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Chris623

The title of this forum is exactly where I am!!!!!

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I cut out and did a little tooling to my first piece of leather today.  Not quite sure I cased (is that the proper term for wetting?) it properly.  It was a little piece of shoulder about 3"x6".  got it wet under the faucet and put it in a ziplock bag for about an hour and a half.   I tooled a simple border and laid it aside.  Came back in about 15 minutes and it looked as if the impressions were coming back out...............the pattern was softening.  Does that mean it was still too wet when I started?  Any guidance as to how to know when the leather is too wet/too dry?

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Did you let the leather start to dry?

Yes 'casing' is the correct term and you did right wetting it then putting it in a bag so the water can get through the fibres. But after you take it out of the bag you should let it rest and start to dry. As it turns to a dry, normal looking colour, but cool to the touch then its about ready for stamping and tooling. I keep a bit of the same leather but dry near my cased piece to compare the colour to. When the cased piece is almost the same colour as the dry piece then I reckon its ready

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Unfortunately, no, it probably wasn't dry enough, fredk.  Honestly, it still looked darker.  I've a bunch to learn, huh!?!? :crazy:

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All of us were there at sometime

btw, another tip, put some layers of parcel or duck tape on the back of the leather piece. Some folk even glue it to compressed cardboard. This helps to reduce the stretching of the leather as you stamp and tool it.

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Interesting tip.........thanks.  How would I go about removing it from something it's glued to???  Oh, and you're from "over the pond", so I don't know what "compressed cardboard" is.  Is it like out Masonite sheet?

Just went back out to my shop and the piece is still nowhere near back to it's original color, so it's obviously too wet.

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a. the folks who glue it to cardboard use a rubber glue which just peels off

b. compressed cardboard is like cereal box or 'do not bend' envelope backs, to differentiate it from regular corrugated cardboard as in regular boxes

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I use the blue painters tape. It sticks pretty good and you have to slick the flesh side down with some gum trag/glycerine saddle soap bar/slicking agent of your choosing when you remove it, depending on the leather. 

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Okay, thanks fredk.

Thanks, battlemunky.

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