My try at strap making and some lessons learnt
Like Tree167Likes

Thread: My try at strap making and some lessons learnt

Page 1 of 31 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 303
  1. #1
    Member crazyfingers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    India
    Posts
    2,516

    My try at strap making and some lessons learnt

    Recently I bought a Panerai PAM005 and with it came the obsession of straps. I started going through a lot of forums and watch strap websites trying hard not to spend all my money. I liked the look of the handmade straps and started learning more about how they're made. I'm pretty sure I must have watched almost all the videos on this subject on YouTube. I was hooked and I just had to give it a go.

    My first hurdle was a limited number of tools I could call from online websites in India. Most of the tools that I required for leather craft were either not available here or were way too overpriced. I managed to find a hole punching tool, a rubber mallet, a cutting mat and knife here. The rest had to be ordered from international sellers which took quite a while to arrive (some still haven't reached after more than a month).

    I had most of the tools I needs to start working on a watch strap, except for leather. My first plan was to try my luck online, but no dice. I then decided to try some local leather goods manufacturers, but I did not have too much luck there as well. I ended up buying some leather which I was told was perfect for strap making, clearly not true as I would find out later.


    Fast forward to my place. I had all my tools laid out and couldn't wait to start! As soon as I got the leather out of the bag, I knew something wasn't right. The leather was really thin, almost like cloth. It needed to be thicker if I had to make a strap out of it. I decided to cut more layers of leather and glue them together. So in the end I had 4 layers of leather making a combined thickness of about 3mm.


    Hear are some shots I took while working on the strap...

    Name:  1.jpg
Views: 1242
Size:  198.0 KB

    Name:  1b.jpg
Views: 1233
Size:  204.3 KB

    Name:  2.jpg
Views: 1224
Size:  138.5 KB

    Name:  3.jpg
Views: 1680
Size:  158.6 KB

    I was having a real hard while trying to burnish the edges. I then realised that the leather was way too soft for this and I ended up fraying the edges instead (had to cut them off later).

    ready to start stitching
    Name:  4.jpg
Views: 1209
Size:  204.0 KB

    And finally here is the strap all done
    Name:  6.jpg
Views: 1215
Size:  162.1 KB

    Name:  7.jpg
Views: 1210
Size:  195.9 KB

    Here is what I learned:



    • Know your leather and buy it from a good source - I saw multiple videos on this and I wished I had seen them before. Turns out the stuff I bought was chrome tanned leather and not suitable for strap making. I need to get vegetable tanned leather. I think I have identified another source who seems to have leather of much higher quality.
    • Buy or make a 'pony' - a pony is like a clamp to hold the leather project while you have your hands free to stitch. I thought I could easily do without one, but I was wrong. There was no easy way to hold the strap (I tried holding it between my knees) and I ended up with a slight back ache.
    • An awl is a wonderful tool to have - very useful!
    • Even though the leather sewing needles aren't very sharp, they'll still ..... you if you're not careful.





    It was a great learning experience for me and I look forward to improving my skills. Today I tried the saddle stitch on a piece of a cheap belt and I can already see the improvement :)

    Name:  7b.jpg
Views: 1212
Size:  101.6 KB
    Are you watching closely?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    My blog:
    http://watchesindia.blogspot.com/
    Instagram: @crazystrobist

  2. #2
    Member Nokie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Marin County, CA
    Posts
    28,045

    Re: My try at strap making and some lessons learnt

    Nice. Great read.
    "Either he's dead or my watch has stopped"
    Groucho Marx

    "The only reason for time is so that everything does not happen at once..."
    Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    1,134

    Re: My try at strap making and some lessons learnt

    Fantastic. Your stitching looks better than the stitching on my strapped watch co straps!

    I would love to see more in progress. I've been wanting to make my own straps as well.
    crazyfingers likes this.

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Member crazyfingers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    India
    Posts
    2,516

    Re: My try at strap making and some lessons learnt

    Thanks a lot guys! I've just ordered for some brown Italian leather from Etsy. It's being shipped from Europe, so will take a couple of weeks. I'm hoping it's the right stuff for straps.

    @poisonwazthecure - you should definitely give it a go
    poisonwazthecure and Karkarov like this.
    Are you watching closely?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    My blog:
    http://watchesindia.blogspot.com/
    Instagram: @crazystrobist

  6. #5
    Member crazyfingers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    India
    Posts
    2,516

    Re: My try at strap making and some lessons learnt

    So here is my second attempt and thankfully this time I had better leather to work with. I realised that my cheap hole much is a bit misaligned and gave me a crooked stitch line. I need to get a new one. Also, skiving without a proper tool is quite a task. The edges are burnished and not painted, as I felt this gave it a more natural look.

    Name:  WhatsApp Image 2016-08-12 at 03.31.24.jpeg
Views: 1148
Size:  108.5 KB

    Name:  WhatsApp Image 2016-08-12 at 03.33.54.jpeg
Views: 1086
Size:  101.1 KB

    Name:  WhatsApp Image 2016-08-12 at 20.26.40.jpeg
Views: 1076
Size:  93.7 KB
    Last edited by crazyfingers; August 12th, 2016 at 23:33.
    MV-22, Level.5x, Karkarov and 8 others like this.
    Are you watching closely?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    My blog:
    http://watchesindia.blogspot.com/
    Instagram: @crazystrobist

  7. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    2,542

    Re: My try at strap making and some lessons learnt

    Quote Originally Posted by crazyfingers View Post
    So here is my second attempt and thankfully this time I had better leather to work with. I realised that my cheap hole much is a bit misaligned and gave me a crooked stitch line. I need to get a new one. Also, skiving without a proper tool is quite a task. The edges are burnished and not painted, as I felt this gave it a more natural look.

    Name:  WhatsApp Image 2016-08-12 at 03.31.24.jpeg
Views: 1148
Size:  108.5 KB
    That looks really good! I wish I could quit my day job and make leather straps. Lol I thought about buying tools and some scrap leather and giving it a try.

    Seems like the end of the strap is one of the hardest parts. I like the basic triangular end where it comes to a point like you have here.

    This seems to be the first thing I focus on when I'm looking at handmade straps. Is there something about the angle of the leather cut and the angle of the stitching that makes this difficult? Seems like the slightest imperfection shows up here.

    Your stitching is really good on this one but just curious what your thoughts are on finishing the end of the long piece.

  8. #7
    Member crazyfingers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    India
    Posts
    2,516

    Re: My try at strap making and some lessons learnt

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonesin4Watches View Post
    That looks really good! I wish I could quit my day job and make leather straps. Lol I thought about buying tools and some scrap leather and giving it a try.

    Seems like the end of the strap is one of the hardest parts. I like the basic triangular end where it comes to a point like you have here.

    This seems to be the first thing I focus on when I'm looking at handmade straps. Is there something about the angle of the leather cut and the angle of the stitching that makes this difficult? Seems like the slightest imperfection shows up here.

    Your stitching is really good on this one but just curious what your thoughts are on finishing the end of the long piece.
    Thanks a lot!! :)

    You should definitely give it a go. I have a day job too, so I normally work on straps at nights or weekends. You could maybe start with some of the basic tools to make a simple strap. A cutting mat, a nice sharp knife to cut the leather with (started off with a scalpel, but now preferring to use an Olfa rotary cutter), some needles, waxed thread, glue, a hole punch and definitely an awl.

    Yeah, the end of the straps are a bit tricky, you have to get the perfect angles and the cuts proper. For some reason, even after marking the cut lines with a pen, I still manage to goof things up. I've thought about getting a strap end tool, I think it will give a more professional look to the straps. I'm still learning, so maybe it's good if I can learn how to cut the straps properly without fancy tools.

    The cuts do make a lot of difference. I think it will just takes practice to get it right. I also thing the right tool helps considerably. Like I mentioned earlier, I was cutting the leather with a scalpel, but am now using a Olfa rotary cutter and getting better results (have a look at my next post).

    Another thing that I just can't seem to perfect is the stitch lines / holes. It may be either due the cheap punch I have or that I really need to pay more attention when I'm making them. I'm working on a strap for a friend and I think it's coming along much better on that one (will upload this pics in a few days).

    If I can brag, I do think my stitching has improved considerably. I watched a lot of helpful tutorials and can confidently say that I get the saddle stitch right :)

    Regarding finishing the long piece, are you talking about the stitching or the cut/burnishing/something else?
    Last edited by crazyfingers; August 13th, 2016 at 20:26. Reason: removed the duplicate quote
    Are you watching closely?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    My blog:
    http://watchesindia.blogspot.com/
    Instagram: @crazystrobist

  9. #8
    Member crazyfingers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    India
    Posts
    2,516

    Re: My try at strap making and some lessons learnt

    Finished another my third strap today and I think the one seems the best so far :)

    I went in for the minimal stitch look as I've seen on a lot of straps off late. I also applied a coat of beeswax+some oils to give it a nice finish.

    This one is 20mm.

    Name:  WhatsApp Image 2016-08-13 at 21.40.10.jpeg
Views: 1052
Size:  117.8 KB

    Name:  WhatsApp Image 2016-08-13 at 21.40.11.jpeg
Views: 1044
Size:  90.3 KB
    Are you watching closely?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    My blog:
    http://watchesindia.blogspot.com/
    Instagram: @crazystrobist

  10. #9
    Member MV-22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Eastern seaboard
    Posts
    167

    Re: My try at strap making and some lessons learnt

    Do you mind sharing how you knotted/finished the stitching at each corner where a springbar goes? I've had a few attempts, and I can't seem to make it look right.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #10
    Member crazyfingers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    India
    Posts
    2,516

    Re: My try at strap making and some lessons learnt

    Quote Originally Posted by MV-22 View Post
    Do you mind sharing how you knotted/finished the stitching at each corner where a springbar goes? I've had a few attempts, and I can't seem to make it look right.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Sure thing :)

    I did a quick stitch on a spare piece of leather in this example.

    Step 1: make holes through the folded leather.
    Name:  IMG_20160814_041030.jpg
Views: 1036
Size:  157.1 KB

    Step 2: From the back, push the threaded needle towards the side edge of the folded leather. Note, this gets tougher when the two layer are stuck together.
    Name:  IMG_20160814_041204.jpg
Views: 1034
Size:  138.2 KB

    Step 3: Create the first loop through the front.
    Name:  IMG_20160814_041313.jpg
Views: 1035
Size:  145.3 KB
    Name:  IMG_20160814_041401.jpg
Views: 1034
Size:  136.7 KB

    Step 4: Make another loop from front to back, going though both layer of your strap.
    Name:  IMG_20160814_041450.jpg
Views: 1026
Size:  137.5 KB

    Step 5: Optionally, I like to push the back end of the thread through the loop to ensure a tighter stitch.
    Name:  IMG_20160814_041612.jpg
Views: 1025
Size:  149.9 KB

    Step 6: Finish it off by tying a couple of knots at the back to secure the stitch.
    Name:  IMG_20160814_041801.jpg
Views: 1042
Size:  160.8 KB
    Name:  IMG_20160814_041811.jpg
Views: 1023
Size:  97.0 KB

    Disclaimer: I'm not sure if that's the way it's supposed to be done. I couldn't find any videos or tutorials on this, so this is just something that I came up with after unsuccessfully trying a few different methods. Hopefully someone with more knowledge could point us in the right direction.
    Are you watching closely?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    My blog:
    http://watchesindia.blogspot.com/
    Instagram: @crazystrobist

Page 1 of 31 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Similar Threads

    1. Share your lessons learnt
      By Yiper in forum Public Forum
      Replies: 70
      Last Post: June 22nd, 2016, 18:57
    2. Lessons learnt from my first Rolex
      By benjib in forum Rolex & Tudor
      Replies: 14
      Last Post: June 12th, 2015, 14:08
    3. basic watch making lessons!!!
      By rmelle in forum Watchmaking
      Replies: 18
      Last Post: June 22nd, 2010, 23:39
    4. Mods on a TSAR - Any tips or lessons learnt?
      By bmxbandit in forum Dive watches
      Replies: 5
      Last Post: October 23rd, 2009, 15:02
    5. Strap / Deployant Lessons For A Newbie...
      By mike1g in forum Officine Panerai
      Replies: 7
      Last Post: October 17th, 2009, 00:05

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •