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airplaneguy

First Attempt

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I have been asked to make a couple of firefighter helmet shields. These are my first practice pieces. The undyed one is far from being done and the black one was practice on stamping. I am open to any suggestions or criticism.

 

shield1.jpg

shield2.jpg

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That looks like a fun project.  Worthy group of individuals to create for.  The undyed one definitely looks more symmetrical as far as the exterior.  Not sure how you are creating your pattern, but one thing I do to keep patterns symmetrical is create half of the outline on half a piece of paper, then fold it over and cut it out.  Similar to cutting paper snowflakes.  That way, if there is any deviations, it is on both halves of the pattern.  Imagine folding the image in half horizontally. Something else to consider is rounding the corners of the rectangular cut outs.  That way you can use a round hole punch to create openings with which you can cut straight lines between the circles.  It gives the corners a cleaner look and prevents over travel from the knife as you approach the edge of the cutout.

On the dyed one, it doesn't appear that you beveled the banner where it over laps at the end.  This would really help give it some depth.

Thanks for sharing your creation.  Anxious to see what it looks like finished.

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I really like that double border line, it really makes it look kind of 3d.  Thanks for sharing.

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There have been a few members here on the forum that seemed to do these regularly.  Perhaps you can search for threads in which they posted pictures.  Some were remarkable from what I remember.

I'm probably the last person you want commenting on tooling, because I rarely use the technique and when I do, I limit it to the use of stamping tools, not carving.  But it doesn't seem to me that you are getting enough "relief" in your carving.  The number 1 and the ribbon should stand proud of the leather.  As it is, everything is pretty flat.  

 

Here's just one thread I found.  I simply searched for "shield".

 

Edited by Tugadude
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Thanks for the comments. I am learning how to use a swivel knife on the fly. I have found out that my blade is cheap and dull. I have ordered a new blade and a die to cut the shield out. That will make them symmetrical. This is a fun and humbling project. I am realizing how hard tooling is and how bad I am at it! Hopefully I will figure it out soon and then I can start making real shields instead on having a pile of practice pieces. 

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