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About MtlBiker

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    Montreal, Canada
  • Interests
    Camping, sailing, motorcyles, bicycles, photography.

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    Leather, Cordura, general industrial sewing
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  1. I found that product at Rona hardware (there are no Lowes in the Province of Quebec... probably due to our stupid language laws). You've used this stuff on leather just like Mop and Glo? I'll pick up a bottle on my way home tonight and if it doesn't work well on my leather, I guess the money's not lost as I can use it on my floors! You suggest diluting it 1:1?
  2. Thanks for those links. The description says to use it where a "gloss finish is desired". Would be nice to have a small bit of it to make tests with. (I guess that's what you've always got to do anyway... always test a product with the leather you want to use.) Pricing for that in Canada, is way too high. I don't mind paying for something I want, but sure don't if I feel I'm being taken advantage of. Just FYI, the Canadian price (plus shipping which is $29.44) comes to $131.55. The US price for the same size is $62.15. So it's forty bucks more here in Canada, and you can buy a lot of finishes from Tandy Canada for that money. So I don't think I'm going to be ordering it. What I will do though is test the products I have with my leather tonight when I get home. I don't really want to change the shine of the leather, nor do I want to lose the leather smell (which people really love). It's just that I never realized I'd need to put something on my chrome tan leather. Live and learn. I just realized I'm wrong about the pricing... that US$62.15 converts to $79.13 Canadian, so it's not as big a rip off as I first thought. US$62.15 = $79.13 CDN $131.55 CDN = US$103.32
  3. Thanks Fred. As I said in another thread awhile ago, it seems Mop and Glo isn't available here in Canada from any supplier other than Amazon (at crazy high cost). All other suppliers who list the product state it's out of stock. Would you consider using that Leather Balm with Atom Wax? Is there a commercial product that is already a beeswax/carnauba mix polish or is that something you make yourself? I guess the bottom line answer is that yes, you would need to put some kind of finish on chrome tan leather. Which I didn't realize.
  4. I guess my assumption on when/how to protect leather was completely wrong and naive... I'd thought that Chrome Tan leather didn't need any protection, but I just ran from my car to my office in the rain with one of the last purses I made and the bag got rained on. Not a lot, but enough to instantly wet the leather and make it look spotty and ugly. It has since dried out and it's fine, but I guess I need to put some finish on it. I'd thought that veg tan, especially to protect the dye, needed protection and I've tried several products... Leather Balm with Atom Wax, Resolene (diluted), Satin Sheen, etc. I've also bought some Aussie Leather Conditioner which just arrived with my last order and I haven't tried it on anything yet. Is there a recommendation for what to use to protect chrome tan leather? I don't want to make it harder, or make it lose the wonderful leather smell. But I'd like it to be a little more resistant to getting water sprinkles making it look bad. I've got several bags already finished, so it's important that I be able to apply any kind of product to finished bags rather than only to a flat piece that hasn't been stitched. Thanks for your advice.
  5. Thanks (again) very much, Fred! Your prior post with the photos clarified what you were doing with the loop and slots, and your drawing now confirmed it all. My intention with these pouches is certainly to hand stitch everything, saddle stitching. I save my machine stitching for bags and purses. As I said, this little belt pouch is only for me, one, because I can use it, and two, as something to practice my leather working with. I need practice with dyeing, protecting, molding, cutting and certainly hand stitching. This is a perfect little project for all of that. Thank you. I hadn't heard of "bit/burr" rivets. But in any case, my next attempt with this pouch will use saddle stitching on the belt loop. (And the rest of the pouch.)
  6. Fred, once again you've given me terrific help! Thank you! Now it's clear what you were talking about and I'll also check out Al's information. So, in your case you used only a rivet and no stitching, right? Oh no! MORE stuff to buy! (Slot punches.)
  7. I'm sure you're right. That's it's my fault the rivets failed. I use a press from Kamsnaps and the proper dies for the size of rivet. They probably failed because I had hammered the heads flat after setting them, because I didn't want my SECRID card holder to snag on the rivet when I put it into the pouch. I probably flattened them too much and that weakened them. I'm switching to sewing the loop on my next pouch. Just in case someone doesn't know about the SECRID card holder, it's made of (probably) aluminum and is RFI shielded to protect the cards. There's a little lever at the top which pops out the cards in a way that it's easy to remove any one you need. But the bottom edge can easily snag on a rivet or any ridge when inserting it into a pouch. I've been using it for many years now and really like it. Just don't like it in my pants pocket.
  8. It's not rocket science? Then why is some of this stuff so difficult for a beginner? I will certainly change to stitching instead of rivets for my next pouch, but won't be (yet) doing the slot thing. With slots (especially the top one) I don't see how to prevent my metal SECRID card holder from snagging on the strap if it's inside the pouch. What do you suggest to prevent that? And after experimenting with different length and position of the loop, I'm actually going to move it higher up on the pouch (with the bottom attachment even further from the sewn pouch edge) because I found with the loop too long and/or too low on the pouch, the way it rides on my belt I don't like it. I'm going to size it for my largest belt size and keep it at the height I feel gives it the best balance and position on my hip. I'm not trying to make a pouch (yet) for sale or the masses, just a functional one for me with that SECRID holder. And using the whole thing as a practice and learning experience. But could you please clarify for me which direction the ends of the loop would go once inserted in slots. My understanding is that they remain in the same direction as the loop itself and aren't bent back towards the middle. Thank you (as always!) for your great help.
  9. I'll have to look this up in Al's book (I have 4 of them). I'm hesitant because I don't really know how to cut neat slots in leather (haven't learned that yet). So the idea is to cut two slots into the back of the pouch and then feed the belt loop strip into the slots... then which way do you place the part of the loop that's inside? Do you leave them both in line with the loop or do you bend them back towards the middle? Putting the ends of the loop inside the pouch means there will be a ridge (from the loop) on the inside and when I slip my little metal SECRID in, it would probably bump up against the ridge making it harder to insert plus adding pressure on the end/edge of the loop. I think what I'm going to try this weekend on my next pouch is to first of all use some glue and then to stitch the loop (with the loop not going through any slots) in place. I might even add a rivet. Surely that would be stronger than just the rivets alone as I've been doing. With the pouch you were talking about, where the rivets would fail often, I guess you had used rivets only, without any stitching?
  10. Looks like all the votes are for stitching the belt loop rather than using rivets. I'll give that a try on the next pouch I make this weekend. Thanks for all the comments. I'm not quite sure what you mean. And when you wear the pouch, the belt loop doesn't even show. I'll try adding glue on my next pouch. And for protecting the stitches on the inside, is it just a layer of contact cement you put on them? I haven't stitched my belt loops yet but I'd imagine that proper stitches, hammered down afterwards would be pretty much recessed and not prone to getting damaged. This idea doesn't sit well with me. (Of course, not having actually tried it.) If I understand correctly, you then end up having to stitch through 3 layers along the edge rather than just two, plus you seem to have the top edge of that extra piece kinda open and just sitting there. Looks wise I don't care for that too much. Maybe I should just give it a try though. I can see doing that with the top part of the loop, but not the bottom. There wouldn't be any room to get my press in there to close the bottom rivets unless they were exposed as in my photo. Putting the top part of the loop in through a slot and then riveting it would make it stronger?
  11. I've made a little belt pouch for my SECRID metal credit card holder. I've made a couple of them actually, getting better and better at molding the leather, stitching, dyeing, etc. They have a leather belt loop that I've used double cap rivets to hold in place, and I've hammered them down (especially on the inside) so that when I insert the SECRID it doesn't catch on the rivets. I've been pretty pleased with what I've done, until.... I almost lost the whole pouch and SECRID with my credit cards! I wear the pouch on my belt (duh) and it often snags on something in my workshop or even getting in and out of the car. Today the top two rivets broke away so the belt loop was loose and just flapping. Good thing I noticed as I might have lost my drivers license and credit cards. So I'm looking for advice to make a stronger, better belt loop. What's the best way to attach a leather belt loop to a pouch so that it's super secure? I see three options: 1) Continue using the rivets as I've been doing and maybe not hammer them down quite as flat, and certainly pay more attention to avoid snagging it on something. 2) Stitch the top and bottom attachment of the belt loop (I'm getting better at stitching!). 3) Use both rivets AND stitching, which I see as being the most secure but the most effort/time to make. What are your thoughts?
  12. WAY too much! That's for sure. But they're really nice and feel like solid quality tools. Buy once, cry once. I'm glad that it appears I'm doing it right. Now I just need lots of practice.
  13. Gee, you'd think that they (JJ) would say that. I will give the 003 needles a try though. I just remembered that back in February as I placed my order for each of the sizes, I asked them this question: I got an answer back from Ben at John James: I guess the bottom line is that... Confusion reins supreme!
  14. Thank you. I guess the tine tips are "somewhat" sharp. Certainly not sharp enough to cut your finger, even if you press quite hard. With enough mallet pressure they do make a very neat hole/slit though. And I'm sure that my stitching quality is going to improve with more practice. This is a test piece I stitched last night after using the new irons.
  15. Thanks very much! I don't remember where I found the info but it did recommend a 001 needle for 0.8 Tiger thread. I will give it a try with a smaller needle. And thanks for letting me know that it's expected to need a little more force with these irons. The hole is certainly smaller and neater than what the Craftools Pro chisels produce. And less distortion of the leather. Interesting though about the needle sizes... you suggest using a #3 needle but according to the John James size guide, the 003 is exactly the same as the 001... Only the 004 is smaller. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me (that 1-3 needles are identical).
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