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Found 3 results

  1. Hello again from North Wales. We're in lock-down again and nobody can travel so I decided to make a travel bag. Obvious really. And it's not just any travel bag. Because I'm half salmon on my mother's side, I have to find a way to swim upstream so I decided to make a bag I couldn't buy hardware for: A Gladstone bag. Yes, yes, I know you can buy Gladstone frames commercially but they looked flimsy and cheap with that 'antique brass' finish that looks nothing at all like antique brass. I made the frame first, sourcing some 1/16th" x 1" brass angle and some 1/8" x 1/2" brass strip. The hinges were ready made 'desk hinges' from a restoration company and measured 1/2" x 3" when opened. They're also 1/8" thick (or 1/4" when closed.) The hinges and frame are rivetted with traditional cold rivets that you hammer the heck out of. Hard work but strong in the ridiculously over-engineered way I happen to like. The catches for the bag are modified 1" roller buckles: The rollers were removed, along with the sides of the buckles the tongues were attached to. The shafts the rollers were around were then wrapped in pig skin to make them a tight fit under the brass straps, giving them enough friction to only move when pushed./ The straps are fitted with Chicago screws with the screw component replaced wit M3 brass countersunk screws that fit flush on the under side pf the frame. The bag itself is English Bridle Hide. 2mm for the main panel and 1.5mm for the end panels because of the need to fold. The compartment is stiffened with 1.5mm carbon fibre plates on 5 sides (including the bottom) and lined with 1mm calf suede. The edges of the main panel (originally 52cm x 110cm) were rolled and the end panels' edges were folded in and sewn through the rolled edge. This was the fiddliest sewing job I've had to date. Working inside the bag half the time, trying to find a needle sized hole in black suede in the dark... I don't recommend it as a pastime. Frame and bag are joined with glue and 13 more Chicago screws on each side. Where the handles are also screwed onto the frame, there is a 1/8" x 1/2" carbon fibre strip on the inside to provide more rigidity. The handles are 1.5mm leather stitched around a 9.5mm cowhide core. The 9.5mm cowhide is sold here for the drive belts of very old lathes and industrial sewing machines. It makes a stiff, firm filler for wrapped handles. There are four rubber feet under the bag, designed for flight cases and fixed through the carbon and leather of the base with Chicago screws again. Mistakes / lessons learned. The frame is the same width as the end panels but should have been about 3/8" wider to account for the fact it's outside of the side panels and the end panels are inside them. The result is that when the hinges lock out, the folding gussets haven't fully opened and still lean into the opening a little. The tabs on the ends of the handles are too long. I feel it would be better aesthetically if they were about 3/4" shorter. I'm considering taking them off, cutting them down just above the rivet holes and reattaching them. Where the hinges are attached, there was only 8mm of brass under them to secure the bag to, hence the two small Chicago screws either end (and either side) of the main frame. These turned out to be inadequate to hold the leather to the frame at the ends. I had to make 1.5mm x 10mm x40mm carbon reinforcing plates, cut away the lining suede and glue and screw those plates in directly under the hinges to securely trap the bag leather. I hope that as the bag gets used the leather will soften and stretch a little with bending and the stress on the screws will diminish. Stay safe. Andrew W-R
  2. New to these. Is the middle one complete and the first and last incomplete? middle one allows you to attach a handle easily. First and third are missing that piece in the brass frame. So are the first and third just "seconds" or is there another way that the first and third are intended to be used? Also, when looking at places that sell something like these I see Ohio Travel Bag but there version is cheap and cheap looking - so I passed. Found one or two other sites that had cheap alternatives. Nothing like what's in the picture. Any idea what would be a fair price to pay for a nice one? thanks Einar LeBlanc Brooklyn NY
  3. Terribly sorry if this has come up recently (I searched before posting, I swear I did), but I am trying to put handles on a bag that I just made (my first attempt at making something more complicated than a wallet). I'm pretty satisfied with it (it's a sort of Gladstone/Doctor's bag), but now I'm getting worried about screwing it up. I had planned to cut a bar of leather, fold it in half, stitch most of it to itself, and then stitch the rest into the bag, as is pretty common with purses and the like. However, this bag is a good 16x10x12, and I mean for it to be able to carry my books and lunch and whatever else I need. In other words, I need it to carry what I would reasonably carry in a messenger bag or smallish backpack. Should I be worried about the strength/integrity of the bag and handles using this method? Should I use an intermediate metal ring or loop between the handles and the body of the bag? Should I use rivets as well as stitching to make it extra strong? My stitching seems awfully strong usually, but I've never made anything that would get quite this much abuse before and am concerned. Thanks all!
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