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  1. Michael, Valerie, 1993, The Leatherworking Handbook: Cassell Illustrated, 128 p. This seems to be a very good general book on leatherworking, but it does not deal with carving and embossing. It can be found new or used through Bookfinder.com. Michael recommends PVA glue instead of contact cement. She says, "The most versatile adhesive is leatherworking grade PVA adhesive. It is used to hold gussets and pattern pieces in position ready for stitching, to secure turned edges, and to attach linings and reinforcements....Rubber solution is a contact adhesive. It is ideal for holding edges together while you are box stitching and for turning edges of lined belts and bags." Her directions for using PVA are about the same as contact adhesive. Apply the PVA to both surfaces. Let it dry until it begins turning from white to clear, at which point it will be tacky. Adhere the surfaces and press them together firmly. I never see PVA recommended by American leatherworkers. My question is whether it is okay to use PVA in place of contact cement? PVA remains flexible when dry. Using it would save exposure to hazardous chemicals. PVA is not waterproof and should not be used for leather swimsuits or leather life jackets, but most leather goods do not get a lot of exposure to water. I would appreciate reading some discussion of this from other leatherworkers.
  2. I am currently using barge contact cement and was wondering if you have to apply it on both sides. I am cementing 2 pieces of leather and the bottom piece is getting the residue. Does anyone know of a solution for this
  3. Just a heads up for those of you who use WeldWood Contact Cement gel, Lowe's has it on clearance. I believe that they are either getting rid of the old designed cans to possibly replace them with new ones OR moving away from carrying the 1 gallon cans. They do have the smaller cans of the gel, but the gallon cans are the better buy.
  4. Hello. I'm making a bushcraft type backpack that will have a mix of leather and canvas parts. I made prototype that turned out really well except for the parts that I used barge to attach the leather to the canvas. For example the leather bottom to the canvas bottom and the leather buckle attachment to the canvas front. You can tell the cement "bled" through. My canvas is light/medium weight - sort of like a carhart jacket exterior fabric.I suppose I could just rely on the handstitching of leather to canvas but since this is a pack, I want it as strong as possible. Another option is a different adhesive but won't those others bleed too? (I only have Barge and plain Elmers but I'd be willing to buy something else if there's a suggestion). If it's a water based adhesive, how is it affected if the pack gets wet? I do plan to waterproof the canvas with a hot beeswax, parrafin, and boiled linseed oil mix that I saw online. I'd love any input.
  5. I was watching a video on youtube and a french shoemaker lighted the contact cement on fire after he apply it to the shoe. He said that will speed up the drying time. I did a google search and supposedly cyclist call it hot patching. Any of you set the cement on fire? Does it waken the bonding strength? For your enjoyment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zwq59bBJSbs
  6. Hello and thank you for any help you can offer. I am new to leather working and would like to start making belts as my belt doesn't fit anymore. I have purchased all the tools I need and some I don't need. I purchased some leather, it was advertised as "5.5/6oz Red Brown Veg Tan Water Buffalo Single Bend Belt Strap Leather". It was not very expensive but I was not worried about it as this is basically leather that I will learn to hand stitch on. My intent was to glue to pieces together and stitch them. The leather arrived and in Picture 1 you can see what I believe to be the top of the leather. It looks basically identical to my current belt. I was expecting the back of the leather to be soft with grains showing, however it is very dark and hard. It feels like almost plastic. see pic 2 please. I have tried using EcoWeld Water Based Contact Cement to adhere the two pieces together, however the dark side (back) of the leather does not allow the contact cement to absorb in and therefore does not hold tight. I can easy pull the pieces apart after 24 hours of drying. The glue pulls right off one of the sides. So, I assume I have to rough that back side up to expose the grains so the glue will hold, or that the glue I am using is not correct. If I need to rough up to expose grains can anybody offer the best way to do this please. If its a glue issue can somebody please point me in a better direction. Lastly, what type of leather did I buy? Looking for the term used to descide the leather style that is treated on both sides,,,maybe?? Thank you for reading and any help you can offer. -Rudi
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