carguy4471

Recommend an exotic for holsters

7 posts in this topic

I'm not so much interested in inlays, but rather full or partials overlays.

What exotics would you recommend to start with and why?  I'm hoping there is something out there that'll take a burnish  or at least cut clean to make nice edges.  I'm told shark is a good one to start with but I'd enjoy having more than one opinion on the matter.

I'm interested in things that are tough and provide durability if that matters at all.  

Thanks for the help everyone!!  

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I have worked with Shark, Kangaroo, Elephant, Hippo, Cape Buffalo, Water Buffalo, and Ostrich legs. The Shark and Kangaroo are the easiest to work with overall. I only use the roo for lining though. The shark actually looks burnish as you cut it with your edging tool. All of them can be burnished to a really nice edge though but some take more work than others. Like the two Buffalos for example. It helps to use Gum Trag with them. Elephant is relatively easy and Hippo is not too bad. Nor is the Ostrich leg. As far as durability is concerned the Shark and Elephant are highly regarded here.

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Maverick has elephant and shark available pretty reasonable.

Just a plug for Maverick. I had a good experience with them. Lol

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19 hours ago, Bolt Vanderhuge said:

I have worked with Shark, Kangaroo, Elephant, Hippo, Cape Buffalo, Water Buffalo, and Ostrich legs. The Shark and Kangaroo are the easiest to work with overall. I only use the roo for lining though. The shark actually looks burnish as you cut it with your edging tool. All of them can be burnished to a really nice edge though but some take more work than others. Like the two Buffalos for example. It helps to use Gum Trag with them. Elephant is relatively easy and Hippo is not too bad. Nor is the Ostrich leg. As far as durability is concerned the Shark and Elephant are highly regarded here.

Thanks for the input.  I had a sample of shark sent out and much of it is dried and cracked.   I don't know if they just sent some junk or does this happen with shark hide?  

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Tandy outlet has caiman on sale right now.

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Posted (edited)

On 3/8/2017 at 7:16 AM, carguy4471 said:

Thanks for the input.  I had a sample of shark sent out and much of it is dried and cracked.   I don't know if they just sent some junk or does this happen with shark hide?  

That sounds like a really bad piece you got. It shouldnt be cracked at all, it will have a tough exterior but pretty flexible. I like ostrich knee alot but it works better for inlays usually although I have made several sheaths with a overlay. It has to be put over vegtan as its pretty thin. 

Edited by MADMAX22

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My favorites are Fla. Alligator, wide range of textures patterns and finishes nicely as well as edges cleanly, Elephant is as versatile requires more edge detailing and work but a wealth of variation, from the hides flank pieces, deep texture , and areas closer to  legs offer different pattern, trunk offers small deep texture and patterns inner and outer ear vary to each end of the spectrum, Ostrich is great but edging requires more time and detail IMHO,,Shark is supple and is a joy to work, edges beautifully. ostrich leg also is easy to edge and inlay, Buff works like leather from what I've used, Snake is temperamental, scales scale direction but edges well,,Stingray is sometimes a battle best for Inlays my thoughts,,,Those are most common we see 

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