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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just finished my first holster project and as promised here's my results. I based the design on an old George Lawrence design for a Colt SAA (minus all the fancy carving and tooling of course). I'm pretty happy with the results even if it's a little crude in some areas. Fit is pretty good but could have been a little bit tighter. All in all I really like the holster and I think it should serve me pretty well wandering around the woods.

Here's the front of it, I'm really happy with the way the stitching came out on the front side but I won't try this with a stitching awl again. I need to invest in a drill press, getting that Awl through the welt was a bear and it didn't always punch through straight which made the back side stitching not so hot.


Here's a good shot of the welt which I think looks pretty good. It's 3 layers of leather and then thins down to 1 layer towards the bottom of the holster.


The back side, this is where my biggest complaint is which is the seam stitching along the edge, trying to punch that awl through even with a mallet made a mess of it. Stitching there is very crude but I like the stitching on the belt loop.


Here's the front with the gun in it, I like the way the holster covers the majority of the cylinder, should keep it from getting dinged up.


The view of the fit from the top, it's a little loose laterally but fits nice an tight around the cylinder, probably could have glued and stitched the welt in another 1/4". I flared the mouth of the holster just a hair to make reholstering a little easier.


Side view so you can see the cut out for the rear sight. I like the way it fits here.


Last but not least the photo of the gun and holster together, a matched pair, now all I need to do is get my act in gear making some grips for the gun and I'll be all set. Hope you guys like it,


Stu
 

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Good work Stu. It looks good and is functional. I'm a big believer in functionality being the key ingredient to a job well done.
 
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Congratulations on a real nice looking Holster you made for your Black Hawk. Thanks for sharing with us.

Enjoy the Journey
444GS2
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've heard of folks using a drill but consider getting a stitching chisel.

I use teh 4 prong and a 1 prong
Here's a whole set

Note that there are also lacing chisels which are NOT what you want (unless you want to lace also).
Those look great but are the prongs long enough to punch through 5 layers of leather in the welt? From the pictures they don't look anywhere near long enough but that may just be the picture. I have no plans on doing lacing but who knows what the future holds,

Stu
 

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Yup" , Look's good man . Auta be just fine for a runnin around in the woods holster for your Blackhawk , good Job STU . Yours was probably a lot cheaper than my ole vaquero rig cost me to have built , but I don't have a CLUE , how to mess with that leather work stuff myself :) But functionality , is what your after , if it work's for a man's pistol and he like's the look of it , Hey" , that what you want .

It's Pretty Hard to just go out and buy a good holster for Your" pistol... fit" , feel" , and ESP: , Functionality" , I tell ya that , I got a box full of um , for some of my other pistols , that I don't even use , cause I ended up never liking them after I bought each of them , so from that point on , it's just best to do what you did , ether make your own" or hire some good leather man to do it for ya . Same way if a man want's to dress up one of his Marlin rifles with leather.... Have it custom made to suit YOU" , and Still have the Function ability to suit You" .


Here's a culpa pictures of my ole Vaquero rig....


001.jpg DSC04055.JPG It's a custom quick draw rig I had built for myself a few years back . Expensive , but it function's well for me . I had three other rig I bought , off the internet but none of them functioned wortha Flip" for Me" , until I had a leather man specially built me this rig that would work for Me" , and it does very well .
 

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Those look great but are the prongs long enough to punch through 5 layers of leather in the welt? From the pictures they don't look anywhere near long enough but that may just be the picture. I have no plans on doing lacing but who knows what the future holds,

Stu
Good Lord! 5 layers? If I make a holster from 8oz I use a skivved piece of same thickness for the trigger welt, then there's the double layer reinforcement at the opening. Trying to figure 5 layers - 8oz is roughly 1/4" thick. 5 layers would be over an inch of leather.
Anyway - the tines are about an inch long and I've punched through two layers of 8oz no problem. I imagine making saddles you'd be stuck with some other method but holsters should be just fine.
 
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Good job. I bet you had fun making it for "your" gun. I admire the patience and the craftsmanship to do things for ones self.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good Lord! 5 layers? If I make a holster from 8oz I use a skivved piece of same thickness for the trigger welt, then there's the double layer reinforcement at the opening. Trying to figure 5 layers - 8oz is roughly 1/4" thick. 5 layers would be over an inch of leather.
Anyway - the tines are about an inch long and I've punched through two layers of 8oz no problem. I imagine making saddles you'd be stuck with some other method but holsters should be just fine.
Yep it's pretty thick, the welt itself is 3 layers at the trigger guard and tapers to 1 layer at the bottom of the holster. Plus the front and back of the holster gives me 5 layers and it's hanging right at 3/4" thick at the trigger guard. I love the beefy look of it but it was a nightmare trying to get that stitching awl through. I've seen a few videos where the guy uses a drill press and I think that may be the way to go if I were going to do another holster like this. That would allow me to get my holes straight through the welt which I had trouble with using the awl and a mallet. The awl and mallet worked but it's pretty crude, not a huge issue for me since the main purpose for this holster is for banging around the woods when I'm out and about. I may eventually try to do a little bit dressier holster but I think I want to practice my techniques a bit more first.

Stu
 

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Yep it's pretty thick, the welt itself is 3 layers at the trigger guard and tapers to 1 layer at the bottom of the holster. Plus the front and back of the holster gives me 5 layers and it's hanging right at 3/4" thick at the trigger guard. I love the beefy look of it but it was a nightmare trying to get that stitching awl through. I've seen a few videos where the guy uses a drill press and I think that may be the way to go if I were going to do another holster like this. That would allow me to get my holes straight through the welt which I had trouble with using the awl and a mallet. The awl and mallet worked but it's pretty crude, not a huge issue for me since the main purpose for this holster is for banging around the woods when I'm out and about. I may eventually try to do a little bit dressier holster but I think I want to practice my techniques a bit more first.

Stu
I would merely point out that the welt is just to keep the leather spread a bit to facilitate a "well" the trigger guard sits in. A welt made of a single layer 8oz skivved to a taper down to the bottom should be plenty. I have several patterns by Will Ghormley and that's all he uses. The most I've ever seen is a full length side strip spacer of 1 thickness + the trigger welt - that and the two sides of the actual holster make around 4 thicknesses at the widest point. Hey whatever works!
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I agree I probably went overboard on this. I need to take pictures of that Lawrence holster and it's mate for an N frame S&W, the welt really was more a style decision than a functional one on this. I like the heavy duty look of this welt. Most definitely overkill but I like it.

Stu
 

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I agree I probably went overboard on this. I need to take pictures of that Lawrence holster and it's mate for an N frame S&W, the welt really was more a style decision than a functional one on this. I like the heavy duty look of this welt. Most definitely overkill but I like it.

Stu
And that's all that matters in teh end. Job well done.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A matching belt

I ordered some blemished heavy 2 1/2" wide straps from Tandy figuring it might make a good belt to go along with my holster. Made the belt up today and I think it looks pretty good. There's a couple small pock marks in it and one portion of the strap has what looks like it may be a branding scar looks like a CF with the F inside the C. I only got a portion of the scar so I can't say for sure that that's what it is, although I think it would have been pretty cool to get the whole thing. Anyway the scar isn't visible on the belt since it's on the turned in portion at the buckle. The belt itself is 1 3/4" wide and I like the way it came out, should go pretty well with the holster.



Stu
 
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Stu

I have to hand it to you, you certainly have a great deal of patience to make a belt and holster by hand using an awl.

Back when the US actually had an apparel industry, I was an industrial Sewing Machine mechanic, I worked in that industry for over 20 years before that industry all ended up going overseas. I went to a trade school specifically for industrial sewing equipment, motors, automated and semi-automated equipment. etc.

Back when the industry was closing up shop, you could have bought a heavy duty machine that had large enough sewing parts and could handle a large sewing needle for $100 to $150.00. Those machines had "walking foot" feeding where the bottom feeder would rise as the needle went down and into the leather so as the stitch was made the foot and the feeder would move the leather in unison so it would stay straight and not pucker.

These days if you want a real leather machine you can easily spend over $1000 and upward of over $2000 for a Techsew 2700 or other models that can handle that thickness.

Techsew 3650HD Heavy Leather Industrial Sewing Machine | eBay

Singer also made a decent machine for heavy fabrics that the plant that I worked in owned, it was a Singer 151W.

Ebay has this and other similar models listed:

Singer 211W151 Heavy Duty Upholstery Needle Feed Industrial Sewing Machine | eBay

Of course, that's just the machine. Some of the other listings are complete with a stand and motor. The thing you would have to watch for is one that uses 120 volts. The industrial machines of days gone by ran on 240 3 phase.

If you are planning on going beyond one holster and belt, a real sewing machine could make your life easier and save your hands.



Cheers!


Mike T.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
We'll see how this new hobby progresses. For now the hand stitching is doing me ok. I have a few guys at work looking for stuff so if it takes off then I'll probably have to invest in a machine although quite honestly I have no idea where I would keep it in this house and my shop is jam packed full of stuff.

It's a shame that we lost all those manufacturing jobs. I'm afraid manufacturing skills in general in this country are slowly going the way of the Dodo. Actually that's part of the reason why I started the leather work in the first place, it's another skill under my belt that I may be able to use later on down the road and something I can teach my boys as they get older.

Stu
 

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nice job
 
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I just finished my first holster project and as promised here's my results. I based the design on an old George Lawrence design for a Colt SAA (minus all the fancy carving and tooling of course). I'm pretty happy with the results even if it's a little crude in some areas. Fit is pretty good but could have been a little bit tighter. All in all I really like the holster and I think it should serve me pretty well wandering around the woods.

Here's the front of it, I'm really happy with the way the stitching came out on the front side but I won't try this with a stitching awl again. I need to invest in a drill press, getting that Awl through the welt was a bear and it didn't always punch through straight which made the back side stitching not so hot.


Here's a good shot of the welt which I think looks pretty good. It's 3 layers of leather and then thins down to 1 layer towards the bottom of the holster.


The back side, this is where my biggest complaint is which is the seam stitching along the edge, trying to punch that awl through even with a mallet made a mess of it. Stitching there is very crude but I like the stitching on the belt loop.


Here's the front with the gun in it, I like the way the holster covers the majority of the cylinder, should keep it from getting dinged up.


The view of the fit from the top, it's a little loose laterally but fits nice an tight around the cylinder, probably could have glued and stitched the welt in another 1/4". I flared the mouth of the holster just a hair to make reholstering a little easier.


Side view so you can see the cut out for the rear sight. I like the way it fits here.


Last but not least the photo of the gun and holster together, a matched pair, now all I need to do is get my act in gear making some grips for the gun and I'll be all set. Hope you guys like it,


Stu
Thanks for this, Stu - a fine inspiration for my first forays myself!
 
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