Recommended Posts

I am going to buy a oblong punch to cut belt slots in holsters.  I was going to just get a punch from tandy in 1.5 inch but I found that springfield leather sells an extra wide one (3/8 Wide) but they only come in 1.25 and 1.75 inch.  So my question is when you folks are cutting the belt slot for a 1.5 inch belt do you use a 1.5 inch punch or do you go A litttle bigger like the 1.75 inch punch.  I currently cut a hole at 1.5 inch.  Thanks for the input.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cut the slot the belt width.  It should let the belt go through without fighting it but without any left over space.  Nothing SUCKS like trying to draw a pistol, and it hangs up because your holster shifted (rotated) on the belt.

And 3/8" wide?  Uh.. no.  I'd be okay with a "strong 1/4", or maybe like 9/32" would be ideal.  Don't let anybody lie to you.  A 1/4" thick belt goes through a 1/4" wide slot just fine.  My belts aren't that heavy unless requested (which doesn't happen more n about twice a year) but I could maybe see a slot 5/16" wide TOPS.  But really I like to cut them 1/4" wide, and by the time you burnish the inside of the slot its PLENTY of room.

Sandy 'n' friends can make you a good one, link below (Int'l).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is one of those things that has always bugged me.  Why in the World doesn't any manufacturer make a punch that is more appropriate for belt slots?  Cutting belt slots by hand is a real pain and, for me, it often ruins the look of the holster.  A die is essential for a decent look.  I searched all of the familiar tool makers and none of them had one.  The dies were too long, too short, too narrow or too wide.  I finally gave in and ordered a custom made die in 1 5/8" by 1/4".  For me, it is perfect.  Ordered it from Texas Custom Dies.  I don't remember how long it took to get it but it was relatively quick... within two weeks, I think, maybe sooner.  

nick

Belt Slot Punch s.jpg

Edited by wizard of tragacanth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with jls on this, slots cut to belt size, I use oblong punches from Weaver, seem to work well, holster stays put on the belt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Weaver makes good tools. DO NOT buy Tandy -- it's junk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that belt slots must be sized to the belt width so that the holster remains at a constant angle in use.

I would point out that belt slot size overall is influenced by the angle of the belt slot in relation to the belt-line, which is generally horizontal. When the holster design features belt slots that are not perpendicular to the belt-line the overall length of the belt slot will change depending on the angle. A 1.5" slot length will not work when applied at a 30-degree angle on a 1.5" belt width.

You can purchase any number of belt slot punches and select the punch that best serves each application, or you can custom fit each belt slot using a few simple tools. I have cut tens of thousands of belt slots using only hand-drive round punches for the slot ends and carpenters' wood chisels for the long cuts. Just mark the slot ends based on your pattern, tap the round hole punch at each end to mark the leather, then select the wood chisel width that will cleanly cut the necessary length for the slot. Always work on a cutting board, striking straight down with the wood chisel to make the long cuts, then finish the slots using the round hole punches at each end. Top side of the slot seldom requires any additional work; the bottom side can be easily finished with an edging tool.

No matter what the angle of the belt slots this method produces a perfect match to the intended belt width.

I also used wooden mandrels to finish the belt slots during the wet-forming process. Each mandrel was made from hardwood 1/4" thickness and cut to the proper width for the belt, forced through the belt slot while wet-forming, and used to force the damp leather to the desired finished contour so that it fit the belt and the curvature of the hip. This allows the finished holster to be used with minimal break-in by the customer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now