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  1. #1
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    25th August 18
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    Yet another homebrew day sporran

    First attempt at a home made day sporran. I wanted a plain, hard-working oiled "harness" type leather sporran for everyday wear, with no tassles, bangles, dingleberries, fur, flashy chrome, or other add-on dressings. The only real adornment consists of the 60' of calfskin lacing that hold everything together without using glue or sewing. I have the next one planned already, which will have much heavier leather for the front piece (to allow deeper carving/tooling). Tedious work, but kind of fun.






  2. The Following 6 Users say 'Aye' to picker77 For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
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    27th October 09
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    Fabulous work, especially for a first attempt!

    I've watched my wife work for hours and hours on edge lacing like that, and I know how time-consuming it can be. You did very nicely with it!

    Looks like you used a backgrounder around the thistle. Nice touch.

  4. The Following User Says 'Aye' to Tobus For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
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    Thanks, Tobus. And yes on the backgrounding. Overall I really liked the end result, but I was not impressed with the thistle carving. For starters, it has been four or five years since I picked up a leatherworking tool, and I made the mistake of using stock for the front piece of about half the weight I should have. The resulting shallow carving depth and diminished contrast (compounded with my seriously rusty swivel knife skills!) hampered the end result. But at least triple-loop (also called Mexican round braid) lacing is like riding a bicycle, and once over a short re-learning hump that part went well, although as you said painstakingly slowly. I would dearly love to own an industrial sewing machine with a servo motor, but they are very expensive even used, and my occasional piece work just can't justify the $. Sadly, my hand awl stitching usually looks like it's been done by a demented pre-schooler. Straight, evenly spaced and evenly tensioned hand stitching is an art in itself, and takes a ton of practice.

  6. #4
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    7th September 14
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    Very nice! The lacing is fabulous! I'm still practicing that art skill.

    Curiosity: will you be covering the d-ring fastening point in some way to protect the kilt apron, or am I over thinking it?

  7. #5
    Join Date
    27th October 09
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    Quote Originally Posted by picker77 View Post
    Thanks, Tobus. And yes on the backgrounding. Overall I really liked the end result, but I was not impressed with the thistle carving. For starters, it has been four or five years since I picked up a leatherworking tool, and I made the mistake of using stock for the front piece of about half the weight I should have. The resulting shallow carving depth and diminished contrast (compounded with my seriously rusty swivel knife skills!) hampered the end result. But at least triple-loop (also called Mexican round braid) lacing is like riding a bicycle, and once over a short re-learning hump that part went well, although as you said painstakingly slowly. I would dearly love to own an industrial sewing machine with a servo motor, but they are very expensive even used, and my occasional piece work just can't justify the $. Sadly, my hand awl stitching usually looks like it's been done by a demented pre-schooler. Straight, evenly spaced and evenly tensioned hand stitching is an art in itself, and takes a ton of practice.
    As it so happens, we might be selling one or two industrial leather-sewing machines soon. One is an older Juki model, and I can't remember what the other is. They don't get used often enough and they're taking up space in my workshop. I don't know what price range would be affordable for you, or if you'd be interested in a trip down to central Texas, but let me know if it's something you start to consider doing. Buying a decent machine is a great excuse to do more leatherwork and make it pay for itself.

    So you tooled this on oiled harness leather? That's a difficult medium to work on, since it's hard to "case" properly for smooth carving and stamping. I'm just a stamp hand, but my wife is the real leather tooler - she is very particular about what leather she will sink a swivel knife into. It's a night and day difference when she's tooling, if she uses the good stuff. I think her firm answer is "no" when it comes to working with harness leather. It's very impressive if you did your work on that type.

    Do you have a petal lifter? It can really bring a 3D look to your leaves by making them stand up, in combination with the backgrounder to flatten and texturize around it. Here's an example from a saddle my wife made. Notice how the petals on the flowers and the edges of the oak leaves are lifted up off the surface. This is her favorite tool to use, as it just makes everything come to life. Highly recommended tool to have!


  8. #6
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    25th August 18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    As it so happens, we might be selling one or two industrial leather-sewing machines soon. One is an older Juki model, and I can't remember what the other is. They don't get used often enough and they're taking up space in my workshop. I don't know what price range would be affordable for you, or if you'd be interested in a trip down to central Texas, but let me know if it's something you start to consider doing. Buying a decent machine is a great excuse to do more leatherwork and make it pay for itself.

    So you tooled this on oiled harness leather? That's a difficult medium to work on, since it's hard to "case" properly for smooth carving and stamping. I'm just a stamp hand, but my wife is the real leather tooler - she is very particular about what leather she will sink a swivel knife into. It's a night and day difference when she's tooling, if she uses the good stuff. I think her firm answer is "no" when it comes to working with harness leather. It's very impressive if you did your work on that type.

    Do you have a petal lifter? It can really bring a 3D look to your leaves by making them stand up, in combination with the backgrounder to flatten and texturize around it. Here's an example from a saddle my wife made. Notice how the petals on the flowers and the edges of the oak leaves are lifted up off the surface. This is her favorite tool to use, as it just makes everything come to life. Highly recommended tool to have!

    Wow, that's nice work. Clearly, in the leather tooling world your wife is playing shortstop for the Yankees, and I'm riding the pine on a T-ball team. And as for the leather I used, heck no, even I'm not crazy enough to try and tool harness leather. It's just 4-6 oz vegetable tanned tooling stock that was liberally slathered in neatsfoot oil after it was tooled and stained, and worked like crazy to soften it. I was aiming for an old-timey "worn harness leather" look. It is quite supple and actually has a harness leather feel to it. Takes me back to summers on my grandfather's farm 60 years ago, where everything was horses, mules, and leather. He didn't even own a tractor until I was about 15 and he was in his late 60's.

    Thanks for the heads up - PM me when you get ready to sell a machine, just in case I happen to hit a 7-11 scratch off ticket about then. But in all honesty, you can likely get more money for it on that infamous auction site. In any case, driving to Big D wouldn't bother me, it's only 3-1/2 hrs, piece of cake.

  9. #7
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    Very nice. You may find, like I did on one of mine, that the sound of the chain hitting on the front as you walk drives you nuts. I'm probably going to braid some sort of simple leather lanyard to replace the chain with on mine.

  10. #8
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    25th August 18
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    Hmmm... hadn't considered that, Todd. I'll keep in mind the lanyard thing if it becomes a problem. Thanks. Also, Tobus wondered earlier if I was going to somehow cover the d-ring fittings on the back to protect the kilt's apron from rubbing/wear, something else I hadn't considered. But I wear a tartan kilt so seldom that may not be a factor, and heavy utility kilt aprons seem to be semi-indestructible in that regard. I also didn't bother with a belt slide on the back like I see on many others, I suppose because in all the photos I've seen of sporrans being worn, I've yet to see somebody with one on their belt, although I suppose it does happen.

  11. #9
    Join Date
    26th August 07
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    Very nice work. Making your own leather products is fun and allows for a great hobby.

  12. The Following User Says 'Aye' to Madadh For This Useful Post:


  13. #10
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    nice work

    and a very good discussion

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