RecipeDude

First attempt at utility case

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Thought I’d share my first attempt at making a case.  It’s based on the Utility Case shown in The Art of Making Leather Cases Vol 2. page 60 with different dimensions.  The handle, Handle No. 20 page 23 (same volume). Oak leaf carving on left side panel based on CitzenKates post on this site: Demo: Oak Leaves.

Only experience with leather working I have is that a couple of weeks ago I picked up the Tandy Deluxe Leather Carving kit.  Got tired of flowery bookmarks and coasters quite rapidly and wanted to really push myself.

Laid out/measured up the cutting patterns in Sketchup before hand.  Ran into trouble trying to figure out how long to make the handles and couldn’t find any advice or comment on handle length in the above-mentioned Stohlman book; upon assembly discovered the handles are a fair bit too short! Thankfully still usable, but it’d be more comfortable for each handle to have been 2 to 4 inches longer.  Not sure if there’s any way I can address this after the fact though.

Also discovered that I hadn’t thought through where the latch would end up… did get a latch but didn’t lay out the location beforehand so if I were to attach a latch it would end up smack dab in the middle of the carving on the front panel. Now looking for other strategies to close the lid - almost thinking maybe snaps?    

And the next fairly major oversight is that I mounted the handle shield too to high.  This results in the inability to close the lid fully since the flap hits the D-rings.  Am wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to modify/remedy this issue?

Can see from the photos I have some more burnishing to do on that top panel…

Critique, criticism, suggestions, modifications to improve the case, additional finishing, etc. much appreciated.

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We've probably all been in a similar situation, so my solution is to always construct a prototype first. It adds to the build time, but it helps to rectify any problems before I start cutting leather. I built it with Marsh oil stencil board, available at some art supply stores or online. It comes in big sheets, is thin, strong and relatively cheap.

Edited by LatigoAmigo

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Although you need more practice with your stitching, and need to learn how to make nice finished edges, your carving and tooling are amazing for a beginner!

There's a sticky thread on edge finishing here: 

 

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Wow! I love your carving :o  

Not being helpfull, sorry. Just amazed. 

 

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16 hours ago, LatigoAmigo said:

We've probably all been in a similar situation, so my solution is to always construct a prototype first. It adds to the build time, but it helps to rectify any problems before I start cutting leather. I built it with Marsh oil stencil board, available at some art supply stores or online. It comes in big sheets, is thin, strong and relatively cheap.

:) I actually printed the sketchup pattern I created, cut it out, taped it together and adjusted measurements.  What I didn't do was add the handle to the mock-up.  Thanks for the feedback, great idea using stencil board for a prototype.  Would be much easier to sort out handle length, etc. if I had done that.

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Sheilajeanne, thanks for the kind words on the carving and for directing me to the Finishing Edges post by hidepounder, very helpful.

I managed to burnish up the edges of the lid which improved things a bit in the edge department

Not sure how to work on cleaning up the corners though.

Really struggled with bevelling those corners (first time using a skiving knife) so they’re quite wavy and inconsistent when it got stitched together.  Also had no idea how to stitch the corners together so just saddle stitched ‘em together wavey bevels and all!

15 hours ago, Raksha said:

Wow! I love your carving :o  

Not being helpfull, sorry. Just amazed. 

 

Thanks Raksha for the kind words.  No need to apologize, your comment is encouraging and much appreciated!

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Your carving looks great for a 1st or 5th attempt (compared to my 5th attempt anyway). On your issue with the front flap and the handle tabs, you could notch out the flap so the top sits down where it belongs.

If you cut a notch in the front flap, will it impact your stamping? If it will impact your stamping, maybe you could trim the flap and sew another flap on That is about the only way around the only issue I can think of.

I made a case for my stitching chisels where I left the front flap a bit short. So ... I added a piece of leather and highlighted it, so it almost sort of maybe looks like it maybe might have been planned that way, almost. 

 

As for a catch, you could use velcro or a magnetic catch under the flap, with just a pull tab hanging down an inch or so, to assist with opening.

Stitching chisel case 1.jpg

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51 minutes ago, Rockoboy said:

Your carving looks great for a 1st or 5th attempt (compared to my 5th attempt anyway). On your issue with the front flap and the handle tabs, you could notch out the flap so the top sits down where it belongs.

If you cut a notch in the front flap, will it impact your stamping? If it will impact your stamping, maybe you could trim the flap and sew another flap on That is about the only way around the only issue I can think of.

I made a case for my stitching chisels where I left the front flap a bit short. So ... I added a piece of leather and highlighted it, so it almost sort of maybe looks like it maybe might have been planned that way, almost. 

 

As for a catch, you could use velcro or a magnetic catch under the flap, with just a pull tab hanging down an inch or so, to assist with opening.

 

 

Thanks Rockoboy.  I went ahead and cut some notches, not perfect but the lid closes quite a bit better now.    Good idea on adding a extra piece when flaps are too short like on your chisels project. Doesn't look unplanned to me...

Really like the idea of magnets - if I were to put a couple sets of rare earth magnets under my flap it'll keep it closed without have to put a latch smack dab in the middle of the front panel tree carving. 

Awesome ideas all around, much appreciated mate!

 

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Fantastic and congratulations on a fine piece of art :)

Unless someone has made a briefcase from conception to finished product, they have no idea of the amount of work involved!

Sam

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