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  1. scrapyarddog

    Thread for hand stitching

    Ritza Tiger .6 mm to 1.2 mm and Fil Au Chinois 832 (.44 mm) to 332 (.77 mm). Strength, durability and ease of use? Tiger. Fine thread and aesthetic? Au Chinois. If you’re using chiesels, I recommend Tiger though. It’s a flat braided thread and it fills the holes much better than twined linen threads. However, if you want a more refined look, avoid using chisels and use 7 spi prickkng irons or finer + equivalent to Au chinois 532 or finer. Rocky Mointain Leather Supply has a good inventory on both brands.
  2. scrapyarddog

    Sticking with chisels instead of pricking irons...

    Nigel’s reviews are really helpful, and after taking one of his classes and had the opportunity to use some different tools, my opinion changed a bit. In terms of consistency and slanting, there’s not much difference between iron and chisel. However, chisels create bigger holes, and this causes some mostly aesthetic issues: 1. Finer threads: when you’re using finer threads, for example Au Chinois 832 to 532, the threads will not fill the holes created by a diamond chisel, and with linen threads, the movement of threads might increase wear and tear. The bottomline is it’s very ugly. I was mostly using 0.8mm threads and bigger before I started using irons so it wasn’t this downside of using diamond chisels wasn’t obvious to me back then. If you’re using larger threads, chisels work better because, well, they produce larger holes. I tried 332 on KS 7 SPI and it was a miserable experience. 2. Front and Back difference: diamond shape chisels create pretty brutal exits (blasts?). In cases where the backside isn’t visible, this is not a concern, but when both sides are visible, irons or even an awl (granted you have good skills) do a much better job because irons are thinner and the shapes are either just slits (minimal entry/exit) or more rounded. 3. Inverse available: there are situations where you have to pre-punch or mark both surface sides the leather/leathers, and it’s rare (I’ve never seen one) that diamond chisels have inverse sets, but irons do, and that guarantees both sides of the stitches look perfect. To be honest, you can still stitch without inverse, but it doesn’t look good. So again, this is a matter of aesthetics. 4. Pull out: chisels are bulkier, and it’s harder to pull out when it penetrates the leather deeply. Difficulty of pulling out sometimes introduces distortion to the holes, and that leads to inconsistency in the stitches. I’ve used only 4 types of irons: Crimson, Doldoki, Amy Roke, KS. Doldoki does a good job, but it’s rather expensive, and at the price point, I might just go with Blanchard (never used one though). Crimson is fine and cheaper but the entries are a little more rounded due to the shape of the teeth, nothing wrong about it but I prefer minimal impact on the surface of the leather. Amy Roke creates smaller entries but I’m not entirely sold on it. KS does a great job, it’s sharp (punches through with ease), the entries are very small (the exits are small too, sometimes I can’t find it), the teeth can be replaced at a reasonable cost. You can order KS directly online or through shops like RML or Fine Leatherworking. The upside of ordering directly is you can choose the number of teeth you want and I think lead time is 4-6 weeks? The downside is the iron is damaged during shipping, KS is not responsible for it. So, if you’re not in a hurry, I’d suggesting giving RML and FLW some business. They’re both very awesome.
  3. scrapyarddog

    Best Pricking Irons

    2 years late. I recommend KS: small slits, good penetration, both entry and exit look clean, consistent and precise. Also, easy to order inverse.
  4. scrapyarddog

    When the hole on the back plate is bigger than the rivet

    Thanks for the bad news... I might have to cut out a hasp from some brass sheets and drill holes myself
  5. Bought this lock and was about the install the hasp, but found out that the rivet (1/16" dia) is a lot smaller than the hole. The hole can fit a 3/32" dia rivet no problem and works well, but the supplier says in their experience 1/16" works ok too. Can anyone teach me how to set this rivet or is the rivet just too small for it's hole? Or is there a tool I need to use other than a hammer or mallet?
  6. I’ve been debating about whether or not to get a set of pricking irons, but after some consideration, I decided not to. I am not convinced that the price level of pricking irons has any real positive correlation with the quality of stitching, and as far as I could tell, the quality of stitching when using a pricking iron has close to nothing do with the pricking iron and has more to do with the size/shape/sharpness of the awl and how you handle it since the awl is the actual piercing tool that creates the slits. From what I see, the quality of stitching has to do with the following: 1. Equidistance between slits/punch holes. Both chisels and pricking irons can accomplish this. 2. Size of holes and slits. Chisels and pricking irons all come in different sizes. Most chisels create bigger diamond shape holes, but there are some better chisels out there that created narrow holes. 3. Clean cut. This has more to do with the sharpness of the chisel and awl. Pricking iron isn’t meant to pierce the leather, at least not on thicker pieces. 4. Angle of slits and holes. Both chisels and pricking irons can created slanted holes, and for pricking irons, what’s more crucial is the handling of the awl. 5. Matching thread size vs chisel/pricking iron size. This has nothing to do with the chisel or pricking iron in themselves. 6. Shape of the slit. There are sharp chisels that create smaller holes, and in the case of pricking iron, what makes the slit is the awl and not the pricking iron. 7. Consistent stitching procedure. This also has nothing to do with the markings pricking iron makes. Also, if you really don’t want to pierce the leather with the chisel but want to use the awl to make the slits, just don’t pierce the leather with the chisel, and just use the chisel to make marks on the leather. If I had to guess, I’d say the reason pricking irons were used back then is because of the strength of the steel. If it’s too soft, the teeth could bend and you’ll lose the equidistance. Using harder steel also has issues: to punch through many layers of leather, the teeth either need to be beefed up so it doesn’t snap or very sharp and fine but then it could easily snap. This might explain the shape of the pricking iron. So, to compromise, harder steel was still used to make sure you don’t lose the equidistance easily and the teeth are fine, but you use the stitching awl to actually make the slits one by one. Of course, you can probably make a pricking iron with only 1 or 2 teeth, but at that point, a stitching wheel properly used would be more efficient… Nowadays with alloys with chromium, nickel and sometimes tungsten, there are alloys that give both good strength and hardness... Am I going crazy?
  7. scrapyarddog

    Briefcase using Sedgwick

    Hey thanks! Yea, I decided to stop being lazy and drew corners that combine an 8" radius and 4". I like the contrast but most folks don't. Oh WELL.
  8. scrapyarddog

    Briefcase using Sedgwick

    Thanks! It depends, but they can run anywhere between 5 and 9 lb. A 9~10 oz + lining, 2 divider, no magazine pocket, runs 9 lb or so, and a 5 oz + lining 2 divider with mag pocket is about 5.5~6 lb. I never made an one divider w/o mag pocket with 5 oz unlined so no clue how light that would be but I assume it would be around 4 lb.
  9. scrapyarddog

    Vergez Blanchard tools 4 sale

    Anything left?? Please!!
  10. scrapyarddog

    Extending goat suede

    The problem I had on the first try was contact cement gave the goat suede too much weight, made it drape too much and eventually the suede wrinkled and glued to itself here and there. It's too soft and stretchy so by the time I pulled it apart the piece was ruined. On my second try, I only had cement on the leather side and left the pieces to dry overnight and adhesion seems ok. I did pull the goat suede off a test piece but judging from the layer of suede residue left on the leather, the cement was fine and it was the goat suede itself being loose. I'll try Heat n Bond next week. Thinking that'll make a less messy scene. Pray
  11. scrapyarddog

    Extending goat suede

    The area that needs lining is 39.5" x 8". I cannot find a piece of goat suede big enough to cover this area so I stitched 3 pieces of goat suede to create a piece large enough to cover the area. The next issue is how to glue the leather and the suede lining together. I tried to apply contact cement on both the surface leather and lining. Failed on the first attempt. On the second attempt, I applied cement on the flesh side only, then put a long strip of wax paper on the leather but I left about half inch wide of the flesh side exposed. I then pressed the suede onto the leather and gradually pulled the wax paper out and pressed the lining to the leather. The lining stretch a little and cause a little distortion. Going to try Heat n Bond and see it'll make my life easier.
  12. scrapyarddog

    Extending goat suede

    Trying to use some ultra soft goat suede as lining for some bags and ran into a problem: the one piece gusset measures 40.67" x 8", and I can't find any goat suede long enough to cover the area. The main reason I'm using goat suede is because it's roughly 1~1.5 oz thick, slightly better cow. I'm not using pig because I don't like the pores showing. I'm thinking using lapped seam to extend 3 pieces of goat suede to get to the length I want, hiding the seams at the corners of the gusset so it can't be easily seen. Perhaps, I can use a sewing machine for this but really don't want to do so. I also thought about using Al Stohlman's 3 piece construction but I'm not a big fan of 3 piece gusset on these bags. Also thought about splitting the bridle leather I have and use that as lining for the gusset (so the inside and outside of the gusset would look the same), but use goat suede still for the main body of the bag. Any suggestions?
  13. scrapyarddog

    Splitting Shell Cordovan

    It's too expensive for me too. Took a deep breath before marking. Beautiful leather, and you can see how dense it is after you split it. I did not split the pieces for the main body of the wallet.
  14. scrapyarddog

    Splitting Shell Cordovan

    In case anyone was still wondering, I split it with no problem with Cobra. Do not recommend splitting thinner than 3 oz b/c shell is very impressionable and the bottom roller might leave horizontal marks if you split it too thin.
  15. scrapyarddog

    Splitting Shell Cordovan

    I just got the C14 a month ago and ran a limited amount of leather for practice and production. The blad should still be quite sharp but doesn't hurt to strop it. Going to hold my breath. Hope no stroke.