Leather working thread

Discussion in 'DIY (Do It Yourself)' started by Grog, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. junglebum

    junglebum Member

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    Hard waxed Scandinavian style for mora 2/0
     
  2. VaughnT

    VaughnT Member

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    My apron decided to start dying on me, so I had to do an emergency repair. Never seen leather tear like this, following the outside of the strap almost like it was cut with a razor.

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    A patch of heavy leather that's a bit old and dry..... mixed with some roofing nails for rivets and a whole bunch of Gorilla Glue!
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    You can see here that the leather is simply drying out and tearing like paper. No idea why this is happening, but it looks to be only where sweat and oil has gotten into the leather. The lower half of the apron is very clean because it's down on the legs.... and it looks pretty solid still. Around the arms and sides, though, where the blacksmith sweat builds up quick -- ugh!
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    Turns out that the "copper" rivets are actually just copper-washed steel and rust through rather quickly. The stitching around the bib pocket is solid, but the rivets have rusted away to nothing and one is completely gone.
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    The repair looks ugly as sin, but it's working. My arm's been giving me fits for the last few weeks, so yesterday was the first time I got to spend in the shop since the apron underwent surgery. After three hours of steady working, the patch still looks good and nothing has separated.
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    This is the Tilman 48" apron. Cheap, made in china, but it's lasted me two years or so. As soon as I got it in the mail, I had to immediately re-work the strap system because their design sucks balls -- especially if you're fat.

    Now that she's on her last legs, I'm thinking that I don't want to spend the money on another one when I can have a custom apron made for me.

    Looking around the internet, there are a lot of aprons that are very very nice, but they all have one or two things that I would like to see different. So I've decided to go my own route. Won't save any money, obviously, but at least then I'll have something close to perfect.

    I'm calling it the Three Rivers Forging Apron, and it's going to be epic!

    • 24" x 48" body to match the current apron - it provides awesome coverage even for a fat guy (me), especially on the lower leg/boot area.
    • Cross-Back suspension system - just too comfortable to even think about any other style.
    • Cotton and/or Nylon straps - again matching the Tilman apron because they've proven to be very comfortable and breathable, unlike leather straps on past aprons.
    • Split Bib Pocket - the pocket on my current apron works great for pens, soapstone and the like, so no need to change the design.
    • Real Brass Hardware - rivets, sliders, grommets, clips, you name it. All good brass that looks nice and not rust through.
    • Reinforced Stap Attachment Points - it'll look good and prevent tear out.
    Where I'm going nuts is trying to determine the type of leather and what weight the leather should be. Criteria needs to include oil-tanned, I think, so it resists the sweat and grime of the shop. It shouldn't be too light because you don't want it to tear or wear through quickly. But it shouldn't be too heavy because you don't want it bearing down on you shoulders and/or holding in the heat, making you feel like you're in a sauna.

    Looking through the Tandy Leather website wasn't really helpful. Too many options for my limited understanding of leather.

    Definitely no chrome-tan leather even if it is cheaper. Oil-Tan or Vegetable Tan, sure. Maybe that Latigo stuff?

    Always glad for input from the more experienced!
     
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  3. Grog

    Grog Member

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    I'm way late to this but I wouldn't recommend any leather from Tandy. I would buy a double shoulder from RJF leather, I've bought a small one for about 80 bucks shipped. If you want a bigger piece I'm just working through my first side of Wickett and Craig 8-10 oz russet dyed and I love it. If you want a piece to do one sheath shoot me an email, grog1976@gmail.com, I'll set you up.
     
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  4. Grog

    Grog Member

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  5. mmbackpacker

    mmbackpacker Member

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    I did end up buying some leather a while back, and made up a sheath for a friend (I handled the knife as well). First time doing a basketweave stamp. Not perfect, but fun. I seemed to loose some clarity at the fold of the sheath- any hints or tricks for that? And the dye was pretty splotchy, but oh well....

    [​IMG]Untitled by Mike Miller, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by Mike Miller, on Flickr
     
  6. SEMO

    SEMO Member

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  7. Grog

    Grog Member

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    Back the tooling area an 1/8" or so from the center of your sheath when you're laying the sheath out. The area right down the middle of your fold will lose the most definition.

    Try for a quick, clean fold when you're gluing it all up, if you have to bend and pull it around it'll stretch the middle the most and flatten your tooling out.

    Read up on casing leather. If you just wet it and start stamping the impressions will be kinda "squishy" and won't hold their shape as well. Wet it and let it dry till you till it's almost back to its beginning color before you start to stamp it.

    That was a heck of a lot better than my first basket weave, I'd say you're off to a great start.
     
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  8. IW17

    IW17 Member

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    That turned out great. I like the splotches. Gives it a rustic look.
     
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  9. SEMO

    SEMO Member

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    First of its kind for me.
    A leather riser for my rifle. Gotta find a better way to attach it
    Sorry inside pics.
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  10. VaughnT

    VaughnT Member

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    Good News -- I hooked up with a leather guy out west and he's going to help with the new apron.

    I've been wanting to make a "sunday go to meeting" apron that's appropriate for public demos and such. I don't know when I'll get around to doing anything in public, but a good apron is critical to it. And since my cheap-o apron is on its last legs, this is a great time to move forward with the design.

    One thing I'm thinking is to use large brass grommets on the sides where the cross-back straps tie in. I was originally thinking to just sew the straps on, but there's a lot of movement right in that area as you move around, bending over, etc. That being the case, it seems to me that having a little extra flexibility in the design would put less stress on the apron and allow it to move with the body a bit better.

    In my mind's eye, I'm seeing a patch of leather sewn on to double the thickness and then a large grommet punched through both layers. This would give a very nice visual appeal as well as making the apron more durable.

    Something like this, but with the black piece removed. The patch wouldn't have to be nearly so large, though that's possible. As long as the grommet is near the corner so the straps have freedom to move....
    Perfectly reinforced junction!!.jpg
     
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  11. Beard Man

    Beard Man Member

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    My leatherwork:

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  12. Zeek

    Zeek Member

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    Wow... that's nice !!!
     
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  13. Beard Man

    Beard Man Member

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    Thank you!
     
  14. Beard Man

    Beard Man Member

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    Spyderco Schempp with Left/Right Handed Leather Sheath

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    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
  15. hopsbreath

    hopsbreath Member

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    Soliciting a sheath for the 3HM, any of you guys have a pattern all worked out? Probably won’t be needing it until after the new year, just checking to see what’s available. Bonus points for crossdraw sheaths.
     
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  16. mtngoat

    mtngoat Member

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    I got a Trail Hawk from one of my friends for Christmas. I wasn’t real keen on the clear plastic sheath it comes with so I dug out some leather and started to play. This is where I am so far, still need to stitch and add a snap but I think it turned out pretty decent.
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  17. Beard Man

    Beard Man Member

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    Some changes:

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  18. Grog

    Grog Member

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    The tooling was pretty plain Jane but the acrylics really made it stand out.
     
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  19. mtngoat

    mtngoat Member

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    I just went for function not beauty
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    Man there’s some nice leather work here.
     
  20. mtngoat

    mtngoat Member

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    Ok so I wet formed my new CR2.5 sheath
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    It took well, the sheath got as hard as kydex, never had that happen before, the retention is insane good. Then all of a sudden I was looking at the belt loop and this happened.
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    Guess I have to make new one over the holidays. Gonna turn this one into a neck sheath now.
     

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