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  1. I need some help- I checked the archives but couldn't find an old post- I should have printed it. I know there is the "shoe polish" way of applying to leather and wiping off the surface to get a contrast but some time back someone said you could prep the leather, apply regular dye, and then quickly buff the surface to remove the dye so the only dark areas are in the depressions. Any help much appreciated.
  2. I think the first Western holsters were the Slim Jim styles used with cap & ball revolvers. Once cartridge guns came along the Double loop took over in popularity. I'm going to throw out some thoughts. 1. The double loop was a really good design. The skirt in back stiffened up the entire holster so that a single thick piece of leather could be used. Many of the earlier Slim Jim styles had a lining, often of a different color such as yellow or red. I use suede when I make that type but suede is actually wrong- the photos indicate a very thin but smooth type leather. The basket weave of the day for many of these Slim Jim's was a "fishscale" and the Tandy mule foot stamp is sort of similar. I think Wild Bill had patent leather holsters. These holsters were worn high on the belt. The belts on cartridge rigs had a lot of bullet loops- often the entire length and the buckle was often slid around and located under the holster so all the bullets were accessible. On the double loop- most had very little tooling- maybe a repetitive stamp along the edge. NOT all the handguns were peacemakers. The townsfolk and tradesmen often carried a smaller Smith & Wesson 32 rimfire and the bullet loops etc. were for that size. 2. On the percussion guns, Wild Bill wrote that he would load up at the beginning of the day with a flask and used round balls but once outside, most carried combustible cartridges as fast loading, back up ammo. As stated the conical balls weren't as accurate and could get knocked out of alignment when being seated. 3 The Buscadero Rig- as much as I can figure- is a Hollywood thing or at least started around 1900. Butch Cassidy might have still been robbing trains but most of the "wild West" was fast disappearing. 4. The crossdraw- I always figured that was used on long barrel guns to make it easier to draw out of the holster.
  3. My worry with contact is you have to line it just right. Wood glue -I've used and I've dampened the outside of the leather and it held but if I really soaked the leather it would fail. Barge- traditional favorite but I noticed the formula changes some time back. I'll probably use Gorilla Glue-original formula. I've thought about shoe goo- if if could be thinned down- might be good.
  4. I'm making a thick belt with two layers of leather. If I just sew the inner liner will buckle or form bubbles if curled inward- so I need to glue it. I've used barge cement before but it is getting difficult to find. What about some other glues? Shoe glue? Elmer's?
  5. I use barge simply because I can move the pieces a little if needed. With contact- you must be right on.
  6. Gee things keep getting more expensive, including the Tandy linen thread. I see there is hemp cord/thread used for crochet work and some other choices. I'm not sure how long these other threads would last- for outdoor belts, holsters, etc. Any comments welcomed.
  7. I'm making a western cartridge belt, about 8 oz with 3 oz liner. I sewed it up but when I bent it into a circle (like when being worn) there are a few wrinkles on the liner from being crunched. I'm wondering what to do. 1. Glue liner to main belt. 2. Wet belt and wrap around a barrel and let the liner dry and conform to shape. 3. Something else. 4. Nothing, with time the liner evens out? And...if I use glue, what glue? Tandy Leather weld? It is water based- not sure it is waterproof?
  8. Well, not to reply to my own question but I figure we are sharing ideas. I took a pair of dial calipers and set the spacing and used the sharp points to mark out-lightly- both the spacing between stamp marks and the distance of the stamp from the grooved line. I then put the corner of the stamp over the mark which then disappears when the stamp is hit. That's about the best I have come up with so far. My idea about clamping a ruler had troubles. You clamp at both ends but the middle is unsupported and the leather can bend in and out. I did a row with the clamped ruler and when I took the ruler off the marks were bowed away from the grooved line. Some stamps are easier to use. An arc or crescent has two points and you can line them up pretty good. A triangle with a flat base, any little error in any direction is very noticeable. I may try that pencil idea. As recommended, I'm practicing on scrap pieces.
  9. Hi, I'm making a an old west cartridge belts. These often have a line of stitching, then a groove, then a stamp mark that is repeated all along the edge. I'm using Tandy stamps. It requires some skill in using these stamps. One stamp may be higher or lower (along the edge) from the others, or the spacing between the stamps could be off. Then the stamp itself might be slanted left or right. A lot to go wrong. I epoxy glued a popsicle stick on the shaft at right angles to the mark. That helps me in not slanting the marks left or right. I thought maybe I'd clamp down a straight edge to keep all the stamp marks even on an up and down along the edge and maybe mark the guid to keep the spacing even. I'm sort of new at this. How do the rest of you do this type of stamping? Just eyeball or do you use some sort of guide?
  10. Pretty heavy, I'd say about 9 oz give or take 1 oz in either direction. BUT this is for real world use so I want something substantial.
  11. I want to make a western style cartridge belt with sewn on bullet loops and to stiffen the belt a little I thought a liner would be a good idea. My problem is a similar thickness of leather would make the belt too thick. Suede seems to pick up dirt and dust. I think what I need is just a lighter weight oak tanned leather. Any suggestions appreciated.
  12. I have just finished a buscadero type holster. To date I've made two Mexican double loop holsters, two California types, and one Tom Three Person's style. I thought I'd throw out some thoughts with the idea of some suggestions as to how I might have done a better job. On the Slim Jim or California type holsters, I made my own fish scale stamp and stamped the whole thing and then added a suede liner. This got the thickness about right. On the Double loops I did not use a liner but the skirt seems to stiffen up the holster. On my last effort, it started out as a Mexican double loop. I glued together two heavy pieces of leather- rough side to rough side but this was actually too much of a good thing. It was so thick that I didn't think I'd ever get the pouch through the loops. I had not yet cut out the loops on the skirt so I ended up turning it into a buscadero style with a band which wrapped around the pouch and then through two up-down slots in the skirt- secured in back with 2 Chicago screws (I lapped the ends over each other. On previous holsters the area around the trigger guard always seemed too tight and so this time I put in a welt. This welt, I think, is a good idea, it adds more room for the trigger guard and more room at the muzzle. One mistake I made was that I should have skived this welt so that I had full thickness in the front- next to the gun but at the back, along the seam, there was no thickness, or very little. If you use two heavy pieces of leather and a welt you end up with an edge about 3/4" thick. I sanded, burnished this until it looked okay but I think if the welt and the edges of the sides were all skived, to reduce the edge- that would be an improvement. In wet forming the holster to the gun, I wrapped up the gun in plastic, foil and plastic- so no water induced rust, but I worked the leather too much. On a lot of modern holsters the leather conforms to the shape of the gun, the cylinder, etc. standing out but on a western holster this doesn't look like the originals, the leather should not be worked around the gun but left rather smooth. Another issue was the bend between the pouch and skirt. The leather wants to wrap around the gun however the wrap should be in the other direction to conform to the body. I have thought about a wood shim, bent somewhat to the body's shape- put though the belt area when forming this part of the holster. This holster I left open on the bottom but on others I sewed a plug, which I think is better. Any comments or suggestions appreciated.
  13. Thanks- that shows the detail I needed. To me, on the buckle strap, when you fold or double over the end after wrapping around the center bar of the buckle, the loop over the main part of the belt goes between that doubled over portion of the buckle strap. This probably strengthen matters because if you pulled on the buckle strap the loop will stop movement before stress is put on the stitches holding the buckle's strap to the main part of the belt. Once again- sorry if I'm getting the terminology mixed up. And- that is a super good looking belt.
  14. I'm planning to make a western cartridge belts. In the front the main belt will fold under itself. I see these with a big loop into which one end of the main belt is run. Unfortunately I can't tell where to attach this big loop? Should it fit between the doubled over end of the buckle strap or be directly attached to the main belt? Any help appreciated.
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