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Finally done... Sorry for the pics flood, i suck at selecting the right shot.

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The craftsmanship is stunning. Just out of curiosity, how does one carry a wallet that size? I'm thinking it would print through the inside pocket of an overcoat.

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Cutting out the top edge on the outer detailing so that the transition is flush was a really really nice touch.

Edited by hollowsleather

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sorry the color suppose to be turquoise, my laptop screen is off.

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Made some coad (shoemaker's wax). Colourless variation - no pitch/tar, just beeswax and rosin.

shoemakers-wax.jpg?w=490&h=364

Took me 3 tries to get it right. First 2 times were too soft, leaving sticky residues everywhere it touched like some blu tack gone bad. On the last attempt I just poured the molten blend into a bowl lined with foil and left it to cool and harden without taffy pulling. Equally effective if you stir well enough imo. There are a few bits of rosin (those amber spots) that did not blend in, but it's good enough for me.

Edited by lazybum

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leather question.

for my next project, i'm going to tackle making a bag for my wife. a simple tote bag, something kinda like this:

http://www.millmercantile.com/Billykirk_Leather_Tote_in_Black_Milled_11091.html

i went to tandy today to purchase some leather for some belts and wasn't thrilled with the leather selection for a bag. the only leathers that seemed like they would maybe work was the "stoned oil cowhide" or the "kodiak oil-tanned cowsides", however the crew at tandy told me that it the oil would leech or bleed onto garments, stuff in the bag, etc...

does anyone have any experience with these leathers? are there some other leathers i should be working with? if tandy doesn't carry what i need, i'm game to order from horween or wicket and craig. i only prefer tandy from a convenience standpoint.

thanks in advance. you guys are the best.

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i went to tandy today to purchase some leather for some belts and wasn't thrilled with the leather selection for a bag. the only leathers that seemed like they would maybe work was the "stoned oil cowhide" or the "kodiak oil-tanned cowsides", however the crew at tandy told me that it the oil would leech or bleed onto garments, stuff in the bag, etc...

Both of the leathers you mentioned are indeed oily and might leech onto the inside. You could line the bag with something else like pigskin or lamb but otherwise I'd look into another type of leather.

Also fyi- totes take a huge amount of leather so pick something that isn't too thick (or expensive for that matter). Doing a 14x15 tote 5 inches deep is about 6 square feet and if you're doing a single piece construction like a t-bottom that means a 3'x2' piece plus pockets, reinforcements and straps.

That said, I like making totes, they're very straightforward and, depending on construction, not too much sewing.

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Both of the leathers you mentioned are indeed oily and might leech onto the inside.

Thanks for the response. Any leather that you would recommend? It's confusing sometimes trying to select different leathers, especially over the phone.

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Lets talk ergonomics! At the work bench (standing height), I find malleting in a diamond awl leads me to hold and incredible amount of tension between my shoulder blades, same thing with hand burnishing. Has anyone else experienced this? I'm not using a proper leather maul, I use a ~16 oz rubber mallet.

I'd like to stab-n-stitch, awl and needles both in hand but I cant seem to get my awl blades sharp enough to make it work.

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Lets talk ergonomics! At the work bench (standing height), I find malleting in a diamond awl leads me to hold and incredible amount of tension between my shoulder blades, same thing with hand burnishing. Has anyone else experienced this? I'm not using a proper leather maul, I use a ~16 oz rubber mallet.

I'd like to stab-n-stitch, awl and needles both in hand but I cant seem to get my awl blades sharp enough to make it work.

Rubber mallets are too soft. I bought a tandy awl blade and then sharpen it with a cheap sharpening stone. It took me about an hour to get the sharpness I want(get through two layers of 4~5oz like butter. Strop your blade also helps(if you have a sharp awl). I also use bee wax to lubricate.

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Anyone lined leather with fabric? Is it even possible?

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I do. Use glue.

What glue works best? I've got some contact adhesive but might be too strong.

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Water based leather cement works well for cotton and other natural fiber fabric. I suppose that any PVA based glue would works. Apply a thin and uniform coat with a brush and clamp it.

Edited by JoeySullivan

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Water based leather cement works well for cotton and other natural fiber fabric. I suppose that any PVA based glue would works. Apply a thin and uniform coat with a brush and clamp it.

Merci! Let the experimenting begin.

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Thanks for the response. Any leather that you would recommend? It's confusing sometimes trying to select different leathers, especially over the phone.

If you're ordering directly from Horween, anything on this page that is waxy or smooth would work. But something that has been finished so as not to take scratches easily. Some chromexcel takes a ding when you breathe on it heavy. Unless of course you're going for distressed, then pick anything.

http://horween.com/leathers/full-tannage-list/

From Tandy, a bit harder to recommend something since there's a lot of different ways to go. From a pure functionality standpoint though anything categorized as upholstery or garment will work.

You also probably will want hard or medium temper to keep the shape of the bag so it doesn't flop over like the canvas ones.

Lastly, if you're going to turn this bag (sew inverted and then pull inside out) then you'll also to consider whether fold lines matter. I know that some pull-up leathers (like some chromexcels) keep some of the wrinkle lines from turning. It doesn't look bad imho but is a very different look than a flat smooth surface.

Hope that didn't confuse things more.

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Hope that didn't confuse things more.

it actually helped quite a bit, thanks.

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This is my new design. I made a mistake by putting it on etsy. I'm glad that nobody bought it. I don't know where you guys got your leather but the side I got was horrible(bug bits, stretch marks).It cost me $120 for 27sf Tandy craftman leather. Recently I found a better supplier which carries Hermann leather. I guess that $120 was a hard lesson for me, so that I won't make the same mistake again. By the way, how do you guys use the cheap, low grade leather?

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Edited by Xin

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This is my new design.......

Nice concept!!

I always thought leather has a grading system? Can't remember the exact definitions but you never go bellow medium quality.

Generally if I get a shit bit of leather to experiment with I just have to cut AROUND the really bad bits.

Keep up the good work.

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By the way, how do you guys use the cheap, low grade leather?

I know that feel. Use it for prototypes, technique proofing (different stitching combination/algorithms) etc. Useful around the workshop stuff like sheaths for sharp or fragile stuff like makers marks.

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Nice concept!!

I always thought leather has a grading system? Can't remember the exact definitions but you never go bellow medium quality.

Generally if I get a shit bit of leather to experiment with I just have to cut AROUND the really bad bits.

Keep up the good work.

Thanks!

I know that feel. Use it for prototypes, technique proofing (different stitching combination/algorithms) etc. Useful around the workshop stuff like sheaths for sharp or fragile stuff like makers marks.

Great idea! I'm also thinking of using them underneath when I'm using chisels or punches. I can make knife strops with them too.

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By the way, how do you guys use the cheap, low grade leather?

Depending on the leather stiffness you can also glue a stack of them together to make molds. (for zippered wallets, formed cases, etc.)

Especially useful if you don't have woodworking tools to make a wooden form.

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Hello, I'm new to the forum. Love the leather work.

I was lucky enough to get an ipad for the holidays. Here's my first attempt at an ipad case in natural carving leather. This leather is dry stuff, and it doesn't hide anything when you are working on it, Is there something people use to clean spots off it? Should I oil it? Any reccomendations on what to use?-KP

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Nicely done ! Oil or conditioner doesn't hide anything. You can use oxyalic acid to clean greasy spot. Make some test on scrap before, this stuff is powerful.

Working on a Macbook case design for a buddy of mine...

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Edited by JoeySullivan

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How do you guys cut straight line? I used an xacto knife and a metal rule( has a cork side), but the rule always slide down and made my cut went wrong.

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Mark it with an scratch awl (get something with a much finer tip than what Tandy sells). Exacto on the line. Don't cut with your wrist muscles, gently lock your wrist and upperbody and use your lower core and legs to control the motion. Your big muscles will provide the cutting power and your fine motor muscles in your wrists can keep on line much easier.

Karynup - I condition once pieces are cut so they don't pick up hand oils and I don't have to deal with conditioner getting in between my stitches and muddying the whole look.

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Mark it with an scratch awl (get something with a much finer tip than what Tandy sells). Exacto on the line. Don't cut with your wrist muscles, gently lock your wrist and upperbody and use your lower core and legs to control the motion. Your big muscles will provide the cutting power and your fine motor muscles in your wrists can keep on line much easier.

Karynup - I condition once pieces are cut so they don't pick up hand oils and I don't have to deal with conditioner getting in between my stitches and muddying the whole look.

Thanks! I ordered a round awl from goodsjapan; planning on using it for scratching and poking round holes for corners. I think I'll start conditioning leather after the cut too.

I'm also looking for a replacement for Gum-trag. I know Goodsjapan has "CMC" and some other replacements, but it makes no sense to me to spend twice as much on such replacements. Is there alternate ways to get Gum-trag? Is there powdered Gum-trag on the market? Is there alternatives to Gum-trag?

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I use Fiebings Aussie Conditioner. It darkens the leather very slightly, makes it a tad softer which may be a concern if you're using a machine to sew or unprotected clips to add pressure while gluing. I've recently taken to using big (3 inch) bulldog clips with a piece of veg tan folded inside to avoid marking the leather. I haven't worked with them too much but initial results are very promising.

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