chiefjason

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About chiefjason

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    Leatherworker

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    Male
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    Hickory, NC

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  1. chiefjason

    Prepunching Holes?

    I chuck an awl into a floor drill press to pre punch my holes. Never had an issue with them closing up, even if it took days to get to the project. And you get the awl shaped hole, which allows the thread to lay down nicer. A drilled hole will let the stitch stand out from the leather more. I also put a thin piece of cardboard under the leather. That keeps the back side from getting marked up by the table on my press. The way I make my holsters it seems the best way to deal with the issue.
  2. chiefjason

    How to fix / hide scratch

    If you want perfect you don't want leather. I hand dye my holsters and sometimes the process hides the oddities and sometimes it makes them more visible. Unless you specifically cut to stay away from them, you will get some hide issues sometimes. I made a laptop case for myself once out of the brand on the hide. It was pretty cool. Brand was gnarly too. Not like a really nice one. IMO, unless it's a structural problem let it be.
  3. I like the color on the top one a lot. But I like odd colors and hand dyed stuff a lot. Personally I prefer to round my trailing loop instead of having it so square. Square stuff on holsters drives me nuts. Probably a personal thing. But if you get the corners too sharp they will wear poorly and get dog eared too. With the bottom one, it's really easy to make the belt loop and sweat shield reinforcement one piece. That's usually what I do. The top stitch on the belt loop and reinforcement are the same and do the bottom stitch just like you did here.
  4. chiefjason

    To fix or start over

    That's pretty much what the bobbin threader is, just with the bead to grab it. I have curved needles but I find that the eyes are so large they are near impossible to use in leather. Most likely, I just need to look harder for needles that would suit my needs. Just something to keep an eye out for, the eye is the hardest part to pass and it's having to do it as it curves.
  5. My FIL once told me that a craftsman isn't someone that does everything perfect, but someone that knows how to fix their mistakes like they never even happened. I've pretty much taken that to heart. So I've been obscenely busy lately, work is picking up, lots of holster orders (for a side gig anyway), family, and trying to work in some vacation days. I got a bit behind and in a hurry. A buddy asked me to make him a holster for his PMR30. I made a holster similar to what he wants for a M&P full size recently so when I was cutting other holsters I slightly re worked the pattern and cut his too. I cut all but one piece. The one that I use to stitch in the t nut for the snap. Kind of important when you are putting on a strap. Also, kind of the very first thing I should be stitching, not the last. I realized this about half way through stitching his holster. Promptly tossed the holster to the foot of the bed, where I do most of my stitching. Decided better of it and finished it anyway. I let the holster sit a few days while I stewed on whether to try to finish it, and how to. Or if I start over. Yesterday it hit me what I should try, and it ended up working. This is the holster with the piece glued on, imaging getting half way "finished" and realizing you didn't even start it correctly. ugh So the obvious problem is there is not enough room inside to hand stitch. And my sofa needles are way too big. I probably need to look for something smaller for the next time. So here was my solution. I also tie my own flies. This is the threader for my bobbins. And the threader in action. It worked perfectly. I did have to drill the new holes out because my awl in drill process would not work without damaging the holster. And this also made it easier to find the holes on the inside. I started all my stitches on the inside hole, then ran the second stitch from the outside where I could force the threader through easier. The pic is starting from the outside. Also managed to get a couple back stitches in. And better yet, I get to sell it instead of tossing it, or keeping it around and acting like I'll use it one day.
  6. Well, I know have a gun mold that I never even knew existed. The Commercial version of the CZ 83. Awesome! Good communication and fast ship.
  7. chiefjason

    Slicking and Burnishing

    Get better leather. Being serious, not smart about it. I fought it early on. When I went to buying better leather, I don't have the issue as much anymore. If you are trying to lay down the nap, you could try water and a glass slicker. But what is really going on is you are getting what is most likely belly leather or leather from something like the neck that moves a lot and is softer.
  8. Check the measurements but most any steel bodied double stack 9mm mag should work. You want to check though, because there are some proprietary mag designs out there. Just bought a Sig P365 mag because of the shape where it feeds. But could have likely gotten away with any double stack mag and just not had the taper in the mag holder.
  9. chiefjason

    speedloader pouch

    I did one similar to Josh's except the T part of the pouch attached to itself and the snap cover was also the belt attachment. Loop it under the belt and snap it on. When you unsnap it the belt holds it in place.
  10. chiefjason

    How do you make a leather strop?

    Scrap 2x4. Glue one side on grain out. Other side on flesh out. White jewelers rough on the flesh/rough side. Flesh side first, then grain side, then cardboard with jewelers rouge on it. Been doing it that way for years.
  11. chiefjason

    How do I keep from cracking

    Oil it. Wet it before hand. Worse case, you have bad leather and don't use it in that capacity. I bought a strap a while back and every thing I made from it broke. Some leather just gets brittle.
  12. chiefjason

    Sharpening head knife gah!!

    My entire knife sharpening process involves up to 4 stones of various grit, a 2 sided strop, and cardboard with white jewelers rouge on it. Once it's sharp the strop and cardboard keep it that way for a long time. Occasionally I'll drop back to the finest stone too. A head knife with a decent edge just needs to be taken care of. If the edge got really dull, or wasn't sharp to begin with it will need more work. And I tell folks there is not much science to pass along with sharpening a knife by hand. It's feel. It's art. And its sound. I can hear a knife when the edge is right. It kind of sings as you sharpen it. If it feels gritty or sounds wrong it is wrong. You just have to get a feel for putting that edge on it. Some of us have spent years getting there.
  13. Assuming that is a pocket holster? If so, you don't want a tight mold anyway. Fingers will do the trick. A bag might deform the stamping, or some of the bags have patterns inside them that can transfer to the leather too.
  14. That's probably more than just 3 pieces. But not a complete 4 piece either. Two options. The back piece is grain side out so it can be stamped with flesh side to the body. That's the easy way, but I doubt the sheath is done like that because the belt slots are stitched. And the workmanship is too nice to skimp on that. Most likely the loop is 2 layers with a thin grain side out layer going just into the welt. And the main piece is grain side to the body. That lets you stamp the outside of the loop and would require the loop to be stitched.
  15. So I finally got talked into making a shoulder holster a while back. What can I say, I usually quoted high and got turned down but money talks. Made a couple of them since, including one for myself that I'm very happy with. I had a customer come to me with an odd request and I took it on. The closest thing to the holster I made is one Mattel made for a cap gun back in the 60's. The off side strap wraps around the shoulder and back to the the holster across the back. There were a couple other requests including wider shoulder straps. Short answer, he's not real thrilled with it. But since it was a special order he's not upset about it and just wants to buy a different strap set. Not a big deal. His main complaints were that it rode too high on his neck and the yoke was a bit too stiff. To my questions. I used 5-6 oz leather for the straps. Maybe slightly heavier on the yoke. I'm considering cutting the weight for the straps and yoke down more to make them more flexible. Good idea or not? Or what are you using? And I really don't want to go to fabric or nylon. Any secrets to how to get the yoke to ride lower towards the shoulders? Honestly, all of the ones I have made seem to ride high. But I've not worn anyone elses shoulder holsters so not much to compare. And he sent me pics and it rides considerably higher on him than it did on me. Because I wore it around the house one afternoon to be sure it was worth sending out. It also looks to fit tighter around his neck than mine, but I'm pretty sure my neck is wider than his. FWIW, he says he tried several adjustments and could not get happy with it. Which is odd becasue I liked it. Go figure. But comfort is subjective. So what say you? And I have a few pics if it helps that I can post.