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Anybody Out There Make Their Own Holsters?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by HoosierQ, Apr 22, 2008.

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  1. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    JeepGeek has the wet forming almost right.

    You don't really saturate or soak the leather.
    If you try to form it to the gun really wet, it won't mold and hold it's shape.

    Actually you wet it to the point it is just wet and turned darker brown.
    Then let it dry or "case" until it will hold it's shape when you form it around the gun. I like to case the leather wrapped in a towel so it takes quite a while to reach uniform dampness/dryness throughout.
    It's still damp, but not really saturated or dripping wet.

    When it's right, it's almost like working with stiff clay.
    You press it down into a depression on the gun and it stays there.

    Once done forming, leave the gun, in the plastic bag, in the holster, until it drys overnight.

    rcmodel
     
  2. bsaride

    bsaride Member

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    Made my first holster in July. Working on first grips and second
    holster this month.

    First Holster:
    qtrflapwIJ.jpg

    rimfiresetup.jpg
     
  3. Gibbles

    Gibbles Member

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    Thanks for the tips rcmodel. :)
    I never thought of using a plastic bag, I would just mold it, let it sit for about 20min infront of a fan then remove the firearm and let it dry over night, this mostly worked but I have had issues with the holster getting way to tight and needing me to get the holster damp in choice areas and working the arm or mag until I could insert and remove it easily.
     
  4. JeepGeeek

    JeepGeeek member

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    Awesome job, BSARIDE.

    I'll be making my own holster for my TZ75 here soon. A well-known holster maker has offered to send my two cut pieces of leather in the shape of this holster, and I'll take it from there (assembly, making stitch lines, awling the stitchholes, stitching, forming, and dyeing). Hell of a guy, he is.
     
  5. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    And how!

    advert2HBE.jpg



    czandhbe.jpg


    in use, :)

    fairfightbase-fixed.jpg

    Photo edited, both figures are me, no one had a live pistol pointed at them, no animals or fish were harmed in the making of this picture, etc. However, three mosquitos and a fly were summarily executed.
     
  6. JeepGeeek

    JeepGeeek member

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    Gents-

    I'm trying to make a holster for my TZ75.

    How much clearance do you give around the weapon when you trace the trigger guard and so on onto the leather?

    I understand if I trace right up against the weapon, I'll never get it into the holster. So how much is right?
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I make patterns out of grey cardboard and keep cutting & fitting until I get what I want.

    You can make the thicker sections out of corrugated cardboard to simulate how many thicknesses of leather you will have in the welt.

    If you have the grain of the grey cardboard running the right direction, you can form it around a gun pretty much like the leather will form.
    Then staple it all together and try it out.
    Then you take it apart and trace around the parts on the damp leather.

    Then you cut the leather!

    (And keep the patterns for the next time you need it.)

    rcmodel
     
  8. JeepGeeek

    JeepGeeek member

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    Made that TZ75 holster finally.

    Details at my blog, in the sig below...

    Here's a pic:
    100_0202.jpg
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Looks like you done good!

    rcmodel
     
  10. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    rcmodel

    You have been doing it for 50 years and it shows!
    Excellent workmanship!;)

    If I made one, it would look just like I've been doing it for five minutes.:eek:

    It certainly WOULD NOT be anything I would want to put up a picture of!:(
     
  11. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    Ohhh, good stuff...

    Thinking about trying my hand at it, since it's tough finding something perfect for me, and I'm a DIYer.

    How do you guys handle the sight channel, or is it not bad enough to worry about?
     
  12. JeepGeeek

    JeepGeeek member

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    tape a pencil or dowel atop the slide, between the front post and the rear. Form the leather, and there ya go.

    Wish I could say I came up with the idea. :)

    RCModel- I have to give credit where it's due: UBGHolsters provided the die-cut leather sides, and I took it from there. Details are on the blog, but I think I did the hard part.

    Of course, it's plain and undecorated- but it's designed for use in concealment, so I won't fault myself on that.
     
  13. JeepGeeek

    JeepGeeek member

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    RCModel-

    I'm curious- how do you manage the long back side of the sewing awl line?

    IE: The way I did it, was to take about 2X the path of the project to the back side, and start stitching. As you can imagine, that slows the project down when you have to reel in all the line on the back side, feed it through the loop, pull taut, and continue.

    Is there a faster way?
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I double it and twist it around itself which cuts the length by 1/3 or more.

    The waxed thread pretty much stays stuck to itself until you get down to the twisted part and untwist it, or shorten it by half & twist it again if you still have a lot of length left.

    rcmodel
     
  15. JeepGeeek

    JeepGeeek member

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    Oh.
    Duh.

    Brilliant :)
     
  16. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    Sounds so easy, even a child could do it.:)

    Glad I'm not a child!

    hehehehehe:)
     
  17. Gibbles

    Gibbles Member

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    Nice job!
    I have a holster like that on order for my 1911, I plan on doing a little bit of a copy of it for my makarov.
     
  18. JeepGeeek

    JeepGeeek member

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    Nate of UBG does damn fine work. You wont' be disappointed!

    Having shown this to several folks at the range, I have 6 orders on the books now.

    Now I gotta find a source of leather!
     
  19. Randyc74

    Randyc74 Member

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    I made this one for my Glock 34.
    100_1cropped.jpg

    100_1618cropped.jpg
     
  20. Daizee

    Daizee Member

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    Ooh, you guys are doing some really nice work over here!

    I've been running a long thread on my learning process over at rugerforum.net.

    Here's my SP101 holster (cut for a 3" with my 4" in it):

    DSC01034-small.jpg

    -Daizee
     
  21. sumiso

    sumiso Member

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    I hope this isn't too much of a thread hijack, but I'm wondering where you start to learn about leatherworking?

    As a woman, it is difficult to find a holster that works with my body shape, and I would love to be able to design my own. I just have no clue where to start!

    sumiso
     
  22. Daizee

    Daizee Member

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    Hi Sumiso,

    I read about it on the internet. :)
    Actually, there's a local fellow who had done some non-holster leatherwork and gave me some tips, but ultimately I ordered my materials from Tandy (tandyleatherfactory.com) and followed some step-by-steps that I found online after looking at LOTS of high-end holsters.

    I find the hardest part to be figuring out what the cut pattern should be, and in what order things should go together if they're complicated.

    1/8" craft foam is cheap and works as a very nice stand-in for making holster patterns without the anxiety of cutting up your nice clean leather. Then you trace the outline of the pattern onto the leather and cut it out. From there it's just drawing your stitching lines, punching the holes, and then lacing it up in front of the TV. Molding, trimming, and finishing is a snap, assuming you've put your stitching in the right place.

    I'm certainly not the expert on this stuff around here, but I was very enthusiastic when I started and took a bunch of pictures and documented the process somewhat.

    My inspiration was here: http://unblinkingeye.com/Guns/Holsters/BH01/bh01.html

    And my learning thread is here: http://www.rugerforum.net/showthread.php?t=8415

    It's really really satisfying. If you have hard-to-fill requirements (or not-marketed-to requirements... or you're a cheapo like me) or unusual guns that people don't make stock holsters for, it's a great way to go. If you're marginally crafty it's not difficult. After the first couple holsters you'll have made your money in materials and tools back (if you don't go hog wild on tools!). Tandy often has regular sales on their holster-weight veggie-tanned leather.

    I'd be interested to hear from rcmodel in what order he does his decorative patterning, dyeing, and stitching.

    -Daizee
     
  23. sumiso

    sumiso Member

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    Thanks, Daizee! The pictures on your thread didn't show up for me, but the ones from the Unblinking Eye did.

    I like your idea of using craft foam as a pattern instead of cardboard. The flexibility would make it easier to tell how the pattern will form around the gun.

    Now to check out the Tandy website!
     
  24. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Just standard leather tooling stuff.

    The leather is carved with a swivel-knife while cased wet. Then the stamping.

    Finally, all mating surfaces are glued with Formica cement, placed together, and stitching laid out & done. If you are making a lined holster, the lining has to be glued in with the holster leather curved almost like it will be when finished, or the lining will wrinkle when it is bent later.

    After that, the leather is again dampened, and as much forming to the gun as possible is done. After it dries, the background is died, and edge dressing applied.

    Hand-tooled designs cannot be boned or formed to a gun as much as plain leather, or you will iron out the tooling and ruin it.

    Finally, the holster is allowed to air dry for a couple of days, and Crisco pure vegetable oil applied to bring out the color of the leather. Not too much oil mind you, as you don't want it oil soaked when you get done.

    When that is complete and the oil has equalized in the leather for a couple of days, a finish coat of Leather-Sheen is applied.

    rcmodel
     
  25. Daizee

    Daizee Member

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    Thanks, rcmodel!

    I like the crisco treatment before the leather-sheen finish coat. I'd wondered about moisturizing.

    -Daizee
     
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