Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lettering and Templates

Sometimes, I am asked about the lettering style that I use in my projects. In the picture shown here is recent cup sleeve that I did for a friend. Since I am particularly challenged when it comes to drawing my own letters, I have always looked for alternatives. It took a while, but I found some lettering resources that are now on my work bench.
I found these attractive lettering stencils at one of my local Hobby Lobby Stores. These packets contain upper & lower case lettering/numbers.
There are other sizes available at the store or on-line. For the price, this resource is well worth it.
In the quilting department, I found this packet of templates on clearance. Probably the best resource for me when using this template. It allows me to use the big and medium circles when creating curved lettering. Cups and bowls are also a good resource for curved designs.
These templates are also a staple on my work bench. From my good friend and leathercraft supporter Joyce at Black River Laser Company. Joyce has quite a few resource templates available for most leather crafters.
Finally, we cannot forget the old stand-by templates that any leather crafter should have available at their work bench. These are just a few templates that are on my work bench. Remember, you whatever resource you need, but I wanted to share some of the templates that I have found useful. Good luck!

Monday, January 14, 2013

More Tip & Tricks from Sherer Saddlery

I have been following Dick Sherer after about two years into the start of leathercraft. After briefly talking with Dick, he allowed me to post some information that I found very helpful and would be of interest to my readers. First, lets start with a bit of background on the man called Richard "Dick" Sherer.
Dick Sherer has been recognized as one of the leading artists among contemporary saddlemakers. All pieces of his work are created with original artistry, the highest quality materials, and a level of craftsmanship that is only achieved through decades of dedication to an art form. Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with his career and credentials. Dick has his hands in just about everything related to leather. From a custom saddle shop, Silversmith, teaching, author and other information outlets to include the Leather Crafters & Saddler's Journal. What I really found interesting was some information that Dick complied from his many years of experience into CDs. I purchased this information and found them really helpful. Please let me share some information that is available from Dick that he continues to expand as we speak.
From his 'Pointers' CD, Dick shares some great tips that can be used to save time and sometimes frustration. In the photograph here, you can see this great tip when using your dyes to avoid spillage onto your project that may end up ruining your hard work.
As you can see these tips get better and better. For instance, if you have several hand sewing needles laying around. Never fear, Dick shows us how he takes care of this issue by centralizing the needles into a safe location to be retrieve when the time comes.
Here is another pointer provided to us by Dick. Much like my lacing sample board, which can be found on my Facebook. Dick shows us here how he keeps samples of different button applications.
And, finally, I can share this one last pointer with you all. In this pointer, Dick shows us how to properly story your expensive and maintained hand tools to avoid damage. There are many more pointers that can be found in these CD's.
But wait, there is more....Dick is also an author of this very informational book on saddle selection. Dick uses factual information, drawings and diagrams to educate everyone from novice to a seasoned horse enthusiast on evaluating the qualities of a good saddle. This book can be found on Besides this book and as stated earlier. Dick has been providing information through his many articles written in the Leather Crafters and Saddler's Journal. Though Dick is no longer associated as a writer for the magazine, he says that he will concentrate on other avenues for sharing his information to interested parties. If you are in the market for more information related to leather or saddle making take a look at Dick's multiple sites. Sherer Custom Saddles, Inc. P.O. Box 385 Franktown, CO 80116 Studio Hours by Appointment Only 303-841-0751 Check out this page for Books & CDs. Dick's eBay site: RLS0919

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tip or Trick: Safety Bevelers

I decided to start the New Year off with a simple Tip or Trick technique for Safety Bevelers. I have used these Safety Bevelers since I started in leathercraft. I have had good and bad experiences with this tool. I have increased my proficiency with this tools, but there has been some issues still. I am always looking for ways to increase the ability to work my tools. As I was looking around and found this interesting tip/trick for Safety Bevelers. This tip/trick makes so much sense now that slept on it a couple of nights.
The Tandy Leather Factory Safety Bevelers come in black paint and the C.S. Osborne Bevelers are somewhat a dull polish look.
I used my 1"x30" belt sander using 1000 grit AO for this project. I carefully started working the area above the blade area making sure to maintain the angle. In photograph here, you can see how uneven the metal is probably from the manufacturing process. Never fear, the sanding belt is here!
Continue until all the paint has been removed and the metal is even and smooth. Warning: Be careful, the metal will be hot if you use this method.
I took some green rouge and loaded my electric buffer wheel. In the pictures here, I polished the edges that I just sanded. I then took a soft cloth (old t-shirt) and hand polished the area to remove any left over rouge or metal fragments.
Here is the finish product. Of course with any project of mine, I took an extra step that I do not think the original author did on his bevelers. I also sanded a small strip on the fore front of the beveler area. I know, this space may not have needed it but on occasions the leading edge may make contact with leather and I thought that a polished edge would be good thing. Any ways, all props to the original author David Kawamura (Forth Worth, Tx) for the information.