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Casing Leather

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.... Some people apply the shelf paper or packing tape and then glue ti all down to the acrylic. Your option.....

Hope this helps!

Bobby

We were discussing this in a carving class a few years ago. One guy pointed out that some people wear a belt and suspenders together too. Either one might be considered paranoid.

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We were discussing this in a carving class a few years ago. One guy pointed out that some people wear a belt and suspenders together too. Either one might be considered paranoid.

That's priceless!! :rofl: And about the best definition for paranoid that I've ever heard!!!!

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That's priceless!! :rofl: And about the best definition for paranoid that I've ever heard!!!!

Yeah, but Bobby is right. The rubber cement will leave splotchy residue. If you want to dye the flesh side, it makes for an ugly job. Of course, I've only dyed the insides once or twice after using RC,and found it looked better leaving it alone :evillaugh:

Tom

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Thank you for the article/download, Sir.

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You're most welcome, Mike, I hope it helps!

Bobby

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You're most welcome, Mike, I hope it helps!

Bobby

Bobby, I'm not sure that I have it down yet as today's project encompassed only my 2nd and 3rd leather projects. I followed your instructions and ended up with easy to work leather which yielded the following:

DSC_0075.JPGDSC_0074.JPG

Edited by Mike928

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And is it true that casing it for carving is different than casing it for tooling? What if you are doing both? I'm lost.

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For me, tooling and carving are different names for the same thing....

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For me, tooling and carving are different names for the same thing....

That's what I thought also. Hahaha.

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How long do you leave it in the bag after it starts returning to its natural color? And do you just leave the bag on a table or?

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Wow thank you so much for posting this! I've been casing my leather wrong for years (soaking overnight then immediately into ziplocks in a fridge for another 24hrs) and my results have been amateur at best; inconsistent carving attributes and very, very stiff when dry. Your process makes much more sense. Thank you immeasurably, Jim

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Many thanks for the article. I'm just starting out in the leather crafting world and waiting for my tools to arrive. I'm planning on using this way for casing, but a lot of videos I've seen seem to simply "wet" the leather with a sponge.

I plan to use brown packing tape on the back of the leather to help stop it from stretching, so my question is, while carving, can I simply add more water to the top of it? also if it's going to take a while, can I put the leather back in the bag and leave it overnight again?

again, thanks for the article. I will re read it again when my tools arrive. :)

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Hi Bobby, I have a problem with my cased leather not drying equally. Some places will be ready to carve and right beside it will still be to wet. Dries splotchy, any suggestions? Thank you Troy

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Is working in the AZ humidity an issue?

Thanks!

Bob

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I do it a little different but not really. My main difference comes from years of total project management. I wet pieces by throwing in the tub and leaving till no more bubbles then set them out flat for a little while till the surface is uniform, then plastic wrap over night to get all fibers uniformly plumped. Then lay them out again till they are ready to tool. I do test with my thumbnail to be sure that I'm not letting them get to dry, then plastic wrap again till time to start. I have gotten several exposed XRay films from a vet friend and on large pieces I lay them around to keep the areas I'm not working on from drying out and when I take a break, (I'm my own boss so I can approve a break any time I want to), I cover the piece on my marble slab till I'm ready to resume. And I too try to keep rewetting to a minimum and when I do need to rewet I apply the additional with a fairly dry sponge on the flesh side and give it a few minutes to migrate up a little. Thinking back I guess this all stems from time I spent in a shop where the boss cut out all the saddles I was assigned, soaked them and put them in my individual locker, I was expected to work out of there and rewet very little. So the initial soaking served as the fitting wetting and the other steps were developed to go from fitting to tooling then final work up. In a two man operation we didn't need to work that way but he had worked in Porters in Phoenix, AZ at the heighth of its glory days when there were about 20 folks working. They had specialists who didn't do anything but sew horns and cantles, and assembly men, and carvers and he tried to incorporate as much of that familiar routine as he could into our way of going.

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PS And we were also continually in a race to stay ahead of mold forming. Had to clean out the lockers with bleach between every 3rd or 4th saddle. Lockers were the old time casing boxes with rubber bicycle inner tube gaskets.

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I want to piggy-back with freedom13. I have some old hides and would like to know the answer also. If I hadn't found this forum, I might have thrown away perfectly good, but old, hides.

Maybe an answer:

I have never had to deal with 3 yr old hides but terribly dry pieces I would oil lightly on flesh side with Lexol NF and let set for a day or so, if they weren't noticebly better, another coat, then soak in HOT water. Some oil may come out and scum up the surface of the water but that will just mean you have enough oil in it. Then proceed. As to the mildewed hides, if it were extensive I would probably be inclined to discard. I have had some luck with mildew stains by soaking up the piece, taking it out and laying flat then attacking stains with Oxalic acid applied liberally on sheepskin with vigorous circular rubbing.

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I've tried tooling, not very good, too shaky. But what I think works well is like bob said, use very little water and but it in a vacuum bag over night

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Just getting started in leather work here. I'm gobsmacked to learn that it's wrong to case with a sponge. This is new information to me. The pdf in the initial post raises more questions than it answers for me.

What is the step by step I should be doing? Is it important to leave it overnight?

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FoamerAce, I haven't kept up with all the posts here, but when you refer to "casing with a sponge" I'm confused (and that's not uncommon, LOL!). I wet my leather with a sponge when using a spray bottle isn't practical. Casing is the process of getting uniform moisture throughout the leather when it's in a toolable state. It usually requires time for the process to complete (a few hours) and there are many variations. It's not essential that a piece of leather be cased in order to tool it, but the end results are worth the effot.

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Well now I'm doubly confused. In order to get crisp tool marks, the proper moisture in the leather is of utmost importance yes? I've been wetting my leather by wiping it with a wet sponge and waiting several minutes. From my (very limited) experience, I have an idea about how much water to apply and what it should look like before I start tooling.

The idea that I should submerge leather and let it set for hours (days?) is completely new to me. And did someone say you should keep it in the fridge? Because I don't have that option.

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Hey Foamer.... Bob has the excellent tutorial at the first of this thread..

Go to the first message in the thread and click that hyperlink that says Casing Leather.

Basically, no you don't soak it, you pass it under a faucet or dip in a tank of water - BRIEFLY. Then set it aside for a while, until the top ALMOST returns to its dry color and it feels cool if you touch it to your cheek. You can then tool it.. The time it takes depends on the weight of the leather and how wet you get it.

If you want to case it the day before, let it dry until jus a little wetter than "tooling ready" as above and seal in ziplock bag overnight. When ready, take it out and let it finish drying to "tooling ready".

Use the fridge if you need to store it longer than overnight.

Good Luck

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Tom... I had read the first post article, I wasn't clear about some things. But I think you cleared up most of what most confused me. Thanks! :)

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