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Alligator Hide How To And How Not To


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#1 Bluesman

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 06:10 PM

I want to buy some small peices of alligator to make a guitar strap. I have several questions I would like hear from the folks here before I call the Swamp People.



1.) Should I get it pre dyed or dye it myself? Or, Can I dye it myself?

2.) What is the correct procedure to do an inlay. I want to take a piece of 8/9 oz Veggie Tan and cut out a pattern in the center and then inaly the gator. Do I have to carve up the sides of the gator to fit into a skived section of the hide? Or just lay it on the back glued down, put down a liner and stich?


I appreciate any and all guidence.



Thanks,

Jon
If it ain't moving and should......WD40, If it's moving and shouldn't....Duct Tape. There you have it, now fix something

#2 Bluesman

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:30 PM

Nobody knows..........................................NOBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW, thought you folks were leather workers????
If it ain't moving and should......WD40, If it's moving and shouldn't....Duct Tape. There you have it, now fix something

#3 chancey77

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 12:27 AM

Nobody knows..........................................NOBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW, thought you folks were leather workers????


Check it out blues man!!!!!!!
Listen to a Florida boy!!!!!!!

Order some Belly and use that, If you want some of the back pieces Tandy has Caiman baby backs. They come in White,Black,Tan, if you get the white you can dye it.
I suggest for the front where you want to put in a strip of Cow Hide for sure use the Bellies.
Use Cowhide the width and length/shape of the strap as your BACKER then cut out the belly where you want the Text to show through GLUE LACE/SEW your belly to the
Cow Hide....Or Horse ASS (which it seems you are attempting to use now before I save you)! hahahaha


Or you could just use the backs and get some real sharp blades to get through the Back Horns... It is going to be nearly impossible to get a straight edge on the backs so that is why I say for that section you use the Belly!
There you go guy!
A reasonable answer to a reasonable question!
LUV YA!Posted Image hahahaha

Edited by chancey77, 16 March 2012 - 12:30 AM.


#4 Bluesman

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 07:55 AM

Thanks Chancey. Looking for a bit of guidence. So nothing really special about gator. I can treat it like any other leather, cut die sew no problem, unless I use backs. Got it

hanks,

Jon
If it ain't moving and should......WD40, If it's moving and shouldn't....Duct Tape. There you have it, now fix something

#5 katsass

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 10:33 AM

I want to buy some small peices of alligator to make a guitar strap. I have several questions I would like hear from the folks here before I call the Swamp People.



1.) Should I get it pre dyed or dye it myself? Or, Can I dye it myself?

2.) What is the correct procedure to do an inlay. I want to take a piece of 8/9 oz Veggie Tan and cut out a pattern in the center and then inaly the gator. Do I have to carve up the sides of the gator to fit into a skived section of the hide? Or just lay it on the back glued down, put down a liner and stich?


I appreciate any and all guidence.



Thanks,

Jon


FWIW from the old grumpy guy; chancy has it about covered --- for a guitar strap. One point though --- draw your cut-out (for the inlay) right on the pattern for the strap! Mark both and cut the strap and inlay cut-out at the same time. If you draw a separate one for the cut-out, you will play hell trying to align it properly. Ask me how I know. Belly leather is great for a guitar strap --- it's flexible. I make holsters primarily, and use shoulder leather which ain't that flexible --- just for that reason. A pic of one of my holsters with an ostrich leg inlay. Mike

Posted Image

Edited by katsass, 16 March 2012 - 10:34 AM.

NOTE TO SELF: Never try to hold a cat and an operating Dust buster at the same time!!

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#6 Bluesman

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 10:48 AM

FWIW from the old grumpy guy; chancy has it about covered --- for a guitar strap. One point though --- draw your cut-out (for the inlay) right on the pattern for the strap! Mark both and cut the strap and inlay cut-out at the same time. If you draw a separate one for the cut-out, you will play hell trying to align it properly. Ask me how I know. Mike




Mike,



I'm having a hard time following you. Let me see if I got it. When I layout my strap pattern, draw in the cutout, and cut it out of the pattern. So I should have, for example, a 36" strap 3" wide with a 20" x 2" window in it. Is this right so far? Then I use this pattern to cut the strap. I also use this window to cut the gator belly. Now shouldn't the gator belly be a bit larger than the strap window to allow for glue and sewing?



Thanks,

Jon
If it ain't moving and should......WD40, If it's moving and shouldn't....Duct Tape. There you have it, now fix something

#7 katsass

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 12:19 PM

Mike,



I'm having a hard time following you. Let me see if I got it. When I layout my strap pattern, draw in the cutout, and cut it out of the pattern. So I should have, for example, a 36" strap 3" wide with a 20" x 2" window in it. Is this right so far? Then I use this pattern to cut the strap. I also use this window to cut the gator belly. Now shouldn't the gator belly be a bit larger than the strap window to allow for glue and sewing?



Thanks,

Jon



Jon, I'm just saying to cut the window you need to draw your strap pattern, on it, draw the window in the location and in the shape you want to use, mark your leather from your pattern, then cut it all out. Cut your 'gator largeer than the window to allow for glueing and stitching. In other words, don't cut out your strap, then try to allign a separate window pattern on it afterwords. You'll just never get it quite correct. Mike
NOTE TO SELF: Never try to hold a cat and an operating Dust buster at the same time!!

At my age I find that I can live without sex..........but not without my glasses.
Being old has an advantage.......nobody expects me to do anything in a hurry.

#8 Bluesman

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 12:38 PM

Got it. Thanks Mike and Chancey. Now off to call the Swamp People and get me some Gator Butt>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Er Belly
If it ain't moving and should......WD40, If it's moving and shouldn't....Duct Tape. There you have it, now fix something

#9 chancey77

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 02:05 PM

A pic of one of my holsters with an ostrich leg inlay. Mike




WOW that is a very beautiful Holster!
I am not a yellow guy...but hey I don't have to wear it to appreciate that ROCKIN' color Combo!

#10 katsass

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 05:11 PM

WOW that is a very beautiful Holster!
I am not a yellow guy...but hey I don't have to wear it to appreciate that ROCKIN' color Combo!


Thanks Chancy, here's another type of inlay that I do once in a while. This is Karung snake on a holster for a Ruger number I auto. Mike

Posted Image
NOTE TO SELF: Never try to hold a cat and an operating Dust buster at the same time!!

At my age I find that I can live without sex..........but not without my glasses.
Being old has an advantage.......nobody expects me to do anything in a hurry.

#11 Kcinnick

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 06:18 AM

Does anyone know where I can buy Vegetable tanned wild Louisiana alligator? I can get salted hides, I can get whole gators, I can get gators with tails cut off, I can get a living gator, but I want a wild Louisiana Hide! The wild Gator has a nice black color, the ones that are farm raised are a muddy brown color.

#12 chancey77

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 11:47 PM

Does anyone know where I can buy Vegetable tanned wild Louisiana alligator? I can get salted hides, I can get whole gators, I can get gators with tails cut off, I can get a living gator, but I want a wild Louisiana Hide! The wild Gator has a nice black color, the ones that are farm raised are a muddy brown color.


I could be wrong, but I am 99.9999999% sure I am not!.....I am pretty sure you are S.O.L for finding a Veg Tanned Wild Gator,Farm Raised Gator or ANY GATOR. The region you live in and that I grew up in are the ones that tan those hides. THEY DO NOT VEG TAN GATOR!
Alligator has it's own very specific process to tan. I believe if you had a vegetable tanned Gator it would just feel/ look like rubber seriously a SEMI TRUCK TIRE WOULD BE EASIER TO CUT AND WORK WITH.
The Gator is unlike any other reptile or animal for that matter....Salt Tan and Lutan-F soak is the recommended procedure.
Veg tans use Lime anyhow, so it would ruin the black color you are searching for. Salt tan and Lutan maintain the natural color and what it is supposed to look and feel like....GATOR:)

It is not a tooling leather...I am not sure why you would need veg tanned gator and this is maybe why no one has answered you about this in more than a week because no one wanted to come forward and throw you in he fire or... no one knows.....but I can tell you for sure, it would be like having a discolored tire! And a tire might actually be easier to deal with.

People have been tanning Gator hides for a very long, long time, believe me if there was a way to veg tan it...it would already be in practice!
So go get the salt hide or order some real GENUINE BOVINE that is veg tanned and wet mold it over the gator.


But don't call the tannery and make yourself seem like a real tool for trying to tell them how to tan gator hide.
You could just end up Gator Bait!

Ask any taxidermist and read up on tanning processes,you will see why certain skins are tanned the way they are.

Edited by chancey77, 21 March 2012 - 12:10 AM.


#13 Kcinnick

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 06:11 AM

I could be wrong, but I am 99.9999999% sure I am not!.....I am pretty sure you are S.O.L for finding a Veg Tanned Wild Gator,Farm Raised Gator or ANY GATOR. The region you live in and that I grew up in are the ones that tan those hides. THEY DO NOT VEG TAN GATOR!
Alligator has it's own very specific process to tan. I believe if you had a vegetable tanned Gator it would just feel/ look like rubber seriously a SEMI TRUCK TIRE WOULD BE EASIER TO CUT AND WORK WITH.
The Gator is unlike any other reptile or animal for that matter....Salt Tan and Lutan-F soak is the recommended procedure.
Veg tans use Lime anyhow, so it would ruin the black color you are searching for. Salt tan and Lutan maintain the natural color and what it is supposed to look and feel like....GATOR:)

It is not a tooling leather...I am not sure why you would need veg tanned gator and this is maybe why no one has answered you about this in more than a week because no one wanted to come forward and throw you in he fire or... no one knows.....but I can tell you for sure, it would be like having a discolored tire! And a tire might actually be easier to deal with.

People have been tanning Gator hides for a very long, long time, believe me if there was a way to veg tan it...it would already be in practice!
So go get the salt hide or order some real GENUINE BOVINE that is veg tanned and wet mold it over the gator.


But don't call the tannery and make yourself seem like a real tool for trying to tell them how to tan gator hide.
You could just end up Gator Bait!

Ask any taxidermist and read up on tanning processes,you will see why certain skins are tanned the way they are.


Well, I found my gator supply. I may have been using the wrong term, but gator tanned in a way that will not make guns rust.

I just happen to find out I shoot with someone who removes nuisance gators and he cannot sell the meat outside of Gator Season, but he can eat it, donate it and keep the hide. He is going to get an estimate on how much it cost to get the hides tanned, and I am going to make him a belt or holster per hide and pay for tanning, and he is going to give me the hide. I will probably have lots of extra back... probably no extra bellies. I am thinking horsehide would be the best backing, am I wrong?

Sorry I mixed up the tanning terminology.

#14 chancey77

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 01:32 PM

Well, I found my gator supply. I may have been using the wrong term, but gator tanned in a way that will not make guns rust.

I just happen to find out I shoot with someone who removes nuisance gators and he cannot sell the meat outside of Gator Season, but he can eat it, donate it and keep the hide. He is going to get an estimate on how much it cost to get the hides tanned, and I am going to make him a belt or holster per hide and pay for tanning, and he is going to give me the hide. I will probably have lots of extra back... probably no extra bellies. I am thinking horsehide would be the best backing, am I wrong?

Sorry I mixed up the tanning terminology.

:) I was just trying to save you some headache, and help steel you in a direction of educating yourself on the different tanning processes:)
Have some ribs for me and enjoy the skin!

Ya horse hide would be GREAT!

#15 ouchmyfinger

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:59 PM

im not that familiar with the gator tanning process but i did ask someone that only sells exotic skins about getting things that are the natural color of the animal. he said that most processes change the natural color of the skin and then they dye it back to match or whatever color they want. i don't remember what animal i was asking about but this may seem to be your problem of finding that darker color gator. or i could fed bs and am now looking foolish but i haven't heard otherwise yet and its been a few years.





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