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This is a discussion on Home Brew Leather Projects within the Projects forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Hi All, I had a few chores to do today so I haven't been able to devote as much time as I would like to ...


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Old March 22nd, 2012, 03:28 PM   #31
 
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Hi All,

I had a few chores to do today so I haven't been able to devote as much time as I would like to on my project. I have managed to get all the holes punched in the outer perimeter of the holster as it is laid out flat at the moment, which is always a good thing. Especially since most of the stitching that I have to do first is the stuff that is going to be covered over once it is folded up into it's real shape. If you go from the top left corner where the stitching that will join it together along the back of the finished holster and draw a line up to where the loop will start to be formed all along the top edge, that is where I will start to sew it up. Next will come the back side from where the other side of the belt loop will end up down to where the corner of the back stitching will start opposite the top left corner. Finally I will be running a line of stitching across the bottom edge of the holster from one side to the other. All this is done to lock the three separate pieces that are just glued together with contact cement at the moment. These places would be difficult to get to once the rest of the sewing is completed, so it is all done first.



After that is complete I can bend the belt loop portion over to form an inch and three quarters wide slot that will be for the belt to pass through. Bending it over and trapping it down with a couple of large Bulldog type clips will make it easier for me to punch through the holes that are already punched over the curved upper part of the belt loop into the back of the holster body. I have a section of thick leather that is 1 3/4" wide and about 6 inches long to represent the belt that I will trap in place so I know exactly where the belt will be going, establish the angle that the holster will ride on the belt and make sure that the belt the new owner will be wearing can go through the belt loop easily. Punching through the already established holes first will just be a marking exercise. After I have their positions established, I will remove the clamps and belt blank section and punch the holes completely through the holster body to form a "D" shaped pattern that will secure the flap to the back of the holster before I fold it over to make the actual familiar holster shape that it will wind up being. You can tell that by doing it in this manner, I will be able to get to both sides of the materials that I will be stitching up without interference.



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Old March 23rd, 2012, 03:50 AM   #32
 
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Originally Posted by treadhead1952 View Post
To get around this I cut a reverse pattern of the outer shell in some thicker leather and used contact cement to glue them together. I like a lined holster over a plain finished one. The lining makes it look better, last longer, and adds a little more quality to the holster overall. I used some Pigskin that is dark brown, cut a reversed pattern of the holster and then glued that to the inner part of the holster.

You might want to rethink your choice of lining. That appears to be chrome tanned leather which is a big no-no for having in contact with gun finishes. It can be highly corrosive. You only want to use vegetable tanned leather for holster linings. If it is chrome tanned I would not leave the gun in the holster for any extended time, and especially don't let it get wet or even damp. That will just make the chemicals in the leather leach out faster.
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 11:54 AM   #33
 
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You're making me a little nervous about chrome tanned? How can I tell? The crude front pocket holster I made for my SR 22 is black leather from one of Mama's purses (SHHHH! ; )). I've used "pocket book leather" on several knives and don't want the metal wrecked! They are all given away to family and I don't want to have to do a recall.... ; )
Tony
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 05:02 PM   #34
 
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Hi All,

Before everyone gets too far over the top with chrome tanned versus veg tanned or even the old fashioned brain tanned issue. A few years back on the 1911 forums this was brought up and a fellow who worked for Milt Sparks (in case you aren't sure of who that is I include a link)

Milt Sparks Holsters

chimed in on the conversation. He had heard these same concerns and to test it out he took a mild steel rod, wrapped it in a length of chrome tanned leather and put it in a locker for a few months. Coming across it after a good while of laying about he unrolled his little test bundle to discover that the mild steel rod looked just as it had when he rolled it up, no rust, no ill effects or anything else. He did comment that he thought that it probably protected the mild steel from any rusting as it normally would have if left out in the open unprotected.

Plain Pigskin like I am using tends to be a bit "sticky" if left unfinished. That is to say it is not as quick as it could be. To that end I usually finish my leathers inside and out with either an acrylic or other proprietary leather finish and as a rule will use saddle soap to treat the leather to keep it in good shape. This will negate any sort of ill effects that the tanning methods used on the original leather may exhibit. I have an old Rossi 5 shot .38 revolver that I have carried around for years in a pigskin lined holster. The bluing on it is still as nice as the day I purchased it with the exception of some slight wear on the edges and corners that is to be expected from years of use.

Veg Tanned Leather tends to be smooth grained and absorbs water easily. Chrome Tanned Leather tends to be shiny looking and does not absorb water as easily if at all. If you have any concerns in this regard, finish the leather with a quality leather finish and treat it regularly with saddle soap as you would any other fine leather to make it supple and last for years if not generations.

Now back to the project at hand, I finished off the first bit of sewing on the holster before I start to fold things over and begin to form it into a holster for reals. You can also see the two saddle needles that are attached to a single length of the thread that I am using which is waxed Poly. After threading the needles on the thread it is necessary to twist the ends up to make it easier to sew with. I also have a chunk of beeswax on there, the threaded part behind the needles are drawn through the beeswax to recoat them and make it even easier. You can also see the areas that I was talking about in relation to doing this first round of sewing.

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Old March 23rd, 2012, 08:28 PM   #35
 
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Leather got wet? So I should be OK? Mama only buys the best and I only steal the best, "Where's my purse" is common around the house....; )
Tony

Last edited by computerdynamics; March 23rd, 2012 at 08:31 PM.
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Old March 24th, 2012, 09:07 AM   #36
 
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Hi Tony,

If you do carry your Front Pocket Holster around very much in the heat, most likely you would sweat on it a bit. With the finished side out like it is there would be very little moisture absorption, even so, a good wipe down and cleaning and oiling of your SR22 would negate any problems. I would be interested in hearing if you do have any problems like that, they would be the first that I have heard about such things directly relating to the type of finished leather.

I have heard of all sorts of dire warnings about this and that sort of leather finishing, tanning methods and such. From the 1911 website and the Leathercrafters website, I have not read so much of it, more like from others who heard it from others or their great uncle or a friend of a friend. Directly I have always finished my projects as is recommended and not had a problem. So until it happens to me or someone that I know personally, it is not under consideration for me.
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Old March 24th, 2012, 10:22 AM   #37
 
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Jay,
the way I made it I folded the leather over doulble around the gun so it has two layers of the same leather on the inside and out. IF i flipped it inside out it would look the same, and it looks the same from either side. Hopefully with the two layers on each side it will be OK? I keep my gun oiled always so maybe it will be alright? The Fl. summer isn't here yet so we'll see?
I want to thank you agin for the holster tutorial. I'm digging out some of the leather like you have Today and will play around a little... ; ) If it comes out I will show it to you for your opinion.
Thanks again,
Tony
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Old March 24th, 2012, 02:36 PM   #38
 
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Hi Tony,

The key to any firearm that you carry on a regular basis is to keep it clean and lubed properly. The ones that get stuffed away in a pocket, carried day in and day out without getting looked at other when it comes out to get tossed on top of the pile of contents of the pockets only to get shoved back in with the dawn of the next day are the ones that fail when needed the most. If you are conscientious about your care and maintenance you don't need to sweat it so much.

The ones that get carried the most for me get taken out and shot on a regular basis, cleaned scrupulously regularly and are lubricated just enough to prevent problems but not so much as to draw dirt into the works. It is usually a weekly shooting range trip where all magazines are cycled through under fire, reloaded, re-emptied and run through a couple more times for good measure. After a thorough take down and cleaning, inspected then reassembled, lubricating as I go. Those are the ones that I depend on with my life.

As to what you come up with on your exploration into leather working, I would really dig seeing them here, that is what this is all about. Here is a holster that I carry my little CZ 82 inside the waistband under a tee shirt in warmer weather. I have even carried it while wearing cut off jeans with a belt. The one part of the pistol that sees contact with my hide is the plastic grips.



For a more open carry in less strict social situations I resort to a black pancake rig.

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Old March 24th, 2012, 04:21 PM   #39
 
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Both of those are sweet!! you are a master. I don't have a lot of the leather but I think I'm going to go for an open muzzel design? I'll show it to you if it happens. you really have some nice stuff, do you sell your work?
Thanks again,
Tony
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Old March 24th, 2012, 05:43 PM   #40
 
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Originally Posted by treadhead1952 View Post
I have heard of all sorts of dire warnings about this and that sort of leather finishing, tanning methods and such. From the 1911 website and the Leathercrafters website, I have not read so much of it, more like from others who heard it from others or their great uncle or a friend of a friend. Directly I have always finished my projects as is recommended and not had a problem. So until it happens to me or someone that I know personally, it is not under consideration for me.
You do what you want. I spend a lot of time on the Holster making forum at Leatherworker.net, and NONE of the people I consider to know what they're doing use chrome tanned leather for holsters. It doesn't get discussed a lot because it is accepted as bad practice. But when the subject does come up it is always discouraged.

I agree that in a perfect dry environment with a properly cared for gun it may never be an issue. But I am not always in perfect conditions with my weapons, and I'm not risking the finish on a high dollar gun with less than the best possible leather. I make a bunch of holsters, and you won't find me using anything other than veg tanned leather.

Last edited by evandailey; March 24th, 2012 at 05:52 PM.
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Old March 24th, 2012, 06:50 PM   #41
 
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Evan,
What would you consider a test to see if the leather is chrome tanned?
Tony
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Old March 24th, 2012, 07:28 PM   #42
 
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Evan,
What would you consider a test to see if the leather is chrome tanned?
Tony
I don't know about a test, but any upholstery or garment leather is almost assuredly chrome tanned. Purses may or may not be, but if it is soft and supple, it's a good bet it is chrome tanned as well.
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Old March 25th, 2012, 06:46 AM   #43
 
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Unhappy

Thanks for your input. It's soft leather from an expensive purse. Jay mentioned that if it repels water it may be chrome tanned? This leather gets wet right away? Jay seems pretty darn knowledgeable about leather. I was just wondering if anyone else had an idea for another type of test?
Thanks for your input guys,
Tony
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Old March 25th, 2012, 07:48 AM   #44
 
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Thanks for your input. It's soft leather from an expensive purse. Jay mentioned that if it repels water it may be chrome tanned? This leather gets wet right away? Jay seems pretty darn knowledgeable about leather. I was just wondering if anyone else had an idea for another type of test?
Thanks for your input guys,
Tony
Whether or not it will absorb water doesn't tell you how it's tanned.
I am not trying to start an argument. I was simply offering some industry standard advice from a professional holster maker (me). I should have kept my mouth shut. Take the advice for what you paid for it and do what you feel is right. I was only trying to help.
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Old March 25th, 2012, 08:34 AM   #45
 
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Please don't be offended. I in no way meant that! I don't know and was only looking for answers? That's what these great forums are for. I appreciate your advice also, I am only looking for a way to find out about something I didn't know about 3 days ago (Chrome tanned)?
Take care and please continue to provide help on this, it is apreciated by any of us novices that don't know spit about holster making, I make knives and was trying to learn more about making my own sheaths.
Tony
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