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About caressofsteel

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  • Location
    Raleigh NC

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
  • Interested in learning about
    Holster Business

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  1. The holes look large to me, but I hand stitch so I can get away with smaller holes as hand stitching does not loop inside the stitch hole. Round holes always look larger than needed anyway. Do you have a diamond needle? Also, it is rare for a pocket holster to have a reinforcement band unless it is meant for a jacket pocket rather than a pants pocket. COS
  2. I have used bonded nylon and Tiger thread for hand stitching. The advantages to nylon thread are slightly more tensile strength per strand, abrasion resistance, and as far as I can tell, it is used in almost all commercial holsters. Tiger thread is polyester and expensive because it is braided. If fishing line is any indication, braided thread should be about 3 times stronger that twisted thread. Also, braided thread will lie flatter than twisted thread, so that should help with abrasion resistance. And if you are hand sewing, you are probably not using enough that cost is a huge issue (still an issue though). So that leaves the only advantage of nylon thread is that it is the de facto choice. My thinking is that if you deviate from the norms, you need to be able to explain why you are doing so. With tiger thread, that is not hard: its braided, it lies flat, it is impervious to sunlight. As a side note, I remember one short lived holster company that advertised that they used left hand twist nylon thread. They said it was plainly better than right hand twist thread, but offered no explanation as to why. They went out of business before I or anyone could figure out why that would even make a difference. COS
  3. I do one piercing. I have tried more but not found any benefit to it. I use 1.8mm chisels, 0.6 to 1mm tiger thread and significant tension, so if I do not pierce the thread, the needle will slide right off the thread before I get ten stitches in.
  4. I have made watch straps from 4oz vegetable tanned leather from Tandy, and 5oz Chromexcel from Buckleguy. Both worked out well. I have no complaints when purchasing from Springfield, but I have not bought a $30 side from them. I believe they will sell some leather by the square foot if you want to start small. I would recommend checking out Buckleguy.com as they seem to have the best selection of hardware for watchbands. They also sell small panels of leather. The good news is you can probably go for lower grade leather and work around the imperfections (since watchbands are relatively small). Finally, pick a style you like and start crafting. It won't be perfect, but if you like what you made, you will be motivated to improve it on the next go around.
  5. I use LibreCAD for my templates. Although I don't use it; it has a built in dimensioning tool. It is free and open source. Online documentation seems to be pretty good, although I only use it for 2D templates.
  6. The term handmade is mere marketing in niches where the term still implies quality. I recently saw one YouTuber cutting leather with a scalpel. They said that all products were cut by hand and burnished by hand; that is why they were so expensive and high quality. Meanwhile, there was a motorized burnisher and clicker dies in the background. So this was pure marketing on his part. The thing is his stuff looked top quality even being die cut and machine burnished. But you have to tell the customer a story and that customer needs to believe they are getting something special.
  7. Hello bigsig11010, You do not say what type of leather you are using, but assuming vegetable tan leather, here is what I do: I will sand the edges of the leather using a Dremel, 320 grit drum sander to get the edges even. Then I mark the stitch lines at 3mm for linings or 4mm for thicker leather using a wing compass. I like to mark the stitch lines at this point, before the edges are beveled, because there is less chance of the tool slipping off the edge. After the stitch lines are marked, then I will bevel the edges. Before the final burnishing, I go over the edges with a 600 grit drum sander. I don't skive the edges because I mainly make holsters, and I want them full strength at the edge. Hope this helps and good luck. Let us know how it turns out.
  8. Not quite what you asked, but I have hidden snaps between two layers of leather using the flat stud instead of the round cap. Usually have to trim the post 1/8 of an inch or so.
  9. A buddy requested a pocket holster for his Glock 43. This is 2 layers of 4oz leather. I made this one slightly differently. I have been having trouble getting the dye even, so for this one I dyed the outer layer of leather immediately after I cut it. It seemed to dye much more evenly when flat (vs sewing, boning, then dyeing). This did make detail boning the holster more difficult. The holster was not molded inside the trigger guard, to give it a looser fit, but it ended up having a very tight fit anyway. Not a big deal, as loosening a holster is easier than trying to make it tighter. Lining is sewn using #138 thread at 3mm, almost 9 SPI and the body of the holster is #277 at 4mm; lots of practice hand stitching.
  10. No one mentioned this yet but I happen to like the look of a holster with a natural color lining. I use two layers of 4-5oz leather. I think it just looks classier.
  11. I am interested in the Glocks listed and the Sig P365.
  12. To get stitch lines for revolvers, I use a length of 8-9oz leather about a quarter inch wide. I start at the top of the cylinder and wrap the leather around the gun, coming together at the triggerguard. I measure the length, then add 1/4 inch (two thickness' of the leather). I measure again at the middle of the cylinder, the bottom of the cylinder, then the barrel. If the gun has a longer or tapered barrel, you may need more measurements along it. Lets say I measure 5 inches around the top of the cylinder and triggerguard. I would add 1/4 inch, then divide by two, to get the distance from the centerline, 2 5/8 inches. I center the gun on a manila folder and trace the outline. At the top of the cylinder I measure out 2 5/8 inches and make a mark. This is the start of the stitch line. Then I do the same for the middle cylinder, bottom cylinder, frame, top of barrel and muzzle. I draw a smooth curve between these points. I find with a revolver, because the width changes at almost every point, it is difficult to get a stitch line that exactly follows the contour of the gun. (Much easier with semi-autos).
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