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About Riem

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  • Location
    Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Interests
    General Leather work; Calligraphy; General crafts and hobbies

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    General leather work
  • Interested in learning about
    All things leather
  • How did you find leatherworker.net?
    Google kinda kept on nudging me here...

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  1. Riem

    Cape Buffalo

    As per @BDAZ recommendation, the African Gameskin folks are a good choice. I can also recommend Oasis Tanning https://oasistanning.co.za/ I've personally dealt with them, and have done a tannery tour of their operations - happy customer.
  2. Welcome from another South African! Whereabouts are you in Mzanzi? Any leather suppliers close by where you live?
  3. Reviving an old thread - it's summer here and the flies (and mozzies) are out in full force. Speaking about flies being honoured to receive a whack from a deluxe swatter... Two recent ones, both of the hole-y type.
  4. I too want to add my voice of thanks for the change / hack, @Johanna! Like quite a few people mentioned, I was also put off by the uncivil vitriol I saw appearing on the forum, and started drawing back from even just reading posts. I really hope the change will have the desired effect, and encourage some of the lurkers to start part. To Johanna and the mods - thank you for doing a great job! I too have moderated online forums and discussions lists before, and know how difficult it can be to reign in high contributing members who sometimes "go rogue" on topics no one expected to get out of hand. My motto has always been "Moderate a great forum like you cook a small fish - very little. But don't serve it up raw!"
  5. I am deeply touched by the plight of the Ukrainian people, who are suffering the senseless and brutal aggression and ravages of the war that we see unfolding in your country. You are in ou hearts and prayers. May God protect the innocent and punish the aggressors and may those who fight to protect what you hold dear in your society receive strength and support. May peace and grace soon return to your lands.
  6. Ya bet... Heard the one about the guy lying in the rushes overhearing two mozzies yabber. One mozzie says to his mate: "Shall we suck him dry right here or fly him back to the nest?" So mozzie two says: "I say we suck him dry right here. If we fly him home, the big 'uns will bully us again and take him for themselves..." Now, looks like @Frodo whacked one of the small 'uns there...
  7. Flies of the world, you're serving notice, big time! We're coming for ya, all over... <Grin>
  8. I've used and made both types - with or without holes - and can honestly say I've not noticed a difference between the effectiveness of the types. There are plenty of people who swear by the "hole-y" ones, and adding the holes will certainly not let a fly deserving of a swat escape.. .
  9. I'm tempted to say "Newbies!" You mean you've not made a flyswat before? (Sorry, not meaning to insult anyone.) Okay, we're not so lucky to all live in a locale with few flying pests, although I know that we'd be in deep ecological sh*t if there were not any flies around - litterally. Or so the ecologists tell us. A wooden handle is all okay, byt the go-to material for the handle in my neck of the woods is stiff 3 or 4 mm thick steel wire... Best design mod I've done lately is to cut the bottom 3 or 3 cm as frills.
  10. Simple or not, Mike - it looks very good and functional. Sometimes the visual simplicity belies the incredible insight and skills of the craftsperson... One comment though: the flaring cover flap. Might it not be prone to being caught on clothing or your arm and therefore "unsnap" accidentally, leading to the tool falling out?
  11. Hi Retswerb, thanks for the positive comment. There were zero fumes. HDPE doesn't "melt" in the sense that it creates a fluid if you can keep the temperature around 180°C - at least if you keep it below 200°C - from what I've read. It merely becomes sticky, not fully "treacle like" so you have to keep pounding it with some form of pestle to persuade it to stick to the rest of the heated lumps. I used a broomstick answer other timber, sanded smooth. Key to the melting is preparation of the HDPE - it has to be in really small pieces, like in 10mm x 10mm... I spent a couple of days just cutting up the jugs. The bigger one of the two mauls contains something like 9 or 10 milk jugs, and the smaller one about 7 or 8. Patience and time on hand are key ingredients... :-)
  12. In my neck of the woods, leather tools are expensive and hard to come by. At best, the more available stuff tends to be generic Chinese imports (not always bad) or very expensive commissioned pieces. Of course one can import, but our currency is not strong enough to give me enough reason to go that route. So, I needed a better maul than the heavyweight whacker or the lightweight poly hammer I currently have. And even with the COVID restrictions on movement in place, we can still buy milk in 2 litre HDPE jugs... And although I've attempted to make an HDPE maul before - very un-photogenic but functional - I decided to start from scratch. For this effort, my inspiration was this thread: Below are two mauls made from milk jugs which I melted down using a simple heat gun and two different sizes of moulds. The larger one was "forged" in a slightly tapered crucible that used to be used to melt woodworking glue in a double boiler setup in the era before "white glue" became the standard. I inherited it from father-in-law when he tidied up his workshop before selling his house. The smaller one was forged in a crucible made of a section of 50mm diameter steel pipe. Unfortunately I don't own a lathe, so centering and turning it to perfection was not possible ("my kingdom for a lathe!") - same issue for the handles. However, key to maintaining the roundness of the maul heads were that I maintained a steady pressure by using a stopper piece of the same diameter as the crucible /pipe with a G-clamp and even progressively increased pressure while the HDPE was cooling. My previous experience was that the HDPE distorted as it was cooling. The larger maul weights 586 grams (I believe its a cat's spittle over 16oz), 64mm in diameter and the handle is made of an old broken baseball bat I got somewhere. It's got a hidden cavity of about 20mm deep on the north end filled with four or five (maybe six) steel washers for additional weight, and then the washers and nut that are visible. When I can move around more freely once COVID is hopefully boxed up again, I'll hunt for prettier and a few more heftier weights, maybe a brass weight will look pretty, and a proper nut. The spindle (spine) is an 8mm hardened stainless steel rod I had lying around, which I threaded with M8 thread - darn difficult job - about 20 to 25mm of thread on both ends. The smaller of the two weights in around 356g (12oz give or take), about 48 or 50mm in diameter and does not have any additional weights added (except a stopper washer). It's spine comes from the rod in the gas lift of a hatchback - had to replace the gas lift on one of the children's cars some time ago and kept the old part for some reason. Any case, the rod is also 8mm and similarly threaded with M8 thread. The handle on this one is a bunch of leather washers, cut more or less round and with a 8mm centre hole punched, glued with wood glue, compressed and left to dry/cure on the threaded rod, and then trued and shaped in an electric drill. I'm still contemplating if I should not switch the two handles around... Not the prettiest, but - for now - better than what I used before. It feels good to hold and swing and the test run I gave it with a basket weave stamp was definitely an improvement on performance of my old whacker...
  13. I'll have to visit my leather supplier again - thinnest I have is 1.6 - 2mm... Good reason to drive the 80 km. ;-) I have Parker or two and a couple of Sheaffers and a Faber-Castell a friend gave me recently, straight from the factory, and then there's my calligraphy pens and I think there's... No wait, this is a leathercraft forum... Sigh, so many hobbies, so little time. But I love the look of your pen case - absolutely stunning.
  14. @paloma this is a great piece of work! Sheepskin and calfskin - it came out beautifully. Calfskin outer and sheepskin inside, I guess? What thickness are those leathers, please? And on a side note - those pens... Fountain pens mostly if I'm not mistaken? I'm drooling... Sorry for reviving an old post, I have not been to this part of the site in a few months. Me bad.
  15. I haven't been overly active on leatherworker.net lately, mainly because I've made a few book covers and things similar to what I've shown before. Be that as it may, a friend recently asked if I could dress his WW2 era machete. It is one of the "True Temper" machetes, 18 inches long blade, stamped with "US 1943" and what I presume is some kind of SKA - "TT-18-B" (or is it Tt-18-8? Can't tell, the stamp bounced). Friend asked for a plain sheath, nothing fancy, no stamping, and a strap to hang it on his wall. The leather is 3mm bovine, with a welt, so that the main sheeth is roughly 10mm thick, and the piece at the handle closer to 16mm. Hand sewn with a flat braid nylon thread. I don't use pricking irons, but mark my stitch positions with an overstitch wheel, then lay it flat to prick every stitch hole with an awl before doing the sewing. The stitch length is 4.8 mm. I'm glad the friend didn't ask for contrasting stitching - the line is somewhat wonky on the back and veers a bit around the curve - centrifugal forces, methinks... :-) Dye is alcohol based, from Staycraft, a South African manufacturer. Feedback most welcome.
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