I wrote a bit of OpenScad to laser cut a leather pen case

https://github.com/creuzerm/openscad-projects/tree/master/laserable/Pen%20Case

I cut it and am looking at it and while it looks good, I think it is flawed.

The little round holes for stitching are easy to tell a robot to make. However, I am thinking that they actually overly weaken the seam.

I didn't look for the wisdom in the old fashioned hand tools.

The best stitching punches put little slits at a diagonal to the seam. I think this is actually very clever. This directs any tearing forces away from the next stitch hole and also not directly towards the edge.

So back to the drawing board so to speak and change the code to cut slits.

Than time to test and see if the slits really do make for a stronger seam.

In album 1/9/17

Things for Leatherworking

I have a friend that is trying to learn 120 things in 20 years.  Well, one of those internet friends whom I will never meet in real life. He mentioned that he was thinking about learning Leatherworking as a thing so I thought I would give a primer on the subject. Not that I am an expert or anything. Sometimes starting is the hardest part, and not knowing what to start with is a lot of the reason to not start.

My half done leather messenger bag.

A good intro into all the words used in leatherworking can be found at https://www.tandyleather.com/en/leather-buying-guide.html.

Leather is sold by weight. Weight per square foot in ounces. The thicker the leather, the heavier the leather, the larger the number. There are charts out there there that will approximate the weight to the thickness to the scale of 1 oz equals 1/64th of an inch. Or thereabouts.

Thicker leather is used for different things than thinner leather. Next time you have something made out of leather, feel the thickness of the leather. Think about why that thickness of leather was used.

There are different ways they make leather – chrome tanned or veg tanned. This is different ways that it is made, different chemistry. I would imagine that there are different strengths and weaknesses for each type, but I don’t know the details. I get whatever is cheapest at the time.

Once you find your leather, you will also need a few things to get started. A cut thing, a stitch thing, likely a few hole things, marking things, and possibly a hit thing.

Cut things are pretty important. I see a lot of videos where people use a disposable razor knife, which seems to work well. They sell expensive half circle knives, which look like they work really well. I’ve made one, but have yet to try it on leather. I use a rotary cutter and like it.

Stitch things are really important. I use two types of needles. Harness Needles and Glovers Needles. Harness needles are not really sharp and are good for going through existing holes. They tend to be used two at a time, one on each end of the thread. You end up making a stitch that looks like a sewing machine stitch, but is much better. The stitches this way don’t unravel easily if cut like from a machine. Glovers needles are wicked sharp and are used on thinner leather like it is cloth. The two threads I’ve tried are the waxed thread and artificial senew. I like the waxed thread better.

There are lots of ways to make holes. The hole things are the second expensive thing to buy, after the leather. You can use them to make little holes to stitch in and you can make not so little but still small holes to put rivets and snaps into. The simplest hole tool is the awl. This makes small holes. I’ve found that some awls are better than others. Long, thin, well tapered and smoothed awls like a needle work better than cheaper awls with a simple angled ground tip like a nail. I’ve not tried making one yet, but I have a few broken drill bits I may give a try to grind. You can get round hole punches which are handy. The kind that looks like a punch and needs a mallet is fussy to use, but can be used to make holes that aren’t near an edge of the leather. The type that looks like a pinwheel crossed with a paper punch is easier to use, but only works near the edges of the leather. My favorite hole tool is the stitching punches. These are the most expensive, but singularly made my work look better. I didn’t skimp on these, getting the nicer set available at the store. Getting nice even stitches is a huge improvement on the niceness of the finished product.

Nice stitching punches.

Mark things help layout and measuring and stuff. I find ball point pens work well. In woodworking, they say if you want to make a line, use a pencil, if you want a fine line, use a sharp pencil, if you want a perfect cut, use a knife. I do a lot of marking with my knife, but I prefer using an awl – it leaves a good mark but doesn’t cut the surface weakening the leather. I picked up a cheap divider (looks like the old geometry class compass) and use it for marking stitch lines along the edges of the leather. This trick with the stitching punches is what made my work go from a total hack job to not bad.

I use a simple stick as my hit thing. Why buy something that I found in my yard?

A stick found in the yard works as a mallet.

I’ve done a bit of reading, and a lot of youtube watching to learn how to do a bit of leatherworking. It’s hard at first to sort out who knows what they are talking about and who’s not any better than I am. Once you find a good youtube author, give ’em a subscribe so you can keep getting more of the better videos.

I bought a new battery once for a cell phone that was a year old

I decided then and there I will ALWAYS buy a new battery for my cell phones after a year. It fixes the 'battery life sucks' argument that new phones also solve. Much cheaper.

I also bought one of these Zero Lemon stupid big batteries for my last phone. I also love the oversized battery. Going to go this route every time it's available for me.

My current phone, a Galaxy Note Edge is a year old. I am struggling with getting it to survive a day at this point. So I just ordered this huge battery for it.

When I got my phone, I made a custom case for it. http://mike.creuzer.com/2015/08/i-few-months-back-i-bought-a-galaxy-note-edge-on-ebay.html 

I will do this again. I had bought 2 of the wireless charger & NFC backs, so I have a 2nd one still I will cut up and meld with the oversized back coming with the new battery. The back will 'fix' the fact that this battery doesn't support NFC. I LOVE NFC. I NEED NFC.

I need to figure out how to pull the contact pins from the back around the oversized battery and to the phone. Any suggestions anybody?

I will also make a new belt case for the phone as it will no longer fit into the one I already made. http://mike.creuzer.com/2015/08/i-made-a-custom-leather-belt-case-for-my-custom-wireless-charging-flip-cased-galaxy.html

So, I know what I will be doing this month for a personal project. New phone cases.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Extended Battery ,Zerolemon Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 9000mAh Extended Battery + Black TPU Full Edge Protection Case (Fits All Versions of Galaxy Note Edge)– Black

I made a leather business card holder for my new business cards

I 3D printed the frame and embossing element. I also incorporated a NFC tag so I can use the case to transfer info digitally from the case as well.

A bit of high-tech, and a bit of old-school leather work. My favorite way of doing things. My leather working skills aren't good yet, but they are getting close to fair. I love being able to do stuff.

It's even on GitHub if you want one of your own. https://github.com/creuzerm/openscad-projects/tree/master/Leather%20Business%20Card%20Holder

Lots of photos with descriptions to look at in the album.

In album 3D printed & Leather business card holder

My new business card! I added a NFC tag inside the case so I can also just tap a smart phone to the business card holder and transfer the data that way. A very high-tech business card holder.

The logo doesn’t show well under flash yet. I suspect a few months in a pocket will change that. You can see how I started at the computer & 3d printer to make the business card holder.

Printing a plastic frame and an embossing logo at the same time.

The printed frame. Note the rivet holes, sewing holes, and the steampunk themed monogram.

My printer is pretty loose and sloppy, so I clean up all the holes with a drill press. A few minutes here saves lots of frustration when sewing.

I am loving the rotary cutter for cutting this thin leather. No pulling and stretching and causing ill-fitting leather sides.

The leather is VERY thin, so I bond it to plastic to make it more resilient. This happens to be a Mt Dew 2 Liter Soda Bottle. Lots of poking holes so I can sew it later.

A couple of years ago, I assembled a steampunk styled belt http://mike.creuzer.com/2013/11/i-have-had-a-belt-for-over-10-years.html…

A couple of years ago, I assembled a steampunk styled belt http://mike.creuzer.com/2013/11/i-have-had-a-belt-for-over-10-years.html and I have been using a blank belt buckle with it. Today, I made a custom steampunk/blacksmith styled belt buckle. A bit of leather work, a bit of computer work, and my 3d printer. So much fun!

In album Raised Leather Belt Buckle

It only took a minute to print, but a long time to design and layout. It’s my Initials MJC arranged so the shapes look like “Me”.

I scaled the file, but forgot it was radius and not diameter, so the first print came out too big. A bit of scaling in Slic3r fixed that quickly enough.

Glued up the belt with contact cement.

A few minutes ‘clamped’ curved the printed emblem.

I think the emblem under the leather works.

I cut a bunch of darts into the leather so I can fold the leather over.

I love binder clips. They are great for clamping stuff.

The finished buckle, waiting for the contact cement to finish drying or whatever it does.

I like the raised effect on the leather.

The finished belt buckle. It’s a ‘kids’ buckle and not a full size one. I am not big on huge buckles. So it pinches the belt a bit. Steampunk styled belt, with a custom belt buckle to suite.

My personalized belt buckle.