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About TrooperChuck

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Kettle Falls, Washington
  • Interests
    Back-country horsemanship, camping, canoeing, black-smithing, traditional archery.

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Saddles, tack, holsters, sheaths
  • Interested in learning about
    Anything to do with leatherwork.
  • How did you find leatherworker.net?
    surfing the net

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  1. Thanks for the replies. I'll make one based on Al Stohlman's book and wear it for a while to give it a try. Sounds like good advice.
  2. Hi folks. It's been quite a while since I've posted here and I forgot how much excellent information can be found in these forums. I make a lot of holsters, knife sheaths, and belts in my shop and I often get asked to make shoulder holsters. When I first opened my shop, five years ago, I took on a couple of shoulder holster orders but was very disappointed with the finished products. They just didn't fit the customer properly without a lot of constant back and forth visits for adjustments. Eventually, I simply decided to never again make any shoulder holsters! But, I keep getting requests for them. So, my question is, do any of you have a pattern(s) for shoulder holsters that actually fit well and function properly?
  3. Hi folks. I've never made a pair of boots but we do a lot of boot repair at our leather shop and have all the equipment and machinery needed to make boots. Lately I've had a desire to make myself a pair of 6" moc-toe work boots, similar to Red Wing's 1907 boot. Does anyone have patterns for cutting the leather for such a boot? As I mentioned, I've never made boots before, but I figure if one has the skills necessary to make a saddle then making a boot shouldn't be impossibly difficult.
  4. Unfortunately, I don't know what other states require. I suspect Bikermutt is correct in that there may be different rules for private vs. business transfers. CaptQuirk: You rock! I'm gonna go upstairs and tear the tag off my mattress right now! Just to show how hip I am, I might even live stream my outlaw-ness on Facebook! Dwight: Carving some dummy guns out of wood sounds like a good idea! thanks
  5. Thanks. I have those books, but it's been so long since I've looked at them I forgot the section on rough out. thanks for reminding me.
  6. Nicely done. Both the knife and the sheath. I really like the finish on the sheath.
  7. Good looking bag. Simple, rugged, and well made never goes out of style. I like the way you attached the handle. No way that is going to rip out. Someone's going to be proud to have that bag.
  8. Although my shop is named Boulder Creek Saddle Shop, holster making has turned out to be the majority of our business. This holster, made for a Browning 1911 .380, is the first holster I've finished with acrylic paint.
  9. Dwight's comments about shoulder holsters are pretty much the same as what I have been telling my customers. Hollywood has done a great job of convincing folks that shoulder holsters are really cool, but my experience with them is just the opposite. I was an Alaska State Trooper for 22 years and, like most guys who had to wear a gun on a daily basis, I have a whole drawer full of holsters I bought, tried, and didn't like. The shoulder holsters are in that drawer. I've met a few guys who really like shoulder holsters and wear them daily for CCW purposes. But, I'm convinced those guys are the exceptions rather than the norms. The other reason I'm not a fan of shoulder holsters is that I believe you should carry your CCW gun in the same position every time. In a stress situation you will automatically revert to whatever holster position you've used the most. If you usually carry your gun on your hip, you're going to reach for your hip when under extreme stress. When the chips are down and you really need your gun you don't want to find out it's not where you thought it was.
  10. When I first started my shop I had no mold guns, so I had to take in the customer's gun in order to make their custom holster. But, I soon found out it is illegal to do that! Unless you have a Federal Firearms License you can not legally take a gun from the customer to make their holster! As ridiculous as is sounds, taking a customer's gun and then giving it back to them after you make the holster is considered a "transfer" and to legally transfer a gun nowadays you need an FFL. Crazy! I know. But, it's the world we live in nowadays. So, I ended up getting myself an FFL, but I am also now buying mold guns to add to my collection of tools. So, I've had to add a couple dollars to the cost of my holsters to help offset the cost of the mold guns. Some mold guns can be used for a variety of gun models. For instance, if you buy one Colt single action revolver mold gun you can use that to make holsters for any of the Colt clones and Ruger Vaqueros.
  11. I make a lot of double layer belts in my shop. Here in eastern Washington there's a lot of folks that have CCW permits and they often want a belt that's not going to stretch out of shape when carrying a gun on a daily basis. There's no way I would consider making a double layer belt without stitching. Nowadays, because I get so many orders, I machine stitch my belts but I still enjoy doing some hand-stitching. I actually find it to be very relaxing. As for which glue to use, barge contact cement is a good choice. At a recent leatherwork seminar Chris Andre, of Slickbald Leather, told us of a test that was done to compare the strength of various contact cements. Surprisingly, regular old Weldwood contact cement, which you can buy in any hardware store, came out on top. For a hobbyist, another advantage of using Weldwood is that you can buy it in 2-ounce bottles, rather that the one-quart or one-gallon containers that most others come in. About hand-stitching... it's not as tiresome as you might think. That is especially true if you pre-punch your holes. In fact, if you aren't used to using an awl for stabbing holes as you stitch I definitely recommend pre-punching. Your holes will be more uniform and even with a punch. As someone else suggested, punch your holes, clamp your leather into a stitching horse or stitching pony, put on one of your favorite movies, and start stitching. With pre-punched holes, I can hand-stitch at a rate of one inch per minute, six stitches per inch. So, doing an average belt should only take you about the length of one movie. Wrap some tape around the middle joint of your little fingers if you're not used to hand-stitching. Just a hint.
  12. I'm looking for some advice on making a rough-out saddle. I personally don't care for rough out saddles and have managed to avoid making any but I now have a customer who really, really wants me to make a rough out barrel racing saddle. Normally, I decline these jobs but this is one of my frequent customers and, in a moment of weakness, I agreed to make the saddle. Instead of grumbling about it, I'm trying to look at it as a chance to expand my saddlemaking/leatherworking knowledge. So, are there any special tips or practices for rough out leather? Which leather do you use and what do I have to do in the way of prepping it?
  13. Up until recently, all my saddles were totally hand-stitched. Horn, cantle, billets, skirts, everything was stitched with double needles. Stitching the skirts was often a challenge because I didn't have a stitching horse with deep enough jaws to hold the skirts in a good position. The old cowboy who taught me to make saddles never used a jerk needle, so I didn't either. Last year I bought a Cobra 4 stitcher at the Southwest Leather Trade Show. Since then, I've used the Cobra 4 for stitching skirts and straps. I still hand-stitch horns and cantles, but I doubt I'll go back to hand-stitching skirts. It used to take me about 2 hours to hand-stitch a pair of skirts. I can now do just as good a job with the Cobra 4 in about 15 minutes. When leatherwork was just a hobby for me I didn't mind spending a lot of time on hand-stitching, but now that I'm running a business with customer orders constantly coming in I am really happy to save time (without sacrificing quality) with my stitching machine.
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