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MtlBiker

Novice buying leather

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8 hours ago, Bert03241 said:

Is it a big hassle to order from Amazon in Canada. If not they sell small sheets of leather in various thickness. for you pouch project you could order 1 or two sheets of  12"x12" Veg tan in 3 to 4  oz  .

No, Amazon Canada is pretty easy. But 12 x 12 sounds awfully small.  I looked at some veg tan leather today but all they had was full “pieces” of 13 to 16 sq feet and it was about 6 oz.  too thick (I think) for what I want to make (with machine sewing) and too expensive for this beginner. 
 

i ended up with some scraps, some about 5 oz and the others 2.5 to 4 oz. enough for me to experiment. 
 

But the fellow told me the only leather that can be wet formed was veg tan. He said he would have some thinner about 3 oz in two or three weeks. 

(Just looked at Amazon…. It’s much more expensive that the leather place I visited today. Three to four times more expensive.  They quoted $6.80 per sq ft for 5 to 6 oz veg tan and said the thinner stuff was less.)

 

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3 hours ago, Hardrada said:

Let us know how it turns out!

If you want your pouches to stand on their own, go for the Sepici Spade next time! :yes:

That’s exactly what I said I ordered!

By stand on their own, you just mean a fairly rigid pouch, or something else?

Is it correct that only veg tan can be wet formed?

 

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1 hour ago, MtlBiker said:

That’s exactly what I said I ordered!

By stand on their own, you just mean a fairly rigid pouch, or something else?

Is it correct that only veg tan can be wet formed?

 

Hmm, I think you posted you got this one:

https://www.oaleathersupply.com/collections/new/products/sepici-leather-spade-milled-black-5-6oz

:thinking:

That's soft temper.

The one I suggested is the non-milled:

https://www.oaleathersupply.com/collections/new/products/sepici-leather-spade-chestnut-3-4oz

 

Yup, a rigid pouch like this one:

567705081_PipePouch1.thumb.jpg.72f8155be32b46adaf13a0ff83a06938.jpg

I used medium temper 3 oz Badalassi Carlo Waxy for that one.

 

Yes, you're correct: only vegetable tanned can be wet moulded. I've experimented wet moulding latigo (chrome tanned first, then veg re-tanned) and didn't really get a good result. For moulding and carving/stamping, you have to use veg tan.

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10 hours ago, Hardrada said:

Hmm, I think you posted you got this one:

https://www.oaleathersupply.com/collections/new/products/sepici-leather-spade-milled-black-5-6oz

:thinking:

That's soft temper.

The one I suggested is the non-milled:

https://www.oaleathersupply.com/collections/new/products/sepici-leather-spade-chestnut-3-4oz

 

Yup, a rigid pouch like this one:

567705081_PipePouch1.thumb.jpg.72f8155be32b46adaf13a0ff83a06938.jpg

I used medium temper 3 oz Badalassi Carlo Waxy for that one.

 

Yes, you're correct: only vegetable tanned can be wet moulded. I've experimented wet moulding latigo (chrome tanned first, then veg re-tanned) and didn't really get a good result. For moulding and carving/stamping, you have to use veg tan.

You're right!  I didn't know or understand the difference between milled leather and non-milled.  And the one I ordered has a soft temper.  I guess I'll have to place another order, before even receiving the first.

Very nice pouch you made there!  Is it lined?  I think I see stitching around the edge of the flap.  Were you machine or hand stitching?  It looks very good.

And I'll have to also order some veg tanned leather so that I can mould it.  Do I have it right that first I mould, then maybe trim to the right size to fit the back piece, then dye it, stitch it, and finish by burnishing the edges?  Or have I got that wrong?

Thanks again for your kind help.

 

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OA Leather has a burnisher for $42... is that something special or (especially) for a novice would something like this from Amazon be just as good?

Likewise for burnishing the edges, they have a Wax Biscuit for $3, and Amazon has Seiwa Tokonole for $19 plus import fees (shipping from Japan).

I don't know what I need.

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My burnisher came from Amazon for Euro 20 with a groover and 4 chisels and it works if I want to spend the elbow grease (I'm tempted to find a grooved disk for my battery drill...) In a book I found the advice of using ballistic nylon for rubbing the edges (and I remember reading somewhere about polishing shoes with nylon tights or stockings).

So, bearing in mind that I'm a beginner as well, I think a burnisher need not be part of the first tools in one box, and a cheap one will do. Or a homemade one.

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1 hour ago, Klara said:

My burnisher came from Amazon for Euro 20 with a groover and 4 chisels and it works if I want to spend the elbow grease (I'm tempted to find a grooved disk for my battery drill...) In a book I found the advice of using ballistic nylon for rubbing the edges (and I remember reading somewhere about polishing shoes with nylon tights or stockings).

So, bearing in mind that I'm a beginner as well, I think a burnisher need not be part of the first tools in one box, and a cheap one will do. Or a homemade one.

Merci beaucoup Klara!  I found a burnisher at Tandy Leather Canada's website for $13.50, plus some veg tan leather that I can experiment with.  Are you sewing leather by hand or machine?  Do you need a groover either way?  Or only for when sewing by hand?

Interesting idea though about using ballistic nylon for polishing the edges.  I'll give that a try also.

There must be such grooved discs available for dremel tools.  Sounds like it would make the job much easier.

Cheers!

 

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1 hour ago, MtlBiker said:

There must be such grooved discs available for dremel tools.  Sounds like it would make the job much easier.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/333930064942?epid=20045199299&hash=item4dbfc86c2e:g:p-gAAOSwbWZgWJLP

For straight sections I use this, have been for a long time, a scrap of beech with a groove in it

my old block slicker, 01LWs.jpg

I also have a couple of carrot shaped slickers

I've also used a piece of denim or a piece of linen in my fingers

Before you set out to do it 'easier' learn what it is you are doing

 

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I use old porcelain electrical insulators. Different companies had different sizes of grooves for the wire. They work great.

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This is what I have:

http://www.proedgeburnishers.com/hand-burnishers.html

I got that one because it's a premium burnisher and I like having premium tools I don't have to buy ever again (yeah, yeah, I know even the best tools can still break or go missing, but well cared for they last a lifetime), because it's got many grooves for different weights, and because Tandy messed up when I ordered their slicker and instead of a hand burnisher they sent me a burnishing ring with only two grooves (WTH).

I use Tokonole for burnisher compound. Perfect pairing. The pouch I posted pics of above was burnished with that cocobolo burnisher and Tokonole.

I've used denim and canvas to burnish, but I prefer the slicker. It's just... slicker!

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15 hours ago, MtlBiker said:

You're right!  I didn't know or understand the difference between milled leather and non-milled.  And the one I ordered has a soft temper.  I guess I'll have to place another order, before even receiving the first.

Very nice pouch you made there!  Is it lined?  I think I see stitching around the edge of the flap.  Were you machine or hand stitching?  It looks very good.

And I'll have to also order some veg tanned leather so that I can mould it.  Do I have it right that first I mould, then maybe trim to the right size to fit the back piece, then dye it, stitch it, and finish by burnishing the edges?  Or have I got that wrong?

Thanks again for your kind help.

 

Thankee.

No, it's not lined, hence you can see the stitches on the outside of the gussets that hold in place the holders for the tamper and cleaners:

Casual_pouch--02.jpg.bb424f815c39ff30bca63c81e1944d46.jpg

 

It's all hand-stitching. I don't own a machine, and I prefer hand-stitching because of the advantages the hand stitch has over the lock stitch: durability and ease of repair.

lock-stitch-vs-hand-stitch.jpg

It does take longer, though. But I find hand-stitching relaxing, so there's that too. :yes:

 

RE: wet moulding. I haven't done enough that I would feel confident to offer suggestions. I've done a few projects for myself (Zippo sleeve, end sleeves for my phone to cover the cameras for privacy...), but nothing sellable yet. I've also haven't dabbled with dyes: I buy my leather in the colour and weight a project requires.

I've found these ones kinda useful/interesting, though:

 

This bloke is dyeing in addition to moulding, so you might find it useful:

 

I'd recommend watching quite a few of the videos from the first link (Hahns Atelier): he's got all kinds of different projects, provides the info on what he uses, and he does both hand- and machine-stitching.

Edited by Hardrada

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12 hours ago, MtlBiker said:

Merci beaucoup Klara!  I found a burnisher at Tandy Leather Canada's website for $13.50, plus some veg tan leather that I can experiment with.  Are you sewing leather by hand or machine?  Do you need a groover either way?  Or only for when sewing by hand?

Interesting idea though about using ballistic nylon for polishing the edges.  I'll give that a try also.

There must be such grooved discs available for dremel tools.  Sounds like it would make the job much easier.

Cheers!

 

I'm sewing by hand. The groover is for marking the line where you then set the chisel or pricking iron. As far as I know you don't use either for machine sewing so that's a tool you don't need to buy. :)

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11 hours ago, fredk said:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/333930064942?epid=20045199299&hash=item4dbfc86c2e:g:p-gAAOSwbWZgWJLP

...

Before you set out to do it 'easier' learn what it is you are doing

 

Thanks for the link! 

The point of burnishing is smoothing down the leather "fibres", glueing them together and polishing the edges to make them look better for longer, isn't it? So the way I see it, the tool isn't all that important as it's not precision work, unlike for example cutting. 

A long time ago, in a general tool forum, I read the advice that in order to spend one's money wisely one should buy the high-quality tools where precision matters. An electric jigsaw that doesn't cut straight is a problem. An orbital sander that wobbles a bit more in one direction not really.

Found a nice description of burnishing: https://www.goldbarkleather.com/sourceblog/2015/12/29/a-basic-guide-to-burnishing

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8 hours ago, Hardrada said:

This is what I have:

http://www.proedgeburnishers.com/hand-burnishers.html

I got that one because it's a premium burnisher and I like having premium tools I don't have to buy ever again (yeah, yeah, I know even the best tools can still break or go missing, but well cared for they last a lifetime), because it's got many grooves for different weights, and because Tandy messed up when I ordered their slicker and instead of a hand burnisher they sent me a burnishing ring with only two grooves (WTH).

I use Tokonole for burnisher compound. Perfect pairing. The pouch I posted pics of above was burnished with that cocobolo burnisher and Tokonole.

I've used denim and canvas to burnish, but I prefer the slicker. It's just... slicker!

Before getting your reply, yesterday I ordered the burnishing tool from Tandy (Canada) as well as what they call "TandyPro Burnishing Solution".  I've got to start somewhere.

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8 hours ago, Hardrada said:

Thankee.

No, it's not lined, hence you can see the stitches on the outside of the gussets that hold in place the holders for the tamper and cleaners:

It's all hand-stitching. I don't own a machine, and I prefer hand-stitching because of the advantages the hand stitch has over the lock stitch: durability and ease of repair.

It does take longer, though. But I find hand-stitching relaxing, so there's that too. :yes:

 

RE: wet moulding. I haven't done enough that I would feel confident to offer suggestions. I've done a few projects for myself (Zippo sleeve, end sleeves for my phone to cover the cameras for privacy...), but nothing sellable yet. I've also haven't dabbled with dyes: I buy my leather in the colour and weight a project requires.

I've found these ones kinda useful/interesting, though:

 

This bloke is dyeing in addition to moulding, so you might find it useful:

 

I'd recommend watching quite a few of the videos from the first link (Hahns Atelier): he's got all kinds of different projects, provides the info on what he uses, and he does both hand- and machine-stitching.

Most helpful reply!  Thanks very much. 

On the top edge of the front piece of your pouch (the one hidden by the closed flap) did you do anything to finish the edge?  Just edge polish (if that) or something else?  And if you did edge polish that top edge, did you do it before sewing it onto the gusset?  I'd imagine it could be very difficult to polish that edge once the pouch is fully assembled.

I'll certainly check out those videos.  Thanks again.

 

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8 hours ago, MtlBiker said:

On the top edge of the front piece of your pouch (the one hidden by the closed flap) did you do anything to finish the edge?  Just edge polish (if that) or something else?  And if you did edge polish that top edge, did you do it before sewing it onto the gusset?  I'd imagine it could be very difficult to polish that edge once the pouch is fully assembled.

Yep, I did the whole edge dyeing and burnishing routine before stitching, as it woulda been very difficult and potentially harmful to the project to do it after full assembly.

You must also dye and burnish those small areas where you will be looping the thread over the edge to reinforce them (i.e. where the flap joins the gusset) prior to stitching, lest you either leave a raw spot or have to apply dye over the thread, both of which would look terrible.

Edited by Hardrada

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On 4/30/2021 at 11:55 AM, MtlBiker said:

I'm a total novice when it comes to buying leather and it seems I would have to buy from an online source without seeing the leather first.  Which makes it even more difficult for a novice.

I would be machine sewing small belt pouches to begin with, maybe to hold a leatherman or a little metal credit card holder I have (think about 6-8 credit card thickness).  I'm not sure what kind or thickness of leather I should be looking at.  I guess veg tan leather would be the right choice?  (I did buy a couple of used leather coats at a thrift store and took them apart for the leather but I find it's really too thin for what I want to make.)

I found a source online which is here in Quebec Canada (as I am) but when they list the leather with the price they don't specify how much leather that price gets you.  I'm guessing it's some kind of industry standard that you all know, but for a beginner it's all just unclear.  Here's the leather source I found.  They list two "vgni" (???), one 2-2.5 oz and the other 3-3.5 oz.  I guess the thicker one would be more appropriate for what I want to make?

And once I do get some leather, I guess I'll also need a burnishing tool, dies, and I have no idea what else.  What tools/dies/glues/etc. would you consider the basics that I should start with?

Thanks very much!

 

Molding veg tan leather can be fun and give you a good look

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