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Hello everyone, First post on the forum for me, been lurking for a while now and decided to register. I'm mainly a watchmaker that enjoys making vintage timepieces with matching straps. Lately I've put my strapmaking on hold due to limited time and too much work. But I do miss it very much and demand is high. If you don't mind me asking, how do I start with making the leather looking like it has been through some serious wear? I've added some pics so you can see what I'm trying to achieve. I used to make my straps from belt leather, skivving away to be able to fold & glue it but it was hard work (4mm thickness was normal) and not very sophisticated. My stitching leaves a lot to be desired too but I managed somehow. Looking to buy some 1mm thick veg tan leather, and going at it with scotchbrite, sandpaper, then oiling it etc... Or if you see a better approach? Thank you for replying!
Hello all, Firstly, I would like to say what an invaluable resource this forum is! Now, onto the topic. I have been hand carving soles out of sole bend by hand for the better part of the year. I was using Stanley knife, wetting the leather and then rasping, glassing and soaping the edges to make it look smoother. However, it was never as professional as I wanted to look with faint marks of where the knife had cut still visible. Today, I finally bought a bandsaw to cut through this leather and hopefully have that super vertical finish. I tried a few and it certainly looks better (just some slight marks from where I held the leather a bit too long). I am going to rasp & glass the edges to see if I can get rid of those. So I guess what I'm looking for is any tips or tricks people have to get that really professional looking sole edge, how to use the bandsaw properly (I imagine it takes practice to get a really steady hand) and any other information people have to creating soles! Thanks,
This is a simple technique I use to trace patterns onto my moistened leather. Instead of tracing the patterns to trace paper 1st why not trace it directly onto the leather from the printed pattern. 1st place a piece of food wrap over the moistened leather to prevent the printout from getting wet. 2nd, tape the printout over the area you want to trace the pattern onto the leather. Watch the tutorial to see how I do this. Works perfectly every time and the trace looks really nice. Let me know if it helps you!
There is a soft, pliable and draping undyed vegtan leather available: milled leather, with pronounced pebble grain, coming in thicknesses 3-4 oz and 5-6 oz. How the techniques of work with it are different from normal tooling vegtan? 1. Will it strech and change shape with use? 2. Does it have to be lined (not so smooth flesh side) or just be smoothed by Leather Balm or Resolene (or will it stretch and this seal be broken)? 3. Dyeing - Fiebing's spirit and Pro-Oil dyes in the usual way? 4. Sealing (moisture and rub-off resistance): on non-stretching tooling leather Resolene works well, but when leather changes its shape this seal may be broken. Any personal experience, please? 5. Finishiing to preserve pliability of this leather? Super Shene, Resolene and Eco-Flo Professional wax finishes seem to stiffen leather significantly, and Leather Balm, Aussie Conditioner and Montana Pitch Blend seems to be less protective for keeping dye from rub-off on clothes and less protective from rain or sweating (for small personal carry items or car seats, not as handbags). 6. Edging techniques? This is a thick soft leather, too soft for waxing and burnishing, unless edge was hardened soaked by SuperShene, and too soft and too thick for skiving edge, turning over and stitching along the edge. Roll over using the same leather seems to be out of question because of leather thickness (for small personal items, not handbags). Placing milled leather grain to grain side with thin 2-3 oz tooling leather, sewing along the edge, rolling over the thin tooling leather (as Paul Long lining works) should do the thick, but stiff tooling leather lining will limit pliability of milled leather. Making a thin strip of thin tooling leather/calf and roll it over the edge of milled leather will add stiff perimeter to otherwise pliable leather. Chrome tan suede, while being softer, is not suiable where only vegtan should be used. Tooling pigskin and goat are stiff too and have incompatible, IMHO, texture with pebbled milled leather. 7. For belt loops or handles: Because this leather doesn't hold the shape good, maybe less stretchable tooling leather should be used? 8. Using snaps at a flap: will this leather hold well with repeated pulling and closing at snap, or snaps should be used only if stiffener and lining were added?