leather working?

This is a discussion on leather working? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; i have been looking into making a few holsters. Why you ask? well im cheap! lol I always try to make things if i think ...

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Thread: leather working?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array bigo5552000's Avatar
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    Question leather working?

    i have been looking into making a few holsters. Why you ask? well im cheap! lol I always try to make things if i think i can! what i was wondering does anyone have any experience in this? if so can will you share some work, techniques, hints, tools(what tools i need)?

    Thanks!
    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."-Einstein

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  3. #2
    jbs
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    There's a forum called leatherworker.net where you can get alot of info from for all types of work. Being cheap is not the reason to do your own. It would cost you more in tools, supplies then to order from one of the site sponsors. The reason to do it is to gain enjoyment from an accomplishment and maybe learn a new skill.
    Look at the forum and see what is involved and gather your info on prices and such, and enjoy your journey if you choose that route.
    If I need to oil a gun, I go to the beach.
    8040 Couger, P95
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  4. #3
    Senior Member Array bigo5552000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbs View Post
    There's a forum called leatherworker.net where you can get alot of info from for all types of work. Being cheap is not the reason to do your own. It would cost you more in tools, supplies then to order from one of the site sponsors. The reason to do it is to gain enjoyment from an accomplishment and maybe learn a new skill.
    Look at the forum and see what is involved and gather your info on prices and such, and enjoy your journey if you choose that route.
    When I say cheap I mean I am to cheap to pay someone when I can do it myself. Even if I have to pay for tools and such. I would rather do it myself then pay someone else. I also enjoy all sorts of crafts. thanks for the site ill look into it!
    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."-Einstein

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    Member Array Censored's Avatar
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    A wealth of info can be found here: JDLawhon.com - Holstermaking 101
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    Member Array ccholsters's Avatar
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    Here is a tutorial as well. Making Holsters
    I second the leatherworkerforum.net and I also agree that holster making is a passion. I would hate to think the time and money invested. I encourage you to go for it and give it a try...just don't be suprised if you are cussing us one day saying "What have I got myself into?"
    Good luck.

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    Member Array Hagphish's Avatar
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    I highly recomend visiting your local Tandy Leather (or comparable leather shop). You can learn a wealth of knowledge from the workers at the shop. Most are nice enough to show you simple techniques as well, such as stiching, cutting, and picking the right leather.

    I have made three holsters that I use regularly with minimal tools. Good luck.
    I'm married to my Kahr.

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    cj
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    Many of these links, and some other information, is also in the recent thread: http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...-yourself.html

    Also, have you considered Kydex? In many ways, I find it easier to work with than leather.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array bigo5552000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cj View Post
    Many of these links, and some other information, is also in the recent thread: http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...-yourself.html

    Also, have you considered Kydex? In many ways, I find it easier to work with than leather.

    yes i have considered kydex but i really like the feel of leather!
    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."-Einstein

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    Senior Member Array Rob P.'s Avatar
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    If you are handy with your hands and have the ability to envision a finished product (I remember your artwork thread) you can easily pick up the essentials to leatherworking.

    For tooling leather, excellent vision is a must. If you can't see well you can't tool acceptably. Other than that, I find that leatherworking isn't that difficult. Most of it is patternmaking/following and other techniques special to the leather crafts (like skiving). There are a few specialized tools you will need but not many.

    Most holster mfg's today use a machine for stitching because it's faster. However, you can hand stitch and do it just as well as any machine with practice. You won't be nearly as fast (minutes for a machine will be an hour for you by hand) but it can be very satisfying. To properly stitch you will need an awl, 2 needles, waxed thread, an overstitch wheel (get the finer one as the coarse wheel gives coarse stitches), a V-gouge, and a stitching pony.

    You will also need an edge burnisher/slicker.

    If you are going to tool the leather, you will need the appropriate punches, mallots, and tooling stamps as well as a very sturdy workbench and working surface. There are how-to's available on the web to show you what you can do but the best method is to practice while following a commercial tooling pattern.

    I have made many holsters and just finished one for my 3" SP101. Prototypes are always difficult but once you get the patterns worked out, you can make copies easily. Going beyond commercial patterns is a big step but if you are capable of "seeing" what you want to do, you can make that step once you have a bit of knowledge and experience. Some of that includes what weight leather to use for what parts of the final product.

    I would recommend that you not start with holsters. Instead I would start with a checkbook cover and move into a clutch purse or day planner. Along the way you will need to learn about leather dyes and finishing also. Once you can make these look like commercial products then I would consider making a holster. After making your first holster only then would I consider starting from scratch and designing your own patterns.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array bigo5552000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob P. View Post
    If you are handy with your hands and have the ability to envision a finished product (I remember your artwork thread) you can easily pick up the essentials to leatherworking.

    For tooling leather, excellent vision is a must. If you can't see well you can't tool acceptably. Other than that, I find that leatherworking isn't that difficult. Most of it is patternmaking/following and other techniques special to the leather crafts (like skiving). There are a few specialized tools you will need but not many.

    Most holster mfg's today use a machine for stitching because it's faster. However, you can hand stitch and do it just as well as any machine with practice. You won't be nearly as fast (minutes for a machine will be an hour for you by hand) but it can be very satisfying. To properly stitch you will need an awl, 2 needles, waxed thread, an overstitch wheel (get the finer one as the coarse wheel gives coarse stitches), a V-gouge, and a stitching pony.

    You will also need an edge burnisher/slicker.

    If you are going to tool the leather, you will need the appropriate punches, mallots, and tooling stamps as well as a very sturdy workbench and working surface. There are how-to's available on the web to show you what you can do but the best method is to practice while following a commercial tooling pattern.

    I have made many holsters and just finished one for my 3" SP101. Prototypes are always difficult but once you get the patterns worked out, you can make copies easily. Going beyond commercial patterns is a big step but if you are capable of "seeing" what you want to do, you can make that step once you have a bit of knowledge and experience. Some of that includes what weight leather to use for what parts of the final product.

    I would recommend that you not start with holsters. Instead I would start with a checkbook cover and move into a clutch purse or day planner. Along the way you will need to learn about leather dyes and finishing also. Once you can make these look like commercial products then I would consider making a holster. After making your first holster only then would I consider starting from scratch and designing your own patterns.


    Cool thanks for the advice! I enjoy working with my hands so I expect to really enjoy this. here is a thread i started a while back ..i just thought you might be interested. http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...tom-grips.html
    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."-Einstein

  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array jarhead79's Avatar
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    I may have a little experience in that area. You already have a collection of information from these guys. If you come up with any specific questions or can't figure something out, give me a call. If I'm available, I'll answer the phone. If not, leave a message or send a text and I'll get back ASAP.

    Nate
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    Member Array steelhawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbs View Post
    There's a forum called leatherworker.net where you can get alot of info from for all types of work. Being cheap is not the reason to do your own. It would cost you more in tools, supplies then to order from one of the site sponsors. The reason to do it is to gain enjoyment from an accomplishment and maybe learn a new skill.
    Look at the forum and see what is involved and gather your info on prices and such, and enjoy your journey if you choose that route.
    jbs, I don't know whether to love you or hate you. I just spent two hours on leatherworker.net.

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    jbs
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    Quote Originally Posted by futinshool View Post
    jbs, I don't know whether to love you or hate you. I just spent two hours on leatherworker.net.
    In future i will refrain from posting life consuming links.
    Have u checked out pistolsmith.com
    If I need to oil a gun, I go to the beach.
    8040 Couger, P95
    1929 MN 91/30, 1927/28 MN Ex Dragoon, MN M44's, Lots of MN's
    Swiss LG1911 1915 and 1916
    Brazilian VZ-24 JC (2), Brazilian Model 1908
    Spanish M1916

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array bigo5552000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by futinshool View Post
    jbs, I don't know whether to love you or hate you. I just spent two hours on leatherworker.net.
    i agree this is a GREAT link!
    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."-Einstein

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    New Member Array glocker1926's Avatar
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    I did the same thing "I want to make one of my own" the only good advice I can give you is that I went to the local thrift store and bought an old real leather suit case for $5.00 and had enough good thick leather to practice with and really not worry about the cost. also a good plastic clamp worked great for the the ejection port indentation to grip my glock, also I worked the leather around the body while it was wet (damp) and let it dry in the sun... Hope it gives someone an idea it was fun

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