carguy4471

My very first leather holster

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My very first holster nearing completion.   Do most folks die before stitching??  My hands are covered in die after spending some time stitching.  Will that die seal up with some resolene or do I need to buff it a bit??

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Edited by carguy4471

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Oh, and also, a big thank you to JLS for the free pattern for the G19 and to everyone here for the tips I've picked up thus far.  I really appreciate all the help.  In all honestly I feel like I've gotten a bit lucky with how well this one is turning out so far.  

This one is after dying the belt slots:

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Welcome. And good work.  And thanks -- for dying the inside of the slots.  I see holsters with everything BUT the inside of the slots dyed, and I can never decide if it looks like the guy forgot or just couldn't be bothered.

You can put the dye on before OR after stitching, in fact, many don't dye until after it's formed.  Course, the thread gets dyed, too, so if you want the thread a different color, then dye the leather first ..

Oh, and where you at up there?  I'll be moving up yer way shortly.  Don't care if it was 10° this morning when I got up... still moving up there ;)

 

Edited by JLSleather

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As to the dye rub off on your hands, buffing before you resolene/seal is the key. I am going to take a shot in the dark, are you using fiebings USMC black by chance?

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19 minutes ago, TinkerTailor said:

As to the dye rub off on your hands, buffing before you resolene/seal is the key. I am going to take a shot in the dark, are you using fiebings USMC black by chance?

You are correct sir, it seemed like an easy place to start (but I am open for any pro tips you may have).  Any tips on buffing it??  Shop rag, piece of burlap?  Is it going to be a giant pain?

 

23 minutes ago, JLSleather said:

Welcome. And good work.  And thanks -- for dying the inside of the slots.  I see holsters with everything BUT the inside of the slots dyed, and I can never decide if it looks like the guy forgot or just couldn't be bothered.

You can put the dye on before OR after stitching, in fact, many don't dye until after it's formed.  Course, the thread gets dyed, too, so if you want the thread a different color, then dye the leather first ..

Oh, and where you at up there?  I'll be moving up yer way shortly.  Don't care if it was 10° this morning when I got up... still moving up there ;)

 

I was curious about having contrasting stitching and being able to dye afterwords.  I love the look of contrasting stitching.  But my black finger tips are not super attractive today.  

I am in St. Paul and work in Lakeville.  I may have to take you out for some burgers and beer when you make it here.  You seem like the kinda guy I wanna be buddies with!!   B)   Where you going to be moving to??

Edited by carguy4471
I can't spell

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We's headin' in the St Cloud (ish) area.  Too many airports in St Paul for me (though having two Tandy's within a few minutes would be nice for those "emergency" purchases).  Still, not too far up the road.  I have been known to trade holsters for walleye jigs ;)

 

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20 minutes ago, carguy4471 said:

You are correct sir, it seemed like an easy place to start (but I am open for any pro tips you may have).  Any tips on buffing it??  Shop rag, piece of burlap?  Is it going to be a giant pain?

:rofl:

It was a loaded question and i already knew the answer by your post about the dyed hands. USMC black sucks because it rubs off forever, many have found. I use old sheets and tshirts, stay away from the screen printing areas, then buff. Keep on buffing. and buffing, channel your inner Karate Kid, and buff some more. Eventually it will stop. Sealing it will help prevent further transfer. Then chuck out the usmc black and get the regular. Even if you only pay yourself 5 bucks an hour to buff, that bottle is going to cost you way more than a new one.....I buff for a few seconds and no rub off ever with the fiebings regular black.

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Better yet, get some of teh black OIL dye, some wool daubers, and some disposable gloves.

As for getting it off this time, 'dawn' dishwashing soap works well as anything I've tried.  GoJo from the shop doesn't help much, bar soap from the bathroom leaves black plus the wife's wrath, and the neighbor girl doesn't like grey shades on her kitty ;)

 

Edited by JLSleather

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6 minutes ago, JLSleather said:

teh black OIL dye

Correct, the "regular" part was a reference to the colour name, not the product line. I meant regular black oil dye. I could have been a little clearer

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I've got a couple things I need to grab at Tandy, so I'll put standard black oil die on the list.  Hand making a holster with no drill press or belt sander, and no sewing machine is work enough.  Anything to help streamline it is going to be helpful.  After using a vise to stitch I think I'm going to try tandy's cheap stitching pony.  

59 minutes ago, JLSleather said:

We's headin' in the St Cloud (ish) area.  Too many airports in St Paul for me (though having two Tandy's within a few minutes would be nice for those "emergency" purchases).  Still, not too far up the road.  I have been known to trade holsters for walleye jigs ;)

 

St cloud isn't too far.  Prolly burgers in Maple Grove or somewhere there off 94 might be something to look into.  I'd trade some food and brew for an opportunity to pick your brain in a heartbeat!!   Not a fan of airports??

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Shopping list:

  • Fiebing's oil dye
  • pony from Tandy
  • stitching awl from Tandy

 

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11 minutes ago, JLSleather said:

Shopping list:

  • Fiebing's oil dye
  • pony from Tandy
  • stitching awl from Tandy

 

Lol.  Stitching awl wasn't on the list.  A reason why I don't want that pony would be good though.  A vise wasn't very conducive to good posture and caused some strain after a while.   

 

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USMC black does indeed take a whole lot of buffing ... I found out the hard way, as the OP did, before I started coming here and reading about it.  But it begs the question, why do they still sell the stuff?  Does it have some use that I'm not aware of?  Is there some use for it that justifies all that work?

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2 minutes ago, billybopp said:

USMC black does indeed take a whole lot of buffing ... I found out the hard way, as the OP did, before I started coming here and reading about it.  But it begs the question, why do they still sell the stuff?  Does it have some use that I'm not aware of?  Is there some use for it that justifies all that work?

I can't answer that but I do know I'm not looking forward to buffing all the crap off tonight.   Hopefully a shop rag or burlap will get the job done.

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Menards has a 1x4 (need about 8'), two screws and a bolt -- for about $6.  That's all that tandy thing is, and the menards version lets you make it to a height that suits you (and less flimsy).

They're not particularly suited to belts, either. Something with jaws about 6" wide works better (and 8" wouldn't hurt)

While yer at menards, buy one 10d nail.  Pound it into an awl blade -- it'll be sharper than the one from tandy.

As for buffing, I have not yet found anything works better than an old t-shirt... worn and soft.  Use the wife's... so if you run out it dont matter :rofl:

With the heavy black, wet teh rag, and WIPE (not buff) the first pass.  This will remove flakes and particles which can scratch teh surface of your leather.  I'm talking wet, but not dripping rag, so the leather will get damp, but not soaked.

Then buff -- don't need to wait for it to dry first.

Edited by JLSleather

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21 minutes ago, JLSleather said:

Menards has a 1x4 (need about 8'), two screws and a bolt -- for about $6.  That's all that tandy thing is, and the menards version lets you make it to a height that suits you (and less flimsy).

They're not particularly suited to belts, either. Something with jaws about 6" wide works better (and 8" wouldn't hurt)

While yer at menards, buy one 10d nail.  Pound it into an awl blade -- it'll be sharper than the one from tandy.

As for buffing, I have not yet found anything works better than an old t-shirt... worn and soft.  Use the wife's... so if you run out it dont matter :rofl:

With the heavy black, wet teh rag, and WIPE (not buff) the first pass.  This will remove flakes and particles which can scratch teh surface of your leather.  I'm talking wet, but not dripping rag, so the leather will get damp, but not soaked.

Then buff -- don't need to wait for it to dry first.

That's what I needed to know there.  Hopefully it doesn't take me all dang night, I was hoping to mold that sucker this evening.  

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5 minutes ago, carguy4471 said:

That's what I needed to know there.  Hopefully it doesn't take me all dang night, I was hoping to mold that sucker this evening.  

Even better.  Tear an old t-shirt into pieces about 8x8 (or 10x10, whatever).  Point is, one shirt go a long way.  Wet one piece, wipe both sides, set that piece of to the side (if you hang it over something, it doesn't mildew and it's reusable).  Wet another piece, wring 'til damp, buff.  When teh rag is collecting black particles (dye is in fact pigments suspended in liquid - you're buffing off the 'chunks' that didn't penetrate), change the rag to a clean one.  Whole thing probably won't take you 10 minutes once you have the stuff ready to go.

Then while it's already damp anyway, go on mold the holster.  You'll buff it again with a clean cloth once it's almost dry from forming.

You'll pick it up quickly -- black polishes up nicely and shines even without finish on it.

Edited by JLSleather

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I made a stitching pony with a piece of Cedar fence and a 4 inch piece of 2X4 and 6 drywall screws. I use a clamp to keep closed. Not pretty but works. Also don't forget to wrap ends of pony in leather so you don't mark up your leather.

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6 minutes ago, JLSleather said:

Even better.  Tear an old t-shirt into pieces about 8x8 (or 10x10, whatever).  Point is, one shirt go a long way.  Wet one piece, wipe both sides, set that piece of to the side (if you hang it over something, it doesn't mildew and it's reusable).  Wet another piece, wring 'til damp, buff.  When teh rag is collecting black particles (dye is in fact pigments suspended in liquid - you're buffing off the 'chunks' that didn't penetrate), change the rag to a clean one.  Whole thing probably won't take you 10 minutes once you have the stuff ready to go.

Then while it's already damp anyway, go on mold the holster.  You'll buff it again with a clean cloth once it's almost dry from forming.

You'll pick it up quickly -- black polishes up nicely and shines even without finish on it.

So I'm not buffing with a dry cloth at all then.  Just a wet one to clean it off and then a fresh clean one to buff.   I can deal with that.  

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1 minute ago, carguy4471 said:

So I'm not buffing with a dry cloth at all then.  Just a wet one to clean it off and then a fresh clean one to buff.   I can deal with that.  

Yeah, you'll use a dry one.  Wet one to take off the heavy particles - might use more than one piece depending on teh dye application.  Then when the leather is still damp, dry one..

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40 minutes ago, billybopp said:

USMC black does indeed take a whole lot of buffing ... I found out the hard way, as the OP did, before I started coming here and reading about it.  But it begs the question, why do they still sell the stuff?  Does it have some use that I'm not aware of?  Is there some use for it that justifies all that work?

Boots. Combat boots. The regulations used to say something to the effect of 'well blackened.' Fiebings USMC black fit that bill perfectly.

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1 hour ago, billybopp said:

USMC black does indeed take a whole lot of buffing ... I found out the hard way, as the OP did, before I started coming here and reading about it.  But it begs the question, why do they still sell the stuff?  Does it have some use that I'm not aware of?  Is there some use for it that justifies all that work?

I believe there is a US military specification for the leather dye they use and fiebings makes it for them.

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You can contrast stitch with oil dye.  I do black with white stitching occasionally.  No problems.  I built a stitching pony, but never use it.  But I pre punch my holes with an awl blade in the drill press.  With pre punched holes I stitch faster without the pony.  

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