View Full Version : My first two attempts at tooled holsters

February 4, 2012, 09:44 PM
These are far from perfect, but I wanted to play around making some tooled holsters. Hope y'all enjoy!

"Aces and Eights" '51, in keeping with the theme of the gun, I put 8 spade and club conchos around the belt.


Something I worked up for a snubby 1860.


February 4, 2012, 09:50 PM
Very nice work IDAHO.

February 4, 2012, 09:57 PM
Thanks Shortwave. Been playin' with leatherwork for some time now. Never did the tooled stuff as it looked like a PITA. I must say I was wrong, these were a helluva lotta fun to put together.

February 4, 2012, 10:00 PM
I like them! Good looking work.

February 4, 2012, 10:53 PM
I make holsters as a retirement business and those impress me. You did good Mike.

February 4, 2012, 11:26 PM
Very nice. I especially like the conchos.

February 5, 2012, 01:13 AM
Thank you all for the kind words. Hopefully one of these days I can make this my full time gig. I have a '62 Colt I want to do something up for, but I haven't quite figured out what type to build. I'm thinking something with a flap so as I have more room for tooloing.

Denster-Wish I had some orders to fill, I keep eyeballin' that '58 of yours for sale, but I'm pretty muzzleloader poor right now.

February 5, 2012, 01:54 AM
Since y'all seem to like those other ones, here's a few of the non-tooled ones I've done.

Cimarron Model P, .44 Special, or Elmer Folt as I like to call it. With a bullet loop to top the gun off if I'm goin' into a saloon in Dodge City or somethin'.


This one here now belongs to bbqbob from here, who some of you may know. This was the first holster I shipped out.


February 5, 2012, 07:29 AM
You do very nice work but is there a reason you use that flat top design so much?

Doc Hoy
February 5, 2012, 08:22 AM
....How many hours does it take to make one like the one in the first photo, in comparison with a more simple design.

I am trying to get a handle on the time involved.

February 5, 2012, 11:13 AM
Thanks Hawg and Doc for the kind words.

Hawg- I used the same basic template for the two cap n' balls, mostly because it gave me a little more room for tooling, and I personally like the looks. When talking with bbqbob about the Single Six holster, he had asked that I cover the trigger. The pic below shows the prtotype of "The Stringbean". So it just kinda stayed that way and turned into my two "Holster with No Name" examples.

Doc-Build time on a simpler holster would be somewhere in the 3-4 hour range, give or take an hour either way. The rig for the '51 took I'd guess 10-12 hours, didn't really keep track as I worked on it here and there over a week or so. It was a long ways across that belt and it was a pain leaving the untooled potion down the center and around the conchos. The holsters are much easier. The lil' 1860 one went real quick, more like a simple design.


February 5, 2012, 11:14 AM
Could tell, right off that you are not new to Leather-Craft. .... :)
I use quite a few basket-weave tools and folks should appreciate that each weave is an individual stamp. If a person doesn't get the right alignment, the piece will look bad. Yours look great. Are you using a stitching awl or double needle? Thank you for you pictures and post. ..... :)

Be Safe !!!

February 5, 2012, 11:20 AM
Since you sell these, I hope it's not impolite to ask about how much they cost? I don't know the first thing about prices for hand-tooled holsters/belts, but with 10-12 hours of labor alone in the rig for the '51 plus materials, I'm "guesstimating" $600-800?

(Again, I have no experience with handmade holsters & such, so if that's way off, please don't be offended.)

February 5, 2012, 11:27 AM
Yours look great. Are you using a stitching awl or double needle?

Not to hijack the post but I can't get a tight stitch with an awl to save my life.

February 5, 2012, 11:41 AM
More kind words, I appreciate them. Its shocking to me, I guess because I see all the little imperfections in them. To answer about the stitching, I use the double needle, a press to punch the holes, and my two hands is all. I do this partly because thats how I've always done it, and I like to make the stitching on the back look pretty too.

Pahoo-Yes, one stamp at a time does take some time doesn't it? The little "dots" on the 51 really eat up the minutes and I did it mostly freehand, no reference lines and what not.

Scott-Honestly, I have no idea what I would charge for that rig for example. I find pricing hard since as I mentioned above, all I see is the stuff thats wrong with it. Heck, I was considering sellin the rig with the gun for 5 or 6 hundred, but haven't quite decided yet.

Hawg-I tried the awl for a bit, as in about half a holster. that was on the 1st one I did, and I couldn't tell you where the awl is now. I cheat a bit and chuck my punch in a drill press to poke the thread holes. I tried tapping them through with a mallet, but I tend towards thick leather and I'd have to beat the snot outta them to get them through. Drill press is so much nicer.

February 5, 2012, 11:56 AM
You say they are not perfect,but I think they are pretty darn good for sure.

February 5, 2012, 12:12 PM
Don't sell yourself short. Your work is very good. You see the imperfections because you know where they are and to you they probably look like huge glaring mistakes but I could probably own one of them and never see a mistake anywhere. My work is nothing compared to yours but I use a dremel to make holes.

February 5, 2012, 12:30 PM
Very nice shape and form, you have a good eye for what ''goes'' with the arm...

February 5, 2012, 03:23 PM
To be honest I am humbled by all the compliments. I was expecting so-so reviews. There are some naysayers close to me that think holsters are a silly venture, I would sure like to prove them wrong. Again, many thanks to everyone.

February 5, 2012, 03:29 PM
How long does it take to make one? They look GREAT! Looks like you are on to something here.

February 5, 2012, 03:42 PM
Docmurphy-The build time varies from piece to piece, but the tooled rig for the '51 took 10 or 12 hours. A simple holster takes between 3 and 4. I make more "pancake" holsters than anything, those I can do in a couple hours. And thanks for the kind words.

Doc Hoy
February 5, 2012, 03:55 PM
Welcome to the forum.

You came to the right place.

February 5, 2012, 09:23 PM
IDAHO - beautiful holsters! I love the basketweave! All of them are very nice and you should really be proud of them! Thanks for sharing the photos with us! :)

February 5, 2012, 09:34 PM
Thanks bedbug! I wasn't sure if the basketweave would go well with a cap n' ball Folt, but I was itching to use the stamp on something so I just went for it.

February 5, 2012, 09:42 PM
ooooooh. I like the Folt. I'd put a powder measure in the bullet loop. :D

February 5, 2012, 10:00 PM
Beagle-I like that idea, I may just have to work that into a design in the future. I do need to make one for another cap n' ball Folt. Hmmmmmmm

February 6, 2012, 11:11 PM
These are far from perfect, but I wanted to play around making some tooled holsters. Hope y'all enjoy!

disagree with your assessment! those are looking good!

great job, Idahomike

February 6, 2012, 11:44 PM
Thank you Sandman. I was looking at my very first holster this afternoon. I still use it, and it works well, but its damned ugly. Hopefully they just keep getting better.