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rdhays2000

Newbie interested in getting into leatherworking

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Hello everyone,

I'm new to leatherworking.  I've been thinking about learning a new skill and leatherworking sounds like something that I would like to learn.  Any words of advice and suggestions are welcome. Any recommendations for tools and materials are welcome.

Richard

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Welcome aboard, Richard! This site is a tremendous resource full of helpful people, you’ve come to the right place.

Leather working is a broad topic, the advice and tools you need depend greatly on what areas you’re interested in. Give us a little more info to understand what you’d like to do: wallets, bags, shoes, horse tack, sheaths, hand sewn, machine sewn, figure carving, painted - give us an idea of what you’d like to make and we can help point you in the right direction.

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First thing to tell us is, where in the world you are. With hat info we can gear our answers to you

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I am in the United States, currently Southern California but planning on moving to Idaho, hopefully soon. I want to learn to make my own knife sheaths and firearms holsters. Trying to decide if I want to paint my sheaths and holsters or just dye them.

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4 hours ago, rdhays2000 said:

I am in the United States, currently Southern California but planning on moving to Idaho, hopefully soon. I want to learn to make my own knife sheaths and firearms holsters. Trying to decide if I want to paint my sheaths and holsters or just dye them.

Welcome to the forum!
Paint: sits on top of the leather, subject to scraping off from surface wear and can crack if the leather is bent. Can easily do pieces with a variety of colors, since they won't bleed into each other.
Dye: absorbed into the leather rather than sitting on the surface. Mostly mono-tint pieces, but other effects like antiquing are possible. it is possible to "paint" with dye, but it's a painstaking process. 
So it depends-- it's a choice of aesthetics and also a choice of wear/use conditions.
If they're going to see rough outdoor use, I would go with dye. 
 

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18 hours ago, DJole said:

Welcome to the forum!
Paint: sits on top of the leather, subject to scraping off from surface wear and can crack if the leather is bent. Can easily do pieces with a variety of colors, since they won't bleed into each other.
Dye: absorbed into the leather rather than sitting on the surface. Mostly mono-tint pieces, but other effects like antiquing are possible. it is possible to "paint" with dye, but it's a painstaking process. 
So it depends-- it's a choice of aesthetics and also a choice of wear/use conditions.
If they're going to see rough outdoor use, I would go with dye. 
 

Thank you.

I like the stealthiness of Black, so I was wondering is it possible to get my projects black enough with dye to match as close as possible to most of the black belts available?

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1 hour ago, rdhays2000 said:

I like the stealthiness of Black, so I was wondering is it possible to get my projects black enough with dye to match as close as possible to most of the black belts available?

You can buy leather that is vat-dyed black.

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1 hour ago, LatigoAmigo said:

You can buy leather that is vat-dyed black.

That's the best solution-- by doing this,  you skip the messiness of working with dye, and you get a uniform, deep black.

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I agree. Black is one of the hardest of dyes to get right and not get it rubbing off

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Totally agree with Fred K

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On 9/21/2020 at 12:48 PM, rdhays2000 said:

Hello everyone,

I'm new to leatherworking.  I've been thinking about learning a new skill and leatherworking sounds like something that I would like to learn.  Any words of advice and suggestions are welcome. Any recommendations for tools and materials are welcome.

Richard

Welcome!  Go to the area of the forum that deals with beginners and their questions.  There you will find a bunch of topics that deal with what tools to buy, types of leather, etc.  I think you'll find them helpful.

The "sub-forum" is called Getting Started and you'll find topics like this:

My advice is to not drop a load of cash on tools you may find out later you don't want or need.  Many commonly-available tools can be used in order to get you started.  There are certainly leather-specific tools and when you know you need them, buy them.  

 

Good luck!

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I got started with a starter kit from Tandy.  Probably alot of us did.  It helped to solidify my thoughts about the craft and is now a passion.   can't say I've 'replaced' any tools but I sure have gotten some better ones.  And with many crafts, the more you practice the better you get.   And, also, like with many hobbies, you can spend as little or as much as you want.  :)  

But in all seriousness, coming from a leather noob, too.  Welcome!  I learned so much just by searching the forums.  An unbelievable amount of treasure from really knowledgeable and helpful folks from all over! 

~JL

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The same sort of tools & techniques are used to make many items, and there is a lot of information on YouTube. Search for the techniques such as saddle stitch, edge finishing and so on; and how to make...belts....wallets....knife sheaths or whatever and you'll see how things are done. Could also search for 'beginners leather tools', and the Tools section on this Forum

Have a look at these YT channels - JH Leather....Ian Atkinson....Nigel Armitage.....Geordie Leather. There are many others of course, as many as you have the stamina for!

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Thank you all. I will check out the getting started forum.

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