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About Gosut

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  • Location
    Southern US
  • Interests
    History, writing, reading, science.

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Just starting out. Likely sheaths and belts, maybe wallets.
  • Interested in learning about
    Stitching, molding, applying rivets and snaps, dying and finishing leather.
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  1. This is for a checkbook cover for a gift. The dye is Fiebring's Pro Dye Dark Brown again. I had just a little left in the bottle, so I ordered a second one. Also ordered wool daubers, since I was certain the foam stain brush I used on the belt contributed to waste since it wasn't high density. I had already applied a light coat of neatsfoot oil to the cover, in hopes it would darken it and I wouldn't have to dye it, but to my surprise, it only slightly darkened the leather. I've applied it to work books over the years, and it always made them noticeably darker. This evening, I poured some of the dye from the first bottle in a small disposable plastic cup, and used a dauber, using a circular motion to apply the dye. This time I had little waste. Still have some dye in the first bottle, and didn't have to open the second. The cover is now drying in the back of my truck, but the project is small enough I can move it inside after a few hours. Can either lay it flat or suspend it by a hook I made from electric fence wire, slipped into a pocket. Used rubbing alcohol to rinse out the dauber. Will save it for use with this specific dye. Overall, I'm pleased with the lack of waste. Will see if I need to do a second application. Hopefully, not.
  2. Gosut

    Tanning Process

    Following this topic with interest. My father's father tanned their own leather. Unfortunately, my father hated the process, and didn't discuss it much. The only thing he commented on was soaking the leather in the creek, taking it out and scraping it down, and putting it back, and that it was a long process. We once found one of these pieces of leather. It was hairless, thirty years or more old, and I recall it was hairless and dark colored. Unfortunately, I don't know if it was cow or hog. The latter is significant because a hog carcass was scalded to make it easier to remove hair and usually butchered with skin intact. My point is the one thing my father said about the process: soaking the hide in the creek. The streams here are loaded with tannins. Enough to tan hide? Don't know. Such was my father's dislike for tanning leather that he may have left out significant parts, such as soaking in a barrel with bark. Whatever the process, I strongly suspect it was something passed down, and utilized available resources. For what it's worth, some miles from here, someone tossed the remains of butchered deer carcasses beside the road. That was last fall. The skins still appear intact. The only "tanning" they have experienced was from the natural environment. Don't particularly want to investigate that further. Only know that the hides are still there, laying on top of the ground. Probably hard as a rock, too.
  3. My single experience with Resolene (tm ) used a 50/50 mixture. The leather readily absorbed the 1st coat. 24 hours later, it absorbed the 2nd coat. Another 24 hours later, the 3rd coat didn't soak in as well. Took that as meaning the first two coats were doing their job. But yes, I was amazed at how well the finish went into the leather.
  4. Thanks. I secured the keeper by overlapping the full width of the keeper and skiving both ends to half thickness. If I'd thought about it more, I'd have tapered both halves for a better fit, but at least it's not visible. I punched the holes, but ran into problem after gluing and had to repunch. Ended up slipping the keeper over the corner of my punching board and the old magazine I put on top of it to protect the points. This was incredibly easy, so it may have only been slightly misaligned or had glue in the holes. Slipping it over the corner worked so well, I'll try to do that if I make another belt. Wished I'd creased the ends where the thread crossed from one side of the keeper to the other. Used a saddle stich, back stitching the last three holes. Applied the last coat tonight. This time noticed more of a tendency to streak, maybe due to the previous coats. Wasn't hard to clear up the streaks while still wet.
  5. Here is a photo of the belt. I've adjusted the brightness a little based on the background, but yes, it's that dark of brown. OTOH, I did choose dark brown, and that's what I got. This is with one coat. Not much detail in the photo. Unfortunately, not even the belt and rivet holes show up well. It's just a strap belt, nothing more. It's to be a work belt Have put the second coat on it. One more to go.
  6. It's all mundane. Just a strap belt dyed dark brown. A picture won't show how the crease I set at the end wandered a little. Am applying finish before I set the snaps. It was dry this morning and didn't see any streaking. Will try to remember to get a photo before the second coat, but really, it's all mundane.
  7. Eye/hand coordination is a skill and a part of artistic expression, but maybe isn't art in of itself. One could cut a curve or maybe under something freehand, but still not know how to make a visually pleasing carving. The visually pleasing aspect is the art.
  8. As someone who likely could do neither, would think so. You have to know how to apply stamps in a visually pleasing way.
  9. Have applied Resolene (tm) to the belt project. I used a 50 Resolene (tm) / 50 Water mixture, applied with half a cheap sponge. Rigged a way to hang the belt and keeper, and used a disposable plastic teaspoon to measure two each of Resolene (tm) and water in a small disposable plastic cup, then used the spoon to apply the mixture to the sponge. Applied 1 coat to the slick, flesh, and edges, and it's now drying. To my surprise it all went well. Had half the mixture left, and that suggests I can do something similar the next time I use dye (or at least try it). Current plan is to do two additional coats.
  10. Update: About half an hour ago, noticed all the oil had soaked in, took it down, and buffed it. Had no rub-off. All I have to do now is to seal it with Resolene (tm), put in the buckle and snaps, and it's done..
  11. It's 8/9 oz leather. I applied the dye with a disposable foam brush of the type used for wood stain and varnish. That foam turned out not to be as dense as I thought. It took three coats spaced several hours apart to get even coverage. Basically applied and left alone for a few hours, then repeated until it was even. Have put on the neatsfoot oil, using the method I did with work boots: Folded over two or three shop towels into a small square, held it tightly against the bottle, turned the bottle up, then set right again, and wiped on what was on the towels. Have set it aside to soak in. A surprising amount came off on the shop towels, but resisted the urge to keep going over it with the oil. This is for a work belt. Next time I'll use water buffalo leather and not worry about dyeing or finishing.
  12. Late last night, started buffing the Fiebing Pro Dye Dark Brown on a belt when it felt dry. Had enough rub-off that I left it overnight. Returned to it this morning, and after forty minutes still getting some rub-off. My understanding is that this sort of rub-off is from dye on the surface, so am trying to buff off before applying a conditioner. The leather is dry, but has a very fine "grabby" feel like a coating when I rub my fingers over the slick side. Given how little dye remained in the bottle, it's very possible I put too much on the leather and this is the result. The big question is should I continue buffing until there's no rub-off before applying conditioner, or apply conditioner and then continue buffing?
  13. Yes. The iron acetate reacts with tannic acid to make the black, and that's why tea is often used as a pre-vinegaroon treatment. It's convenient and low-cost. For blackening leather, the caffeine isn't important, but is still there, along for the ride. My concern is absorption though the skin is a situation where the leather becomes soaking wet, as with perspiration or rain, and is essentially against the skin.
  14. This is odd, but was thinking about tea for a tannic acid bath for dyeing, and happened to think about caffeine. Even decaf tea has some caffeine, so it's not caffeine free. That means a tannic acid solution made from tea will have caffeine. Why worry about it? Because caffeine can be absorbed through the skin. That wouldn't be an issue where the item isn't worn on a person. But there's been times in the summer than my belts have become soaked in perspiration, not to mention leather watch bands back in the day. What would this mean for caffeine absorption through the skin?
  15. Came across this in Department Circular 230, Home Tanning, 1922, published by the US Department of Agriculture, on page 17, under "Dyeing Black." It first lists dyeing with a commercial dye, but then lists dyeing with iron liquor, (vinegaroon). The amounts are for whole hides, but the basics are: Mix iron filing or turnings with vinegar and let stand a few days, making sure there is always enough iron that some is undissolved. Make a tannic acid solution and soak the leather in it for about two days. Remove and rinse off particles from the solution, then mop or brush on the vinegaroon. Rinse off excess vinegaroon and put leather back in the tannic acid solution overnight. Repeat until black in dark enough. What caught my attention is the method ends with the tannic acid bath. That would add more tannic acid to any iron acetate remaining in the leather, but I'm wondering if it's also diluting or neutralizing any free vinegar in the leather. I found the department circular by going to archive.org, selecting texts, and doing a search on USDA home tanning.
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