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Timbo

Leather Covered Canteen Tutorial

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That is a beautiful canteen Timbo!!!

Thanks for putting a great tut together and sharing some tricks and tips!!!

Tom

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Thanks to everyone for all the kind words, I am glad everyone likes it and are getting some tips to use too.

Thanks again,

Tim

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Just thought I'd post up some pics of another canteen I just completed. The edge of this one is scalloped and pear shaded. I am also including a pic of the collar I made to go under the cap to hide the blue canteen. On the back of it i made a hole thru one of the scallops to attach the lid leash to.

Tim

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Thanks so much Tim!

This was an excellent tutorial! I learned things that I can use for other projects too!

A1!!!

Art

:You_Rock_Emoticon:

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Most excellent tutorial.

From a to z with tips and tricks, I like the one with the drill press.

Thanks this is a keeper.

:rockon:

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This is the first installment in my tutorial. It's gonna take me awhile to get it all up here. So be patient with me and I'll get there.

Well here goes nothin'.............there's been some interest shown on the forum in the canteens I make. Since I was starting

a new one, figured I'd go ahead and take some pics and post up a tutorial. So with that...............let's get started.

This is a pretty basic plastic bladder canteen. 1.jpgThey are a BPA free plastic, whatever

that means. Used to be able to get them at Wal-Mart but the only place I can find them now is from Campmor.

Here's the link for them:

http://www.campmor.c...Product___21917

This is the pattern I made for cutting out both sides of the canteen leather.

2.jpg3.jpg

4.jpg5.jpg

I only use the pattern as a guide to get the layout started.

It's hard to make a perfectly round cutout of anything, but the rounder the pattern is in the beginning

the better off it will be in the end. So the white poster board pattern is only used for the the center mark and the top.

When transfering the pattern to your leather trace the top part out and mark the center point. Now remove the pattern

and use a compass to draw a perfect round circle on the leather. The center point will be used for more stuff later as

well. Be sure and flip the pattern over when you go to make the next one to ensure that they will fit together better

when finally putting them together. I've posted some additional pics showing the dimensions of the patterns. Be careful

and don't make the overall circle too small as it will be tougher to sew when you get to that stage. I use a 9" circle

and that seems to work pretty good. I usually make them out of 6-7oz or 7-8 oz leather. Thicker and you'll need to

allow even more. It has been a learning curve to come to this dimension, you can go smaller and tighter but it makes

it a lot more work.6.jpg

After they are cut out, flip them over and cover the back side with packing tape. I have had the best luck using the most

expensive 3M tape I can find. . Run the second layer perpendicular to the first. Tape it down to the work surface and

then cut it loose when you are done. This way you don't have to worry about the tape flipping over and marring the grain

side of the leather. I will also sometimes use blue painters tape for covering the back. 7.jpg

Next you will need to case the leather. I am about to reveal my super secret method of casing leather.............

....run it under the faucet at the kitchen sink. 8.jpgJust so ya know, we have city water and it is very low in mineral content.

So it works out good. Don't soak it all the way thru unless you WANT to wait a really long time before you start tooling.

Hold the first one under the stream for about 10 seconds, then do the second the same. Do them both this way 2-3 times.

Then put them face to face and set something heavy on them to flatten them out and wait about an hour or so to let the

moisture do it's job and work it's way thru and mellow out the fibers. 9.jpgI don't always wait for the leather to be absolutely

perfect, especially when I know the end product will be dyed and antiqued. In that case I'm not too concerned with how

much burnishing the tool leaves or doesn't leave.

In the next pic the leather is well cased and ready to start tooling. 10.jpgThe circles you see are drawn on with my antique

compass. Down side of it is that it always leaves a dark iron mark in the center, but I can cover

it up when I antique. These circles I make are actually as deep as I can get them without breaking thru or tearing through

the grain of the leather. You can also see some very light impression of the stamps I'll be using for the tooling. I do this to

make sure my spacing on the circles is correct.

When cutting the circles with your swivel knife hold the blade in the center of the circle groove and apply very light

pressure to it for the first pass. Go in segments and turn the leather when you reach the point where you control starts

to vary. I usually will start at 1:00 and go to 3:00 then turn the leather til 3:00 is back to the 1:00 position. The trick is to

never lift your blade from the cut. When you have made it all the way around for the first pass, which should really

only cut thru the very top grain of the leather, you can go around one more time with normal pressure for the depth you

want and the previous cut wil help guide the blade like the compass groove did for the first pass.11.jpg12.jpg

Next is the finished circles with the two tools I made to turn the 2 close outside circles into a nice rounded bead. These

tools are made from Bois d'Arc wood.........or hedge apple trees as I have always known them. (thanks to my brother for the

scrap wood from his guitar making!!) I use these tools just like a swivel knife. They really let you move the leather where

you want it to be. You can use a modeling tool for this as well. But with all the blunt edges of these tools my chances of

leaving a mark in error is greatly reduced.

13.jpg14.jpg

Ever since I've seen them in the Cowboy Chronicle and other places I've wanted to attempt one of these. I did go to campmore but they are unavailable now. I have a stainless steel one I found online somewhere (re-enactment site) and will have to use it I suppose.

GREAT tutorial - THE BEST!!

Can I ask you; what kind of stamping tools do you use and how do you keep your Awls blades sharp for going thru two thicknesses of leather?

Thanks,

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Great and thorough tutorial. This will be my first attempt as a beginner if I can get hold of those canteens. As a bowhunter I would like to attach it to my waist any ideas? I am sure that my friends would also like one if they see it. With all the work that goes into it how much would you sell one for?

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Wow, sorry guys, didn't know I had questions to answer......sorry. Keeping the awl blade sharp is done on a whet stone.....pretty fine one too. then I buff it to make sure it is smooth and polished. Then I strop it on my leather strop and do that off and on while using it too. The key to an awl is sharp but mainly smooth.

As for using it for bowhunting......I would probably just made 2 short straps with snaps on them and snap it on my belt.......or make a longer strap and sling it across my chest.

The custom canteens I sell for 130.

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Hi Tim,

Thanks for the tutorial, especially for sharing the trick about positioning the letter-stamps. It works wonderful and helped me a lot.

Greetings from Germany (and excuse my bad english)

Lisa

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Hi Tim,

Thanks for the tutorial, especially for sharing the trick about positioning the letter-stamps. It works wonderful and helped me a lot.

Greetings from Germany (and excuse my bad english)

Lisa

Glad you like it and found a use for something in the post. (and your english is fine)

Tim

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A really great description. I love your secret circle lettering jig. very clever.

Thanks for sharing

Alex

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many thanks for these detailed instructions - they have made a lot of work -

I can learn a lot in this community - please many such instructions, :-))!

face book : oresteleder

Edited by oreste

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Timbo, Don't know if this is from 2009 or more recent, In any event it is without a doubt the most complete tutorial I have found, and in my humble opinion I think all these here have been great. great, Now I want to make one for myself

simply because of your Canteen tutorial. Thank you so much for posting your process. Wild Bill46

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Thanks for this very thorough tutorial. As a beginner in this craft I definitely have learned a lot, and appreciate your willingness to share your experience.

I do have one question about the finish. Is the stain you used water based? I have used water based ecoflow stains before with poor results on the finish. Especially getting them to not run when wet. Is olive oil all you used to finish? How much and how many coats? Any way thank you in advance for answering my question.

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Sorry guys, haven't been around much in the last couple years. This tutorial has been up for quite awhile, and I appreciate all the comments and am glad you folks are getting some good pointers from it. As for stain and finish, I have a distain for "eco" anything. I use Feibings oil dye and for the canteens I just give them a coat or 2 of EVOO. Sometimes I'll use Bee Natural Rudys. 

If anybody has any questions and want a quicker answer than a couple years, just email me at drunkhorsecustomleather@gmail.com

 

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Bravo, very clean and nice work,I see the number of hours it represents...

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Great work and very detailed, thank you!

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