Leather Craft newbie

Discussion in 'Other Skills' started by IndieroxNWusa, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. IndieroxNWusa

    IndieroxNWusa Scout

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  2. IndieroxNWusa

    IndieroxNWusa Scout

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    it just seems the kit from tandy comes with alot of fluff and filler, I dont really want a bunch of stamps, I just want the common tool set, stitching , any other critical tools


    thanks!
     
  3. DCP

    DCP Guide Bushclass I

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  4. J

    J Bushwhacker Bushclass I

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  5. DCP

    DCP Guide Bushclass I

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    J,

    I actually had a question about burnishing I know you touched on it in your tutorial. Is there anything else you can burnish with other than an antler?

    What is the best way to actually do it? I tried wetting the edge and using a smooth piece of glass but it didn't get that finished look. I didn't want to wet it too much but maybe I didn't wet it enough?
     
  6. Looker

    Looker Guide

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    Get it wetter. I have also used the method J describes using the handle of a Sharpie marker instead of antler. I think antler works better, but I used the Sharpie because I had temporarily misplaced it! The marker works pretty good, and you probably already have one. I have also found that some types of leather smooth better than others. I have had the best luck with vegetable tanned leather, the same kind you use for tooling. Chrome tanned is cheaper and more common in leather grab bags, but harder to finish and impossible to tool.

    Looker
     
  7. sdjsdj

    sdjsdj Guide Bushclass I

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    Tandy does make a kit to do what you want. You want to know how to stitch,cut, punch, assemble leather to make projects, not "lace and make pretty stamps on it".

    This kit contains all the tools you need as well as the #1 book on leather stitching.
    http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/search/searchresults/11189-00.aspx
    You'll need to buy some "tooling leather", if you want to make sheaths and "heavy duty bags. If you want to make pouches, etc. you can get thinner leather, but handstitching is still what you want.

    http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/search/searchresults/11189-00.aspx

    As far as I can tell, these are quality tools made by Stohlman and you'll need just about each one.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
  8. Capt. Redbush

    Capt. Redbush Guide Bushclass I

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    I have a tool box full of things I use for making leather goods, yet the only things that I bough specifically for leatherworking were a four-prong chisel to make my stitching holes and a rotary hole punch for rivets, snaps, grommets, etc.

    In addition, I have a whole bunch of needles (I use blunts, something like 8 for $1.88 at Wallyworld), artificial sinew and heavy duty outdoor upholstry thread to stitch and sew. I use an Xacto knife or a box cutter, as well as scissors to cut. A Yankee hand drill for holes I can't use the punch on. A metal t-square for measuring and insuring straight lines and corners. A polymer mallet I got from Harbor Freight years ago and block of rock maple that was scrap from a piano pin block to pound and cut on. These were all things I had before, although they've now been designated as leatherworking tools.

    And then a bunch of rivets, snaps, eyelets, grommets and other hardware that I've gotten from Tandy, Hobby Lobby or Menards. These you need as your project dictates. To finish, I usually use mink oil, bear grease and/or neetsfoot oil. Haven't tried waxing yet, but I hear the Brazilians love it!
     
  9. dcobranding

    dcobranding Scout

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    I've learned a lot from this guy:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/satansbarber


    From my experience, you need (all good quality) stitch awl, spacer wheel, leather needles (blunt), good quality thread, edge beveler, wooden burnisher and a good utility knife with a surplus of SHARP blades. You'll also need a ruler and cutting mat.

    You can throw as much money as you want into leathercraft, but you don't have to spend a mint in order to do good work.

    Often, one can find tools on craigslist or the like. Otherwise, Tandy is a good resource for leather and tools. Hobby Lobby sells some of their tools (exact same, even the packaging) for 20-30% less.

    Youtube is a great source for learning.

    Hope this helps you get start. Beware of "the bug". Many of us are infected, and please don't fool yourself into thinking that you're immune.
     
  10. saintnick001

    saintnick001 Guide

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    Some good advice in this thread. The only thing I'll add is that the tools Tandy sells are good quality and worth the price. That being said, any kit I'd buy from them would only be when it's on sale. It happens quite often and usually like 30-50% off.
     
  11. J

    J Bushwhacker Bushclass I

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    looker nailed it. A sharpie marker works great. I wet it and go in one direction till its slicked down then start rubbing. A helpfull aid to get a great finish is to rub some saddle soap on it after you wet it and slick it down.
     
  12. DCP

    DCP Guide Bushclass I

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    Thanks for the tips Looker & J I have been using leather scraps from Hobby Lobby as it was cheaper to practice on incase I messed up so it is prob Chrome tanned. I got a nice piece of veg tan for my next sheath now that I am comfortable with the process.
     
  13. J

    J Bushwhacker Bushclass I

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    Have fun man, I look forward to seeing what ya make.
     
  14. IndieroxNWusa

    IndieroxNWusa Scout

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    Awesome guys THANKS
     
  15. sherlockian100

    sherlockian100 Scout Bushclass I

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    I too am just starting out with leather craft. For me, the problem with those kits is that all of the tooling is already done for you (such as holes punched for lacing) this is what I want to learn to do, so having it already done, seems to defeat the purpose. I have gone on a few different sites, and found a couple patterns that don't look too intimidating, I have also gone on a couple of youtube videos to learn various techniques. I am just going to buy the leather, the tools and jump in. I fully expect to make some mistakes, but that is how I learn best. This is what I think will be best for me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
  16. rdec

    rdec Guide

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    For cutting a utility knife and a pair of EMT shears work fine (for heavy leather you need the serrations on the shears, otherwise the leather squirts out between the blades.

    For sewing look up directions for the saddle stitch. Tools needed are an overstitch wheel (used to mark the stitch and later to run over the stitch line to tidy it up - 6 is a good size (6 stitches to the inch), a saddler's awl (diamond blade punches the holes), a backing board (allows awl to penetrate while supporting the leather - I use a piece of pine board about 4" x 6") and a few saddle needles. I have a bunch and they rarely break or become unusable. PM me your mailing address and I'll send you a few (they are used in pairs). Done neatly, saddle stitching takes some time but the result can be hard to tell from machine sewn goods.

    To punch holes either a rotary punch or, cheaper, a drive punch or two. a small hardwood block backs up the leather when using a drive punch. Tandy sells a handle and a set of puches that screw into the handle. A mallet drives the punch.

    Most hardware stores sell a kit that includes the type of snap used in outdoor gear and the tools needed to set the snap. I prefer the copper rivet and washer, peened over with a ball-peen hammer but two-piece rivets are also good and available at the hardware store. The copper rivets you usally have to get from Tandy.

    To burnish edges and mold sheaths you need a bone folder. Tandy sells a nylon bone folder with a combination head and the tongue-depresser-shaped folder. I made one from a piece of deer shinbone that works nicely.

    The leather you want is tooling cowhide (vegetable tanned) 7-8 oz. is good for a variety of projects. (an "ounce" in leather is a measure of thickness, 1 oz. = 1/64th inch so 8 oz is about 1/8" thick. Other supplies are thread (you can use artificial sinew, dental floss, waxed linen or waxed nylon), some beeswax for lubrication of thread and some tools, a tube of Barge Cement (high strength, flexible rubber cement) and whatever hardware you need for the project.

    A piece of leather will have raggedy edges that will usually be cut off as scrap. Use this to practice before diving into a expensive chunk of leather. Leather is sold by the square foot (not the same as a foot square) and the raggedy edges are included (they use a special machine for this) usually by the side (large amount) the back or the shoulder. A side will sell for maybe $100, backs and shoulers are smaller pieces.

    Swivel knife, saddle punches and such are used in decoration only. My advice is to start with a few sewn projects and forget about decorating for awhile. Handling saddle stamps and especially the swivel knife takes a lot of practice and leather ain't cheap.

    I don't use dyes and such on outdoor leather. A generous coat of neatsfoot oil allowed to soak in overnight followed by a rub with Snow-Pruf or Snow-seal weatherproofs the leather and turns it to a soft, warm brown with a semi-gloss finish. I like the look.

    I've used the same tools for 40-50 years so I don't know the current cost but I'd say $25-50 would set you up with the basics listed above along with a modeat amount of supplies.

    I'm assuming you are using the heavier leathers. Thin leather is handled much like cloth.
     
  17. Looker

    Looker Guide

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    Yeah, it's probably chrome tanned. Vegetable tanned is easier to work, but don't discount you grab bag stuff. I have made some pretty good sheaths from those Hobby Lobby scraps!

    Looker
     
  18. sdjsdj

    sdjsdj Guide Bushclass I

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    Not to beat a "dead horse", but as I mentioned the Deluxe Hand Stitching Kit I mentioned above has all the handworking tools needed , and a great book. It does not include leather.
     

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