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AlamoJoe2002

1st Side of Skirting, How to Cut Belts w/Minimal Waste

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I hope this inquiry finds you well.

I am focused on making belts from this side of  12-14 ounce, W&C, Chestnut Skirting. It is their standard grading which was 26 sf x $9.42/sf + shipping. Under 2 weeks to arrive after placing order over the phone. I am new and have been working with chrome tan from salvaged couches. The dye isn't consistent across the entire side. I also see a lot of stretch marks. I don't know what I'm looking at as this is my 1st side and I'd like your thoughts on the material.210426515_70percemtSideWC12-14ounceChestnutSkirting26sf7OCT2020.thumb.jpg.ea647884ef0739fa0c3d1807c1b038ab.jpg what I'm

After seeking advice for members of our forum I made a decision to start making belts. I have an Osborne draw gauge and clone 6" pull thru skiver. I have snaps and chicago screws. I need to order 1.5 inch and 1.25 inch buckles for mens belts. I don't know what women are generally looking for in bet sizes.

Here is a pic of the hide taken on a ladder with out my belt on...I put the 38 inch sized belt on the side for scale. I think the dogs were weirded out for a minute...

So I can begin making full length strap cuts. But that would leave short strap scraps.

I would like to know what is a good side cut process to get nice normal sized belts and save larger portions of the hide for future projects.

Respectfully,

JOE

Side Skirting 12-14 ounce Chestnut W&C.JPG

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G'Day, it looks quite good...to me anyway  :)

Apart from keeping it out of the sun..?? ....   :)   You can start by cutting a straight edge. I have a long length of 2x1 wood  that I use like a ruler , with a very sharp knife ( a bit 'old fashioned' I know, but it works )  . I then run my strap cutter adjusted to  cut a 5mm strip, giving me a perfect straight edge. Others with big workshops on here may have machines etc. to do that . The 5mm strip I sell at markets .  I also have some different size  strap cutting tools. A ' V' shaped tool for the tip, an ' U' shaped tool for the buckle end. 

Theres a lot of  posts on here regarding belt sizing, making of belts etc.  

https://leatherworker.net/forum/topic/85744-belt-lengths/

As for wastage,  you will always have wastage . I try to use any off cuts , scraps etc. for key rings, belt keepers, fridge magnets, and for longer off-cuts, dog collars, ,  halter/bridle repairs  and various other small items I can sell.  You just have to be a bit creative in that regard.

HS

 

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Ivan sell sensibly-priced English Tip punches, for a beginner. Those are the parabola tips, rather than pointed ones, which never wear down.

A length of alumunium angle is almost as cheap as the timber, and doesn't warp. 

Don't forget you can cut cross-wise too. Belts don't all have to be 48", either, but make the shorter ones, for women, far thinner

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I have been meaning to get a length of patio tube or alloy....for years.  Its one of those ' round to it jobs'.

Theres another idea for scraps  @AlamoJoe2002, ' round-to-its', or ' tuits'  . A round piece of leather just simply called a  "  tuit"  . " For all those jobs that you never get around to  doing" .

I thought about making these myself.......but I never got around to it  :)

HS

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I can't recall the author but there is a utube video of how to break down a side for the least waste.  If I recall correctly the author cut off the butt portion so that the remaining portion was the correct length for belts, he referenced the same thing you are talking about in that if you strip it the full length you end up with a bunch of short straps after you cut to belt length.

Todd

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Thanks all. I'll look into the videos.

Please keep the ideas coming.

By the way can I get an opinion on the quality of the W&C standard side skirting? The color is inconsistent...is this normal?

JOE

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On 10/9/2020 at 8:26 AM, Arturomex said:

Great video...

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Dye color variation across a side is no big deal and quite common.  It will change by the time the products are done.

The "correct" way to strip out a hide is to start with a straight edge along the spine.  No matter how you do it, this creates a bit of waste that is useful for belt keepers, tabs, etc.  It is very important that this straight edge is straight.

When cutting a strap, the ideal is to cut from the butt end (on your left in the photo).  This is where the strongest leather is.  You cut from the butt towards the shoulder (the second strongest part of the hide).  Ideally you cut parallel to the spine.

If you know the widths of the strips you plan to cut out (most commonly 1.25" and 1.5" for belts, 1-1.25" for shoulder straps, 0.75-1" for straps on pockets on bags, etc.), you can go ahead and mark and cut now.  Or, cut as needed.

Generally, if you are just going to make straps then you cut every strip from one end to the other, and NOT to length.  You cut to length when making the belt, which leaves you with a bunch of short straps left.

Ideally, the adjustment holes for the belt will be on the butt end of the strap, but this is less important than cutting parallel to the spine, and not perpendicular.

Some belt makers just cut off the shoulder with a straight line perpendicular down from the spine, about 70+ inches from the butt, or whatever is a little longer than any strap you'll need.  Those shoulders are generally sold off for 25-50 dollars, depending on size.

If you also intend to make other goods, then from the other end (shoulder end), starting from spine for a straight edge, lay out panels and pockets etc, working larger to smaller as you work down from the spine.  This gives you the strongest leather on the main parts of the project.  For small tabs, etc, that function to hold on hardware, these are made from cutoff scraps from the better parts of the hide, i.e. the waste left when you cut the straight edge along the spine.

Hope this helps!

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On 10/9/2020 at 6:39 AM, Handstitched said:

I have been meaning to get a length of patio tube or alloy....for years.  Its one of those ' round to it jobs'.

Theres another idea for scraps  @AlamoJoe2002, ' round-to-its', or ' tuits'  . A round piece of leather just simply called a  "  tuit"  . " For all those jobs that you never get around to  doing" .

I thought about making these myself.......but I never got around to it  :)

HS

My Preacher got me with that.  I said when I get a round to it and h pulled one out of his pocket.  I was stuck teaching sunday school till I could weasel out of it 

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OP said he put a 38 inch belt down for scale. Didn't say of that was total length or actual "wearing" size. That cutting diagram is going to result in a lot of short straps and those diagonal cuts from the shoulder are probably going to be stretchy on one end from the belly.

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5 minutes ago, Arturomex said:

OP said he put a 38 inch belt down for scale. Didn't say of that was total length or actual "wearing" size. That cutting diagram is going to result in a lot of short straps and those diagonal cuts from the shoulder are probably going to be stretchy on one end from the belly.

Yup.

When I get a side, I always cut off the belly portion as scrap. Then I cut off the shoulders as soft, tender leather unsuitable for belts, but suitable for other purposes, like sheaths.

For belts, I use only the butt/bend portion.

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I am over here in the corner learning stuff

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