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New Hobby

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Colt W. Knight, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I am kinda going stir crazy without my workshop, so I decided to take up another hobby I can do in my apartment.

    First, I need a suitable work space.

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    Then I got some nice shoulder leather, and squared up the edge
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    Unlike wood or paper, you can't simply layout four straight lines on leather, then cut it out. You can get the first long cut straight, but after that its super tough to cut another parallel line or strap. Luckily, I have a tool for cutting straps/belts/reins/etc. Its called a draw gauge.

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    Then I round the corners off using my standard radius gauges.

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    Its starting to look like a guitar strap.

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    Laid out all my holes.

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    Then its time for some stamping/tooling. I like barb wire!

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    And my name, I have always wanted a Waylon-esque strap.

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    Between the border and letters, I am going to stamp out a background.

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    Some dye
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    Then some paint - acrylic works nice, but painting those little spots with an artist brush is a PITA.

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    I distressed this strap a little to give it that worn in look. It still needs some oil, but its not 100% dry yet.
     
  2. acousticman1

    acousticman1 Tele-Meister

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    Very cool - It looks great with the guitar!
     
  3. Bulldog87

    Bulldog87 Tele-Afflicted

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    I really like it! Very impressive leather work! I haven't done that since I was a kid.
     
  4. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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  5. dwdantzler

    dwdantzler Tele-Meister

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    Papa Johns got me through college twice. Pretty sure I have those same towels, too.
     
  6. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Cool work Colt :)
     
  7. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Awesome man... boy, yer ol pal getbent shoooorrrre needs a neato strap like that'n....

    it could even say Colt Knight and I'd use it... you have a natchel stage name....
     
  8. Ragtime Dan

    Ragtime Dan Tele-Holic

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    Great.
     
  9. davmac

    davmac Tele-Afflicted

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    Nice work. Do you take commissions yet? ;)
     
  10. Maricopa

    Maricopa Friend of Leo's

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    [​IMG]

    Oh, I miss my MK-II.... :cry:

    Nice job on the strap too!
     
  11. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    You be careful with those knives!

    ;)
     
  12. njg12171

    njg12171 Tele-Meister

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    Getbent, you beat me to it!!!! Looks good Colt, how's the studying going?
     
  13. 4string

    4string Friend of Leo's

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    That's very cool Colt!

    I worked in a leather factory making handbags and belts right after high school. Leather is a fun medium to work with.

    FWIW, I have a suggestion you might try which which will yield much deeper, more pronounced tooling that will also last (stay as originally shaped):


    1) Make a 50/50 mix of water and alcohol, then put it in a spray bottle.
    2) Spray the mix on the strap blank just prior to tooling.
    3) Begin tooling as the leather appears slightly damp.
    4) Re-wet as needed to keep the leather damp.

    You should immediately notice much deeper impression, and also that the tools will not cut (or puncture) the top grain but mold it to the shape of the tool.

    The more solid the surface the leather is placed on, the better (like an anvil!). A nice, solid butcher block works very well.

    I would suggest you experiment on scrap to start with, as you will learn how hard to strike each different tool with the mallet. It is possible to go too deep (as is all the way through :)shock:) with smaller tools if not careful!

    ps: Hey, that's a pretty cool straight edge you have there...;)
     
  14. rolling56

    rolling56 Friend of Leo's

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    Nice work Colt. Back in my high school years (1970-1974) while most of my buddies were doing the wood working thing i was in the leather shop. After HS i quit the leather work but i still have all of my tooling in my shed. Someday i should get it all back out and make a strap or something......wood working was never my thing.
     
  15. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    Good work ! ...

    Warning... Leather work can be addicting... just like making guitars...

    I am not a leather working authority but I have read about it and done a little on straps, pickguards and a motorcycle seat. I just use plain water and a sponge. I wipe the leather a few times with a wet or moist sponge and wait a minute or so. They call it "casing'. There are many opinions on what is the right and wrong way to "case" or wet the leather. When properly cased the leather works like clay and does not require a very hard hammer blow to make a good impression. There are lots of good tutorials all over the internet.

    google Casing Leather
    http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugexp...gc.r_pw.&fp=6b0bc32c2d61c508&biw=1680&bih=955
     
  16. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The first strap I did, the one pictured, I was nearly aggressive enough with my punches, and to make matters worse, Soaked it in water after the dye dried to make sure it didn't bleed. But I rolled it up, and squeezed it to wring out the water which flattened the damn tooling out. The second and third strap tooling came out much nicer with a lot better 3-D. I just can't show any pictures because they are going to be surprises for a few custom builds I have going right now for customers.

    I like soaking the leather in warm water, and it stamps super easy, like clay as you say.
     
  17. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I don't know who would want one of my ugly ole straps.

    Classes start Tuesday, but have a 4.0 thus far.
     
  18. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Harborfreight has a 55# anvil I have been eye balling very seriously. I need something that will dampen the noise. I don't want to drive the neighbors crazy.
     
  19. 4string

    4string Friend of Leo's

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    Wow. Never knew it had to be so involved!

    Sheesh. Just trying to be helpful...

    I'm not an expert either. That's just the way my bosses (back in the day) had us do it. I'm sure that the practicality of "a factory setting" had a lot to do with the methods we used. There is no way we could have done it as internet expert outlined and gotten the production we did. What I can say is that it (the method I outlined) worked really good. I still have a few belts I made myself back then. I wore them for years and haven't worn them in years -kinda out of fashion hippie era- but 40 years later the tooling is still well defined.

    Musta done something right and without the internet, just good old American apprenticeship. That job never paid squat, but I did it part time while attending college.
     
  20. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    Here's a bit of "inspiration for you...

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    Except that your strap would say "Colt."

    But then I think you may have known that...

    ;)
     
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