tutorials

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

One Piece Saddle Swell Cover

I have had a ton of requests to do a video on how I put on a one piece saddle swell cover.  This video is a quick rundown on how I put mine on.  I am working on another video that will show the amount of prep work that goes into getting one of these put on successfully.  I wanted to break it into two separate videos and this one is just putting it on and hopefully it will help to show how these are put on.

The swell I am covering in the video is an Olin Young with leg cuts at a 12.5″ width and a 7.25″ gullet height.  Sometimes these go on easily and sometimes they don’t… this was a time that it went pretty easy.

For more articles and videos from DG LeatherCraft, be sure to subscribe to this channel as well as dig through the archives of our blog here.  Don’t forget to sign up for the LeatherCraft Newsletter.  We are also on facebook and instagram.

Quick Tips to Easily Edge Leather Straps and Strips

In this video, I show you some tricks I have learned to easily edge leather straps and strips.  Strips of leather that are wider don’t seem to be as challenging, but those that are narrow can be a problem.  Sometimes even dangerous.

Having a sharp edger is the first step in getting the quality edges that you want to see in your work.  But there are some things that you can do to make your job a lot easier.

The edger that I am using in this video is the #3 Ron’s Edger.  I upgraded my old set of Osbourne edgers (which I used for many years) last year and I love them.  If you are interested in trying some, give Aaron at Maker’s Leather Supply a call.

Making a Leather Portfolio

I have had a lot of request for more videos on our YouTube channel that show projects from start to finish.  This video shows the complete process of making a leather portfolio.  These leather portfolios have been great projects for me over the years and they have so much room for customization.

Even during this age of digital organizers, cell phones and apps that help business stay on track, many people continue to use a legal pad and pens to conduct and keep track of daily activities.  The other thing that keeps customers ordering these items is that they tend to catch a lot of eyes.  Walk into a board meeting, have lunch with a client or have one of these on your console when showing properties to a home buyer and you are sure to start a conversation.

My goal with this post and video is to show my process and how I approach making a legal pad portfolio.  There are many different ways to create these and many different styles and sizes, all of which accomplish the same end result.  This video is simply the process that I have found that works best for me.

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7 Essentials for the One Man Workshop

For many of us in the saddle making or leatherworking industry, we are a shop of one or maybe two people.  This business model has both its advantages and difficulties.  Finding time to design the products, build the products and market the products all while keeping a handle on the administrative aspects of our business make for a challenging day to day.

While most of us can not afford to hire a full time office manager or marketing manager, we can use the wonderful technology that is right at our fingertips and virtually free when compared to adding staff.

In this article, I will show you the 7 essentials for a one man workshop in my opinion.  There are definitely more apps, tools, and systems that can be put into place to help you accomplish your business goals, but this short list is what I would call the minimum to help you minimize the work involved in running a one man show.

1. Smart Phone

The first in our list is the smart phone.  Whether you carry an iphone or Android, the majority of the population to date is carrying some sort of phone with internet capabilities.  This little device, although sometimes very intrusive and time consuming, can be your best asset to help you run your small business.

At first glance, the infinite availability of apps for these phones is astonishing to say the least.  You can download apps to give you access to all your marketing and social media channels so that you can monitor and update on the go.  You can get apps to edit photos and even your website straight from your phone without having to sit down at a computer.   You can access all your email addresses and contacts from this device.

Outside of being completely available and connected to your customers all day everyday (which can be hard on productivity at time), the camera available on these devices has brought a quality to our workshop photos that before was limited to only those who dabbled in photography along with their craft.

The ability to capture quality photos of your works in progress, completed works, and videos of work being done has opened our shops up to both interested consumers as well as fellow craftsmen through social media and these devices.

In my opinion the smartphone is one of the most essential tools for any one man craftsman looking to grow his/her business.  Never before have we had so much marketing power and access to our customers wrapped up in a device small enough to fit in your pocket.

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How to Prep Belts for Tooling

In this latest short video, I show you how to prep belts for tooling.  When tooling belts, they will usually want to stretch some because of the stamping process.  This is the method that I use on virtually all the belts that I make to help prevent this.

Many leatherheads will use a heavy packing tape on the back of the belt blank and then remove it when the tooling is completed.  I find the tape a bit hard to deal with so I use poster board strips in my belts.  I find the added body that it gives my finished belts a nice plus.

This is a short video just to show you how I prep my belts for tooling and should clear up some of the questions that I get concerning this important step.  Thanks so much for checking it out and I hope it offers value in your shop!

If you are interested in more information about making custom belts, I offer a short ebook that shows my entire process available for $5.  Click this link to purchase “Custom Belt Design and Layout

 

Tooling a Leather Wallet

For many of us that start in leather work, we start by making small leathergoods such as wallets, belts, and knife sheaths.  In this video I show you my process of tooling a leather wallet.  Everyone has a different approach to tooling floral design so keep in mind there are other ways of doing this. Continue reading