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Old May 26, 2010, 06:35 AM   #76
Magnum Wheel Man
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only had a little time to play last night, but rounded the bottom of that old S&W holster last pictured, punched the holes, & re-laced it bottom to top... looks much better, & I like holsters that are not open on the bottom better... also expiremented with canting the belt area... this tightened the belt slide area, & like it lots better, I like the feel of it being tighter on the belt, & being canted, it holds the grip in tighter to the body while on the belt... after I get everything how I want it for this gun, I'll likely use it as a pattern for a new one using newer & heavier leather...
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Old May 26, 2010, 08:57 AM   #77
aarondhgraham
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However you do it, it's all about the marketing,,,

I recommend taking a class in Small Business Marketing at a community college,,,
The one thing I am positive about in operating a small business,,,
Is that marketing the business is the key,,,
Not the product itself.

I was a self-employed photographer for 13 years,,,
Weddings, family portraiture, and events.

I almost starved to death until I wised up about how to sell my services,,,
I was all hung up on creating pictures that would sell themselves,,,
I thought super quality and word of mouth would do it,,,
Like I said, I almost starved to death.

Then I contacted a marketing major at Chico State University,,,
She took my studio on as a project/client,,,
We started to emphasize the name,,,
Not the studio product.

It was too complex to go into here but it worked,,,
I started booking many more sittings,,,
She marketed me as the product,,,
I was eating well again.

My current status is a hobby business,,,
I really don't need a marketing strategy for it,,,
But if you are going to make a living past the subsistence level,,,
You need a solid business plan and an even more solid marketing plan.

That guy I was telling you about (Dusty Johnson) has retired now,,,
At least he isn't making saddles any more.

He is however still doing the custom cowboy gunbelt thing,,,
Here is his website address: http://www.pvsaddleshop.com

Check him out and send him an e-mail,,,
Tell him that a former student of his said to write,,,
Ask him for advice on how to market your custom holsters.

I'm sure he will give you some sage advice.
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Combat: "A Silent Cry"
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Old May 26, 2010, 02:30 PM   #78
Magnum Wheel Man
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BTW... I'm not interested in doing this for a business, but I have been buying all the reasonably priced "vintage" tooled holsters I can get my hands on... if for nothing else, to get a library of holsters to "look at" when I get around to doing some BBQ style rigs for myself, there are different patterns, I can look at lacing patterns, even have some like my Heiser resto, that I traced the pattern of the cut of leather to use later if I wanted... & as great as pics of these guys's rigs are, there is nothing like running your fingers over a Vintage tooled rig for inspiration

this is one I had hoped to buy, but someone wanted it worse than I did, & it's an "odd size" not fitting anything I have... but I did save these pics, as it's one of the only Heisers I've seen with tooling on the strap, like I wanted to do on the new straps of my resto project...



Attached Images
File Type: jpg vintage Heiser strap pattern.jpg (20.2 KB, 253 views)
File Type: jpg vintage Heiser tooling pattern.jpg (16.1 KB, 254 views)
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Old June 6, 2010, 06:29 PM   #79
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Rain on Saturday... meant some time to play...

here is that old Heiser I'd posted before... I think I'm close to done with what I'm going to do with it... it fits alot of my 38 S&W top breaks





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File Type: jpg Guns 337.jpg (71.4 KB, 892 views)
File Type: jpg Guns 338.jpg (74.9 KB, 222 views)
File Type: jpg Guns 350.jpg (73.7 KB, 220 views)
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Old June 6, 2010, 06:35 PM   #80
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Here is another old Heiser I had, that needed some resto work... it was another basket case...





it seems to fit my old Iver Johnson Side Winder pretty well...

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File Type: jpg Guns 339.jpg (80.5 KB, 222 views)
File Type: jpg Guns 340.jpg (71.9 KB, 217 views)
File Type: jpg Guns 348.jpg (63.1 KB, 220 views)
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Old June 6, 2010, 06:43 PM   #81
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here is what I have so far for my 454 Casull Ruger Alaskan



I think I'm going to use my stamps to mark my holsters like this



fits my Ruger like this...

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File Type: jpg Guns 341.jpg (70.4 KB, 223 views)
File Type: jpg Guns 342.jpg (69.5 KB, 221 views)
File Type: jpg Guns 351.jpg (77.2 KB, 615 views)
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Old June 6, 2010, 06:50 PM   #82
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here is the one I'm doing for my Dan Wesson 44 Mag snubbie...





& with the gun...

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File Type: jpg Guns 343.jpg (69.4 KB, 220 views)
File Type: jpg Guns 344.jpg (69.8 KB, 220 views)
File Type: jpg Guns 349.jpg (64.6 KB, 221 views)
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Old June 6, 2010, 07:02 PM   #83
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& the almost done... 1st one for my spur trigger 38....



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File Type: jpg Guns 347.jpg (48.5 KB, 342 views)
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Old June 6, 2010, 07:21 PM   #84
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so... now I need to burnish the straps, & round the ends... I've actually got 3 different strap end styles... round, tapered, & an old taft holster with this shape....



suggestions for finishing the leather & the straps...
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File Type: jpg taft holster.jpg (47.1 KB, 218 views)
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Old June 7, 2010, 02:27 PM   #85
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has anyone got any examples of lacing you've done??? the lacing I'm doing is done with both a 4 tooth & single tooth chisel... I still haven't gotten any of the books ( kinda learning through the skool of hard noks )... I'm thinking if I did 2 rows of chisel slots, with the bevels in opposite directions, that I could do a double density criss cross lacing... ( I think I want a heavier lacing pattern for the tops of the 454 Casull & 44 Magnum holsters )
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Old June 7, 2010, 02:42 PM   #86
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Buy the books my friend!,,, :>)

There just ain't no substitute for the books,,,
How to Lace,,,
Lacing and Stitching for Leathercraft,,,
Only $9.98 for both books is an absolute bargain.

The Key-slingers are an example of double loop lacing,,,
as is this holster I made for a lady cop years ago.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of lacing holsters,,,
It doesn't mean one should not use lace,,,
It's just not my favorite method,,,
I prefer saddle stitching.
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Old June 7, 2010, 02:52 PM   #87
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I did alot of 2 needle stiching over the weekend... it's definately easier like on my belt flaps on both sides of the bigger holsters, than it was on the bottom belt loop line across the already fully stitched 44 mag holster ( broke a couple needles & said a few choice words doing that one

I might also want to add some sort of stiffener to the belt loop flaps on those particularly heavy guns... I'm looking for as much stability as possible... I acually plan on carrying them for a couple weeks to get a good feel for what I can improve on them... after mowing on the rider with the 44 mag on Sunday, I could see that rounding the top edges might make them more comfortable in some positions... this is also where I figured out I don't have enough coverage on the top lacing...
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Old June 7, 2010, 03:51 PM   #88
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OK... I started with those two... books ordered
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Old June 8, 2010, 08:57 AM   #89
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I've never done any lacing. Not that I'm opposed, but I like my CCW holsters to be smooooooth. I've done countless hours of hand stitching with a lock stitch awl. I like that I can make my holes tighter than using the two-needle method. Recently, I did pick up a real heavy-duty upholstery sewing machine that happily runs my holster leather. The biggest problem there has been learning how to control the beast! I'll thread it with stuff that has a 135-lb break strength, but when I do something wrong and make the machine mad, it will snap that stuff like it is old cotton! Anyway, here's a sneak peek at the new pair that I've made for my CCW revolvers. I haven't taken any pics since I did the edges and applied the final finish, but you'll get the idea:









The inlay is real carbon fiber twill. That stuff is interesting to work with. The wingtips are chrome tan. I know about the dangers of using chrome tan leather on holsters, but I wanted the consistent color throughout the material, and I've got these things lined pretty heavily with veg-tan as you can see. The back stitching is the structural stitching in Kevlar and the red ornamental stitching on the front is about a carpet thread weight nylon. I've only worn these once since putting them together, but they seem to know what they are there for!
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Old June 8, 2010, 09:10 AM   #90
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EVYL... do you think the corners / points between the carbon fiber & the stitching will catch on the cover garment ( picture 2 shows the points I'd be concerned with ), & eventually "roll over" ??? I like what you're doing with the "new materials" & "styling" but would be concerned about snagging... I have an interesting python skin holster that I quit wearing conceiled, because it felt like the scales were snagging on my cover shirt...
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Old June 8, 2010, 09:23 AM   #91
aarondhgraham
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You got tighter stitches with a lock-stitch awl?

That boggles my mind Evyl,,,
My experience is the exact opposite.

I stopped using a lock-stitch awl years ago,,,
I kept having items "unravel" on me,,,
It's not happened with 2-needles.

I have one of the Tippmann "Boss" hand operated stitching machines,,,
The only thing I use it for is to sew linings on belts and such,,,
That saves me several hours on each gunbelt.

But then again I am not into any kind of mass production,,,
I use the fact that I saddle-stitch everything as a prime selling point.

It drove the instructor in the Shoe, Boot, & Saddle program nuts,,,
He made me learn to use the sewing machines,,,
But I still saddle-stitch everything,,,
Except belt linings.

I just set the stitching horse in front of the TV,,,
Pop in a DVD and get to stitching.


.
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Combat: "A Silent Cry"
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Old June 8, 2010, 02:47 PM   #92
Magnum Wheel Man
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EVYL... I'm going to help you out here...

no, not with tips for making holsters... your skill is leaps & bounds better than mine...

but in marketing...

as I develope a style... I'm going to call it "modern cowboy" for this discussion... I see a real void in the market...

classic styled cowboy looking holsters built for modern guns, & modern conceiled carry use...

deep down, we all want to think of ourselves as cowboys... but we live in a modern conceiled carry world...

if you could market holsters with a classic "cowboy" / "BBQ" look, for modern guns, that would carry well as a modern conceiled carry rig with a cover shirt or jacket, yet look as nice as some of these I'll post pics of if in social situations where open carry is acceptable... I'll bet you could sell more than you could make...

for inspiration, I went to Gun Broker, & did a Heiser search ( since they are one of the most collected holsters, I figure there must be a reason )listed by most expensive 1st...

OH MY... where is the drooling "smilie" ??? I've copied these in a file on my computer, for some years down the road, when / if I ever get skilled at this hobby I'm starting now...

enjoy... & hope this helps give you a profitable direction to turn to... notice there appears to be nothing wrong with laced holsters in the high end stuff





Attached Images
File Type: jpg tooled leather holster 16.jpg (47.9 KB, 194 views)
File Type: jpg tooled leather holster 18.jpg (56.2 KB, 193 views)
File Type: jpg tooled leather holster 17.jpg (48.5 KB, 192 views)
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Old June 8, 2010, 02:57 PM   #93
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here are a couple for "autos"... raise that belt line, & add a cant... maybe stiffen them up to ride well up that high $$$$$$$$





how about a snubbie??? oh... & BTW... love the tooled straps... hate the plain straps covering up the tooling...

Attached Images
File Type: jpg tooled leather holster 20.jpg (44.2 KB, 189 views)
File Type: jpg tooled leather holster 21.jpg (48.2 KB, 188 views)
File Type: jpg tooled leather holster 8.jpg (44.3 KB, 188 views)
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Old June 8, 2010, 04:57 PM   #94
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MWM - I've got all the pieces put together pretty well, but we shall see. Every time I make a holster for myself (or more often a family member) I try something new. Many times it's subtle, other times not. This time, I made some pretty radical departures from what I usually do, and I'm dying to see what comes apart first! I'm actually less concerned with the leather corners toward the bottom than I am with the carbon weave exposed at the top. Since I didn't want the holsters too rigid, I couldn't exactly resin it like we typically do to carbon fiber cloth. I think I've got the stuff bound up pretty well, but only time will tell how it holds.
I like your 'modern cowboy' holster idea quite a bit. I'm going to have to give it some thought.

Aarond - It's possible that I gave up on two-needle too quickly. I have tried and tried to sell the value of hand-stitching to my customers, but they don't seem to care much. Different markets, I suppose. I thought about getting a Boss before I got my Juki. Sometimes I wish I had. The Juki is faster. MUCH faster! A little too fast actually. The motor spins and the head activates with a clutch. When you press the foot pedal, it stitches 1800-stitches per minute whether you like it or not. It has taken some getting used to! At any rate, once I get around to building a barbecue rig, maybe I'll try two-needle again, just to see if I can make it work better for me than it did before.
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Old June 8, 2010, 05:39 PM   #95
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EVYL... is that a finished edge on the carbon fiber, or a cut edge ??? if finished, it might be more duarable than you would think ???

BTW... with the lacing... vintage Heisers look like they use a buck skin tan color... I really like my black lacing for more modern holsters... unfortunately the Heiser I re-laced was very dark... & my spur trigger was black... I think if a medium brown or light brown holster body was used, the black lace would really make it pop....
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Old June 9, 2010, 07:24 AM   #96
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At the top, the carbon fiber is folded over and finished. You may be right. That may still be there when the rest of the holster is worn out. That stuff is pretty amazing. I tried to light a small piece of it on fire yesterday. Note the operative word 'tried.' I know carbon burns, but you'd have to get this stuff really hot to ignite it! As to the holster's durability, I suppose we'll never know until I wear them hard!

That would look nice. What do you use for your lacing? Have you ever worked with kangaroo? It makes sense that the hide would make some pretty incredible lacing.
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Old June 9, 2010, 07:33 AM   #97
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since I'm just getting started... this is what I bought...

http://www.zackwhite.com/product.php...cat=552&page=2

that & an 8 pack of lacing needles...

http://www.zackwhite.com/product.php...cat=565&page=1

& these chisels...

http://www.zackwhite.com/product.php...cat=572&page=1

http://www.zackwhite.com/product.php...cat=572&page=1
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Old June 9, 2010, 09:20 AM   #98
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If your interested I have a Basketweave lacing tutorial on my website under "Knife Info".It's the style I use the most as it covers the edge very well and is very strong.Dave
Single color example



Two color examples (same style,different sequence)





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Old June 9, 2010, 09:23 AM   #99
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very nice...

just looked at the tutorial... thanks for posting... ( a picture is worth a 1000 words )
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Old June 10, 2010, 06:42 AM   #100
Magnum Wheel Man
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1st two books came yesterday ( now just have to find the time to read them )

I did get all my straps ends rounded & a couple burnished ( still need to get that variable speed dremel... think that would make things lots easier than my single high speed model )

stiffening materials...

I have several old Bucheimer holsters that I think used aluminum... as I do some light fabricating, I have a couple thin pieces of aluminum & could try that... also the local speed shop has rolls of ( roughly ) 1/8" thick flexible plastic that I think is used for stock cars... it comes in many colors, in smaller sheets rolled up, & is reasonably cheap... since I'm still after a traditional look, I was thinking of fully wrapping the stiffening material in leather...

IMO, the higher riding holsters can often use more stiffening & with trying to keep a more traditional look, I think I need something... Aarond I know has talked about lined holsters being stiffer, but on my big bore holsters, I doubled over the leather in the belt loop extensions ( I think that was 8-9 or 9-10 oz ) I used rubber cement to glue them 1st in my vice, & once cured, punched & sewed them... I think they're still too flexible hence my thoughts on a stiffener layer

curious what if anything you guys have used...

BTW... just flipping through the books I already learned something... trimming that lace to a point before putting it in the needle... seems like a great idea... I'll have to try that... bet it makes the lace go through the chisel slots much better
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