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Found 20 results

  1. Hi all. I recently decided to make a belt for a buckle I bought some time ago. It's a double layer of vegtan, handsewn all round, and what a mission that was! It gives me new respect for all the folks here on the forum. Made plenty of mistakes along the way, but it is around my waist as I write this. I cheated slightly, once the stitching holes were marked with a wheel, I used a tiny drill bit in a dremel stand to drill all the holes, and then opened them up with a diamond shaped awl. The reason for this was to try to ensure that the stitching on the inside stayed relatively even. I'm very glad to have made this belt, but my hands reckon that it will be a long time before trying another one. Thanks for having a look, and any advise would be welcome.
  2. This question started as a result of having some not-so-high-quality leather, that has some soft dirt marks, but now I’m curious about general prep practices before cleaning the leather. I was considering using denatured alcohol to wipe the leather with a sponge, before doing any cleaning. I understand this is effective, but also that it may dry the leather out. So, is it better to water down the leather first? Will that help to prevent the drying/hardening provided by the alcohol? I was then curious about the wetness of just water, since that tends to be used to help mold/form leather. Wouldn’t the water also cause hardening? Should the process be to: 1. sponge water and remove most dirt that can 2. use a light amount of denatured 3. add water 4. mold to final state 5. dye I’m considering something like making 3-piece gussets, where the molding may be important, yet hard to dye after molded (without dipping). I know it’s not ideal (or as affective) but can the leather be re-watered and molded after being dyed for those pieces? I also use denatured alcohol for cutting my Pro dyes, so there’s a lot of potential for drying out. I’m not sure what the best process should be to clean and dye. I would like to add a cleaning process, regardless if the vegtan leather seems to need it or not, just for consistency between final products.
  3. Hi all, I'm currently searching for a source of vegetable leather for wallets and belts. I need 2-3 oz for the wallets and I'd prefer 10 oz for the belts. I've found some places that have sides of 10 oz for around $230, but I'm just a beginner and although I'd like a full side for belting, this is out of my price range. I've also been able to find 2-3oz shoulders and remnants but I've been unable to find a full side yet. If anyone can point me in the right direction here it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Sam
  4. CoreyChiev

    Vegtan Bar Stool

    Hi All! I've been scouring the forum for quite a while, and I found some beautiful bar stools tooled and upholstered by members. What I can't seem to find is any description of how the sides of the padded cushion are attached to the base of the stool. I'm planning to cut out a circle for the top of the stool, tool the heck out of it, and sew it to about 2-3 inches of soft upholstery leather (or is vegtan also usable???) so it squishes when you sit down on it. But I can't seem to find a video or description of how you attach the sides of the leather to the wooden top of the round stool. Tacks? Staples?? No clue. The wooden stool I have looks like the attached photo. I'm hoping to make a leather seat constructed like the one pictured (but without the braid) that will attach to the wooden stool. Any guidance and photos of the underside of a finished stool would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Corey C. www.theleathergeek.com
  5. 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: http://chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/35351/iron-chemistry-acetates-for-ebonizing-wood http://chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/5027/how-does-the-mordant-ferric-acetate-interact-with-tannins-when-ebonizing-wood https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_gall_ink https://pubs.usgs.gov/wsp/1459d/report.pdf 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!
  6. I've decided to make a vegtan belt using some old Eco-Flo products for dyeing and finishing. It is machine stitched, using metric 20 polyester thread; lined with pigskin; stainless steel buckle; briar brown gel antique color; lightly oiled with neatsfoot oil; Giardini edge-paint.
  7. Hello Everyone, Doing a little outreach here... I did just post this in another forum so I apologize for the cross posting... We run a tannery in New York's Hudson Valley named Pergamena Parchments & Leathers. We have been around for a very long time, tanning leather here in the US since around 1840, and going back to 1550 in Germany. We have produced many different kinds of leather throughout our history, but have been producing mainly vegtan for the last 10 years. We do cow hide, as well as goat and calf leather. We do a softer cow leather than Hermann Oak, or Wickett & Craig, but it might be suitable for some applications and we can offer it waxed, etc. I have also seen some of the goat and calf leather producers/sellers mentioned on here so I thought this might be the right place to mention that as well. We also do some deerskin. Again, all vegtan and all domestic hides, mostly from the Northeast US. We supply primarily the bookbinding trade, accessories, and handbags. If someone is also looking to buy craft leathers from Tandy or similar suppliers, we have a good supply of one offs or 2nds that we offer directly on our Etsy shop. www.etsy.com/shop/PergamenaNY You are also welcome to check our website www.pergamena.net or call us at 845.457.3834 If you are seeing this and would like to give us a try we would welcome the sale, and the feedback on the material. As a thank you, you can use the promo code LEATHERWORKER2018 to save %10 on your purchase. Thanks again and I hope we can help you! Jesse Meyer Pergamena Parchments & Leathers
  8. This is Spanish vegtan from my mate Martin, between 1,6mm and 2mm thick. I dyed it myself and am very pleased with my mixed new cognac colour, the dyes are Fiebings. I have featured a brogue punch hole designs....I love this it is like those fine English shoes. The tool makes 5 holes, you have to sometimes remove the small holes to go around corners..the only thing I do not like is the creasing on the leather on the fastening clasp after use...can thi be avoided at all?. Any suggestions. Charles
  9. Have been busy with bagmaking lately and can't seem to stop hehehe. Made this bag from 3oz vegtan and duck canvas lining. Most parts machine stitched and some hand stitched. Mixed oil dye and neatsfoot oil and finished with leather balm. Will try some other finishes for it. Been experimenting a lot.
  10. Hi leathercrafters I wonder what is the correct procedure. First oiling and than dying or first dying and than oiling. I usually use Fiebings proffesional oil dye. Thanks J.
  11. Hi all, I'm currently searching for a source of vegetable leather for wallets and belts. I need 2-3 oz for the wallets and I'd prefer 10 oz for the belts. I've found some places that have sides of 10 oz for around $230, but I'm just a beginner and although I'd like a full side for belting, this is out of my price range. I've also been able to find 2-3oz shoulders and remnants but I've been unable to find a full side yet. If anyone can point me in the right direction here it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Sam
  12. Jkiefer

    Singer 29-4 help

    First of I'm new to the forums, my name is Jordan and I just started getting into leather craft like a month or two ago. I originally wanted to make motorcycle seats but the more I've been messing around I've been wanting to make different things! that being said, I just bought a super clean singer 29-4. I ordered some #69 bonded nylon and it finally came in today. I've been trying to mess around and get the machine to sew in some 2-4oz vegtan single layer but the thread will go in the first hole then just lay across the rest of the holes. I read somewhere that if it does that the tension is too loose, but the shuttle is as tight as it will go and if I tighten the disks anymore the thread stops. But when I try to sew denim it sews almost perfect. Am I missing something??? I'd appreciate any help or info! Thank you!
  13. BitterBeard

    Cobra, Cowboy Or Ferdco?

    I have once again been doing some research as I look to pickup a thick leather sewing machine. I have a Juki 1541s that I use for all of my chrome tanned leather sewing and it works great but I am expanding a bit and I am looking for advice on which direction to go. Cowboy 4500, Cobra 4 or Ferdco pro2000 super bull. All of these machines to me look to be exactly alike, the Cowboy and Cobra seemed to be priced very competitively to each other too. So I'm mostly looking for the current owners or those in the know for suggestions on which way the best wind is blowing for your bottom dollar. Would you buy your machine again if you could do it over or would you look at a different brand? I like that the Cobra 4 has a premium package that gets you most of the feet, plates, work platform, extra bobbin, needles and some threads and looking at the Toledo site I don't see a package deal so does anybody know if they offer that? I like to do a one time purchase for most of the equipment of what i'll need so I have it all in my shop at the get-go. Once again thanks to all that respond, I greatly appreciate the information given at this website, I seem to be reading it, all the time.
  14. Tokarsky

    Did I Get Bad Veg-Tan?

    I recently bought a side of Veg-tan from Weaver leather, and had it cut into 3/4" straps for making a bulk order of camera straps for a customer. When I received the leather straps (side) I started looking them over and most of them have a good 40-50" of quality leather, then it starts to degrade into this more fibrous portion that feels like its delaminating. Is this normal as whole sides go, or did they sell me a bullshit side of leather, cut it up and hope I'd not notice? I'll post pics as soon as I get home from the office, but I was hoping to get 2 straps out of each single weaver cut strap, but because of this nasty portion of leather it doesn't look like I'll be able to, on almost every long strap... Did I get a side with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_rot_%28leather%29 that isn't red?
  15. Hey guys! I had some not so great scrap leather hanging around that wasn't quit good enough to use for something I'd sell, so I thought I'd prototype something new. It's a case for an iPad mini. It has one main compartment with a belt with a buckle that goes around the whole case. On the back, a notebook or papers could be stored under the strap. For the hardware, I just used an a buckle from an old belt my wife doesn't use anymore. Anyway, have a look and let me know what you think. -Nick
  16. zaynexpetty

    Hermann Oak Full Grain?

    This might be a stupid question, but, does anyone know if Hermann Oak's Grade A tooling leather is full grain or top grain? I am assuming it is full grain, considering that "A" is their highest grade, I'm just not 100% sure. Thanks Zayne
  17. Southernleather

    Awl Is Tearing The Leather On One Side

    Hi everyone, Wondering if I could get some expert advice! I am currently working on some leather coin purses. For marking the stitching holes I use an edge crease and then a pricking iron. The pricking iron does go through the veg tan but makes a very small hole, meaning when I am stitching on the pony, I widen the hole using my awl to enable the needle to pass through. When I push the awl through, one side looks fine but on the back, the pressure of the awl is tearing the leather and it looks a bit cracked. On the finished product one side looks perfect but the back does not look the same, it looks a little messier. Whilst I am still very pleased with the outcome, I was wondering if there is any way I can prevent this? Or, is it a simple case of this is the way it is? Any help welcomed Thanks!
  18. First post here, I figured I'd show y'all my progress since starting this craft a few months ago. The wallet with 4 pockets is my first of that design and I've been using it myself since making it (3 months or so ago). Since then I've learned quite a bit more about finishing the edges and have a much better idea of what I'm doing with that. Still working on getting my stitching to look clean though. I'm using one of the 4 prong punches from Tandy and can't seem to get really consistent results on the thicker projects (like wallets). Anyway, thanks for looking!
  19. I have been buying my leather exclusively from Tandy and have found that it is really easy to find nice white hides in very light cuts (2-3oz) but in the thicker cuts I use for dog collars (9-10oz) the leather is always quite dark tan. Is this normal for all suppliers or is it just a Tandy thing? I just finally got my Springfield Leather catalog (AWESOME!) and was thinking about getting a hide from them but was hoping for some input on this before I order. I am in Portland, Oregon so I only have a few local suppliers I can go to and actually see the hide. Is this something others have experienced? I am able to get really nice light pastel-ey colors on my lighter leather but those colors are impossible to get on my thicker leathers. It is bumming me out! Thoughts?
  20. What low sheen or matte finishes are the best for use on black veg tan? Without spraying and being more water- and rub-off resistant than Bag-Kote, MPB, NFO-beeswax paste or Mop-and-Glo. Some considerations: 1. When finishing black English Bridle or holstered skirting (W&C), even Satin Shene comes too shiny. Recommended mix of water, Satin Sheen and Super Sheen as 2:1:1 too. 2. Applying neutral Satin Shene or Eco-Flo Professional matte finish leaves translucent whitish hint in leather pores, I believe this is a mica powder sed as a matting agent. Black Resolene and neutral Super Shene have no such problem, but they are shiny on this leathers. 3. I tried Bag-Kote, MPB, NFO-beeswax paste, Aussie conditioner on scraps, water resistance is much lowert and water stains appear. Also there is concern if there could be rub-off of Fiebing's spirit dyes on clothes with these finishes, and could the oil from finishes stain clothes. Any personal expearance? 4. Fiebings Leather Sheen are no longer available locally, it gives less water protection than Resolene or Super Shene, and finished with it leather looks unfinished at all. I know that masters use it successfully, but maybe it needs other undelaying finish. Any thoughts, speaking from experience? Thank you.