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Posts posted by SUP

  1. @dikman Yes i was! :) but I learnt a lot about what I want to do, and more important, what I am not ready for, at this point. Tomorrow... who knows? :P

    Sometimes, my enthusiasm and eagerness to learn runs away from me!

    Thank you, all of you , who went out of your way to teach me so much and especially to warn me of the dangers. :You_Rock_Emoticon:

  2. @Chef niloc, yes electrolysis really cleans rust. I used it for old iron pots and pans a few years ago. i planned to set it up again but don't feel like it for a few tools.

    So I used lime juice and Evaporust instead. That got the tools clean of rust. Not shining though but I can live with that. Lastly,  I used blade wax on them. 

    They are now clean and not getting rusted again.

  3. 30 minutes ago, HeyMikey22 said:

    Any tips or suggestions are appreciated!

    Essentially, when finishing veg-tanned leather edges, we burnish and rub the leather down to get a burnished look. That is not possible with chrome tanned leather, where you build up the lowest section of each edge to meet the highest points. You do it in layers, applying thin layers of edge paint and sanding it down.  You sand it so that the edge paint on the highest section gets rubbed off while the paint on the lowest section that you are trying to build up, remains unchanged. In this way you build up until everything is of one height.

    It is like if you baked a cake and it has a depression in the center, you will fill the depression with icing. If the icing gets onto the non-depressed areas, you will wipe it off because you do not want it all to increase in height, only the depression. Once the depressions is gone and the entire cake is level, then you will ice the whole thing. Same principle applies here.

    All this is only necessary if your cuts are less than perfect as mine invariably are! There is usually at least one section which gives me a headache.

    Not sure whether I am clear or just obfuscating the issue even more!

    The link below is for the thread that @Mablung mentioned above.



  4. @Mablung The plane I have is tiny and works for me for edges. It cost not even $5 on Temu. I have one for straight edges and one for curved edges - total less than $10 last year. Do try Temu. One needs to be judicious about buying things there and search a bit to get the best price. Shipping is free and as long as you are ready to wait a couple of weeks, it is convenient. I have not bought anything big from them, nothing ever more than $10. I have rarely been disappointed. Returns are free, if delayed  beyond date of expected delivery they pay you $5 as penalty. Good service. I know many people don't like the China aspect of it but even the things we buy here are often made there. We just don't know that, for the most part. These days I only buy from Amazon if it is available from Vine!

    I tried sanding before that and it made a mess, like @Tophee said. That is when I searched around and I think one of the people who teach burnishing used a plane. As for burnishing, I bought 2 new ones of different sizes and still find myself reaching for that piece of denim!


  5. The key fob dies can be used by hand. I used one last christmas to make dozens of keychains. about a 100 I should think and it was no trouble at all. 

    Instead of sanding, I use a small Plane or planer or whatever it is called- -used by woodworkers. It evens up the edges well. Then for burnishing I use an old piece of denim..


  6. @MasonLikesLeather These days I use mainly a box cutter and a round knife for cutting leather. A round knife works very well for curves. It take just a little bit of practice but is worth it because of the ease with which you can cut beautiful curves. That will come a little later though, unless you want to make anything with curves right at the start. Do check on this forum before you buy one though.

    As @DJole says, a strop as well. I forgot that earlier. I made mine, initially with a strong piece of cardboard onto which I stuck an old leather belt and rubbed jeweler's rouge on. Since then, I've cut a piece of leather to make one.

  7. @MasonLikesLeather, I just have to say this.  So much information from so many of us!  I would suggest, just take it easy, relax and do what makes your heart sing. Even if you make a tiny key-chain to start. No reason why you need to go for bigger things in the beginning. A cut piece of leather held together with a rivet - it gives a sense of accomplishment that matches or exceeds that from much more complicated projects done later on. So just jump in once you get your tools. Have fun!

  8. 4 hours ago, zuludog said:

    the leather craft kits from Amazon aren't very good, and generally again, you'd be better off putting your money towards something better ----- on the other hand, if the price is very low you'll get a good selection for little money, so it might be worth a go just to try it and get started

    @zuludog you are right that they are not top notch but they are not abysmally bad either. They work for a newbie, to get an idea of the craft. Besides the prices are low and even if half the items are discarded later, the price is such that, buying what remains in use individually, would still be more expensive than getting them as part of a set. And time consuming and a headache too! So at least for me, it was convenient and practical to get a kit as a beginner. Besides I was clueless and everything is bewildering when new to a craft.. .Getting a kit at least allowed me to stop worrying about what tools to get and allowed me to think about the leathers and what I wanted to make. 

    4 hours ago, zuludog said:

    However, paradoxically, if that's the right word, you need some experience to decide ..... like I said, welcome to the fun

    I'm not sure of that. :)I mean, a bad stamp  does not give clear results. A bad punch takes a dozen hammers for a single hole, and so on. 

    Incidentally, @MasonLikesLeather, if you don't have a set of knife sharpening stones, I suggest you get them. Leather needs very sharp edges and some of us even sharpen the box cutters that we use (very useful for cutting leather). Different grits or just go to Temu and get their diamond sharpening stones - at a fraction of the cost of Amazon or elsewhere and they work as well, I find.

    So many of us giving you so much information!   I am still new enough to remember how bewildered I was. Good luck.:)

  9. @MasonLikesLeather, I started leatherwork as a hobby, last year in January. This is the kit I bought from Amazon. It is probably similar to ones you have listed. They all have more or less of the same items.


    I bought the kit because I did not have a clue what I wanted to do; just that I loved leather and wanted to work with it! 

    I am happy with that purchase. It gave me a chance to determine what I would actually like to do before I bought more expensive tools.  This set provided several items I have not needed to replace like the mat, the awl, the needles, scissors, snaps etc.  The quality is fine for a newbie to get an idea of the craft. I did need to buy stitching chisels but those too I got from Amazon and they work fine. The very expensive ones are probably wonderful,  but for me, as a hobbyist, the Aiskaer or Wuta or Owden (to which I am partial) work well enough that I have not needed to buy the more expensive ones.  I do have new stamps but those are things you can buy if you decide to go down that route. Leatherwork, especially in the beginning, is a journey of discovery. Take your time and enjoy it. :)

    Also, the French style chisels give beautiful stitches, but to learn, the  Japanese style ones are better. Saddle stitching takes a bit of practice to get beautiful stitches. Once you can get the angles with round or diamond shaped holes, you can get good stitches anywhere. No matter what you decide you want to make, saddle stitching is a basic leatherworking skill, needed everywhere. There are excellent videos teaching saddle stitching online and information about those videos on this forum.


  10. 2 hours ago, MasonLikesLeather said:

    I was hoping to make a belt for my dad.

    You can get pre-cut leather belts in most leather stores. Then, it is just a matter of shaping ends, punching holes, edge finishing and adding the buckle. Store employees will guide you on tools needed. You can make any decorations that you like but you might want to practice first. Simple edge lines are easy to make, with edge creasers, for example and look elegant. As @Mulesaw said, you can get scraps - they are perfect for practice!

  11. You could also try exploring leather stores near you. Not stores that sell ready made items but stores that sell supplies, like Tandy. You have not mentioned where you are located, else people might be able to guide you. Explore such stores and see what leathers you like and would like to work with. Employees in such stores are usually helpful and guide newbies well.  They usually have kits available, check them, try them and go from there. @Mulesaw has given excellent information for a beginner's project and you should be able to get all the supplies for a belt in such stores. Besides all this, the internet is a great resource. You can learn absolutely everything from there but you have to put in the effort to search and explore - not just what you want to make but how to do it. Start small and simple. 

  12. 51 minutes ago, Dwight said:

    Bean counters are the absolute worst possible candidates for anything but bean counting . . .  most of em I've met were just above sub-human .

    Absolutely true! So we might hear about  more store stores closing. Sad.

    I sometimes cannot help but think that management should work with the lower levels of employees to get an idea of the business. The same principles cannot always be applied everywhere.

  13. 2 hours ago, Mablung said:

    but it sounds like she’s concerned about cost-saving to protect the bottom line. Not a bad thing in itself, but if that becomes the primary objective, then other business objectives suffer. 

    She used to be the CFO. So not surprising. 

  14. Tandy has made more of their staff part-time, so many of the good, knowledgeable ones have left. The Tandy store near where I am, is one of the top 10 grossing stores and they too have just 2 staff members now, and that includes the manager. Naturally they are overworked. They have been looking for more staff but their pay is pretty low and they have not found anyone as yet. Their manager is new and has some great ideas. Hopefully, he will not lose interest  and enthusiasm over time There is a new CEO now. Let's see what she does to increase staff morale and to recruit more people. 

  15. My dog insists on only eating what I eat, so I have to eat what is healthy for her! Healthy for me too, so its fine. She does not eat leather because i don't nibble on it. LOL. I tried giving her dog food that the vet says is good for her while I have my meals but she looks at it and comes and sits looking at me. 

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