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This is a discussion on Home Brew Leather Projects within the Projects forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; treadhead 1952 Very nice pouch! Jogged the ol memory that I was going to come up with a possibles belt pouch for the Ruger old ...


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Old April 18th, 2012, 04:57 PM   #61
 
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treadhead 1952
Very nice pouch!

Jogged the ol memory that I was going to come up with a possibles belt pouch for the Ruger old Army...and that I should have another go at leather tooling...I suck at tooling and really should take the time to pick it up. I've been a do the border pattern and let the knocks dings and memory marks that come from use finish out the effect...Being lazy I guess...lol



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Old April 18th, 2012, 06:29 PM   #62
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seneca View Post
treadhead 1952
Very nice pouch!

Jogged the ol memory that I was going to come up with a possibles belt pouch for the Ruger old Army...and that I should have another go at leather tooling...I suck at tooling and really should take the time to pick it up. I've been a do the border pattern and let the knocks dings and memory marks that come from use finish out the effect...Being lazy I guess...lol
One of these days I will score a Ruger Old Army for myself. The closest I ever got was my Remington 1858 Sheriff's short barrel model as far as a closed top percussion revolver goes. I know I am not that great at tooling yet, but I won't let that stop me from getting all the practice I can and using the heck out of the stuff that I manage to cobble up.

The whole point of the thread here is to encourage others to get busy and work on some leather for their own firearms and when they do, don't be bashful, post it up here or on your own thread, I really don't mind. It is a fairly easy to pick up hobby and useful as all get out.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 04:10 PM   #63
 
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Hi All,

I found a Percussion Pistol Pattern Pack on the Tandy website that they had for sale last week and since I do like my cap and ball revolvers, snapped it up. It is a downloaded Adobe Reader file and you can print the pattern sheets out and join them together to make up the full sized patterns. I already have a holster in the works and recently completed a percussion cap pouch so the bullet and ball pouch that was in the Percussion Pistol Pattern Pack was pretty timely for me. There are also large and small Powder Flask Holders, a Military Style Flap Holster and four other sizes and styles of open holsters as well as yet another Buscadero Style of belt.

It only took a few evenings of work to cut out the parts, figure out a tooling pattern to match up the pouch to the other pieces of my current project and then form the pieces to make stitching them together easier.



It holds 250 .380" cast lead conical bullets for my 1851 .36 Colt Navy revolver easily and will probably hold around 200 .454" bullets or ball for a .44. There are end flaps on the center gusset that fold over under the top flap that close it off and prevent anything from coming out the sides. Considering that I only paid $7.99 for the pattern pack, just being able to whip up this little piece in short time pretty well makes it pay for itself.



Here is the percussion cap pouch that I made up to go with this little set up. It holds 5 tins of caps, 500 in all, more than enough for any shooting matches or target sessions. This was made up using scrap leather pieces from my stash and also fits on a 2 inch wide belt.







These little side projects also serve to give me some practice in tooling the pattern and learning what works best for what I want to do.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 04:37 PM   #64
 
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You just keep pumping out some beautiful work!! go get 'em.
Take care,
Tony
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Old April 26th, 2012, 03:08 PM   #65
 
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Thanks Tony,

With the completion of these two smaller projects I went ahead and did the rest of the tooling work on my holster pattern that I am making up for this one. A little dye work and I was ready to start putting it together.



Now the real fun began. I stitched the back of the holster body up and that went fairly rapidly and well. I had a little mismatch to the two sides of the back line of the holster body so I ground it down, sanded it smooth and re-contoured it. A little more dye work made everything match up and I was ready to stuff the holster down into the two loops on the back flap. Well, I thought I was ready. My first efforts went on for a few minutes and didn't end in success. I pulled the holster body back out, waxed up the back edge and went back at it again. While the holster went a bit further, it wasn't there yet. I pulled the holster back out, went to the kitchen and held the whole thing under the hot water tap until it was nice and limp.

This time I got through both loops but not all the way. I needed a form to help shove it on down a bit more. Since the .44 Colt 1851 Navy is in pieces, I used my .36 Colt 1851 Navy to act as a former. Shoving it down into the holster got a bit more of it down into the loops. I used the padded handle of my flat pliers to stretch the loops out a bit more and finally with the aid of a rubber mallet, got things to fit as it should.



I next ran the holster onto the two inch wide strap section to make sure it fit like it is supposed to on the belt I am going to be making up for it. At least that part of things fit nice enough.



I will leave the revolver in the holster until the leather dries completely. Once it does I can retrieve my revolver, clean it and oil it so it doesn't rust up on me. I will be adding a leg tie down thong and a hammer thong to keep the revolver where it needs to be until time for use. Now I can get busy on the belt and a powder flask holder, the last two parts of the leather kit that I want to make up for this .44 1851 Colt Navy project.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 03:18 PM   #66
 
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Originally Posted by treadhead1952 View Post
Hi All,

While I enjoy a new firearm as much as most of ya'll, I also like to stretch that pleasure by adding to my new purchases' value with some new leather items. Since quality leather products can run into some serious money and being a cheap old goat, I enjoy making my own. With the advent of Tandy Leather Stores being all across the country, purchasing the materials and tools is not that difficult and they also have a growing web presence that is getting bigger with the addition of video presentations, patterns and other goodies. While being the most common, there are also other outfits that sell tools and the basic material, leather all around the country so don't just fall into making that your one stop to look. I regularly purchase leather from a couple of other places when I have the funds in hand as they are a bit less expensive for entire hides.

With the addition of my new to me Ruger P-90 some new leather was definitely on my list of things to do. I like pancake style holsters for general carry as they distribute the weight on the belt nicely and ride high enough so that you can sit in your vehicle without it digging into the seat or you. I also like the minimalist approach at times as a method of going low key for other reasons. So those are usually the first things that I will whip up for my new purchases.





Along with the holster to carry the piece, something to carry the spare magazine is always a good bet. I did get one extra magazine when I purchased the pistol so I whipped up a pattern using the magazine as a model on some 100 pound card stock. That lets me keep them around to make others should I ever have a need. Basically I just make a back piece that will generally include a belt loop and the front section that can be folded and sewed up to finish the project.



Once the pattern is made up and cut out you can use it to trace on a piece of leather to make the actual pieces. The front part is made up from some 4 to 5 ounce weight leather since it has to be folded a few times to make the shape that you need. Since the back only requires being folded once to make the belt loop, I generally go with a thicker leather like 8 to 9 ounce weight leather to help keep things in shape. After cutting the parts out you can go ahead and edge them with a skiving or beveling tool which angles the outside edges and makes them smoother than a sharper 90 degree angle as cut. Once the edges are beveled you can then lay in the sewing channels with an adjustable gouge made for that purpose. This serves to drop the top of the thread to about leather height all over so nothing is likely to get nicked in use. It also makes it easier to run a pounce wheel through the channels to make the indentations where you will need to punch the holes for the thread with an awl. Where I have to fold leather up to make sharp edges I generally will cut a channel with an adjustable gouge to help so the leather doesn't bunch up. This is especially important on small projects like magazine pouches where you are working with dimensions like a 1/2 inch or so over the length of the parts.

Once all that work is done you need to dye the leather to what ever color you chose. After the dye is set and dry you need to add whatever finish product you care to use. In this day and age you can choose between Acrylic products or the older types that usually have a bit of a whang to them when drying. Either one works well once they have dried, but if you are working at home I would suggest the Acrylics as they are less objectionable to the ladies of the house. It is important to do all this before you try to assemble your projects as once put together you may find places where it is neigh impossible to reach.

For my first magazine pouch to carry just the single extra magazine I already finished it and this is what I came up with.





When you consider that a commercial product would run anywhere from $20 to $30 out the door and the materials may or may not be what you want, I like my home brew projects considerably more. They are glued and then sewn together using the old saddle makers lock stitch all the way around and I know what is going on there. Custom made to fit a particular piece is also preferable to machine made to fit more than one product.

Since I purchased another magazine to go with my pistol, I now have to make up a double pouch to carry both. Breaking out my patterns it was an easy matter to make a double back and two front pieces. Since this is considerably wider than the single pouch I am choosing to make two belt slides on either side of the backing piece. These will also make the pair of magazines ride just a little higher on my belt and they also offset the weight of the pistol on the opposite side a little.



I will be working on getting these pieces ready for finishing over this weekend (my weekends are Wednesday and Thursday due to job functions).
That is some beutiful work. You're a craftsman for sure.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 05:19 PM   #67
 
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Thanks Soapy,

Another resident of "Lost Wages" I see.

I do like playing with leather, never know what you might come up with.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 06:31 PM   #68
 
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Man! I wish I had just a fraction of your talent. Beautiful work.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 08:02 PM   #69
 
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Thanks Long Colt,

I do like making these things, it just extends the fun of having a new pistol or revolver for me. As this current project is winding down, I just have to tool the belt and make the powder flask holder for it, I have already cut out the leather for my next one. I want a traditional cutaway style with a little less tooling on it for my Remington 1858 Sheriffs Model .44. The Percussion Pistol Pattern Pack that I picked up from Tandy has just the one that I want in it. It offers two styles of rear flaps and two styles of retaining straps. I chose the full flap and bridle buckle and strap retaining method for this one. It also has the hammer retaining thong that I want to use on my 1851 Colt Navy project so I just cut two of them out.



Having the pattern pack saves a lot of time and effort in making things up. Professional shops use thin sheet metal to make up their in house patterns with but thick card stock works just as well for me. Besides, I can pop another copy should the original copy that I make gets damaged or anything.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 08:59 PM   #70
 
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WOW just WOW great stuff! looks like you enjoy doin this. congragulations!
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Old April 26th, 2012, 09:27 PM   #71
 
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Hi Jay
Yes another Los Wages res. But I'm retired and stay out of the casinos. better things to spend money on, guns and ammo. You sure do some beautiful work. That's a lot of skill right there brother. They'er all pieces of art. Not many people with type of skill today.
George
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Old April 27th, 2012, 06:49 PM   #72
 
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Thanks HG and Soapy,

It really isn't that hard to pick up on the how to, practice and more practice helps get things like tooling and such up to par. I just need to pick up a couple more revolvers and pistols so I can broaden my horizons as it were.

I did add the hammer thong to the double loop holster. Cleaning up the angles with my skivver tool, wetting it and rubbing the slicker over the sides rounded them off and made them, well, slick. A little dye job so it matches up with the rest of the holster and it was ready to install. I drilled three holes in the top edge of the holster and touched them up with some dye and then fed the free end of the thong through the first one. Putting the Colt 1851 in the holster and placing the slit in the thong over the hammer then pulling the free end up tight set it in place. Feeding the free end back up, adding a touch of contact cement just before getting to the end of the slack puts it right in the hole to help lock it in place. Feeding the free end back down in the last hole and repeating the contact cement trick as I pulled it up tight made things fit right. I cut the remaining tag end off and that takes care of making the revolver secure in the holster.



A couple more holes drilled in from the back of the back flap and through to the back of the holster for the tie down thong was quick and easy. I used a Q Tip with a little dye to touch up the holes then fed a length of leather lace through and tied it off in a simple over hand knot. I coated the whole shooting match with some Leather Finish and now I can turn to working over the 2 wide length of strap that is going to be the belt for this set. Here is how the holster looks now all finished up with it's last two components installed.



I'll be back with some more as I get started on my next holster project and finish this one off with the belt and powder flask holder.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 12:15 PM   #73
 
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Jay,
I like the hammer thong, not the the whole piece isn't killer!
I've been meaning to ask you where do you get your tanned leather and what weight (.oz)?
Tony
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Old April 28th, 2012, 12:30 PM   #74
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by computerdynamics View Post
Jay,
I like the hammer thong, not the the whole piece isn't killer!
I've been meaning to ask you where do you get your tanned leather and what weight (.oz)?
Tony
Hi Tony,

I get my leather from Tandy, usually I will purchase a double shoulder of their Veg Tanned Tooling leather in 5 to 6 ounce up to 8 to 9 ounce weights. Often they will have sales and I try to take advantage of them. This past weekend they were selling single shoulders of 5 to 6 ounce for $24.95 each, I picked up two of them after digging through the entire pile that they had to get the biggest and best of the lot they had. When I use 5 to 6 ounce leather weights I usually will double them back to back so I have two smooth sides, inside and out so the inside will act as a liner. These get stitched up after a good glue job. This makes for a 10 to 12 ounce leather holster which is pretty hefty but does hold up over the long run. If I get 8 to 9 ounce weight leather I will go for a pigskin or goatskin liner leather, also veg tanned but in 2 to 3 ounce weight.

Despite all the furor over a previous poster's comments regarding my use of pig skin that he thought was chrome tanned (it wasn't) I just let it go on and fizzle out. The pig skin that I have is actually a man made product, ie like vinyl. It is oiled cotton finished and pressed with pig skin texture rollers.

The new project that I am making is going to get doubled up with a second piece of the same weight leather. I will be working on it later in the day and show what I am doing with it.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 03:12 PM   #75
 
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Hi All,

I got busy with my new holster project for my short barreled Remington 1858 .44. Since I had the major pieces cut out and marked, I went ahead and punched out all the holes first. The two slots where the retaining strap goes through the back flap started out as two holes in each punched on opposite ends of the slots. I used a sharp #11 Xacto Knife to cut the material out of the slots, first starting at one side, flipping it around and then going from the other. This keeps the blade from over running the holes and making things look ragged. I also punched the holes in the retaining strap for the rivets to hold the buckle in place and the slot for the buckle tongue. I can't add the final hole in the strap until the holster is made so that it fits properly, and by the same token, I can't trim it to length either.

With all the holes punched and cut out, I laid that piece down, slick side to slick side on the original shoulder cut that I cut it out from. I chose a spot where there were a couple of wrinkles, leather being a natural product is going to show any defects like wrinkles, scars, brands or anything else that happened to the critter while he or she was wandering about the back 40. Since this second piece is going to be the liner part on the inside, small defects like this won't really matter. While I had the original part weighted down and held in place to do all the tracing, I also went over the holes and slots to get them in the proper places.

So here are all four pieces of leather that is going to make up this project. I also included the 1" bridle buckle for the retaining strap. I can punch the other sets of holes, finish marking the outer piece for stitch lines, decorative lines and such then wet it and do the border stamp design which is all this project is going to get. Well, aside from all the attention to detail and care that I can muster.

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