Wednesday, March 14, 2012

More on Cap Ends and Casing the Body

So, after forming the end caps and allowing them to dry overnight. I saw something a leather book recently that I thought I would try in this project. I took some strips of thin 4oz leather and cut them to about 3/4" wide. I took these strips and glued one side to the end cap. Repeat for the second cap. You will see that I didn't glue it entirely around the cap. I actually cut approximately a third of the roundness off each end cap. This will allow you to insert and remove the wine bottle during use. I hope this becomes self explanatory in later threads/photos.
Once the glue becomes tacky, I join the strips with the end cap making sure that a good joint was made. I then took some 5 cord white (lightly waxed) thread and sewed the glued joints. Once the sewing was done, I used a box cutter and equally trimmed the end cap joints. After trimming the edge, I burnished and sealed the edges with 'Quik Slik' edge dressing. The main reason for using this recently introduced product is because Vandy Douglas at Sheridan Outfitters told me that you can dye over this product. Yahoo!
Now to prepare the main leather piece. If you look all over the internet, you will find different explanations for "casing" or wetting the leather for carving or stamping. I was taught using the Al Stohlman method as described in the Leather Working Manual. Now, I have learned some tweaks to my method from many others and it works for me. Onward! I take my leather and place a backing to prevent it from stretching, which is very important for thinner leathers. Now, I am known for busting out clear packaging tape most of the time, but on larger projects I tend to use sticky shelf paper. Once I fix the paper to the back (flesh) side of the leather. I use my burnishing glass or wood block to make sure that good contact is made between the leather and paper. I then take my premix solution of pro-carve & tap water and apply it to the leather in stages. I continue to apply the water until the leather will no longer accept it. I take a plate of glass and place it on top of the leather to sit overnight. When I am ready, I will pull the glass and allow the leather to return to a natural color while maintaining it cool to the touch.

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