Adventures in Strap Making - Canvas and Recycled Leather Materials
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  1. #1
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    Adventures in Strap Making - Canvas and Recycled Leather Materials

    Hey all.

    I've stopped and started a few times with strap making...and at this point I think I know enough and have enough tools to be dangerous! . So off we go! (Feel free to chime in with advice and constructive thoughts)

    My first project was a canvas strap made from an IDF (Israeli Defense Force) ammo pouch. I'm guessing leather wouldn't fare well in a desert? Certainly cheaper... Anyway, I bought this one and was hoping to incorporate the symbol on my "final" strap from the back. But first, a test strap.

    Pic of the bag and a rifle sling that I'm working up to using for another strap.



    These were the tools I had to begin with.



    After disassembly (these were not built to come apart!), I decided to use parts that already had a formed fold in them and make the pieces. I used an existing strap as a template and cut the pieces. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do a leather back, as the strap is probably thick enough but decided for a test strap to go for it. I used a bit of a sample piece of leather from Restoration Hardware. It was nice and thin, so I didn't skive it. Hindsight, it needs a little skiving...




    This canvas was fraying a lot, so I bought this stuff called Fray Check and it works! I wonder how other canvas straps are made so they don't fray? Are they made from a belt like strip, where the manufacturer has already taken care of that due to how it's made? Anyway, the project stalled a bit as I didn't have punches to stitch, or the stitching pony. More on the pony later. Here's what things look like now.



    After a trip to Tandy (I'm lucky to have one sort of close to me), I have more tools! I upgraded the $20 stitching pony by wet-forming some scrap bits of leather around the top, letting them dry, then gluing them on. Now the top of the pony won't mark up my projects.




    Then I got distracted by an old belt that I have "grown out of". It's black with some slight distressing. I used the buckle end and was going to use a roller buckle I bought for this strap. Unfortunately, I forgot and glued it, so a normal Pre-V buckle will suffice. Pics of the progress.


    Instead of this (I thought exposing the holes would look more interesting)


    Stitching and punching holes proved harder than I thought. First, I bought a 6-hole and 2-hole punch from Tandy. They were out of 4 hole punches. After I ordered some thread on Amazon, one of the other things people buy came up - a set of 4 hole punches that was cheap. Well.... turns out the prongs of the cheap ones are way too small and thus the holes they made were really small. You can see in this test strap that the outermost holes are too small. I then used the Tandy punch and then was able to at least practice some stitching after I butchered what I had made.


    The Tandy punch is the black Craftool.


    After all this I'm excited to try again and see what comes of it. Things I figured out - things that I thought would be hard were easier. I thought saddle stitching would be harder but I found a good video...and I think I did ok. Besides the awful punch line, how does it look? Punching the holes was harder than I thought, as I was punching on an angle sometimes. New things I learned - remove rivets using a power drill. The right skiver makes all the difference. I used the curvy thing before and hated it. The bigger on in this pic is the new skiving knife and I like it a lot better.



    For glue I'm using Barge cement. I only have a little tube of it, but I have some rubber cement in the garage. Is this a decent alternative when I run out of the barge cement? I'll add more pics of the new strap and the progress on the canvas strap.

    Thanks for your time,
    Neil
    Last edited by solar g-shocker; 2 Weeks Ago at 03:43.
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  2. #2
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    Adventures in Strap Making - Canvas and Recycled Leather Materials

    Hey all.

    Update on the rifle sling strap. Good news, skiving is getting better. Bad news, when I reconditioned the leather I saturated it with Neatsfoot Oil compound. I thought, a little did great, more is better. So, after applying a couple coats of it and the leather soaking it up, I thought, it'll be more supple if I keep going. Well I saturated it. I think because of it, the glue won't adhere to it, and I can't glue my strap together. Some pics





    The glue was removed pretty easily....

    I'm hoping that some corn starch will draw out enough of the oil (read that on a leather forum).... I was also thinking that saddle soap might work as well. I'm currently trying the corn starch method. These were all tips on leatherworker.net

    I do like the strap itself and have ordered a couple more rifle slings, just in case....

    Any thoughts or tips would be appreciated - both in fixing the current strap and also conditioning leather.

    Thanks,
    Neil
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    Eterna: Super Koniti 1973 LE | Enzo: EMV, EM001 | Omega: Bond SMP | Zilla: Auto, Ti, SS | sAs: Sea Classic II | Maranez: Bangla Ti & Brass | Halios: Puck, Laguna, Holotype | Zixen: PVD Trimix | WCT: 1000m Seal clone, SS & DLC

  3. #3
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    Re: Adventures in Strap Making - Canvas and Recycled Leather Materials

    Good job Neil
    Keep on the practise
    It will be a lot easier with normal leather
    Ammos and old leather is thick and hard
    For glue im using this one



    Its a fun hobby


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  5. #4
    Member QuartzCrisis's Avatar
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    Re: Adventures in Strap Making - Canvas and Recycled Leather Materials

    What thread did you buy?
    I can't seem to find the right thickness, some are too thin and others way too think.
    Guide: How to buy vintage Grand Seiko https://youtu.be/AwRvva7YJMs
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  6. #5
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    Adventures in Strap Making - Canvas and Recycled Leather Materials

    The learning continues!

    First bit of learning is that the rifle sling I had is ruined. It's saturated with neatsfoot oil compound. I tried coating it and letting it sit in corn starch and I went after it with paint thinner and it's still so far soaked that I think it's best to move on....

    Pics


    So I got back to working on the canvas strap. I have to say that canvas is pretty tricky. I'm sure the type of canvas makes all the difference. Mine frays a lot and it's make it very tricky to get a good shape to the strap. You can see in the pics I did an "ok" to poor job of punching the holes, but because the strap frayed so much, even though I mostly followed the line when I punched the holes, the stitching looks like a Frankenstein scar on the top of the strap.



    Questions I have: should my punches be the diamond shape or flat? I was told that my flat ones were for something else (lashing maybe?) and the angled punches were for stitching. It could be me but the angled diamond shape punches seem to move once they're in the leather.

    For thread, I bought this set from amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I also had this Tandy thread: https://www.tandyleather.com/en/prod...Search=1227-01 .

    The Tandy seems thinner, but an OK size. the top link's thread seems a bit more chunky - which I like. I think both seem acceptable to the eye test.

    Pics (Tandy thread is black)

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    Eterna: Super Koniti 1973 LE | Enzo: EMV, EM001 | Omega: Bond SMP | Zilla: Auto, Ti, SS | sAs: Sea Classic II | Maranez: Bangla Ti & Brass | Halios: Puck, Laguna, Holotype | Zixen: PVD Trimix | WCT: 1000m Seal clone, SS & DLC

  7. #6
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    Re: Adventures in Strap Making - Canvas and Recycled Leather Materials

    Canvas is tricky indeed, i think only canvas is machine sewed, if you add leather can sew it from the back
    you can mark better stitch holes on the back.But biggest problem is unraveling a lot.

    Punches i've used few types and sizes, i found best for myself diamond shape at 4mm.
    Thread i use 11/3 thickness polyester ones

  8. #7
    Member QuartzCrisis's Avatar
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    Re: Adventures in Strap Making - Canvas and Recycled Leather Materials

    Thank you for your detailed answer about threads! This is super helpful.
    Guide: How to buy vintage Grand Seiko https://youtu.be/AwRvva7YJMs
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  9. #8
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    Re: Adventures in Strap Making - Canvas and Recycled Leather Materials

    Awesome "thread"!


    I wouldn't punch canvas, it would invite a lot more fraying.

    I forget the thickness, but I use "serving" thread meant for archery bowstrings.

    Tough as nails, can be flame sealed and comes in lots of colors.

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  10. #9
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    Re: Adventures in Strap Making - Canvas and Recycled Leather Materials

    Iím back at it with a cheap belt from the local thrift store.

    Working on my skiving

    Something else I saw - sanding the strap sides to ensure all is even and will remove any excess glue on the side. Iím sure itíll help ensure an even marking line so my stitches donít look like a Frankenstein scar.

    As far as thread, looks like there are a few that are far and above better. I think Ribka is one. I may have the spelling wrong. Will check.
    Also, I found a site (buckleguy) that has belts of Horween leather. Sounds perfect for making straps....

    Neil


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    boa49 and DarioV like this.
    IN
    G-Shock DW-5200, GD-350, GW-6900

    OUT
    G-Shock - a lot of them | Aquadive BS100 | Seiko: BFK's, Monsters, Tuna 007, 015 | Helberg/H2O: Kalmar 1, CH-1, CH-6 |
    Eterna: Super Koniti 1973 LE | Enzo: EMV, EM001 | Omega: Bond SMP | Zilla: Auto, Ti, SS | sAs: Sea Classic II | Maranez: Bangla Ti & Brass | Halios: Puck, Laguna, Holotype | Zixen: PVD Trimix | WCT: 1000m Seal clone, SS & DLC

  11. #10
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    Re: Adventures in Strap Making - Canvas and Recycled Leather Materials

    Yes i sand the sides to get them even
    If there is glue i dont think can sand it off
    I use non metal sandpaper

    After have to use edge beveler
    Then before stitching can burnish the edge
    Ive made my self mixture of beeswax and oils, not need to add a lot just a little



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