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Crimping cord onto leather strap? (pics)


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#1 LeatherSaxStraps

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 12:14 PM

Hey,

Basically, I'm trying to duplicate an old leather saxophone strap that's finally breaking after decades of use. As you can see in the pics, they threaded the cord through an eyelet in the leather and then crimped the cord back onto itself through the leather (cord/leather/cord), which served to both create a looped end to the cord and bind it to the leather so that the weight of the saxophone isn't all on the eyelet. Because it has to pierce through the leather, it has to be a U-crimp, preferably with sharp, narrow teeth like the original strap used. I've tried every online supply store I know of and every search I can think of, but all I can find are smaller jewelry crimps and fully enclosed wire rope crimps (shaped like an 8, so they couldn't pierce through the leather). If anyone can find something somewhat similar, I can always use a metal cut-off wheel to grind it down to the right shape, but because I don't want to weaken it, that'd be a last resort.


Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

The crimp they used in the original strap is the only thing I can't find. I already have leather, brass eyelets and a setter, and the cord/clip assembly from another strap.

Otherwise, if it's impossible to get hardware like they used to crimp today, what would be the best way of attaching the cord to the leather? The cord can't just tie back or crimp onto itself without attaching to the leather, because that would put too much weight on the eyelet, so it has to be bound somehow to the leather. I thought about looping it around and riveting it, but even if that would hold the string on there I feared it would weaken it under the pressure of the rivet. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. If you need more information or pics to understand my issue, please ask. Thanks!

If this works out, I can move on to adding stamps/carvings to leather, and eventually make my guitar straps out of leather.

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#2 Luke Hatley

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 12:28 PM

THE BEST I COULD TELL FROM THE PHOTO IT COULD BE A "SPLIT RIVET" FIND SOME OF THEM AND
SEE IF THAT WOULD WORK. I HAVE SEEN THEM IN STEEL, COPPER & BRASS.
Luke

#3 hivemind

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 01:02 PM

Why couldn't you just stick a brass domed spot through the neck piece and use that to crimp around the string front and back?

Edit: like these: http://www.datazap.n...41206644636.jpg

Edited by hivemind, 17 April 2009 - 01:06 PM.


#4 rdb

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 01:46 PM

The pic is a little too blurry for me to tell for sure, but it looks very much like a fast lace shoe hook, then tamped down to grip the lace...

like these:
http://www.eleatherw...p...=687&page=1

if it isn't that, these will work just like it, I'll bet

PS: Welcome to the board. Sure would like to see your instrument strap pictures, if that's what you do...lol ( based on your forum handle)

Edited by rdb, 17 April 2009 - 01:48 PM.

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#5 DaveT

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 05:52 PM

Any of the larger "spots" would have these kind of legs that penetrate the leather. However, that appears to be a repair. Then again, I know nothing of sax straps. :)

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#6 LeatherSaxStraps

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 02:21 AM

Thanks for the replies.

I realize now I should have given approximate dimensions. I made a quick sketch of what I imagine the crimp/rivet/spot would have looked like before it was put into the strap. I drew two side views and a top view in PS so hopefully you get an idea of what it would look like in 3d. As I labelled, the diameter of the top is only 3/16", and I imagine the "arms" that pierce through are around 1/4" to 5/16",since they are long enough to go through the leather and back over the string the full length of the top again.

Based on your recommendations, "spots" seem to be the best option. I have 2 concerns with them though. First, I'm concerned that they will not be strong enough to tightly crimp the string. As a saxophone strap, they have to withstand at least a couple times the weight of a saxophone (ideally more), and whatever crimps the string onto itself will have to keep the string from budging under that kind of tension. My second concern is that they seem to be fairly hollow and rounded on top. This means the will stick out a bit far (not that big of a deal), but also they won't have much metal in contact with the string that goes on that side of the leather, which would mean less force holding the string in place (force = pressure x surface area). I fear when I crimp it, it might cut into the string, weakening it. Because these "spots" appear to be for decoration I'm afraid they won't do very well as a load-bearing piece of hardware, unlike rivets, crimps, or eyelets, which are designed to withstand notable forces. I'm also having trouble finding any 3/16" diameter ones, and because they are only designed to hold themselves onto leather, the "arms" all appear way too short in relation to the diameter of the top. Whatever I use has to be long enough to pierce through 5-6 oz leather, then fold all the way over another 3/16" to fully wrap over the string on the other side...[10 minutes later]...I added a quick sketch of what it would look like if I cut away the leather (and half the eyelet) to be flush with the side of the crimp/rivet/spot in the original strap. Hopefully you can get a better idea of how long the "arms" have to be, and why I'd rather the head of the spot be flat on the bottom as opposed to concave. Actually I just noticed hivemind's pic, and those spots could probably be hammered flat before I attach them. Do you know where I can get spots like those?

Anyway...sorry to be so particular in what I'm looking for. I don't want to sound anal, it's just as an engineer I'm concerned about the forces involved if hardware not intended to bear heavy loads is used. If the hardware crimping the string comes loose at a bad time, I end up with a massively dented $7000 sax. I also might try simply fabricating some 20 gauge steel into the appropriate shape, or something similar. I'd obviously prefer to use a piece of premade hardware simply because it would look nicer, but if strength is an issue I'll see how ugly it is with a hand-made steel crimp.


If I can't find something strong enough and whatever I can make ends up too ugly, I have another method of attaching the string, but it doesn't look as nice, nor would it be a replica of the strap I'm trying to copy. I really appreciate all the advice, and if anyone knows where I can find spots like in hivemind's pic (assuming I can get 3/16" diameter), let me know. Ideally I would like a flat-top spot as opposed to the big dome on those, but if I can get them for cheap I may try them anyway before I rig up something out of sheet metal. I'll do some testing on whatever I use before it goes into a usable strap, it's just that I don't want to waste a ton of money trying 5 different things just to make 1 strap for now. Thanks!

i hope my train-of-thought method of posting was understandable ;)

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Edited by LeatherSaxStraps, 18 April 2009 - 02:23 AM.


#7 Suze

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 05:33 AM

and now for something compleatly different -- what about going a different route?

http://www.eleatherw...p...=678&page=1

these are a lacing dee

would they be strong enough to hold the sax?

http://www.eleatherw...p...=846&page=1

or something like this with a strap of sorts not a string through it?

does it HAVE to look like what you had? Or is it just that's what you have and going with as a pattern?
Reality is for people who lack imagination

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#8 LeatherSaxStraps

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 12:29 PM

does it HAVE to look like what you had? Or is it just that's what you have and going with as a pattern?


It doesn't have to, but certain components must be the same for the sake of comfort and effectiveness. Obviously the neck piece will be leather, and I have the string/clip assembly made just like the original. The method of attaching the two doesn't need be the same, but I would prefer the point where the string attaches be a single point, so the string has no way of moving around. So although a lacing dee might be strong enough if its made to hold straps on purses, etc., it wouldn't fix the string at one point like I and most sax players would want. Because we sit and stand and shift positions when we play, we want as few points as possible where the strap can move like it could in a lacing dee. Those would probably work best (or rectangular ones) for straps that use a backpack-like wide strap as opposed to string, since you would match the strap's width with the dee's widtch and it wouldn't move back and forth.

My other method of attaching involves folding the end of the leather around a small brass cylinder about 1/8" in diameter by 1 inch wide (slightly wider than the leather) and sewing it back onto itself. The cylinder has a grove in the middle that the string wraps around (through a small hole in the leather), then gets tied back onto itself and set in wax to prevent the knot coming untied or fraying. This method also fixes the string in a set place so it will not move while the player plays. It also distributes the force across the entire width of the cylinder, as opposed to putting it completely on a rivet or eyelet. Ideally I'd like to find little brass cylinders like the one in my second pic in this post, that have end caps with a larger diameter than the main shaft. I think it would look a bit nicer this way, but I don't know what they'd be called. As it is I have to grind the slot into the middle of the rod with a cut-off wheel, so I could do the same for any ones shaped like in my sketch.

And as for my name, it doesn't actually mean anything. I'm just trying to make myself a couple straps like my old ones, and maybe a few for some friends. You guys just know so much about leatherworking and hardware that I joined the forum to learn about it for projects such as this. I'm a do-it-yourselfer, but I've only worked with wood, metal, and fabrics in the past, never leather. Just getting names like "domed spots" and "lacing dees" really helps, as it can be difficult trying to find something without knowing its name.

So if anyone knows where I can get either long-armed domed spots (or flat-headed spots if they exist!) or the brass rods like I sketched, I'll try one of those methods. Like I said, I'd prefer to use spots/crimps like my original strap used, but otherwise I'll try the self-made crimp and brass rod methods. The rod method is structurally sound, it just looks different and feels a bit different on your neck. Not that big of a deal though.

Thanks!

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#9 Suze

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 12:39 PM

thanks for that info - I am not a "real leatherworker" (yet) mostly fiber and stuff myself

I asked because I didn't know - now I do know something that I didn't yesterday - so the day is not a total waste.

again thanks for the reply
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#10 kfiretwo

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 01:36 PM

It doesn't have to, but certain components must be the same for the sake of comfort and effectiveness. Obviously the neck piece will be leather, and I have the string/clip assembly made just like the original. The method of attaching the two doesn't need be the same, but I would prefer the point where the string attaches be a single point, so the string has no way of moving around. So although a lacing dee might be strong enough if its made to hold straps on purses, etc., it wouldn't fix the string at one point like I and most sax players would want. Because we sit and stand and shift positions when we play, we want as few points as possible where the strap can move like it could in a lacing dee. Those would probably work best (or rectangular ones) for straps that use a backpack-like wide strap as opposed to string, since you would match the strap's width with the dee's widtch and it wouldn't move back and forth.

My other method of attaching involves folding the end of the leather around a small brass cylinder about 1/8" in diameter by 1 inch wide (slightly wider than the leather) and sewing it back onto itself. The cylinder has a grove in the middle that the string wraps around (through a small hole in the leather), then gets tied back onto itself and set in wax to prevent the knot coming untied or fraying. This method also fixes the string in a set place so it will not move while the player plays. It also distributes the force across the entire width of the cylinder, as opposed to putting it completely on a rivet or eyelet. Ideally I'd like to find little brass cylinders like the one in my second pic in this post, that have end caps with a larger diameter than the main shaft. I think it would look a bit nicer this way, but I don't know what they'd be called. As it is I have to grind the slot into the middle of the rod with a cut-off wheel, so I could do the same for any ones shaped like in my sketch.

And as for my name, it doesn't actually mean anything. I'm just trying to make myself a couple straps like my old ones, and maybe a few for some friends. You guys just know so much about leatherworking and hardware that I joined the forum to learn about it for projects such as this. I'm a do-it-yourselfer, but I've only worked with wood, metal, and fabrics in the past, never leather. Just getting names like "domed spots" and "lacing dees" really helps, as it can be difficult trying to find something without knowing its name.

So if anyone knows where I can get either long-armed domed spots (or flat-headed spots if they exist!) or the brass rods like I sketched, I'll try one of those methods. Like I said, I'd prefer to use spots/crimps like my original strap used, but otherwise I'll try the self-made crimp and brass rod methods. The rod method is structurally sound, it just looks different and feels a bit different on your neck. Not that big of a deal though.

Thanks!




Is it possible to braide or thread the cord back thru itself to make some sore of lineman loop instead of putting in a fastern to crimp it

#11 hivemind

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 11:16 PM

Actually I just noticed hivemind's pic, and those spots could probably be hammered flat before I attach them. Do you know where I can get spots like those?

I'm going to tell you that you can hunt around online, but many sites (Tandy's, for example) won't show you an entire picture of the spots, so there's no way to know how long the spikes are on the underside of them. Really, the places with the best hardware are often not even online, which makes it really difficult to shop sometimes.

How big do you need? I have a HUGE bag of 1/4" nickel domed spots that I've been dipping into for years, I'm fine with putting a dozen into a small ziplock bag and mailing them to you if they're the size you're looking for. Let me know how long you need the spikes and I'll go measure the stuff I have.

In fact, here's a pic of the spots I have and some split rivets.

Attached File  spots.jpg   31.36KB   35 downloads

Edited by hivemind, 22 April 2009 - 11:24 PM.


#12 Gilligan

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 11:21 PM

I was looking at the zippers at Tandy the other day and noticed that the ?bottom? (I think) stops looked like what you have in the pic, may've been top stops though...

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