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Spyros

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Everything posted by Spyros

  1. They do look flimsy (and even feel flimsy when you receive them) but they usually hold surprisingly well when they're set properly. For max toughness & longevity look at SS hardware from shops that sell sailing/boating equipment. If it can hold a sail in a storm it will hold your axe.
  2. I just put a little dumbbell on the two pieces of leather to keep them in place and then prick both layers at once. Once stitched I cut again closer to the stitchline to get a perfect edge. I avoid using glue when I can, I only use it when the above method is not doable for whatever reason.
  3. yeah, pretty much what I meant with "good luck with that" It's the same as VAT/GST/Sales tax, as a Govt you're basically making everybody collect your taxes on your behalf and pay them to you (with great diligence and accuracy mind you, or else). You can only do that sort of thing to people if they don't have any other option, but here the option is simple: sell to everyone else but UK. Some guys will take it, depending how hard they make it.
  4. So the UK is basically asking everybody to be their tax collector. No biggie, they only need to hire one more dedicated employee each, for no benefit to them whatsoever, good luck with that.
  5. To be fair to the shops the majority of customers are dumb, they prefer to get sucked in by the low price and get shafted in shipping. Not any one customer specifically, but the collective customer behaviour overall is juvenile. Even the .99 pricing everywhere is a clear indication of how dumb we really behave, it basically says "this shop believes you're so dumb that you can't read decimals" But if you put shipping down or make it free, and you build it into the price in a way that it's the same total income for the shop (which makes a lot more sense for the customer because it's the only way to KNOW what he's actually going to pay at a glance without having to complete the whole order), customers are actually put off by it and they go looking elsewhere. Not your fault Tony, when it comes to pricing you have an obligation to assume people are stupid.
  6. Best part is when stitching deep inside and you're pretty much doing it blindly by feel. After that it feels like you can probably stitch behind your back LOL
  7. Spyros

    TandyPro Tools

    I just realised Weaver has a partnership with Jimmy Diresta as well, he just uploaded a tooled bag. That's another smart move by Weaver, other than the obvious that the guy has a couple million subscribers, those subscribers are exactly the type of people who are very likely to pick up a few tools and give a new (to them) craft a go. They are mostly woodworkers, metal workers and general fabricators, and like I've said before the cost of a leatherworking kit is basically nothing for this crowd, they are all tool addicts.
  8. Thanks Paloma, that makes sense! I think I've already found my preferred burnishing method. it's the electric creasing tool with the brass burnishing tip, it gives me the best possible combination of good enough and fast enough. I do 90% of everything this way and If there is a specific piece I want done perfectly I'll do it by hand anyway with some canvas cloth.
  9. Spyros

    TandyPro Tools

    yeah ebay https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Leather-craft-24-39-shape-style-hole-hollow-punch-set-for-handmade-case-DIY-TOOL/223025242965?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
  10. Spyros

    TandyPro Tools

    Hi Tony, apologies I haven't checked yet (reasons below) but do you ship to Australia much? and which carrier do you typically use? I generally try to avoid ordering from the US as much as possible, I've had bitter experiences with both pricing and timings, and those are things you don't really learn until you actually place an order with somebody. Having said that, Tandy's shipping to Australia, although NOT cheap, has actually been impeccable in every other way and this has been a draw for me. I always get my things from Tandy lightning fast, faster than some Australian shops even, and they have never used USPS on me. If I even suspect someone might use USPS I cancel everything immediately, it has taken USPS anything between 1-3 months to actually deliver anything to me.
  11. It's the strangest thing, I used to have your typical $5 bread cutting board from the super market. Then I bought a big $100 hdpe panel, about 1sqm and 10mm thick and screwed on my bench thinking it would be a huge convenience. To be perfectly honest i havent really noticed an improvement in functionality. The HDPE is a big flat surface, and as we all know any flat surface will inevitably fill up with more and more stuff. Cutters, thread, little jars, rulers, punches etc. And because of the stuff I end up working in a smaller and smaller corner of the hdpe, until it's even smaller than my old cutting board, except the cutting board I could just pick it up and take it to a clean part of the bench whereas the damn HDPE is bolted down so I have to clean up to continue working LOL The only thing I really enjoy about it is that it's white. The cutting board was black and I could barely see the edge of the leather so sometimes I had to reach and feel it to find it. Get a white cutting board of some sort, that's all the wisdom I have to offer LOL
  12. Make a tote for her, just to build up your confidence and get into the headspace. Totes are pretty and handy and very simple to make, and there's really no rules with regards to measurements or sizes. Just get some basic dimensions (there or thereabouts) from an existing bag, do a pattern on a piece of paper, cut a couple of straps at your wife's usual lengths and off you go. Countless videos on youtube and basic pattern ideas if you just google images. Get a little creative with the dye and the hardware and you can have a very nice result without too much heartache. You could even make a tote without stitching at all, just rivets everywhere.
  13. My favourite dye (black or other) is fiebings pro mixed with carnauba creme. Don't ask me the ratio, I just eyeball it and keep adding dye and stirring until the mixture is coloured enough. This started as an experiment, and maybe it's all on my mind but I do feel the dye penetrates better and more evenly and generally I get a better result and better control of the procedure. Plus it saves me the step of adding carnauba creme later.
  14. Spyros

    TandyPro Tools

    I agree, hence my typical approach of starting with simple cheap(ish) tools until I build up the experience to understand what added features might be relevant to me and what I actually do with those tools. Not what somebody else does, but me. Like you said, it's a learned skill. It's just that in leatherworking specifically, and I don't want to name names, but there are shops out there that sell cheap tools that simply don't work. Like, at all. I've bought punches that broke on me on the first punch, an adjustable round chisel that the adjusting screw sheared off completely first time I used it, hardware that kept locking sideways on the hand press, that sort of thing. I don't know, maybe I was just unlucky. But I agree the hammer/maul doesn't need to be special, for a starter's knife any box cutter/Exacto will do, any ruler will do etc. It's just in the more specialised leatherworking tools that I find such extreme variations in quality and such a lack of affordable mid-range tools. I know because I'm always on the look-out for such tools for myself, I don't want to have to buy high-end tools if I can. But sometimes I just have to because there's nothing in between those and the terrible ones.
  15. Spyros

    TandyPro Tools

    You're probably right actually. My approach with tools was always the opposite: buy a wide range of cheap to medium-cheap tools and use the crap out of them until I am 100% certain some of them just won't do, but by that time I will know what each tool does, what features are important to me, and which ones are the most meaningful to upgrade. But that was in woodworking... woodworking is popular, and as such it has a very wide variety of tools of all qualities and prices, and as long as you don't buy the rock bottom cheapest they are all fairly capable once you've learned the basics. From my initial selection of cheap-ish tools I only upgraded maybe 20-30%, and I'm still using most of the other ones, as I honestly didn't really find a reason to upgrade them. Unfortunately in leatherworking this approach doesn't really seem to work. Cheap tools are usually totally crap, a waste of time and money. In many categories of leatherworing tools there seems to be a total lack of decent, middle-range, affordable tools. It seems the options are either cheap crap, or high end and expensive. So you are right in the end, I figured I may as well buy once - cry once.
  16. Spyros

    TandyPro Tools

    Geat designs. Here's my recommendation, for many reasons: Make or order a woodworker's tool cabinet and hang it on the wall. First google "Studley tool chest" for an extreme example, just to get an idea what is possible, and then check out "Adam Savage's leatherworking toolchest" on youtube for a much more simplified and realistic version. You can have doors within doors, sliders, magnets strips, holders, the only limit is imagination. It's unbelievable how many tools you can fit in those things, and when it closes it's all out of sight out of mind. Which is also fairly important because this is also your living space, you don't want to visually clutter it too much. Just underneath the cabinet and within arm's reach you can still make the beautiful toolholder you designed, for the most commonly used items. You've done well with that one, now I want to make one too
  17. Paloma, how do you change the strop on these things? Just peel and scrape off and the glue another with contact adhesive? Is that all it takes?
  18. Spyros

    TandyPro Tools

    Ι think it's a shame to stop an interesting discussion that others might be interested in just because of bureaucracy issues, like not being the correct thread etc... who cares. I don't care, but hey, I'm Greek. We are a bit random like that
  19. Matt I was waiting for you to chip in, I remember you mentioned before that you had one And yeah despite rationalising it and doing what I had to do, I still appreciate Tormek very much and I hope they stick around for a very long time. There are many high end brands like that that tempt me from time to time, Leica, Festool, Zeiss, Lie Nielsen, even Blanchard I guess... and although I can rarely afford to indulge I'm still happy they're around and push the limits of perfection. Re duty cycle the truth of the matter is that pro sharpeners (the ones I've seen working anyway) are likely to have more than one wet grinder, and on top of that they also use a variety of tools. Things like belt sanders with scotch brite belts on them for polishing, normal grinders for rough shaping, paper wheels, a dedicated wet grinder for a Japanese stone for finetuning etc. So although the Tormek is typically the main piece, the actual load is spread across many machines.
  20. I can't tell TBH, I buy leather from the land of "Everything-Is-Really-Friggin-Expensive" (Australia) so I can't really compare, plus SQFT confuses me LOL
  21. If it looks like it's from the animal, things like insect bites and barb wire scratches, then that's normal. If they look man made like the ones in your photo then that's human error from the tannery or from storage/shipping, and personally I would let them know and see what they say. If it happens a lot and/or they're not responsive I wouldn't buy from them again. But before doing that check first what you ordered exactly (description) and what you paid. Some merchants have grading systems, if you bought 2nd grade or clearance and paid accordingly, then some blemishes should be expected. Long term you will always have imperfections in your leather and you must learn to work around them. That's why it's nice to have patters so you can place them on your hide and plan your cuts around any marks and scratches. Or even build them into your design if you're going for a certain aged look.
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