Strapmaking: Another Beginner's Attempt
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  1. #1
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    Strapmaking: Another Beginner's Attempt

    I think I'm finally ready to give strap making a try. I have no illusions of being good at this. I just want to give it my best effort by starting off with some decent tools and a quality leather that I'll enjoy practicing with(Not too expensive, but not garbage scraps either!).

    Below is a list of items *I think* I need to start practicing. I don't want to buy the "starter kits" so I'm trying to piece just the essentials together.

    Please let me know what you think!

    The Tools:

    1.) Basic wood burnisher
    2.) Gum Tragacanth for burnishing edges
    3.) An edge paddle to apply coating, glue, etc.
    4.) Leather adhesive
    5.) Edge Beveler size #2
    6.) Edge Creaser
    7.) Awl
    8.) Sewing Pony Clamp
    9.) Diamond shaped hole punch set(3.38mm spacing)
    10.) Waxed thread - 1mm thick
    11.) Pack of stitching needles

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    These 11 items total $123.90.

    I think I already have: 1.) a cutting mat. 2.)Exact-o knife. and 3.) a mallet/hammer.

    I just want essentials so I can practice cutting, gluing, edge burnishing, and sewing for now.


    Now for the leather:

    Any decent leather recommendation that I can buy that's cheap but has a finish and enjoyable to practice on?

    Below is a leather I found on Springfield Leather Co's site that has a nice finish and I can buy by the square foot. I'd like to start off with spending about $50 on my first batch of leather? Is there a better recommendation?

    I like a strap to be double-sided so it's about 3-5mm thick. I think that means I want a 4-6oz leather, correct?

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    Name:  Xcel Leather from SLC(pic 2).JPG
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    I'd really like to keep my beginning investment(including leather) under $200.

    Any feedback would be much appreciated. I definitely have a passion for leather watch straps. I can't stop buying them so I'd like to make my own. Kind of like a meth addict wanting to start their own meth lab!
    Last edited by Level.5x; 2 Weeks Ago at 05:01.
    drewmcd24 likes this.
    BALL / CHR. WARD / HAMILTON / MIDO / ORIS / SEIKO / SINN


  2. #2
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    Re: Strapmaking: Need help picking tools & supplies

    Following for sure! I thought I was going to start with leather, a knife and a hole punch.. that list is awesome! Thanks! Best of luck!

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Member SHANE 1000's Avatar
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    Re: Strapmaking: Need help picking tools & supplies

    Good grief they try selling so much unnecessary sh*t these days it is absolutely unbelievable. Although kinda cool to have a bunch of tools as it looks good, this list is asinine IMHO!! they try to sell what a newbie THINKS they need when in all actuality they don't, so the store makes the money by misinforming the customer with a list of junk basically.

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    Pallet Spoon, Karkarov and vesire like this.
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  4. #4
    Member SHANE 1000's Avatar
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    Re: Strapmaking: Need help picking tools & supplies

    Most important tool to have is a super sharp knife.
    AWL with a blade for the holes.
    Ruler.
    Glue of choice.
    Thread of choice.
    Needles at first buy a few as you'll probably break a few along the way.
    Hole punch....cheapo will do perfectly.....the one in then picture is maybe 4 bucks worth and it has lasted a long time.
    Knife or Knives,
    Sharpener for the knives or knife.
    Flat nosed pliers for when the needle is hard to pull through the leather because the hole made might have been too shallow or the leather is tough?
    Plastic edging sticks for the edges, also edge kote if you want to finish of the edges?.....a piece of denim will also do the job perfectly well on some hides especially veggie tan.
    Spacing wheel for the hole marks, where you'll use the bladed awl to make the holes
    Wet N Dry sand paper for the rougher leather not needed if the cuts are as perfect as you can get them first time around (again SHARP knife is key)


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    Last edited by SHANE 1000; 2 Weeks Ago at 03:03.
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  5. #5
    Member Karkarov's Avatar
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    Re: Strapmaking: Need help picking tools & supplies

    Quote Originally Posted by SHANE 1000 View Post
    Good grief they try selling so much unnecessary sh*t these days it is absolutely unbelievable. Although kinda cool to have a bunch of tools as it looks good, this list is asinine IMHO!! they try to sell what a newbie THINKS they need when in all actuality they don't, so the store makes the money by misinforming the customer with a list of junk basically.
    Came to this thread hoping to see a Shane 1000 post, was not disappointed.

    :D

  6. #6
    Member SHANE 1000's Avatar
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    Re: Strapmaking: Need help picking tools & supplies

    Quote Originally Posted by Karkarov View Post
    Came to this thread hoping to see a Shane 1000 post, was not disappointed.

    :D
    Well being honest mate it truly bothers me that the Tandy stores sell so much sh*t that a person doesn't need, when I started they did they same, try and sell sell and sell, I adapted a way because I couldn't afford to buy all the suggested tools they said I would NEED!!

    Posted these before although crappy it'll give someone out there a rough idea of how to do a strap with minimal tools.
    naturally as a person progresses with their craft they can get more detailed and refined.

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/f222/those-want-most-simple-strap-make-themselves-4107754.html

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/f222/those-might-interested-little-pictoral-tutorial-25-cents-custom-skiver-4062114.html

    With the most minimal tools ever. rough but again showing you don't need to spend a fortune on tools

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/f222/poor-mans-guide-strap-making-cheap-easy-picture-heavy-4110258.html
    Last edited by SHANE 1000; 2 Weeks Ago at 03:28.
    Karkarov likes this.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Strapmaking: Need help picking tools & supplies

    Quote Originally Posted by SHANE 1000 View Post
    Most important tool to have is a super sharp knife.
    AWL with a blade for the holes.
    Ruler.
    Glue of choice.
    Thread of choice.
    Needles at first buy a few as you'll probably break a few along the way.
    Hole punch....cheapo will do perfectly.....the one in then picture is maybe 4 bucks worth and it has lasted a long time.
    Knife or Knives,
    Sharpener for the knives or knife.
    Flat nosed pliers for when the needle is hard to pull through the leather because the hole made might have been too shallow or the leather is tough?
    Plastic edging sticks for the edges, also edge kote if you want to finish of the edges?.....a piece of denim will also do the job perfectly well on some hides especially veggie tan.
    Spacing wheel for the hole marks, where you'll use the bladed awl to make the holes
    Wet N Dry sand paper for the rougher leather not needed if the cuts are as perfect as you can get them first time around (again SHARP knife is key)
    Thank you sir! That's extremely helpful. I appreciate you marking through all that expensive crap. I guess my list was a little overkill. Lol

    I've grabbed a couple extra items like the stitching wheel and awl but more importantly took most of those items off my list now. I didn't fully understand that stitching wheel in-use but makes sense now and replaces the need for that chisel hole punch that's not cheap.

    Now I feel better about buying better leather!

    I found the "Horse" leather section on Springfield Leather Co's site and they have some Horween in stock.

    Name:  Chromexcel Horse.jpg
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    BALL / CHR. WARD / HAMILTON / MIDO / ORIS / SEIKO / SINN


  8. #8
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    Re: Strapmaking: Need help picking tools & supplies

    Quote Originally Posted by SHANE 1000 View Post
    Well being honest mate it truly bothers me that the Tandy stores sell so much sh*t that a person doesn't need, when I started they did they same, try and sell sell and sell, I adapted a way because I couldn't afford to buy all the suggested tools they said I would NEED!!

    Posted these before although crappy it'll give someone out there a rough idea of how to do a strap with minimal tools.
    naturally as a person progresses with their craft they can get more detailed and refined.

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/f222/those-want-most-simple-strap-make-themselves-4107754.html

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/f222/those-might-interested-little-pictoral-tutorial-25-cents-custom-skiver-4062114.html

    With the most minimal tools ever. rough but again showing you don't need to spend a fortune on tools

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/f222/poor-mans-guide-strap-making-cheap-easy-picture-heavy-4110258.html
    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
    SHANE 1000 and Karkarov like this.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Strapmaking: Need help picking tools & supplies

    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
    SHANE 1000 and Karkarov like this.

  10. #10
    Member Pallet Spoon's Avatar
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    Re: Strapmaking: Need help picking tools & supplies

    Quote Originally Posted by Karkarov View Post
    Came to this thread hoping to see a Shane 1000 post, was not disappointed.

    :D
    +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 ;) .
    SHANE 1000 and Karkarov like this.

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