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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, The main reason I am writing this thread is to influence some of ya'll to try your hands at this as an add ...


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Old April 29th, 2012, 08:06 PM   #76
 
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Hi All,

The main reason I am writing this thread is to influence some of ya'll to try your hands at this as an add on to the hobby of firearms. It really isn't that hard to pick up, availability of the tools and material is pretty well within reach either online or in brick and mortar stores and the enjoyment of doing this for your self is something to give a whirl to.

I broke out my adjustable grooving tool and ran a couple of lines around the perimeter of the outer leather piece to start this project off. The first line is my stitch line where I will be joining the two pieces of leather, inner and outer together. The second one is purely decorative. After wetting the leather down and letting it soak a bit I chose my small sunburst stamping tool and went around the second line to the inside making a simple border all around the leather piece.



It doesn't look like much until you fold the holster up like it will look once it gets assembled. I also discovered something about the way the tie down thong is laid out with two holes in the holster bottom and four in the flap, but more about that later. I used a section of leather thong to hold the holster down to the flap and a couple of Bulldog clamps to hold the holster together. It does show how effective the simple border treatment can look.



I will also be adding some of this work to the restraining strap as well, just haven't gotten there yet.



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Old May 2nd, 2012, 07:00 PM   #77
 
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HI All,

Working away at this little holster project is proving to be quite an interesting experience. Doubling the thickness of the leather by gluing and stitching it together seems to be a popular way to arrive at a much more durable finished product. I have found more than a couple of other professional leather makers that do this so I guess I am in good company emulating their process.

I chose a spirit type dye this time around, Fiebing's Medium Brown after getting the tooling work and edging lines put in. I do like the way the spirit dye dries much faster than the Acrylic types. It also gives a much more even appearing finish overall.



This is a cutaway type holster design and, man, they were not kidding around. Stitching up the holster was done with just two long lengths of poly waxed thread in the locking saddle stitch that I like to use. Evening out the back edge of the holster and then finish dyeing and touch up got me to this point.



I made up the restraining strap carrying on with the design theme of grooved lines and a border tool stamp. Using the 1 inch wide silver bridle buckle which got riveted in place finished that part off. The hammer thong was dyed and edged then threaded in place. I routed the restraining strap through the holes in the back flap of the holster and was then able to mark and punch the hole for the buckle tongue. With that part in place all I had to do was run the tie down thong through the holes and my project was for the most part done.



I still have to put the final leather finish on but Tandy didn't get that until late this afternoon so I won't get that until tomorrow. But with all the parts assembled, this has been a bit easier to accomplish. Looking at the rear of the holster you can see how the tie down thong is routed as well as the restraining strap. With that broad expanse of smooth leather this should be a fairly comfortable holster to wear.



Looking at it face on you can see how far out the grip is angled, with the cutaway features designed into it, this should be a fairly quick draw type rig. You can also see how the hammer thong goes on. I need to get busy with my belt making, I am falling a bit behind....

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Old May 3rd, 2012, 05:47 AM   #78
 
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I used that dye on the little holster I made and it polished up with a rag before using polish or anything else. The fast dry for me is good, I'm the inpatient type. ; ) Keep up the killer work, Jay!
Tony
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Old May 17th, 2012, 06:49 PM   #79
 
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Hi All,

I have been busy with work and other stuff, but I have managed to keep at the leather work adding to my little project holster. First up was a belt to add the holster to.



Then came a bullet pouch, after all this is going to be for my 1858 Remington Cap and Ball. Of course, I do shoot .454" diameter cast lead bullets out of it more than round ball.



And then today I added a new knife sheath so I can pack my Arkansas Toothpick along with the set up. Actually I only had one day off this week so I wanted a project that only took a day to complete.



With everything added to the gun belt, it is starting to get where I want to go with it.

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Old May 26th, 2012, 09:33 PM   #80
 
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Hey guys: You folks are miles ahead of my current abilities, but I wanted an inside the pocket for a NAA 22 Mag with holster grip. I know that sounds silly, a holster for a gun whose grip is the holster, but I've never liked clipping on a NAA as intended. My former department a few years back had a big push so everyone would question even a knife because of these holsters. If you're only partially in the know, It comes up looking like a gun. I am a better shot though with the extended holster grip. So what I do is simply remove the plastic clip making for a slighter gun package to pocket. I had a large pancake holster that I was not ever going to use so I removed the stitching, Soaked the leather in 91 percent alcohol while scrubbing the finish off, then put it on some wax paper on a flat surface with lead weights on top.

I then had two pieces of 8-9 oz flat clean leather to work with. I cut the leather with a little room to spare just going gun to leather (no pattern). Knowing I was going black for a finish, I mixed up some black colored Acraglas and applied it to the outside 1/2" of leather. When cured it was solid as can be. I then used a pounce wheel to mark my stitches and a wire drill the same size as my needle. After drilling all the stitch holes I double stitched the holster and ground the sandwiched profile to a uniform distance from the stitch line. I also used a 3M wheel to catch the left over slivers of leather. Then I dyed and polished the piece and it worked like a champ.

The only problem however is it's a bit overkill thickness wise for its intended use and gun. Would that be a good thickness to use to try a run at a belt holster? I see that Tandy is selling 8-9 oz. shoulders for five something a sq. foot. I just don't know but would certainly like to give it a try. Smithy.
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Old May 27th, 2012, 04:05 AM   #81
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishfree View Post
Nice holsters!

I wanted to make one for a full size revolver but I couldn't get a big enough piece of leather from the local Tandy w/o buying a half-hide ($90!).

But I might get a shoulder or quarter piece and make a holster for the SR9c. Did you wet form the leather to the gun? Any tips?
Here is where I bought a piece of leather. Just fill in the form and they will send you an email quote. I don't know if they are the cheapest place, but the piece I got was outstanding and only took about 1.5 weeks to get it from the day I mailed the order with my personal check. Ordered a piece 16" X 16" and it was $26.50 shipped. Great service and very friendly.

Brettuns Village Leather - Leather by the Piece

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Old May 27th, 2012, 04:39 AM   #82
 
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I just bought a piece of leather for my first holster attempt. Does it need to be stained or can I leave it in "natural" finish? I like the color and look of my piece of leather just as it is!

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Old May 27th, 2012, 09:16 AM   #83
 
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Originally Posted by acepilot View Post
I just bought a piece of leather for my first holster attempt. Does it need to be stained or can I leave it in "natural" finish? I like the color and look of my piece of leather just as it is!

Ace


You can keep it natural but you still need to protect/seal it. Try a product like "Super Sheen". I get mine at the local Tandy Leather.
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Old May 27th, 2012, 10:33 AM   #84
 
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Originally Posted by Puppybreath View Post
You can keep it natural but you still need to protect/seal it. Try a product like "Super Sheen". I get mine at the local Tandy Leather.
Thanks! I'll look into that!

Starting to drool, thinking about wrangling up a piece of leather.

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Old May 27th, 2012, 02:07 PM   #85
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Wish I had the skills to make a couple bandoleros.
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Old May 27th, 2012, 05:35 PM   #86
 
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Wish I had the skills to make a couple bandoleros.
It's not as hard as you think. If you have a Tandy near you, check them out. Many have classes that you can attend for a nominal fee.

I attended one to get an idea of how to do the basics including different sewing stitches and then experimented from there.
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Old May 27th, 2012, 05:40 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Puppybreath View Post
It's not as hard as you think. If you have a Tandy near you, check them out. Many have classes that you can attend for a nominal fee.

I attended one to get an idea of how to do the basics including different sewing stitches and then experimented from there.
There is one 10 miles away. I'll check them out.
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Old May 27th, 2012, 09:45 PM   #88
 
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Speaking of Tandy I just visited them this weekend...wished they were only 10 miles away...
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Old May 27th, 2012, 10:57 PM   #89
 
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Quote:
You can keep it natural but you still need to protect/seal it. Try a product like "Super Sheen". I get mine at the local Tandy Leather.
Keeping in mind that any preservative or leather conditioner will darken somewhat the color that you are starting from. I ran into that when I use to care and repair my Goalie equipment as a youth playing midget ice hockey. Smithy.
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Old May 30th, 2012, 09:41 AM   #90
 
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Hi All,

Smithy, Tandy also sells project pieces of leather that would work for the sized project you are looking at with your NAA revolver. I would look at a piece of 5-6 ounce leather rather than the 8 to 9 ounce stuff. I have gotten around to taking two layers of the 5 to 6 ounce material for heavy holsters and just a single layer with a lightweight liner like 2 ounce for most other uses. These project pieces usually sell for between $10 to $15 in the store or online.

303lithgow, You could probably benefit from a couple of the longer belt blanks that Tandy sells. They are in widths up to 3 inches wide and 72 inches long. Not to mention you don't have to try and make two parallel cuts in an expensive side of leather to get what you need. As to the actual cartridge loops these can be sewn, threaded through cuts in the leather and sewn or even riveted and sewn. But the idea being you will need to do some stitching somehow or other. You could purchase one of the sewing awls that they sell or you can get from Harbor Freight (cheaper there). These have a spool of thread in the handle and if you follow the directions that come with it you will be able to do a pretty fair job. You might consider a regular stitching Awl to punch the holes through the leather before you try and use the little sewing awl tool, that makes things much easier. For the leather that you will be making the loops out of don't get too carried away with thickness, 2 to 3 ounce leather is about right. Wet it before you start to work and wrap a shell with it in place on your bandoleer. If you cut holes with an Xacto Knife and thread the leather through the backing piece, punching the holes while keeping tension on the leather strip with a cartridge case in place will give you excellent results. Just leave the cartridge cases in place until the leather dries out and it will be nice and tight which is what you want.

As to the leather finish, Super Shene, it is an acrylic product and works very well. While it may darken a bit when you first apply it, upon drying it doesn't really affect the color so much. If you look at the top belt and holster set up in the pictures below, the lighter color is natural leather with a couple of coats of Super Shene on it after a high lighter was applied to make it light tan. Tooling leather with stamping tools often imparts a darkened color to the natural leather and Super Shene is designed to protect the leather without altering the coloration so much.

Not being one to lay about for too long, I started tinkering with the idea of a new holster for another of my modern pistols, in this case my Ruger P-90 DC, a nice robust .45 ACP single stack pistol. While I have a belt slide and a pancake style for it, I have been thinking about a clip on style with a thumb break. It would be right handy while packing around in the heat of the desert, that pancake style is okay but it can make one sweat a bit since it covers up a bit of hide. The clip on style makes for easy on and off when required, the US Post Office doesn't allow firearms unless you are a Police Officer of some sort so I do have to take off the firearm when going in there or the court house or other county and federal buildings. Since Nevada is an open carry state, unless a business has a sign posting it as a "No Firearms" business, one can pretty well carry a revolver or pistol openly. With a concealed carry permit you are on your own as to packing one with the exception of the government type places.

At any rate I did look around at a few commercial examples from Bianchi, S.D. Myers, El Paso Saddlery, and other commercial makers for ideas and suggestions. With the P-90 being no longer in production some of them will make one, but it is on a single order made basis. They are in business to make money so this is perfectly understandable. Being a hobbyist, I can play around all I want.

Sitting down with paper and pencil and an unloaded firearm, I soon came up with a workable design that I liked. It covers enough of the pistol to protect it to some degree, I will be molding it to the shape of the pistol as well which helps in retention. The side of the pistol that will be against my sweaty bod will be covered up pretty well. And most of all, I will be able to get a good sized handful of pistol when it comes time to break it out and my thumb will be able to hit the thumb break without changing my grip on the grip.



As you may be able to tell from all the taped on pieces of card here and there, designing one is a trial and error sort of thing. The idea being to try and take into consideration as much of the variables as possible and change things to suit before you start to cut out some leather. Once I was satisfied with my pattern I laid it out on a chunk of leather and drew around it then cut that part out. I also cut a section for the clip to be housed in that I will be able to stitch on to the back of the holster. This serves to put the holster out further just a little more as well as locks the clip in place with a rivet and stitching and protects the finish of the pistol by putting more leather between it and the steel clip.



So now I have a few things to keep me occupied over the next couple of days.
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