tooling and stamping leather.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Accessories, Holsters, and Optics' started by Armored farmer, May 15, 2014.

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  1. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I hate to start a new thread, but with several High Roaders dabbling in leather working maybe a few others will find some useful info.
    I have some border stamps and tooling but not having any success making the stamped borders deep and permanent. They look good initially, but soon smooth out. I have been wetting the leather some. Maybe too much.
    What's the secret?
    I also need some HD snaps for retention straps etc. Where do you guys get snaps and the tools to set them with. I have been using centerpunches and other farmer tools with limited success. There's gotta be a better way.?
     

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  2. aarondhgraham

    aarondhgraham Member

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    I think I see one problem,,,

    I think I see one problem,,,
    It's difficult to tell from that picture,,,
    But I think you are trying to stamp latigo (or dyed) leather.

    Latigo leather is oil tanned,,,
    Therefore it really won't accept the water,,,
    And since it won't accept water it won't hold tool marks.

    The only leather that can be hand tooled is vegetable tanned leather,,,
    The water sinks into the fibers which bond together under the pressure of the stamp.

    Also, even if it is Vegetable tanned leather,,,
    Once it has been dyed it won't tool very well at all.

    Find a Tandy Leather store near you,,,
    The people on staff can and will help you get started.

    Aarond

    .
     
  3. rayban

    rayban Member

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    I agree with what Aarond has to say....looks like latigo, which will make the impression spring right up...but about tooling dyed leather...I've had to stamp dyed veg tanned on occasion and had pretty good results.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    +1

    You simply can't tool, carve, or stamp Latigo or oil softened leather like you tried to use.

    You need to start with Vegetable Tanned Tooling Leather.
    It's almost white, and almost hard when you buy it.

    Then wet it damp, but not soaking wet.
    Then wrap it in a towel and let it set for an hour or so to 'case' it.
    That allows the moisture to work through the leather fibers and prepare it for tooling.

    Once it reaches damp, but not dry enough to turn light color again.
    You can carve & stamp it to your hearts content.
    It takes tooling, molding, and shaping around a gun almost like modeling clay!

    Then once dry and oiled, it will retaing the stamping & shaping forever.


    Avoid belly and leg cuts as it is soft & stretchy and will not retain its shape.

    Shoulder cuts are what you want for holsters & knife sheaths.

    https://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/home/department/leather/tooling-shoulders-bends-bellies/tooling-shoulders-bends-bellies.aspx



    rc
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  5. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Thanks all.
    It looks like you have solved my problems.
    ...You know us black powder folks have to make our own stuff or we just ain't happy.

    I whacked together a custom LH IWB for my son today. He was having trouble finding a L.H. for a Ruger SR9c with a CT weapon light. He has one now, and I have sore fingers to show for it.
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  7. Ironman615

    Ironman615 Member

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    I'll second the suggestion to go to Tandy Leather for leather, snaps, and any other leatherworking supplies you need. I live near Nashville, and the store there has been very helpful. Just tell them what you want to do, and they'll help you find what you need. I suspect any leather supply store would be as good, depending on what's available where you are. Saddle shops would be a good place to try as well.
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Saddle shops are good, if there is nothing closer.

    But tooling leather & hardware prices are generally marked up about double what they are at Tandy or other leather-craft stores.

    A Saddle shop will typically sell you a $40 chunk of tooling leather for $90!

    And Lift-The-Dot snaps for a buck a pop!

    Only go there if you can't find a Tandy or other leather-craft store within driving distance.

    rc
     
  9. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    We do have an Amish harness shop just a short Jeep ride away.
     
  10. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    Yep, if that's the remnants I sent you, that stuff is chrome tanned and it ain't gonna take a stamp. Like the others suggested, you'll need to use vegetable tanned leather for it to take a good impression. You'll see, the difference is night and day.


    How long's it been since you priced them? Pull the dot snaps are about $0.75 each if you order a minimum of 100 from the manufacturer or $2 apiece in ten packs from retailers.
     
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    It's been a long time!
    I have a life-time supply already.

    But, a buck a set is still pretty dang high!

    https://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/home/1263-045.aspx

    Anyway, I misspoke when I called them Lift-The-Dot snaps.
    What I meant was Line 24 snaps.

    rc
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  12. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    Tell me about it. I don't like retention straps and can't bring myself to order 100 of the damn things.
     
  13. Greg528iT

    Greg528iT Member

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    If you are determined to put a pattern into the leather, you can mask the pattern with vinyl and sand blast the image in. I didn't expect it to work, but it does with nice results.

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
     
  14. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Heck yea Greg528 those look great.

    Yes CraigC it is one of your remnants. And no, it won't take a decent stamp. Even if you mushroom your stamp with your teensy weensy ball peen hammer. (I finally got started on that plus-sized capbox. better late than never. It looks pretty good except for the failed stamping)

    BTW order already placed at Tandy. Line 20 and 24 snaps. Waxed linen thread too.
     
  15. Double_J

    Double_J Member

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    I can say as a former employee of Tandy Leather the best thing to do is go for a class, talk to the staff about what to buy first, and join the wholesale club or set up a business account if possible. We always tried to help people save money and learn a new craft, but beware it can get EXPENSIVE quick. My reloading buddy and I have several thousand dollars in leather and another several hundred in tools. The classes helped me learn the right way to use the tools.
     
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