The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Gear and Accessories

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 14, 2002, 01:53 PM   #1
Goet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 8, 2000
Location: North Ogden, UT
Posts: 953
Leatherwork question: Anyone ever made their own holster?

I just acquired a P32 and would like to make a holster somewhat like Judy's custom wallet holster. The price is somewhere near $50, so I'd like to see if I can make one myself. The design seems simple enough to copy and I was wondering if anyone could help me with what supplies to buy.

I know I need the leather and the elastic material. I need some kind of thread or twine, a leather punching needle. I can dig up a thimble at home if I need one. The shears and/or razor blades for cutting I already have.

Do I need a punch or can I make do with tough needles and thin leather?

What am I missing or am I totally off base?

BTW, this is kind of what I'd like to make:

__________________
Bomb Canada!
Goet is offline  
Old August 14, 2002, 06:02 PM   #2
Walosi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 1, 2001
Location: Auburn, KY
Posts: 298
I have had a Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl Kit for many years, and they are still available, I believe. I've seen them in Cabelas, most recently. The kit had light and heavy waxed linen thread, two needle sizes, and instructions for making a lock stitch. I made revolver holsters from 8-10 oz. leather for years. You refer to a punching needle - to make a decent looking stitch, you should measure off and mark the holes along your seam, and either drill (heavy leather) or punch the holes. I even have a selection of useful size nails for this There are punches for this purpose, but nails are cheap. Now that my hands are stiff, I've found a good shoe shop with a lock stitch machine and a friendly owner.Now, I spend most of the time on a holster fitting, trimming and molding. The cost of having it machine stitched isn't as high as I had anticipated, and it looks better, too.
Walosi is offline  
Old August 14, 2002, 10:30 PM   #3
Ed Brunner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 11, 1998
Location: Natchez, MS, USA
Posts: 2,562
Look at www.tandyleather.com They have it all.
__________________
MOLON LABE

UNTIL IT'S OVER!

Ed
Ed Brunner is offline  
Old August 15, 2002, 10:42 AM   #4
Goet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 8, 2000
Location: North Ogden, UT
Posts: 953
Followup question:

I went by the leather supply store. I found some glover's needles, some waxed thread, dye, finish, a set of punches, and a scrap of some leather.

Problem is, I think the leather might be a bit thick. The leather that was in the right thickness was all on rolls and I didn't feel like shelling out that kind of money for an "attempt" at making 1 holster.

I've found a tool called a skivver (?) in the online catalogs that seems like it is used for thinning leather by small shavings, like a wood plane.

Is there another way? Would sanding the leather with a vibrating sander bring down the thickness? I'd just hate to have to buy another piece of leather as my wife is already looking cross-eyed at the receipt from yesterday.
__________________
Bomb Canada!
Goet is offline  
Old August 15, 2002, 11:41 AM   #5
bobs1066
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: Eastern Kansas
Posts: 222
Goet,

I use a skivver for thinning edges where two pieces are going to be sewn together. Trying to thin enough to make an entire holster would be an uphill piece of business, IMHO.

The big problem, as I see it, would be trying to get it to come out with an even thickness.

Haven't tried sanding.

Good luck.

bobs1066
bobs1066 is offline  
Old August 15, 2002, 06:14 PM   #6
Dfariswheel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 4, 2001
Posts: 6,824
Check with local shoe shops. Many of them have a splitter. This is a device that actually splits leather down to a specific thickness.
The leather is fed into the device and pulled through. It splits the bottom, rough, side off the top grain.

The only limitation, is whether their splitter is big enough to handle your leather. Most of them are made to take leather less than 8 inches wide, or so.

Skiving IS possible combined with sanding, but this takes an experienced hand, and usually you wind up with "lumpy" leather.

Most leather shops and shoe/saddle shops will sell you whatever thickness and size you need. It will cost more per foot than buying in bulk, but you really don't want bulk.

Another option, is to check online with Tandy Leather. They used to sell "craft cuts" of leather in various thicknesses, in small sizes for hobbiest that didn't need much.
Dfariswheel is offline  
Old August 15, 2002, 06:58 PM   #7
HSGI
Junior Member
 
Join Date: August 15, 2002
Location: NC
Posts: 9
Hello ,
This is my first posting . I have been observing the forum for some time . But thought I would chime in to see if I could help you in the leather questions .
I was a saddle maker before I started my occupation that I'm in now , which is making military gear . Mostly nylon work now .
I'm on other forum , under the username " High Speed " , but looks like this UN is already taken here .

I still have my leather tool , but no time to use them . The "skiver" tappers the edge and is most used to splice straps together or to make layering multiple layer in a smooth action . The "Splitter" is used to slice the leather in thickness . Pretty much what Dfariswheel said . Also look into the leather made soley for holsters , as much leather uses salts for tanning which will corrode the finish of your weapon .
If you have a dremmel tool . use a tiny drill bit to make your holes . Much easier than an awl or sharp tool . Making holes with nails will cause more damage than what it is worth . Sew with nylon or wax linen threads if you don't have a machine to do so .
Prepare your work by making paper patterns as they are exspendable if you mess up . If using multiple layers of leather , use contact cement or rubber cement to hold together while you make your holes and sew . If you plan to dye your work , better to dye all peices before you glue them together , as glue can prevent the dye to penetrate the leather .
As far a cutting your leather , Exacto knife set is OK . Me , I have the leather knives to cut and I sharpen them on a buffing wheel . One knife I use is like a stainless steel pairing ( sp? ) which is razor sharp and very stable .
If your leather is to thick and is less than 8" wide , I would be more than happy to split it for you . Just drop me a line .

I hope I didn't just jump in to fast , But I have been observing for awhile and thought I could be of some assistance .
HSGI
Gene
HSGI is offline  
Old August 16, 2002, 12:08 PM   #8
Goet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 8, 2000
Location: North Ogden, UT
Posts: 953
Thanks for the advice, Gene

And welcome to the posting side of TFL!

Question:

I got some dye and sealer/finish for the main purpose of making it look like some kind of funky homemade wallet (green dye). I think black dye on that size of a wallet might scream "gun".

Would that do the trick to seal in the tanning salts?

I'm not sure what kind of leather I have, but with my luck, it would be just the type to destroy my p32.


I'll try sanding it this weekend. Need to get this started soon as it will be for school and I don't want the kids to make me.

Thanks
__________________
Bomb Canada!
Goet is offline  
Old August 16, 2002, 01:40 PM   #9
HSGI
Junior Member
 
Join Date: August 15, 2002
Location: NC
Posts: 9
Goet ,
First of all , what type of leather is it and where did you get it . Tandy leather is not the best in my book , unless it is named before hand . Great for hobbiest , but not for a professional with his name on the line .
Another concideration is where your AO is and how much do you sweat ? Sometimes no matter how much you seal your leather , pirsperation will prevail .
Most wallets are black or brown , so I think green will stand out more . You may stamp/tool a design on your wallet/holster to better conceal it better .
I usually seal leather with Acrylic resolene which will give a shine and Saddle Butter to help condition the leather . Saddle Soap is " NOT " a sealer or conditioner !
Sometimes a lining leather will help , but eventually sweat will penetrate it all well .
I see so many people clean their handgun , but not their leather . Which goes to ask , do they put on dirty socks after taking a shower ?
I would recomend that you use or sand down your leather to 7/8 oz. . An oz. is close to 1/64 th of an inch .
HSGI
Gene
HSGI is offline  
Old August 16, 2002, 01:46 PM   #10
Scott Evans
Staff Alumnus
 
Join Date: December 7, 1998
Location: Jacksonville, NC
Posts: 1,380
About time you showed up here Gene!

And welcome aboard.

For those who do not know… Gene runs a business in my neck of the woods called High Speed Gear. All his work is pre-mo quality and very innovative.

Check out his site: http://www.highspeedgearinc.com/
__________________
“This is my rifle, there are many like it but this one is mine …”

MOLON LABE !

I’m a G-CODE holster fan !
www.range5.com
Scott Evans is offline  
Old August 16, 2002, 02:28 PM   #11
Correia
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 3, 1998
Location: SLC Utah
Posts: 3,740
I'll second what Scott says. Gene's stuff is awesome. My buddy (PvtPyle) has a customized Denali. Amazing kit.
Correia is offline  
Old August 16, 2002, 02:41 PM   #12
Goet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 8, 2000
Location: North Ogden, UT
Posts: 953
Gene,
It is just some crap scrap off the pile. Like I said, I couldn't afford the entire rolls of the good stuff, so I just had to pick through the pile until I found one that was unblemished.

I will sand it down. Thanks. At least I know that sanding is a possibility.

I may leave it undyed and add a lining. Maybe I'll save the dye for my knife holsters. It will only be used as a back pocket/wallet holster for, so sweat shouldn't be a problem. If I don't fail miserably, maybe I'll try a smaller front pocket wrap holster. I think molding shapes might still be out of my league.




Green leather.
__________________
Bomb Canada!
Goet is offline  
Old August 16, 2002, 02:42 PM   #13
Denny Hansen
Staff
 
Join Date: June 29, 2001
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ
Posts: 2,364
HSGI is givng you some good advice here. I've made everything from belts and wallets to saddles, and would only add that if at all possible start with 7/8 oz. leather. Without the right tools and a practiced hand thinning thicker leather can be a chore and generally end in a so-so product.

As far as stitching goes, products like the Speedy Stitcher will work, but you will get more pleasing, uniform results by using a spacer wheel (a five should work fine). Attach a harness needle to each end of a long piece of waxed linen thread and then criss-cross through each hole.

Denny
__________________
S.W.A.T. Magazine
Weapons, Training and Tactics for the Real World
Join us at TFL or at AR15.com or on Facebook
Denny Hansen is offline  
Old August 16, 2002, 07:39 PM   #14
HSGI
Junior Member
 
Join Date: August 15, 2002
Location: NC
Posts: 9
Scott ,
Thanks for the introduction . I didn't want to blast my companies name all of a sudden till I really absorb all the boards rules . But for a shameless plug for G-Code , it's top-notch ! As soon as i get some time , I'm coming to see ya !

Correia ,
Thanks for the compliment . PvtPyle had some input to his gear which makes it more personal for himself and has also helped a few other customers .

Denny Hansen ,
Do you know Rob Roy ? Originally out of El Paso . If you have shoot me an e-mail . He's been know to stomp around your neck of the woods .

Goet,
I still may have some holster leather in 7/8 oz. among my stuff . I know I have some 4/5 oz. Metallic Leather in green from when I was making Rodeo chaps ! LOL . A layer of this and some 4/5 oz. Diamond-Tan for lining should give you a desired thickness .
But seriously , one of my first gunbelts was done in filagree . I was apprentiancing under Rob Roy , and he said I couldn't do it . Prooved him wrong , and got $750.00 for it .
Leather working is fun as one is willing to make it . Don't look at it as a job , but a pleasure .
Make sure you take precautions when sewing leather , as your hands and finger will cramp or even get poked a time or two .
Just wondering , do you have a belt sander ? If you do , cut your leather a little larger than what you need . Cut some wood the thickness of the leather your prefer . Nail them on a board around the leather and use the belt sander to sand down the leather to the top of the wood . Just be careful the leather does not roll up on you . This may be a little faster than by hand .
HSGI
Gene
HSGI is offline  
Old August 19, 2002, 11:06 AM   #15
Goet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 8, 2000
Location: North Ogden, UT
Posts: 953
Update

It is not the prettiest, but it is done. All that is left is some touch up and cleaning. Oh yeah, and a velcro clasp.

I ended up using a vibrating sander at first. WHAT A WASTE OF TIME!!!

Then I pulled out the wood plane. It actually worked quite well and I got the leather down to the right thickness.

I want to make another one but I think I'll save the thicker leather for mag pouches and get some thin stuff. 50% of the work was just sanding and planing the leather down.

Then it was Punch, punch, punch, and thread, thread, thread.

Choppy edges, not the best sewing, and still needs that soft felt lining I'm going to put inside it, but it will do to break up the p32 outline in my back pocket.

Next project: front pocket holster.
__________________
Bomb Canada!
Goet is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:56 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09667 seconds with 7 queries