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About jcwoman

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    techniques to make my products easier/faster to make

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Dog collars and accessories
  • Interested in learning about
    Leather crafting basics
  • How did you find leatherworker.net?
    google searches for leathercrafting questions

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  1. I have a couple of retired racing greyhounds. My second pair, actually. The darned things are addictive as heck. I don't really do anything with them other than keep them as beloved pets, but I adore them to the end of the earth. What do you have? Galgos? I used to volunteer for galgo rescue for a couple years. (I see that you're in France, so that's a possibility, although these days there are a lot of galgos in the USA also.) I know this, is off topic.... is there a DM function here that things like this should go to?
  2. So many good bits of info and advice! Thanks all, let me digest this and check out your recommendations for a bit, then come back with more questions maybe.
  3. Oh, Klara I just noticed your interests include sighthounds. Me too!! So I'm going to spend a few days researching drill presses. I don't want cheap junk but don't need anything overkill for my purposes either. I'm going to mount it to my bench which is in our house, so I'll never use it for woodworking or any other messy or super-loud uses.
  4. Oh, I just found another great video by Weaver. I think his drill press is larger than what I need, but I love the demonstration of it!
  5. Hmm, okay so my issue is that I am using hole punches in the size that matches the buckle prong. It happens to be tiny, 2mm punches. I've complained in other threads and don't want to beat a dead horse, but I've been struggling with the punches in that diameter getting impacted after 4 or 5 punches and not clearing themselves like they should. I've tried cheap punches, Osborne punches, a rotary punch, waxing the punches, a tiny dab of oil inside the punch... nothing is working. If I ignore the fact that the plugs aren't coming out the clearance hole of the punch and keep going, what I see is that the punch just either makes a round compression on the strap instead of a hole, or if I hammer it hard enough it actually jams the latest plug into my board. (I've been alternating between a nylon board and a wooden cutting board to try not to dull the punches.). It's something else to pick leather plugs out of my board with my fingernail! It's been more work getting the punches cleared than actually making holes in my straps. I love Chuck's idea. Just trying to visualize it so I can assemble/make the setup for my bench.
  6. Okay, I think I understand.... trying to visualize that. Do you happen to know of any videos or pictures online where someone has that setup?
  7. I'm still having zero luck with the tiny 2mm punches, so I'm going to come at it from a different direction. Let me tell you guys what I'm working with and you can tell me what size punch or what kind of punch/pricking tool you would use if this was your project. I make two products: The first is a muzzle that has 1/2" wide veg-tan leather straps, in the 3/4 or 6/7 weights (lighter weight for smaller muzzles, heavier for the large ones). Each muzzle has two straps: one that has the buckle, and the other one has 5 or 6 holes 1/2" apart that takes the buckle prong. The other product is a special purpose dog collar. Again, 1/2" wide veg-tab strips, just 6/7 weight. Buckle on one end and the other end has 5 or 6 holes 1/2" apart. I need to make them in batches of about 20 every month or two, so more than a one-off hobby but not quite enough for big-time manufacturing. What size would you make the buckle holes, and/or what size punches would you use for this?
  8. I'd be really surprised if there's any glue, since I'm buying un-dyed veg-tan strips and oil and dye them myself AFTER I cut and punch the holes. However, I can still rinse/soak the punches in a jar of solvent. I was also thinking of dipping them in neatsfoot oil instead of wax thinking maybe that will lubricate them better. I like this tool, although would prefer if it was a desktop tool, to save my hands. hahah!
  9. Little bit of an update and basically continuing frustration. I got a couple of Osborne punches, also 2mm tiny things. I read that they're not sharp right out of the box but that's okay. I know keeping my tools sharp is my job. I actually did find that they're sharper on the first use than the cheap ones that came with my chinese punch tool. Punched like butter for the first 5 or so holes, and then started to clog. I remembered I need to punch them into wax, so did so but that didn't stop it from clogging. What I'm noticing with these, both the cheap ones and the Osborne's, is that they just don't clear themselves like they're supposed to. Likely due to their tiny size, like Chuck said. The leather plugs get impacted inside, and if I keep working, they just get more impacted and start pressing little circles in the leather instead of punching and clearing themselves. I'm also seeing that using a fine wire brad (like a small finish nail) to try to gently hammer the plugs out of them is ruining the edges. I can feel the burrs forming on the edge with my finger. So that's not a good practice. I guess I'm still on the hunt for the best tool for punching small buckle holes in dog collars (6/7 weight leather). Ugh!
  10. I was thinking about this in bed last night and was working out how I might do it with 2mm punches. Maybe I could wrap a tiny bit of cloth around the end of the wire brad, dip it in some course polishing cream/powder and then do this trick. It would be tricky but might be worth a try. I really feel like the cheap punches I have currently are poorly finished on the inside, causing them to jam up constantly. And I can still buy better quality punches, if it don't work. Ohhh, a jeweler's rat-tail file.... that's a new idea! Thanks, I'll google that!
  11. Thanks, everyone, lots to take in! Some of this advice I have already found in general Google searches. I should add that some things like trying to sharpen or polish the inside of the punch just ain't happening here. As I mentioned, the only thing I can get into the 2mm punch is a wire brad.... or think unbent paper clip (which is too soft, but just about the same diameter as the wire brads). I'll take a look at the Tandy punches and make sure they're not Osborne's. I love RockyAussie's idea of using a drill press to make straight lines, but can you advise if it would work with 1/2" wide leather strips? I feel that I'm in a tricky spot: bigger than watch bands, but smaller than everything else, so very few people are doing the same work that I am. Makes it tricky!! I really want to do this, but the punch size I'm using is too small.
  12. I'm not following the Saran wrap thing. The desktop punch tool has punches that I can swap out using a keyless chuck. I can buy better quality punches and use them with it. I know the punches are designed to clean themselves out, but I'm finding that they just get impacted instead. Possibly because the punches that came with the tool are cheap Chinese junk, which is why I'm thinking of buying Osborne's. Oh, also the tool came with a soft plate (I think nylon or some other soft plastic) that I punch into. So it should NOT be dulling the punches, but again.... they may be cheap junk.
  13. Thanks, Tom. I did see a video of that technique somewhere. I definitely want to try it. Currently I make a line down the center of the strap but I find that I'm still going wonky. Trying to perfectly center a 2mm punch on a .4mm (just guessing what a pencil line is) line... ain't working for me! But I think I can center the punch between two parallel lines.
  14. Hi all! I have to make a dozen or so (every few months) straps for dog "collars" (special purpose items that are similar to collars) and muzzles. My biggest struggle so far is getting the holes for the buckle prongs lined up correctly. I need 2mm holes, so a watchband pricking tool is too small and belt punch dies are too big. Here is what I'm using/have tried so far: 1. Hand rotary punch tool. Works fine, but kills my hands after about 8 or 10 punches. I'm also not sure how to sharpen the punch as needed. I would like to consider this my backup or "for emergency use only" tool. 2. I bought this desktop tool: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08C4WWKN6?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details It's not a bad tool, but I strongly suspect the punches that came with it are cheap. I'm trying to sharpen them with a drill and sandpaper but they only seem to hold the sharpness for 3 or 4 punches. I stuck some Osborne punches in my Amazon wishlist because I read that they are high quality punches. Should I go ahead and buy a couple? I realize I'll need to sharpen them, too, but hope they'll hold the edge longer. Sort of a tangent, but I suspect that the way I'm clearing the punch is also ruining the edge. As I said, I'm using a 2mm punch. I do punch it into wax frequently to keep it "lubricated", but I still deal with clogs every 4th or 5th punch. I found that the easiest way to clear the punch bit was to gently hammer a #17 wire brad (finish nail) into the end of it, which pushes the plug leather out the - exhaust hole - whatever it's called, haha! But sometimes the plug is so jammed that I have to wiggle the brad around and basically dig a layer out the tip, and I think this might be dulling the punch edge. Is there a better way to clear such tiny punches? Last question for now: even if I find an easier way to clear the punches and keep them sharp, is it normal to have to clear the plug out every 4 or 5 punches? The way they're designed - and I admit to being completely naive - it seems like the plug should just travel up the punch to the exhaust hole and fall out on it's own as you use it. But instead it just jams up in there before it reaches the hole. Oh, I guess I should add that I'm working with 3/4 or 6/7 weight veg-tan straps. Should be easy, yes?
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