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Old 03-05-2012, 12:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Leather work, diy, sewing, forming, homemade gear

I know we have the IWB holster thread, and a kydex thread, but couldn't find anything specific about making your own leather gear.

I am working on a new knife and want to do a leather sheath instead of a kydex.
I have a piece of 12x12x8-9oz left over from my IWB build.

The seath is going to be something along these lines. Deep pocket, fero holder



I have an awl, leather needles, waxed threads, hole punches and stuff from repairing horse tack. Also a variety of grommet and snap setting tools.

We have a Tandy leather here in town.

So I am thinking about picking up:
Stitch Groover
Stitch wheel (comes with 4,5, and 6 wheels)
Edge beveler
Skiver

Anything else?
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm of no help in what you need or how to do it, but that looks cool and I'm interested to see how your finished product comes out


Are you thinking about doing this as part of your business or is it just for your own gratification?
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Edge beveler is going to be imprtant for a good finished look. Make sure to get a decent one that will hold good edge.

Stitch wheel is important but if your careful you can mark out by hand.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't know yet. Have to see how they turn out.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Nothing really to add but I want to subscribe.

I'll need to make a leather holster for my E-11 when I get home.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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A bone or antler slicker to buff out the cut edge that the beveler creates. The rounded end can also be used to press in trigger guard impressions for holsters. Once buffed you can add Edge Kote (coat?) to it for a finished look.

I use a lacing fork for a quick way to stamp in long rows of stitching holes. I have a 1, 4, and 8 tine fork.

if you are going to do a lot then a stitching pony is handy.
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have always used a layout wheel and drill press with a tiny bit to make hand-stitching a breeze. Wet the leather to form and any space left by the drillbit <1/16" swells up and makes a nice looking stitch.
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Stopped by Tandy Leather and picked up the tools.

I went ahead and dyed the backing piece for my IWB and bevelled and burnished the edge.

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Old 03-06-2012, 05:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Stupid question... How do you get the leather to hold its shape? Is there a special untreated or "uncured" leather you started with??

Deffinitely interested in how you make this !

Continue on....
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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In a week or so you will be buying some stamp tooling and putting designs on your work!

Last edited by hogcat; 03-06-2012 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Stupid question... How do you get the leather to hold its shape? Is there a special untreated or "uncured" leather you started with??

Deffinitely interested in how you make this !

Continue on....
A little moisture.
Wrap the item in some plastic wrap, cling plastic, saran wrap, what ever you want to call it. Do this to protect the finish.

Drop the leather into a bowl of water for 20 seconds.
Remove and form around the item.
The black plastic tool above the x-acto knives, and the whitish wooden about center photo, both of those can be used to help form the leather.
Let it dry and it holds the shape.

You can use heat, very low seating, to help with the drying, but have to be careful because you can cook the leather. I ruined a pair of boots as a kid, left them by the fire over night.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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In a week or so you will be buying some stamp tooling and putting designs on your work!
That is crazy, in a good way. I doubt I will ever get there.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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if you are going to do a lot then a stitching pony is handy.
I want to try and make one. Looks pretty straight forward.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Guy I know just did this...



http://carlobregondesigns.blogspot.com/
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Guy I know just did this...



http://carlobregondesigns.blogspot.com/
Did he carve the leather?
I am not an artist. I think I can build functional, but couldn't do all that decorative stuff.

I did see a lot of kits in the store that have all that work already done on them. You basically trim, sew, finish.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Following along, this looks interesting.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:05 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aloharover View Post
Did he carve the leather?
I am not an artist. I think I can build functional, but couldn't do all that decorative stuff.

I did see a lot of kits in the store that have all that work already done on them. You basically trim, sew, finish.
Yup did it all himself from design to carving. He is a designer by trade...works with my wife. Check out his site, he tooled in a digicam pattern which I thought was pretty cool.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:05 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I want to try and make one. Looks pretty straight forward.
You can cheat with office supplies. Binder clamps will hold things together while you are sewing. Just don't use them when the leather is wet. It will leave a difficult impression to get out.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:23 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I have always used a layout wheel and drill press with a tiny bit to make hand-stitching a breeze. Wet the leather to form and any space left by the drillbit <1/16" swells up and makes a nice looking stitch.
x2--and if you leave the leather slightly damp, the cord will really sink into the surface when you pull it tight. You can dampen the leather after sewing, too, and use the bottom edge of a pint glass and really push the stitching down flat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aloharover View Post
I did see a lot of kits in the store that have all that work already done on them. You basically trim, sew, finish.
I don't like how huge the holes are in some kits.

Looks OK if you're going to lace them.
Looks like hell if you only want to stitch them with waxed thread.


The first one you posted is elegant in its simplicity. You could definitely copy that!
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:45 AM   #20 (permalink)
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yeah, I have started working on the template for my BK2. I have some canvas micarta and I am reshaping the blade handle, the steal part. I like the blade, just not the handle.
Havent decided yet if I will pin it permanent or use the OE type screws.

This is a very poor photochop of what I am doing.
Attached Images
  
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:49 AM   #21 (permalink)
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x2--and if you leave the leather slightly damp, the cord will really sink into the surface when you pull it tight. You can dampen the leather after sewing, too, and use the bottom edge of a pint glass and really push the stitching down flat.



I don't like how huge the holes are in some kits.

Looks OK if you're going to lace them.
Looks like hell if you only want to stitch them with waxed thread.


The first one you posted is elegant in its simplicity. You could definitely copy that!
From my reading-
lay down a groove
locate the holes with the wheel
Drill the holes
Bevel
Burnish edges that are not sewn like knife opening
Dye
Wet just the groove/holes
Stitch
Wet and roll the threads with a wheel again
Burnish sewn edge
Edge kote
Wax or other final finish
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:18 PM   #22 (permalink)
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So in researching sheath designs I am finding tons of folks are using a horizontal, middle of the back set up. They call it a "scout"

Seems very impractical and I could see stabbing myself in the kidneys trying to get the knife back into the sheath.

Anyone actually use these?
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:40 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I don't like how huge the holes are in some kits.

Looks OK if you're going to lace them.
Looks like hell if you only want to stitch them with waxed thread.
A lot of the kits I've made (Boy Scout kits) use the double needle stitch with waxed thread. The holes need to be large enough to pass the second needle past the first needle's thread, if that makes sense. Once the project is finished the holes are pretty well filled in. Here is a link to Tandy's tutorial; scroll down the page to find a description and pictures of the double needle stitch:

http://is.gd/4IayZo
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:54 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aloharover View Post
So in researching sheath designs I am finding tons of folks are using a horizontal, middle of the back set up. They call it a "scout"

Seems very impractical and I could see stabbing myself in the kidneys trying to get the knife back into the sheath.

Anyone actually use these?
Not completely horizontal. I found that a horizontal rig didn't follow my shape at the belt line so the handle stuck out away from my body more than I liked. I'd also worry about it falling out no matter how snug the leather work was.

I do have a sheath that I made long ago for a big bladed knife that tucks into the small of the back, sheath under the belt, handle pointing up so that I can get to it. Belt loop is on the outside similar to IWB holsters.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:39 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Not completely horizontal. I found that a horizontal rig didn't follow my shape at the belt line so the handle stuck out away from my body more than I liked. I'd also worry about it falling out no matter how snug the leather work was.

I do have a sheath that I made long ago for a big bladed knife that tucks into the small of the back, sheath under the belt, handle pointing up so that I can get to it. Belt loop is on the outside similar to IWB holsters.
Are you able to get it back into the sheath one handed? Without stabbing yourself?

I guess I just dont get it.
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