I had several requests for this in my last leather thread so I decided to do a write up while I worked today. This is not a perfect holster nor did I intend for it to be - if you attempt to follow these directions attempt at your own risk. I will start with a holster 'blank' I have already cut from a side and glued - you can figure that part out :thumbup:
With that out of the way, lets get started! First off your going to need some tools:
Not included in the picture are the obvious of needles, and a few other things we will cover as we go. You may be asking 'Why in the world does he need a drill?' That's a pretty good question, and will be answered soon. The BARE minimum to do this and do a good job with it is leather, an awl or drill, need and thread, something to bone the leather with, and something to finish it with. Even 'Mop'n'glow' floor sealant makes a good leather sealant so be brave and experiment!
First off you need to lay out your stitch pattern on the leather as well as groove it if you have a groover available to you. I need a better groover! You can also use a drill and small drill bit to make the holes, it tends to give you a very nice uniform hole to stitch in.
After this you'll need to start your stitching. I won't teach you how to do that part either, youtube saddle stitching leather for a better idea than I could ever try to relay to you over text. You'll end up with something like this:
If your going to tool the holster such as my 'basket weave' now is the time to do it. This is debatable but the reason I do mine after sewing is so that the leather can not stretch and will remain the same weight which is important especially for a heavy 1911!
I thought this pattern looked pretty cool left like this, you tell me what you think. Now it's time to punch the holes. A open punch and a chisel are the best ways of doing this.
I forgot an old lesson and rounded out the front side which you should never do for aesthetic reasons, and to ensure a tight fitting belt. This holster is set up for a 1 1/2 inch belt.
Now it's time to shape down the edges. Water can be used, but the issue is it takes a while to dry. Alcohol drys completely in around 20 minutes and also activates collagens in the leather that help it to set hard. Heat can have the same effect but that is tricky and I don't have an oven capable of low enough temperatures. Dip for 2-3 seconds, the main goal of this is to not have leather dust flying everywhere. A belt and/or drum sander are ideal but you deal with what you've got.
After this is done and the edges are rounded, it's time for some beeswax and a hard buff ball to burnish the edges!
After this step, an application of neetsfoot oil followed by the same buff ball results in a very nice burnished edge.
Now I go a little out of order. I decided to do this one black to try a few new things out so I used some Edge Kote:
NOW, it's time to get to business and shape this bad boy. First an 8-10 second soak in some alcohol after grabbing a trusty antler.
Be sure to cover the gun in something, I learned this the hard way:
Ok I will post finished pictures later tonight, but here you go. :wave: