Leather/Leather Tools Question

Discussion in 'Self-made Gear' started by idahoelkhunter, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. idahoelkhunter

    idahoelkhunter Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Coastal Pacific Northwest.
    I’m planning on driving to the nearest Tandy Leather Store and picking up some supplies for making sheaths for a couple knives and axes. I would appreciate suggestions on what weight leather and the "most basic" of tools I should buy.

    Funds are really tight right now and the store is far enough away, it will be a one shot deal. I know I’ve seen some similar threads out there and will not be offended by re-directs. Thanks.
     
  2. _Plainsman

    _Plainsman Banned Member Banned

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,418
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    KANOKLA
    I use 7-8 oz double shoulders for all my sheaths. Really, if you have a hand drill, box knife, and a straight edge at home, you would only need needles and thread and maybe an edge beveler. Also, a small container of the light brown pro oil dye is easy on the eyes.

    Remember not to be afraid to ask the guys/gals at Tandy. They are experienced leather workers and most have made sheaths at some point.

    Hope that helps! : )
     
  3. Ratty1

    Ratty1 Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    The middle of nowhere.
    I use 9-10 oz. Otherwise you just need a couple of needles and whatever thread you want to use if you have the other tools that Plainsmen suggested. You can use a sharp knife to bevel your edges. If you want to burnish the edges you can use plain water and something hard and smooth, like a shot glass. If you do a search on here, you'll find at least one thread that shows the use of common household items to work leather. Best of luck to you on the adventure. You'll probably wind up hooked on leather working.
     
  4. 1066vik

    1066vik Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    2,800
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    NE Ks
    The Tandy starter kits have a decent selection of tools -- several of which you may or may not use -- but at a reasonable price.
    otherwise, needles (NOT glover's needles), wood handled awl, thread or artificial sinew, light brown oil dye, stitching wheel for spacing your stitches, some of the Tandy craftsman cement (it's made by Barge, but uses a different solvent so not as explosive/toxic), sno seal or saddle oil for sealing the leather.
    I use a drill press to punch my holes -- I sharpened a finish nail and chuck it in. If you don't have a drill press, a 1/16" drill bit in a hand drill will do the trick, so will a hammer and awl.
    7-8 oz veggie tanned leather is a good weight for knife/axe sheaths and will work for pouches/haversacks/possibles bags as well.
     
  5. chickasaw_hunter

    chickasaw_hunter Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Colorado
    I like to use their 4 prong punch along with a single prong punch to punch out my holes to stitch things together. Ask the folks at tandy about them, pretty standard tools for hand stitching. Mine punch a diamond shaped hole and give you a very nice evenly spaced stitch line. I also like to use the artificial sinew. I've been using my puches for well over 25 years and have sheaths that are that old and still in very good shape. The leather will rot away before that nylon sinew fails. Good luck, it's a fun hobby, and you get some useful stuff too. CH
     
  6. rdec

    rdec Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    2,904
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    7-8 oz. tooling cowhide is good for sheaths and muzzles. Box cutter and EMT shears for cutting out pieces.

    For sewing I suggest and overstitch wheel (marking stitch and evening up the seam when sewn), a diamond blade saddle awl for punching the holes (they also sell drive punches for this, 4-hole and 1-hole if you prefer), some saddle needles (they are used in pairs), waxed thread. If you are going to use snaps you will need a hole punch. A lot of hardware stores sell snap kits that include the setting tools. I also suggest an edge beveler and a nylon bone folder. The folder shapes and molds the leather to the tool within and includes a head with edge slicker and liners. I have been using the same tools, from Tandy, for more than 50 years so you only need to buy them once.

    The guys in the store can show you how the stuff is used, it's pretty simple.

    Rather than dye I use a generous swab of neatsfoot oil, allow to absorb overnight, then rub in SnowSeal or some similar dressing. This not only protects the leather but turns it to a nice, warm glowing brown that doesn't wear off like dye does.
     
  7. MrKnobbie

    MrKnobbie Scout Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2011
    Messages:
    434
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    St. George Utah
    I think all the advice above is good and serviceable. Leatherwork is pretty straight forward, and there are many ways to skin a cat- pun intended.
    I think the "deluxe hand stitching set" is a great value.
    Get more than one dye color- otherwise all your creations will start to look the same. Get an extra pack of needles- they break on heavy leather (a sheath welt is 3 layers of 8 oz leather!) A beveler can be handy.
    Ask for bellys- these are usually not listed online and are often cheaper than shoulders.
    Also might ask for remnants- sometimes the store will have leftover pieces from a scout troop, project class, etc...
    I am finding that 8 oz is maybe a bit too heavy. 4-6 oz with a 8 oz welt. If there is room in your budget, get a couple different weights. see what you like.
    You can order tools online, but it is my experience that getting the leather in person has better value & quality.
     
  8. Blazin

    Blazin Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Messages:
    1,144
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Texas
    Stitch groover, stitching wheel, needles, utility knife with plenty of blades, piece of canvas or even old blue jeans works well for burnishing with saddle soap. Be advise once you start buying tools it gets addictive. Keep us posted I always appreciate leatherwork.
     
  9. ratherbecampin

    ratherbecampin Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    243
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Birmingham AL USA
    What he said!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  10. sdjsdj

    sdjsdj Guide Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,320
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Upper Midwest
    If you are going to get a kit(and they have a good one with all you need except leather, including Stohlman's famous book), get the "Deluxe HandStiching Kit" around $90. Read Stohlmans' book (it's well illustrated).
    http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/search/searchresults/11189-00.aspx
    Not the basic kit which is just lacing precut materials. Also pick up some rivets appropriate for the weight leather that you are working.
     
  11. sdjsdj

    sdjsdj Guide Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,320
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Upper Midwest
  12. Westexas

    Westexas Tinder Gatherer

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been in 6 or 7 Tandy's and a few other shops and all of them had knowledgeable staff who wanted a happy customer above a big sale. I'd encourage you to tell them what you want to do - take an example of photo if you have one - and let them guide you through the materials and equipment you'll need. And don't forget to check your local library. Leatherworker.net is an invaluable website to ask any kind of question you might have.
     

Share This Page