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Dogfisher

Finish Help. Too dark and plasticky.

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This is my first completed belt and some test pieces.  Learning through doing so I wasn't going for precision. I've taken a majority of my tooling and finishing knowledge from Don Gonzales. To start, I hate the belt and the dark skull. They turned out way too dark and too shiny. They look like plastic and have very little flexibility. The lighter skull is just olive oil followed by Tan-Kote. (Looks flat with no antiquing.) Also when do you punch stitching holes? When do you finish the edges? The skull is going to sandwich some straps so I will be sewing on a veg tan back piece.

My process for belt and dark skull:

1. Tooling,

2. Olive oil

3. Fiebing's Pro Resist

4. Fiebing's Antique Finish

5. Bag-Kote

light skull w belt11.jpg

Belt test 11.jpg

Belt back11.jpg

Dark Skull 11.jpg

Edited by Dogfisher

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I wish i could help but i actually have some questions:

why olive oil and how much did you apply? did you let it dry or wipe of excess before applying the other finishes ?

also why you did the steps named in your process or are you following the advice of another maker ?

From the fiebings website:

"Use Fiebing’s Pro Resist to maximize the contrast when antiquing and staining leather. Pro Resist is also an excellent top finish that will resist moisture, sun and dirt. Pro Resist is water soluble but once dry acts as an incredible resist on smooth and carved leathers."

found this thread from 2011 also:

 

 

 

 

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On 1/12/2021 at 4:58 PM, Dogfisher said:

To start, I hate the belt and the dark skull. They turned out way too dark and too shiny. They look like plastic and have very little flexibility. The lighter skull is just olive oil followed by Tan-Kote. (Looks flat with no antiquing.)

a quick fix to reduce the plasticky look.

get some blocks of pure bees' wax. From a hardware store. Just the blocks of wax, no fancy 'leather finish' stuff. Put the wax in or on a heat proof bowl/plate. Warm it up until its soft. Then use a cloth to apply the beeswax to the leather and rub it in. Allow to cool down and harden, then use another clean cloth to buff the wax. If you have any, apply pure neetsfoot oil, aka NFO, to the leather, Work the leather in your hands for a while, this should soften it up a bit.

A better solution, for later, is to make a beeswax, carnauba wax and neetsfoot oil mix and apply that as a top finish

 

On 1/12/2021 at 4:58 PM, Dogfisher said:

My process for belt and dark skull:

1. Tooling,

2. Olive oil

3. Fiebing's Pro Resist

4. Fiebing's Antique Finish

5. Bag-Kote

Why Olive Oil? Long term it does nothing good to the leather. Leather is an animal product, olive oil comes from plants, Use neetsfoot oil, (aka NFO) which is made from the oils and fats in the feet and lower legs of cattle. Animal product to animal product. When you tool leather et cetera you remove some of the natural oils from the leather. Replace them with NFO. Olive oil doesn't replace those natural oils. btw, on here we usually recommend you use pure NFO and not compound. The compound has petroleum distillates in it which may be detrimental to the leather.

 

On 1/12/2021 at 4:58 PM, Dogfisher said:

 Also when do you punch stitching holes? When do you finish the edges? The skull is going to sandwich some straps so I will be sewing on a veg tan back piece.

Stitching holes; as early in the project as I can, sometimes before dyeing if its possible. Sometimes its almost the last stage in a construction, It all comes down to the project. Experience will help tell you when. But, at almost all times, consider where your stitching will be and mark a line for that, it can be a pencil line or a stitching-groove. On your first skull picture it looks like you punched holes after the tooling (?) On the second skull it looks like you have not made allowance for any stitching, but you could stitch in the groove which is the skull outline.

Edge finishing; again depends on the project. On your belt, it would be the last thing I would do just before fitting the buckle. If the skull pieces are to be applied to something, like a bag flap, then they need dyed, top-coated and edges done before applying to the bag. If you were to make a bag with a front piece, a gusset and a back piece, finish the edges when all three pieces are stitched together

 

hth

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Thank you. I appreciate all the info. My methods are taken from Don Gonzales youtube videos. I am very new to all this and there's so much conflicting info out there. I think I should turn my focus to dying the veg tan to achieve my color instead of letting the finish dictate the color. 

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