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brainmonster

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  1. Thanks for the endorsement. I think I'll go ahead and order some import double shoulders from Springfield, it is just way more economical than using HO.
  2. Thanks for the response, the pigskin has grown on me, the color isn't as odd as I thought, and it's quite smooth, so I think I'll work with it. I think it will darken a little bit in the light as well. I wonder if the import veg-tan is a little bit drier/stiffer than the HO veg tan. That would make sense since I think I read that they do a faster tanning with the import veg-tan which takes half the time, by adding sodium phosphates. In my experience if a leather is dried out it never quite recovers even if you apply a conditioner, and it can't ever really be "fixed" by oiling it and that nicer leather is always going to be nicer, at least in it's natural state. Just wondering about the quality of the Hermann Oak vs. the import veg tan in general. In general from what I've read if you plan on dying/finishing the leather it doesn't really matter if you use HO or import leather, and it's worth saving money, but if you plan on leaving the leather untreated/undyed it seems like HO might be a better choice.
  3. I was thinking about trying a "natural" top coat to seal in dye. I have Tandy Satin Sheen which is an acrylic based top coat. I've heard that Gum Tragacanth can actually be used as a top coat. I was wondering how well this works or if this needs to be re-applied. Carnauba cream seems like it can be worked similarly. Actually, car detailers use carnauba wax often as a wax instead of synthetic waxes. It's known for a better more natural shine than synthetic wax. However it needs to be reapplied more often, sometimes like every 2-4 weeks. I'm wondering if it's the same with leather, which would make sense. Acrylic seems like it would be the longest lasting. I was thinking about finishing with beeswax as well but it seems like this might lead to an overly greasy feel to the leather. I looked up the ingredients for Tandy "Gum Tragacanth". Actually it contains Xanthum Gum, which is not Tragacanth but Xanthum gum is a replacement for it which is produced by fermenting bacteria instead of extracting it from a plant. Doesn't make much difference to me, but Xanthum gum can easily be obtained in powdered form at a baking goods store and I'll probably use that for burnishing and try it as a top coat. They probably use Xanthum Gum instead of Gum Tragacanth because it's cheaper than the exotic Tragacanth plant, but probably no difference. It seems like a lot of "wax" finishes actually use a mix of Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, and some kind of oil to make the consistency easier to apply. I was thinking of making my own if anyone has a recipe. I can get some Hawaiian beeswax locally, and was thinking of mixing it with a cheap castor oil, wondering if that would work as a finish.
  4. Sounds good but it doesn't seem like "I don't like it" seems like a good reason to complain or that they would do anything. It's mostly just the quality/color is quite as I liked it, and it's hard to represent color in a picture. It makes me wonder about the quality of the cowhide is if I buy any in bulk. Perhaps I'll try to ask them for a sample before I buy any cowhide.
  5. Anyone have any experiences with their cowhide leather? I just got some veg tan pigskin in from them and the quality is pretty low, worse than I thought. It's really dried out and a kind of weird reddish/pink color. Definitely will have to dye it and it's a lot stiffer than I thought it would be for a pretty thin tooling leather.
  6. I noticed springfield veg-tanned leather is quite cheap. Not the Hermann Oak, but their generic veg-tanned runs from $5-$9 only per square foot. Is it any good? It doesn't say what tannery it's from, but wondering if it's still good quality. I'd rather experiment with this than using the more expensive Wickett and Craig leather that I have.
  7. Does anyone know how to seal dye on roughout or suede? Veg-ta then dyed with water-based dye. I'm thinking about trying some Carnauba cream or acrylic based finish on it, but not sure how it will affect the roughout.
  8. Thanks, looks great! Looks a little complicated, will have to pick up some large pieces of leather, need to study up a bit on it before I try it I suppose.
  9. I want to make a messenger bag but need a template to help me get started. Can someone recommend an attractive/stylish one or a good source? Free would be good but it seems like most of the templates cost money, so I'd be willing to pay for one if it's really nice, or maybe a book with bag templates. I saw that SLC has a messenger bag template but I didn't really like the look.
  10. I was looking at Fil au Chinois thread but it's quite expensive, mostly because you have to buy a full 150m spool while Tiger thread is available in 25m. Any other linen thread recommendations? Waxed/unwaxed doesn't matter. Looking for around 18/3 or maybe 12/3 max. Seems like there is this "Irish Linen thread" https://www.etsy.com/listing/797171605/tools-supplies-3-ply-irish-linen-cord Anyone know if it's any good? Also which type poly/linen is better for high gauge, say .8mm? I'm thinking Linen might be better, because higher gauge might show thread more and linen thread seems to look better, while thinner thread might benefit from better strength of nylon thread.
  11. I want to buy some tiger thread for this chisel which I bought: https://tandyleather.com/products/88043-535-pro-line-diamond-stitching-chisels?variant=33863169638531 I don't know what size holes or what the SPI is. What thread do I need? Maybe .6 or .8? Also, if I buy another chisel, which cheap size should I buy for larger or smaller to accommodate either .6 or .8 that this chisel doesn't cover? I'm thinking about buying the cheap import chisels like this one: https://ebay.us/Gj0Rjj But again it doesn't say what size thread to use for each chisel, 3mm, 4mm, etc.
  12. Sorry for the long post. I was going to create a new topic about this but I just found this one. Does anyone know how to fix an uneven nap on suede? I think everyone hates suede/rough out and nobody uses it much these days, because nobody knows how to take care if it properly and it gets ruined easily. It doesn't seem to hold up well over time. I had a suede leather jacket awhile ago that I tried to clean, the nap was very uneven and it was dried out. So basically I sprayed leather conditioner on it and brushed it with a polyester/horsehide brush and that seemed to help a lot. The leather looked a lot richer after that and a few layers of conditioner/brushing and the coloring was a lot more even. However my main problem was that the conditioner droplets were very large and didn't really set well, and it gunked up the spray bottle and the brush didn't seem to fix the nap very well, even with VERY hard brushing. I even tried fine grit sandpaper on ruined suede and I feel like it made things even worse... I feel like you may need a metal brush to actually fix the nap, I haven't tried that, has anyone had luck? Polyester and horsehair brushes seem to have little or no effect. I just bought some split veg-tan leather and want to make it nice for making a bag, but I never figured out how to restore the suede/roughout "luxurious" feel that comes from new suede goods. Also if anyone has any advice on treating/finishing veg-tan split leather after dying also, it would help. I plan on mixing some water with regular eco-flo leather dye and dying it mahogany, then trying to finish it with carnauba oil. The regular eco-flo satin finishes don't seem like they would work on roughout since they are acrylic based, it seems like it would ruin the leather.
  13. I just posted a very similar kind of question. It probably depends on the type of camera. I have a rangefinder film camera that's very light and it came with a strap that is about 1/2" width and about 2mm thickness. The strap is about 60 years old and it's held up, but it's starting to crack near one of the buckle holes. Most straps that people make themselves seem to be of about 9oz leather, maybe 5/8" width for the strap. See this guy's strap: https://www.etsy.com/listing/722492659/brown-black-vegetable-tanned-leather Looks quite nice. Some people have noted that leather camera straps sometime snap after about 5 years, especially around the buckle holes or thinner areas. If you're leather is 2mm you could just add a little width over 1/2", if you want it to "last forever". I would recommend vegetable tanned leather also for added safety without chemicals in it.
  14. Thanks. What about the case? Google says 3.5-4mm leather would be good, but I feel 2.5 would be easier to work with. I'm not worried about leather dust, I will just clean the leather with a cloth. But I have a several people telling me that veg-tan leather may be too stiff to use for a strap, and can bite into your neck. Any ideas?
  15. For camera case - I want to use natural veg-tan undyed leather. What thickness should I use? I was thinking about the default 4.5-5 oz leather but I'm not sure if that would be too thick. District leather (I'll order from them) can split to 2 oz thickness. Would that be better? It would be for a small rangefinder, probably just a simple 2 piece case. For leather camera strap, I would attach d-rings to the end and try to add buckles to make the length adjustable. But I don't know what thickness/width to use. I thought about using this: https://tandyleather.com/collections/leather/products/4523-190-heavyweight-natural-cowhide-leather-strips But perhaps it's too heavy weight/inflexible? I haven't handled this kind of stuff, but I want the strap to have a kind of premium feel. Someone mentioned that the strips above may be too inflexible, but perhaps working/oiling the leather would loosen them up a bit. I have saphir conditioner cream and lexol already. He suggested this as being lighter/more flexible: https://tandyleather.com/collections/leather/products/leather-strings-12-x-48?variant=31977572040835 Anyway, any pointers/experience here?
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