Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wine Bottle Balancer

I decided to take both of my skills to the test. I had seen a wine bottle balancer made from scrap exotic wood made quite some time back. Since I am always looking for ideas to create with leather, I saved this one in my file. Well, the time came to put this project to work. Of course, I could not do this alone so I asked a great leathercrafter for some help in designing a unique pattern for the leather. The pattern credit goes to Mr. Wayne Decker at Bar U Custom Leather. If you are in the market for unique leather products, check him out on Facebook.

After some searching on Google, I found the exact size of wood plank that will work for this project. After some measuring, I sketched out a paper pattern to give me a reference. The one important thing to keep in mind is the bottle neck hole.

I made a 'tap off' from the paper pattern that Mr. Decker created for me. The 'tap-off' is made to be used repeatedly when using the same pattern. I used my 'tap-off' and stamped the pattern on my leather piece for this project. I used my swivel knife to cut the lines and tooled the pattern.

I used my backgrouner tool to complete the entire background. Now, since I made several of these project, I changed up the final designs. With some pieces, I colored the background and with others I left it natural.

Here is the final product for this project. I actually kept this one for my better half.

I would like to wish all of my blog followers a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Basketweave Storage Cup

In a previous project, I introduced a basketweave pattern also known as "Ajiro" according to Mr. David Kamamura who showed me this awesome type of work. I decided to use this project panel to make a useful storage cup.

I cut a strip of thin leather that will be attached to the top ridge of the panel to add some stiffness for this cup. The leather that I used for the panel was a scrap and I do not remember where it came from. It was very flexible.

I attached the piece of leather strip to the top of the cup. I started out with contact cement and will be sewn down later. I did overlap the leather strip and offset the joints.

To prepare to sew the side seam, I applied a bit of contact cement on the inside edges. When the glue was ready, I connected them together and placed an alligator clip at the other end to keep the edges together.

Now to make the bottom piece. I did not want the cup to be easily tipped so I glued a couple of pieces of leather together. I was also messing around and decorated the bottom of the cup that no one will probably ever see. I marked the cut line and used my Leather Wrangler's "Mini Sam" knife to cut the piece. Note: I made the cut at a slight angle so it will sit in the panel flush.

Here is the bottom piece cut. I applied a bit of contact cement to the bottom of the panel and round piece where it was cut at an angle.

Before I started sewing, I reference a couple of Al Stohlman's books on sewing to make sure that I was going to sew this bottom cap on correctly.

I attached the cap to the bottom of the panel and prepared the thread for sewing. I used my vintage sharpen awl and a few holes at a time, I began to sew the bottom cap. I went all around the bottom piece and completed cup.

Here is the completed cup. After looking at this project, I think I need to make about a half dozen more. They look much better than recycled soup cans. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

New Motorized Burnishing Tool

I received a small motor from a friend recently and had stored it under my work bench in the garage. I really didn't know what I wanted to use it for until I visited a local leather shop. After seeing their burnishing setup, I decided to make me a modified one. I took some 12oz leather and cut out some 3" circles. I prepped them and glued them up.

With the help of a friend with a lathe, the glued cone was rounded out and grooves were cut where desired. A bolt was put through the edge tool and fixed onto the mother shaft. To condition the stacked leather, I applied some neatsfoot oil until it would no longer soak in.

Here is my new motorized burnishing tool.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A New Set of Embossing Tools

I found a set of tools at the local craft store on sale. I was interested in the tips that were made from metal more than the handles which were made of plastic. This set appears to have been related to baking or even maybe cake making? Either way, I knew that I had something here that could be used for embossing leather. So, stick with me as I take you through a simple process of making these tools.

You will need some simple items to make this project work. I have a rag, epoxy, drill and piece of cardboard for the mixture.

I had found a pair of brand new C.S. Osborne awl handles without the awl tips. These were very inexpensive when I bought them. I took my drill with a small drill bit and drilled a hole that would accept the new steel tips. I dabbed some epoxy in the hole and on the steel lead and inserted them into the handles.

I took some small clamps and placed them on the tip to the back of the handle. I used the rag to wipe off any excess epoxy from areas where I didn't want it to be. When I was satisfied, I carefully applied some light pressure on the clamps and allowed the handles to dry overnight.

Easy project that will last a long time. So keep your eyes out for those clearance items at the local craft store. You never know what you will find.

Until next time.....

Saturday, August 24, 2013

I'm Back! Another Resource.

Well, all eleven boxes have been unpacked. Most of my tools and stuff have been put away. I do have some patterns and books still laying around, but I am getting back into the mix.

I wanted to share another good resource for my readers. Pro Leather Carver's Supply is a locally owned store that has had some internet presence for the past few years. I have purchased a few tools from them. They carry pattern packs, old Craftools, Hackbarth and other vintage leather craft items. If you are in the market, check them out! They also have an eBay store.

They are currently running a summer sale until September 21st.


Friday, June 28, 2013

The Creative Mind is Temporarily Away!

Due to a last minute house move, I will temporarily be away from the blog site. I will be back as soon as possible once the internet is restored and the chaos has settled. I appreciate each of you that follow this site. Please browse the past posts and enjoy the projects.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tips & Tricks: Recycled Tool Storage Containers

With summer quickly approaching many of us will start drinking flavored water. In our household, we enjoy the flavored drink packages added to water. Due to my ignorance, I have been recycling these plastic containers that these packages come in.

While visiting a friend's leather shop, I quickly saw these containers in a cabinet. A closer look revealed that my friend Toby had leather tools stored inside. He even went so far as including a label on the outside that tells him what he is storing in the particular container. Thanks Toby!

Here is a closer look of what can be stored in these containers. So, start saving those containers and put them to good use.

Side note: Use a piece of scrap leather, styrofoam or other foam material at the bottom and top of the these containers to protect your sharpened tools.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Completing the Quick Swivel Knife Holder

I lined the center holes up and installed three rivets selected and shown in the previous post

To complete the reminder portion of this project, I sprayed the top piece with a water mist until the entire leather piece was wet. I allowed the water to soak into the leather before I continued with attaching the rest of the rivets.

I carefully lined up the left side of the piece and installed the speedy rivets in each hole. You will notice that it creates a void space where a swivel knife will easily fit. I took it a step further and used some 3/8" Oak dowel pieces that I had for another project. I used this dowel rod to mold the leather so it will remain this way when it dries.

I attached the right side using rivets. For this side, I used a 1/4" Oak dowel rod piece to mold for a smaller swivel knife. The project was allowed to drive and it was ready to roll in service!

I hope you enjoyed this project.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Attaching the Liner and Creating the Holes.

I grabbed an extra piece of leather at about 2 ounce to use as liner for the back piece. Before I make the holes, I have to glue the liner and back piece.

After applying a coat of contact cement to both pieces, I allowed it time to become tacky before putting them together. I made sure to align the pieces together and used my glass burnisher to make sure good contact was made.

I used my 1/16" hole punch to make the necessary holes for the speedy rivets.

all of the holes have been made on both pieces. If you are interested in making this project here are the hole placement measurements. Left piece: Center holes start from the bottom at 3/8" from the bottom edge. The center hole is located at 1" from the bottom hole. The top hole is located at 1 3/4" center from the middle hole. Each hole on the left and right of the center are approximately 1 1/8" centered from the respective center hole. The Right piece has the following hole locations. The center holes are centered like the Left piece. The respective holes to the left and right are located at 1 5/8".

Next week, we put this bad boy together and complete another project.