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About Spyros

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  • Location
    Melbourne Australia
  • Interests
    Woodworking / Photography

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Tools probably

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  1. Very nice! I'm still undecided if I should add a base or not on mine, for the time being I kinda like it that I can tilt it in any direction between my knees, and it stands up on it's own anyway. The timber on mine is literally the cheapest I could find, a $20 "mixed hardwood" sleeper from Bunnings. It's kind of a secret between woodworkers in Australia, if the "mixed hardwood" is cypress it's usually really pretty inside, some guys have built whole decks out of old fence posts and garden sleepers. Tassie oak is about 30 times more expensive, and pretty boring visually. I know I'm taking some chances with the wood, it has a couple of hairline cracks and it's not kiln dried obviously. Long term it might end up developing a twist or a bow as it dries and I may or may not be able to adjust it. But I've been lucky before and it's a quick project anyway, worse case I'll lust make another one.
  2. Also, IMO don't worry about "recommended", there's really no such thing. Make the tool that suits you.
  3. I've made a couple of those smaller ones to be honest in the end they just don't work for me, unless I'm making something really small like a wallet. The problem is the depth of the opening, like if I want to put a bag in there it just doesn't fit. I've also tried a traditional clam design and that doesn't work for me either, I just can't get comfortable with that thing. So last weekend I went ahead and I made this giant clothes peg LOL That works. Fast opening/closing action, very comfortable height (for me anyway), and it fits pretty much anything. And easy to make if you have a decent bandsaw. Definitely keep the one you're making, it will get used, but I think sooner or later you'll also want something bigger.
  4. My whole bench is dressed with half inch HDPE (in white so I can see what I'm doing. Black sounded like a good a idea but black leather disappears in it). Never had any issues with HDPE, KS blades and punches going strong after a couple of years. I did nearly destroy a nice round punch from Kevin Lee because I forgot I was on the anvil I did save it in the end but it took a lot of work turning it on the drill press and reshaping it with files and sandpaper.
  5. Nice Get yourself some original Dremel bits. The ones that come with those cheaper tools will still do the job, but find the ones that you use the most or are most important for what you do and get Dremel branded ones. Bunnies has them.
  6. why don't you just grab an ozito from bunnies?
  7. Half my tools are made in my back yard :D There's a lot of appetite for locally made tools in the market, people would buy them, but no one seems interested to make them. The bottom line is if you're in Australia and want to invest in something there are easier ways to make money. Manufacturing is hard and low margin.
  8. I have a similar one from a brand called "OZITO", which is short for "Aussie tools". The brand started its life as tools made in Australia for the Australian market, then eventually got sold, and they kept the brand name but it's now all cheap tools made in China and imported to Australia, and you can only find them in a big box store. They are pretty much the cheapest electric tools you can buy in Australia. But, they are honest about it, in fact it's the only tools I've seen that have a big red tab hanging from the cable that says "FOR DIY USE ONLY". They're just not built for tradespeople throwing them around and stepping on them in job sites. But you know what? if you use them with care every now and then in a normal workshop environment they get the job done and they last forever and a day. I have OZITO angle grinder , jig saw, heat gun, leaf blower, belt sander, and this little rotary tool that I use for burnishing leather and widening holes, and they've all been working perfectly fine for years and years. I don't see any reason to buy expensive tools for light jobs. The tools that I use heavily every day is a different story.
  9. Υeah it's probably about as Chinese as Milwaukee tools, you can't make all that in the west and sell it for 49 australian dollars. But it's not about where it's made, it's about how it's made. Go to Kevin lee or Kemovan in China and they will make you some high quality tools (and charge you accordingly).
  10. Diggin up this old thread. I ordered a couple of those, sometimes on the sides of bags and gussets it's easier to make the holes as a last step, and I can't easily reach with normal chisels. Also sometimes with multiple layers I struggle to come out the other side completely vertically, I'm thinking this might help as I can check where I am on both sides before going through. The also happen to match the shape and size of some other chisels I have so I can use them only in those areas that they're needed and the overall stitching will look consistent. I got them from leathermob in Hong Kong (Etsy). I looks like prices have gone up lately though.
  11. I think all those videos and instructions should come with a fair warning that this craft is not for everybody because it requires above average dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Making things look easy is great for making popular videos, but it's kind of misleading in my opinion and will inevitably lead to frustration. Sooner or later the person watching the videos will be required to cut something freehand, or make paint stand on a 1mm edge without spilling over, or skive something which is already very thin, or make multiple holes on something very thick while making sure they come out the other end exactly aligned, or sharpen a tiny awl blade without turning the awl into a dart, etc etc. Regardless of machines and tools and jigs and techniques that make those and other tasks easier, I think it's fair to expect from a crafts person to be better with their hands and their eyes than most people. I also think tools cost is nothing compared to labour cost, when you realise what you have to pay to provide a fair hourly salary to the person doing the work (whether it's yourself or someone else). Especially if you're in a western country. In that respect leatherworking is absolutely extremely expensive, because it takes time. We just tend to not value our own time high enough, because deep down we love what we're doing and enjoying every minute of it, and so we think it's kind of cheating to ask to get paid for it the same as someone slaving away in a job they hate. But that doesn't mean that the cost of doing leather working got reduced, it just means we're getting poorer and poorer the more leatherworking we do.
  12. It can be. If you want to follow the English tradition of fine leathercrafting, you have to skive pretty much everything that can be skived, it's basically a competition in thin-ness LOL I've seen guys skiving zippers, no joke. And then edge paint multiple coats on every edge, leaving hours to dry between coats, put a hot crease on anything that can be creased, buff anything that can be buffed, line anything that can be lined, and before you know it you've spent days on a wallet. Which is great, and I absolutely love seeing it, I even love doing it when I'm in the mood, but then good luck finding someone to pay for days of labour in exchange for a wallet. Not a surprise that many of those guys find it makes a lot more sense to teach it rather than do it.
  13. To me this guy is a genius. We can like or dislike his products, that's a personal preference, but from a business perspective he's totally nailed it. He managed to create designs that minimise his labor cost while ensuring his customers still love them, and that's not an easy task at all. Then he justifies the prices based on the quality of the materials, which is fair enough, he's selling the cowboy/nostalgic/local/handcrafted image really well, and then links it very strongly to his product. Even his photography is on point. And he does all that while being perfectly honest about his products and his processes. I mean we know that with a die cutter and a rivet setter you can make a wallet like that in minutes, but the customer doesn't know this, and he doesn't need to, it's irrelevant. What you see is what you actually get, and it is technically hand crafted. And if you like it now you will like it more as it ages because it is good quality veg tan, just like Mr Lentz said. No lies or exaggerations anywhere, everything is as advertised. I tip my hat to this guy, great business model.
  14. I don't think it's the mass production that causes the slow degradation of standards, it's peoples' desire to to pay less and less. We are free to choose anything we want and we invariably choose the cheapest possible. To be honest sometimes this also the smarter thing to do, a lot of household items from a couple of generations ago were ridiculously and unnecessarily over-engineered. You could see heavy as bricks cameras, televisions and kitchen appliances manufactured to last 3 lifetimes, when they were guaranteed to be technologically outdated in few years. Not your curtain runners though, metal is definitely better.
  15. Yep my water based glue seems to work fine. No I don't cut stitching grooves, I let the stitches lay on top and hammer them a bit after. I havent had any problems with any method of edge finishing, but if it drips and I had to rub it off the surface I found the surface very sensitive to that rubbing.
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