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Old 06-19-2021, 10:16 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Now live in Las Cruces NM.
Posts: 1,336
Lightbulb Invest in a few simple tools first.

You do not need to buy too much Mike, but I'd suggest using Diamond stitching chisels, 5mm spread. You do not need to punch through several layers at once, but the chisels help you duplicate your holes precisely. With a starting point I can punch the holes in three different pieces and they all match up. Once I started using the chisels I never went back to the roller space markers. A set of 5mm diamond chisels is less than $25, don't really need other sizes for sheaths, though I use 4mm for card wallets.

I use beeswax on the chisel to punch and use a rounded off piece of wood to hold down the leather to pull them out, rock fore and aft, never side to side. I have never broken a tooth doing that. There are tons of YouTube videos showing how to tool and carve. I'm not great at carving, but pretty good at tooling.

I have a few too many stamping tools, but somehow manage to use most of them. I make belts to go with my sheaths when requested. When making belts you want to use bigger stamps to get done faster. Also unless hardware like rivets or snaps are marked "Solid Brass or Stainless" assume it is plated steel or with buckles Zinc as well. I use absolutely no plated steel hardware period. I go to Tandy I bring a magnet if buying hardware. None of Tandy's snaps are solid brass, they're all plated steel. I get my line 20 and Line 24 snaps in solid brass from Zack White Leather, you can buy 12 or 100 packs. The Buckle Guy is another good company for hardware too. They also carry Wickett and Craig veg-tan leather including single shoulders for just sheaths, 7-9 oz for sheaths. Also Springfield leather will cut Hermann Oak leather to the size you want. For the best leather Hermann Oak and W&C are my go to leathers especially for belts. I will buy Tandy's Oak Leaf premium, but I hand pick that. I could make a 20 minute video just on how to choose leather and what to look out for. You know, just 4 to 5 years ago I didn't know a lot about leather like I do now. Making belts made me much more picky on what I now buy.

If you want to make a belt, but don't want to sew a liner onto it then you need 10-12 oz leather, 12 oz being 3/16ths thick. Only if you plan to tool it though, because it thins it out. Making belts is a thing onto itself, but I've made some pretty good money selling a matching sheath and belt and once with a matching cartridge case with a belt loop. I'm not up to holsters yet, mainly because those model blue guns are expensive.
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