leather

Figure Carving a Horse Head into Leather Video 3

Here is a much requested video from your suggestions both here and on our facebook page!  For the July Leather Tooling Series we are showing how to figure carve a horse’s head into leather.  I am not the greatest figure carver out there and I still have a lot to learn on the subject, but I will attempt to show you what I do know.  After that, you can seek out guidance from some of the greats out there… and there are many amazing figure carvers that you can learn from.  Jim Linnell and Peter Main would be the two that I would highly recommend checking out if you haven’t already.

Here is a link to Jim Linnell’s website

You can find Peter Main on facebook

If you would like to tool along with us in this tooling series, here is a link to a FREE copy of this pattern Click Here.

Just enter your email address and we will shoot that out to you.  It is a PDF file that you can download and print on your own printer.

This is video #3 in this series.

Tools used in this video:

-Modeling tool – Peter Main

-Modeling tools

-Craftool Thumbprint

Here is the photo of the horse in the pattern for you to use as reference.

The model for this project is an unknown Bay Gelding that resided on a place that borders us.  I just liked the way the horse looked and took many photos of him for artwork reference.  Not sure what happened to him, but we haven’t seen him in a long time… I like to think that he is somewhere on the rodeo trail or maybe just retired and moved to Florida.

Online Leather Classes with DG LeatherCraft Academy

The biggest request we get is “Do we offer any Leather Classes?”

I’m going to cut right to the chase… we have a Big Announcement to make this month.  After a year or better of researching, planning, cussing, discussing and finally building… we are finally ready to reveal the biggest digital project we have ever created.

Based on the inquiry for leather classes and feedback that we have gotten over the years from amazing fellow LeatherHeads like you, we felt there was a real need in our industry for this type of product.  It took us some time to choose the right platform as well as build out all the components that go into creating something like this so that it offers the most value with the least amount of hassle on your end.

We think that we have done just that!

I would like to introduce our newest addition to DG LeatherCraft,

DG LeatherCraft Academy

 

DG LeatherCraft Academy is our new platform where we can create Online Courses that go in depth on different topics and areas of leather craft and design work.  Much further than we can on our YouTube channel or on our blog.  The Academy will be home to all of our future Premium Courses for those who want complete leather classes on particular topics and certain areas of the craft.

These courses will be completely online so that you can go through any of our leather classes at your pace on any device.  No set dates, times or having to travel out of state.  Once enrolled in a particular course, you can go through the curriculum all in one sitting in order… or you can do a lecture a day in any order you want.  And when you complete the course, you can go back through it again anytime as many times as you want.

Worksheets for these leather classes can be downloaded and printed so that you can work along with us throughout the course.  Then after completion you will have these sheets to reference if you need to. Continue reading

The Best Way to Cut Lace Leather from Scrap Latigo

Using up all that scrap latigo leather isn’t the easiest thing to do.  I usually find that I have a lot of this left over the course of a 6 month period or so.  So in order to stay ahead of my scrap piles of latigo leather, I try to cut up some lace occasionally.  This works to consume some of the scrap leather as well as saving me time when I do need lace leather for a project.

You can use the same process for chap leather and other softer type of leathers that might make good lace leather in your shop.

What is the Best Leathercraft Work Surface?

Thumbnail for a a video on the best Leathercraft work surface

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding the best Leathercraft work surface is a quest that I find myself still on today.  I began my leather work career cutting leather out on my bed in my apartment and doing all my work on a 2×4 bench that I made to fit by my desk.  My roommate wasn’t particularly excited about my late night basket stamping sessions.  Fast forward to today, and some of my benches are much more nuanced when it comes to the Leathercraft work surface that I work on.  Some of them are still hodge-podge assortments of materials that simply work… nothing more.

You can get lost in trying to find the absolute best material to work on.  Different leather craft techniques and processes requiring different types of material to work on.  The important thing here is to find something that works for you and go with it.  When you are a famous leather craftsman someday you can worry about how pretty your work tables and benches are.  For now, the only thing that matters is you being able to accomplish your work effectively.

In this video, I go through all of the different Leathercraft work surfaces that I use in my shop.  Why I use them and for what purposes.  These are the best materials that I have found for completing the different tasks in my work.

I did some research to find the company in San Antonio that made the plastic cutting board material on my cut bench.  I did find a company, but since I have never done business with them I didn’t feel comfortable recommending them here.  I will continue to research a good source for this material and when I find a reliable source I will update this video.  I do suggest doing a google search in your area and I bet you can find someone near you that has this material in any size you may need.

For more videos and blog post about the wild world of LeatherCraft, visit our website:  https://dgsaddlery.com

All the paints on my paint table are from Angelus Paint and here is their website:  https://angelusdirect.com

You can also find these paints and anything else you need for your Leathercraft projects at Maker’s Leather Supply:  https://makersleathersupply.com

How to Tool a Cluster Flower Pattern – Video 2

In this video series, I show you the complete tooling of a cluster flower pattern.  The goal of these videos is to show you my complete tooling process when stamping leather tooling patterns.

This video covers the following tools and the order that I use them in:

-Barry King small thumbprint – horizontal lined

-Old Pear Shader (prob an old McMillan)

-Craftool long and thin smooth pear shader

-Barry King small mules foot

-Craftool Wiggler

-Seed Burst

-All Undercuts (Lifters) again to re-lift

Here is the first video, How to Tool a Cluster Flower Pattern – Video 1, so that you can follow along with both of these to tool this pattern.

There is a FREE PDF for this pattern that you are welcome to download by Clicking Here, just enter your email address to confirm access to download a copy to use so that you can follow along with us!

Here is a link to the first video series we did.  Watch this series for more information on some of the tools and uses:

https://dgsaddlery.com/how-to-tool-floral-leather-tooling-patterns/

Here is a link to a video that we did where I go through my tool roll.  I explain the stamps that I use and what type they are:

https://dgsaddlery.com/my-leather-floral-carving-tool-roll/

Links for tools and supplies:

https://makersleathersupply.com

https://www.barrykingtools.com

The sewing machine that I use is the cobra class 4 from https://www.leathermachineco.com

How to Get Paid in the Leathercraft Business

When I started my leathercraft business, I really didn’t have a “Store Policy” on custom orders.  At that time we were dealing with mostly local folks and I was pretty trusting of them.

Customers came into the store and wanted to get a belt made.  I spent 30 minutes or so with them designing their belt.  The question that followed was usually, “Do I pay now or when I pick it up?”

At the time, I was hungry for work and wanted to make a good impression on our new customer.  I would reply with, “You can pay for it when you pick it up.”

This worked out well for the most part… For a while.

Eventually the items waiting for “pick up” began to grow and money tied up in finished products began increase.  I soon realized that I had built many items using shop money that might not ever get picked up and paid for.

We then started taking a deposit of 50% of the job.  This worked well to ensure that the customer would be back in the store to pick up their items.  As well as to pay us the rest of the balance.

But this became somewhat difficult to handle from an accounting standpoint.

Over the years I have developed our store policy on custom orders into what works best for us.  We take all the money up front on all custom orders. Continue reading

Learn How to Tool Floral Leather Tooling Patterns

You bought a mess of leather stamping tools for tooling leather tooling patterns.

What do all these tools for stamping leather do and where to use them?

This is a common challenge for us when we start tooling leather.  We gather all the tools, a good mallet and some floral tooling patterns.  Yet we are unclear of what some of tools are for or how to use them.

Other areas that I struggled with early on was the proper order to use the tools in.  I found myself rambling through the patterns in a completely random fashion.  This led to long tooling sessions that left me feeling a bit lost and confused.

If you are new to tooling leather tooling patterns, then you are going to find great value in this!  Here you will find a 4 part video series that we created for our YouTube Channel.  The series is called “How to Tool Floral Leather Tooling Patterns.”

Each video covers a certain number of stamping tools in the order that I use them in my work everyday.  You will see how I use each tool for this particular tooling pattern.  The use of many of these tools takes practice and sometimes requires a little trick to use and we go through this in the videos.

So let’s just jump right in and get started! Continue reading

Drawing Vinework in Leather Tooling Patterns

Introduction into February Tooling Floral Theme

For the entire month of February, I want to focus on floral design and tooling.  Everything from drawing leather tooling patterns, carving them, and tooling them.  I want to spend the time using our different platforms to help you improve your tooling and design.

So whether you are a seasoned leatherhead or a rookie, be ready to follow us into this deep subject.  We will not have enough time in one month to cover it all.  We won’t even have enough time to cover a quarter of the subject.  But I hope to shed a little light on the subject and hope that you will find value in it.

Tooling isn’t something that you can just read one book about, watch one youtube video, or spend one weekend in a workshop and become a master at.  Learning to draw leather tooling patterns and to tool them, takes practice and commitment to the idea that you will become a true life long student of the subject. Continue reading

How to Cut Parts from a Leather Hide

In this video, I show you how to cut parts from a leather hide for many types of different projects.

Choosing the right leather and the right spot to cut the parts on the hide, is crucial to creating the most functional and beautiful piece that you can.

If you are new to leatherwork, then cutting into a brand new full side of leather can be daunting.  But in this video I help to clarify some of the mystery and hopefully help you to feel confident that you are utilizing the resource to the best of your ability. Continue reading