and info on the other. Thinking of doing one shaped like a tire too. Maybe a backhoe or excavator. I antique and oil them so they look old and worn right off the bat. They are small as well. Probably 2"x1" I want to basically add the outline of the bed, window and tires.
  2. Seems like an odd question, but where do I find leather with more scars, stretch marks and brands? I have done quite a few holsters, belts and odds and ends with the "blemishes" as my centerpiece and they love the character. Is there a place to find these "seconds"? Thanks
  3. Has anyone used these to add patches or bands to pant legs? At $100 it would save me a ton of time from hand sewing these on my bins. The old Singer is just too shallow throated to reach. What is the shortest stitch length these will go to? The bands I'm sewing on are thick and stiff. It would be nice to have a manual machine to do some lighter leather work as well. Anyone use them to make belts? Thanks.
  4. Buddy of mine lost a bunch of weight and needed his belt shortened. I haven't gotten to do any leather work since we bouhht the house 2 years ago so I jumped at the chance. He lost 7 inches and wanted me to just punch a couple extra holes and trim the end of the belt off. No sir, took the distance out of the buckle end so everything still looks like new! Also he had never treated the belt so I waxed and reburnished the edges, oiled and treated with my oil/ beeswax mix.
  5. Has anyone made a simple tobacco pouch? I want to make something that is sealed enough not to spill tobacco in my pocket or bag, smooth bottomed to make scooping the tobacco into my pipe easier (no seam at the bottom to trap flakes), big enough to hold several ounces of tobacco, a pipe, lighter and tamper and doesn't have zippers. I'm hoping to do something that folds on itself, or has a cord that wraps around to secure it or maybe a strap and buckle. Has anyone made one before, have a pattern or advice regarding leather thickness or how to do the ends. Thanks.
  6. No problem, take it, change it, adjust it, share it, make it your own. Hopefully it helps.
  7. I can give you some insight. It's been about a year now and I've learned some things along the way. #1 get the cheaper "Safety Skivver" the expensive one is useless and hard to use for me. #2 I have found I use only the stitching chisels I have only once used the overstitch/ stitching wheel once and it looked terrible (my fault, harder to use) #3 Ritza Tiger thread is sent directly from heaven as is strong enough to pull your truck out of a ditch (lol). #4 The money I spent on the carving and stenciling tools was wasted, I'm not artistic and cannot carve leather (yet, I haven't given up completely). #5 The strap cutter has been a godsend for all the belts, collars and straps I've done. #6 the rotary cutting tool is a dangerous but indispensable tool. #7 The 6 prong stitching chisel is useless in thick leather and you will bend the prongs learning how to use it, rendering it useless. Get a bone folder to hold down the leather while you pull it out. Start with the cheap chisel set off Amazon, still using mine after a year. #8 Don't wax your chisel if you want your dye to color the inside of your stitch holes. #9 Get the best diamond awl, jewelers pliers and harness needles (John James) you can. Those are the thtee most used items for me. #10 have fun! I use the vast majority of my tools to some degree BUT the short list to test the waters is cutting mat, rotary cutting tool, edge beveler, contact cement, wing dividers, stitching chisel set, diamond awl, jewelers pliers, ritza waxed thread, harness needles. I'm no expert, just sharing my experience. I'm sure there will be some "professional" leatherworkers that can offer their own opinion about why my list is bunk, lol. Also as a side note, I primarily make belts, collars and holsters so I work with 8-12 oz leather. If you're doing thin leather bags, wallets, etc you may need differant stuff.
  8. Pretty basic. Started with raw veg tan leather. Wiped down with deglazer on a towel. Immediately applied mahogony dye with a tack sponge going left to right, top to bottom then top to bottom, right to left to cover from all directions. Let dry 30 min then on with stitching. Normally I punch my stitch holes before dying but I got in a rush last night.
  9. Last pic. Could have stood to be another 1/4 inch longer but it works for me. I like my holsters open ended anyway.
  10. Built it for my wife's short barrel G&G. Definitely better stitched than my adapter. Ised chisels and thicker thread. Mahogony stain. 8-9 oz leather. Bag kote. Didn't turn out too bad. Had no pattern so I started fully from scratch on this one, lol.
  11. TBigLug

    Leather Strop

    Sounds like a good teason to make another one someday.
  12. I saw those, where can I find an oblong punch that is wider, say a 1/4 or 1/2 inch instead of the 1/8 or smaller I see mostly? I'm using a hybrid, I use the chisels to mark my holes then finish off with an awl. I don't pound all the way through with the chisels because it was opening my holes up too much and deforming the leather on my two layers. I should probably go back to just hammering through until I get better with my awl. It rides good. I haven't got to range test it yet but it feels great. Holds it down low enough I can clear that long 8" barrel without looking like the Joker and pulling it above my head to draw it, lol.
  13. Wet it down with sponge until it turns darker, wait until the surface goes back to original color but leather still feels cool to the touch. Stamp away. That's an abbreviated process but that's how I've been told. Start on some scrap to practice as well.
  14. Also if I had it to do over I would make the main slot narrower and the belt slots a little narrower as well.
  15. So I recently got in to black powder revolvers. That in turn is what got me into leather working again. The first gun I bought was an 1851 Navy that came with a holster. I quickly discovered the belt loop was way to small to go over my gun belt. Turns out it was designed to work with a belt style called bandolero. I decided instead of making a new bandolero style belt I would build an adapter for my current belt. I wasn't able to find one for sale and figured, what the heck. I got leather, let's see what happens. I used two layers of 5-7, mostly for stitching practice. I still for the life of me cannot get the backside of my stitch holes to line up. I think it just boils down to taking my time. I need to build a taller stitching pony. I'm 6'5 and have to get super hunched over to use the one I have now. I dyed the outside burgundy to test out some shading, not to match the holster. Oiled with neetsfoot, finished with my neetsfoot/ beeswax mix. Looks like it will work fine. Does anyone have an idea for cutting the slots better? The belt slots I punched eaxh end with my 5/16 maxi punch then layed my ruler along the top and bottom to cut out. Didn't go good. Bottom slot I didn't have a 1/2 punch for ends so I had to trace ot out, make my straight cuts then havk, chisel, cuss and carve to get out the rounded ends. Went even worse. Super hosed that one. Open to ideas. I'm not sure if a strap punch will go through multiple layers without deforming the top. Or do you punch from back side?
  16. Still looks good. I like imperfect leather goods anyway. Shows it was built by a real person not stamped on a machine.
  17. That's a cool design. Outside the box meets traditional, good job.
  18. TBigLug

    Leather Strop

    The flesh side seems to work the best for me to start on then finish off on the grain side. I could probably skip right to the grain side but this way I have options.
  19. TBigLug

    Leather Strop

    I needed to put together a stropping board. Found a chunk of 2x3, cut a 2" strip of leather 24" long, glued one 12" piece flesh side out, other 12" piece grain side out, found a pair of 1" strips mounted them the same on the sides. All of it contact cemented to the wood. Now I have rough and smooth out surfaces in 2" for my blades and 1" for my awls and edgers. Rub on some rouge and away we go.
  20. I tried to get a couple pictures but he's terrible at focusing for pictures, lol. His neck measurement is 24" right on the nose. When he stands on his back feet he can look my 5'3 wife right in the eyes. Super smart, super protective dog. I raised him to do one thing, protect my wife. He does that job superbly.
  21. Got my latest leather project done. 2 layer all hand stitched dog collar for Barney. Used an old brass buckle and D ring off of one of our old horse halters. Gives it the antique look but the strength of new. I blew the lining up of a bunch of stitches on the rear but you won't see them when it's on a 200 lb Great Dane St. Bernard cross anyway, lol. First time doing a long line of stitching on ome item. Lots of room to improve. The decision to dye it mahogony was made after the pieces were glued together so the natural color shows arond the D ring. Holds some sentimental meaning to me. The hardware came off some old halters that my grandfather used for years on our draft horses. Hence the rust and tarnish patina.
  22. This was the chart I used to help in the conversion from old to new number area. Craftool Conversion Chart.pdf
  23. Just for grins I put together another list of tools to help my wife and I get started in carving leather. I sat down with Al Stohlman's How To Carve Leather and actually made a list of every tool he used throughout the book, how many times it was used, what the current tool (or closest equivalent I could find) number was and sorted it all out. My plan is for my wife to decide which examples she likes the best and I can start my tool collection from there. Carving by carving until we get them all, lol. I thought I'd put it up here in case it could help anyone else out who was just getting started. It gives an interesting insight into which tools are used the most (in this book). How To Carve Leather Tool List 2.pdf How To Carve Leather Tool List.pdf
  24. I saw it in a post somewhere but can't find it again. Apparently my search terms were incorrect. How do I clean my leather of the "residue" from the manufacturing process? I'm getting my feet wet with an econo veg tan side from HH. When I wet a piece I was folding over for a pocket holster I noticed there was a couple spots that did not take water. My only guess is that it was a small drop of "manufacturing residue", lol. I thought someone mentioned cleaning with alcohol or mineral spirits. I'd appreciate any help. Thanks.
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