Flat Back Pancake Holster Making

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I got asked how I make a flat back pancake holster, . . . and so I thought I'd just drop it in here.  This is for the "first one", . . . somebody wants a holster done that I don't have a pattern made for that one.

To start with, I have a couple of different "templates" that get me started on this pancake holster.  One is for 1911 size or bigger, . . . and the other is for small auto's and 5 shot revolvers, etc.  Picture 1 should show the two of them, the little one stacked upon the big one.

This holster is for a S&W Shield, so it will be the smaller template that I start out with.

In picture 3, I lay the weapon down on the template, . . . get it where it looks like it will work the best, . . . 

In picture 4, another piece of manila folder is placed behind the template and the weapon to lay out the sweat shield.  That is depicted in picture 5.

The sweat shield attachment is then cut out and taped into position on the template as in picture 6.

In picture 8, we see another piece of manila folder, . . . cut so that the front two pieces are the same contour, . . . but with some extra length in the back (see picture 9).

That second piece of manila folder is then molded down around the weapon to get a semblance of the size I will need to complete the holster (picture 10).  Hold on tight to the back end of those two pieces of paper, . . . remove the gun, . . . turn it over, . . . and mark the cut line for the back edge in picture 11.

You'll notice in picture 12, I cut it a bit bigger than the line, . . . I'll be throwing away a couple square inches of leather, . . . but it will NOT be too short, . . . 

Pictures 13 and 14 show the two pieces cut out, . . . and getting ready to become a holster.

(continued on the next post)





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flat pancake 11.jpg

flat pancake 12.jpg

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OK, . . . we have two pieces of leather cut, . . . ready to turn into a holster.

I lay my template down on my little cutting board, . . . lay the weapon on the template (picture 15), . . . then take the front of the holster, . . . that has been thoroughly dampened for this part of the process (picture 16) and position it above the weapon and template so it will wind up in the right position.

In picture 17, it goes into the vacuum bag, . . . suction turned on, . . . left on for something near 15 or 20 seconds, . . . released, . . . then re-done after positioning the bag so it pulls it in a bit tighter.  

As you can see in pictures 18 and 19, . . . the front of the holster has all the dimensions and contours, . . . while the back is seriously flat.

Let the front dry, . . . dress some of the hard to get to edges, . . . glue it all together, . . . sand the edges smooth, . . . sew, . . . punch the slots, . . .  bevel and burnish the rest of the edges, . . . dye, . . . dry, . . . finish, . . . and VOILA, . . . holster.

Oh, . . . and that is a pine derby version of the Shield.  It works.

May God bless,



flat pancake 15.jpg

flat pancake 16.jpg

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flat pancake 18.jpg

flat pancake 19.jpg

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Make it look so easy!! That'll be a happy fellow without that bulging in his hip bone. Know that took time out of your busy day to do that tutorial and it's greatly appreciated!! 

Edited by Clintock

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Want to save a little time and frustration?  Edge and burnish that top edge on the front piece before you mold it.  It works for me because all my edges are black.  So I edge and burnish the entire top edge of the front leather piece.  Mold, glue, trim.  Any edging that gets trimmed off is usually to the trigger guard side and the pocket and front edge are still burnished and looking good.  I always hated having to burnish that edge after I molded them.  

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Pinewood Derby Shield -  that's awesome! Well done, well done indeed. I'm already looking at the wife's extra 'closet space bags' wheels are turning, ideas ideas ideas...!

Thanks for the tutorial, Dwight! And good tip, too, ChiefJason!

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Mmmm I've seen something like this before, someone sent it to me. As always great info Dwight.
Take care.

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