All you leather craftsman out there!

This is a discussion on All you leather craftsman out there! within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I need a leather holster maker to make me a holster with - leather the silouette of gun , no extra - vertical - reinforced ...

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Thread: All you leather craftsman out there!

  1. #1
    Member Array Dwar06's Avatar
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    All you leather craftsman out there!

    I need a leather holster maker to make me a holster with
    - leather the silouette of gun , no extra
    - vertical
    - reinforced opening
    - sight groove
    - metal clip stacked on slide
    - tuckable
    - low ride not too deep u can't grab grips.
    The popular experts are too busy
    To talk with me long enough to understand what I want
    $150 or so , 1-2 month wait or so, send me a pic!
    Bianchi has a 100 pro that's a good start.
    The other one is a beauty but to wide for me, I just don't have enough appendix to
    Hide it.
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  3. #2
    Member Array Compa49's Avatar
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    GOOD LUCK! I think you need to be patient and go with one of the popular makers. I don't think you are going to find anyone really good who has that short of turn around. If you want something that fast it isn't going to be custom. Just my $.02.

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    What gun? I just made one for a Glock that the guy referenced the Bianchi 100 as closest to what he wanted. Here is what he got and he loves it. The tuckable part will make it, uhm, interesting. This one is not tuckable. To make it tuckable you would need to stitch a reinforcement near the bottom of the slide to attach the clip or sleeve the clip in leather and stitch that on. There may be other option, but that's my thoughts offhand. I'm not a fan of rivets or screws inside the holster pocket with the gun. PM me if you want to talk. I'm a small time, custom guy anyway. Most of my leather is one off stuff. Just a one man show in the garage in my spare time.

    I prefer to live dangerously free than safely caged!

    "Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun. And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son." Josh Thompson "Way Out Here"

  5. #4
    Distinguished Member Array technomonster's Avatar
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    “Show me a young Conservative and I'll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I'll show you someone with no brains.” Winston Churchill

  6. #5
    Member Array roadrash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by technomonster View Post
    He said low ride and tuckable.
    Hidden Ally

  7. #6
    Member Array hollywood63's Avatar
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    E-mail Luke maybe he can put a clip on his shark bite and narrow it up a bit. He is very easy to work with
    SHARKBITE? Pocket Holster

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array rednichols's Avatar
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    If I make a meaningful response to this thread, then by definition am I an unpopular expert?

  9. #8
    Member Array loboleather's Avatar
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    Several times every week I receive a request from someone who has the inspiration for "THE PERFECT HOLSTER" and is looking for someone to turn it into physical reality. Most of those ideas are questionable at best, and some very clearly will not work as the inspired one thinks it will or should.

    The simple fact of the matter is that it takes many hours of work to turn a concept into a functional product. For holster making this starts at the drawing board, then a first pattern can be created, followed by production of a prototype for testing. Invariably this results in design changes and modifications to the original pattern, then another prototype for testing. Some do this testing themselves; some of us utilize a number of experienced people to test new products. Results of the testing invariably bring about further revisions to the design, and new patterns are then made for production use.

    In short, from conception to marketable product takes dozens of hours of work spread out over weeks, perhaps months, before we know whether or not we will have a workable result. Even then more work remains to be done as the design is adapted to every single handgun model for which it is to be offered.

    I have introduced several new holster designs over the years. I don't recall a single one that took less than 4 months or so in development, and usually a year or more was spent on the process.

    Using standardized patterns developed over the years my shop regularly completes 35 to 50 orders every week. If I were doing special orders, one-of-a-kind custom jobs, I doubt that I could complete more than a handful. There are only so many hours in a week, and I already have a steady demand for my regular products, so why would I want to drop everything and work on a one-of-a-kind custom job? The only conceivable reason would be that you are willing to pay me for every hour of my time, every bit of materials, all of the shop supplies used on your project from start to finish.

    I'll give you one hint, and that is the fact that your $150.00 budget for this project won't last through the first day of your one-to-two month time requirement for what can only be described as a "design and build" project. I pay my help more than $150.00 per day.

    Finally, when your project has been completed and delivered to you, who will be responsible for success or failure? I'm sure that if the holster works exactly as you thought it would and should that you will readily accept credit for its design. I'm also sure that if it doesn't turn out exactly as you thought, then the holster maker will be the one at fault.
    Pete63, mrm, Echo_Four and 4 others like this.
    Lobo Gun Leather
    serious equipment for serious business, since 1972
    www.lobogunleather.com

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array rednichols's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loboleather View Post
    I have introduced several new holster designs over the years. I don't recall a single one that took less than 4 months or so in development, and usually a year or more was spent on the process.
    Practice, practice. The Chapman holster I did at Bianchi took just two days, given that Ray was standing next to me while I created it and did the t&e immediately; the Hurricane not much longer, with the Border Patrol officers ditto. One of the benefits of being a designer exclusively, not a maker.

    To be fair to the OP, it would seem to me that he/she is providing a framework that might inspire a designer/maker to add such a model, with OP as the free field evaluator. I've done this with customers many times over the decades, and it's quite rewarding.

    In marketing circles this is called being "market driven" as opposed to what most holster makers are, which is "product driven". The latter is when we create a model and hope to persuade others to buy it; the former is when the buyers tell us what they want. In that regard, Milt was an example of market driven- he built what the pistoleros told him to - and Rogers as an example of product driven (here's my cool new design, you should buy one).

    Your full post intrigues me, as it mentions your weekly production and having "helpers". I'd suggest these levels make you what I call a "boutique" maker as opposed to a custom maker. I doubt I average one holster a week; a custom holster maker isn't running a business, he's a nut pursuing his muse :-)

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    I find the difference in custom and production interesting. If I were producing a holster for multiple guns, multiple versions, and needing to get it standardized then I see the entire time expenditure as massive. You pay on the front end with time that you plan on saving on the back end at production. Makes a lot of sense when you put out a lot of holsters. No argument there.

    And I'll not jump to any conclusions that the holster I posted above is without fault of any kind. But I would say I took about an hour or so to rough out a pattern. Stitched the reinforcement in. Molded and formed the leather. Glued it up. Hand dyed and stitched. Doing it in my spare time, less than 2 weeks. And that involved a lot of time spent sitting around while I was at my real job. Now, I'm certainly not setting the holster making world on fire over here in my little corner. But I have found that I can take general principles and apply them and change the holster making process to fit my needs to take out a lot of the trial and error. Works great for me. Would be an utter failure with any sizable production quantity.

    Not slighting you Lobo. I know your work and it speaks volumes. Just that the difference in how things are viewed is very different between a production minded look and a part time hack in the garage. But then again, I've got about a dozen orders that just came in and it pretty much swamps me for the next bit. I'm still in the phase where I look at some of these and say, "Sure, let's give it a shot." Unless it's just absurd, dangerous, or I can't afford/get a blue gun. Still cutting my teeth and building a cult following. lol
    I prefer to live dangerously free than safely caged!

    "Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun. And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son." Josh Thompson "Way Out Here"

  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array svgheartland's Avatar
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    Chief, fwiw, I think that's a good looking piece of steer hide. I'll keep you in mind next time. Keep the few dollars we have in the Ole North State right here at home.
    Savage Heartland

    What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about?

  13. #12
    Member Array loboleather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rednichols View Post
    Practice, practice. The Chapman holster I did at Bianchi took just two days, given that Ray was standing next to me while I created it and did the t&e immediately; the Hurricane not much longer, with the Border Patrol officers ditto. One of the benefits of being a designer exclusively, not a maker.

    To be fair to the OP, it would seem to me that he/she is providing a framework that might inspire a designer/maker to add such a model, with OP as the free field evaluator. I've done this with customers many times over the decades, and it's quite rewarding.

    In marketing circles this is called being "market driven" as opposed to what most holster makers are, which is "product driven". The latter is when we create a model and hope to persuade others to buy it; the former is when the buyers tell us what they want. In that regard, Milt was an example of market driven- he built what the pistoleros told him to - and Rogers as an example of product driven (here's my cool new design, you should buy one).

    Your full post intrigues me, as it mentions your weekly production and having "helpers". I'd suggest these levels make you what I call a "boutique" maker as opposed to a custom maker. I doubt I average one holster a week; a custom holster maker isn't running a business, he's a nut pursuing his muse :-)
    I could not agree with you more, Red. Every business model is different. Some things work well for large manufacturers while other things may work better for the smaller production shop.

    I am, indeed, a botique maker. My business model is to fill some niches in the marketplace that may be overlooked by the major manufacturers by offering a "menu style" product line. Eleven holster designs, with or without 4 common options, in 4 finish colors, left-hand and right-hand, for 142 different handguns, resulting in over 60,000 possible variations, allowing each customer to "customize" a particular holster design to individual needs and preferences.

    This requires thousands of patterns in file, each of which represents several hours of work adapting each holster design to each specific handgun model. By utilizing standardized patterns we can keep production moving at a good rate, completing 35 to 50 orders per week at prices significantly lower than a true "custom maker" would charge.

    One of the most significant market niches that we serve is holsters for vintage and out-of-production handguns, as well as holsters for nearly every barrel length of each handgun model. The major producers usually drop holster production for handguns that have been discontinued, concentrating production capacity on those models having the largest current market share. Some examples of this:

    1. S&W J-frame revolvers have been made with fixed and adjustable sights as well as multiple barrel profiles and lengths (1-7/8", 2", 2-1/8", 2.5", 3", 4", 5",6"). Most major manufacturers focus only on the most common, offering "one size fits many" holster designs. The J-frame revolvers comprise the largest single segment of my orders, about 30% of all production.

    2. S&W K, L, and N-frame revolvers have been made in an even broader range of sights, barrel profiles, and barrel lengths. Relatively few production holsters are available for many of these.

    3. Vintage handguns such as the Model 39 S&W, which was discontinued about 30 years ago. Millions of these remain in the hands of people who wish to use them, but cannot find production holsters made for them any longer.

    Many people are surprised to learn that the majority of my orders are holsters for revolvers (57%), rather than the latest, new-and-improved, super-pistols. There are tens of millions of revolvers, current production and vintage pieces, in the hands of American citizens (as well as Canadians, Australians, Italians, Germans, Norwegians, Finns, and others), and many of those people want to use them.

    The holster business provided me with a decent little side business for many years while I was raising children and making mortgage payments on a cop's salary. After retirement the leather business became a very serious (although admittedly "botique") business, generating a comfortable income that has allowed me to be generous with my family and community, as well as paying my assistant quite well as she has mastered the craft and moves closer to taking over the business for the long-term.

    That may allow me to apply myself more to the design and development side of the shop (I always have an idea or two rattling around in my head), or perhaps taking on some of the more interesting custom jobs. Or I might just decide to bow out and spend more time hunting and fishing with my 9 grandchildren and young great-grandson.

    Either way, the little botique business that I created will continue in capable hands for the foreseeable future.
    Lobo Gun Leather
    serious equipment for serious business, since 1972
    www.lobogunleather.com

  14. #13
    Member Array Dwar06's Avatar
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    Wow.... Lots of great knowledge you guys offered thanks!
    I am in search of he perfect holster as many of us are. When I find it i will put on 10 pounds and it won't be perfect for me any more. LOL..... I think trying a few IWB commercial inexpensive models is one way to go. I bought a holster from HBE- Eric made me a beauty, which u can have for $100 or I'm gonna cut it up and modify it. , I think it's either too wide unless I wear it with pants up to my belly button or I'm not used to good leather digging in my thy. I'm used to desantis ballistic nylon comfort .
    After 1/2 a draw of purchased holsters, I decided to fill up he other half with my own attempt at the perfect holster for my lil appendix. Here's a pic of my 1st one I call it the " wife's old pocketbook"
    Attached Images

  15. #14
    Member Array Dwar06's Avatar
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    Oh and buy the way chief that is a beauty and would consider it for sure, but for now I'm
    Just gonna keep cutting up my wife's pocketbooks for practice.

    Question.... Why is there typically extra leather under the barrel, in front of the trigger on a lot of holsters, that's the piece that rubs against or pokes my thy?

  16. #15
    Member Array Dwar06's Avatar
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    Lots of questions......
    Why the extra leather in front of trigger ?
    Can I recycle old leather products , pocketbooks, or is the tanning processes not good for gun exposure.
    I see finished leather doesn't mold well but are there any other reasons I can't recycle leather for holsters?

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