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Everything posted by jmorton

  1. Have you considered using stainless steel bolts from the hardware store? You can cutoff the head or the thread or both, as your application requires. Thanks, John Morton
  2. For anyone just starting out, the lists provided are pretty complete. I bought the largest white plastic cutting board I could find, and went to a place that makes granite counter tops, told them what I needed and waved a ten dollar bill. I got a huge piece of granite that has an odd mix of colors in it. Due to its weight and hardness, it does not move when you tool on it or when you put the cutting board on it for cutting or punching. If your work area moves around you are going to get lousy cuts and stamping. Whether you do any stamping or not, you are going to need a variety of knives. a utility knife, a rotary cutter and an x-acto or clicking knife are a basic set. At tandy(or wherever) get a stick of white jewelers rouge and go to the hardware store and get a sheet of fine emery paper and a sheet of crocus for maintaining your knives. Finally, get some cheap, ugly, cheap, belly leather to practice cutting, skiving, stitching, etc. on. Bellies are also good to practice wet molding. Have fun! John Morton
  3. My suggestion is to buy the deluxe adjustable swivel knife sold by Tandy and others. It is still less than $20, I think. Use that for a while and then, love it or hate it, you will have a good idea what you want next. The upside is that you may like it fine, and if not, just dedicate that knife to tasks that you don't do very often. All that said, in the end, you will wind up with several Swivel knifes eventually. Also, the cleaner and the sharper you keep all your blades, the more you will like the rest of the swivel knife. Happy Tooling! John Morton
  4. My two cents - See if the Tandy near you has classes. If they do, then make the trip for a few weeks to get your feet wet. They are going to try to get you hooked on leather crafting, so take advantage of any price breaks they offer. Use their tools and their leather samples till you feel comfortable. Find out if there is leather guild in the area and join. Most guild members are glad to teach you and are a pretty friendly lot. You will be amazed at the goodwill a box of donuts and a pound of coffee will generate. My first project was going to be a camera bag. After 8 years, I still haven't gotten my skills up to the point to make that camera bag, but I have made a lot of other things and my skills keep inching up. You may find that before you make the items for your MC, you will go through a period of getting better and better before you make a "definitive piece". That is where the term "masterpiece" came from. John Morton
  5. Thanks everyone! If the "half tan" is what you described, you can add Cairo, Egypt as a source. We went there this past week and I hunted down a tannery. Didn't get to go inside, but the owner was very friendly, and gave me several "samples". He said it was sheep and buffalo (water buffalo, not bison). Have not unpacked it yet, but plan to give it the "Tandy Tool Torture Test" in the near future. My first impression is that the buff. double shoulders are thick, red and gnarly, while the sheep and baby buff seems better than the English Meadow at Tandy. The color is sort of a creamy rather than the reddish of most of the Tandy Leather. he said he gets the veg material from Argentina and locally in Egypt. Thanks for the Info. John Morton
  6. A few years ago I bought a piece of leather at a Tandy store that was called "Re-tan" it is almost as slick as plastic, the manager told me that it would not be good for tooling, but it would make good purses and similar things. A few days ago I was given a piece of "Half Veg tanned baby buffalo". This baby buffalo leather has a wonderful feel and looks like a soft veg tanned calf skin. The seller had no idea about its suitability for tooling. Can any one shed any light on this stuff? Thanks! John Morton
  7. I think that the answer is to put as much SOLID mass under your granite slab as possible to give you a really "dead" surface to work on. Then put your sound absorption material under that. For instance, if you could have a second slab under the first with a sheet of newspaper between them, and then several sheets under the bottom slab. Use a table that is as solid and heavy as possible and then put some poundo material between the table and the bottom slab and between the table legs and the floor. This "Dagwood sandwich" approach will tend to cancel out the different frequencies of sound. If this still doesn;t end the problem, I suggest that you build a lightweight sound hood from a very large cardboard box such as a refreigerator came in and then hot glue some of the 12X12 acoustic tiles inside it. If all this fails then I think you need Maxwell Smart's "Cone of Silence". Hope this helps, John Morton
  8. Clair, I have never used these dyes, but I a very interested in how well they work for you. I am fairly certain that the smell you notice is due to vinegar being used as a mordanting agent in the dye. This is what locks the dye into the leather. Thanks, John Morton
  9. I am not an expert, but hopefully this thread will take off when more knowlegeable folks set us BOTH straight. (1.) A little, tiny accident involving a large drive punch and a dining room table convinced me that a slab of granite beneath the largest, thickest white cutting board I could find was a viable way to best back up for punching. The juice groove on the cutting board is also a good place to lay your punch. (2.) Sand paper is too coarse, I have better luck with crocus paper and emery cloth. Any good hardware store has these in the sand paper rack. Get the finest they carry. An 8X10 sheet of each will go a long way. (3.) As sharp as you can get them. After sharpening them, use the above papers to polish them. Please be careful! I understand that Braile was invented due to an accident with an awl. Hope this helps, John Morton
  10. leather After using my adjustable swivel knife, my wife prefers to use the "Easy carve knife" that Tandy sells/sold witht he old nature tanned stamping tool kit. perhaps your daughter would like to try one of these? I think that ST leather in St Louis selle them for $3.50. I hope this helps. John Morton
  11. Johanna, Is there any possibility of re-running the traffic stats by country? I am feeling like the Lone Ranger here in Kuwait. I realize you cannot connect me to other members, but if there is anyone else over here, I will start a thread. Thanks, John Morton Name: John Morton UserName: jmorton IP Address: Email Address: jmorton04@yahoo.com
  12. Barra, I think I get the idea! Once when I was a little boy, I hit my head on a pole. As the lump raised up, the baby sitter took a spoon and rubbed the lump back down. Hurt like the dickens, but there was no lump for my parents to see! I wonder if a 1/2 gallon glass jar full of sand or water would work for the smooth, slick & burnish functions? Thanks, John Morton
  13. Greetings from the Arabian Gulf: I another thread, I saw a reference to using a bouncer to help prevent wrinkles in a lining. I looked in an old HC catalog and see that a bouncer may have various shapes, they seem to be made of smooth dense wood. But what are the for, and how do you use them? do you rub things with it or whack'em? How do you pick the right one for your needs? Thanks, John Morton News report from Kuwait - yesterday we had an 18" rain. I found the muddy drops on the windshield and measured the distance between them. Yep, 18 inches! It was accompanied by about 1/4 inch of new dust from Iraq/Saudi Arabia.
  14. I don't know if these have been posted before, but I ran across them today. The first was a page listing tool manufacturers from several years ago. http://pslac.org/iilg/background.htm This is to a Japanese site that seems to have a lot of the same things that TLF carries, but some other things as well. http://www.kyoshin-elle.co.jp/ The second is in Japanese, (Sorry, I only speak Okie and Tex) but if you look around, there are 4 pages of tools to gawk at. I do not know anything about the catalog or the company. This may be obsolete or OOB, for all I know. Hope this is of interest. Thanks! John Morton
  15. Trevor, When you looked him up, what was he listed as? An engraver or something else? This seems like what I have in mind. Here in Q8, I see a lot of geometric patterns, but they sure are different from the ones in the TLF catalog. I was thinking about making a few items with indigenous designs and see if there is any interest. If it makes any money, I am thinking that having a roller or a plate will make life much easier. The roller you have looks like the way to go, if I come up with something that "goes". Is the Brass roller durable? Thanks, John Morton
  16. <br /><br /><br />David, Yes, I certainly remember you, How are things at P&G? I have to say that your MC seats are fantastic. I am gonna save up and get me one for my first electric scooter when my knees finally go out. Please give my regards to everyone at the store/guild. I managed to get over here without most of my tools, as well as my contact info. Please tell James G. that his idea of the USPS flat rate box is the BEST method for shipping the tools. I found someone on the Base here who will receive my tools, so in March, I ought to be ruining leather again. I keep hearing that there are leather crafters here in Q8, but have yet to find one. Great to hear from you, and hope you all stay warm. John Morton
  17. <br /><br /><br />Well, tea works, but not too well. I haven't tried coffee yet, but I guess that may be the next experiment. The wife has had success with using L'oreal hair color on some kits. She says it's Beige Blond #6. She dyed a billfold she made for me, and I think it looks pretty nice. How did the EV olive oil do? Does the project ooze after that or does the leather absorb and hold it? Thanks, John Morton
  18. My Father was a machinist & tool and die maker, so I have a vague idea of elementary machining processes, but I have been wondering how the wheels for the various embossing machines are designed and created. I am guessing that the design is created as a flat drawing, and then the drawing is cut into the the wheel, but how do they make the pattern fit exactly on the circumference of the wheel? Can anyone cast some light on this for me? Could a person make a master on something similar to a rubber band laid flat and then simply stretch it over the appropriate size wheel and then use something to scan that and create the wheel in metal? Any ideas are appreciated. John Morton
  19. Greeting from the Arabian Gulf. I grew up in Oklahoma City, and shopped in the TL when it was on 23rd street. Well, actually, my dad took me in and he bought kits for me. I assembled a few kits, most memorably, some "Bull Hide Mocs". They lasted for several years. I then took a little (40 year?) break from leather craft. Travelled around the USA working as a computer programmer for most of the last 20 years. A few years ago, I decided it was time to get back in and have some fun in leather craft. I bought some stamps in the TLF in OKC, and then took some classes at the TLF in KC. I made several belts, and carved some rounders and 1/2 backs. I had the opportunity to take a class with Jim Linnell when he came to KC to do an eagle carving class. I certainly came in dead last by a considerable margin, when we compared our work to each other's, but my classmates did promote me to "Leather Pecker, (junior grade)". I took a few classes at the TLF in New Orleans, and did a few more projects, mostly belts. I then went to Frozen Yankee Land, and took the beginning and intermediate class under Michael Boursaw in Cincinnati. I highly recommend Michael's classes. I really have no talent as a leather crafter, but I did learn a lot and do enjoy the craft a lot more. This past November, I came to Kuwait. Brought a little VegTan and a handfull of tools. I discovered that you can use left over iced tea to stain leather, but the tea is a little twangy afterwards. I am planning to make a visit back to the USA this February to pick up some supplies - and will ship the rest of my tools and some chems and more VT back in my luggage, when I return to Q8. I am about to the point where I am going to tool the top of the dining table. Wife hid my stamps. I am glad to be here on the LW.net, and hope to continue learning as I observe the projects and discussions of the many talented people on LW.net. I noticed that there is a list here on LW.net that indicates that there are, or at least were, several Leather Crafters here in Kuwait. Be very happy to hear from you. Thanks, John Morton
  20. Marilyn, I think the recipe for rubber cement is a hand full of the tan rubber bands disolved in acetone. Acetone is available as cheap, unscented fingernail polish remover. acetone may be called something else, perhaps ethyl acetate. Hope this is correct and is of use to you. John Morton
  21. I may be wrong about this, but I think that the formula for rubber cement was to disolve some tan rubber bands in acetone. I think the source for acetone is cheap, unscented finger nail polish remover. Thanks, John Morton
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