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Faramir2
12-15-2021, 09:51 AM
I gotta guess that someone around here does some leather work. Any suggestions on starter kits, sorts of projects to begin with? There's a leather shop near me, come to find out, and it's got me agog to do a little, learn something somewhat creative and crafty (since I can't draw or paint to save my life). Pointers would be great.

ShopMonkey
12-15-2021, 10:02 AM
FIRST PLACE ID START IS IF YOU HAVE A WOOD STOCK HUNTING RIFLE OR LEVER GUN, BUILD YOURSELF A CUFF. FOR SOMETHING SEEMINGLY SIMPLE, IT WILL TEACH YOU A LOT ABOUT WORKING AROUND ODD SHAPES, AND INSTALLING EYELETS FOR LACING IT.

Faramir2
12-15-2021, 11:17 AM
Thanks for the tip. I've got a Ruger 10/22 that could use a more attractive cheek riser than yoga block foam and horse wrap.

twinboysdad
12-15-2021, 04:15 PM
Shot filled leather sap?

callmebubba
12-15-2021, 06:44 PM
YouTube is (as always) a wealth of knowledge. When I started a few years ago I watched every video I could find for a couple weeks before I bought my first tool or leather. The local leather store is a great start but if you want to mold, stamp or tool you definitely need to make sure you’re getting quality leather (Hermann Oak and Wickett and Craig are the standards in this world). Cheap tools wolk, but not as well. Cheap leather on the other hand makes everything a lot harder.
Makers Leather Supply and Don Gonzales (DG Saddlery) both have great YouTube channels walking you all the way through a project that they will sell you a pattern to make yourself.
Don’t be scared to ruin some leather as you get started. And the hardest thing for me to get over was (and is) to always finish a project. You might be surprised how well it comes together even though you think your screwed at the half way point.
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Edited to add pictures.

paknheat
12-15-2021, 08:04 PM
YouTube is (as always) a wealth of knowledge. When I started a few years ago I watched every video I could find for a couple weeks before I bought my first tool or leather. The local leather store is a great start but if you want to mold, stamp or tool you definitely need to make sure youíre getting quality leather (Hermann Oak and Wickett and Craig are the standards in this world). Cheap tools wolk, but not as well. Cheap leather on the other hand makes everything a lot harder.
Makers Leather Supply and Don Gonzales (DG Saddlery) both have great YouTube channels walking you all the way through a project that they will sell you a pattern to make yourself.
Donít be scared to ruin some leather as you get started. And the hardest thing for me to get over was (and is) to always finish a project. You might be surprised how well it comes together even though you think your screwed at the half way point.
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Edited to add pictures.

Real nice work there.


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Chainsaw76
12-16-2021, 01:13 PM
Extremely nice work there!

Faramir2
12-16-2021, 01:26 PM
YouTube is (as always) a wealth of knowledge. When I started a few years ago I watched every video I could find for a couple weeks before I bought my first tool or leather. The local leather store is a great start but if you want to mold, stamp or tool you definitely need to make sure you’re getting quality leather (Hermann Oak and Wickett and Craig are the standards in this world). Cheap tools wolk, but not as well. Cheap leather on the other hand makes everything a lot harder.
Makers Leather Supply and Don Gonzales (DG Saddlery) both have great YouTube channels walking you all the way through a project that they will sell you a pattern to make yourself.
Don’t be scared to ruin some leather as you get started. And the hardest thing for me to get over was (and is) to always finish a project. You might be surprised how well it comes together even though you think your screwed at the half way point.
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Edited to add pictures.

Thanks for the recs and pics, callmebubba. Echoing the others, nice work there. I like it. Makes me want to go get some good leather and start trying my hand at it slowly.

ETA: Forgot to ask—would starting with a welted knife sheath be a good first project? I need a better one for my Benchmade skinner than the piece of crap from the factory.

callmebubba
12-16-2021, 07:56 PM
Thanks for the recs and pics, callmebubba. Echoing the others, nice work there. I like it. Makes me want to go get some good leather and start trying my hand at it slowly.

ETA: Forgot to ask—would starting with a welted knife sheath be a good first project? I need a better one for my Benchmade skinner than the piece of crap from the factory.

I don’t see why it wouldn’t be. Be ready for your fingers to hurt from sewing it, you’ll be going through over 1/4” of leather. You’ll want something in the 7-9 oz range for thickness. Interestingly, I’ve made several for the bench made steep country knives because I got them cheap and like to have good knives around to give as gifts. This one currently lives in a kitchen drawer because I don’t have good kitchen knives but it’s very much ready for the woods. The face is just a cool piece of oil tanned leather I had laying around that I laminated to a thinner piece of veg tan. Welt and back are 8-9oz veg tan.
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AKICEMAN
12-16-2021, 08:28 PM
I gotta guess that someone around here does some leather work. Any suggestions on starter kits, sorts of projects to begin with? There's a leather shop near me, come to find out, and it's got me agog to do a little, learn something somewhat creative and crafty (since I can't draw or paint to save my life). Pointers would be great.

I don't post much on here because I do a lot more reading than talking as it should be in my case! But I've been tinkering with leather for about 2 years though I'm far from an expert or pro. I started it because I needed something that I couldn't find anywhere and I imagine I'm not alone there. I'm also no artist so no fancy carvings for me. I started making key chain fobs, passport wallets, notebook covers, stock wraps, dog collars,.and other assorted smaller items. Last spring I found a few tote bag patterns off Etsy and around the webs that I could download and print ..they were fairly simple patterns that are pretty easy to produce. So far i have sold 5 or 6 bags and hoping to.sell enough to buy a sewing machine to speed things up. Hand stitching is tough on arthritic hands.
I first started buying a punch here and needles there at our local Tandy shop but eventually had to buy more and more tools to get the job done. I am not certain buying a "leather worker's kit" makes good economic sense because you'll only use about half the tools In the kit. That's my experience. Also the kits tend.to be filled out with many very cheap items barely useful..
I suggest watching YouTube videos for the projects you're interested in and many times they include a tools list within the video for you with links to suppliers! I.use Google images a lot to.help decide how I want to.build something as there's usually many types of things.
As to tool quality, it's just like hand tools.
Yes you can manage a head gasket repair with craftsman or home depot tools but Snapon is longer lasting, more ergonomic, and generally safer in use than those alternatives. Good knives are a personal thing. I use a utility break off blade version which to me works great. I routinely see them used on the videos too even with real pros. There are custom makers making leather knives that rival any custom knife maker around.
Some of the other comments about items to make are just fine and even if you screw up an item it's a learning experience. Make another. I have leather widgets laying all around the house and the kids play with several of them.
One suggestion on finishing. I started off dying my leather items and have since nearly stopped. This is because no matter how many products I use to seal the dyes in they still bleed out color onto clothes. That won't work with a $200 lady's shopping bag. I have been buying pre-finished leathers and couldn't be happier. Still a need for unfinished stuff for various items but for great quality items I prefer the higher end leathers. There are many many suppliers and one I use for leather straps for bags, plus rivets and other hardware is The Buckle Guy.
Many places offer online lesson videos and are worthwhile to.check out. Tandy has this plus free patterns too. Almost anyone doing leather work will freely give info; so don't be afraid to ask. Your knife sheath would be a fine project just go slow .. old saying is "measure twice, .cut once". I'll attach a few pictures of some of my projects. Leather is a great product to play and work with and for some items there's no replacement for animal skin!
Good luck and happy cutting.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20211217/eb7026786d462a131f55e2b6e1aa9b95.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20211217/2ddf17c79d4e4b4e301055dadee1b910.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20211217/286c4bcb4b3f434df7cae3c45a822ea4.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20211217/5741c0308bfb7d1c8dece0ed8f9d2464.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20211217/1dc63cdbf9ce185c218ac480a9786ed4.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20211217/19330d19184c6c31b6616a759eca9149.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20211217/70f454878bc48aea608a0b3712618ebc.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20211217/9cc44215425279112546c266839b36f9.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20211217/ebe1fdf2e2c519c271514f1b51056265.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20211217/da5b3d56489fb0039997d5f769754c48.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20211217/fe1b9fc3b7e083b5b2d40e17073832e0.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20211217/602fd1ae426e96fe101d5704b14a52cf.jpg

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callmebubba
12-16-2021, 11:27 PM
100% agree on tools. I started with a $30, 5 tool kit and made some stuff I was really happy with at the time. Now I’ve got hundreds, all the main ones have been upgraded to top quality stuff and the difference is very noticeable.

For knives specifically I do a lot with a standard box cutter but I also have a couple CS Osbourne sharp point trim knives and a large exacto knife that takes thin razor blades and those are better at a lot of things, it just depends on what you’re doing.

If you’re going to stick with it and have the means a good sewing machine is absolutely worth the money. Cuts sewing time by 80% and saves your fingers.

apamburn
12-17-2021, 09:07 AM
I am by no means a leather worker, but I have done a few projects to satisfy my needs: for example a ​pocket magazine pouch. I got tired of magazines getting lint in them and moving around.


Basic, utilitarian work simply isn't that hard. Identify shape, draw design, cut out, wet leather, press to shape, sew and glue.

RedLeg0811
12-17-2021, 11:32 AM
Done some leather work, but not as nice as these gentlemen.

Nice work you guys.

sgt3513
12-17-2021, 03:32 PM
With leatherwork there are many ways to do each step and once you start you find your own methods. The first step is to get started and learn by doing. I have drawers full of holsters that got put away because the next one was better.
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callmebubba
12-17-2021, 05:04 PM
Since we’re here and talking about it, who has successfully made a leather holster for an RMR Glock with Suppressor sights? The one attempt I made is functional but I wouldn’t have paid for it or use it. (My sewing machine went down this particular day so please excuse the stitching)
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Papa
12-17-2021, 06:52 PM
Now that's retention.

Sharkbite
12-17-2021, 07:07 PM
Now that's retention.


...and anti-gravity cowboy boots!!

callmebubba
12-18-2021, 05:13 PM
Well, I have no idea how to fix that. Lol

paknheat
12-18-2021, 07:40 PM
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20211219/e46fb11cdcffb98a30ac2f3fc9b3decf.jpg
Here ya go.


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BB82
12-22-2021, 02:25 PM
Im not a professional but I have made some leather biker vests for some local rider guys. I found it enjoyable but not really profitable considering how much time I spend on them.
I started years ago using basic leathercraft tools making my own gear for field use because I couldn't find quality gear available commercially.
I encourage anyone interested to go get a basic tool kit and just go for it.

BigEd63
12-26-2021, 10:53 PM
I've done some leather work and I've got a project for a short 03A3/Garand Bayonet I need to get on. In the past I've not done much with leather but more with changes to some field gear when LBE for specific equipment was none existant. Did do one basic sheath for a XXL Bowie gifted to me that another friend dubbed "The Cut-more" when he saw it.

Faramir2
04-26-2022, 09:20 AM
Done a little bit of knife sheath work. This is the better of two I have made for my Benchmade knife (first was wrong-handed, by accident). I have also made a belt pouch for my wife's folder, since she works part-time at a horse barn and needed a way to carry her knife without it getting pushed out of her jeans pocket (don't have a pic). I need to make one for my hunting knife now that has a snap on it and a little different belt loop, along with a little better water molding. Overall a lot of fun, and cathartic. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20220426/c2e7810382d9f945e4619db41e8e1b91.jpg

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LawDog
04-26-2022, 10:19 AM
Any suggestions on starter kits, sorts of projects to begin with? I've bent some Kydex, but not gone into leatherwork. But I have a suggestion for a leather project: a shotshell holder. For holsters and mag pouches, I prefer Kydex. It lacks soul, and it isn't as hip as leather, but it works better in a practical sense. But shotshells present a unique physical shape and texture, and leather seems to be a superior material for grasping them. I've stitched up my own shotshell "cards," that are made of six elastic loops, attached to a nylon body, with a Velcro backer, and a little paracord loop on the end. It's one way to carry extra ammo in a side saddle on a shotgun, and it works reasonably well. But you can't leave the cards loaded or the elastic gets stretched out and will become too loose. There are bulky aluminum models that I don't particularly like. But leather would be perfect for that item. Leather would hold the shells tightly enough, still allow you to draw smoothly, and be nearly as light and flexible as the nylon/elastic models.

Builders of all types tend to learn how to work with one material and then convince themselves that it is superior in every application. The concrete guy wants to build everything out of concrete, and the steel guy wants to build with steel. It's difficult to learn enough about everything to know when to use a given material. As you look for projects, try to seek out those in which leather is genuinely superior, and not just prettier. You will find some roles where it is still the best option, even in a practical sense.

Faramir2
04-26-2022, 10:28 AM
I've bent some Kydex, but not gone into leatherwork. But I have a suggestion for a leather project: a shotshell holder. For holsters and mag pouches, I prefer Kydex. It lacks soul, and it isn't as hip as leather, but it works better in a practical sense. But shotshells present a unique physical shape and texture, and leather seems to be a superior material for grasping them. I've stitched up my own shotshell "cards," that are made of six elastic loops, attached to a nylon body, with a Velcro backer, and a little paracord loop on the end. It's one way to carry extra ammo in a side saddle on a shotgun, and it works reasonably well. But you can't leave the cards loaded or the elastic gets stretched out and will become too loose. There are bulky aluminum models that I don't particularly like. But leather would be perfect for that item. Leather would hold the shells tightly enough, still allow you to draw smoothly, and be nearly as light and flexible as the nylon/elastic models.

Builders of all types tend to learn how to work with one material and then convince themselves that it is superior in every application. The concrete guy wants to build everything out of concrete, and the steel guy wants to build with steel. It's difficult to learn enough about everything to know when to use a given material. As you look for projects, try to seek out those in which leather is genuinely superior, and not just prettier. You will find some roles where it is still the best option, even in a practical sense.Oh, that's a great idea. Thanks for the suggestion. My SG needs a shell holder, and a leather buttcuff would work quite nicely for the purpose. Once I finish exams Friday and graduate Saturday (!!!!!!!!!!!!!), I'll measure that out and get a sense of what I would need to do.

Agreed re: kydex for holsters and mag pouches. I'll likely still make a leather mag pouch as an extra one for throwing on an extra mag or two, but not as an everyday item. (And in large part for additional practice measuring and water-molding.) Some things just shouldn't be leather, however much greater leather's character is.

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LawDog
04-26-2022, 10:39 AM
My SG needs a shell holder, and a leather buttcuff would work quite nicely for the purpose.Keep in mind that a butt cuff pretty well prevents you from any ability to see the sights/bead when shooting from your non-dominant side. Sticking the shells on the side of the receiver, rather than the stock, allows for ambidexterity.

Faramir2
04-26-2022, 11:20 AM
Keep in mind that a butt cuff pretty well prevents you from any ability to see the sights/bead when shooting from your non-dominant side. Sticking the shells on the side of the receiver, rather than the stock, allows for ambidexterity.

Good point, and hadn't thought about that. Reread your earlier post and see now what you were talking about—essentially just backing a leather "card" with nylon and velcro, with a strip of velcro on the receiver?

LawDog
04-26-2022, 11:43 AM
This:
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1540/1237/products/DSC00976-2_1024x1024@2x.jpg?v=1623183666

I just made my own. I came up with the idea before Esstac started making them, otherwise I would have just bought theirs.