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Jay6040

I want to make stuff for my dog

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I've never worked with leather before, but I would like to try making some collars, leads and maybe harnesses for my dog.

 

Is there a good tool starter kit that I can buy for do I need to buy the tools individually? Thanks

 

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Firstly, welcome to the world of leather craft  :)

I'm guessing that you wish to make hand tooled dog collars etc.? 

For a basic tool kit, theres the basic 7,  6 commonly used tools + a carving knife .

Heres an example: 

https://www.ebay.com/c/2255646169 

Or try searching for a basic ( or more elaborate )  leather crafters tool kit on web site like ebay. 

HS 

 

 

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This sort of question has been asked several times before. Search the 'Getting Started' and 'Leather Tools' sections

Also search YouTube for 'making a dog collar' and 'beginners tools for leatherwork'; there are loads of videos. Then if you need to, come back with any more specific questions

You can sew the leather with the saddle stitch, for which there is lots of advice, or use rivets. Search YT for 'using saddler's rivets', especially the video by Ian Atkinson

But if you've never worked with leather before, Search YT for videos on leatherwork and watch anything you fancy. The same sort of techniques are used on a variety of items - belts, sheaths, wallets, bags , etc as well as collars - and it will all help

A quick & easy way to start would be to buy a kit. Tandy Leather do them, or Search Google for 'dog collar kits'

Edited by zuludog

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One of the most important tools for doing leashes and collars is a good strap cutter. That should be your first purchase.

You probably will not want to buy large quantities of leather at first. A good alternative is to look for belt blanks on sale. The leather is already finished and dyed on some blanks, or if you want to tool it, just get the natural veg tan blanks. Strap leather is also frequently available on sale at Tandy.

If you just want to add 'bling' to collars, you won't need stamps, just setting tools and punches and tools for finishing and slicking edges, such as an edge beveler and edge slickers. Edges can be slicked manually, or you can go high tech and  use an electric drill or bench grinder motor, and attach the slicker to that.

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Please don't let this stop you. Promise? Ok, then:

I made a collar for my sister's dog and I found out that some dogs are allergic to veg tan and/or dye. It must've itched or something because he scratched his neck raw and scabby. I didn't even know to check first and neither did she. I still feel bad/responsible for that. It was a pretty badass collar too and all it did was inflict pain. I hope your pooch is allergy free and ends up with a good collar it can use for a good long time.

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if your not planning on carving and stamping leather for now, then your going to need a metal straight edge (Ruler) i recommend one 3 feet long, and one 12 inches long. your going to need a good utility knife like this one for example

https://www.amazon.com/Folding-Pocket-Utility-Knife-Lightweight/dp/B01MSWKPKF/ref=sr_1_6?crid=1JZA6XW9D7A7X&keywords=folding+utility+knife&qid=1569508488&sprefix=folding+utility+knife%2Caps%2C163&sr=8-6

a rivet setter and a mallet. you can get these trom tandy leather, or springfield leather. and some rivets

you will need needles and lacing thread, again from tandy leather or springfield leather.

https://www.tandyleather.com/en/

https://www.springfieldleather.com/

you can also get your leather there which will be fine to start. and they have kits and patterns for dog collars.

a great pattern for a dog harness, i even bought this one. i like it

https://www.etsy.com/listing/671103346/dog-harness-pattern-dog-harness-diy-pdf?ref=shop_home_active_37&pro=1

I would recommend an oil tanned leather for the harness and collars

good luck and keep us posted. 

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1 minute ago, battlemunky said:

Please don't let this stop you. Promise? Ok, then:

I made a collar for my sister's dog and I found out that some dogs are allergic to veg tan and/or dye. It must've itched or something because he scratched his neck raw and scabby. I didn't even know to check first and neither did she. I still feel bad/responsible for that. It was a pretty badass collar too and all it did was inflict pain. I hope your pooch is allergy free and ends up with a good collar it can use for a good long time.

this is one thing to keep in mind, please NEVER use chrome tanned leather on anything that is going to be against you or your pets skin.

thanks @battlemunky for pointing out potential die/ allergy issues, its reminded me how bad chrometan can be

 

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It isn't just chrome tan though. Mine was 8/9 oz vegtan with Fiebing's spirit dye and dubbin to seal it. It blew my mind.

Actually, I knew chrome tan was bad for metals but didn't know it was bad for skin exposure since so many clothing articles and furniture coverings are chrome tan, so than you right back for letting us know @Sturme.

I'm not a fan of chrome tan but I'm not an enemy of it either. Horween ChromeXL is some sweet leather...

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Not all chrome tan is made using the same chemicals .. "chrome tan" is a generic phrase..not all veg tan is made using the same "natural" substances.."veg tan" is a generic phrase..There can be a reaction with some, none, or all..of either type.

 

You are more likely to get a reaction with upholstery chrome tan ..because it frequently gets "plastic" ( some will "bleed" solvents for a long time ) or "gas off" for a long time ) treatments on the exposed side..and some of the stuff that people put on veg tan as finishes ( "chemical" or "natural" ) and or treatments ( "chemical" or "natural" ),can cause allergic reactions too.

Edited by mikesc

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7 hours ago, Handstitched said:

Firstly, welcome to the world of leather craft  :)

I'm guessing that you wish to make hand tooled dog collars etc.? 

For a basic tool kit, theres the basic 7,  6 commonly used tools + a carving knife .

Heres an example: 

https://www.ebay.com/c/2255646169 

Or try searching for a basic ( or more elaborate )  leather crafters tool kit on web site like ebay. 

HS 

 

 

Hi, yes I would like to make them by hand, I've searched on ebay for leather craft kits and most of them come from china, I wasn't sure if they were any good or not. I'll have a look at the one you posted, thanks

3 hours ago, Sheilajeanne said:

One of the most important tools for doing leashes and collars is a good strap cutter. That should be your first purchase.

You probably will not want to buy large quantities of leather at first. A good alternative is to look for belt blanks on sale. The leather is already finished and dyed on some blanks, or if you want to tool it, just get the natural veg tan blanks. Strap leather is also frequently available on sale at Tandy.

If you just want to add 'bling' to collars, you won't need stamps, just setting tools and punches and tools for finishing and slicking edges, such as an edge beveler and edge slickers. Edges can be slicked manually, or you can go high tech and  use an electric drill or bench grinder motor, and attach the slicker to that.

Will this do for cutting straps? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Professional-Leather-Strap-Cutter-Draw-Gauge-DIY-Leathercraft-Strip-Belt-Tool-UK/233321027291?hash=item36530456db:g:ThgAAOSwZ75dX-ni

I will look at the belt blanks as well, what diameter leather should I get for collars? From the videos I've watched, something like 3mm is good? The beveler they use is a 6, should I get a set of different sizes, or will the one size do for now? By hand is fine, don't wanna over complicate things :lol:

1 hour ago, battlemunky said:

Please don't let this stop you. Promise? Ok, then:

I made a collar for my sister's dog and I found out that some dogs are allergic to veg tan and/or dye. It must've itched or something because he scratched his neck raw and scabby. I didn't even know to check first and neither did she. I still feel bad/responsible for that. It was a pretty badass collar too and all it did was inflict pain. I hope your pooch is allergy free and ends up with a good collar it can use for a good long time.

Sadly my staffy suffers from allergies but I think shes fine with leather, well she's worn leather collars before without any issues, so hopefully she will be okay. Do you think some sort of padding might offer better protection from stuff washing out from the leather onto her skin?

1 hour ago, Sturme said:

if your not planning on carving and stamping leather for now, then your going to need a metal straight edge (Ruler) i recommend one 3 feet long, and one 12 inches long. your going to need a good utility knife like this one for example

https://www.amazon.com/Folding-Pocket-Utility-Knife-Lightweight/dp/B01MSWKPKF/ref=sr_1_6?crid=1JZA6XW9D7A7X&keywords=folding+utility+knife&qid=1569508488&sprefix=folding+utility+knife%2Caps%2C163&sr=8-6

a rivet setter and a mallet. you can get these trom tandy leather, or springfield leather. and some rivets

you will need needles and lacing thread, again from tandy leather or springfield leather.

https://www.tandyleather.com/en/

https://www.springfieldleather.com/

you can also get your leather there which will be fine to start. and they have kits and patterns for dog collars.

a great pattern for a dog harness, i even bought this one. i like it

https://www.etsy.com/listing/671103346/dog-harness-pattern-dog-harness-diy-pdf?ref=shop_home_active_37&pro=1

I would recommend an oil tanned leather for the harness and collars

good luck and keep us posted. 

I've got myself a good knife that I use for work, it will need a new blade though :lol:

 

So my tool list so far is:

leather strap cutter

beveler

Rivet setter

mallet

Rulers, 1ft and 3ft

Punch for the buckle

One of them punches for the end of the collar that gives it a nice round edge

 

Do the edges of the leather need to be sewn? I see on some collars theres stitching around the edges?

 

Thanks for all the replies!

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1 hour ago, Jay6040 said:

Sadly my staffy suffers from allergies but I think shes fine with leather, well she's worn leather collars before without any issues, so hopefully she will be okay. Do you think some sort of padding might offer better protection from stuff washing out from the leather onto her skin?

Padding would probably help. Honestly, I think it was a fluke but I can't NOT say something.

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3 hours ago, Jay6040 said:

 

Do the edges of the leather need to be sewn? I see on some collars theres stitching around the edges?

 

Thanks for all the replies!

stitch the edge, it will help prevent stretching and give it a nice professional look on a collar

 

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I have had dogs with allergies, and newly adopted dogs with skin issues that had to heal, but who still had to wear a collar.  Here is what I had good luck with, and I hope this helps someone!

Some dogs have metal allergies; even good stainless steel can cause a reaction.  

Some dogs also have nylon/plastic allergies (fairly common). 

However, these same dogs usually won't react (in my experience anyway) to powder coated hardware.  You just need to keep an eye on the powder coat because it will chip over time.  

For dogs with leather, material, dye, or just collar rubbing the wrong way issues, padding works.  What I did was make removable collar covers to slip the collar into--old towels work great for a cheap and temporary solution to test to see if that's the problem.  

If you want something that looks a little better, look into working dog collars that have padded linings; I've seen some made of leather and lambswool at dog shows. 

If you still have questions, please feel free to ask; I'm happy to help where I can. 

 

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Jay, there's some good advice there. I don't know if you have a budget and allergies notwithstanding I just wanted to say that it's easy to do some basic stuff with hardly any tools whilst you learn about what tools to buy and for what purpose. For example a sturdy fork can replace a stitch liner/groover/creaser. Any straight edged piece of metal will do for cutting against instead of strap cutters. Instead of stitching paraphernalia, use rivets. Don't even need a rivet setter for learning just a small hammer. There's no doubt that the right tools will help enormously once you understand when to buy basic or quality. One cheap tool which I would advocate from the get go is a decent size cutting mat. not only will it keep your blades sharp but the lines will enable you to keep everything straight and square. There are patterns to be had all over the place, some free and some you have to pay for. Take a look at this one. Not free but really easy to follow and there's a video showing how to. Good luck. I'm sure you're going to love your leatherwork as we all do.

 https://www.leather-patterns.com/s/search?q=Dog harness pattern

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Forget the strap end punch.  I got by for years with a water drinking glass or a pop can.  Just trace one side, judge center and match the other side.  If you screw up, cut a little to balance.

God bless

Enjoy your new skills:)

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I have been following this thread and was thinking of making my dog a collar. What do you all think of using deer hide for inside of the collar? 

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