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Discussion Starter #1
So i recently ordered an AG cloaktuck 3.0, waiting on it. But ive seen aloooot of really nice DIY leather holsters amd im dying to take a stab at it. I love to tinker with new hobbies etc. I blacksmith on the side sometimes, and love to work with my hands. But i want to find a good set of references to make one of those nice owb close holsters tat clip or slide through the belt. I have 0 knowledge of working with leather, i attempted a mag holder but i may have used the wrong leather, cause it will not stiffen up from the ways I've read to do it, and the pain of stitching leather was lovely haha. If anyone could point out some directions/tutorials etc that would be awesome.

P.s. i tried searching diy holsters but only saw some finished products, no steps that i saw on how its done with minimal tools or whatever. Anyways if a post like this already exists pls delete this and send me a link :)
 

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Best online source is leatherworker.net. Great site.
Local Tandy store is a great source of materials.
Also Springfield Leather is a great online source for materials.
I use veg tanned leather, 7/8 ounce weight. That is approximately 1/8 inch thick. I use manila folders to make my patterns and transfer that to the leather.
Some of the best patterns are Will Ghormley. He makes cowboy stuff mostly but I have seen his 1911 patterns that look good.
Good luck. It's an addicting hobby.
 

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Ill look for a local source for materials. This may be a newbie question but when i made my mag holder the leather was a soft leather that only slightly molded to it, do i need to start with a stiff leather and cut it to the desired shape, then soften and shape? Thanks for the site on lewtherworking cant wait to look through that
 

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Valthrudnir,

I'd love to learn to work with leather and wood.

Life's chock full of ironies. We think what we know what we want to become when we're young and know everything. When we mature, we reassess and think how our lives would've turned out if we had followed another path. There is intrinsic satisfaction in creating things with our hands.

You might want to check with local community colleges to see if they have leather working courses. Often local community centers have craft courses.

If I had knowledge when I knew everything there was to know about anything, I'd of become a cattle rancher in Wyoming.

One of the people I most admire is Richard Branson. He dropped out of college to pursue music and adventure. He's his own man, a self-made billionaire who pursues possibilities while others discuss events.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everybody for the input, great diy holsters. I think ill pick up a pack of those leather sheets next trip to jobby lobby and give it a go. What method do yall use to stitch cause i jacked up my fingers last time i tried to stitch leather.
 

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I use two needles. Stitching first holster gave me blisters on outside of pinkies. Had calluses for 2nd holster.
I've used that IWB nearly daily for 6 months.

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You can buy smaller pieces of vegetable tanned leather on eBay.
Absolutely learn to saddle stitch.
It is a breeze to learn. You can do either the one needle or two.

I would just drill your stitching holes evenly spaced for a first holster try.
You will also need some contact cement.
You can do it with less tools and more time.
There are some great videos on YouTube. Watch a lot of them first. :yup:
 

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Leather and tools from Hobby Lobby. Watched a couple YouTube videos and made this OWB pancake holster:

Got a few more tools off Amazon and made this IWB holster for the same Beretta:

It's really not hard.

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Those were your first tries?
 

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Here's everything I used to make my first holster, the brown OWB. (It was a larger piece of leather )


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I just bought 4 square feet of Herman Oak leather, dyes, sealer, cement and a leather working kit. Spent about 200 buck, but I figure now that I have the expensive parts bought, I only need more leather when I inevitably ruin the first few.

Oh and I bought some snake skin exotic leather too.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Good advice so far. This is the site that got me started on my first one. Went from neat idea to part time job. I don't make my holsters like this though.


Holster Making Tutorial


This is how I make my holsters. My how too thread from leatherworker.

Flat Back Pancake Tutorial- Pic Heavy - Gun Holsters, Rifle Slings and Knife Sheathes - Leatherworker.net
This isbreally awesome thank you for sharing. And thanks to everyone who has offered me advice and input, cant wait to give it a go
 

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Getting the pattern for the holster created has been the trickiest thing to master for me. The manila folder method works well for that.

I bought Springfield Leather Company 5lb Vegetable Tanned Horse Remnant Box off of amazon for $30. It has been enough for 2 pancake holsters, one for a J-frame one for a Sig P2022. Plus 2 minimalist holsters, one was a mistake trying to get the pattern right the other turned out well. I also made a few wallets and a mag pouch with it. Most of the big pieces are gone, but I still have a quite a few pieces that would work for knife sheaths or mag holders, etc...

For sewing I started out with an Awl poking through then saddle stitched, but switched to drilling out my holes.

It is a fun hobby, and a great way to get holsters. I second the leatherworker.net and youtube for resources, there is alot of info there. I also picked up a few leatherworking books at the library.
 

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ok everything I have seen about holster making leaves 1 major component out and that is how do you measure for material. The information I have seen they all state that it comes from experience. So a guy that doesnt have a bunch of money and has to get things right quickly and no experience how do you measure your material?
 

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One way you can measure is, take a cheap piece of cloth, and make the holster, kind of just double form it around the gun.
Than flatten it, and measure.
 

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For buying leather to build a holster or magazine pouch:

Vegetable tanned leather does not interact with a blue steel firearm. Chrome tanned leather does. Not sure if this makes a difference to stainless steel or plastic, but don't trust chrome tanned leather with any other finish.

As mentioned earlier, one wants 7-8 ounce leather for general holster work. Perhaps heavier in special applications. For some - again special - applications, lighter. Generally, when one starts 'figuring' the need is obvious. The 'harder' leather for holsters and such is from the shoulder area of the bovine. I suspect this is true of equines, ovines and elephants as well. Usually, one can buy either a 'single shoulder' or 'double shoulder' depending on how much money resides in the pocket and how many doo-dads one is going to make. Leather from the sides and belly is generally softer and more plyable, usually referred to as 'dress leather' for obvious reasons. (Probably better for a vest as well.)

I bought all my 'instructional' materials from Tandy. They were just down the street at the time. They have a great book on stitching and sewing. And yes, I have scars to prove I make holsters.

Most of what I do is rather conventional holsters, but designed to fit me or whoever wants the rig. Observing the build, height, and physical limitations of the end user will assist one in designing a proper holster.
 

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ok everything I have seen about holster making leaves 1 major component out and that is how do you measure for material. The information I have seen they all state that it comes from experience. So a guy that doesnt have a bunch of money and has to get things right quickly and no experience how do you measure your material?
Here ya go, brother.

Holster Patterns DIY ? JLS Leather
 
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