The toothpick trick: for leather straps that are loose on the spring bars
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  1. #1
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    The toothpick trick: for leather straps that are loose on the spring bars

    Hi All,

    Fitting single layer shell cordovan straps used to drive me nuts–until I figured out this trick. All you need are some round wooden toothpicks, a tool to clip the toothpick, and a spring bar tool. Diagonal cutting pliers or wire snips work best to clip the toothpick.

    Basically the issue is that the strap end is not tight around the spring bar, which makes getting the bars into the lugs a real pain. By inserting a toothpick "behind" the spring bar, we can stop it from wiggling around in the strap-end.

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    Step one is to insert the spring bar into the strap and then put the toothpick in "behind it" (farther away from the lugs):

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    Then you push the toothpick all the way through behind the bar:

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    After that, clip the toothpick on the longer side:

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    Then use your spring bar tool to push the the toothpick into the band so the cut end is about 2 mm inside the band (not shown). Then clip off the other end:

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    After that, use the spring bar tool to push the toothpick in so it is entirely inside the strap end. You now have a strap that is very easy to install!

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  2. #2
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    Re: The toothpick trick: for leather straps that are loose on the spring bars

    BRILLIANT. Such a simple solution to a complex problem.

  3. #3
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    Re: The toothpick trick: for leather straps that are loose on the spring bars

    Very nice. Thx for sharing a good tip

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  5. #4
    Sponsor CrownAndBuckle's Avatar
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    Re: The toothpick trick: for leather straps that are loose on the spring bars

    Cool trick! My oh my those spring bar holes are way too large. They could fit a 6mm diameter spring bar at least, lol.

  6. #5
    Member gmads's Avatar
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    Re: The toothpick trick: for leather straps that are loose on the spring bars

    Very MacGyver! Would spring tubes also solve the problem?


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    slcbbrown and Rickster27b like this.

  7. #6
    Member Nokie's Avatar
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    Re: The toothpick trick: for leather straps that are loose on the spring bars

    Very nice.

    Thanks for sharing.
    "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

  8. #7
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    Re: The toothpick trick: for leather straps that are loose on the spring bars

    Quote Originally Posted by gmads View Post
    Very MacGyver! Would spring tubes also solve the problem?


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    They might! I have never seen those. But they would not leave the end of the watchband as flat, I would think.

  9. #8
    Member craigmorin4555's Avatar
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    Re: The toothpick trick: for leather straps that are loose on the spring bars

    Quote Originally Posted by gmads View Post
    Very MacGyver! Would spring tubes also solve the problem?


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    Would only use these with drilled lugs otherwise it's a one shot deal learned the hard way finding there is no way to compress the spring bar

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    Rickster27b likes this.

  10. #9
    Member gmads's Avatar
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    Re: The toothpick trick: for leather straps that are loose on the spring bars

    Quote Originally Posted by craigmorin4555 View Post
    Would only use these with drilled lugs otherwise it's a one shot deal learned the hard way finding there is no way to compress the spring bar

    Sent from my SM-T713 using Tapatalk
    That’s an excellent point! Would tubes smaller than the lug width solve that? Say 18mm tube for 20mm strap?

  11. #10
    Sponsor CrownAndBuckle's Avatar
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    Re: The toothpick trick: for leather straps that are loose on the spring bars

    Yes, it would be best to undersize the tubes if you use spring bar tubes by at least 2-3mm.

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