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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:06 pm 
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Maria, did you cut the design into the leather before tooling? I think I see cut marks, but I'm not sure.

How thick was the leather? Leather that is too thin doesn't tool well. And yes, pretty much the only leather that's appropriate for tooling is vegetable tanned leather (veg tan). That is probably the main problem. Your tooling doesn't look too bad for a beginner. It's just not deep enough.

Another thing that may have gone wrong was your initial cuts with the swivel knife weren't deep enough. The knife has to be very sharp, and should be stropped before use


If you want to try to rescue the design, you COULD try painting either the design or the background with dye to provide contrast. Getting contrast between the tooling and the background is a tricky thing. I've tried different types of resist, and never seem to get the sort of contrast I want. You put a resist (Resolene, Tandy Super Sheen or Satin Sheen) over the area you don't want to dye, and it is supposed to 'resist' the dye and prevent it from being absorbed.

If I really want contrast, I take a brush and dye the area. That's how the Celtic horse design was done. I first went over the whole piece with some leather antique, which produced the reddish colour of the horse heads. It also went into the cuts on the design and helped provide contrast. I then dyed everything BUT the horse head design, using a wool dauber for the big areas and a fine brush for the small areas, like the background of the knotwork on the horse's manes. The horse design was painted with Tandy Super Sheen before I dyed the rest of the piece, to help prevent it from absorbing any dye that went over the edges.

I also used a background stamp in the interior of the horse design to help provide contrast. You can see it made the leather look rougher and more textured.

Here's what you want your tooling to look like before you apply any finish to the piece:


Attachments:
beltsmall.jpg
beltsmall.jpg [ 28.31 KiB | Viewed 791 times ]
Celtic horse bags.jpg
Celtic horse bags.jpg [ 96.22 KiB | Viewed 792 times ]

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When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:34 pm 
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Another tip: if you just want to colour the depressed areas and cuts, use antique solution, not dye, and don't rub too hard when removing the excess. Some people wrap a cloth around a ruler or a flat piece of wood, to make sure they just remove the antique from the surface.

Here's my most recent project before and after applying antique and Resolene:

As a footnote, I am not going to use Resolene anymore, as it discoloured some of the areas on the panel. Note the reddish areas - those appeared AFTER I applied the Resolene overtop of the antique. I have never had this happen with Tandy's Super Sheen and Satin Sheen.


Attachments:
Molly tote resolene and antique.jpg
Molly tote resolene and antique.jpg [ 159.05 KiB | Viewed 795 times ]
tote bag resized.jpg
tote bag resized.jpg [ 78.75 KiB | Viewed 795 times ]

_________________
When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:48 pm 
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Thanks for the critique, Sunny! No, I'm not going to try to rescue that bit of scrap leather. It was just a serious trial to see if old leather of an unknown tanning process could be used. And yes, I have a swivel knife and used it.... it's just that the durned leather doesn't stay compressed very well!

My husband wanted to try leather tooling, too, but after just half an hour or so of messing with the bit of practice veg tan leather that came with the leatherworking kit, his shoulders were hurting too much to continue. So, we went and bought an arbor press and started using that to press the stamp into the leather rather than the hammer that came with the leather working kit. This actually worked really well, and I was able to stamp a deeper impression into the leather than I could with just the hammer.

However, when I put the dye onto the leather, it swelled up and almost eliminated what I'd done so far. I had to go over the whole design again, this time with it wet from the dye, and everything stayed in place a bit better.

I really need to get some veg tan leather. The little bits of practice leather that came with the kit were so much better to work with! There just isn't enough for me to make a replacement purse with. I've never liked the one I'm using now, so I'm copying my previous purse that worked well for years until it got too dirty and worn to continue using. (Saddle soap just wouldn't clean it! :scratch: ) I've got a paper pattern all cut out and ready to go. I just need appropriate leather, now!

If leather working turns out to be a good hobby for both of us, we'll probably start veg tanning our own leather. I tried to tan a whole cow hide once before, but the thing was heart-breakingly heavy and I eventually gave up on it. It was just too heavy to handle. I have since come to the conclusion that I could cut a hide into fourths and tan it in smaller sections. :D :D That would probably be just fine, since I don't have any huge projects in mind. Just belts and purses and maybe moccasins. Nothing that requires soft supple leather, because softening leather is really hard to do.

I've still got a partially brain tanned buckskin deer hide in the freezer, waiting for me to have the energy to take the last step of smoking the leather and then softening it. (or is that vice versa?) It's been there for years. :oops: I don't know if brain tanned leather can be tooled or not. I didn't even have a project in mind when I started tanning that hide. I simply wanted to see if I could do it. The book I had said you could freeze it and continue later (where I stopped) and so I did. And there it stayed. :suspicious: I'm really bad about not getting back to paused projects.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:11 pm 
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LOL about the paused projects!

If that mallet that came with the kit was a little wooden mallet, I used mine for firewood. That was about all it was good for. Get yourself a nice poly or rawhide mallet for stamping. The wooden mallet is too light for anything but flattening stitches!

Deerskin is really too soft to tool well. And there's a reason most leather is sold in pieces (either sides or shoulders). I bought a whole side the other day because it was a really cheap deal, then didn't have a big enough cupboard to store it! :(

That problem got solved with the move to the new place... :D

If the dye was staying wet, there was something wrong with it. Dye normally dries quiet fast. What sort/brand of dye was it? Fiebing's dye is the best, especially Fiebing's pro. Tandy dyes tend to go on really splotchy and require multiple coats to get a good finish.

The leather must be allowed to completely dry after tooling before dyeing or finishing.

Oh, saw this on FB yesterday...really gave me a laugh! TOO TRUE!!


Attachments:
Finishing crafts.jpg
Finishing crafts.jpg [ 114.09 KiB | Viewed 774 times ]

_________________
When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:16 pm 
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If you are buying leather, here's a guide as to what thickness to buy for what project:
4 to 5 oz. leather would be ideal for your purse.


Attachments:
LeatherUsage.jpg
LeatherUsage.jpg [ 95.21 KiB | Viewed 773 times ]

_________________
When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:55 pm 
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Hah! That resolution is the story of my life! :rofl:

The dye was just a little bottle of something brown in the kit. I'll look at the name next time I go home. Water just beaded up and rolled off the leather so I couldn't get it wet enough to work, really. So when the dye (maybe it was called dressing?) just sank right in and stayed wet, I decided to retool the whole piece. Being wet enough really helped, but it still didn't stay as compressed as the veg tan leather from the kit.

I bought that leather for the Gathering in Toronto in 2003. That's when I bought the first stamping tools, but I couldn't get them to work back then and ended up embellishing the leather parts of costumes with a dremmel tool. I didn't have time to figure out proper tooling then. Now there are jillions of youtube "how to" videos, which are great! :D

I like what the antiquing does for the look of the leather. :) How big is that bag going to be?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:05 pm 
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Here's the photo from the box the kit came in. The bag is downstairs, waiting for me to get around to putting a lining and pockets inside it, and I'm feeling too lazy to go down and take a photo of it. I liked the dark brown dye (chocolate) so went with that for the other panels. I think it's about 14 x 12 inches.

You can also add water to the flesh side of the leather, if the top side isn't absorbing it. In the old days, leather was often soaked in water to 'case' it and get it ready for tooling.


Attachments:
Molly tote.jpg
Molly tote.jpg [ 23.34 KiB | Viewed 777 times ]

_________________
When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:23 pm 
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Ohhhhh! Now I see. I couldn't picture the shape of a bag from the tooled part you showed. That's going to be very nice when it is done.

The stuff I put on the leather : https://www.realeather.com/products/Det ... Dark-Brown
It came with the kit.
It says it'll cause highlights, but sure didn't. I really wonder what's in it, since it sank in so readily when water was completely repelled. I didn't notice a strong solvent smell, so it's probably water based. :scratch:

If I use it again, it will be with precision, using a small paint brush.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:57 am 
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I'm not familiar with that particular product, but from the sound of it, it's what leather workers would call an antique. It's meant to highlight the tooling and knife cuts in a piece of leather.

Most dyes are alcohol based. I've never bothered looking up the ingredients for an antique. Most of them are a paste or sort of a gel rather than a liquid.

I find them tricky to work with. They often colour the leather too dark, and even if you put a resist on your tooling, they don't provide enough of a contrast.

_________________
When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:57 pm 
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We went to Kansas City last Saturday and spent a couple of hours in the Tandy Leather store there talking to one of the employees who was very helpful and answered myriad questions. We walked out with more a roll of nice veg-tan leather and more tools and supplies of various sorts. And belt blanks. My husband wants to tool a judo themed belt for himself. :)

Anyway, in the process of talking to the employee, she mentioned a friend of hers had 3D printed a custom leather stamp for her with her maker's mark on it, and that it was working very well for her.

Light bulb went off.

My husband has wanted a 3D printer ever since he first heard about them. Here was a way we could make our own custom stamps for fraction of the cost of buying them from Tandy and not waiting weeks to get them. Plus, all the other projects he's mentioned along the way - repair parts, for instance. So many things use plastic parts now.

So we started shopping for a 3 D printer and ordered one yesterday. And guess what? It also has a laser engraver!!!! I've wanted one of those ever since I heard about them a couple of decades ago. :D :D :D

Then I found a picture of this purse. It's an interesting combination of pyrography and leather tooling.
Attachment:
thorin purse.jpg
thorin purse.jpg [ 351.9 KiB | Viewed 672 times ]


Not that I'd want to do that. The thought of someone's face on my purse seems exceptionally creepy. Have a face peering out from under my arm??? Ick!!! But the technique is full of possibilities. The laser engraver will be able to print any sort of monotone picture on anything burnable, I think. :)

So, exciting new tool on the way. :) A tool to make tools with. And just about anything we can think of, apparently. There's a whole database of uploaded 3D plans on thingiverse that people have already created and shared.


Last edited by Maria on Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:00 pm 
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Maria: :shock: WOW! That is spectacular!

Sounds like you're in for a lot of fun with your new toy! :D

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Window seat for one,
Passage out of town
The old fashioned way:
Train ticket, out bound.
Midnight departure,
Red-eye double-track.
Star filled horizons,
Beacons in the black.
Last call for boarding,
Destination: nowhere.
Two carry-on bags
Ought to get me there.
Don’t know how far
‘Til my journey’s done;
Train ticket, out bound,
Window seat for one.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:50 pm 
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I hope so!

Oh! I just realized... we can probably make a decent scabbard for Glamdring now! We won the sword in a raffle at the Gathering in Toronto in 2003, but never got a scabbard for it. Between the leather crafting hobby and the 3D printing, I bet we can produce something that is reasonably nice. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:50 pm 
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That would be awesome!!! :horse:

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Window seat for one,
Passage out of town
The old fashioned way:
Train ticket, out bound.
Midnight departure,
Red-eye double-track.
Star filled horizons,
Beacons in the black.
Last call for boarding,
Destination: nowhere.
Two carry-on bags
Ought to get me there.
Don’t know how far
‘Til my journey’s done;
Train ticket, out bound,
Window seat for one.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:26 am 
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Maria, laser engraving is one of the latest high tech things in leather working. The possibilities are endless!

A quick search turned up this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6hKfvFmrYU

Also, one of the most difficult things to learn in leatherworking is how to cut out a new project using a knife. Some people get around this by using dies for cutting, but that tech is just beyond me: the machines are expensive and heavy, and you need a new die for each new project. It's only really feasible if you are producing certain items in bulk.

Laser cutting is an excellent alternative.

_________________
When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:13 pm 
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From what I understand, laser etching will leave black edges, which would change the look of tooled leather.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:32 pm 
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I spent last weekend on the couch being lazy in one sense - not doing much of what I *should* have been doing - but in another sense I was very productive. I made some blingy things!

Rings, pendant rings, and necklace chatelaines
Image
Hook and eye closure pairs
Image

And then I hemmed up some linen handkerchiefs
Image

And this is a little older but I also made some kid-sized mittens
Image

That first fabric is little knights riding unicorns with loping dragons and flying banners, it's so stinkin adorable! I should make myself a pair! :D

_________________
Window seat for one,
Passage out of town
The old fashioned way:
Train ticket, out bound.
Midnight departure,
Red-eye double-track.
Star filled horizons,
Beacons in the black.
Last call for boarding,
Destination: nowhere.
Two carry-on bags
Ought to get me there.
Don’t know how far
‘Til my journey’s done;
Train ticket, out bound,
Window seat for one.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:26 pm 
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Those handkerchiefs, we wants them. I am the kind of person who will bring a real handkerchief if she knows she'll be crying, like to the Yizkor service on Yom Kippur. I don't know what kind of person that is. :D And it seems impossible to buy lady's handkerchiefs.

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“I am not so blind that I can't see darkness.”
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Terry Pratchett, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:59 pm 
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Frelga wrote:
Those handkerchiefs, we wants them. I am the kind of person who will bring a real handkerchief if she knows she'll be crying, like to the Yizkor service on Yom Kippur. I don't know what kind of person that is. :D And it seems impossible to buy lady's handkerchiefs.


I've never gone looking for them so I had no idea they were hard to find. I make you one! :)

Also, glad to see you here again! <3

_________________
Window seat for one,
Passage out of town
The old fashioned way:
Train ticket, out bound.
Midnight departure,
Red-eye double-track.
Star filled horizons,
Beacons in the black.
Last call for boarding,
Destination: nowhere.
Two carry-on bags
Ought to get me there.
Don’t know how far
‘Til my journey’s done;
Train ticket, out bound,
Window seat for one.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:18 am 
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Maria wrote:
From what I understand, laser etching will leave black edges, which would change the look of tooled leather.


Maria, I am a member of Leatherworker.net and have found the website an invaluable resource. This thread came to my attention today, and I immediately thought of you!

http://leatherworker.net/forum/topic/84023-choosing-the-right-laser/

Might not be a bad idea to become a member, so you can ask questions about laser etching!

And yeah, they DO mention the problem with the charred edges...

_________________
When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:54 am 
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Elengil, all of those are wonderful. I so respect and honor your talents! I learned to sew but never loved it; learned a little about drawing but stopped; played music and loved it, in orchestras, but lost the opportunity. Writing is all I’ve kept, and it’s not creating something you can hold in your hand—except for the few lucky times I’ve gotten something published.

You seem like someone who surrounds herself with beauty she created. I admire that so very much. :love:

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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