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  1. #11
    Member SHANE 1000's Avatar
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    Re: Strapmaking: Need help picking tools & supplies

    Quote Originally Posted by Pallet Spoon View Post
    +1 .... after the original post it was the only obvious response ;) . Free advice from probably the most famous strap maker the hobby has seen. Bravo. Great to know it takes talent and not money. Something I'll never have so I'll stick to buying them ;) .
    It really bothers me that people get conned into buying what they really don't need, sure you can buy all the tools suggested but in all actuality what do you really need to make a simple strap? tiny piece of leather sharp Knife/blade? two needles, awl, thread (if sewing) adhesive if using glue and patience, good for starting out and exceptionally cheap.
    Quote Originally Posted by thatotherguy1 View Post
    I've made several things out of leather, both of thin-ish oil stuffed pull up leather and of thick veg tanned leather. I use a good sharp knife, an awl (though I have used my Swiss Army Pioneer knife awl in the past), a ruler, waxed thread, good quality straight needles, hardware as needed, and a whole lot of patience, guesstimating seam allowances and flap lengths, and eyeballing stitch widths.

    It isn't always pretty, but it works. Those tools are probably handy but do you need them to start playing with leather? Nope. Nope you don't. You can start with the basics and go from there- you'll get better with every project you make.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    That's the ticket right there, play with some crappy leather and basic cheap tools and see where it takes you, IF a person decides they like what they are doing then hone the skills and get appropriate tools for it.
    Karkarov and thatotherguy1 like this.
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  2. #12
    Member SHANE 1000's Avatar
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    Re: Strapmaking: Need help picking tools & supplies

    Quote Originally Posted by Level.5x View Post
    I subscribed to these so I don't lose these. Those pictures are really helpful...don't know how I didn't see these threads earlier this year.

    I see I need more knives than just an X-acto knife....like the skiver. Not sure I'm brave enough to go the "custom skiver" route but I at least know what shape of blade I need to be looking for. I do have a kitchen knife identical to that one in your photo above with black handle and steel rivets but I think I need to go back and get that smaller size.

    Excellent advice again! THANK YOU
    I only did these threads to show a beginner that you don't have to have expensive specific tools for the job.
    The TOOLS I use are cheap and finely honed for ME!! for what I need, again the SHARP knife is the key, the cleaner the cuts means less edge work!! adhesive isn't necessary for stitched straps. sewing clamps is for larger items like saddles and holsters like in a tack shop situation, finger and thumb holding the strap as close as you can to each passing of the needle through the hole is all you need, in effect your fingers are that clamp.

    The X-acto knife at first is fine, but with that it is hard to maintain sharpness for a length of time so you'll end up using more blades (expensive too?) harder to cut a strip in a one time cut with the X-acto usually a few swipes of the blade with thinner smaller blades, and that then means you risk losing the clean edge that you could get with a one swipe cut, Losing that perfect edge means more work to clean up afterwards.
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    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf"

  3. #13
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    Re: Strapmaking: Need help picking tools & supplies

    For the record I tend to use a Stanley utility knife with Irwin bimetal blades for my cutting (and finishing, for that matter). The straight edge with sharp point makes following a straight edge (ruler in my case) simple, the tip cuts the leather well, and I can use the edge to finish the leather as well by shaving the finished edge. The Irwin blades hold a pretty good edge too, and if you aren't good at sharpening you can replace them when they dull (I just sharpen 'em til the tip rounds off too much)

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  4. #14
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    Re: Strapmaking: Need help picking tools & supplies

    Saw the title and expected Shane to reply, I and he did. On the topic of leather, I would suggest that you purchase one of the 5 lb boxes of remnants that Tandy regularly sells. For your first half dozen (for me at least) attempts you do not want to spend a bundle. When you have improved your technique then go to the better leather. The pony is nice to have but I made my own, not a lot to it, or look at what Crazy did with an inexpensive clamp to the table vise.

  5. #15
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    Re: Strapmaking: Need help picking tools & supplies

    I placed my order over the weekend and hope to get the bulk of my supplies tomorrow! I placed an order on Springfield Leather Co and Amazon to get started.

    1. 4 sqft of Grade B Hermann Oak veg tan side 5-6oz. weight.

    This chart below helped me figure out the weight I wanted. 5oz is 2.0mm thick

    Click image for larger version. 

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    2. Dyes! Since I bought plain ole' flesh colored leather, I went ahead and picked up some 4oz. bottles of Saddle Tan and Black low VOC dye made by Fiebing.

    3. Resolene. After researching dyes, I discovered leather dye, similar to car paint, needs a "clear coat" on top. This is accomplished with "Resolene". The 4oz. container I got said it was "neutral" colored?

    4. Tanners Bond Cement(leather glue).

    5. 2 Awls - A "scratch" awl which looks like an ice pick. And the other is a "Fid/Stitching/Blade" awl. The blade awl has a diamond shape for punching holes for stitching.

    6. Overstitching Wheel Set - This overstitching wheel comes with 5 sized wheels. Sizes 5,6,7,9, and 10. These #s represent how many "stitches per inch". I measured the stitching on a few custom straps I have and they have 9 stitches per inch. This seems like a commonly used size, which I like aesthetically. See chart below showing 9spi and what thread size looks "right":

    Name:  thread-sizes-960x906.jpg
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    7. Beeswax. 4 oz.

    That's it for my Springfield Leather Co order. A $111 total.

    Now for Amazon:

    1. 0.6mm Ritza Tiger Thread - Waxed Polyester braided sewing thread. Crème colored spool. (I couldn't justify buying Lin Cable, so I chose this Tiger thread instead. I like the color variety and smaller diameters.

    2. John James Saddlers Harness Needles - pack of 10 for stitching

    3. Fiebing's Edge Kote - Black color

    4. Self-healing Cutting Mat

    5. An X-acto styled razor cutting set.

    6. A simple stainless steel flat ruler(in MMs)

    7. A cheap wood slicker for burnishing(it was $1.77....I couldn't resist!)

    8. A rather cheap skiver to start off with.(again...only $4.99!)

    That's it for Amazon. Another $65!


    So in total, I'm about $176 deep just to get started. Can't wait to receive everything tomorrow! I'll be sure to take some photos ASAP!
    SHANE 1000 likes this.
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  6. #16
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    Re: Strapmaking: Another Beginner's Attempt

    Thank you, Level, for starting this thread, and thank you, Shane, for adding to it. I was thinking about doing the same, and had no idea how to start.
    SHANE 1000 likes this.
    Universal Geneve | Breitling/DPW | Hamilton | Citizen | Vertigo | G-Shock

  7. #17
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    Re: Strapmaking: Another Beginner's Attempt

    After about 4 hours... I've gotten this far with mine... I cut a piece of leather, I skived (is that right?) A keeper, and I had a Battle Royal with a crappy speed stitcher... But I have a functional keeper! My threat isn't waxed... I think that would make a difference. Anyhow, pooped now! More work on it tomorrow! How's yours coming along??? ( Sorry for the crappy pictures... I was too focused on the strap to take too much time on them!)

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk
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  8. #18
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    Re: Strapmaking: Another Beginner's Attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabrnet View Post
    After about 4 hours... I've gotten this far with mine... I cut a piece of leather, I skived (is that right?) A keeper, and I had a Battle Royal with a crappy speed stitcher... But I have a functional keeper! My threat isn't waxed... I think that would make a difference. Anyhow, pooped now! More work on it tomorrow! How's yours coming along??? ( Sorry for the crappy pictures... I was too focused on the strap to take too much time on them!)

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

    The speedy stitch tool is great for very large things such as saddles with that super heavier weight leather that is very firm! but for straps being so small it's best to use needle and thread, you'll have so much more control on what you are doing and naturally the end result will be incredibly different.......My advice would be DON'T use the SS on your strap if you are going or thinking of stitching it, the work so far looks very good so it would be a shame to butcher it with that stitching tool.

    When you stitch leather you need to be able to put thread through it with the most minimal amount of effort, this way it is less traumatic to the hide which means the leather project you're working will look less brutalized when finished and the end result will look way more cleaner.
    Last edited by SHANE 1000; 1 Week Ago at 17:06.
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  9. #19
    Member SHANE 1000's Avatar
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    Re: Strapmaking: Another Beginner's Attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by Level.5x View Post



    So in total, I'm about $176 deep just to get started. Can't wait to receive everything tomorrow! I'll be sure to take some photos ASAP!
    I remember back when I started albeit many years ago (cheaper in store prices) I had hardly any money at that time to get started, so I ended up adapting modifying a bunch of crappy stuff basically out of need, it would have been nice to have been able to buy tools but I'm kind of glad I didn't have the finances back then to do so, it was a major learning lesson, there were no videos or tutorials no help from anyone, but knowing what I know now and what is possible with non professional tools. I realized that in a store/shop situation they WILL take advantage of inexperienced people and convince YOU the customer you NEED all of these things to start, this is why I try to convince people here they don't NEED that much to start!
    Now as time goes on and you think this is something you want to do a lot more than just a couple of personal straps, then that is when you start to invest in some quality tools and leather.

    You have all the right stuff in your shopping list to be able to create a good quality strap.
    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf"

  10. #20
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    Re: Strapmaking: Another Beginner's Attempt

    Can someone tell me how you get perfect edges when cutting the leather into strips initially? I assumed something like a paper cutter would be used but it looks like it's a hand tool instead. Do you use a guide? How do avoid stretching the leather while pulling on it? A picture of video would be awesome!

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