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Klara

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About Klara

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  • Website URL
    http://www.lahottee.info

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  • Location
    France
  • Interests
    sighthounds, textiles (spinning to sewing), music

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    none
  • Interested in learning about
    everything
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  1. Given that shipments from Abbey of England now go through customs, and that I only found Plastozote in music shops (in connection with flight cases), the nearest of which is closed for looking around, I thought of gym mats and yoga mats. The cheapest of which is ridiculously priced: 2,50 Euros for 1,40 x 0,50 m, 6 mm thick. 100% polyethylene, doesn't absorb water, the density might be 33 kg/m3 (might because that's the figure I calculated, but I don't trust my math). And best of all, I could pick it up free of charge during my weekly shopping trip to the nearest town. Now the bad news: The chain store I bought it from is Intersport and I don't think they've made it outside of France yet.
  2. "Staple" as in one of these office things to clip two pieces of paper semi-permanently together? Interesting thought, wouldn't have occurred to me... Thanks!
  3. I have ordered twice from Pethardware so far and have had no issues with their quality (already preparing my next order). Obviously, I haven't done a chemical analysis to check whether their stainless steel is exactly that, but the pieces look good and feel good. The only drawback is that they clearly aim at larger-scale producers, often you need to buy 10 pieces. Either because it's the minimum amount, or because the unit price drops dramatically compared to 5 pieces. I have not yet bought leather from them but seen that it's considerably cheaper than from my French shop. A site where you can buy individual rings, snaps etc. is Paracord.eu Their choice of serious saddlery hardware is smaller, but they have more beads. And a wonderful selection of rope. Leather is an afterthought, though.
  4. Similar problem, except I would like to not glue at all, even with tape. For easier fixing of mistakes (I come from textile crafts where stitching can easily be ripped and redone) and better recycleability of pieces I no longer like to use (still making dog collars). Is anybody out there who clips or pins the leathers together or even basts with a few stitches here and there?
  5. Just wanted to say that if you are able to calculate angles and saw them correctly, then a French style stitching clam is easy enough to make. Just "steal" the shape from a picture and create it out of straight oieces of wood. Then all you need is wood glue, some screws and a hinge. (If, like me, you have problems with geometry and precision sawing, it will take a bit of fiddling with saw and file, but you will still get a useable clamp, just spend mire time.)
  6. I think whether one will be happy with second-hand tools depends on ones sharpening skills. And whereas I'm capable of keeping the edge on a new tool, at least for a while, I've found out with a handful of scissors from a thrift shop that a ruined edge is a very different thing. Ian Atkinson, linked above, goes so far as to recommend tools with disposable blades for beginners. (Doesn't mention a stitching pony either, in his list of 25 indispensable tools, but a battery-powered thingy for zapping threads...)
  7. It's not in my profile, but I've been passionate about horses for something like 50 years, an active rider for most of that (English and Western) and my horse is almost 31. And honestly, the very last thing I want to see is rusty hardware on my saddles and tack! Or even hardware that is at risk of rusting (solid brass and stainless steel are the way to go). Even for my dog leashes and collars I use stainless steel whenever possible. The way I see it there is strictly no point in spending time and effort on cleaning up rusty buckles, unless you want to fill a museum. fredk's idea of taking everything and sorting through at your leasure is a good one if you think you'll actually do it (l'm speaking as somebody who spent most of last summer sorting through her farm and throwing things out. After 20 years...)
  8. Really nice! Now I think I need one, too...
  9. I agree with the saddle soap. With regards to keeping the old tack: Do you think you will ever want to make something like this? AND do you have the storage space to easily keep it? Because I think that traditional harness making is still alive; people all over the world are still working with horses. Meaning there is also a lot of material around to copy and there is probably no need for this heap of stuff (unless there's something really unusual in there, but we don't know...)
  10. Great work! How did you get the stirrups to hang that way? I'm not even thinking about saddle making but I'm hoping it's something that can be done to bought saddles...
  11. Nobody has mentioned a stitching pony, which I consider essential. It's easy and cheap to make, if one has a workshop with the necessary bits and pieces lying around. Living on the road probably less so, and it'll take a lot of storage space...
  12. I have a similar problem and an idea: Would a magnetic knife holder (the things normally on kitchen walls) work for the cutting tools?
  13. And another one. I took the first one apart, kept the leather with the rings sewn on, changed its shape to that from the second, and glued some lamb nappa(?) on the outside and thin leather from my stock on the inside, with the edges folded over and glued. Then I sewed the edges together around the middle layer. The stitching is spotty because I plied and cabled some metallic goldeb thread with the red one. I wanted a golden seam around the edge, but the thread as is is far from solid enough. Oh well, if the red leather stands up to wear, I'll try something else next time...
  14. I hope this response finds you for I think I've just seen the answer to your problem: As for the general topic: I'm working with wool semi-professionally. When I started out I went tool-crazy - always looking for a better spindle, a better spinning wheel... Then I learnt that my brain and hands are the most important thing and now I mostly agree with the OP. The problem is just how to recognise the difference between cheap-but-serviceable tools and useless crap. johnv474 mentioned guitars - there's low cost functioning guitars, and there's vaguely guitar-shaped objects that are impossible to play because the frets are too high or too low or the tuning won't hold or they have other technical defects. My first leather tools I bought from Amazon. 4 chisels (or pricking irons? By the time the description is translated into French it is incomprehensible) at half the price of a very similar-looking product in the local leather shop, a handle for groover and 3 edge bevelers and a burnisher. My logic was "What can go wrong with making chisels?" and they were what I wanted most. That the groover works - and pretty decently, after I honed it following JH Hall's video - was a nice surprise. I haven't had much luck with the edge bevelers so far, but I don't use veg tanned leather at the moment, I believe. The Vergez Blanchard awl blade, however, I bought in the shop and it's a world of difference with the old one (ouch!) AND a lot cheaper than a complete no-name awl from elsewhere (had the handle). The same shop also sold me a cheap knife - I'll see whether I'll be able to keep it sharp. If not then I prefer to ruin a 20-Euro knife rather than an expensive one... (strop is already made). And I figure that's what I need for the moment (plus leather, thread, glue, needles... of course) By the way, does anybody know why saddler's needles are sold in packs of 25?
  15. I believe I have seen them, I looked through most of the dog collar threads. But most tooling doesn't really appeal to me. Fortunately, as that means that for the moment I can concentrate on cutting and sewing and possibly riveting (That said, I am already beginning to wonder how to get a borzoi motiv on a collar, so who knows what will happen...)
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