Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gusset Dyed and Finish Applied

I took the last of my Eco-Flo Mahogany liquid and applied it to the exterior and interior of the gusset.  When the dye was dried, I took a piece of clean wool patch and buffed the dyed area.  After I took my Eco-Flo antique mahogany gel and applied it to the dyed exterior of the gusset.  I again buffed the area when dried and sprayed some Fiebings spray Sheen and covered the area for the finish.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gusset for Skate Bag

I started working on the bottom gusset for skate bag.  I am using 3-4 oz.  I grooved a channel 3/8" from the edge on the flesh side.  I then wet the edge for molding a lip for sewing later.

Trout oiled

I have applied two light coats of my olive oil mixture to the small embossed portrait. I will allow the oil to absorb into the leather overnight.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Geometric Stamping Practice

I've got some projects on my list in the future that I would like to incorporate some geometric stamping.  I thought I pull some stamps from the block to play with.

Trout Fish Figure Carving Class

Here is the sample carving that was completed at the intermediate figure carving class last Saturday.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Smartphone Case Done

My new Droid cellphone case has been completed.  Onto my belt for some exercise.

Belt Bag Done

The belt bag has been completed.  A few minor details to clean up and off to the customer for the upcoming bike week.  This has been quite an interesting lesson and a first for me.  I have a few more design to try later this year.  Thanks for following this project.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Preparing the Belt Bag for Stitching

I used my stitch punch and placed holes all around the edges.  A couple of tips and tricks to mention.  When you come near a bend and where the gusset ends.  Make sure not to piece or place a stitching hole anywhere on the areas mention. The reason is that this will create a stress point that may break down the strenght in that area.  The repeated movement will ocassionally tear the leather which may grow much like an earthquake crack.  Finally, tap your punch in the beeswax before you use it.  This will help you punch into the leather, as well as, remove it with ease.

Finishing the Edges

Once I even out my edges, I initiate my edge finishing in the following manner.

I select the appropriate edger depending on the size and shape.

I sand the edges using sandpaper or grit sticks seen in the photo. If necessary, use a gum eraser to remove an sandwich glue residue.

I then dampen a section of the edge and rub Glycerin bar soap.

I take a piece of heavy canvas material or a piece of denim.  I rub some soap onto the piece before using them.  I then use the canvas  and rub the edges. What I am doing is creating heat and friction to deal the open pores left on the edges.

I take a dauber and light the tip on fire.  When it has burned out, I use a piece of paper or napkin and remove the burnt ashes.  I then select my choice of dye and apply it using the dauber.

I take a used cloth...in my case an odd white sock that my dog got a hold of.  I take this cloth and rub the edges to remove any excess dye.  If necessary,  I will reapply the dye a second time.

I would than wipe the edges again with the cloth and rub it down with the soap covered piece of canvas or denim.

I the take my custom Dremel sized hardwood slicker and run the slicker over the edges.

Finally, I will mix 1 part of wax and 2 parts of resolene.  I take another prepared dauber and apply the mixture to the finished edge. (The last three steps can be repeated if necessary, but I have found that the sanding will usually make or break you.)

Note: For any special mixture, I use the little salsa cups usually found at take out restaurants.

Thanks to Marlon of the Lonestar Leathercraft Guild for this recipe.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Working on the Gusset

I make mistakes all the time even when I put a lot of thought into each step of a project.  I have make a few gussets in the past, but in the belt bag, I wanted a dyed one.  I spent days thinking how to accomplish this one.  Like should I form it, let it dry, and then dye it?  OR dye it and the form it.  Unfortunately, it had to be moisten to manipulate the gusset to work with the form that I needed.  Well, let just say that I took the long road option and when I was at the point of where it needed to be glued on.  I moisten the gusset and I thought it was golden until I handled it...........the dye ran all over my hands.................damn it!  So plan #2.........I didn't want to delay this project so I decided to go with a thin piece of chap leather.  That is what you see on the picture.  This is not over....I will prevail and conquer how to dye a piece of leather and form it for a gusset!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Velcro Closure

I have decided to use my trusty Velcro for the enclosure.   I have had problems with magnets and reception so I have found that Velcro works good and have no fears of losing my phone.  The trick is to sew the Velcro to the liner that will be attached to the outer flap so no sewing tracks will appear on the outside and usually carved area.  Onto the exterior belt straps.

Dyeing Done

I dyed my leather after the oiling sat in the hot sun for about and hour.  The sun gave it a nice tan.  I used water based Eco-Flo products for this project.  I started out with Coal Black and completely dyed the leather evenly using a sponge brush.  The project sat until there was no wetness to the application. I took a piece of sheep wool (trimmed short) and semi aggressively rubbed the project using horizontal and vertical stroke.  The rubbing removed any excess dye sitting on top and revealed a Polish deep burgandy hazel.  To combat this, I take some Eco Flo Antique Black Gel and with a sheep wool piece, I rub it onto the project.  I make sure that all areas are well covered.   When the gel appears to have settled in and dried a bit.  I take another piece of sheep wool and buff the project to remove any excess gel.  Once the project Satan's dried, I took my Bee Natural RTC finish and coated the entire project.  Once the finish dried I applied two coats of Master Contact Cement to the underside and lining piece selected.  When the glue was no longer shiny and wet, not pieces were joined and trimmed.  Onto the sewing and Velcro closures.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My First Return Carving

Here is my first attempt at carving and tooling since my injury.  I am making another cellphone case for my Droid this time on black.  I really like this smartphone design.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Belt Straps

I decided to do some change to the carrying option for this bag.  I changed out the square rings for 1" 'D' rings.  I also went for chaps snaps to allow the owner to detach the bag for ease in using it.  It also makes it easier for the maker to keep working on it.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Special Touch!

I found these conchos at a vendors booth during last year's Texas Saddle & Boot Show.  I felt them fitting for this project since the incoming owner lives in Austin, Tx.

Preparing the Straps & Tabs

I glued the liners on the straps and tabs foe the belt loops.  I also sewed them using a 5 cord black waxed thread.  Than I attached the tabs to the back of the bag's main body.  Approximately 1" below the first bend and 1.5" from each end.  I am using 3/4" square rings.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Liners are On.....

I have glued my liners on and now to work on setting the rings for the belt straps.

Finish Coat Applied

I took my Fiebings Sheen spray and applied two well covered thin coats over all of the pieces.  When the project was dry, I proceeded with the liner.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sewing Done

The sewing has been completed and now on to the liner.

Applique Inserted

I inserted the embossed piece after applying glue.  Now time to sew it in with a waxed 5 cord black thread.  Next will be the interior lining.

Cross Inlay

Embossing Continued......

Embossing Started.......

I started to prepare the embossing section for this project.  I took the clicked out cross and removed about a 1/16" off the perimeter.  This will provide enough clearance when you wrap it with the chrome tan cover. 

I marked the under side of the chrome tan with a pen.  Once I finished marking, I applied glue on both pieces.  When the glue dries, I apply the trimmed cross (carefully) to the underside of the piece of chrome tan.  Turn it over and apply pressure evenly to make sure the two piece adhere well.

I then cut a piece of thin board for the applique backing.  When I have all the piece ready, I apply contact cement to both pieces and set them side for it to dry. 

When I adhere both piece together I am careful to make sure that the elevated piece makes first contact with the backing piece.  I then turn the applique piece over and with a modeling spoon, I work carefully going around the immediate perimeter of the cross to make sure that it make solid contact with the backing board.  Once the board makes contact around the cross, I pushed out towards the ends until I feel that contact hass been made well.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Let the Dyeing Begin.....

I took some 'coal' black Eco-Flo dye and coated the parts shown.  When it dried, I polished the top layer with a piece of sheep wool (clean).  Then I took my Eco-Flo black antique gel and coated the pieces again.  This will ensure that the color comes out true black.  This has worked for me on several projects.  Some other information that I have worked has been to use blue as a base coat and black on top.  Stay tune!

Another Non-Tooling Project

Since I cannot tool yet, I decided to move up another project that did not require any tooling.  This is a belt bag.  Thanks to Big Papa Leather for the clicking help.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Two Tone Lacing

Can't Keep Me Away!

Injury or not......promises are promises!  My little one finishes her competitive long course today.  She requested a gift for her beloved coach.  I could not tool so I called my friend Brenda at www.lasergiftcreations.com and had the logos engraved.  I used a two tone double loop calf lace after gluing the cover and insert.  Tell me what you think!