‘In the next post (hopefully next week) I will show you how I did the leatherwork.’ That how I finished my last post. http://www.thedyslexiccraftsman.com/knife-making-tip-tricks/how-to-make-a-fire-starter-steel/
It was about how I built a fire starter steel. It was some three months ago. As you can see I was bit optimistic. I won’t bore you with the risen for that, but just to say life is too short, so I add to prioritize.
Alas. Today is the day that I stop procrastinating (a word that I used a lot) and so, here is the post about how I made the leatherwork for the fire starter steel.
Instead of going into depth, describing what I do, I will use some of the profession terminology , so you can look at it on the internet for better understanding.
I used a 2.5mm thick vegetable tan leather. I figure out (after lot of trial and error) that I need piece of leather measure 5.5 x 3.5 cm.
I used a Compass for Leather Craft to mark the location for the stitches and to decorate the narrow edge of the leather. I marked it 3mm from the edge.
I work with number 3 Edge Beveler on the long side of the leather piece, but only on the side that going to touch the fire steel. Don’t do it (as in the photo) on the narrow side of the work piece. Wet the narrow side with water and burnish the leather edges.
Wet the narrow side with water and burnish the leather edges.
Now I used a Leather Sewing Overstitch Wheel 4mm for marking the stitches holes.
I then used Sewing Diamond Awl that I made myself from O1 steel left over. I used it to do to holes for the needle work. As you can see from the photo below, I did the holes in the leather by following the wheel marks, pushing the awl tilted in 45 degrees to the surface of the leather so, the holes goes in from the top surface of the leather to out near the bottom edge rather the other side of the piece (the photo show plane needle awl, but trust me, I used the diamond shape one that I made).
At this stage I needed to tan the leather (I use Fiebing’s Leather Dye) on all sides of the work piece. Problem was that at a time I run out of the dye. So I didn’t.
Now it’s the time to mould the leather around the steel. Soak the leather in water, worm or cold? I try both but can’t tell if one better than the other. If you discover which, do let me know. Soak it for few minutes until the piece is saturated and pat it dry.
Spray the steel with DW40 and rap it with cling foil. Put the steel, loos, in a vice, insert piece of wood inside the steel on top of the vice jaws, put the dump leather under the steel above the wood then, press hard the top of the steel against the wood and clump it.
Put the steel, loos, in a vice, insert piece of wood inside the steel on top of the vice jaws, put the dump leather under the steel above the wood then, press hard the top of the steel against the wood and clump it.
Using a protective wood, clump the sides of the leather tight. Use piece of wood with rounded edge to fold tight the leather edge around the steel. Hopefully you masseur the leather right so both edge meat each other.
Remove the wood from the steel and use a string to wrap around the leather to tighten it to the steel. And leave it until the leather is completely dry.
Remove the string. Loosen the leather and remove the foil. If you remove the leather piece from the steel for that, make sure you return it in the same position as it was. If like me you run out of dye. Get one and dye the leather now. Inside and out.
It’s about time to do some needle work. I use artificial sinew string and No’ 22-24 tapestry needles.
I used the Saddle Stitch method for the stitching. Here there is a video on haw to do it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW6JFGIblZI . I double look the ends and burn the loos ends.
That it basically. All you have to do now is to use a ordinary shoe polish to polish the leather.
So, here you have it, as promised, three month later. On the other end as my wife ask me (when I say that I must do the post), how many people read your blog? well… I guess not many if at all, but I do it for myself.
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