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Professor

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About Professor

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  • Interests
    Airguns , vintage watches, Primitive archery

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    English saddles
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    Western Gunbelts
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  1. Yep. Magnified the washer looks to be either a Chinese coin or a temple prayer token. With the huge numbers of Chinese railroad workers a few Chinese coins are bound to have shown up in western towns. Crewmen of Clipper ships would buy kegs full of relic temple tokens and trade them to Indians on the west coast letting them think it was real money. In Alaska the Tinglit used these washer like coins to construct body armor that was effective against arrows and spears etc. The various shaped holes allowed the coins to be easily counted and kept separate as only coins of a certain denomination would fit certain matching pegs on a counting board. My brother had a glass jar full of Phillipines paper money and a number of coins including some Chinese coins. These coins if available in quantity would make for some interesting decorations for gun belts and vests.
  2. Watch Bands would seem to generate the highest return on investment in time and materials. The stitching is not a big chore but requires more attention to detail than most other larger pieces. Everything should be as precise as possible. You can practice on scrap leather and repurposed leather is growing in popularity. Old baseball gloves are one source, the more used and abused the better,with pieces that bear parts of name brands considered to add character.
  3. I used to work for a company that made custom furniture for Hotels, Bars and restaurants. They often used deeply colored leathers. I took home some scrap leather from a run of office chairs to see if it was suitable for small projects. When U tried gluing two layers together I found that the color was not in the surface of the leather at all. The carrier of the cement loosened the hold of a tissue thin coating that was like a strong flexible coat of semi transparent water proof paint. This coating peeled away easily, leaving the leather in its natural coloring.
  4. That is what I'll try first. I made a broad cuff like band many years ago, two layers of thin stiff cowhide the upper being molded around the watch so nothing could get caught on anything. It seemed to work okay.
  5. Modern Leather garments are normally lined with a fabric. As I mentioned earlier leather Shoes, if unlined, are normally worn over socks, the leather never touching the skin. I have remembered an article on the making of a wooden leg for a child, the craftsman used Goatskin as the liner and padding covering. IIRC Kangaroo skin has also been used for this purpose. Most artificial limbs are worn over some sort of knit stocking like sheath.
  6. Glad you took the question seriously.
  7. I wear socks whether the shoes are lined or not. A watch band is more intimate direct flesh to leather contact and subject to sweat and rain ,etc. In recent years most watch bands are lined with a synthetic, which often mimics the look and feel of unfinished smooth leather. I'm wondering if there might be chemicals or oils I should avoid. I intend to try straight neatsfoot oil first. I already have a number of nice buckles salvaged from cheap made bands, the buckles being the only quality part. I'd like some type of finish that will never get moldy no matter how damp the band might get from rain or sweat. Something non reactive with no allergens. A lacquer base sounds about right, so long as it doesn't crackle up when flexed Most synthetic liners crack at the holes after a month or so if not sooner.
  8. Is unfinished smooth side veg tanned cow leather safe for extended contact with the flesh, such as the liner for a watch band? Would a finish be better, if so what type? Any suggestions on better lining leathers, or treatments is appreciated..
  9. If you thin a dye with alcohol always be sure its of 90% or higher. Household rubbing alcohol can be as low as 40% and may have lanolin and other ingredients. I've used thinned dye in several applications to achieve a very even coloring. I've used the same method with wood stain. As the first application dries watch for dark areas where more of the mixture soaked in. then re apply while those areas are still damp. This way the damp area will take up less of the following applications while the dry areas take up more, evening it out in the long run. Continue the process till you reach the shade you want. PS the leather dyes I've used were not oil based.Don't know how well that would work. I've made my own walnut stain for wood by pouring scalding water over rotting walnuts still in the husk then letting the water dry in the sun in a shallow pan. I then add 90% alcohol , stir and pour into a bottle. I have several black walnut trees and I let the nuts rot in a plastic bag till an oily residue collects in the bag.
  10. I've seen an 1880's type partly canvas ammunition belt, possibly an army issue item, for the 45-70 cartridge that had a drop loop added to it for a holster. The holster was missing. No telling when the loop was added on. Wild Bill was known to fire off five rounds from each pistol at the end of the day in target practice, saving one loaded chamber in each revolver. He then cleaned the five empty chambers and reloaded. The Colt 1851 Navy could be carried safely with six rounds loaded because there is a slot on the bottom of the hammer face that engages a pin between the nipples to keep the hammer from contacting the cap and the cylinder resting out of battery. Most reproduction Colt C&B revolvers lack these pins though most have the slotted hammer face. I've made and installed these pins on a number of these replicas. Extra cylinders could be ordered from the factory and carried pre-loaded for quick reloading.
  11. An old method used on police gear was to first dye the leather dark blue. Then if there is any wear through the blue acts as a color killer countering the ruddy hue of the leather underneath. The wear through points aren't noticeable for some time so you can touch it up later. The blue makes for attractive highlighting when seen in bright daylight. Black liquid silicone boot polish works fine for protecting the surfaces.
  12. The secret to superior accuracy with a C&B revolver is care in loading. If a cast round ball is used insert the ball with the sprue mark up. That way the ball doesn't spin off balance when fired. A carefully loaded round ball will usually be more accurate than a conical ball. I have no problem keeping all my rounds of .36 in the space of a playing card at 50 feet. I did have to widen the rear notch of the hammer to one side to zero it and file the front bead down a bit for proper elevation. These guns shoot best with a full charge of powder. Light loads will result in the ball being seated too deep in the chamber. Many pre cap and ball muskets were converted to cap locks before and during the Civil War. Since there were more arms than men to carry them after the war the Government sold off the surplus guns dirt cheap. Soldiers when mustered out could purchase the musket they had been issued along with paper cartridge boxes, cap pouches , etc. Lever action Henry rifles were usually private purchased and kept by those who had carried them. At least one Calvary company were armed with the Henry to great effect. It many have been Custer's Civil War outfit. The later 7th Calvary carried the Spencer carbine but these were replaced by the trapdoor Springfield just before the Little Bighorn fight.
  13. Cool I'm going to order one. I have a Japanese fruit and melon knife with similar wooden sheath. Not a sturdy working knife but very useful for its intended purpose.
  14. I'd considered that approach but since the belt will be a western style it really needs more conventional loops . A separate slide on carrier for longer rifle cartridges or a pouch for smaller rimfire cartridges can be used as an add on. I may make a western style holster for my .36 1851 Colt replica while I'm at it but I already have a shoulder holster for it so its not a priority. No cartridges are used for the C&B revolvers but I have a bag full of capped plastic tubes that I use to carry measured charges and balls ready for loading. These are about the length and diameter of a .45 cartridge case. There are endless possibilities, but I'll be lucky to get the first two belts finished as it is.
  15. Well done. I'll be making a similar pair for myself soon. I have a rather severe case of Morton's Toe, my foot print is more like that of a Yeti. Only footwear I've found comfortable were a pair of moccasins I had many years ago and a pair of USAF survival moccasins I found at a Surplus store about ten years ago. The survival moccasins have two lift out thick felt insoles per moc and a thick removable insulating liner. The other pair I mentioned had Elk hide soles so tough a tack couldn't penetrate , the point of a tack curling over if stepped on. I've read that the plains Indians steam treated the hide from a buffalo hump till it drew up and swelled to at least three inches thick. Shields made of this hide could stop a ball from a .44 Army Colt C&B revolver.
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