Holster Repair advice please


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iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns
October 27, 2012, 11:26 AM
Hello all, I have zero experience whatsoever when it comes to leather-work and holster-work. The other day when I wasn't wearing my favorite IWB holster I was moving stuff around and I managed to slam it really good between the floor and a very heavy object, and now the male portion of one of the button-snaps has been smooshed into itself :( It will no longer snap, and I have to use a cheaper IWB that gets the job done but not nearly as well.

So my question is this, having no experience with these things at all, how does one go about removing a button-snap? It seems like it's a form of rivet, I do not want to damage this holster, I love it, it has served me well and I'd like it to continue to do so. I tried using leverage to bend it back out but only succeeded in loosening the rivet/snap a bit. I'm guessing I can get a replacement snap at an arts and crafts store?

Any and all feedback, tips, and advice will be greatly appreciated!

I just snapped a pic of what I'm talking about, but of course the smooshed part is on the other side of the snap, so you can't really see it...:banghead:

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8049/8127846155_97d9996f54_z.jpg

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M-Cameron
October 27, 2012, 11:54 AM
you can buy a snap fastener kit (like this (http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1292902&cagpspn=pla)) at just about any hardware/ craft/ leatherworking store...

then its simply a matter of drilling out the old snap fastener and riveting in the new snap fastener.

rcmodel
October 27, 2012, 01:47 PM
Drilling them out doesn't work so hot.
A set of snap parts consists of the Cap & Socket, or female snap.
And the Post & Stud, or the male part you smashed.

What happens is, the drill bit will grab onto the hollow post and it will spin inside the leather as there is no way to hold it.
I have better luck grinding out the riveted part of the post with a dental bur in a Dremel tool.

As for fixing yours?
You will have to cut the stitching loose on the belt loop to get to the back side of it to replace it.
Then set a new post & stud.
Then re-sew the belt loop.

Your best bet might be to find a local horse tack repair, or shoe repair shop.
(if you don't want to buy a rivet setter and learn how to sew leather.)

rc

Fotno
October 27, 2012, 02:43 PM
...
I have better luck grinding out the riveted part of the post with a dental bur in a Dremel tool.... Your best bet might be to find a local horse tack repair, or shoe repair shop....

Excellent advice on both points.

M-Cameron
October 27, 2012, 02:45 PM
What happens is, the drill bit will grab onto the hollow post and it will spin inside the leather as there is no way to hold it.


just clamp onto it with some locking pliers, that should give you a good way to hold it and also prevent it from spinning.

iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns
October 27, 2012, 03:22 PM
Thanks a bunch guys for adding your thoughts and opinions. I really didn't want to cut and restitch this holster, so I started to consider a shoe-repair or leather shop... then I thought of something and went with it.

The ability to snap and unsnap is more of a convenience luxury than a necessity, everything else on my belt uses permanent loops that needs to be slid onto the belt as I put it on, like my mags-carrier and Benchmade knife holster. I decided to go for the inexpensive and easy red neck fix :D

I already have plenty of J-B Weld, and a clamp, so I decided to conduct an experiment with these things. I mixed up some J-B Weld and slathered it all in both halves of the button-snap. When I went to clamp it I noticed that a decent portion of the leather flap and the holster itself would be flush against each other, so I put a modest amount of JBWeld onto the surfaces, which are hidden when together. Secured the clamp and it looks good. I'm going to let it sit for at least a good 24 hours just to really let it set. It's an IWB so I really don't care about looks, but I did a clean job with the J-B too so the only real difference if this works will be that the one belt loop doesn't un-snap now. I think that'll be just fine if it works. I'll report back tomorrow night with the results. Feel free to criticize and shoulda woulda coulda, I'm all ears honestly. If this doesn't work, worst case scenario I can still dremil or drill the snap rivet out, and/or have a shop put a new one in, so I figure the cheap fix is worth a shot.

rcmodel
October 27, 2012, 04:06 PM
just clamp onto it with some locking pliers, That almost never works either.
All you can clamp on is the exposed Post.
The rivited stud will spin inside the post before the drill cuts it all out.

rc

Kcinnick
October 27, 2012, 10:35 PM
Ouch, that is why I attach all my belt loops with t nuts and screws.

You could get the old snap out, not with a drill, but maybe a rotary tool with a cutoff or grinding wheel. Punch a hole all the way through the leather and attach the male post on with a Tnut and screw. If the holster is getting worn, it might just be time to replace it. If it no longer has retention on your firearm, then it should be replaced.

iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns
October 28, 2012, 03:30 PM
Holster definitely has lots of life left in it, fits like a glove, holds gun nice and firm, so weight isn't even a factor. In a few hours I'll see how the JB Weld worked, fingers crossed :)

dogrunner
October 28, 2012, 04:18 PM
From the photo it appears that it just might not be necessary to cut the stitching. You might be able to manipulate the rivet base into place if you're careful......if it won't go when the leather's dry, then give it a cold water soak and it ought to go in place......you are going to have to get a little creative and get some metal under the base and provide a backup solid area on the inside of the holster in order to set the rivet....sounds a lot more complicated than in really is.....as others have said, the JB stuff is OK for some things, but not for your purposes.

Far as removing the existing rivet plate goes, a dremel tool will do it, you can also use a sharp drill on the rolled edges IF you avoid jamming it and take light cuts....if it starts spinning, then jam something under it to hold it.

orionengnr
October 28, 2012, 04:41 PM
If it is a quality holster that has served you well for a long time, I would go either of the following two ways:

1. Return it to the manufacturer and ask if they can fix it. If they can, they will do it right. If they can't:

2. Buy a new one from the same manufacturer. They may even give you a trade-in allowance or discount on a new one, since you are a faithful customer.

JB Weld does not sound like a good solution in this case...in fact, it sounds like a good way to make sure that a correct, permanent repair is almost impossible. In the mean time (if it was me) I'd be wondering when it would fail again, and that diminished confidence would mean I'd have a hard time wearing it with any kind of regularity.

Either way, good luck, and please update us with the final fix.

Kcinnick
October 28, 2012, 05:54 PM
JB weld is not going to work, I make holsters for a living. Take a picture of the back. I would like to see the entire front and entire back. The materials to fix it are probably under $1.

You don't want to get it wet unless you have to, you probably don't have too.

Construction

iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns
November 2, 2012, 07:03 PM
Hey all, first off let me thank you all again for your various input and advice, I definitely wasn't planning on using J-B Weld when I first posted this thread... but lo and behold, I first started wearing the holster again the night of Sunday the 28th of October, and 5 nights later after wearing it every day the J-B Weld is still holding the busted snap-button shut. I've been wearing it (1911 in there of course) every day, driving, walking, sitting, even crouching putting air in my tires. I've been keeping a backup holster with me just in case, that gets the job done just not as nice, but haven't needed it. I'm kind of surprised, I was really expecting that belt loop to pop back open when I crouched to put air in the tires. So far so good, I'll let you all know if it does end up breaking, for kicks, giggles, and curiosity's sake, and if it does I might then consider replacing the button-snap :)

barstoolguru
November 2, 2012, 11:56 PM
get some wire cutters and squeeze the crimped parts and the snap comes apart

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