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ndmain1977
May 24, 2012


Hey Pagan. I got craftaid 76611, Celtic belt and buckle. I'm pretty sure it's the same one Batfish used on that belt he did right above your post.

I thought "That's a weird coincidence." when I saw your belt Batfish, because that is the first thing I plan on making to actually use, and I bought the same exact pattern.

I'm practicing on actually using the swivel knife correctly now, because I think I was mostly dragging it instead of pushing it backwards with my index finger. I actually just completed one of the patterns from the craftaid, and even though it isn't exactly pretty, It looks good enough to me for a first effort. Heh, kind of like a kid using crayons in a coloring book, before moving on to oil painting later on. Gotta crawl before you walk though as they say.

Thanks for the video. I see what you mean about cutting deep with the knife now. I'll get there slowly.

Eventually, I'll take the time to read how to post images in the thread, and I'll post some pics of my progress.

On a side note, I've gotta get a piece of scrapwood or, a piece of tile from Home Depot or something. I didn't realize I was putting little divots in the kitchen table. Doh!

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ndmain1977
May 24, 2012


By the way. Nice dog. Love the name you picked for him also. I'm guessing you're a Beowulf fan.

Pagan
Jun 3, 2003



ndmain1977 posted:

By the way. Nice dog. Love the name you picked for him also. I'm guessing you're a Beowulf fan.

Thanks.

One other thing I forgot : Your swivel knife (and any other tools which have an edge) should be kept RAZOR sharp. Crazy sharp. As in, strop them several times during use.

Your swivel knife should move through the leather smoothly, without any resistance. Just glide. Practice sharpening and stropping, and see if that makes a difference.

Zhentar
Sep 28, 2003

Brilliant Master Genius


ndmain1977 posted:

On a side note, I've gotta get a piece of scrapwood or, a piece of tile from Home Depot or something.

I've always used a small sheet of 1/8" thick plywood for that sort of thing. You don't want something hard like tile; it's better to ding up your work surface than your knife.

Adult Sword Owner
Jun 19, 2011

u deserve diploma for sublime comedy expertise


I started doing chainmail a few months ago, and my friend (now housemate) started leatherworking under the tutelage of another friend who had been doing it for a few years. Along with a few other people we're in the process of forming a leatherworking guild for the mid-Atlantic region (more info when we have it, but it will hopefully cover Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia for now).

Anyway, I got pulled into it as well as first an associated member who could help with anyone's chainmail needs, but then I was given a starter kit and told to go wild. I went to the work room and made a few things with no pattern or plan to get a feel, and my housemate gave me some instruction on a number of other techniques.

Here's the first thing I've made that isn't so terrible



The leather quality isn't that great because I made it with a piece from a pile of scrap they gave me, but it feels pretty solid. We don't have any snaps nor buckles so I'm going to put in an order to Tandy so I can finish this. I also managed to do the coloring without any gloves on since we have none and my drat fingers are still black. But hey, I think it was a good start. I'm going to replace the handle on that knife because it doesn't look right.

My next project is a gun holster for a muzzleloading pistol I'm building.


edit: Also, I am horrifically bad at tooling. I just can't get anything to turn out how I want. I know I'm new but I can at least get things to look correct, but tooling has never, ever worked out for me.

edit2: Holy crap, looking through this thread I feel like such a shitter. There's serious talent here.

Adult Sword Owner fucked around with this message at 00:17 on Jul 16, 2012

alternate.eago
Jul 19, 2006
Insert randomness here.

I actually decent with tooling (at least I've been told, but I notice all my mistakes). What I can't do is stitch. At all. It always comes out terrible.

Anyways, I haven't done anything a quite a while. I used to do figure carvings a lot, (usually gave them away as gifts, I'll have to snap a few pics next time I'm at my Dad's house, he has several things I've done) This was one of the first things I ever carved, so it is a bit rough, and someone spilled something on the backside of the leather, so there is now a stain...



I had to have someone else stitch this, but I did the carving & staining:



And a few of my favorite tools!:


And the guy who taught me how to carve gave me this:


What the pictures don't really show is the detail work thats been done with a spoon. When you angle it, you see more detail in the reflections.

EDIT: Also I live in MD & might be interested in the "guild" thing.

ndmain1977
May 24, 2012


Quick question for you Pagan. I have a strop from a failed experiment in using a straight razor to shave... and I know you push the blade forward. What is the "Jewelers Rouge" stuff for. It looks like a stick of chalk, but is harder. I'm not really sure how to use it. Do you just rub it over the leather on your strop and then sharpen?

Finished the tooling on the wallet project tonight. I'm getting better at it. Also getting better at putting the pattern in with the swivel knife. Your tutorial helped a lot.

I was surprised how much better it cut when I let the leather sit for a longer time... it was almost like the surface was completely dry, but the leather underneath was kind of... gooey? for lack of a better word. I think part of the problem was that I was cutting into leather that was too wet, and was causing me to slip a bit. Or it cuts way too fast through too wet leather, and the knife gets ahead of you, causing you to go off track. I'm not exactly sure what the reason was, but for now I'm going to go with cutting when the surface is drier than the under leather, if that makes sense. It worked for me a lot better. Same with tooling. I was able to press the leather down a lot easier. Seems like when it's wet, when you tap the hammer, the tooled leather next to where you're tooling at now pops up.

Those are nice alternate.eago. The sheath looks like something you'd carry a flint knapped knife in, instead of a steel knife. I like that.

Pagan
Jun 3, 2003



ndmain1977 posted:

Quick question for you Pagan. I have a strop from a failed experiment in using a straight razor to shave... and I know you push the blade forward. What is the "Jewelers Rouge" stuff for. It looks like a stick of chalk, but is harder. I'm not really sure how to use it. Do you just rub it over the leather on your strop and then sharpen?

Yep. Just rub the rouge on the strop, then strop.

If you don't have leather to strop (which you SHOULD if this is your hobby) you can also strop on heavy paper like cardstock.

I've used a straight razor before. Tricky, but sometimes it's worth it. However, when you strop, you actually pull backwards across the strop...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=une4Zp75gWU

The 1 minute mark is where he shows the actual stropping; that's a decent video.

ndmain1977 posted:

Finished the tooling on the wallet project tonight. I'm getting better at it. Also getting better at putting the pattern in with the swivel knife. Your tutorial helped a lot.

I was surprised how much better it cut when I let the leather sit for a longer time... it was almost like the surface was completely dry, but the leather underneath was kind of... gooey? for lack of a better word. I think part of the problem was that I was cutting into leather that was too wet, and was causing me to slip a bit. Or it cuts way too fast through too wet leather, and the knife gets ahead of you, causing you to go off track. I'm not exactly sure what the reason was, but for now I'm going to go with cutting when the surface is drier than the under leather, if that makes sense. It worked for me a lot better. Same with tooling. I was able to press the leather down a lot easier. Seems like when it's wet, when you tap the hammer, the tooled leather next to where you're tooling at now pops up.

You've figured it out, but it bears repeating. Ideally, you soak the leather, then let it dry until it appears on the surface that it's dry, back to it's original color, but it feels cool or even cold to the touch. It takes a while to get to that point, so it's quite easy to rush it.

Rime
Nov 2, 2011


For someone who came across this thread and thought "Wow, this looks really kind of nifty, I might enjoy this as a hobby and could make a little scratch with some practice!" would it be worth picking up the starter kit from Tandy? I see it's on huge discount right now ($50 shipped compared to over $130 normally).

Pagan
Jun 3, 2003



Rime posted:

For someone who came across this thread and thought "Wow, this looks really kind of nifty, I might enjoy this as a hobby and could make a little scratch with some practice!" would it be worth picking up the starter kit from Tandy? I see it's on huge discount right now ($50 shipped compared to over $130 normally).

That's how I started. I think it's a worthwhile purchase, just be aware that if you do end up enjoying it as a hobby, you're going to be investing a lot more. But to start with, it's a great kit.

alternate.eago
Jul 19, 2006
Insert randomness here.

Pagan posted:

You've figured it out, but it bears repeating. Ideally, you soak the leather, then let it dry until it appears on the surface that it's dry, back to it's original color, but it feels cool or even cold to the touch. It takes a while to get to that point, so it's quite easy to rush it.

I use a water spray bottle (plant mister?). The guy who taught me said that you want the leather to be burnished (I think that was the term he used) so that when you cut in to the piece with your swivel-knife it will be darker than the surface (look at my pics, the stain in the beveled portions is about the color in comparison to the surface color). Basically cool & very slightly damp to the touch. Obviously thicker pieces of leather take & hold the tooling better. Soaking the piece makes it too wet. The mister/spray bottle approach allows you to keep it at the perfect dampness level when working with it. If you are dunking/soaking it, you would have to continue to let it dry again to reach the proper consistency. When you are using the mister, you don't spay a ton on the front surface, the majority of the water will be absorbed through the back.

I dunno if that was confusing, its just something you have to see & feel to understand better. Once you have done a few pieces you will really understand when it has too much or too little water.... It's hard to describe on the internet. Too much water & it will just sink in & deform (and be super easy to cut way to deep), and too little & it wont hold the tooling (or carving) very well.

Amazon.com posted:

"Also known as Red Rouge, Jewelers Rouge was originally developed for the Jewelry trade for buffing soft, fine and precious metals to produce a brilliant, high lustrous finish. This extremely fine compound will not scratch or cut away the finest or softest of metals."


Basically it does exactly what you would want it to do with a straight razor. Polish & keep it as sharp as possible. Remember leather used to be skin... as gross as that thought might be....

Next time I chime in, I'll give the secret to being able to do plants/animals/humans. Its sneakier than most of you think....

alternate.eago fucked around with this message at 21:30 on Jul 18, 2012

Martytoof
Feb 25, 2003

It's called a hassle, sweetheart..



How well does DIY-dyed and sealed leather hold up against moisture like sweat? I'm converting a brown camera neck strap into a (hopefully) black wrist strap and I'd like to dye it black to match my camera's finish. The rough side of the leather will be in contact with my skin for hours on end in what I imagine will be all manner of weather. I'd like to not have to worry about taking the strap off and finding my wrist dyed black.

Should I skip the dyeing and just go buy a more suitable, professionally dyed strip of leather for this?

The strap I'm planning on using is from like 1950-something so it's really loose and broken in, which is why I was hoping to use it. Feels incredibly good.

Defnoops
Aug 25, 2006
Cheese is a kind of meat

I recently turned my hand to leatherworking after making a few diaries/journals with leather covers - the next logical step forward was to decorate them! It's quite rough and ready but I'm pleased with it so far (even if I have messed up the thickness of the lines in places). Some of it needs going over again, too, as well as the outer edges being done.



No idea what I'll be doing above and below it yet, or elsewhere on the cover for that matter.

Edit to say: trying to get straight lines with a curved tool is bloody annoying!

Pagan
Jun 3, 2003



Martytoof posted:

How well does DIY-dyed and sealed leather hold up against moisture like sweat? I'm converting a brown camera neck strap into a (hopefully) black wrist strap and I'd like to dye it black to match my camera's finish. The rough side of the leather will be in contact with my skin for hours on end in what I imagine will be all manner of weather. I'd like to not have to worry about taking the strap off and finding my wrist dyed black.

Should I skip the dyeing and just go buy a more suitable, professionally dyed strip of leather for this?

The strap I'm planning on using is from like 1950-something so it's really loose and broken in, which is why I was hoping to use it. Feels incredibly good.

A permanent leather dye is exactly that, permanent. Dye the strap, then rinse it thoroughly and let it dry, and you'll be all set.

If you were starting from scratch, though, I'd recommend a garment quality leather, simply because they are softer. That brings up another caveat : Only VEG TAN leather can by dyed! The strap you're thinking of using might be tanned via different methods, and the dye won't hold at all.

Martytoof
Feb 25, 2003

It's called a hassle, sweetheart..



Pagan posted:

A permanent leather dye is exactly that, permanent. Dye the strap, then rinse it thoroughly and let it dry, and you'll be all set.

If you were starting from scratch, though, I'd recommend a garment quality leather, simply because they are softer. That brings up another caveat : Only VEG TAN leather can by dyed! The strap you're thinking of using might be tanned via different methods, and the dye won't hold at all.

That's a good point. Who knows what the Soviets used in the 50s to dye their stuff. I did a bit of YouTube-ing about this last night and it looks like I'll need to find some kind of deglazed or something like that to strip whatever finish and seal might be left in the leather anyway so hopefully I can find something like that around here too. I guess I'll give it a try regardless. I have a long enough section of strap that I can test the dye in a small cutting first and if it doesn't take then I'll just make a plain brown leather handstrap

Thanks for your advice, Pagan.

Amykinz
May 6, 2007


I have a question for you guys:

I sometimes do Ren Fairs, and I make my own stuff. I'd like to make a leather bodice. What weight leather would I want to use? It would need to be fairly stiff, much much heavier weight than you would use for a jacket or pants because it is a 'structural garment'. Honestly it needs to be as stiff as a corset, or stiffer. There's a company called Pendragon Bodices and the fronts of their bodices DON'T BEND at all, but the sides have a bit more give to them. (My last bodice was made with canvas lining and I put strips of aluminum in the front for structure). I've looked at Tandy leather online, but I don't get a feel for what I'm looking at through a computer, and the closest store is about an hour away. (I currently have a very unreliable car, it's 100 degrees, and I have a baby that would have to go with me)

Considering I could laminate or sew two or more pieces of leather together for the stiffest portion, what weight leather would you recommend to use for this?

Pagan
Jun 3, 2003



Amykinz posted:

I have a question for you guys:

I sometimes do Ren Fairs, and I make my own stuff. I'd like to make a leather bodice. What weight leather would I want to use? It would need to be fairly stiff, much much heavier weight than you would use for a jacket or pants because it is a 'structural garment'. Honestly it needs to be as stiff as a corset, or stiffer. There's a company called Pendragon Bodices and the fronts of their bodices DON'T BEND at all, but the sides have a bit more give to them. (My last bodice was made with canvas lining and I put strips of aluminum in the front for structure). I've looked at Tandy leather online, but I don't get a feel for what I'm looking at through a computer, and the closest store is about an hour away. (I currently have a very unreliable car, it's 100 degrees, and I have a baby that would have to go with me)

Considering I could laminate or sew two or more pieces of leather together for the stiffest portion, what weight leather would you recommend to use for this?

You're looking for the right weight. I think you're stuck using veg tan for heavier weights, but I say that only because I've never seen heavier weight chrome tan for sale. It exists (it's what my motorcycle jacket is made out of) but I don't know where to get it.

So, 8 to 10 oz is where I'd recommend you look. 12 to 14 oz is what you'd make armor out of; it's incredibly thick and sturdy. Also, once you make the corset, you can do a little boiling. You'll have to be careful, since you can shrink your leather by overdoing it, but I've made some LARP style armor pieces this way. Once it dries, it's almost as solid as wood or plastic. Even makes a hollow **thunk** when you tap it.

You might also try just laminating two pieces of softer leather over proper boning. Just like a fabric corset; leave spaces in between the pieces and slide the boning in. In fact, the biggest drawback you'll find to veg tan is that your sewing machine won't even scratch it, so you're looking at doing all your sewing by hand. I guess you could just cut out pieces and use eyelets to connect them, but sewing heavy leather by hand is quite a task.

I know it's a drive, but you'd learn a LOT by swinging by your leather shop. If you can't, then maybe order some small pieces? I bet if you called them and told them what you're looking for, they'd be happy to mail you a small sampler pack with everything labeled.

Amykinz
May 6, 2007


I'm not worried about the sewing by hand. My last bodice I hand-sewed all the eyelets. For leather, where I could get the structure from the material itself, I would rather not deal with the issues of trying to put boning in. We may be in the area next weekend, so if they are open we'll have to swing by.

Pagan
Jun 3, 2003



Amykinz posted:

I'm not worried about the sewing by hand. My last bodice I hand-sewed all the eyelets. For leather, where I could get the structure from the material itself, I would rather not deal with the issues of trying to put boning in. We may be in the area next weekend, so if they are open we'll have to swing by.

Just be aware that you need special stuff to sew leather. It's both technically challenging and physically difficult; nothing at all like sewing fabric.

Amykinz
May 6, 2007


Pagan posted:

Just be aware that you need special stuff to sew leather. It's both technically challenging and physically difficult; nothing at all like sewing fabric.

Thanks for the heads-up. I understand you have to make a 'groove' for the thread to sit, and need an awl for punching holes for the sewing. The bodices I plan to make just are shapes laced together, no actual sewing. So I'd just need something to cut the leather, and metal eyelets to keep the holes sturdy. And later on I can look at tooling the leather for decoration.

TheNothingNew
Nov 10, 2008


Confession for the thread: I cannot reliably tell chrome-tanned leather from veg-tanned leather. Any tips on that?

Amykinz posted:

Thanks for the heads-up. I understand you have to make a 'groove' for the thread to sit, and need an awl for punching holes for the sewing. The bodices I plan to make just are shapes laced together, no actual sewing. So I'd just need something to cut the leather, and metal eyelets to keep the holes sturdy. And later on I can look at tooling the leather for decoration.

We aren't trying to be discouraging, but there's a lot more to leatherworking than first appears, and it's all expensive; it's best to understand that right out of the gate.

Okay, no sewing, just cutting shapes and lacing them together via eyeletted holes. poo poo you'll need:
1. Cutting board/mat/whathaveyou. Plastic or wood. I went to a restaurant supply store and bought the biggest plastic cutting board they had. You don't need to go that big, so maybe check Goodwill or something.

2. Something to cut with. A utility knife works fine, provided you aren't doing any swooping curves or anything. Straight lines. Get a Stanley that uses those heavy-duty trapezoidal blades. Then buy some extra blades, because you're gonna need them. All of this is still way cheaper than buying a specialist leather-cutting knife.

3. Actual leather. Pagan has the right of it, I think: 8-to-10-ounce leather, maybe doubled if you need extra rigidity. Leather is priced by the foot (generally), but sold by the piece. Example Tandy link:
http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/...es/9157-78.aspx
This is an 8-9-oz. tooling side, a little under $7/square foot. Expensive but doable, right? But the minimum order is an entire side, ~27 feet. So, $190. Plus whatever shipping ends up being.

Oh, and a note on ordering: if you order from the Tandy website, the order actually ships from your local store (saves on shipping), so if you'd prefer to talk to someone, call up your store and place your order with them.

I have spent way too much time (and money) in my local store in the last couple months.

4. A scratch awl or something that can fake it, to trace around your pattern onto the leather, and mark where your holes will be.

5. A leather punch, to put holes in your leather of the appropriate size.

6. Eyelets to fit those punched-out areas.

7. An eyelet setter, to actually lock the eyelets in place.

8. A rubber or plastic mallet, for the punch and the setter.

9. Leather lace to actually lace things together.

10. Something to do your tooling with (someone earlier recommended a spoon, I think?).

11. Sandpaper and a piece of canvas, to finish the edges a bit. Cut leather is surprisingly sharp.

12. A finishing compound, to help keep water off. Obviously, you'd need to have your tooling work done before applying the finishing compound.

Think that's it. Did I miss anything?

angrytech
Jun 26, 2009


So once I burn through the starter kit, how would I actually go about ordering more leather? I see that the Tandy website has an entire "Leather" section, but it looks like they're selling whole cows in there, and I'd only be looking for something a few square feet.
Also, from reading Pagan's excellent intro, it looks like at a bare minimum I'd need a fabric scissors, swivel knife, gouger, pricking wheel, awl, needles, and thread; am I missing anything important?

Pagan
Jun 3, 2003



angrytech posted:

So once I burn through the starter kit, how would I actually go about ordering more leather? I see that the Tandy website has an entire "Leather" section, but it looks like they're selling whole cows in there, and I'd only be looking for something a few square feet.

You can buy an entire hide, but there are smaller pieces. If you just need a few square feet, you're looking for either a single or double shoulder.

angrytech posted:

Also, from reading Pagan's excellent intro, it looks like at a bare minimum I'd need a fabric scissors, swivel knife, gouger, pricking wheel, awl, needles, and thread; am I missing anything important?

Well, what are you trying to do... just sew, no tooling / carving? If you're just looking to sew, then you've got the list, and you can skip the swivel knife. The swivel knife is used when carving or tooling, but you'd need to combine it with stamping tools.

also, for sewing, you'll need some sort of sewing palm. It takes so much force to push a needle through the leather (even after using an awl to punch a hole) that it'll tear your skin. You can buy a palm, but I made my own out of some scraps and some spare buckles.

angrytech
Jun 26, 2009


Pagan posted:

You can buy an entire hide, but there are smaller pieces. If you just need a few square feet, you're looking for either a single or double shoulder.


Well, what are you trying to do... just sew, no tooling / carving? If you're just looking to sew, then you've got the list, and you can skip the swivel knife. The swivel knife is used when carving or tooling, but you'd need to combine it with stamping tools.

also, for sewing, you'll need some sort of sewing palm. It takes so much force to push a needle through the leather (even after using an awl to punch a hole) that it'll tear your skin. You can buy a palm, but I made my own out of some scraps and some spare buckles.

Carving/tooling is the process of making decorative marks on the leather right? I'm not really interested in that immediately. I just want to make things.

TheNothingNew
Nov 10, 2008


angrytech posted:

So once I burn through the starter kit, how would I actually go about ordering more leather? I see that the Tandy website has an entire "Leather" section, but it looks like they're selling whole cows in there, and I'd only be looking for something a few square feet.
Also, from reading Pagan's excellent intro, it looks like at a bare minimum I'd need a fabric scissors, swivel knife, gouger, pricking wheel, awl, needles, and thread; am I missing anything important?

Steel ruler, both for measuring and to act as a straight-edge to cut against.

edmund745
Jun 5, 2010


angrytech posted:

So once I burn through the starter kit, how would I actually go about ordering more leather? I see that the Tandy website has an entire "Leather" section, but it looks like they're selling whole cows in there, and I'd only be looking for something a few square feet.
First off you should really look around in your area and see if there's any leathercraft stores that run classes (many do). These places usually have a BIG scrap pile of leather that they sell cheap--usually by the pound or 'grab-bag' or whatever. It will be usually just mixed cowhide, but if you're just making small stuff or just practicing something it is still useful.



Also,,,,,,, Tandy is nice for a number of reasons, but their selection of hides (that is, different kinds of animals) isn't real good. It's not bad for the price, but its pretty much just cowhide, goat-hide and little furs like rabbit. Local shops tend to carry more interesting stuff, and to have sources to order exotics that they don't have on hand.

Some examples of what else there is:
http://www.exoticleather.biz/

....??? and oddly enough, I see that kangaroo is not on that page? (-well it does say "from Tailand",,, but they have peccary?... oh well)

Anyway, I got into this for whip-making, and kangaroo is the traditional (exotic) leather used for that. It is expensive and looks rather plain, but it is very thin yet very strong--it is about 4X stronger than any other leather of the same thickness. Good lace is usually cut from kangaroo hide.

edmund745 fucked around with this message at 10:34 on Aug 21, 2012

Pagan
Jun 3, 2003



angrytech posted:

Carving/tooling is the process of making decorative marks on the leather right? I'm not really interested in that immediately. I just want to make things.

Correct, and since that is the case, you won't need a swivel knife.


For starters, you can cut with an X-acto knife or a utility knife. But, once you're ready to spend some money, a "round" knife is expensive but really, really useful. It allows you to cut curves, which is almost impossible with a knife that you pull towards you.

ndmain1977
May 24, 2012


I haven't posted in this thread in a while, but don't worry, I've been quite busy. I'd upload pics, but I still haven't gotten around to figuring that out yet.

I've made a few belts, and two watch cuffs. Starting on my third one now. Making myself a second wallet, since the first one I made, doesn't look so good. Made a variety of cell phone cases for people at work.

This hobby is my new addiction.

ItalicSquirrels
Feb 15, 2007

What?

Just found the thread. Also in Maryland, near DC to be exact, and would be interested in the guild idea. In project news, I'm working on making a very simple belt-pouch for when I go to the Renn Faire. My girlfriend convinced me to dress up in long shirt, leggings, and boots, leaving me without a suitable pocket for our money/small items/phones.

I've got awl, rubber hammer, thread, needles, leather (Amazon had what seemed to be a decent deal on scraps ~ 8in. by 6in.), and ruler. Am I missing anything besides the gouger and spacer? Also, does anyone have tips for making such a thing?

azzenco
Jan 16, 2004



Slippery Tilde

I bought a starter kit from Tandy last week. I want to make a belt and hell if I'm going to spend 95 on a belt from Tanner Goods I might as well spend it on a kit and DIY it even if it won't be as nice. I can live with that. Any belt making tips or should I just follow the kit directions? I hate to assume it's easy enough but well...it's just a belt.

Pagan
Jun 3, 2003



azzenco posted:

I bought a starter kit from Tandy last week. I want to make a belt and hell if I'm going to spend 95 on a belt from Tanner Goods I might as well spend it on a kit and DIY it even if it won't be as nice. I can live with that. Any belt making tips or should I just follow the kit directions? I hate to assume it's easy enough but well...it's just a belt.

Belts are pretty easy; I've found that the directions in the kits are pretty thorough. If there's anything in particular you're worried about, feel free to ask here.

Prathm
Nov 24, 2005



Is leather generally safe to wear against your skin?
I want to braid a camera-strap with some cheap chinese leather cord I got off ebay, but not if it's tanned with something unpleasant.

Pagan
Jun 3, 2003



Prathm posted:

Is leather generally safe to wear against your skin?
I want to braid a camera-strap with some cheap chinese leather cord I got off ebay, but not if it's tanned with something unpleasant.

For the most part, you've got nothing to worry about. I'm sure there are leathers out there that are bad for you, but most of them are fine.

Cancelbot
Nov 22, 2006

Canceling spam since 1928

I've managed to get a good few things off of eBay to build my own starter kit for around 25 ($40):

6 square feet of 4oz "charcoal" dyed leather
5 yards of white linen thread
5 yards of black linen thread
Clicker (punch) awl
2mm 6 prong pricking iron
10 needles
Groover/edge beveller for 45 degree angles
Rubber cement

Just enough to get me started on stitching things together

The leather was cheap, the tools were not but once I get better and even more tools such as the swivel knife I can upgrade to full hides and dying things myself.

There's also a Tandy leather factory in the UK which should make things easier.

ndmain1977
May 24, 2012


Thanks for getting me started in this hobby Pagan. I've finally taken the time, and figured I would post some of the stuff I've been working on:

This was a $20 watch I picked up at Target, specifically for making a cuff type watch:



When I finished that one, I realized my right wrist was lacking, so I made a cuff that had a similar look:


I also started a "roper" style wallet:


And made a holster for my S&W.40 handgun:



The latest thing I made was a harness for a neighbors dog:


Some detail images:






Obviously, I'm still learning, and each project has been a learning experience. Everything I've finished, when I look at it, I realize there are things I don't like about it, and want to do better next time, but for doing this only a couple months, I think I'm coming along pretty well.

Archives
Nov 23, 2008


ndmain1977 posted:

Thanks for getting me started in this hobby Pagan. I've finally taken the time, and figured I would post some of the stuff I've been working on:

This was a $20 watch I picked up at Target, specifically for making a cuff type watch:



When I finished that one, I realized my right wrist was lacking, so I made a cuff that had a similar look:


I also started a "roper" style wallet:


And made a holster for my S&W.40 handgun:



The latest thing I made was a harness for a neighbors dog:


Some detail images:






Obviously, I'm still learning, and each project has been a learning experience. Everything I've finished, when I look at it, I realize there are things I don't like about it, and want to do better next time, but for doing this only a couple months, I think I'm coming along pretty well.

Your tooling looks sharp.

ItalicSquirrels
Feb 15, 2007

What?

I used a kit to make a dice-bag, but my girlfriend said that she wanted it green so I dyed it green. Now I'm getting a little haze of green on my hands whenever I handle it. Is the dye just not dry? Or should I spend some time rubbing it with newspaper or a soft cloth to try and rub off some of the stuff?

Ninja edit: Part of the bag is suede and I think that's where the color's coming from. The leather part I already waxed and buffed.

TheNothingNew
Nov 10, 2008


ItalicSquirrels posted:

I used a kit to make a dice-bag, but my girlfriend said that she wanted it green so I dyed it green. Now I'm getting a little haze of green on my hands whenever I handle it. Is the dye just not dry? Or should I spend some time rubbing it with newspaper or a soft cloth to try and rub off some of the stuff?

Ninja edit: Part of the bag is suede and I think that's where the color's coming from. The leather part I already waxed and buffed.

Apparently what you want is an acrylic sealant. Something like this:
http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/...ts/2270-01.aspx
I think. Sorry, coloring is something I haven't delved into yet.

candywife
Mar 3, 2011


I bought a bag of scraps and I've been playing around making small things like bracelets, cuffs, and basic satchels. I don't have any leather working tools other than some needles and waxed thread, but I think I'm gonna have to invest in a few things.



I made this case for my thinning shears the other night and I think it came out okay. I just traced my shears on cardboard and then drew a pattern around the outline. Then I cut out the leather and used a hammer and nail to punch the holes. Last, I stitched the three pieces of leather together. It was really easy, and took me about 45 minutes from start to finish.

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fps_bill
Apr 6, 2012



I love that wallet.

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