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  1. I’ve been making some stirrup style dice bags recently which require me to sew chrome tanned garment leather or suede to the veg tan strip in the middle. I’ve been using diamond chisels to make my holes in the veg tan, but it doesn’t work well on the softer leathers so I’ve been saddle stitching them together with glover’s needles. I go through the diamond chiseled hole of the veg tan and use the sharp glover’s point to get through the suede etc. Is there a better or easier way to do this? Sewing machine is not an option. Thanks!
  2. HeatherLeather

    Where to buy dyed veg tan?

    Beginner wants to know where to buy colored and thin veg tan leather. I know Rocky Mountain but seems a little expensive. I tried Springfield but I think they only have original colored tooling sides. Just wonder if you guys know any other places selling dyed veg tan except RM. If not, I will go for Rocky Mountain.
  3. I am embarking on a project making bench cushions for a restaurant. I have been doing some research on sealing veg tan leather, and it seems that Resolene would be the best choice for sealing leather that will inevitably be spilled on and incur considerable wear. (This video convinced me: My second question concerns upkeep: Is there a regimen I should implement every 6 months or so to re-seal or to condition the leather? Or should I leave it to the natural oils from all the skin contact it will recieve over time? Thank you for any advice you have!
  4. Hi guys! I'm new to the forum and excited to be here. I've been trying to fix this for 2 days now. I am stitching felt onto 7 oz veg tan. I can get a beautiful straight stitch. For the backstitch only, I get the top thread looping at the bottom. Attached are images of what I mean, as well as an image of the machine I'm using (Highlead/Artisan 2698-1). I've tried adjusting the tension, changing the needle and different thread thicknesses. I thread the needle with the foot up. I've tested it about 100 times and if I wanted to do this, I'm now confident I could do it every time. Its the same result with every thread combination. But I don't want to do it this way, so any help would be appreciated.
  5. heavyleathernyc

    Luxury leather remnants

    Luxury leather remnants 2-3 oz. & 5-7 oz. Mixed hides, tanning, printing, and finishes Good condition 15 – 45 $ + shipping for individual hides bulk order discount of 350$ + shipping for all great for small projects email preferred Attn.: Rachael Subject: Luxury Leather Remnants
  6. rodneywt1180b

    Milled Veg Tan?

    I'm working on a pair of forearm crutches that will be getting leather on the arm cuffs and handles. I'm seriously looking at Springfield Leather's Sof-Tan milled veg tan. I've never worked with veg tan or milled veg tan before but the idea that the milled veg tan might be softer and more flexible appeals to me. Also, because of the intended use I don't want to use a dyed product. That's one of the reasons I'm looking at veg tan leather. I don't want the dyes possibly rubbing off on the client's clothes. Has anyone here worked with Springfield's Sof-Tan leathers and how is it to work with? I can't seem to get their site to come up right now or I would post a link. Thanks, Rodney
  7. Making a wallet using Natural veg tan; and before i start, i wondered what i can use to protect the leather, so the natural light colour is not marked but still remains very soft Don't these small thing,s you never thought of when you started, add up, a set of basic tools you budget for, but after that it seems spend , spend, spend for all these little things like, a small bottle of dye, some thinner thread, a bit of this or that. Not sure if its a leather hobby, or a spending hobby
  8. Any good and or unique ideas as to what I can do with it? They're decent sized pieces, probably 5x8" on average. Thought I was getting some good scrap for practice carving but I screwed that up for myself
  9. I am inundated with strap scraps that need a new home. Prefer to sell by the giant box full, weighing about 40-60 pounds per box. Come and see it all and make an offer for a truckload! Located in Aurora, CO. Herman Oak golden tan bridle, 8/10 oz veg tan, and 9/11 oz. struck through Black Latigo from Chahin. Most are mixed boxes, with both colors. Most leather is cut and edged, from 3/8" to 1" wide. Also plenty of random bits and trimmings from the edges of the sides. Asking $1.50 per pound, or $40 per big box. A few boxes full of ONLY the bridle leather cut to 9/16" width. This is beautiful stuff, it's just a little too short for the products we make with it. Asking $2.00 per pound, or $60 per box. Perfect for key fobs, bracelets, small projects, 4-H, scouts, crafts, etc. Remnant from dog leash/collar business (IE: nothing long enough or strong enough if this is what you want to make, because we've used what we can for this purpose). I have a continuous supply of this stuff. Feel free to reply here, but for faster reply, just give us a call. Call or text Brian three-o-three 653-184FIVE
  10. I am making a harness/blouse and I have a 1/4" strip of leather between two grooves as a border on the pieces. I wish to retain the pale look of the veg tan on this strip and dye the rest to a dark brown. What is the best way of doing this. If I need to post a picture or two to clarify please just ask.
  11. chrisash

    Eco Flo or Fiebing

    Looking to make my first purchase of Dye to use on Veg Tan cowhide, have looked at old posts but there seems to be two opposite views on what to use Spirt v Water based Perhaps someone can explain the main difference between the two if any, and if there are any other good consistent makes available in the UK. Resolene, seems well spoken of for the final coat, would that be a good choice for me to start with or any other outstanding finishes
  12. My all in one guide to Vinegaroon Kaden Kopas Hey everyone. I’ve been lurking around these forums for a while now and haven’t posted much, so I thought I’d finally make a contribution. I’m going to University for a Chemistry degree, and surprisingly some of the things I’ve been learning in my labs are actually applicable to my leatherwork! I thought I'd write up some of my observations and experiments with vinegarroon, to try and help shed some light on what is actually going on in the reaction. Please, read through and share any knowledge you have working with this stuff! (I know this is a lot. I was bored just typing it. You can skip to the bottom if you don't have time to read it all) Background Vinegaroon, or ‘roon, is a homemade black ‘dye’ that has been used by leatherworkers for centuries. It is also used by woodworkers to ‘ebonize’ wood, and was used since the 5th century as ink, called ‘iron gall ink’. It is not actually a dye, but a reaction between ferric acetate and the tannins that naturally occur in leather and wood. Tannins content varies between hardwoods and softwoods, and can be boosted by brewing a strong black tea and wiping it on the wood. I assume that this is also true of leathers. I have a few junky tandy's sides that are pale in appearance, and they seem to be low on tannins because roon has less of an effect on them. ‘Roon is used by many leather and wood workers but understood by few. It can be very useful alternative to commercial black dye in areas where dye is unavailable, too costly, or undesired because of environmental reasons. Also, because it is fundamentally different than other dyes, it will not bleed or crock (rub off) onto fabric. Pros: -easy to make with household materials -available in places where dye is not, or shipping is too expensive -nearly free -does not bleed or crock like other black dyes Cons: -often does not make a deep enough black colour without lots of neatsfoot oil added afterwards -can make your product smell like vinegar -acidic nature can cause issues with metal hardware in contact with the leather, might also degrade then leather after long periods of time Typical Recipe: (not recommended by me) Put some old rusty nails into a jar of vinegar and let it sit for a week, or a month. Filter it through cheesecloth and wipe it on your leather. This produces a nasty, smelly mixture of a whole bunch of iron complexes and compounds. The active ingredient, iron acetate, is in there, but along with a whole bunch of other junk you don’t need. It doesn’t have to be this way. With some chemistry and a little bit of research into the mechanism here, I’ve made a crystal clear, mostly odourless solution that only takes half a day to make. How I did it: I bought fine steel wool from the dollar store, which came in small bats. Any steel or iron will do, but fine steel wool has the greatest surface area so it will react the fastest. Metal shavings/powder would also work, but I’d think they would just clump on the bottom of the jar and prevent the vinegar from reaching the bottom layers. I washed one bat in soapy water to remove any oils left over from manufacturing. Some people have used acetone, which would work well, but seems a bit over the top when soap is cheaper. I pulled it apart and placed it in a beaker of regular vinegar, so that all the wool was submerged. You don’t need very much steel wool at all, even a quarter of the amount I used would be enough. The amount of metal actually being dissolved is in the order of milligrams or even micrograms. You probably shouldn’t keep a lid on it, because you are producing gas in the reaction. After a few hours, small bubbles form on the steel wool, causing it to rise to the top of the solution. I would mix it gently to dislodge the bubbles and keep it submerged. Every few hours I would use an eye dropper (so that I didn’t have to pour it out) to take a bit of the solution and test it on some leather. The darkening effect increased slowly over time until full strength was reached after about 12 hours. Still, I left the wool in there for 2 days to see if it got any stronger. Next time I won’t leave it in so long. After 2 days, I removed the wool. Since none of the wool was ever exposed to the air above, there was no rust in the beaker and I was left with a nice clear solution that didn’t smell much worse than straight vinegar. This is my vinegaroon solution. It turns leather black, is fairly stable, and is still acidic. The final product: a clear, nearly odourless solution of vinegaroon. Neutralization (optional): Next, I tried to neutralize the solution with baking soda to see if that changed the effectiveness of it at all. I took a small test tube of the ‘roon solution and put a spoon tip of baking soda in it. Obviously this will make it fizz up like your kid’s science fair volcanoe project, so I added it slowly. I didn’t have any pH paper to test the acidity so what I did was add an excess of baking soda (seen on the bottom of the tube), and then re-added the acidic ‘roon solution dropwise until there was no excess left. These images show the neutralization process, if pH paper is unavailable. A base (sodium bicarbonate/baking soda) is added in excess, which is seen in the bottom of the test tube by the red arrow. Then, the acidic vinegaroon solution is re-added slowly until this excess base disappears. The resulting solution is assumed to be neutral. This neutralized roon solution has the exact same reaction with the leather as the acidic solution. However, it was not as stable. After a hours sitting or a few minutes shaking, the solution turned into a cloudy grey-orange sludge. This is because the oxygen in the air oxidized the Fe2+ ions into Fe3+ ions, which are not soluble and have a rusty colour. Neutralized roon is good for immediate use, but turns nasty after a while What is happening? (skip this section if you don’t like chemistry) The iron is dissolved by the acetic acid and becomes a free-floating iron ion, in the +2 oxidation state, called Fe2+ or Iron(II). Hydrogen gas is produced in the dissolution process but in such small amounts that there is nothing to worry about. This ion is colourless and soluble in water, which is what we want. Furthermore, when this ion is in an acidic solution, like vinegar, it is relatively stable. Some of the ions complex with the acetate, which further increases its stability. When this mixture is applied to the leather, the iron ions interact with the tannins to form an iron-tannin complex, which is black. Oxygen messes with this system. Obviously there is oxygen in the atmosphere and dissolved in your solution, and this can oxidize the iron ions – it will take them from the 2+ state to the 3+ state. Fe3+ or iron(III) is NOT what we want, because it is orange and gross and not soluble in water. If this forms, it creates an orange/brown powdery solid that sinks to the bottom of the jar. To prevent the oxidation of the iron in solution, we need to keep the pH LOW and keep the oxygen out of the system as much as possible – by not pouring or shaking the solution. Now, the acidity of the solution is what keeps it stable – I’m assuming that you could store vinegaroon for a few weeks or months if you kept a lid on it. But the acidity is also what makes it dangerous for using with metal hardware. So what I’ve done is neutralized the solution with baking soda, just before applying it to the leather. The neutralized solution is just as effective, but noticeably less stable. The nice clear solution will turn orange overnight if untouched, or in seconds if shaken. So there you have it. Here’s a summary of what you SHOULD do: -keep the oxygen out of the system. Oxygen is your worst enemy, and turns this pure, clear solution of iron acetate into a sludgy, brown, stanky mess. -keep the solution acidic until you need to use it, then neutralize it if you need to before applying -use steel wool, as it has way more surface area than the same mass of solid iron And what you SHOULDN’T do: -don’t use rusty metal. It wouldn’t make a huge difference, it would just be introducing iron(III) into the solution which you don’t want. -don’t stir vigorously or pour the solution if possible -don’t use lots of metal, cause you only needs a little -don’t wait for a week, cause full strength is reached in less than a day -don’t put a lid on it until you’ve removed the iron, cause you’re building up gas in that jar -don’t worry about anything exploding either, there’s not that much gas -don’t filter it! Pouring it would introduce too much oxygen into the system. If you have stuff that you need to remove, it would be better to suck the ‘roon out with a turkey baster or something. What you could do differently than me: -using stronger vinegar, ie pickling vinegar, would speed up the reaction slightly and probably produce better results, since the pH would stay lower. Normal vinegar, however, is fine for most uses. -If you want to ensure that you have neutralized the solution, or gain a greater insight into the reaction process, pH paper would be very useful. -The solution could be neutralized with other bases, I only used baking soda because it was within an arms reach of the vinegar. Using sodium hydroxide, for example, wouldn’t cause it to bubble so much. -The solution can also be heated to speed the reaction, although I personally wouldn’t bother -Perhaps the best thing you could do is to calculate just how much iron will react with the vinegar and use slightly less than that amount of steel, to ensure that you have vinegar in excess. This will keep the pH from rising as vinegar is consumed by the reaction. This could be calculated stoichiometrically, or possibly by weighing accurately the mass of steel wool before and after to find out how much was consumed. I would assume that it wouldn’t be very much at all. Resources: The main reason why I found it so hard to find information on this reaction is because I initially had no idea what to search for. “vinegaroon” only can up with a few result, and most of them were not scientific explanations. I soon found out that it is more commonly used for “ebonizing wood” and that yielded a few more results. Finally I came across some scientific papers for Iron-acetate and iron-tannin complexes. Here are links to most of the pages I found helpful in my search: Thanks a lot for reading that, if you made it all the way through! Ask me any questions or share your experiences with roon below!
  13. From the album: Campbell Leatherworks

    This is how it turned out. Tell me what you think?
  14. I’m hoping someone knows where Tandy’s veg tanned leather comes from, specifically their tooling leather, harness leather and the European single bends that they sell. Any insight would be much appreciated. I'm in Canada, I'm not sure whether that changes things considering Tandy has locations around the world. I would just like to know which tanneries they buy from.
  15. This is a sheath I enjoy making and it has proven to be efficient design that stays out of the way of a side arm or a backpack. Comments are welcome. Hoping each of you are doing well. Scott
  16. Hi all. Been learning about leather work as a weekend hobby for a couple of years. I've made easy bags, diary covers, dog collars and some simple bits n pieces. Pics later. My question is, what else can I try my hand at. I seem to have no imagination and just see what someone has made and try it myself. As I live in the UK anything to do with guns and even knives is pointless. I'm going to a craft fair in month so keen to make things for that. I make square and heart shaped keyrings for the Airedale Terrier of Scotland Club which are sold via the club. My airedale is called Fudge. there are some pics of the things I've done here. So I'm looking for some inspiration, ideas, suggestions, either for new items or how to improve what I'm doing. I'd really appreciate your views. Thanks from sunny Scotland (insert happy face)
  17. First of all, a great hello to everyone from Slovenia! I'm a very new to the leather, although I had wish to sew it by hand for a long time before. So I came as far as trying to sew the first axe sheath for a start. I've managed to finish it as far as it comes to the edges. Here are 2 pictures, which shows my current state. I'm using 5/6 oz. veg tan leather, which is treated with several coats of Fiebing's Pro Dye (brown) and colorless Fiebing's Resolene. I'm stuck here, because I don't know how to properly finish the edges, neither would know, what the proper edge finish is. As far as I've managed to read about the leather, I came to the fact, that Fiebing's Edge Kote is one of worst possible finishes on leather sheats and looks very amateur. So I've ordered Eco-Flo's Gum Tragacanth for finishing edges, but I'm still not sure about it. Am I supposed to dye the edges before I use Gum Tragacanth? Are the finishes on picture below proper edge finishes or are there any other possibilities to look properly? (the left one) And if so, how am I possible to reach them?
  18. I have searched through the forum to find the answer to this so apologies if it is somewhere and I have not been able to find the answer! Does anyone have suggestions on the best finish to use to maintain the natural, light look of veg tan leather and that won't darken it at all/much? I know the veg tan will darken as it is used but I would like it to happen as naturally as possible. Is it even necessary to use a finish if I am not dying or tooling the leather? I make wallets/cases/bags and am also wondering how necessary it is to use any conditioner. Is a persons natural oils enough to keep the leather from drying? I have tried a few different products such as neatsfoot oil, a nf/beeswax blend, and resolene, but it seems that most darken the leather or leave it with a very unnatural, shiny look. If anyone has suggestions I would appreciate it! Otherwise I'll just keep searching for other products and keep testing and testing. Thank you.
  19. So I've been going crazy the last month making garb and other sundries for the SCA event I went to, which means lots of leftover scraps. I hate throwing anything away, so I came up with a little pouch made of a scrap of leather for the base and a band of linen from something or other. The bead is one I made in lampworking, works pretty well as a stop. Thinking on it, I realized that a good way to use up torn up jeans is to cut off the bottoms and use those as the walls of a sack, just turn down the raw edge and make a new hem, sew on a leather bottom and add a cord! Minimal sewing and you used up some stuff that might have gotten thrown out.
  20. I'm completely new to the leather world so excuse my naiveness. I'm thinking I want to use veg tan leather for my first project. I'm a portrait photographer and I would like to create a pouch for photos to gift to my clients. I have marked three shades in the attached photo that I would like to achieve. 1. Is it possible to purchase veg tan leather already dyed? If so where would l find that? 2. If not do you know of a company that makes a grey dye or would I need to use black with a dye reducer? 3. If I wanted the "natural" look what would be best to finish the leather with? Do I need to finish it at all or could I just leave it as is? 4. I'm somewhat worried that the dyes would be toxic to photos. I would like to present the pouches as a long term storage solution for photographs but I'm unsure as to whether or not that would be considered archival. I have spammed my photography groups with the question and no one has any idea. Any insight about this would be appreciated.
  21. I'm making a camera strap for my friend who saw one I made for myself and liked it. She is a minimalist and likes her leather products to abide by the dictum, "let the leather be the leather." She's fairly famous and is sent top-of-the-line products to feature in her editorials, etc., and some of those have been high-end leather bags and such. (I only mention this as context to show she has a well-informed opinion of what she likes, and though I'm not doing this in order to be featured or promoted in her work, I do want to give her the best I can do, since she's an old friend and I know she has high standards.) She prefers the aesthetic and tactility of unfinished veg tan leather, but I've never given someone something without a finish of some sort, and I'm worried that since it's a strap, and she uses a camera constantly for her work as she travels 11 out of 12 months in the year, that heavy use might take its toll more quickly than if her strap did have some sort of treatment applied to it. Maybe it would be a negligible difference. I just don't want to give her something that forsakes utility over aesthetics. So, is leaving it unfinished a terrible idea? And if so, is there some finish that best retains the color and texture of veg tan? She also likes the way it looks and feels to have veg tan take on the patina of use over time, so I don't want to deny her that either. I'm mostly concerned that it might affect the structural integrity of the strap, especially when it has a several-thousand-dollar piece of equipment on the other end, though it's only just under 2.5 lbs.
  22. Zombie holster for 1911 pistol.
  23. I have received a lot of leather, a few pieces of which I need to let go to someone else that is willing to put it to good use so it isn't sitting around my shop waiting for me to figure out how to use it. This particular piece is some really heavy sole bend leather, with the edge trimmed straight. It appears to be 15 to 16 oz veg tan (roughly 1/4"), likely from Tandy, they seem to sell it for $125-$159 each side. It measures about 56"x33", judge for yourself by the rulers in the photo. I have included one photo of the back, and one of the front. Tried to do an edge image, but limited to size of posting. Perhaps it'll let me put one in later. If I did tooling, I'd probably keep this one, but I don't know how yet.. so ... Selling it for $75 + shipping.
  24. JenGranger

    Is it Veg Tan?

    Hi, I've been learning to work with leather for about 6 weeks, so I'm pretty inexperienced when selecting leather. I get my practice veg tan scraps from a dusty, old box at the local Army Surplus Store. Most of the time I have no trouble telling veg tan apart from other types of leather. But there is this one piece of leather at the surplus store that has me really scratching my head. It looks like it may be a piece of belly, looks to be between 7-9oz, kind of grey in color instead of a tan to salmon color like what I'm used to seeing, slightly shiney like veg tan, a little less firm than most veg tan I've felt (I've never felt good veg tan, so not much to go by). The piece is $8. I know that doesn't sound like much to spend on an experiment,. But I'm on such a tight budget that $8 feeds me and my sweetheart for a whole day, so for $8 I have to be pretty sure it's the right thing. Even though it looks and feels a lot like veg tan, somithing in my gut says it ain't right. Is it possible for veg tan to come the way I described?