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Posted: 1/13/2013 8:05:41 PM EDT
My grandfather left me a bunch of leather working supplies when he died 2o years ago. His toolbox full of leatherworking tools and punches have been taunting me in the basement, so I decided to break them out and start a project with my 9 year old son. I am tired of yelling at him about his pants alway falling down becasue he forgets his belt, so I decide the first project would be for him to make his own "hand made" belt so he would have something invested so to speak. So, I ordered these:
http://springfieldleather.com/16964/Belt-Strip%2C1%22x72%22/
http://springfieldleather.com/16959/Belt-Blank%2CEmb%2CCamo%2C1-1-2%22/
http://springfieldleather.com/16442/Zipper%2CChain%2CBrown-Brs%2C%235%2CFt/
We got it all put together this afternoon and we got the edges burnished or whatever it is called, so it looks ok, but then we got out the stampers like this:http://springfieldleather.com/25312/Stamping-Tool%2CL951%2CLeaf/
We beat the hell out of those stampers, and it barely made a mark. What the hell am I missing?
Also, what would i need to "color" it? they sell dye, paint, and stain---what the hell is the difference when it comes to leather and which do I need. Is there anything i can get locally (neets foot oil or the like) that would work? Also, is there any kind of marker or paint that he can paint in some of the stamps to make them stick out? Thanks for any help, it will be greatly appreciated by both of us!
One last thing---the back of the belt has the little whiskers on it---is there anyway to smooth those out?

Link Posted: 1/13/2013 8:17:59 PM EDT
You need to wet the leather to stamp or carve it.
Yes, they sell paints, stains, dyes and glazes for leather.
You can either paint the stampings or more commonly, stain and the wipe the stain off of the high spots.
Link Posted: 1/13/2013 9:46:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/13/2013 9:46:41 PM EDT by Trollslayer]
Dyes are chemicals that penetrate into the leather. You put them on and they are in! You cannot wipe a dye off. If your dye is too dark, you thin it down before applying it to the leather. If it is too light, you can do multiple coats to gradually creep up on the shade you want (also helps avoid streaking, but on a belt streaking is not a problem).

Stains are pigments (powdered minerals) that sit on the surface of the leather. You put them on and can wipe them off to lighten them if they are too dark (just like woodworking).

I greatly prefer dyes.
Link Posted: 1/14/2013 3:43:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:
You need to wet the leather to stamp or carve it.
Yes, they sell paints, stains, dyes and glazes for leather.
You can either paint the stampings or more commonly, stain and the wipe the stain off of the high spots.

With water? and can you soak it or just wipe it on?
Link Posted: 1/14/2013 5:12:03 AM EDT
I used to do leather working years ago, but I have not done any for about 15 years now. I started out making belts for myself and other people then began making other projects as I gained expertise and experience. Leatherwood is a very enjoyable hobby and a way to learn a trade if you want to make a little money on the side.

When stamping or tooling leather you need to soak the leather in water (called casing) until it is pliable enough to work. I usually submerge the piece I will be working on for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how thick the leather is and how large the piece is. I take the piece out and wipe the excess water off and let it sit for a few minutes before I work it. If the leather begins to dry as you are tooling it you can re-wet the piece with a sponge to continue. I use a rawhide mallet to avoid damaging the stamps, don't use a metal hammer when stamping. I always used a granite surface to tool or stamp on. Use one strike of the hammer when stamping to avoid ruining the impression. Do all of your stamping and tooling before you dye or stain and finish.

I always bought tooling leather sides for my projects that would require stamping or carving and it will come in different weights (or thickness) for different projects. The leather is split down into the various weights to the desired thickness so that is why the inside of your belt has "little whiskers" on it. This is the inside of the hide and there is not much you can do about it unless you line the belt with a thin lining. Once you dye, stain and finish the belt, the leather won't be as rough. Most work type belts are unlined where dress belts should be lined.

Dye is used to change the color of the entire piece you are making and stains are used to highlight the tooling impressions. I never used paint on any of my projects, but it is used when you want other colors or effects than what you can get with dyes or stains. You can dye and then stain or a desired effect. You should also apply a finish once you have achieved your desired coloring.

If you have a Tandy Leather store in your area, they can be a valuable source of info for you if you want to continue leather work. Good luck!
Link Posted: 1/14/2013 8:34:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LarrySD:
I used to do leather working years ago, but I have not done any for about 15 years now. I started out making belts for myself and other people then began making other projects as I gained expertise and experience. Leatherwood is a very enjoyable hobby and a way to learn a trade if you want to make a little money on the side.

When stamping or tooling leather you need to soak the leather in water (called casing) until it is pliable enough to work. I usually submerge the piece I will be working on for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how thick the leather is and how large the piece is. I take the piece out and wipe the excess water off and let it sit for a few minutes before I work it. If the leather begins to dry as you are tooling it you can re-wet the piece with a sponge to continue. I use a rawhide mallet to avoid damaging the stamps, don't use a metal hammer when stamping. I always used a granite surface to tool or stamp on. Use one strike of the hammer when stamping to avoid ruining the impression. Do all of your stamping and tooling before you dye or stain and finish.

I always bought tooling leather sides for my projects that would require stamping or carving and it will come in different weights (or thickness) for different projects. The leather is split down into the various weights to the desired thickness so that is why the inside of your belt has "little whiskers" on it. This is the inside of the hide and there is not much you can do about it unless you line the belt with a thin lining. Once you dye, stain and finish the belt, the leather won't be as rough. Most work type belts are unlined where dress belts should be lined.

Dye is used to change the color of the entire piece you are making and stains are used to highlight the tooling impressions. I never used paint on any of my projects, but it is used when you want other colors or effects than what you can get with dyes or stains. You can dye and then stain or a desired effect. You should also apply a finish once you have achieved your desired coloring.

If you have a Tandy Leather store in your area, they can be a valuable source of info for you if you want to continue leather work. Good luck!
Thanks for the info. No, we don't have a Tandy leather ANY where arounf me, so that is why I have to order it from springfield leather.

Link Posted: 1/14/2013 10:42:28 PM EDT
weaverleather.com
Link Posted: 1/15/2013 5:40:35 AM EDT
Can I borrow some time in this thread?

I bought a leather Lazy Boy recliner a few years ago. Bought their "protectant kit" and promptly used it. Fast forward a few months and there is some dirt/smudging where my kids rest their heads. I wipe area down with water, and stain/coloring comes off! Even a spot on the armrest came up with water, and really lifts with any cleaner.

What would be a good product to use to completely refinish this recliner? I'm thinking Windex the crap finish off and dye it.
Any inside tips?
Link Posted: 1/19/2013 8:50:18 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ScottsGT:
Can I borrow some time in this thread?

I bought a leather Lazy Boy recliner a few years ago. Bought their "protectant kit" and promptly used it. Fast forward a few months and there is some dirt/smudging where my kids rest their heads. I wipe area down with water, and stain/coloring comes off! Even a spot on the armrest came up with water, and really lifts with any cleaner.

What would be a good product to use to completely refinish this recliner? I'm thinking Windex the crap finish off and dye it.
Any inside tips?


Lexol leather cleaner is what I would use.
Link Posted: 1/19/2013 8:54:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2013 11:23:36 AM EDT by USMARINE1108]
I just watched an episode of "how it's made" where they made leather stuff. Pretty interesting. They said they soak the leather in water until bubbles stop comming out before the stamping.
Link Posted: 1/19/2013 9:16:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2013 9:24:59 AM EDT by SteelTalon]
Originally Posted By kjk200:

Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:
You need to wet the leather to stamp or carve it.
Yes, they sell paints, stains, dyes and glazes for leather.
You can either paint the stampings or more commonly, stain and the wipe the stain off of the high spots.

With water? and can you soak it or just wipe it on?


OP,

I'm a sheath maker..

Here are some basics that will help you

For stamping leather, don't soak the leather. Take a sponge soak it in water, give it a good squeeze, now wet the the top of your leather and allow it to set a bit (minute or two, then start your stamping. When you "Carve" leather it needs to be properly cased. When shaping leather (moulding into shape) then wet leather is need to start the process.

The correct steps to dyeing leather is pretty simple. choose an "Oil Dye" something by Fiebings other dyes will work (I like the oil dyes)
*Deglaze the leather use a bit of acetone
*Run a light coat of Neets foot OIL onto both sides of leather. (Allows dye to soak in evenly plus treat the leather
*Dye the leather evenly with a wool dauber (comes with dye)
*Take a dry clean cotton rags and rub the belt down throughly (all dyes leave a powdered pikgment behind. That will get onto clothes rub it aways.
*Get a jar of "Sno Seal" its a beeswaxed based boot and shoe water proofer. And buff it into the belt. BUFF BUFF BUFF

Since you dont live near a Tandy's the dye, neets foot oil and sno seal should be easily to find in your general area. Or there is the internet shopping.

Painting leather is fairly easy but requires a couple of steps to preserve the color through dyeing. you have to add a resist to your designs. The easiest colors to use/master are Sharpie pens

There are plenty of how to videos on the Tandy web site you can access, same on you tube.


*** For the whisker on the back of the belt you mentioned. get the product "gum tragacanth" you can rub it on the back of the belt and rub it in with the edge of a bone slicker that will bring the knap down good and tight. as will wearing will ultimately wear it down.
Link Posted: 1/20/2013 4:04:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SteelTalon:
Originally Posted By ScottsGT:
Can I borrow some time in this thread?

I bought a leather Lazy Boy recliner a few years ago. Bought their "protectant kit" and promptly used it. Fast forward a few months and there is some dirt/smudging where my kids rest their heads. I wipe area down with water, and stain/coloring comes off! Even a spot on the armrest came up with water, and really lifts with any cleaner.

What would be a good product to use to completely refinish this recliner? I'm thinking Windex the crap finish off and dye it.
Any inside tips?


Lexol leather cleaner is what I would use.


Too late for that. Need to refinish now.
Link Posted: 1/20/2013 8:21:34 PM EDT
Here are a couple archived threads I have bookmarked for the day I finally pick up my leatherworking tools.

Holstermaking (by Bulldawg)
Leather care
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