Tallbald

The Perfect Button Stud Hole?

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I have begun making many holsters using button stud flap closures, both 7mm and 8 mm diameter heads. I use a nice punch set I keep sharp and which is of the Tandy advised size. I use my Xacto blade to cut the short cut one point off the punched hole. I use Lexol conditioner to soften the punched hole and slit before pressing it down onto the stud the first time. But I still get a little cracking on the outer side of the hide around the punched hole, and a few strands of flesh on the inner surface that drag into the punched hole.

Wickett and Craig and Hermann Oak veg tanned 7-8 ounce hides.

Any advise please? Thanks as always. Always tickled to learn new techniques. Don

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I've never made the button stud holes but have you considered putting a small round hole at the end on the slit to prevent tearing?

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Are you just using Tandy round punches then making the slit with an exacto knife or the Tandy button hole punches?

post-32363-0-35159700-1452772352_thumb.j

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If using round punches, sharp punches and a firm surface plus a quarter turn and another wack at the end make alot of difference to how clean the hole is. If using the shaped type, put another piece of leather behind and punch right through.

Wet the leather before punching. Not sopping, cased as if for carving.

If the leather is pre finished, or water marks from casing need to be avoided:

Punch the hole too small, then stick a wet cue-tip in the hole, wait 10-20 mins, or until you see moisture spreading just past final hole size, and then punch to final size. Press onto the stud while still wet. Pull it off to dry. Then condition.

Edited by TinkerTailor

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Thank you all. Tinkertailor I will try the multi step approach too. Don

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Being a hobbyist I can't afford to carry multiple specialized tools so I always use a round punch the size of the neck not the top of the thumb press button and then punch my straight line with a 1/2" straight chisel putting the edge of the straight punch at the back of the first hole, then at the top of the newly punched straight line I punch my smallest hole punch at the top. I wet the large hole and use either a pointed slicker or just my scratch all and slick the inside of the edge of the large hole. The small hole helps prevent any unnecessary creases or tears.

Here is a pic of a key belt ring Ive been carrying for a while.

keyring.jpg

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Coreysyms that's just handsome! And my thanks to you also. Are you using a straight woodworking chisel for the clean slice? I'm not familiar with any other style chisel. Don.

Edited by Tallbald

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Coreysyms thanks. I didn't know about this style chisel. Tomorrow a Springfield leather shipment of belt buckles arrives to me. I wish I'd asked earlier this week! I need more holster lining leather soon. I'll add a chisel to my order. Thank you once more. Don

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I don't have a multistep approach to punches.

I just keep my punches sharp, and place the leather on top of something firm but wont damage the punch. One good whack, and I get clean punched holes every time. On thick leather, I poke the punch into a slab of beeswax to prevent it from getting stuck.

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I always see the hole slit on the side that the stud will be pulled into by tension, but this seems like it will cause a tear or increase in hole size over time. Instead, why not put the the slit on the opposite side of the tension? That way the force is on the hole instead of the slit. I assume there is wisdom in the traditional method, but I wonder if anyone has considered an alternative direction for the slit.

tension.jpg

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No, the hole does not open up larger; Under the ball head is a bar stem, the leather bears against that bar thus the sides of the hole are in compression. Leather under compression does not enlarge or rip, it is quite a solid wall. If you have the access slit on that side you risk having the slit widen out and riding over the ball head thus having the closure open up when you most need it to be secure. Also a slit cut will rip though much more easily and faster than a circular hole. In many manufacturing processes the way to end a straight slit cut so that it doesn't extend when not required to do so is to end the slit with a circular hole or end

Military holsters from as far back as the 1840s used this form of closure and after many years of use the hole is still a tight fit over the ball and stem

 

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34 minutes ago, doorty said:

I always see the hole slit on the side that the stud will be pulled into by tension, but this seems like it will cause a tear or increase in hole size over time. Instead, why not put the the slit on the opposite side of the tension? That way the force is on the hole instead of the slit. I assume there is wisdom in the traditional method, but I wonder if anyone has considered an alternative direction for the slit.

tension.jpg

In English work that is the traditional way to do it. Pictured is an old pippin punch by James Dixon. I don't know if these are/were sold in different sizes but this one measures 1/8" diameter but with a 5/8" tail, which really helps the flexibility -- even in stiff 4mm/10oz bridle leather. Perhaps this is the source of the difficulty with even very good leather cracking -- too short a slit?

IMG_20180608_193256265 (600x800).jpg

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8 hours ago, Matt S said:

In English work that is the traditional way to do it. Pictured is an old pippin punch by James Dixon. I don't know if these are/were sold in different sizes but this one measures 1/8" diameter but with a 5/8" tail, which really helps the flexibility -- even in stiff 4mm/10oz bridle leather. Perhaps this is the source of the difficulty with even very good leather cracking -- too short a slit?

IMG_20180608_193256265 (600x800).jpg

That's true, a longer slit may help, but have you ever tried putting the slit on the opposite side like in the my picture with the red line?

Edited by doorty

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9 hours ago, doorty said:

I always see the hole slit on the side that the stud will be pulled into by tension

9 hours ago, doorty said:

It may be your wording perhaps, but normally the stud stem does press into the hole and not the slit, contrary to what you have said above. In the picture of the bag you have shown if you were to pull on the strap it would be stopped by the hole and not the slit and is therefore correct. Have any pictures that show it the other way?

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10 hours ago, doorty said:

That's true, a longer slit may help, but have you ever tried putting the slit on the opposite side like in the my picture with the red line?

Ah, I missed the little red line.

Yes I've tried it, before I got the proper punch and had to use a normal round punch and cut the slit with a knife. I got it the wrong way round a few times, and it certainly is the wrong way round. If you put the tension on the slit you're relying on the stiffness of the leather to keep the tension in the strap. As soon as the leather starts to squash the stud will start to move into the slit, which loses tension on the strap and as the stud moves up into the strap that's when the slit will start to tear.  It gets very easy for the strap to pop off the stud too.

By putting it the traditional way round, with the tension bearing on the hole, the pressure is spread over a wider area of leather that doesn't move away from the stud as it would at the slit.

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