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Old 04-09-2011, 04:08 PM   #16
BigV
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pic 01: Here's what it's gonna look like, eventually. I've just dry fitted all the layers together. You can also see in this picture (and the previous one) that I've radiused the inner edge. These are pretty close quarters for this kind of work and the tool I usually use for this is MUCH better suited for straight lines. Consequently, I had to do a bit of just plain hand carving, whittling almost. I will trim the inner red layer that is hanging over the edges before I bolt it all together.

pic 02: In other projects, I learned too late that if I intended to dye the leather, it's easier to do it when it's all apart and then just assemble the finished pieces. So here I've treated the undyed leather with some medium brown shoe polish. I really like this look.
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Old 04-09-2011, 04:15 PM   #17
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pic 01: Trimmed. Glued. This is all coming together face down. I will put the back onto the backside of the front, after centering the red leather so the whole cutaway shows red.

pic 02: Looking good!
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Old 04-09-2011, 04:19 PM   #18
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pic 01: Now to the sewing! I take about five feet of this thread, very heavy, waxed thread (left hand twist, mind you...), thread a needle onto each end, and then pull the thread through so the first stitch starts at the middle of the thread, like this.

pic 02: Now I start to make the first stitch carrying the thread to the next hole, passing the needle in my right hand through the hole and out the left side.
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Old 04-09-2011, 04:33 PM   #19
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pic 01: Now I take the needle that was in my left hand and pass it through the same hole the right hand needle just passed through.

pic 02: When I draw up most of the slack from both needles, this is the effect. I've crossed the threads *inside* the two layers of leather. This process will be repeated many many times.
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Old 04-09-2011, 05:34 PM   #20
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pic 01: Here's the first stitch, draw tight. Notice I still have a needle on the right and a needle on the left. That's how this process works, I weave these two needles back and forth past each other along the whole seam of the piece. This is different than the stitching in the paddle above. Above, the needle always stays on the right, just pushing a LOOP of thread through for the left hand thread to tuck through, then the point where the threads make a U turn (inside the leather) is pulled into the space between the pieces. The thread is holding against itself. In this method here (the heart), the thread is holding against the leather, not against the thread. This makes it stronger (a smaller bearing surface means more pressure and greater likelihood of breakage in the lockstitch method used on the paddle). The wider surface of a little bridge of leather that the thread bears on makes distributes the strain over a greater area meaning less stress per unit area, therefore less likelihood of breakage.

There's another reason this is much stronger. If you imagine a cross section of the seam made by the lockstitch method above, each thread is held tight to the surface of the leather by the thread on the other side. If one thread breaks, it sets free the thread on the other side. Perhaps you've seen this on some seams. A thread breaks and then on the other side a long continuous length of thread lifts off the surface of the material. But with this crossing method, when one thread breaks, the other thread isn't depending on it to hold tight to the material so it stays close. And the broken thread, on each side of the break, the thread passes back through the full thickness of the leather, instead of a quick U-turn. Much stronger.

pic 02: Many stitches (and a couple breaks and a restarts later), this is the result. I also added the metal ring for attachment to the keyring.
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Old 04-09-2011, 05:38 PM   #21
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This is the victory lap really. She wanted it in black, so I shined it up again and gave it to her. It was very well received.

pic 01: Supine.

pic 02: Prone.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:13 PM   #22
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awwww. . .
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:42 PM   #23
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Here's another paddle I made as a gift.

pic01--Pencil sketch of what I had in mind...

pic02--Now I need to transfer the sketch to some paper to make a pattern.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:45 PM   #24
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pic01--This is where I learned to turn one of the patterns over so the two halves are mirror images.

pic02--I cut these out using the bandsaw. It was a lot of very careful, tedious work. Tha's not a port wine beauty mark. That's my blood. Some of my tools are very, very sharp. They're designed to cut leather, and I am, after all, covered with it.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:47 PM   #25
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They're designed to cut leather, and I am, after all, covered with it.


Sez the Man in the Gimp Mask !!!
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:48 PM   #26
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pic01--Serious leather. Like what you'd expect on the sole or the heel of your shoe.

pic02--All cut out (outline at least) and the internal pattern is transferred in pencil.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:53 PM   #27
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pic01--This was when I discovered the usefulness of my chisels for this kind of work. Obviously the bandsaw wasn't an option. But I am considering getting a scrollsaw.

pic02--I like how it looks! Even with the blood... which by the way is visible, if you know where to look, even in the finished product.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:56 PM   #28
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pic01--Stacked.

pic02--Now I'm cutting the grooves that outline the design.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:58 PM   #29
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pic01--Looks nice and clean, doesn't it? I can see one little slip at the apex of the inside heart at the far left. Oops.

pic02--Half dead. Wait--half dyed.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:59 PM   #30
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Man thats going to HURT !!
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