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It took a while, but I finally finished my mailbag - with pleats!  Thanks to everyone who provided advice on how to form the pleats.  I think I'll definitely nail it next time.  Modified a pattern from leatherbagpattern.com and used some of the techniques from the Andersen Leather mailbag that is in another thread here.  Also pulled the side strap detail from the old drawing possumbreath posted a few years ago.  This is by far the biggest project I've ever done.  Feel like it turned out fairly well.  

The majority of the bag is bison.  Used 2-3 oz veg tan to line the loops for the D rings, for the loop covers, as well as for the welt between the gusset and front/back panels.  Storm flap lined with suede and end has 2-3 veg tan to cover the rivet (and then some) of the latch.  Decided to add a pocket in the back with a strap for a laptop or whatever.  Also threw in a lanyard for keys.  Seemed like a good idea.  Spine is super heavy veg tan - it's actually a stirrup strap.  Copper rivets, brass hardware.  All kinds of fun stuff.  It's a beast of a bag, but I think it should hold up.  

Feedback and recommendations for improvement appreciated.  I really enjoy working with leather, and I definitely want to improve.

bison mailbag 01.jpg

bison mailbag 02.jpg

bison mailbag 03.jpg

bison mailbag 04.jpg

bison mailbag 05.jpg

bison mailbag 06.jpg

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Very nicely done.

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Really nicely done!  That'll last a while to boot!  Imagine you will get a lot of comments on it when you start to use it!

YinTx

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That leather is real nice! It almost has a used look about it right from the start. The bag looks like a fairly complicated build, you've done well.

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Nailed it! That’s a great looking bag, and the pleats look like they turned out perfect.

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You have inspired me.  What a great looking bag.  You should be proud of your work.   I downloaded a pattern from leatherbagpattern.com myself, a duffle bag, that I think will make a good shooting bag.

Keep up the good work.

 

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I really like that bag, well done!

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A definite beast of a bag.   I heard that Bison is pretty easy to worth with and holds up really well but is a bit pricey.  True?

 

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8 hours ago, JayEhl said:

I heard that Bison is pretty easy to worth with and holds up really well but is a bit pricey.  True?

 

I've only used chrome tanned bison and it was as hard to edge and as supple as regular chrome tanned cow. It smells quite a bit different and is pretty friggin tough, similar to deer or elk in toughness. I bought a remnant bag from Weaver or Tandy, can't remember which one, and it had several nice sized pieces, enough to make a few wallets, which I didn't like near as much as veg-tan cowhide in comparing them. I think it was like 10 bucks.

I've had some Horween Chrome-Excel and their other grade of chrome tan (colonial or whatever its called) and prefer it to bison. I've had all sorts of other chrome tanned bits and pieces of unknown tannery but prefer veg-tan, Hermann Oak specifically. It's what I learned on and it behave much more predictably for me. It took me a long time to get veg-tan pre-dyed even, now I prefer that except you run out of room quick every time you need a new color for a project.

Edited by battlemunky
clarity

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Hi,


That's a good idea to get some bison remnant bags for practice.  I'll have to give that a go, sometime.

Thanks!

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Sorry for being so slow to respond!  The leather wasn't too expensive, but mostly because I got it on sale from Maverick.  Like battlemunky's experience, this was chrome tan and edge work was tough.  The grain was firm in some places and really soft in others, so the beveled edges on the strap are pretty rough.  The flesh side was really fuzzy in some places, but I figure that will wear down with use.  It's supple and seems really sturdy so far.  Unfortunately, due to all the coronavirus shutdowns I haven't had much chance to use it, yet!  

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Excellent bag.  You put  lot of work into it and it shows.  Looks superb.  Wish I had that talent.  I'm still trying to make some small purses and although they are coming out well I can see I need tons of practice to even come close to anything like yours.

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You will have that for years to come and it will be a joy to use. Nice work

 

Ross

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Thanks, everyone! 

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