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  1. Hi all! I'm fairly new at leathercrafting and would like to explore dyes a little more. For my last project, due to budgetary constraints I simply used an antique gel as my dye, which I thought worked surprisingly well. I realize antiquing helps to give dimension to tooling whereas dyes are more uniform, but if I was going to antique anyway is there a specific reason to dye beforehand as well? Thanks :D
  2. I am very new to leather working. I am starting off with making bronc halters, earrings, hat patches and similar western style accessories. I have goals to make western horse tack in the future when I have more experience. My question is what is the best sewing machine for these types of items that is simple enough for a newbie to use? I have tried reading through the forums but there’s so much information it’s overwhelming. Would it be better to hand sew them for now? I apologize if these questions have already been answered on here this is my first post and still learning how to use this site. Thanks in advance. Also I am located in the United States.
  3. Hi everyone! I'm Sam and I'm thrilled to be here. I've been lurking and reading the threads here for the last couple of months and the time has come to officially join the community. As a total newbie, I've been reading the stickied/older threads, trying to grapple with all the terminology that everyone here is so familiar with, but have found myself a little lost and in need of assistance. I'm hoping nobody minds if I ask some questions. First, a little background. I'm currently based in Dubai, having moved here for work just before the pandemic hit. I lost my job during the initial wave and started leather working as a way to deal with the stress of the situation. I have always loved leather, but never handled it before. I am teaching myself little bits at a time and still have a lot to learn, but I quickly became addicted to the craft! I'm sure many of you will know the feeling well! I've been making myself some small items using some 4-7ft leather pieces (from Etsy), a rivet press and some cheap rivets+snaps, leather belt hole punch, and contact cement. I've made 3 bags and a couple of card cases this way. A couple of those items were saddle stitched (using Youtube tutorials) but I quickly found that my hands can't take it (because I have rheumatoid arthritis), so I relied on contact cement and must say the stuff has been perfectly fine for my needs up until this point. Like many people, the pandemic has made me reassess my path and seek more joy. I've decided I'd like to start a small Etsy store selling purses and wallets. I'm aware that there's a ton of competition out there in this area, but I would like to spend my days running a modest operation and relishing in the joy of handcrafting unique items for others to enjoy. My designs have been unique (my own patterns) and I have had strangers comment on how beautiful my handmade bag was- which sent me straight to cloud 9! I have felt so excited, joyful and proud of my small creations and I'd like to lean into this passion project fully. Now onto the questions and issues I'm facing. I cannot picture selling items made with contact cement. I would have to stitch them for them to be worthy of other people's interest and money. However, I've never machine-stitched anything in my life! From my research, I have narrowed down the options for a sewing machine, but could use some input on which would be best suited to my needs and circumstances. Materials: - I'm using goat/lamb/chrome tanned leather and suede, ranging from 0.6mm-1.2mm in thickness. For some designs, I would need to stitch up to 3 layers of leather. - I'm using reinforcements/interfacing on the thinner leathers so they don't tear or stretch out when the bags are full. - I'm also lining my bags with thin microsuede fabric. Budget: I'm trying to save up to $2000 (usd) for my first leather sewing machine (including shipping). Machine options (based on the threads here): 1 - Techsew 2700 2 - Consew 260RB 3 - Juki 1541 + some sort of regular home sewing machine to stitch my linings and inner pockets- perhaps a Brother or Singer? *I've been reaching out to local suppliers but they're not forthcoming with information. Basically they say that I should decide what I want and then they'll let me know if they can source the machine. I also have the option of finding a supplier abroad who will ship internationally but the shipping cost would eat into my budget. ** I'm not including hand-crank machines due to my rheumatoid arthritis, however I'm willing to consider it if they're not as hard on the small joints as saddle stitching. Questions 1- Are the 3 options I've listed the correct ones for my needs? Is one preferable over the others? 2- I live in a small flat, but have enough space to set up desks/machines/shelves. However, I'm concerned about the weight of the machines and the amount of noise they make. Would any of these machines be an issue if used in a flat versus an outdoor studio/warehouse. Are they too loud to operate in a flat? I don't want trouble with my landlord or neighbors. 3- Is it difficult to set up these industrial machines without any prior experience? I'm planning to follow Youtube tutorials and/or any information provided by the supplier. 4- Franky, do you think I'm jumping in at the deep end and would be wiser, given that I know nothing about sewing machines, to use a basic domestic machine with a different head/needles for my leatherwork instead of investing in a proper leather sewing machine? Additional considerations: 1- My estimation is that the thickest total material I'll be stitching will be 4-5mm. Therefore, I would like to get a sewing machine that can easily handle 10mm so that I'm not having it cranking at its maximum capacity all the time. 2- I would like the option of a cylinder arm and flatbed attachment, as some of my designs have gussets and rounded corners. 3- I would like to buy a machine that would last me a few years before needing an upgrade, if possible. I don't think I want to learn/start on one machine, then have to buy a better one in 6 months' time as I won't be able to afford that. I'd rather learn from the get-go on the machine that will be my workhorse. Okay, I think that's everything! I hope it's not overkill, but I wanted to be as clear as possible so that I can be steered right. Thank you to anyone and everyone for your willingness to help us newbies out! I'm super excited to hear what will be recommended and to start my journey into this world properly. I hope to be able to share some of my work with you all soon!
  4. First and foremost Thank Yall for the add about a week ago, you've got alot of useful info and alot of helpful people here. I can't wait to make some stuff and post it for you to see. Newbie here I've done a little leather working here and there, but I'm still very new to alot I just know some basics is all. I started playing around with leather say jr. high and high school, and I had made some knife sheathes in my teens when I helped forge knives with my father. (I had never thought to take pictures of my work, but honestly it was pretty bad waxed tandy thread and huge chisel holes and uneven dye jobs with basket weave stamping LOL...at least the stiching was good). But I stopped and moved onto other hobbies such as making chainmaille, and becoming addicted to computer games and table tops like D&D. I even made myself some belt pouches (I used an awl and didn't mark stich lines that time, it was tight stiching but all over the place) when I worked at renfaire for 2 years. (2 years was enough horrible pay and long hours on commission ugh..) So I've always done crafting and those kinda hobbies. So recently a few months back an old timer I knew was moving into a smaller house and downsizing and getting rid of things. I Picked up a Ruger Redhawk from him and it had a camo cloth holder for the gun. My mind goes Hmm big gun I live in Texas, I need to make this a worthy Leather Holster for it. So I proceed to spend weeks looking at designs and researching leather working again. Yeah I got bit with the leather bug again, so instead of being rational I just decided why not just let this consume my whole life haha.... So I've been reading, watching all kinds of videos about leatherworking, I've even considered getting the leather masterclass stuff online. I work nights so I have alot of free time during the morning before I collapse midday sleep and repeat the cycle. Computer games are fun for a while but unfulfilling, I'd really like to start making things again and if i can get good enough at this maybe a side hustle for money. I had read good reviews about Kevin Lee tools so I took the plunge and bought 2 sets of pricking irons 3.38 mm and 3.85mm, and his copy Brass clicking knife_Brass Clicker knife blades_China Handmade Leather Tools Manufacturer (kevinleathertools.com) of the Vergez Blanchard L'Indispensable . I'd read reviews that the lindispensable was a nice knife but the blade was crap and alot of people replaced it with a D2 Chartermade knife. Anyways his knife has a nice weight and balance to it, and its sharp as hell cuts through my 6oz+ leather like butter. The pricking irons are very nicely polished and punch through easy and leave small slits, I'm considering getting some 3.0mm and 2.7mm so I've got an entire set. I've currently gotta clean a bigger spot to do this on, and I'm waiting on my black friday leather sales to come in the mail I'll update yall when it arrives.
  5. Hello! So i am a fashion student from portugal and the leatherwork always amazed me, so i am using this new project at college to do some experiences with veg tanned leather. And, of course, as a newbie i have encounter some problems with the art... would really appreaciate if i could get some insigh, helps and tips from the pros! Help please? So on the 1st two pictures i wet molded veg tanned leather and then tried to dye it with the fiebing's pro dye (used the deglazer first), burnished the edges with tokonole and as i really want a really high gloss finish i tried to aply the fiebings Saddle-lac spray and as you can see it is really baaaaddd! all uneven, full of little spots of dirt, just bad. And on the last three pictures, i have cut some straps of veg tanned leather and again, deglazer, dyed with the black pro-dye, burnished edges and this tip i tried to apply the Eco-flo top finish gloss diluted on 50% of water, and again, all uneven, some parts glossy and other not, and as i want this strap to go over a D-ring, as i tried to bend it got those tiny ugly bumps/wrinkles. HELLLLLLLP????? For how long should i wait between applying each product? (i think i did it quite fast, tbh like in 10 minutes gaps) With what should i apply the different products? And i kind don't like using the tokonole to burnish the edges as i get on both sides of the leather these sticky imprints that you can notice in the end and it is really ugly. Is the leather i got just bad quality? Thanks! I would loooove to get some tips, help and insights from the pros!! Please, thank you and much love from portugal!!
  6. Good evening everyone, I'm new to leatherworking and I'm enjoying it, but having a few little issues! A project requires me to stitch through three layers of 3/4oz leather. I'm using pricing irons to punch my holes, but the iorn is getting stuck and then I'm putting the leather out of shape when getting the tool out. Should I be using a tool with fewer prongs? Should I just be aiming to use the iron as a mark and then opening up with an awl? Or are my irons too shallow for the job? They are only cheap ones as I can't afford to invest too much right now (I'm a seasonal worker and there's not much work for me right now!) Thanks in advance.
  7. Hi everyone! I am planning to buy a sewing machine for a small business that I will start preferably next year. The sewing machines that have been offered to me are the following: 1. Juki DU 141NH 2. Juki DU 1181N 3. Mitsubishi LY2-300 BOB The machine that I need must be able to handle medium to heavy materials (I’ll be using a combination of canvas fabric and leather), as I’ll be making bags (backpack, small pouches and totebags). Also, the machine must be user-friendly and if changes need to be done, the machine parts must be easy to source. Each of the machine is being offered to me at $650.00. So I really need guys your expertise and recommendations as I am very new to this thing so my money and first sewing machine will be worth it! Looking forward for your suggestions. Have a good day everyone!
  8. ram40

    quartz block

    Good evening all, just started leather craft a month ago , got most of the needed tools , but still missing a good cutting board , living in flat , it a must , emailed few companies , one replied quoting £80 for a 12"*12" to be collected , seems expensive , any suggestions ? many thanks
  9. I picked up leatherwork over 10 years ago and my first thing I made was what is called a slip lead (first pic) life got in the way and I got side lined. With this pandemic I picked it back up again and want to focus on my hand stitching. My first attempt at hand stitching was a dice cup (second pic) done at beginning of March and send attempt was sighthound collar (third pic). I see so many flaws and it drives me crazy and probably why I was sidelined 10 years ago. I enjoy hand stitching and want to make more projects where I can practice hand stitching, I think I may attempt a wallet next. ** I am unable to upload Dice Cup Vee-Slip-Collar YOLO-head-shot
  10. Hello. I am so thrilled to have found this forum. I have spent hours poring over the information here, and am learning so much. Thank you! I sew handbags, totes, etc out of salvaged sails, horse tack, marine vinyl, and waxed canvas. I currently sew on a Sailrite LSZ-1 and a Viking 6270. I push these machines perhaps a bit past their limits. I am looking for a cylinder arm industrial machine that will allow me too tackle some more heavy duty work with these materials. I found this Yamata on eBay. I am wondering what you guys think compared with the Cowboy CB227R and the TechSew 2600? This one is cheaper, even though it does require at home assembly. I am pretty handy, and I’m married to a mechanically minded individual. I am not really afraid of the assembly. I just want to make sure I get the right machine for the job. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you ! https://www.ebay.com/itm/Yamata-GC335-10-Arm-Cylinder-Bed-Walking-Foot-Sewing-Machine-Stand-Servo-motor-/323503216189?_trksid=p2385738.m4383.l4275.c10
  11. I'm looking at the following tools to start with. I already have knives,( I'm a knife hoarder,lol) cutting mat from other projects, so these are the entry level items I think I should get. Please give me your honest thoughts gathered from your expierences. Thanks, Chris, the CrazeeOkie https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075R9SNPZ/?coliid=I2A4U775QMFEYO&colid=GWRZ2K5OXYQ7&psc=0&re https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HD3PQTJ/?coliid=I2NNNEMN8OQ3JQ&colid=GWRZ2K5OXYQ7&psc=0&ref_=lv https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074YD8DXY/?coliid=I2GKYR50XU6XCS&colid=GWRZ2K5OXYQ7&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
  12. Hi everyone new to the forum just wanted to say hi. Im sure im going to have lots of questions soon so get ready hahaha. Here is my work bench at the moment and my first bit of tooling, I made my own swivel knife today because I wasnt happy with my cuts and now I wish I did that before I started on my wallet but o well haha.
  13. Hello, I don't believe I have formally introduced myself, but my name is Reece and I have been officially in the hobby/trade of leather craft for about 2 months now. When my father passed away he was just starting out in leatherwork himself and so with his passing I inherited all of his tools and leather. When he got his set of tools it was already missing several items from it but he did have the majority of the basics. My question comes in on the stamps that I have vs the ones I don't and should consider obtaining. Below are the tool numbers currently in my possession: Tandy 100, b197, 203, 206, p206, 210, v407, 429, c429 c431, 702, s705, 708, 709, 748, s722 I have some money ear marked for leather craft items here in the following weeks and would appreciate to know what you all think would be good considerations to add as far as stamps are concerned.
  14. Hey all. I'm Arwel from North Wales. I'm new here and don't have much experience with these old boot patcher machines so please be gentle with me! I need the benefit of your expertise guys. I'm rather stumped! I have a Singer 29k-3 that I've only just recently bought. It took me a while to clean her up, oil her and loosen her up. She was built in 1902 and now runs OK, considering her age. The only thing is this: for the life of me, I cannot get her to sew! I've studied every inch of her, read up as much as I could find about her to no avail. It's obvious to me (even though my experience is with domestic machines and industrial lockstitch machines) that the needle on the 29k has already pierced the fabric before the foot has finished feeding the fabric through. Therefore, the fabric doesn't feed and doesn't produce stitches. I've tried everything I can think of and tbh, it doesn't seem like these machines have very much in the way of possible adjustments so I honestly don't know what to do next! Please help guys! Thank you in advance. Oh and, yeah, I painted her! I'm sorry if you guys don't approve! Arwel
  15. New to the art within the last few months. Self taught for the most part. Definitely still struggling in some areas but enjoying it Name is Cory, I own a construction company and specialize in custom woodwork and trim.
  16. I am new to leatherwork, though not to sewing and construction with fabrics. I understand the need for sharp knives. I also understand that without straight cuts, it is pretty much senseless to try to put something together. It seems I am, so far, totally incapable of cutting a straight line! Multiple knives, roller cutter, fresh blades, scalpels, all tried. The biggest challenges are leathers about 2-3 mm of different types. Those of looser temper are most challenging. A couple of questions about approach. I prefer to stand, and have a sit-stand work area so can adjust the height. Is it better to be closer to the work? Does distance of upper body (being closer) help with application of pressure on the knife? What is the best way to get a smooth continuous...and straight...cut? One major issue is keeping the leather still and flat, and holding the pattern on the leather...one or the other always seems to move, even on short runs of 8-10 inches. Longer runs wiggle more. I have tried weights with limited effectiveness. Do have self-healing mats and all sorts of rulers and straight edges and squares. So that is the first area needing some input. I see the pros and semi pros cutting giant pieces of leather perfectly straight by eye on You Tube. Obviously some of the control will come with experience. What are some other tricks? The other major question is how to hide or fix mistakes...that one (or 10) crooked or out of line stitch, a hole in the wrong spot, those wiggly lines that need straightening. Oh yeah, and how to keep hole punches from bouncing and making 2 impressions. If any of you have suggestions, tricks, tips, videos, It would be grand if you could share a few on these areas. Thanks!
  17. I’ve never used a sewing machine before and just stitch bags and wallets by hand. I am considering a second hand Juki LS-341N as my first machine, and I have a few questions. I’m really hoping you could help me out. Is Juki LS-341n a good machine for stitching 2 to 3 layers of 2mm vegtanned leather? How about oil or chrome tanned leather? Denim? Thick canvas? Do I really need a servo machine with it? I was told by a local dealer that it is more expensive than a clutch motor and since electricity in our country is not that stable, any fluctuations will damage the computer board of the servo motor. Will using an AVR solve the problem? Also, what specific things should I look for in a servo motor? I also remember the dealer saying that locally available servo motors are too weak. We use 220v here. Can I use a 110v servo motor from the US and just have it shipped here? Is that a good idea? If yes, what specifications for the transformer should I use? If I won’t be able to get my hands on a servo motor immediately and have to use a clutch motor, what should be the specs? What should I ask the dealer/mechanic to do with the clutch motor so I could use the sewing machine while waiting for a servo replacement? If I use the machine with denim, or denim and leather, do I need to switch to a clutch motor? For 2 layers of 2 mm thick vegetable tanned leather, what kind of needles should I buy? How about for 3 layers? I plan to use Vinymo thread. What’s the thickest size I could use with the Juki 341n and what kind/number of needle is appropriate? If I go a size thinner, what’s the corresponding size of needle should I use? I’ve read that some sewing machines tend to leave marks on the leather. What is that part called? Is there a special tool I could use to avoid that? I’ve also read that some people had to file down the ridges. Could I buy an already-smooth one? What other things/attachments should I buy so I could maximize the use of the machine? Sorry for bombarding you with questions. Although I’ve read some posts pertaining to this specific machine, I wasn’t really able to find out if it’s okay to use it with vegtanned leather. Thank you so much!
  18. Thought I’d share my first attempt at making a case. It’s based on the Utility Case shown in The Art of Making Leather Cases Vol 2. page 60 with different dimensions. The handle, Handle No. 20 page 23 (same volume). Oak leaf carving on left side panel based on CitzenKates post on this site: Demo: Oak Leaves. Only experience with leather working I have is that a couple of weeks ago I picked up the Tandy Deluxe Leather Carving kit. Got tired of flowery bookmarks and coasters quite rapidly and wanted to really push myself. Laid out/measured up the cutting patterns in Sketchup before hand. Ran into trouble trying to figure out how long to make the handles and couldn’t find any advice or comment on handle length in the above-mentioned Stohlman book; upon assembly discovered the handles are a fair bit too short! Thankfully still usable, but it’d be more comfortable for each handle to have been 2 to 4 inches longer. Not sure if there’s any way I can address this after the fact though. Also discovered that I hadn’t thought through where the latch would end up… did get a latch but didn’t lay out the location beforehand so if I were to attach a latch it would end up smack dab in the middle of the carving on the front panel. Now looking for other strategies to close the lid - almost thinking maybe snaps? And the next fairly major oversight is that I mounted the handle shield too to high. This results in the inability to close the lid fully since the flap hits the D-rings. Am wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to modify/remedy this issue? Can see from the photos I have some more burnishing to do on that top panel… Critique, criticism, suggestions, modifications to improve the case, additional finishing, etc. much appreciated.
  19. Hi everyone, I have just recently caught the leather bug and I am so happy to have found this community. I attended a hand stitching bag making class last weekend and Now I never want to stop sewing bags. I want to learn everything about leather and leather accessories , especially bags. I live in Northampton which has a rich cobbler history and there are many leather merchants around. My office is a 6 minutes drive from The Tandy Leather store in Northampton which is dangerous for me as I find it hard to control my spending habits when it comes to my hobbies. I am already dreaming of Blanchard tools and fil au chinois threads and I want an Adler sewing machine .....I know, champagne tastes on a beer budget . For now though, I am just trying to learn as much as I can and finding out exactly what tools are essential for me at this stage as opposed to what I see the master craftsmen/ women using. Finally I just want to thank everyone on here who shares their knowledge.
  20. Hi all from NC. What started as an innocent trip last year to check out the local Tandy shop with my daughter and the purchase of a simple purse project has turned into...well...an addiction! I've been on here for a bit and realized there is SOOOO much to learn, but am grateful there are so many people out there willing to share their knowledge. Maybe sometime soon I'll remember to take pictures to post in the other forums. Until then, thanks to all the contributors that take the time to "teach" the new guys.
  21. Made my second wallet. Used 4-5 oz for the back and 2-3 oz for the pockets and ID window. I bought the Nigel Armiatge wallet pack plans and modified the design using his dimensions. On the next one I think that I will have to add a few MM (He is in the UK, so dimensions are metric) to the design to account for shrinkage from the dye step. This one came out a little tight, and I hope it stretches out a bit. It was made for a friend.
  22. I got some alligator scraps on eBay with the intent of making a few small items. I also got some alligator printed leather from Tandy and took a crack at that. Can you guess which one is the real gator? I think they came out pretty nice for a newbie. I can't decide what friend i'm going to gift these to.
  23. This is my first attempt at a messenger bag. Its a simple fold over design with no liner. I would like to add a pocket to the outside of the front panel that will be concealed by the flap (circled in red). Maybe something for a cell phone or something small. My question is, how do I make the measurements for the pocket panel? I feel that if I make a simple rectangle and stitch it on 3 side it will be so flush to the bag that it won't have any inner depth. Should I cut the pocket panel in a trapezoid and stitch at right angles? This sounds like it would make sense to allow for room in the pocket. Maybe angles at just a 1/4" or something?
  24. Hello, This is my first post and my first project. I needed to make a new leather fishing pliers holster so I walked into my local Tandy shop a few weeks ago. A few $100 later I walked out with a bunch of tools, chemicals, and leather. I am still going to make that pliers holster, but made a wallet to start off with. I am brand new to leather crafting and only know what I know from this forum for a few weeks and YouTube. I plan on gifting this to a buddy for his birthday. I stamped his initials in it with some of my wife's metal stamps (not really made for leather). Made from 4/5 oz veg tan shoulder, stained USMC Black, and hand stitched with Lt Grey thread. A simple 2 pocket card wallet lined with material liner from Joanne's. I found the wallet template online. Very simple and I had fun making it. I don't think that I'll line the inside with fabric on the next one. The cement came through the fabric in some areas and was a little messy. Let me know what you think. Mark - Hollywood, FL
  25. Hey everyone! I'm Ben, a 26 year-old Canadian expat currently living in Taiwan. I recently got into leatherworking in October, after I took a leathercrafting workshop with a friend in Vietnam. Bought myself some tools and leather on my return to Taiwan, and have fallen in love with the craft! I've always been a maker - I do photography, cross stitching, filmmaking, and (frankly, too many) other hobbies - so I've enjoyed diving into leathercrafting. I started out making a really janky-looking passport cover, and have since made some coin pouches and moneyholders and dice bags for my Dungeons & Dragons players for Christmas. All through, my cutting, stitching, burnishing, and designs have become better, so with each new project I'm even more proud of my work. I'm amazed with how much I've learned in just three months, and I know I've just scratched the surface. Can't wait to see what the next project will be! Attached are some images of my latest project, an updated passport cover that I'll be taking with me on my travels. Hope to see y'all around! -Ben
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