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    SE Wisconsin
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    A bit of everything

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  1. Mic

    Repetitive leather stamping

    Invest $15 to get a stop collar for the press. Adjust it to the perfect depth on scraps, then press until the stop engages. I’ve unfortunately cut through leather with a stamp that had thin details when trying to bottom out without the stop collar in place.
  2. Mic

    Lip balm holders for gifts

    Ouch on the hand punching. I did 160 rivet holes with an arbor press, and have vowed to get hole punches added to any new dies. I’m sure the kids loved your project!
  3. Mic

    Lip balm holders for gifts

    In a school setting, the teachers would prefer not having anything sharp or pointy, so I'd also do lacing there - don't poke the litigious bears! Do you hand-cut all the key tags, or have someone die-cut them? I have a single-rivet key tag we did for an event that I cut using a 3-ton arbor press & a homemade die - the girls (and adults) really enjoyed that project & throughput was limited only on how many mallets and stamp handles I had available. Most of our events are 80 - 250 participants, so I'm always looking for something easy to make & low prep work for me. Part of scouting is learning to safely use tools that can be dangerous. We train the girls with pocketknives and kitchen knives as young as 5 years old, with parent permission & adult supervision. I'm planning on sewing with actual needles, using the technique I learned here to thread the needle with a splice - reducing the need for re-threading lost needles & saving my sanity. (photo stolen from that link)
  4. I put together a really quick project that will be easy to complete for kids about 8 years old and up. Younger kids might need some help with the stitching. The samples are all from suede scraps I got from donations, but veg-tan leather would allow more design and finish options. If you have a large circular punch, use it to cut the notches for the swivel hardware. I chose to punch the stitching holes with a diamond chisel set (mounted on an arbor press to reduce injuries and catastrophic mistakes.) There isn't much stitching, so the project will take an adult minutes and a child should be able to design and assemble in an hour. Dimensions are in the photo, 8" long by 1.75" wide. Cut the notch to fit your hardware. These make great gifts for clipping onto backpack or purse and may appeal to kids uninterested in knife pouches or with groups that discourage pocketknives.
  5. Mic

    Mallet Die Lot For Sale

    Are some of these still available? It's difficult to sort through the various posts, a list would be helpful.
  6. Wow, Thanks! I've never found that part of the site & the instruction sheets are well written.
  7. Successfully finished designing a keyfob project for the scouts. A lot of skilled volunteers helped in the making of this, and I hope to prepare 50-100 pieces in preparation for an area event The die is CNC milled cold-rolled steel, pattern is my own design. Following the milling, it was hardened by heating with a torch to a dull red & quenched in oil. Pieces can be cut with an arbor press. The stamping is done with an arbor press fitted with a drill chuck to make quick changes for tools as each scout makes her project.
  8. We are Girl Scouts ;-) The program has far less ceremony/uniform/etc, as far as I can tell, and what uniform there is seems to be highly regulated to restrict customization
  9. Hadn't even thought of that, thanks!
  10. I'm looking into getting a diamond chisel & set of hole punches for the arbor press, reducing the flying hammers and squished fingers! Considering tracing everything & having holes chiseled, leaving kids to cut out the pieces with scissors and assemble. They would also add snaps as needed. For fabric sewing & embroidery, we are picky about size, type of needle and pairing thread appropriately - is there just a standard size leather stitching needle/theead or do I need to pair things for nice results?
  11. Hi, I scored many 11" x 3" x 2mm suede rectangles from a former employee of a closed tannery, ($20, estimated 300-500 pieces), and trying to think of projects I can do with the scout troop. Some experimentation shows: can be cut with scissors can be punched with moderate force (not for a kid to do without mechanical advantage) can be colored with sharpies will not take a stamp, even with a 1-ton shop press has a small amount of stretch My initial thoughts (let me know if something is a foolish idea, I've never done any of this before!) mystery braid bracelet with snap (1.5 x 7" ish) fold-over wallet small coin-purse keyfob belt pouch for their pocket knives Does anyone have other ideas that would work for this size/shape piece? Can suede be painted with something kid-friendly? (mess/stain is ok, toxic is not ok) I'll need to invest in a couple stitching chisels, preferably for the press to save my hand. Can anyone suggest a thread size/chisel size combination that will be attractive on a finished product? image with the knife pouch layout shows the sample beneath - very light grey color. Ideas for projects: Thanks! --
  12. Thanks for the tip!
  13. Good call! Would something like this be appropriate to line up a row holes evenly, or is it better to do one hole at a time?
  14. Would a poured concrete patio / walkway be sufficient? I can have the kids sit on the ground. Edit - and some poly cutting boards from the thrift store to put under their work (protect the stamp/punch)
  15. I have a webelo stamp 8444, an Arrow of Light 8440, a BSA symbol (eagle, shield, fleur De lis) with no number, and a “cub scouts” square with I think a wolf face, but no number. I'd be willing to trade for one of each of the Girl scout stamps, since I am a girl scout leader and have none of those