wizard of tragacanth

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About wizard of tragacanth

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    Las Vegas, NV

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
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    Making better holsters

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  1. wizard of tragacanth

    Bowie sheath

    Really nice. I love the contrasting stitching.
  2. wizard of tragacanth

    Makers stamps, who’s the best?

    I have one of those "plastic" stamps. I had the same problem when using a mallet. Do you have an arbor press? I use an arbor press and it works great. First, make sure that your leather is properly cased, to get a good crisp impression. Set up the lever on the press so that it is horizontal when it contacts the stamp. I put all of my weight on it (since I don't have much strength any more) for about 10-15 seconds. I haven't really experimented with the time factor. Five seconds may work, I don't know. Impressions come out deep and crisp.
  3. wizard of tragacanth

    How did you get into leather work?

    I am one of those who said to himself... "I am not going to pay $60 for a holster, when it is only a few dollars worth of leather and so easy to make!" Now, eight years later, having invested hundreds of dollars and many hours of studying and making, I can make a holster that is worth $60 (maybe). Well, it has been fun and interesting all along the way. The most amazing surprise to me, was when I discovered how willingly people gave up their secrets of the craft, helping others reach their level. I don't think that I have ever seen that in any other arena. Many thanks to all of these giving artisans on LW and YT.
  4. Been doing leather work on and off, for eight years, at the rate of about 2.5 (finished) projects per year, though I haven’t made anything for the last two years, so I am still a novice. I have only made holsters, a few belts, and one multi-tool sheath. All of the holster were simple, black, concealment holsters. I make them simple because that is the extent of my skills. I make concealment holsters because CCW is very popular here in Las Vegas and because no one would want to show off my work. Got tired of making only black things and got this idea to make a Blue Jeans holster. I had this vision of a dark blue holster with a tan patch on it somewhere, with yellow or orange thread to mimic the stitching on Western style jeans and some copper rivets for the same reason. I have made two iterations of it (that is, not quite what I was imagining… still trying to do it right), now planning to make a third. First one was a solid Navy Blue Avenger (my first ever Avenger) with a natural tan mouth reinforcement. Truth be told, I had not planned a reinforcement but the leather that I had on hand was too thin, so the holster was flimsy. I added the reinforcement after the fact. I had used tan for the belt loop, then added the reinforcement. That is why it is not one piece of tan but two. A beginner mistake is to use whatever supplies one has on hand, when one knows full-well that it is not what is called for in the project! Cheap people also make this mistake… and people who are in too big a hurry to complete a project. That’s what I did. Don’t do it! So, I wound up with an Avenger that was too thin, was sewn with black thread on the body and white thread on the reinforcement. I had forgotten to buff the excess blue dye before stitching the tan pieces, so the dye came off on the waxed linen thread and now it looks dirty. Or, I don’t know, maybe one should not use waxed linen in this case? On the second iteration, I embossed the leather in my shop press, using canvas, to make the surface of the leather look like denim. Then I did an intentionally streaky dye job to make it look like worn denim. I had done some experiments using 600 grit sandpaper, hitting the high spots of the embossing, to remove some of the top color without going through to the leather color. It worked. Really looked like worn denim. Loved it but feared ruining this holster, which I was already happy with so I did not follow through with sanding. Promised myself that I will do it on the third one. Well, I started stitching with yellow thread (dyed linen) but it made my poor stitching stand out so badly that I took it out and used Navy instead. No one should experiment on their project but I did. I filled my maker’s mark with Silver Cova Color, which I had never used on anything. When I wiped it off, silver particles spread around the mark and all over the belt loop, which was dark Navy. It may not show up in the picture. It doesn’t look bad but it is not what I had aimed for. Kind of looks like a star filled night sky. At least, that’s the way I like to think of it. Others might say it looks like a mess. Oh, and I had planned to use a couple of copper rivets, as decoration, on the un-stitched side of the belt slot, to further add to the jeans illusion. Maybe next time. Though I could still do it. So, the next one will be a belt slide style with canvas embossing, some kind of distressed finish and yellow thread (after I practice my stitching for a while). By the way, the first holster (tan reinforcement) is a 15° cant, the second one (streaky blue) is a straight-drop, zero cant design. That was the first zero cant model that I have made. It rides very well at my preferred 3:00 position. I am surprised at how good it is. It’s my new EDC… until I make my belt slide with copper rivets! Streaky Blue Jeans Avenger Info Leather: 3.25 mm Thread: 0.8 Ritza 25 Navy Stitching: 6 spi saddle stitch (sloppy)(not intentionally) Dye: Fiebings Navy Blue Applicator: semi-dry dauber Edges & Flesh: Tokonole Top Coat: Fiebings Satin Sheen (may go for a matte finish next time) Gun: Sig M11 (P229 variant)
  5. wizard of tragacanth

    Walther PPS M2 Pancake Holster

    That is an excellent first project. Did you burnish the edges of the holster? I can't tell. On the slots... first, edge the long side of the slots on both the front and back. Use a paint stir stick or something similar, wrap 150 or higher grit sandpaper around it and sand the inside of the slots. Then use just about anything round to burnish the inside of the slots. I have used the shaft of a screwdriver, anything round... wood, metal or plastic.
  6. wizard of tragacanth

    Lots of tooled Belts

    Alex, that is mind blowing production! I especially like the Celtic design. HAND STITCHED?! Wow!
  7. wizard of tragacanth

    machine - belt or bench sander edges?

    Christine, A belt sander is not the solution. You need a spindle sander as they have spindles as small as 1/2" diameter, which will get into the tight curves of a holster. Can't do that with a belt sander. This Rigid is both belt and spindle, but you will likely use the spindle more often than the belt. It won't hurt to have the belt though. You could just get a plain old oscillating spindle sander for less than what the Rigid sells for, like this Harbor Freight model for $145. https://www.harborfreight.com/search?q=spindle sander If you have a shop vac, both the Harbor Freight and the Rigid have dust collection ports, so they will work with it. You may need an adapter to make it fit. Adapters are common and easy to find. Here's one: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Think-Crucial-Replacement-2-1-2-in-to-1-1-2-in-Conversion-Unit-Fits-Shop-Vac-Compatible-with-Part-9064900-9064900/305847086 Get some 150 grit and 240 grit sanding sleeves for it. Finish sanding by hand with 400 grit or higher if you want. This is a good tool to have if you ever do anything with wood too.
  8. wizard of tragacanth

    Stamping a leather holster

    Ah, yes, when I said 100 degrees, I did mean Fahrenheit. Sorry, I often forget that we are a global forum. I recommended warm water and dish soap to soak the old holster because soap is a wetting agent and warm water is a more effective cleaner than cold water. It makes sense to me, but if it doesn't make sense to you... okay. If the OP is going to disassemble the holster, I think this would work better than room temperature water and no soap. That's my suggestion and I think it is a valid one. However, I am not the expert that many are on this forum.
  9. wizard of tragacanth

    Stamping a leather holster

    Soak it in warm water. Somewhere around 100 to 110 degrees. Add a few drops of liquid dish soap.
  10. wizard of tragacanth

    New Holster For My Sr9

    I like the basic design and execution but you need to trim out the leather that you can see on the back piece where the grip and the trigger guard meet. This area must be open in order to get a proper firing grip on the handle. Otherwise... nice!
  11. Hi Guys, I've haven't been around here for several months because we have been looking for a new house. It has absorbed most of my free time. Still haven't found one, but a co-worker has asked me to make a holster so I have to squeeze it in. He has a G19... I have a G17 mold. IIRC, these are identical except for the barrel length. Can I successfully use my G17 mold and simply shorten it? Thanks, Nick
  12. wizard of tragacanth

    Hairdryer Holster

    Cute... but its made for Southpaws! I will just have to do without one, I guess.
  13. wizard of tragacanth

    Hybrid Design

    Ahhh, I see, it's made for rough duty. Nick