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About CalgaryJim

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  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    Calgary, Canada
  • Interests
    watches, making leather watch straps for myself and friends.

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    watch straps
  • Interested in learning about
    leather watch strap making
  • How did you find leatherworker.net?
    google search on leathercrafting forums

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  1. I have Olfa $10 cutters and like them too. The pricking irons are Since brand, 2.7mm. the Maine 0.02" thread works well with those. Here's a picture for you. My fav thread though for appearance is Fil au Chinois 832, it's about 0.4mm thick, looks beautiful. Thanks for the Belgium tip!
  2. $1,400 CAD is about $1,000 US when you convert at retail and take into account transaction fee credit cards charge. So you're able to do it for tools. But then supplies cost me another a few hundred believe it or not. And then there's the leather of course You'll have money in shipping from Rocky Mountain Leather Supply to within the US of that's where you live. Free shipping on orders over $100 there, and no Duty or Brokerage fees either. Those three costs have cost me a lot of money being in Canada. If I get ambitious I'll update my spreadsheet to indicate what not to buy but it won't knock a lot off the $2,500 CAD ($1,500 US) I've spent so far. Tandy prices in the US may be better too than their stores in Canada.
  3. These are all in Canadian dollars but I bought a $50 Weaver 24mm Japanese skiving knife, it works well for me, a $95 Tandy Pro 35mm skiving knife that is very hard metal so I'll have to really work at sharpening it, a $40 35mm skiving knife from Japan (leathercrafttools.com) which works well enough, a $20 adjustable width creaser from Tandy, a $150 very nice quarter round knife from Rocky Mountain Leather Supply which I use for cutting but not skiving, a $20 edge groover which I don't use anymore because I've heard it's not a good idea, you expose the unprotected leather, $100 Tandy Pro French pricking irons (6 and 2 prong set), Tandy poundo board, Tandy folding self-healing cutting mat, Tandy 6x6" granite slab, edge bevelers ($50 Tandy Pro and $20 Weaver), wing divider, a $25 round hollow hole multi-hole punch from Wuta Leather, plus some other tools. Actually, although not entirely updated, this pdf document shows over $1,400 CAD when you include the multitude of small dollar items. As per my first paragraph, some I don't use anymore as they aren't good quality or aren't needed for me making watch straps. I see some Maine thread is miscategorized as tools, should be supplies. Spreadsheet of Leather Tools.pdf
  4. Thanks, much appreciated suggestions. I'm finding getting sturdy templates, ie, acrylic, for my wrist size, 65mm for the short strap and 105 or 110 for the long strap, so far, impossible. Paper templates are okay if I'm super careful with cutting but I'm not yet there and get nervous using paper templates as I've already cut into them so many times.
  5. I hear you, my tool costs have gone up though as I try to make something I'd actually wear. I've been keeping track of my expenses, by now I could have bought about 50 straps or more from the Vietnamese strapmakers, lol. A not insignifcant part of that cost is shipping and customs/brokerage fees, there is a Tandy Leather store here I buy from but for better tools and especially leathers, I am importing to Canada, mostly from RMLS. I agree, there is the pride of DIY. I'm not there yet though, I'm hoping within another 6 months I'll be at a level where the straps I make are good enough that I would otherwise buy them.
  6. Thanks Mablung, you are right, there are. Problem for me is finding them, when I do multiple word searches, whether I use 'AND' or "watch straps", etc, I get threads that don't follow the search rules I used. And they are located in some many different sub-forums. You are right about your observations, although I base that only on what I've heard from others, I haven't tried making anything else from leather so I don't have a comparison myself. And my interest is entirely focused on watch straps, it's an off-shoot of my watch collecting hobby.
  7. I got into trying to make my own leather watch straps about 5 months ago after spending what I thought was a lot of money on straps, even though I had started buying straps from Tuns in Vietnam. They worked out to $35 to $50 USD for most of the leather types, with a 15% discount on two or more straps, and only about $5 USD for shipping. I figured, two or three hundred dollars on equipment and I can learn to make straps 'just like those YouTubers, lol. Well not I'm well into it with tools, some good, some bad, various leather types, and threads, inexpensive to expensive (Fil au Chinois). I soon realized that a) the good strap-makers on YouTube are probably doing it eight hours a day, full-time; b) some of them are terrible; and c) it's a heck of a lot harder than I could have imagined, I'm spending 2 or 3 hours a day leatherworking and almost as much time watching videos and reading forums like this one. So, not quite a full-time hobby, but my days do seem to revolve around it. I'm finding this forum probably the best site for me to learn about leatherwork, along with YouTube I do use the r/leathercraft forum, facebook much less so. I didn't see a dedicated sub-forum here for strap-making so thought I'd create this one to make it easier going forward for me and others to find information, especially current information as many websites selling leather and tools/supplies are no longer in existence. Looking forward to your contributions, both what you have made or are making, and tips/tricks, as well as general knowledge sharing. Oops, I thought I was creating new category under Other Specialties. I'll ask the Administrator if they can do that.
  8. Thanks for this also. What are the pros for a single bevel, if any?
  9. Thankss, good to know. I have been using a 1000/4000 stone set but I'll source an 8000 now as well.
  10. Thanks Arturo, I just placed an order for a Hidetsugu knive from that website. I skipped courier service and went with unregistered mail for the price since the knife was only 3,870 yen. Thanks, I looked at their Damascus steel knife, more money than I wanted to spend.
  11. I just bought this knife, $95 CAD, about $70 US. The handle is nice, the blade is 9rc13 stainless steel. It was sharp out of the box but I sharpened it with a 1000, then 4000 wet stone, then honed it with green rouge. It doesn't seem to skive as easily as a Weaver 24mm blade I have. Unlike the Weaver, the edge looks the same as the rest of the blade, there's no shinier metal for a few millimetres back of the blade edge. I'm thinking I should have instead purchased a skiving knife from Japan. Is anyone else familiar with the Tandy blade and what has your experience with it been?
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