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Volume 3698

How to Make a Leather ECOF Badge
By Bob "Waldo" Hibbard
Bob Hibbard   I learned that leathercraft is a fun hobby, because one can make artistic embellishments to utilitarian items. Names, designs, and drawings can be tooled into checkbooks, wallets, purses, notebooks, etc. Here's a photo of me holding a leather notebook commissioned by George McWhorter, that is housed in the ERB Collection at the University of Louisville (D).

Back in 2002, Brad Vinson hosted the Dumdum in College Station, Texas, and I attended my first one ---what a blast it was! For the attendees at the Texas Dumdum, I made badges featuring the ERB colophon.

When Becky and I realized that our schedule would allow us to attend the 2012 ECOF, I thought I would make badges again---but this time with the JCOM logo carved into them. Bill Hillman, the Jeddak of the North, suggested that I write an article for his wonderful ERBzine detailing the process I went through to create the ECOF badges, so here it is:

I started dabbling in leathercraft when I bacame a police officer in Arlington, Texas, back in 1972. I made handcuff cases, badge cases, bullet holders, holsters, etc. Here are photos of a couple of my holsters (A, B) and a saddlebag (C) that are featured in the Tandy Leather Artists Gallery for 2011.

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STEPS IN CRAFTING THE ECOF LEATHER BADGES

Click for larger images

(1) Start with a piece of cured leather.
Thoat works well, and so does zitidar.
Steer clear of calot--- calot hide is real tough and resists tooling,
and when wet, gives off noxious wet-caloty odors.
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(2) Cut off a hunk of it.

(3) Use something round to make a circle.
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(4) Cut out the round piece.

(5) Burnish the edge to make it smooth.
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(6) Wet your badge. Impressions (stamping, carving, tooling) made on wet leather will remain after it dries.
While wetting your leather, you might as well wet your whistle.
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(7) Apply lettering to damp leather with alphabet stamps.

(8) Trace JCOM logo onto damp leather.
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(9) Carve JCOM logo into damp leather.

(10) Bevel the logo edges so it will "pop out" in a 3D effect.
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(11) Once the badge dries, apply the dye. And be sure to dye it right--- 
the letters are black, and the JCOM logo is red. 
Try to stay inside the lines--- no easy task for one of advanced years!

(12) After the dye dries, buff it.

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(13) Outline the letters and logo with black ink to help them stand out.
I prefer a malagor quill for this, but really, a Bic works just as well.

(14) Glue pin to the back.
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(15) Next, iron it...THAT"S A JOKE! Don't iron it.
If you apply a hot iron, you'll ruin the badge.

(16) Apply sealer and let dry. 
This protects the leather and gives it a sheen--- a more finished look.
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(17) Voila!


ERBzine Web Refs
A previous Burroughs Memento created by Waldo
The 2003 Louisville ECOF bricks
that now decorate Dejah Amtorian Gardens in Canada
Waldo's bricks in the Amtorian Gardens
George McWhorter Tribute
Dumdum in College Station
2012 ECOF

Hillman Badges featured in ERB Eclectica 2012.01

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